Thursday, May 19, 2011

"The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living"

I haven’t written a post in a while. I realized this morning that was a reflection of where I am right now. I am in a very introspective mode.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I felt very scattered. I can’t pinpoint the reason for that, I just was. I felt like I was getting too caught up in every little thing that was happening around me.

Things that normally I would blow off were all of a sudden turning into major stress points of my day. It’s great when I’m able to realize that and get back to center.

Going within …

I had to withdraw and go within. I find that to be the healthiest approach any time I felt as if I’m about to spiral emotionally. I meditate more and become a lot more cognizant of my interactions.

I have a library of over 100 books. I just love books. I can’t claim that I have read all of them and I am getting better about buying a book knowing I will read it at a much later time.

I was browsing my books the other day, when I came across, “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler. I started reading it and found that it was exactly what I needed. It’s amazing how things work out that way.

Going back in time

While reading it the other night, a paper fell out of it. It was from a day timer I had in the year 2000. On November 1, 2000 I had an appointment for a manicure at 11:30 am. That was pretty wild to see.

I started remembering my life in the year 2000. It was the year we got married, the year we moved to Colorado, the year we took tons of trips everywhere, the year I bought my first mountain bike, we didn’t have kids but we had two awesome dogs. It was fun to go back in time for a while. That exercise alone brought me happiness.

Words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama

What has stayed with me the most from reading this book so far, is the thought of compassion. The Dalai Lama implies that our whole existence is to achieve happiness and the method to do that is to have compassion for humanity.

If you have compassion, then the person who just cut you off while driving will not make you mad. If you have compassion, then you can pretty much deal with any situation that comes your way.

I’ve really thought about that concept these last couple of weeks. It’s a very settled way to be. He also says that we are inherently compassionate and happy. It’s the experiences that come our way and how we take them on, that allow negativity and sadness to become part of who we are.

He goes on to say that we need to realize what experiences make us happy and bring more of them into our life. We also have to face those experiences that don’t bring us joy and challenge them. It’s a different approach than not dealing with them at all. It’s a much healthier way to approach something.

More introspection to come

I am still in a very introspective mode. I find that when I’m there, the TV doesn’t come on at all, I hardly surf the internet and I talk much less. I feel that this book is ideal for where I am right now. As a matter of fact, the chapter I was reading last night started off with the idea of meditating when you feel things are getting a little chaotic.

The concept of chaos within your life is very personal. I find that my threshold is not as high as it used to be. I love the feeling of being balanced and find that as soon as I start leaving that center, I have an extreme need to get back to it.

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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Back to reading,

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