I want to be happier.
Saying that is harder than I expected. I'm afraid saying, "I want to be happier," makes me sound like someone who is, well, unhappy. And the truth is: I'm very happy now.
I have an amazing life partner -- someone perfectly suited for me. We've spent almost twenty-one very happy years together (with many more years to come, I hope). I have a beautiful home. I feel good about my neighborhood. I have a good job. I like the people on my team, and, most of the time, our work is more a pleasure than an effort. Clyde and I live a blessed life, filled with family, pleasant evenings at home, and travel to exotic places. Every day, I'm grateful for all these things.
And yet -- I'm aware of areas in my life where I could be happier. For example:
I'm happier when I'm thinner. By the end of 2011, I had reached my goal weight of 194 pounds. That took a lot of work and dedication, and I was really proud of that achievement. Yesterday, I tipped the scales at 225, having gained back almost every pound I lost. I was happier (and healthier) when I was thin.
I'm happier when I'm writing. A huge part of my work involves writing, and I write a lot for other people. But I felt happier back when I was a disciplined full-time writer, working on books I cared about. I'd be happier if more of my personal time was spent completing work that matters to me. (Of course, I say those books matter to me -- but if I'm not making time to work on them, how much do they really matter?)
I'm happier when I'm traveling. Clyde and I travel often. We love to go to new places, meet new people, and experience different cultures. I'd like to arrange my life so that we could do this even more often than we do.
I'm happier when I'm connected to Spirit. When I had a regular, daily meditation practice, my blood pressure reached an all-time low. When I was working with Tarot as a tool for reflection and insight, I felt more balanced and better aligned with the flow of events. When I was meeting regularly with a community of like-minded seekers, I felt a deeper sense of connection and a greater depth of compassion for everyone. I think I'd be happier if I could reconnect with a meaningful spiritual discipline.
So, I'm starting a new journey: a quest to discover changes I can make -- in attitude, environment, or action -- that can help me be happier and healthier.
I don't have all the answers. (I don't even know all the questions!) But I've already stumbled on some simple tools that are helping me chart my course toward an even happier life ... and since part of my mission here is to "Share What Works," this feels like the right place to share what I've come across so far.
This is a personal journey, and the answers I find may or may not be of much relevance to you. But I do think the tools and ideas that are inspiring me could be useful to anyone who wants to be happier ... so I'm going to offer them up here, and invite you to play along.
If we share just one idea that helps us find more happiness, aren't we better off?