Sunday, April 19, 2009

1000 ways to happiness

Friday night Mark and I were invited by our friend Peter to watch a performance by Lizzy West and Baba Buffalo. They are a couple who make music and travel around together. They are fabulous musicians with great vocal and instrumental skills and they are joy to listen to!

But that is not the reason I am writing about them. I'm writing about them because they had a theme for the night: happiness. Throughout their songs, their stories and their performance, they were telling people about being present, being loving, and doing gratitude. I was touched by how they used their medium of music and performance to help people help themselves become happier. It is so exiting to be invited to go out for the night and then end up with these wonderful spirited people.

The way Lizzie is creating her happiness is interesting: she writes about all the "poison" out there (or at least that is the way she describes it during her performance) and how it's important to do things that help you get rid of the poison in your life. Doing this helps her to stay clear and let go of unhappy emotions. So, there is a part of her songs that is deeply focused on unhappiness. And it brings her to happiness!

I notice that this is a bit different than how I move towards happiness, but that it was also amazingly effective for her. And, really, really fun to watch.

Like Lizzie, I create happiness by creating new things. It could be writing songs... or painting a room... or cleaning the garden... or doing a dialogue with someone. I believe that all my actions related to starting new things take me towards happiness. Today I will do that by reading a book I have been given by another friend, Jonathan. The book is called, "The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz".

This brings me to the question I want to leave you with: what are some of the specific activities that do that move you towards happiness? Please share them with our readers so we can all benefit from your solution!

Have a great Sunday...

PS, As I've been talking with people I'm finding that many more of you are reading this blog than I ever imagined. If you're enjoying the articles or have comments, the authors and I would love to hear from you!


  1. Yes, isn't it curiously humorous how some choose to believe, inorder to really appreciate, value having something, one 'needs' to acknowledge or experience, some element of lack, or not having?

  2. In answer to the question, me thinks the simplest, most effective shortcut towards happiness, is becoming aware of ones ability to focus oneself, and choosing the focus, immersion, of everything one can be grateful for...if in fact they want to experience being happy, as opposed to being focused on lack or 'not wants.'

  3. This is a fun topic Iris!
    Gee, let's see...massage, yoga, energy therapy, a good cry, inspiring and uplifting films (can't wait to see Planet Earth coming soon) music (tribal techno for example), dancing, playing drums, singing and playing guitar, seeing a friend I have not seen in a long or short while! preparing and eating healthy food, laughing and playing with children and friends, cuddling, being chased and tickled, being in nature and sunshine, taking photos, looking at photos, talking to friends, camping, hiking, snowboarding, being at the beach, kayaking, swimming in a lake, campfires, reading, meditating, tea and chocolate, inspiring others, sleeping, flirting, sex!
    I could go on forever...
    LIFE IS soooo GOOD

  4. Hai there Iris! and all the other writers and readers...
    I am new here and my name is Mary van der Valk from Holland. I am a friend of Iris.

    I think that moving towards happiness can mean knowing what you have learned already and be happy with that!
    To be happy with who you are now, be silent and enjoy that inner sound as well.
    When we talk about moving, we always think of an activity, but it can be 'moving'to be silent. It may bring you to another level of yourself.
    Of course there are many ways to move yourself to real happiness. I can be happy writing books, I can be happy finding new friends I can level with. (Thank you Brian!)It depends on the way you are able to look at the world you are living in. When there is a person who says: Oh! How I hate this situation. Why am I the one to experience it, he/ she can really feel unhappy by feeling it. But the second person who finds him/her in the same situation can think: Hé, why is this happening to me? He/she takes out the lesson that it has in and will be happy! It is so true that it depends on how we look at the same world and the same problems. The fact that the answer is hidden inside the problem does not mean that the answer is not in it.
    I feel very happy being alive and it rocks my day that I can share it. I wish you all a happy day!


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