The Experiment: Day 98 ~ What Makes You Happy? I’d Really Like To Know…

This seems like it should be an easy question but for some reason it is not so easy. When it comes right down to it, outside of a lot of vague notions about things that have made you happy in the past, what, right here and now, makes you happy? What do you know for sure?

I have to always start with the beginning of the day. It is that moment when the dogs have been out and fed and taken care of and I’ve made my coffee and come to my work table in the studio, settle into my chair, and take that first sip of coffee. That may be as close to nirvana as I ever get.

Now it is sitting here while having my coffee watching the birds and the squirrels. Oh my there are tons of birds now, they are back and forth all day. The ones I most often see here are the chickadees, a darling little titmouse, lots of rosy finches, the cardinals, the nuthatches and gracious! Twice today the downy woodpecker has been here. A male, with the red spot on the back of his head. And most decidedly the downy, not the hairy woodpecker. They look very similar but the downy woodpecker is smaller with a shorter beak and you can see bars on the underside of his tail. The hairy is larger with a longer beak and the underside of his tail is white. It can be very hard to tell them apart unless they are side by side but I have long had the downy woodpeckers here. I love those little birds. Birdwatching makes me feel so happy and peaceful. I just bought 2 used books on amazon, both 94 cents apiece, on wild birds in the Eastern US. I used to have such books before the fire but they are long gone now. I mostly have the usual suspects out here but it’s exciting when a new person arrives and I have to look him or her up. They are a constant source of joy and I love to study them.

What else makes me happy? This whole new ketogenic way of eating and living makes me very happy. Nearly 3 months in I have not eaten one bite of non-ketogenic food and I feel amazing. I did not go off my diet through any of the holidays, I simply have no desire to. And it’s done something to me. After a lifetime of struggling with food and weight to have such complete control over this area of my life and to not be the least bit tempted to go off the plan, even when these last several weeks I have been on a “stall” which is very frustrating. Every morning I get on the scale and I weigh EXACTLY the same thing give or take a couple of tenths of a pound. But I know that I am staying perfectly on the plan, I am in ketosis, other good things are happening in my body and I’ve watched a ton of videos that talk about this and how normal it is. When you make such drastic changes in diet your body literally goes through major transformations for the good, weight comes off, yes, but everything in your body changes. No more swelling, no inflammation, no pain of any kind, better skin, more energy, no more brain fog, and so much more. During certain periods you don’t lose weight but your body is in a process of healing in many ways and you can feel it. It is amazing. I am learning so much about my body and the way it works and reacts to foods and other things. It is amazing. The ketogenic way of living will be the baseline in my life in 2018.

My children. Of course my children make me very happy, and the grandchildren. 2 of my children live out of town and have been in with their families for Christmas and it has been such a delight. My son Aaron and his wife Stephanie and 18 month old baby Atlas were here this morning to say goodbye, they left to drive back to Atlanta today. It was so hard to see them go. This year I am going to have to learn the way of loving my children and being at peace with the fact that they don’t all live here. That is very hard for me but I must treasure the time we do have together. My eldest daughter Jenny and her family will be here until Saturday. They will be coming by for a little visit this afternoon and then we will all go out to dinner together. I am just cherishing this time with them. Jenny’s little boys are 2 and 5 and she and her husband Andrew are such wonderful parents. And it’s so much fun to have had all the little ones in. My darling Rachel, my middle child, lives here with my 13 year old grandson Lucas and I am so deeply grateful to have them nearby. My children and grandchildren make me happy, near or far we all stay in touch as best we can and FaceTiming on the iPhone with the out-of-towners is just a miracle.

It seems so odd but I am stretching to try to think of things that make me happy. That shouldn’t be the case, I think, but it is so. I am going to roll that around in my mind over the days ahead as I set my intentions for 2018 and write down everything that makes me happy, tiny little things as well as bigger things. What makes you happy? I’d love to know. Leave me comments below and tell me some of the things that make you happy. It could be a big help for me and inspire me to remember more things to add to my list.

And it just came to me in this moment that I have to really explore what being happy means. For example I can think of times when I was really happy, but I also think of times we might call being content, or being at peace, or the relief of just knowing that you are okay, that you have been and are going to be okay, that you’ve pulled yourself up out of a long dark spell and can see light and colors and smell the flowers and feel joy again. All these things are a kind of happiness. One doesn’t need to be jumping up and down and hooting and hollering to be happy. When I take a broader view about what happiness is for me my list grows. I think I’d like to write down one moment each day in which I felt happy. I think that will be a good practice and is in line with this blog experiment. The search for happiness continues on into 2018 and this is very serious work indeed. My whole life is changing because of this daily blog experiment.

And now dear ones I must shower and get ready for Jen and Andrew to come by with the boys. These last two precious days that they are here makes us very very happy indeed. I will be very present and feel everything, all the feels, as they say today, about how wonderful it is having them here, and then I will carry these memories in my heart until the next time I see them again.

What makes you happy dear one? I’d really love to know. Talk to me…


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

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…


  1. Ben makes me happy. Being on the beach, listening to the waves, feeling the wind in my face. My brother and sister-in-law, such good company. The garden I got this summer, full of potential. I feel very blessed!
    By the way: there is a woodpecker who visited my garden sometimes last summer. I’m looking forward to seeing him again come spring!
    And I feel blessed to have been led to this blog. Magic encounter, dear Maitri. Looking forward to all the love and wisdom you will be sharing here!

    • Oh Silke, it made ME happy just reading about the things that make YOU happy. And of course, dear Ben. And a woodpecker! I also have pileated woodpeckers here in my woods, the kind that look like Woody Woodpecker the old cartoon character. I just get delighted beyond belief when one of them comes because I rarely see them at the feeders and they don’t come often. I think they just pop in to see what all the fuss is about because there are 5 big feeders full of food and a constant stream of all kinds of birds coming!

      I can’t wait to see pictures of your garden as you work on it, what fun! And oh yes, meeting you here has been a magical thing for me too dearheart. Thank you so much for coming regularly, you are a great inspiration to me. And I know you are going away so Happy New Year dearheart. We will have much to talk about in the coming year! 😀

  2. what makes me happy?? Golly, where do I start. I think i told you that tom and i took the “one hundred days of happiness” journal challenge. Every evening before bed we each wrote (in a special journal) something that made us happy that day. tom tended to choose one major thing, whereas i often wrote three or four. The more you focus on what brings happiness, the more there is! we are about to do a workshop at our Unitarian Church on taking the challenge! so, what makes me happy? My flowers, my cat, my home, my special interactions with husband, daughter and friends, listening to beautiful music, dancing, being near water, being near trees, e-mail and texts from dear friends, hiking, hot baths and reading a good book or an old journal, writing haiku, getting letters in the mail, good food (bread, salads, stir fries with our own greens,
    homemade apple sauce, salmon with teriyaki sauce, mushrooms and pineapple, crisp tart apples, the list goes on), crawling under the covers at night and cuddling up with tom’s warmth, watching sunsets, walking the beach looking for shells, … offering writing to people in prison, writing with girlfriends, are just a few of the things that come to mind!


    • Oh Ka I just loved reading this, it’s all so beautiful, what a picture your words paint. I wish you all these things and more in the coming year, I send you so much love, and YOU make me happy lovely friend, always and always. May we keep celebrating the dance of life for many years to come… 🙂

      Maitri xoxox

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