Studying The Happy Animal


An ideal site for a brisk, early morning walk.

There are many folks out there writing about how to find happiness, how to sustain happiness and the many keys to why happy people have been able to successfully sustain a happy life.  The truth is, one person’s definition of happy may differ so greatly from another’s that these articles often make me pause.  Giving general advice on how to make the masses happy seems like a valiant effort, but an uphill battle to say the least.

Each person has their own story, their own sense of happiness and joy that can either elude or consume them depending on the moment.  Happiness can be fickle.  Happiness can be fleeting.  Happiness can be simple.  But, the common thread of happiness is that it’s worth the effort and people will forever chase the carrot.

I will forever be a seeker of a more abundant, happy life.  I seek more time, more fun, more food, and often more spiritual growth in an effort to reach a happier state.  The abundance that turns me on and satisfies my definition of happy may not be what excites my neighbor.  My ideas of happiness may bore or disappoint others but leave my heart pounding with anticipation.

Recently, I went for a brisk, early morning walk around my neighborhood and listened to Native American flute chakra music to get my day started.  Next, I went to The Body Mind Spirit Expo with my dear friend who is a Healer and Reiki Master in her own right.  Throw your hand up if this sounds like a great day so far!  Maybe not everyone agrees, but for me, I’m pretty happy about this plan.  A happy, abundant life looks different for everyone.

Opening your mind and heart to being able to let go of your own judgements long enough to see the perspectives of other people’s happiness and how they may have arrived at their reasons can be an exercise in studying the social animal.  Have you ever pledged to reserve judgement only to immediately form an opinion of whether you like it or not?  Reserving judgement is a talent that takes practice, and considering other’s perspectives takes patience and understanding.  We are raised to form opinions about our environment constantly throughout the day and we often look to others to form those opinions.  Naughty or nice?  Accepted or not?  How often do you make your own choices and how often do you wait for others to make them for you?

I wonder how many of the things that make up my life exist in my world because they make me happy and how many of them have been put into place because I have been told they should make me happy?  Do we need general articles written about happiness to tell us how to be happy or should we all write our own?  Could we?

I challenge myself to continue to be a seeker of my own happiness.


Another photo of an ideal walk. I just love bridges! Oh, and I just love those two little girls walking across this particular bridge.  Photo courtesy of Paul Drake

First photo in this post courtesy of Mary K Baird from


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