I thought I had invented a little happiness trick….

A while after moving away from the city and my go-getter lifestyle I noticed that I was just so much more content and happy.  In trying to analyse why this was so as I have a tendency to do I decided to mentally plot my happiness scale on a daily basis.

I came to an answer rather rapidly when I discovered that the days where I did something with my hands (besides typing on a keyboard) were the days when, at the end of the day, were my most satisfying.  I believe it may have something to do with the creative process as producing something from the manual labour was a little more satisfying than when I was doing cleaning for instance, although, I must say, much to my surprise,  I get satisfaction and happiness from doing menial cleaning chores too (shock-horror!)

This discovery was a huge eye-opener to me and just when I was ready to start writing a thesis on it – my path to instant fame and fortune, I discovered much to my chagrin, that everyone already knows this. People have been saying this for years, I have probably been told this exact thing and blocked it out of my brain because I am was a physically lazy person.  I used to love thinking jobs – stuff where I used my brain extensively but didn’t have to lift a finger work up a sweat.  I still love thinking and I consider my brain my favorite asset, however, finding quiet spaces in my days where I can just look and see and be, are becoming really special to me.

To summarise:

Past:        BUSY MIND – LAZY BODY = SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS

Now:       SLOWER MIND – BUSY BODY = A CONTENTED HAPPINESS

What stuns me about this whole issue is that I was so sure that the masses of information I have acquired over the years, and all the wonderful and marvelous things my brain could do, was my saving grace – I was/am proud of my knowledge and perceived wisdom.  I saw myself as dynamic and bright (most days) and ready to go out and conquer the world.  I felt sorry for people who lived slow simple lives.

I now realise how fickle I was and I am embarrassed about how I bulldozed across the planet thinking the world was waiting for me.

I am still exploring gentle living. I am slowing myself down. I am getting rid of stuff. I am trying to make less impact on our planet. I am trying to listen more and say less.  I “do” and “be” more and think less. I am hopefully becoming more humble. I am spending as much time as possible in nature as it gives me peace. I am trying to live a slow simple life.

I still mess up everyday – my motor mouth lets me down all the time. But I will persevere. Because it makes me so very happy.

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14 thoughts on “I thought I had invented a little happiness trick….

  1. It is funny, isn’t it? This attitude so prevalent in Western society is undoubtedly a reaction to what was before, slaving away–at everything–all the time, no reprieve. Our tendency to is to move from one extreme to its opposite extreme–industriousness to laziness.

    Hopefully as more and more of us discover this truth for ourselves we will take note and create a balance between the two 🙂

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  2. In all seriousness, you are a very lucky person. You have found happiness…contented happiness….something most people will never find. Good for you! 🙂

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  3. Thanks for your insights. I, too, have been trying to simplify my life for awhile and detach from owning so many “things”. It’s a balance.

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  4. Thanks for this post – it hits the nail on the head. I’ve been told (by someone I respect a lot) to ‘stop being so cerebral about everything’. Looks like you’ve figured out that wisdom too.

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  5. I was very much the same way. Mental stimulation was always preferred over actually doing something physical. The interesting thing I’m finding in my new, slow life, however, is that the more I abandon that mentality and focus on the actual DOING of things, the more things I really have to think about.

    That’s where my blog really came from: I needed to document and explore all the ideas and plans that were popping into my head as I feed chickens or cooked a home-grown meal from scratch. And that isn’t even touching on all the amazing things I’m learning about: the history of agriculture, natural animal grazing patterns, biodiverse farming, how perfectly amazing an egg actually is, how bodies actually use food, the impact of agricultural decisions on culture and local economy. It goes on and on and on.

    And what I find is that I feel so completely connected to my life now. Like you said, all this happiness comes from a certain tired contentment after a good day’s work. Before, when I started rambling about Anthropological theory in mixed company, people would start to tune me out. But now, when I start talking about farming and it’s importance in fixing some of the problems we face today, people are intrigued and have things to say and want to learn and come get their own hands dirty.

    I am now a sustainable agriculture/slow living proselytizer, with dirt under my nails and a pantry full of real food, and I actually really, really love it.

    Glad you are finding the joy in it too!

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