As a holistic health practitioner, I work with people who struggle with anxiety, PTSD, depression and other conditions that make it challenging to find joy (which I define as inexplicable peace).
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “Happiness is a choice.” Much like Lori Deschene, the founder of Tiny Buddha, I believe that “Happiness takes a lot of choices that are sometimes hard to make,” is more realistic.
Each day we’re presented with countless choices. They include the decision to:
- Accept ourselves and our struggles. Or not.
- Take responsibility for getting help. Or not.
- Do things that promote personal wellbeing. Or not.
Even when—especially when—we feel like giving up.
What’s your most recent choice for happiness?
Thank you Laurie! ‘Happiness’ this week has been receiving my Dad’s bike ~ he will no longer need it, sadly. It made me smile to see the colourful seat and what it takes to brighten up someone’s daily commute. My newly acquired bike has a yellow flower, a mileage reader and a colourful bicycle bell. Thanks for your weekly inspiring blog. Suz
Suz — Your newly acquired bike sounds wonderful! 🙂
We choose to rent a big house at the beach every year so that our whole family can enjoy being together.
Shirley — I’ve seen some of the photographs on Instagram and LOVE them!
I agree with that: the choices we make in life will affect our happiness, but often people end up doing what is expected of them and not what they really want to do.
Our biggest decision ever was last year, when we sold our house in the UK and decided to go traveling in Europe for a year. It is now coming to an end, but we don’t regret a thing and it is probably the best thing I have ever done. We will carry on living in our motorhome, but will stay in England for a couple of years, travelling during the school holidays. 😉
Fatima — I travel your choice. I follow you on social media so I’ve seen and enjoyed many of the photographs from your wonderful adventure! 🙂
I’m going for tea this afternoon with a new friend. Eager to get to know her better; I’m excited. I love meeting new people.
Janet — This I know for sure: SHE’S in for a real treat getting to have tea with YOU 🙂
I invent reasons to spend time with my growing-up-too-fast grandchildren. Last week I made flan with Curtis. Soon I’ll watch “Anne with an E” with Jenna. The Uno card deck is ready and waiting for the other two.
Great question, Laurie!
Marian — I’m going to borrow a page from your book when Luna Bleue arrives and “invest reasons” to spend time with her 🙂
I have tickled my own funny bone this morning deciding to rant. Not an all-out angry rant, but a silly kind of funny rant. 🙂
Kathy — I wore a face-splitting grin as I read your “rant” 🙂
I chose, this past weekend, to create a memory with my 9 year old niece while also choosing to enjoy time with my sister and brother-in-law at their fantastic large log home in Michigan. We all valued time to “be” with each other and for conversations that don’t easily come in larger family gatherings. Not to mention, the beauty of forest, lake, and fresh air. It lifted my spirit to have that time with each and all.
Audrey — Ohhhhhh, that sounds like heaven on earth. I’m so glad you made the choice to do this! 🙂
I used to have trouble making choices until I heard a speaker called, Charle Tremendous Jones. He said, there are no right or wrong choices. You make the choice and then you make it right!! I love that concept and it has stayed with me for years.
Darlene — Now it’s going to stay with me for years, too. Thank you! 🙂
Taking my husband out to lunch to thank him for working on my writing project for me. Dates are just as important after 38 years as they ever were.. and nothing says I love you than appreciating that. Thanks Laurie.
Sally — Len and I have been married for 38 years, too. I’m right with ya, siSTAR! ⭐
Good to hear Laurie…hugsxx
I think my most recent choice for happiness was to learn to accept the fact that it’s okay if my house is not as orderly and dust-free as the homes of some of my friends. And learning to accept that it’s okay for me not to be out “amongst ‘em” often, to just enjoy my quiet times in my home with my furry girl. It’s okay to be different, to not want the same things as some others do.
Carol — yes, Yes, YES! 👏👏👏
My most recent choice for happiness and gratitude was asking you, dear Laurie, to read my “No Bunk, Just BS (Business Sense)” manuscript and write a testimonial that I could include in my book. WOW! My happiness was overwhelming because of your remarkable promptness, the thoughtfulness of your words, and our lovely conversation after I received your splendid testimonial. With copious happiness, Sheila 🙂
Sheila — The pleasure was mine. Your request brought a tremendous of happiness to ME 🙂
We are blessed to be so tremendously happy because of one another! 🙂
I think living a positive life is a choice I make every morning.
