Thursday, May 5, 2005

The article in the January 17, 2005 issue of TIME entitled, "The New Science of Happiness," was so intriguing, I've dedicated a number of our Morning Walks to that very article. Here is the remaining one I will share with you (pp. A8 and A9):


  1. Count your blessings.
  2. Practice acts of kindness.
  3. Savor life's joys.
  4. Thank a mentor.
  5. Learn to forgive.
  6. Invest time and energy in friends and family.
  7. Take care of your body.
  8. Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardships.

Ah, so simple. Eight simple steps and we're there! If it were only that simple...

Numbers 1, 3, 4 and 8 are all concerned with having the keen observation enough to identify those areas of our life where blessings, joys, mentoring and stress/hardships are occurring. Have we really taken the time to seriously reflect on this, our journey, and identified these areas?

Numbers 2, 5, 6 and 7 are all concerned with outward energy in order to reconcile and set right that which may have gone askew; to bring a greater sense of equilibrium. But we must also turn that energy inward and practice acts of kindness upon ourself, forgive ourself for our transgressions and failings, invest in our friendship to our inner self and take care of that which is our humanly vessel. This is no easy task.

Happiness is not static condition or level of life. It is not a final destination. And satisfaction is much the same; an elusive construct, to be sure. So today, I will pose a different thought for you to consider...

Perhaps, as we stalk these elusive animals of happiness and satisfaction, we must carry with us a greater understanding and greater sense of peace. I know of many souls walking in this Life journey who are not always happy and seldom humanly satisifed, but they are persons who are at peace with themselves and the world around them. The eight strategies listed above may easily read "Eight Steps to a More Peaceful Life." And that peace comes when we are raised to a higher level of awareness of our life - where it is and where it is going and how it is unfolding. And that peace comes when we reconcile - we "right" ourselves and our relationships in this Life; not just forgive but also to forge those relationships. It is in this respect for this life we live and it is in the reconciliation of all aspects of our life where that happiness, satisfaction and peace may very well rest.

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