[Classic post from 4-29-16]
Yesterday, I was floating on air, joyous, grateful for all I saw, and although I have become generally a very happy man, I was at another level yesterday and enjoying every single second of it. I greeted people I was walking by, complimented others, silently appreciated many, and was, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “drinking the wild air."
I met briefly with a friend for coffee and enjoying the time spent with him. Then somehow the conversation turned to a personal experience of old people, especially relatives, like parents in their 80’s and early 90’s. The tone changed dramatically as he began talking about dementia, crazy behavior, end of life issues.
In conversations, we normally exchange anecdotes on whatever subject we are on, and it seems to be human nature to chime in. I mentioned a very short bit about an experience with my late wife, Nancy. As it came out of my mouth, I realized that I was encouraging this theme to continue. As he came up with another situation, I felt my happy feeling was waning quickly. I immediately stopped him and said that we have to talk about happier things. He said something about it can’t be helped because so many people I know are old or dying. I changed the subject, and shortly after we left and went back to our tasks for the day.
When we pay attention to how we are feeling, as when I was feeling oh so good, totally enjoying the moment, to then feeling tension and sadness about all of these old people and all the problems surrounding that, we can take charge of what we pay attention to and stay on the happy trail instead of going down the unhappy trail. It is so common to get into a conversation, end up going down the unhappy trail, further and further down, until everyone in the conversation is unhappy.
Taking responsibility for how we feel is so empowering. I want to feel good. I was feeling good. I refuse to feel bad, so I am changing the conversation. If I can’t change the conversation, I am finding a way to get up and leave. We do not need to go down that unhappy trail, and certainly not very dang far. It is purely a choice. Awareness of how we feel enlightens us to what is happening so that we can choose on purpose to feel good or to not feel good, to stay on the happy trail.
Just because others, regardless of how close they may be in proximity or relationship, are experiencing something, doesn’t mean that we need to experience it with them.
Just because others want to talk about everything in the world that is wrong, doesn’t mean that we need to join them. Each of us is able to make a choice that is best for us. We choose what we will focus on. We choose then, how we will feel.
Sometimes people say to me, “well, you just can’t feel good all the time." I say, “I’m giving it my best shot!" I think I can feel good all the time; albeit, there are many, many different levels of feeling good. There’s good, great, happy, joyous, ecstatic, passionate, excited, encouraged, loved, loving, appreciative, in awe, nice, fun, funny, delicious, delightful, delighted, marvelous, breathtaking, remarkable, bewildering, fabulous, astounding, incredible, phenomenal, staggering, striking, alluring, refreshing, captivating, fascinating, rapturous, ravishing, yummy, darling, thrilling, adorable, extravagant, luscious, luxurious, and opulent, just to name a few.
Want To Feel Good? Choose That. Great Choice!
Spread Some Joy Today–everywhere you go today. You have to have it to share it, so enjoy it within yourself. Roll around in it. Pour it over your head and body. Sprinkle it all around you as you move around today. Share that joy! Be that joy!