Welcome to the 26 days of Happiness! Today is day 16. Please meet featured author Kathleen Jerin from the soon to be released book: The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools for Happiness, sharing their inspiring story!
There’s something unique about the sound of a soft drink can being opened or the popping cork from a champagne bottle that brings a smile to a face. The feel of miniature, light bubbles tingling, and popping under your nose is a sensation we all know and share, taking us back to carefree childhood memories or perhaps more recently a memory of celebrating the new year. Peals of laughter, smiling faces, loud cheerful voices, movement, and activity buzzing about all signify a typical scene that most likely describes “happiness.”
Solitude, peace, quiet, a soft face, and stillness can also describe a scene of serene happiness.
Heart pumping wildly, adrenaline coursing through your veins after throwing your body out of a plane skydiving or doing something insanely adventurous can be described for some as happiness.
The Dynamics of Happiness
The states and conditions can vary as the number of stars splayed across a clear night sky. Just like a million tiny bubbles bursting through the surface into the atmosphere. Happiness has that kind of dynamic. Ask any person what they want most in their life, and you\’ll likely hear the response, “I just want to be happy,” and if happiness could be bottled, it would be flying off the shelf!
Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure. Where your treasure is, there is your heart. Where your heart is, there is your happiness.
~ Saint Augustine
If happiness is fleeting like bursts of bubbles does this mean happiness is short-lived? Not necessarily, and not when you tap into a mindful practice. Coming into your bodily experience, through your six senses, expands awareness. In this way, we begin to access greater resources for capturing hundreds and thousands of micro-moments that accumulate and become fuel for a steady stream of lived happiness.
Mindful Sensory Experiences
For me, my sensory feeding begins before I get out of bed. It is the contented feeling of just beginning to wake up as I feel my head on my pillow, the warmth of my blanket, and a lingering dream somewhere in my consciousness. This, for me, begins my nourishment for the day.
Fully taking in a moment and relishing feelings of comfort, contentment, safety, and security right there, in the moment. This is the beginning of my happiness process. I might build on that while enjoying my porridge. Ahh, the smell of porridge warms my heart, and I enjoy how easy it is to eat; it takes no effort and slides down my throat and warms my tummy. This may seem insignificant, but I know this is how I balance and self-manage my energy.
My morning routine is not slow going. There generally is a lot of activity when getting children ready for school. My mind is already cross-checking lists, have you got your homework? Have you brushed your teeth? Have you got your sports shoes? Drink bottle? Lunch? Not to mention my own checklist.
Already here, mental energy is speeding up. This is why capturing mindful sensory experience is VITAL in ensuring my fuel for happiness remains topped up. Again, I love the sound of my children\’s voices when they toss me a \’bye mum, see you later’ as they head off to school. My heart swells with love because I love the sound of their voices; this nourishes my soul.
My day continues with the delicate dance of capturing mindful sensory experiences that keeps the happiness bubbles effervescing. I keep making connections with my heart, with the things that truly make what it means to be human, such a gift in itself.
The Process of Happiness
Happiness is the result of a process; it is not an accident. You start by setting your intention and then direct your mind. At least once during your day, stop and notice what you are looking at. Like, I mean really stop and consciously take in what you are looking at; actually, see it. What color, shape, texture, or space is it? What do you hear right now? Is the sound near, far, loud, or soft? What can you smell and taste at that moment? Do you detect the coffee you had earlier or the lunch you ate? What can you feel? Do you have an awareness of the feel of your clothing on your skin? What does the chair feel like? Feel your feet. Are the muscles in your face relaxed? Notice whatever there is to notice, and if you sense nothing, observe yourself feeling nothing.
In time, you will become more attuned to a sensory richness that previously, you didn\’t even realize you were missing.
Happiness Originates Deep Within Us
The process is the action of natural forces effervescing in liveliness, enthusiasm, excitement, vitality, animation, exuberance, high spirits, exhilaration, pizzazz, and sparkle! However, we remind ourselves that the spectrum of happiness is broad and because the process is natural, we trust in that.
The ‘effer’ in effervescence doesn’t just happen. As with the soft drink, a chemical reaction forms the tingling bubbles being injected under pressure. It\’s ok not to feel the jubilant fizz as happiness has many forms, colors, shapes, flavors, and tones.
Perhaps for you, the process begins with connecting to feelings of peacefulness, contentedness, trust, interest, or optimism. Then, move toward feelings of curiosity, being thankful, sensitivity, hopefulness, inspiration, arousal cheekiness, joyfulness, success, confidence, value, respect, and creativity.
Intentional connection with emotions related to happiness plays an important role in our health and wellbeing. It is all part of the same process. The result is your expression of happiness. The body cannot, not do that.
Mindful Moments and Heart Connections
Our body is truly remarkable and takes my breath away with awe and wonder. As you develop the practice of mindful moments and connect with your heart, drop by drop, the non-essentials are forced out, and the essentials remain, finding their own places within. It finds its way through, landing in your heart, your storehouse for happiness.
Here’s to your effervescence!
Kathy Jerin is a Registered Senior meditation teacher and HeartMath Trainer. Believing meditation is an integral part of life, especially when it comes to reversing the effects of stress, Kathy teaches emotional self-regulation techniques for the purpose of health promotion.