Is happiness elusive? Does it need to be pursued? Is it a choice we make? Or is it simply our natural state, waiting to be recognized and remembered?
Dr. Robert Holden, PhD of the Happiness Project, UK asserts that it is the latter.
A few times in my life I have encountered a teaching that rang through me like a bell; something I realized as deeply, profoundly true the moment it touched my ears and heart. Nelson Mandela’s speech about our own magnificence, a Hawaiian teacher’s admonition that we “no can aloha anyone else until we learn to first aloha ourselves”, and Stephen Levine’s assurance that we will survive death, no matter what we believe, are three pivotal ones.
Ditto the first time I heard Dr. Holden tell the story of his amazing discovery while working with depressed clients in group. Every week, the group would meet to share their problems. And no one was getting any better.
One day, he had a radical idea. He asked his group of 20 to share at least one good thing that had happened to them during the week, one one one, with each of their fellow sufferers. 20 good things! It seemed a near impossible task. Still, what did they have to lose?
When they finished? Everyone was stunned by how much good had actually appeared in their own troubled lives. One man summed it up “Maybe we’re all a lot happier and more blessed than we realize.” The Happiness Project UK was born that night.
Could it truly be that happiness is always with us? Just like the sun is always shining even though clouds may obscure it from our sight? Is it possible to reclaim the happiness veiled by self-doubts or frustration or the problem du jour just by remembering it is a natural state? For me the answer is: abso-freaking-lutely.