Monday, March 1, 2010

Meditation: Happiness

By MamaQ
Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other person and then for ourselves.
~ Helen Keller
We had a really interested discussion in church last week about agency.  I've struggled with trying to make the "right" choices.  Morally right, emotionally right, socially right, right for me and my family.  But it's often difficult to know what is the "right" choice: do I continue breastfeeding or wean now?  Do I take on more responsibilities at work or not?  Should I enroll my daughter in pre-school or not?  Should I enlarge my vegetable garden or not?  As mothers we make a million choices every day and they have good and bad consequences.  Does a bad consequence mean you made a bad choice?  I'm not sure...

What I have learned is that regret is a horrible thing.  That challenges are a necessary part of living and growing.  And that the most important thing I can teach my daughter is how to handle those challenges with grace, strength and even gratitude. Out of the millions of choices I make, perhaps the biggest one is how I choose to respond to the consequences that result from those choices.  My attitude is my own choice, my happiness is of my own making.  Though it is raining I will choose to be grateful. Though weaning has been heartbreaking I will focus instead on the bond we've created and the chance we'll have at creating new life. I will try to teach my daughter that it's okay to be sad about something, and suffering will inevitably happen (and often as a result of our own choices) but you look for the silver lining, find something to be grateful for, and move on.  And maybe I'll learn that lesson along with her!

Right now, my happinesses are holding Mayumi's hand, enjoying the way she caresses my hair when we hug, catching up with friends, meeting Mr. Q for lunch downtown, writing hand-written notes, gardening, and eating muffins (more on that this Friday!).  What are yours?
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
~Abraham Lincoln


ginger said...

Thanks Elaine. This reminds me of Pam England's "do the next best thing" approch in Birthing From Within. All we can do is be open to what life brings us and then do what is right with what we have in that moment.

project5am said...


A moment that can happen at any time.
when everything falls into place,
clarity is at it’s clearest,
confusion transforms into oneness
and when fate…
Welcomes you with open arms.

Project 5am is about capturing and following the essence of being in the moment. It is a site which falls on various levels. It can be viewed as a celebration of creativity or as a 2 year old diary of exploring a moment of enlightenment. The cryptic aspect of the site reflects the Allen Ginsberg poem 5am that it was inspired from and the mystic of the people, stories and philosophies that I have encountered on my journey. The aim is for the reader to connect with references that are on the site and put into their own context because questions answers life. 5am is an eternal project that has given me so much joy, growth and knowledge and I hope that it gives people the same yellow feeling like it has given me…come, drink, live.