I had the very great pleasure today of going for another beautiful walk in the hills. I feel so completely content when I am out in the hills, I feel glad to be alive, full of energy and always totally brimming with wonder for the glory of the natural world.
My great challenge at the moment is to learn how to feel that good when I am at home, or in town or anywhere else really. I find most modern buildings by their very nature objectionable! I am not so enamoured with my current house, it's an old prefab - sound carries the neighbours life to mingle with mine from time to time, all the doors downstairs meet in one place so we are frequently in each others way or tripping over umpteen pairs of shoes (small house, many people). But there is beauty too - a huge weeping willow tree in my front garden hides me from the street and lends sentient company while I am outside, and plenty of open space out the back means we can see the hills in the distance and not feel too overlooked.
But I know, I am certain now that happiness has absolutely nothing to do with my environment!
How do I know?
I know from experience that my feelings are transitory and intrinsically linked to the thoughts I am thinking. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking the wrong thoughts! All I want to do is get happy!
Yes I do believe that some environments are more conducive to better feeling thoughts than others, and I expect that which ones varies from person to person, but I wonder how much of that is learnt? This place is beautiful, this place is not. We learn from the people who bring us up what is 'good' and what is 'bad'. Or we base our opinions on environments or situations on what 'feels' good or bad.
So where am I going with this? Hopefully I am on the road to happiness. What do my thoughts reflect? If they reflect my external world, then I will always suffer if I judge what I am seeing. There are a couple of options - I can stop judging what goes on around me (yes ok I'm not quite there yet) or I can base my thoughts and feelings on my internal world (and yes I have baggage just like anyone else). But I can choose to focus on good feeling thoughts.
No one ever said it was going to be easy!
So while I'm learning to keep choosing Good Feeling Thoughts I'm also going to spend as much time as possible where my heart already knows how to feel good, I'm going to take that feeling home with me and practice feeling it. I'm going to keep remembering how it feels and see that the feeling is inside me not outside.
I feel good when I see a beautiful sunset, I feel good when I smell the woods, I feel good when I hear the stream babbling - the sunset doesn't feel good, the smell in the woods don't feel good and the stream just babbles. Those things just are. They just exist - it's me that assigns good and bad to them.
Get Happy, Do what ever it takes.
Today I am thankful for the babbling brook in my thoughts
I am thankful for the smell of the moss
I am thankful for fairy lights
I am thankful for the people who show me the way
I am thankful for the light in the darkness
I am thankful for my time in the darkness which makes the light ever brighter
I am thankful for my little house
I am thankful for the beautiful willow tree in my garden
I am thankful for my dinner
I am thankful for this day