I had a very contented day yesterday, in fact I would say I was very happy. I noticed this when I was walking with my three wildly happy dogs through the aching beauty of an autumn bronzed beech wood.
I think on reflection that my happiness was a result of me being fully present and engaged with the beautiful colours and sounds which surrounded me. I had walked here in these same woods only 2 days before, but had been wrapped up in thoughts about a problem at work, and so had barely noticed the breath-taking autumn scene around me. Yesterday however I wasn’t distracted by my thinking mind, instead I was walking fully engaged with my senses, drinking in my surroundings. I found a peaceful and contented joy, which I might easily have missed, had I been focused on getting from start to finish in a set time, or had I been lost in my thoughts.
So it seems that happiness is something which we can find if we stop searching and yearning, and just let ourselves be emerged, with all our senses, in the beautiful process of living. Kicking my way through this thick crisp carpet of leaves took me back to being about 4 years old, and full of wonder. Happiness was literally right under my feet.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
I love this quote which speaks to me of living mindfully, of living in the moment. If I can be absorbed with the joy and beauty of what’s actually happening right now, my mind has no space to drift back to the past, or to yearn forwards for some imaginary point in time when everything will be aligned perfectly to bring me happiness. Happiness is already with me, if I will just give myself space to notice, and time to breathe.