Leanne — I applaud the way you think! 👏👏👏
Happiness is most times a choice… that’s true… we tend to believe that our circumstances define happiness, but… the way we look at things, meaning our perspective, is really important when it comes to feeling happy. Also, being grateful for what we ‘have’ is a good starting point, I’d say. Love and best wishes, dear Laurie 😘💛
Aquileana — You’re absolutely right in that GRATITUDE is a huge factor in happiness 🙂
I really love your definition of joy as Inexplicable peace. By that definition I had a very joyful day. I didn’t do anything special at all, but in the ordinary movements through the day I just felt peaceful. There was a little more “quiet” than I can sometimes cultivate. And that was lovely. 🙂
Debra — I love the way you described your joyful day 🙂
Laurie, I am reserving and reading every Miss Read book in the San Bernardino County Library System. They are sweet, not thrilling, no dark hints of crimes or murders, simple village tales that let you forget the day and smile.
Sandi — Your reading fest sounds delightful; I just made note of the author. Thank you! 🙂
Happiness for me in the past week or two has been chasing monarch butterflies with my camera all around the garden. They love my zinnias. There is something magical and very soothing to the soul when you watch a monarch butterfly drinking from the nectar florets of a zinnia. Doing this is a choice because there are always so many chores in the garden and house at this time of year. The crabgrass is still waiting to be pulled, but my choice has been the butterflies.
TimelessLady — I love the description you wrote about chasing butterflies with your camera. And I’m with you, I’d choose photographing butterflies over pulling weeds any day of the week! 🙂
Tomorrow I turn 69 and Friday I am off to the wedding rehearsal and the wedding. I am so excited and happy right now….I am not dealing with your questions today until I am returned! Thank you for all your tweets…and comments. You are terrific and I gave your new book to my 2 friends who share my birthday this week….Whoha! Good for Kids and Hill Billy Goats!
Wearing pearls! and big smiles
Bless you Heart
Patricia — Right back atcha! 🙂
Patricia — happy, Happy, HAPPY birthday to YOU! Have an exquisite time at the wedding rehearsal and wedding.
Thank you for sharing my book with your friends. I take that as a high compliment 🙂
I’m choosing to skip my beloved dance class today so I can go for an hour and a half hike with my daughter, a schoolteacher who goes back to work next week. I choose to spend all the time I can with this special woman who means so much to me. Interestingly, the things that give us the most happiness tend to be the things that are just simply BEING. 💗
Pam — Ohhhhhhh, I L-O-V-E your wise observation. Thank you for sharing it here 🙂
The Thanks goes to you – you always make us THINK. I love the choices you make, my friend. xo
I really like your definition of happiness. Some of those choices are difficult to make. This morning I chose to go for a walk in the woods and start laundry an hour later. That was an easy choice! And it brought much happiness.
Arlene — I love the way you think. Nature ahead of laundry. yes, Yes, YES! 🙂
I made the decision to sit with my food pantry clients, share a hot meal, and listen to their stories while they waited their turn in the pantry (instead of being busy tending to details, which are important, but not as important as human connection and community)
Dara — I applaud your decision. Thank you for your positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing contribution to the world. I appreciate YOU!
I’ve made the choice not to be with someone who’s compulsion issues make me miserable in many ways. I’ve also made the choice to practice daily gratitude. The posts are working! It will be interesting to write about how it’s changing my outlook someday.
Jeri — I have read many of your gratitude posts. My hat is off to YOU! 🙂
I choose happiness every day when I wake. All I wish for is good health and the rest is que sera, sera. Without our health we are limited. I am grateful to not be limited. 🙂
DGKaye — I love your daily choice. And I agree with you about health. I consider it my most valuable asset.
It is the asset that matters most before anything else can matter. 🙂
DGKaye — Amen siSTAR ⭐
Walking in nature . As you know Laurie we have lost our sweet Oscar ( our furry baby ) and to help us cope with the massive whole we need to fill, we walk .
I have always had faith in the properties of walking but now I am truly convinced…walking pushes the blues away and brings happiness back into your life. I urge anyone going through a tough time to do it
Cherry — The pain of losing a fur-baby is overwhelming. I’m so very glad that you’ve found walking to be therapeutic. Thank you for sharing that wonderful recommendation here for other readers.
My most recent recipe for happiness is the realization that everyone in the family unit brings something meaningful and important to the table. Flexibility and understanding do work wonders. 🙂
Sam — You’ve hit the nail square on the head. Flexibility and understanding (plus earplugs at times) work wonders! 🙂
why is it sometimes so hard to get “out of our heads”? … to “just think good thoughts”? … because we are wired to seek what is familiar, and sometimes those damn thoughts have been playing on a loop for years, decades…there is safety in familiar. But there is freedom in choice. Choosing to change your thinking, change your story. Choosing to BE Love. Choosing to DO life with full abandon, engaged and with light.
ImLoveDesigns — I like the way your mind works! 🙂