Where does happiness lie?
As we move into the sixth month of 2015, we continue to OWN IT!
This month, we are owning our happiness. We are focusing on simply being, and finding our happiness and helping our kids to find it too (maybe they are better suited to help us.)
We once heard Wayne Dyer tell his story:
A wise old cat, lying on a doorstep, watched the world. Within his line of sight was a tiny kitten who leaped and pounced and chased his tail.
“Tell me kitten,” said the old cat,
“Why do you chase your tail?”
“Old Master Cat,” replied the kitten,
“I know that happiness lives in my tail and if I can just catch it, I’ll find true happiness!”
“Ahhh,” said Old Master Cat,
“I too believe that happiness lies in my tail.”
“Then why don’t you chase after it, Old Master Cat?” asked the kitten.
Old Master Cat replied, still lying on the step,
“Time and time again I chased my tail without catching it, Little One. Then, one day, I discovered that my tail is attached to me and happiness follows me wherever I go.”
Today, we are asking:
Where does your happiness lie?
In his book Be Happy, Robert Holden – founder of The Happiness Project (1994), says that,
“The secret to happiness is to know that you are already happy.”
He advises us to stop ‘Searching for happiness,’ – finding happiness or becoming happy implies that it is something that will eventually happen at some time in the future. Robert encourages, ‘Follow your joy,’ an action that exists in the present tense…it is about being happy and choosing steps to follow the joy within.
So how does this work in parenting? Well, we believe that kids live what they learn – if they are taught that they have to chase after happiness, it means that it is not here for them. Maybe when they get better grades or make the next level up in their sport, they will be happy? Maybe when they get that next toy? It puts happiness beyond their control and into the hands of someone or something else. It does not allow them to OWN IT.
Whereas, when we choose to follow our joy, we turn inward. We choose to recognize what feels joyful and incorporate that into our day, while playing sports, hanging with friends or walking home from school.
Robert Holden breaks it down for us so simply, “We’re already choosing happiness every day. First thing this morning, did you choose a bath or a shower? Did you choose clean or dirty underwear? Why? You chose the thing that brought you joy.”
A burning question that we learned from Robert Holden is:
What sort of day did you decide to have today?
Why does it matter? Holden says, “The happier you are, the more you will want to share it with the world. Happiness is a gift.”
Just imagine how it could feel to have your kids receive the gift of happiness from you today? What if they passed it on?
This week: Give some thought to your beliefs about happiness. What if it is already inside of you and all you have to do is follow joy in your daily choices? Ask your children how they choose joy and how they could share it with others.
What will your legacy be?
We spoke recently with Robb Lucy, who worked extensively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and has written Legacies Aren’t Just for Dead People. He believes that we can use our values to build ways of connecting with other people and that our kids learn this from us. His book asks questions and lays out different paths to creating a legacy. Find out more here.