Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happiness - What is it?


Motivated by Gretchen's 'Happiness Project' I decided to reflect on this notion of happiness.

Happiness has different meanings for people. Thinking on this topic, I am struck by a memory of a workshop I facilitated for Indigenous women of the Americas in the Peruvian jungle. One evening, sitting by the fire, the women were talking about their communities and how difficult it was for them to make it to the workshop. They spoke about the hardships they are faced with all through laughter and beaming as they spoke about their children. Earlier that day, I teased that I should wear a t-shirt that said, “I’d Rather be a Tourist” because clearly the facilities in the jungle are not the Hilton. Sitting among the women I felt ashamed for having that thought, even in jest.

As I read some of Gretchen’s 12 commandments to becoming happier, I got that most of the points, although universal, really are for people in developed countries whose concerns don't have to include the basics of survival. As an example I will use Gretchen's list, because I like it. The Peruvian example comes from one of the women at the the workshop.

American
/ Peruvian
1. Be yourself / 1. Be strong
2. Let it go. / 2. Be thankful with what you have
3. Act the way I want to feel. / 3. Accept that you can’t put yourself first
4. Do it now. / 4. Recognize your opportunities
5. Be polite and be fair. / 5. Be respectful but strong
6. Enjoy the process. / 6. Live in the moment / let each moment follow
7. Spend out. / 7. Treasure what you have
8. Identify the problem. / 8. Identify the solutions
9. Lighten up. / 9. Laugh, and laugh some more
10. Do what ought to be done. / 10. Do what can be done
11. No calculation. / 11. Appraise risks
12. There is only love. / 12. There is only one ‘you’

Happiness is relative, fleeting, but necessary for our body's emotional and spiritual well-being no matter who we are. The important thing to remember is that pure happiness lives within each of us.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

4 comments:

Pink Heels said...

What a fascinating comparison between two views. There is a lot to be learned from your post. Thank you for sharing.

Angelina said...

Thank you for your comment.

My post is not to minimize any other point of view, only to shed light on people who are poor in material things, but demonstrate riches of happiness in their smile and laughter.

Rabbit said...

I like.

Angelina said...

Hi Rabbit, enjoyed reading your blog and like your name.

Keep writing. : )

