The Experiment: Day 133 ~ I Want You To Know That You Can Be Happy Too. Yes, It IS Possible…

This is what I want for you, more than anything. I want you to know that you can be happy too, and please, stay with me for a moment and listen to what I have to say…

I am not naive, I am no Little Mary Sunshine. There are people who are living in a war zone, people who are living in such oppressive situations that “happiness” isn’t even on the radar, survival is. There are people who are dealing with unspeakable injustices, or such sorrow and grief over a terrible loss that being happy isn’t even something they wish for. They are in a stage of life where they are reeling and just trying to get from day to day. There are many reasons people aren’t happy and I’m not talking to them. I am praying for them. No, I am not going to tell them that “happiness is a choice.” Pardon me but people who take that tact lack feeling, compassion, and are out of touch with reality.

But here’s what I will say to you if you are reading this blog. If you are here with me you are most likely not one of those people. You are on your own journey trying to do your own kind of surviving and healing. If you are here with me now you may want to find happiness, but not know how or where to begin. You very likely believe it’s not possible — this is where I was a year ago. Or if the possibility exists it may just be too much work, it may work for other people but not for you, because you ___________________. I know, when we are mired in unhappiness, afraid, depressed, anxious, or suffering from mental illness, we cannot see beyond where we are. When I was in such a dire state 7 or 8 months ago that the Mobile Crisis Unit had to be called I didn’t know how I would go on past that night. I didn’t know how or why I should or could. I would never have believed I could feel as good as I do today but there was a long road from there to here. It doesn’t happen easily, or overnight, I’m not going to kid you. But I will tell you this, for most of us it is a choice and it is possible. And if you are one of the people for whom it is possible, even if it looks hard, even if you feel like it isn’t possible, well, you are the people I am here to talk to.

And let me tell you this. There is only one thing that you need, only one little thing. You have to have even the tiniest part of you that thinks, no matter how hard it is, that it just might be possible. Somewhere, deep inside perhaps, you might have a longing to have a different kind of life, to be a different way. And that way might not end up looking significantly different to the outside world, but it can be hugely different for you and that’s all that matters. You may not aspire to wake up each day so happy that you are doing cartwheels across the lawn. For me, I will likely never be comfortable being active in the outside world. And that’s fine for me. (I am, however, open to the possibility that anything might happen because so much already has. You can’t see the future. This is definitely a “one day at a time” journey.) Your state of wellness, or well-being, can only be determined by you. When you get there, you will know it.

And by “getting there” I mean coming to a place where the world around you is lighter and you feel a sense of what I call peace and ease. When you can take a breath easily without your whole body stiffening. When you can relax. Not cartwheels across the lawn — though what a wondrous thing if you one day got there! — no, I’m talking about starting to relax and feel comfortable in your own skin. I’m talking about the ability to look in the mirror and ever so gently being able to smile, even a little smile, at yourself, when you look at yourself and say, “Hello there, you’re going to be okay, you can do this.” And it may not be above a whisper. And you can get there, you really can, and when you get to that place, when you feel movement, you are at the beginning of a journey that can take you places you never imagined, and you just do it one day, one moment, at a time. Babysteps. But once you begin, once you really feel it, really, there will likely be no turning back. Even when you have hard days they will come less and less, they will be less severe, and you will bounce back, but you have to start and you have to be committed to it.

When I started this 365 day experiment on this blog I was in the midst of depression, I couldn’t imagine what might happen or how it would happen, or what would manifest, but I committed to one thing, showing up here each day, and I committed to consciously looking for, sharing here, and having gratitude for the tiniest thing in my life that felt happy. Or happier. Or some days if I could simply see the clouds parting and a little sunlight coming in that was so much better than where I’d been. I started there, and my commitment to be here, come what may, caused a gentle snowball effect. The more I looked for signs of happiness the more I believed that it was indeed there, and the more I believed it was there the more it was made manifest, and the more happiness, and yes, even joy, that manifested in my life, the more manifested in my life. I was like The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” and Great Scott! I DID! And I am. And I’m going to keep on going. You can too.

