Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As I walked to and from from work this past week I've been listening to Pema Chödrön speak on anger. I had found a series of meditations she had given titled "Don't bite the hook" over at the library. One of the her suggestions is to try a practise in which I would notice all the things that make me happy. As I go through the day, I would pay attention to the moments I was feeling happy. Even seconds of fleeting happiness were to be noted. What ever I saw, I heard, I felt, that brought the tiniest measure of happiness were important.

Now for me, that is a whole lot of staying in the moment, being aware of whats going on. Something I don't do well. My usual way of being is to have my thoughts take me out to never never land, far from where my body is. Being involved with a good worry is the best way to do that.

So, when I am aware that I am trying to notice all the small things that make me feel good, it's an interesting experience. Visually, lots and lots of things make me happy. A single curled leaf on the grass, the snow line descending half way down the mountains, the colour of tall dead grass, (I liked that so much, I now have some strands of dead grass standing in a flask on my desk at work), the wind blowing streams of colours leaves from majestic trees, a cat sitting on a window sill, the six point buck walking parrallel with me on the opposite side of the road, how a smile lightens up a persons face, and I could go on and on with all the things I see that bring me little bits of joy and serenity.

Conversations I have bring me happiness. When a sponsee gets an "ah ha" moment is one of the bests. Listening to my children speak their stories. Listening to my kids interact with each other, wondering how they all got to be so centred and grounded, offering me so much to learn. Sitting at a meeting, listening to others share their experience and wisdom. Reading others blogs.

Feeling cool air on my face. Hearing the wind. Cuddling with my partner. Holding hands as we walk. Raking up leaves. Helping my son in law build in his home. Having a nap with my new grandson laying on my chest. Playing a video game with the kids. Visiting friends. And I could go on and on.

I must admitt that I am surprised at how many things go on in a day that give me feelings of happiness, joy and serenity. Just moments, here and there, but much more often than I gave myself credit for.

As well, I seem to have this sense of gratitude for all these small events in my life. Gratitude for my five senses, for being clean and sober so I could notice all this, for the relationships I'm part of that make my life worth living, for being able to notice.

There are still areas that I am struggling in but in the midst of all that, there is lots of happiness, joy, and serenity. Being in the moment, noticing what's going on, who would have thought?

Photo Credit: Your Guide


big Jenn said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you so much and thank you for stopping by. jeNN

Lou said...

This practice has made you sound like a new man (not that I didn't like the old one). It was great to read this. I'm naturally pretty upbeat, some would say a dreamer, but I'm going to do this also. I'm sure I will find even more to be grateful for.

Shadow said...

thank you so much for this excellent post. your world is a beautiful, happy place, the way you've described it here. i'm going to do exactly what you have done!

Shadow said...

your comment got me laughing, so it deserves an explanation... the levi is our african grey parrot, biggles is our little pekingese, mr. bigglesworth... but levi calls him biggles, and always says it 3 times in a row... who knows why.

AlkySeltzer said...

Hank, as you know I absolutely LOVE "gratitude" (a "do-it" word). It means to give back what has been freely given me--it says somewhere! I now and then look back, I cannot help but also think, "Who would have thought?" Certainly not ME!