The 52: Lesson Ten — On Gratitude and Happiness

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You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.

The Buddha

What treasures are right there for you everyday?  What great abundances do you take for granted?  What small little sights and object are present, yet you give them no mind?  What is already in your life that makes you smile and carries happiness with it?  Perhaps it is the smell of the soap when you shower.  Or your favorite music on the radio. It might be your cat lying in a sun spot on the floor.  You know that you are surrounded with so much that can, if you just notice, bring you a sense of joy and happiness. Our lives can be transformed by an awareness of gratitude, and happiness follows with certainty.

This is, I think, such a simple, yet profound, lesson.  Remembering to count our blessings is something every one of us can do.  It just takes a moment to pause and bring into our conscious awareness the bountiful gifts that surround us.  What awakens your heart and stirs happiness and contentment within you?  I am asking you to pay attention.  That is all you have to do, and this will be the joyous and easy plan for the week — to bring more gratitude and happiness into your life.  Just wait and see what happens…

LESSON TEN

GRATITUDE AND HAPPINESS

The English author and philosopher, G. K. Chesterton, wrote:

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

How our spirits are lifted when we truly appreciate all that is around us!  There are so many reasons and ways to be grateful and to express that gratitude in words, deeds, and thoughts.  The smallest little thing can bring a smile to our faces and make happiness manifest within us.

I have a friend who began a movement.  He founded and organized something called the  Happiness Club.  (www.happinessclub,com) When I first heard of it, many years ago, I wasn’t sure how one could actually have a “club” that focuses on happiness.  But why not?  The alternative is surely not something to be desired — The Unhappiness Club.  Who would want to join that?  Yet many of us seem to be charter members of the “glass is half empty” club.

Maybe we need some training in acknowledging “happiness.”  My friend, Lionel Ketchum, who likes to wear a tie strewn with yellow smiley faces, began this movement.  Happiness Clubs have sprung up all around – some for seniors, for singles, for teens, for anyone and everyone.  From Lahore, Pakistan to Lyon, France to Durban, South Africa, and spanning North America. We could all use more happiness, worldwide. Lionel, with his good humor, said:

You don’t need a red cape or have super powers to be happy.  It seems that most people think you

have to be super human to be happy. I think that being happy is super and it makes you more human.

These days, we have academic studies in Positive Psychology at Harvard University and a special kind of yoga called Laughter Yoga. Any way to enhance our happiness is a good thing. And gratitude brings happiness with it. In time, you may even recognize that just “being” is enough to bring you bliss and joy, and you will be able to be content all the time.  But, for now, give this a try:

  • Every night, before going to sleep, think of five reasons to be grateful.  Five sources of happiness. Take out a journal and write them down.  You may be surprised at how many more than five have filled your day.
  • Keep it simple.  Maybe you have had a difficult day.  We all seem to have them sometimes. You can still be grateful for something.  A comfortable bed.  A hot bowl of soup.  Someone who smiled at you at the supermarket.  Anything!
  • Make this practice into a shared experience, with a spouse or friend, your children or parents, someone you text during the day, anyone.  Spread the gratitude like joyous seeds.

I think you will be surprised at how your life is lighter and happier with this easy little effort. If you have never tried it before, see what happens to you.  I am smiling already!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com and visit at Facebook

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About deannemincer

Deanne Mincer has been a long time student of religious and spiritual studies. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980's she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy. She has taught yoga, meditation, and spiritual classes for more than twenty years. In the mid 1990's she became a follower of Siddha Yoga where she experienced a spiritual awakening called shaktipat and her teachings took on a new and freshly informed understanding. As Deanne continued her studies, she learned level one in Reiki and also sutdied with Henry Grayson, Ph.D. where she refined her work with muscle testing and the complex of energy healing methods Dr. Grayson has developed for use with his patients. Dr. Grayson's work is illuminated in his books, Mindful Loving and Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind. Deanne teaches group and private classes in yoga as well as stress reduction programs and meditation in many forms (sitting, walking, whirling, meditation in action, and "sleeping" meditation called yoga nidra). She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda's Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC's Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. Deanne created the audio DC, Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students' physical and spiritual development. She stresses that each student should work at their own pace in a non-competitive and caring environment. You can read some of the comments her students have shared in the Tesimonials Section of this site. Her teaching is grounded in her own steadfast spiritual awareness - that each of us is a being of eternal light and love and that we can all come to knowing this truth for ourselves. She is eager to help guide you on this joyful path of body, mind, breath and spirit.

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