Happiness, Simple Joys and Pleasures

July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Guest Space

We’re thrilled to welcome back Stephanie Crawford as our guest writer this week! More about Stephanie below.Family Face to Face by titlap cropped

Happiness comes from spiritual wealth, not material wealth… Happiness comes from giving, not getting. If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it.

~John Templeton

For many of us happiness is a state of mind, a feeling characterised by contentment. For some happiness is an oasis of love, satisfaction and the simple pleasures experienced in daily life. For some happiness is defined in terms of living a good life or flourishing in life. Some chose to define happiness as an emotion. How we each chose to measure our own individual happiness varies.

Reflecting on my own personal happiness, my mind fills with the events which have brought me much joy. Experiences, occasions and activities which for me package into the envelope of living a good life. I live a good life for many reasons. On many levels my life is filled with much happiness. I feel fortunate. I feel gratitude. The good life for me encompasses my good health, a healthy family and a circle of close and supportive friends. It is my family and friends who contribute in many ways to the happiness in my life. I am a happy person and my world is a happy place. I look around me and there is much to be happy about.

We live a comfortable life, with enough money to put food on the table each day and enough money to pay the endless bills. I don’t take this for granted and endeavour to instill in my children an appreciation for all that we are fortunate to have. I endeavour to ensure my children are raised with an understanding and appreciation for all that we have as a family. I endeavour to ensure their understanding and appreciation that a life surrounded by the love and the support of family and friends will bring them happiness and contentment. Happiness of the heart. Happiness of the mind. Finances contribute to our happiness, eliminating financial stress, the love and support of family and friends enrich our lives and bring much happiness.

Happiness comes from simply joys and pleasures in life. Listening to rain while falling asleep at the end of a long day. Drinking a hot cup of perfectly brewed coffee in the morning as it recharges the batteries. Watching a movie. Dining at a restaurant, indulging in fine food and good wine. Contentment comes from reading a novel which grabs you, entices you and prevents you from putting it down. Regular exercise and for some meditation. Taking a walk, along the bike path, along the river bank, observing and internally reflecting.

There have been times in my life where my happiness has been accompanied by butterflies in my stomach and tears of joy. Extreme happiness. Moments in time I cherish. Moments I doubt I’ll never forget. I reflect on the honour of being a mother. The moment I became a mother. The moment I laid eyes on each of my children. The moment I first held them. It was during these times I felt the emotion of happiness and contentment I can barely describe. For a short time, a split second of time, the moment was one of complete happiness. A time I hope to savor and remember exactly as it was forever.

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.

~Martha Washington

Some people suffer the extreme contrast of happiness. The dark side of life, the attacks like that of a sting ray or shark. The events, the strong emotions which cause a heavy dark cloud to cast over and absorb the mind. It is for this reason I see and value the simple joys in life. My heart warms when my children are happy, when their life is filled with ‘simple’ happiness.

The world of those who are happy is different from the world of those who are not.

~Ludwig Wittgenstein

There is plenty in life which brings happiness and contentment, the challenge for some of us is to find it. To push aside the challenges, the obstacles and to simply stop and enjoy the moment. To absorb the feeling and emotion of happiness.

I challenge myself each day to acknowledge at least one event, activity or emotion which brings happiness to me and my life. We often look around our life and routines in search of ‘something’ great, ignoring the simple joys and ensuing happiness. Ultimately we are individually responsible for our own happiness. I am a strong believer in Aristotle’s quote “happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Happiness is enhanced by others but does not depend upon others.

~Anon

Photo Source: Family face to face by Julien Haler

ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER

Stephanie CrawfordStephanie Crawford is a born and bred Melbourne girl, enjoying life in her thirties. She is a mum to two gorgeous boys.

She is back at University studying part time through Open Universities Australia.  She is focused on completing a second degree, a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). Stephanie is finding there is plenty to learn about distance education and online learning.

She is excited to be pursuing her lifelong dream.  Her motivation and goal are a career as a freelance writer. She loves to share her opinions and has a passion for writing. She is actively seeking writing opportunities to further develop and strengthen her skills. She wishes she had more time to experiment in the kitchen and more time to harvest her own vegetable garden.

You’ll find Stephanie at her blog, Write to Tell, and on Twitter.

Comments

12 Responses to “Happiness, Simple Joys and Pleasures”
  1. Anne Maybus says:

    A split second of intense happiness makes everything worthwhile, doesn’t it?

  2. Hi Anne,

    Spot on Anne! Just so true indeed. As I great older I realise this more and more.

  3. Joel Oakley says:

    Steph, your words echo my thoughts…and whether we make our our happiness or are fortunate enough to have it brought into our lives- we must treasure it and share it because it is precious.

  4. Chania Girl says:

    A few Sundays each month, I let people share on my blog all of the things that have brought them the most joy each week, and do you know no one ever says, “Money.” Almost inevitably the joys come from the simple pleasures like what you’ve described: listening to the rain fall, having a bowl of warming stew, watching one’s children playing and laughing. So many riches lie in these very simple, costless things.

    Thank you for sharing your joys, Stephanie.

  5. Hi Joel,

    Thank you for leaving a comment here :)

    Yes, I too believe we need to treasure and share our happiness. It is fragile and very precious.

    Hi Carla!

    It could seem a little cliche to some but the simple joys do bring so much happiness and contentment.

    We spent this afternoon at an historic mansion. The children enjoyed an afternoon of ‘old fashioned’ fun and games. Quoits, skittles, croquet, egg & spoon races, badminton and skipping rope. They enjoyed an afternoon as a child in the 19th century. Simple fun. They enjoyed themselves immensely. It is days like today that bring me much happiness. Today we created and lived what will become a special memory.

    Thank you Carla for sharing here :)

    Stephanie x

  6. These are such powerful messages. I’ll carry that final quote with me always.

  7. Isn’t “happiness” just the best of themes, Stephanie? Happiness is contagious; once you start thinking about it and talking about it, the Happy feelings multiply. :)

  8. Stephanie Crawford says:

    Hi Angela and Joanne,

    Thank you for your comments :)

    Happiness is most certainly contagious and those happy feelings multiply.

    I’m really enjoying the theme of ‘happiness’.

    Stephanie x