The success of undoing
“The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy—not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis.
What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you.
This is what is called following your bliss.”
- Joseph Campbell
Oddly, one of my great challenges in life is that I am very easy to please. I’m a Taurus, a woman, a lover of the wonder of embodied experience. And I grew up in a culture where happiness is tightly linked with achievement. Being able to let go of others' success and happiness imprinting long enough to actually experience my own much simpler internal sense of it has been an ongoing adventure in undoing.
But I'm getting somewhere! More and more I notice when asked to explore these questions, my metrics of success tend toward ways of being more than products of doing. When I find a moment of open belly, heart, mind, deep relaxation, and a sense of interconnection with the ‘external’ world, I often catch myself tickled beyond measure (on top of the pleasure of the experience itself) by a keen of accomplishment - all that undoing took work! Half the happiness is the sense of having finally re-membered how to enjoy being. While for some this is most known through big adrenaline rushes, more commonly for me these days it shows up as soft, simple knowing and a quiet glimpse of peace.
And often, these glimpses bring poems. So in the midst of the beginning bustlings of spring, this month's theme is about stopping to smell the flowers, taste your coffee, and just stand in the middle of the world, breathing in and out, as Mary Oliver puts it. Brought to you by a little Alice, a little Mary, and a little Brooking. Enjoy.