Now, I want to make it very clear, if you need medical help you need to get medical help. If you need psychiatric help I pray that you are getting it. I have been in therapy a very long time and weekly for the past few years, and please, don’t tell me you can’t afford it. I have a wonderful therapist and I love her dearly and I don’t pay anything to see her. I am able to see her through a government program that covers it. And the P.A. who manages my meds is through a government program as well– yes I am off all three of my psych meds but I still take one low dose pill to help me sleep as needed and he will be managing my case very carefully going forward. Do NOT try to go off meds willy nilly on your own. Please get the help you need. Anything I talk about on this blog, my coming youtube channel and Patreon page, presupposes that you are taking care of these things responsibly, what I am offering through my work is an addendum to anything else you need to do for your health and well-being.

I can’t tell you everything in one post. I will continue to share my journey which is what I set out to do here. But I will also talk to you about how I began, what I did, and am doing, and I will be here with you along the way. What I would leave with you today is a powerful image that you can hold in your heart. When we begin we are not trying to create a big expansive garden, we are planting one seed. If you will start right now, in this very moment, I am going to ask you to plant one single thing, a thought, an action, a simple plan. The very next thing you do is where you begin. Not tomorrow, not next week, next month, next year. You begin here.

What one action can you take that will make a difference? Open a blank journal, write the date and time at the top of the page and write, “I can do this.” If you can write more, that is great. You can do it on the computer if you want to. I taught a very healing journal class for 40 years. I will be sharing a lot of that material on Patreon, but I will share some ideas with you, here, too. I promise you if you start writing every day, on the computer, in a pocket notebook, whatever you prefer, for 10 minutes, you will change your life. Every single day. Begin now, at this very moment. (One of the most basic and powerful journal exercises ever that most journal teachers use is “At this very moment…”) If you write that down and go from there you will begin to change your life. But I would suggest you do something slightly different. I would suggest, for our purposes, that every day, for 21 days, you begin each morning and write, “At this very moment I choose to be happy…” and go for 10 minutes. Set a timer if that’s helpful and don’t stop writing until the timer dings. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, or what comes out in your writing no matter how silly, nonsensical, unimportant or unrelated it might seem. It is all relevant, it is all important, it is all perfect just as it is. After 21 days you will have established your daily practice and you will expand your writing, but for now you must simply begin. Will you do this? You can absolutely do this one thing.

And, the image? Remember that all you have to do is plant one single seed. This new practice is an affirmation of life, an agreement with yourself to choose happiness, and an acknowledgement that you want to fully live. One seed, one thing, each day. It’s time, plant your seed. And come back here tomorrow and we will continue on…

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. Over the years I have found journal writing to be very helpful. In periods of my adult life where I felt overwhelmed, I would write every single day. Now, in my almost senior years, when my life is quieter and calmer it is more like once a week. I’m really grateful that I developed that practice. It’s wonderful to just write out all those things you may not necessarily want to share with someone else. It’s a great way to get perspective.

    • Is is a wonderful tool, isn’t it Joan? I’m so glad that you are able to do it in a way that works for you. It’s a wonderful practice to have.

      I hope all is going well for you. You are always in my heart and in my prayers…

      Maitri

  2. Such a lovely message, Maitri.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

  3. choosing happiness
    with a notebook and a pen
    guaranteed to work

    YES YES YES

    at this very moment (this is a prompt i came up with on my own zillions of years ago, maitri) i choose happiness

    I choose to see the sunlight on the waves, i choose to squirt my homegrown grapefruit in my drinking water (yum), i choose to begin today to start typing up a big notebook that will become another chapbook for my archive (in the singing bird press series), i choose
    to sit on the deck with a good book and remember to look up to see the pelicans flying…YES

    xo
    ka

    • Ah Darling Ka! YES YES YES!!! 😀

      The sunlight, your homegrown grapefruit, your chapbooks and The Singing Bird Press (I love that name!), a good book, the pelicans! How marvelous and joyful and wondrous it all is. Carry on sister! Spread that happiness to the world around you as I know you do. We need it now more than ever. We are Light Bearers and we need as many as will join us. And that’s my message, “Pick up your pen and begin…”

      And by the by I had heard “At this very moment” before I ever knew you. It must be a universal urging to be present perhaps rooted in Buddhist culture thousands of years ago? It doesn’t matter from whence it came it is a powerful tool. 🙂

      Love,

      M. xoxox

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