Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

On Gladness…

on October 30, 2012

What does it mean to be happy? When are we truly happy? what makes us happy?

I have been thinking of this lately. that happiness doesn’t have to do with my circumstance or finances as much as a state of mind where I appreciate what I have.

Its funny, I have gone through times when I’ve thought, ‘I would be happy if only…’. And then times when I’ve simply been happy. And the moments when I’ve felt alive and engaged and joyful have had nothing to do with accomplishments or vacations or sunny days. They have mostly had to do with small moments. Moments that come unbidden and surprise me.

Like when I come up before bed and find that my two year old has arranged the three tiny goddess figurines to all sit in one tiny chair and I smile wondering how she balanced them. Or when my husband can rub my feet and talk to me lovingly when I’m being cranky and irritable because we got late for bed, even though he is the one who had been up since 4.30 that morning. Or when my earrings match everything I wear and they are my favorite and I find them right by the counter. Or when I do yoga stretches in the library saying om – namaha so I stay awake – and Anji thinks its funny. Or when we run run run up the steps to go potty time, or when she recounts the book we read earlier and says sincerely, ‘swoosh goes the fan’ again! Or when I see her tiny fingers trying to imitate the movement of her teacher as she practices itsy bits spider. Or I see the trees move in the breeze nothing holding them back except their own roots, roots they can count on.

Perhaps when we notice gladness, there is more gladness to see. And we hold it lightly in our hearts, knowing it will pass. Everything changes, people lose homes in the course of a single day and that today what we have, the smattering of small moments, joys and successes is everything that can change our lives. As Mary Oliver says, ‘joy is not made to be a crumb’.

With Love, S.

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2 responses to “On Gladness…

  1. And yet, while happiness joy and gladness are valued states, never forget the many times when other–admittedly negative–feelings are the right ones for the time. Supporting someone in need, standing up for what’s right, grieving, weathering an illness…the list is long. At those times the feelings are anything but joyful, but just an life-giving.

    • Shuba says:

      well said Maurice Barry, absolutely. Paying attention to joy in no way undermines paying attention to sadness. In my experience we can be better present for times in need, when we are fully appreciative of our own blessings, and we can know that life is a full cycle – full of the ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows, as the Buddha put it. And often times, during the depths of suffering, it has been joy that had lifted me up…

      Be well,
      Shuba

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