Gifts Not Gaps

I spent the last several days with loved ones. There has been lots of togetherness, in cars, at tables, and in shared spaces. Our routines have been disrupted, our exercise plans changed, and we’ve had lots of time to sit and chat and just be together. Love has been shared amidst the chaos.

I love my family very much and I’m human. I don’t always like what they have to say, or how they say it, or what they do, or what they don’t do. Do you know what I mean? I sometimes have expectations that go unmet, can you imagine that? I have silly expectations in my own mind that don’t match theirs that sometimes creates little conflicts in my own head.

For example, one day my sister didn’t come over when I thought she was going to come over, and then I felt frustrated because what was in my mind was different than what was in hers, but she didn’t know I had this expectation of her. Or another time, I thought my husband was going to come and play a game with us, but he was watching football and didn’t have the same shared expectations as me. I was sad that he didn’t want to play, but he wasn’t sad at all and I wasn’t really sad, but I did hope that he wanted to play. Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m sure this never happens to you!!

One of my definitions of happiness is when your expectations are in alignment with reality. If I expect that we are having turkey for dinner, and you serve turkey, I’ll be happy. If I expect that we’ll have turkey and you serve fish, I might be perplexed. It might take me awhile to adapt to the change, because my mind had a different story playing out in my head. I might feel unhappy, until I am able to fill the gap and meet the new expectation of fish and not turkey, and adapt quickly enough to be able to accept and enjoy the new option. If I don’t adapt, I will feel disappointment because I was hoping for turkey.  See how this works?

I like to think of these little flutters as gaps. Sometimes the way we see things are different than how our loved ones see things. This gap can sometimes create space between us. What I’m practicing is seeing the gifts that my loved ones have to offer and focusing my attention there, especially when I feel a slight gap. I’ve noticed if I focus on the little frustrations, sometimes those frustrations fester and the gaps grow. I also notice that when I overlook the gaps and flow with whatever is given, and I able to be thankful for their being who they are without any expectations, I am truly able to see their gifts and feel closer and connected to them, despite the gaps.  We all have gaps. We get to chose to see the gifts and not the gaps, even though both are present.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if someone bugs you, try to see what is truly good about that person instead of the little things that created an irritation, because seeing the good is usually so much greater and worth the investment of your time and energy. Where we focus our attention is where we create our visions and reality and I want to see my family in the best light possible. I want to overlook the buggy stuff. Focus on the good, despite the little flutters. Flow around the barriers and come back to seeing the good as quickly as possible. Do this again and again, just like a river flows around and over a rock and keeps on flowing without disruption. Repetition and practice is good. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Gifts not gaps. I see you. Beautiful you.  Namaste.


Happiness is Laundry?

I did 6 loads of laundry – washed, dried, folded and even put away between yesterday and today. That’s a small miracle and it made me incredibly happy to see my family room laundry free and orderly, as opposed to how it usually looks.

It took a long time and while I was doing the work, I was thinking about the program I’m giving tomorrow about the Gift of Happiness.

Obviously I love this happiness business and spend a lot of time thinking about, playing with, sharing and experiencing the joys of the pursuit of it. There’s lots of research and studies, movies and books and blogs and experts on the topic to absorb and enjoy. There is even a happiness store In England, as Jeff shared with me today.

I wonder if he’s bringing me some happiness home with him? I definitely think he is.

But I digress… What I wanted to share is that even though the experts describe the 7 habits of happy people, and the 5 things you can do to be happier, I think life is even simpler than that.

Happiness to me came today in the form of clean laundry that was done for my family. I find that my happiness is rather simple and sometimes I forget. I love just being home and creating a loving and orderly home.

I am happiest when my house is free from clutter, my family is fed, my kids are doing their work – meaning studying and learning and being kind to themselves and others, we are all healthy, and together, and I’ve made time to exercise and chat or be with a friend. Wow – that’s a long run-on sentence, but that’s pretty much it. Everything else is just a bonus! And this happiness thing takes constant work and I’m never done.

What makes you happy? On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy would you rate yourself on a daily basis?