Blog Archive

Labels

#greencold-pressedjuice #healthcare #sisterlylove #healing #love (1) 100 days of gratitude (4) 2008 (1) 2010 review (2) 2012 (1) 2014 letters (1) 2015 (1) 2016 (1) 6th line (1) A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table (1) Acadia University (1) acai bowls (1) accident (1) accidents (1) ACDEN (3) ACFN (8) Addictions (2) Adia (1) Advertising (1) Africa (1) Agricultural benefits (1) Ajahn Brahm (1) Albert Mercredi (1) Alberta (1) Alcoholism (4) Allan Adam (1) alternative care (1) Andrew (9) Andrew Gr.7 (1) andrew's books (1) Angelina (1) anger (1) animals (1) Annie Pootoogook (1) anniversary (5) apology (2) April (1) Arctic (1) artist (2) Arts (1) Asia (1) Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (1) attachment (1) Attawapiskat (1) August 2011 (1) aunt (1) Aunt Marie (1) Auschwitz (1) Australia (3) Autumn (2) Ayurveda (1) Baba (1) Bad to the bone (1) BBF (1) BC (1) Bennet Dam (1) Beverages (1) Bill C-31 (1) Billy (1) Biology (1) birthday (5) birthdays (1) blessing (2) blogging (3) blogs (1) Blood pressure (1) Bob Dylan (1) Bodhi (2) book review (2) Books (3) boys (1) brain (1) breast cancer (1) Brother (1) brothers (1) Buckminster Fuller (1) Buddhism (1) Buddhist (1) Burns (1) Bush (1) Business (1) camera (1) Canada (1) Canadians (1) cancer (1) Captain Schettino (1) captain Sullenberger (1) Cars (1) cat (1) cell phones (1) Challenge (2) change (1) charity (1) Charles Camsell Hospital (1) cheating (1) Chief (2) Children (1) China (1) Chipman House (1) Chocolate (1) choices (1) Christian (1) Christmas (6) Christmas 2015 (1) Christmas music (1) Christmas Mystery (1) classic cars (1) cleaning (1) climate change (1) cold (1) cold pressed juice (1) cold season (1) cold virus (1) colonic (1) Coma (1) communication (2) Consumer alert (1) conversations (2) Cook (1) coping (1) core (1) cottage (1) Cough (1) country life (4) Cows and Ploughs (1) CRE2015 conference (1) creative (1) Crisis (1) Daniel Lanois (1) Dawn (1) daydreaming (1) Death (4) deer (1) Dene (2) Dene Sayisi (1) Denesuline (1) dentist (1) deranger (2) destiny (1) desuline (1) Developed country (1) disc hernaiation (1) disconnected (1) Distracted drivers (1) DIY (1) dogs (1) Dorval (2) drama free (1) dreams (3) drive (1) Drum (1) drunk drivers (1) Dunrobin Ontario (1) earthquake (1) Edmond Metatawabin (1) Edmonton (2) Ego (1) Elderly (1) Elders (1) Election (2) election 2015 (2) electronics (1) Elegy for Mama (1) elope (1) emotions (2) Empire State Building (1) Enabling (1) energy (1) Environment (2) enzymes (1) Facebook (4) fall (3) family (35) family tree (3) family vacation (1) farm (1) farmer's market (1) Father (1) Feb. 12 (1) feel good (1) Fiction (1) Fiji (1) fire (1) Fire 2016 (1) Firewater (1) First Nation (6) First Nations (2) First Nations Financial Transparency Act (1) fisher (1) Flora and Fauna (1) fondue (1) Food (4) Food and Related Products (1) for sale (1) Forgiveness (1) Fort Chipewyan (19) Fort McMurray (12) Frank Abbott (1) Fred C Adam (1) freedom of speech (1) Freeze (1) French Toast (1) Freshman (1) Friend (1) friends (5) friendship (4) fun (3) future (1) Games (1) garden (2) Ghetto (1) Ghost (1) gifts (3) ginger tea (1) Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest (1) Goals (2) God (1) gofundme (1) Good bye Mom (1) Governance (1) gratitude (2) green smoothie challenge (1) green smoothies (3) Green tea (1) greens (1) Gretchen (1) Gretchen Morgan (1) Grey Owl (1) guest book (1) hair (1) halloween (1) happiness (7) Harold R Johnson (2) harvest (1) hawaii (4) healing (1) Healing Our Spirit World Wide (1) Health (10) healthy (1) Heart and Soul (1) Hearts (1) heatwave (3) Helen (1) helping (1) Henry's (1) here is what is (1) High School (1) Hilton Hotels (1) Historical fiction (1) Historical novel (1) history (1) holidays (6) Holy Angels (3) Home (2) homeless (1) homeopathic (1) hope (2) Horns (1) Horns: A Novel (1) horror (3) Hot chocolate (1) housework (1) hubby (2) Hummingbird Hill B and B (1) hurt (1) hypertension (1) Ila Bussidor (1) impermance (1) Indian Act (2) Indian wedding (1) Indigenous Peoples (1) integrity (1) intention (1) Isidore (1) January blues (1) Jerry Seinfeld (1) joe hill (1) Joseph Boyden (1) Joy Bliss Raw (1) juice (4) Karen (1) Kauai (3) Ke e