More and more I have come to realize that happiness is a matter of reflection. We rarely feel happiness in the moment. We may feel good, or pleasure. But it is only when we take a moment to reflect in the moment that we realize: we are happy. If we seek to have more happiness, we need to make more time for reflection. This is one of the reasons why meditation is so useful. Even if you don’t get yourself to a no-thought, just be state of awareness, you are still quieting your mind and giving yourself a chance to reflect, quietly. And there is value in that.
When you are out walking, taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers is an opportunity to reflect on what you are doing while you are doing it and that inevitably brings us a feeling of happiness and contentment and yes, joy in the simple pleasure of being alive.
Whenever we pause to just feel the sensation of wind on our skin, or sunlight on our face, or the deep, ever changing color of our loved ones eyes, we feel that feeling of happiness. Happiness in just being.
Just being isn’t enough. You have to take the time to reflect on the fact that you are, to feel happiness. I realize that seems counter intuitive, but it is true. Perhaps this is why we are all told the unexamined life isn’t worth living.
Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking too much. This is about balance. If all you do is think, you aren’t doing. The key is to take a short moment to reflect upon what you are doing, then go back to doing it.
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.
Written by Jennifer Hancock