Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Musing the Happiness Question

It's been many months ago, maybe even a year ago, while sitting in one of my favorite Capitol Hill restaurants, a friend asked, "What do you want to do?" I'd just begun my journey as a writer and was still trying to be a marketer, so I was stumped. I offered her off-the-cuff answers that were more deflections than anything else, but she wouldn't have it. "What do you want to do?" she continued to ask.

I realized that I was afraid to say what I really wanted to do. Maybe it was because I felt so far away from it or maybe it was because I really didn't quite know how to accomplish it. So, I began with the macrocosm in my thoughts--the big things that I wanted--and hoped that it would eventually allow me to dial in to the microscope of specifics on how to get there.

  • Contribute to the world's greater good.
  • A circle of friends I can trust, know what matters (and what doesn't) and will wax on it until the wee hours of morning (preferably with wine).
  • Have influence, not through power, but through connection. I want to connect as many people as I can to their a-ha moments.
  • Enjoy life with my eyes open, in all the frustration and happiness that entails.
I was reminded of this conversation last week when my goals were knocked off track by two friends, one foolish and one hypercritical, that set me back a few days. What's a few days in one lifetime, you might ask? Well, maybe not much, but if I'm going to dwell in them, then I better make sure I learn something from them, so I went back and reread my "Warrior of the Light" emails from favored author Paulo Coelho:
  • Life is not about the collection of bright, shiny things that make you inferior/superior to your peers.
  • When you dream of having everything, is that dream material, emotional, ideal?
  • What is your life purpose? What do you do when you have a set back from it?
  • "Negative desires can cause no harm if you don’t let yourself be seduced by them.”
  • "If everything went the way we wanted, soon we would no longer have anything to write about." [Don't I know that's the damn truth!]
  • Relax... and pay attention.
"The true warrior of light believes. Just like children believe. Because they believe in miracles, the miracles begin to happen. Because they are certain that their thoughts can change their lives, their lives begin to change. Because they are certain they will find love, this love appears. Sometimes they are disappointed. Sometimes they feel hurt. Then they hear the comments, 'You are so naïve!' But the warrior knows it is worth the price. To each defeat, there are two conquests in his favor."
I came back to the light... well, that isn't exactly true... someone I'd never before met walked into my darkness, grabbed my hand, smiled, provided me with a Happiness Opportunity and then beckoned me to come with her back toward the light. With my own smile, we walked side-by-side out of the darkness and found an oak tree as old as the world and sat under it for awhile to take in the view and talk about life.

I'm still trying to fully commit to a belief that I'm actually doing what I want to do. With each person that reviews my book, I know that I'm closer to being what I want to be; doing what I want to do. It's miraculous to think that I might be making steps more toward my purpose, but that's the way that it's supposed to feel, I'm sure of it.

So, I'm going to let the breeze running up the grassy hill blow through my hair, feel in-tune with the elements and learn about the angel that found me in the dark... and didn't pull me from it, but had the courage to enter it and ask me if I'd like to join her in the light.
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