Beach (1) kindeness (1) kindness (2) Kinship (1) Kitty Kelly (1) KMS (1) La Loche (1) Lac St. Anne (1) landline phone (1) laugh (1) Laughter (2) Lend Me a Tenor (1) Lent (2) Leonard Cohen (3) lessons (1) letting go (1) life (14) life skills (4) lifeskills (1) lifestyle (1) Lights (1) line ups (1) Lists (1) Literature (2) living (1) lost dog (1) love (21) Lumahi Beach (1) Lunar ice (1) Mac (1) Macbook air (1) mad as hell (1) Mad Men (1) Magical universe (1) Makua beach (1) mama (12) manners (1) Maple syrup (1) March winter (1) Margo (2) marriage (1) Mary (2) Mary Olive (1) Massage (1) Master Cleanse (1) Matt Lauer (1) MD (1) Meaning of life (1) media (1) meditation (3) meeting (1) Melbourne (1) members (1) men (1) Mental health (2) miata MX5 (1) Mike and Kay (1) mind (1) Mindful (1) Missing and Murdered women and girls (1) Molly Wizenberg (1) mom (1) moments (2) Moneca (1) Money (2) Montessori method (1) Montreal (2) Moon (1) Mother Earth (1) mothers (1) Music (2) Music Box (1) musician (1) musing (1) my birthday wish (1) MySpace (1) nap (1) NASA (1) National Arts Centre (1) National Youth forum (1) Natural law (1) Nature (4) Neil Young (1) New Year's resolution (4) New Years (2) New York City (1) news (1) newsletter (2) Night Spirits (1) no snow (1) Norman Doige (1) Novel (1) November madness (1) nuheyatie (1) Nuns (1) Nurses (1) NYC (1) Obama (1) Odyssey trip (1) oilsands (3) old days (1) On the Web (1) Onion (1) Onions and Garlic (1) Online Communities (2) Online Writing (1) opinion (1) Oprah (1) Oprah Winfrey (2) Organic food (1) Ottawa (2) Ottawa River (3) Pacific Foods (1) pain (1) painting (1) Paris (1) passion (1) Patric (3) Pay-Per-Click Advertising (1) Peace (3) Peggy Blair (1) People (1) People and Society (2) Personal finance (1) Peru (1) pets (1) picnic (2) pizza (1) planes (1) Play (1) plumber (1) poem (2) poet (2) point claire (2) Poland (1) politics (3) pollution (1) pond (1) Pool (3) Port Alberni (1) power (1) power outage (1) present (2) Princeville (1) Produce (1) Promotion (1) public washroom (1) Publications (1) purpose (2) Quebec City (2) Racism (1) raclette (1) random (1) Range Rover Evoque (1) raw foods (6) Reflection (1) relationships (7) relaxing (2) religion (1) remembrance day (1) repairs (1) Residential School (1) Residential schools (1) resolution (1) responsibility (1) Review (1) Riddell street (1) rituals (1) river (1) River musings (1) Roger (1) Rose (1) Rossi (3) rumi (1) sacrifice (1) sadness (1) sailboats (1) Salad (1) Saskatchewan (1) Saturday (1) school (1) schools (1) Scotland (1) Scottish independence (1) Search Engines (1) seasons (1) Second Life (1) Security (2) self care (2) sensual (1) sept 2 (1) September 18th 2014 (1) Services (1) shakespeare (1) Shanghai (1) sheep (1) Shepherds of Good Hope (1) shooting (1) Shopping (3) Sigh (1) silence (1) singer (1) Sisters (4) skiing (1) sleep (1) small town (1) smile (1) Smoothie (1) snake (1) snow (3) Social Media (4) Social network (2) Social network service (1) Social Networking (1) Society and Culture (2) solocree (1) song (1) Sorapot (1) Sorry (1) soul (2) Soul School (1) souls (2) Spa (1) Specific Claims (1) Spirit of Christmas (1) Spreadsheet (1) Spring (2) Status Indian (1) Stieg Larsson (1) Stillness (1) storytelling (1) Street people (1) stress (2) success (1) summer (2) Summer 2012 (3) Summer 2013 (1) summer fun (1) Sunday 160 (7) sunday picture (1) sunny ways (1) sunrise (1) sunset (1) Surgery (1) surprise (1) Tag (1) tansi (1) Tea (4) Technology (1) Teenagers (1) thanks (1) Thanksgiving (2) the real you (1) Theatre (1) Therese Deranger (2) thinking (1) thoughts (1) Time (2) tooth (1) Toronto (2) Toxins (1) tradition (1) traffic (1) transformation (1) trapper (1) travel (1) Treaty No.6 (1) Treaty No.8 (2) truth (2) turkey (2) turtles (1) tweets (1) twitter (3) UFO (1) University (1) unplugged (1) Uranium city (1) vacation (1) Valentine's Day (2) values (1) Victoria (1) Vik (1) vistors (1) vote (1) walk (1) Warsaw (1) Water fasting (1) weather (1) Web Design and Development (1) weddings (2) weight (1) William Blake (1) William Ricketts (1) Williams (1) Winnipeg (2) winter (2) WIPCE (1) Women (1) world series (1) World War II (1) writer (1) year in review (1) Yma Sumac (1) yoga (1) Youth (1) zombies (1)