Tapping into Happiness…

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Dear Reader:

Yesterday I woke up to bright sunny skies and could hardly wait to get the day started…a wonderful sense of expectancy and happiness swept over me.

After checking emails and comments…I started skimming over articles that had popped up…. one was examining the mistake too many people make when it comes to happiness.

Somehow we take Thomas Jefferson’s words too literally from the Declaration of Independence….in reference to the “pursuit of happiness.”  We think happiness can be found somewhere “out there“….we don’t know where “out there” is… but it becomes an all-consuming”pursuit” into futility… because the search party is going the wrong way.

Blogger Jessica Ainscough in her insightful article (“Creating Happiness from within…”) makes this profound statement:

We tend to think that life comes at us, not from us…we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for happiness when all we need to do is send the search party within.”

Isn’t that the truth? Don’t we find ourselves blaming life itself…bad luck or random unfortunate happenstances… for our lack of success in finding and maintaining happiness?

It isn’t until we come upon major obstacles in our own lives that we learn the secret of inner happiness…that we had it all the time while searching outside for it. We are capable of tapping into the deepest part of our soul where miracles await. To date that has been my biggest discovery on my sojourn here on earth.

Ainscough had a quote in her article that I really liked and want to share with you:

” Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude– Denis Waitley.

In my photo search for happiness yesterday I came across an epiphany of sorts… or at least a good God’s Wink.

I had gotten pretty far into writing today’s blog when I heard Lucy (the cat) scratching on the front porch screen…she wanted breakfast….now! So I stopped typing and went to fix her bowl.

The whole time I was going through this rather mundane daily ritual…my mind was thinking about something around the house that makes me happy that I could take a photo of… for the title picture.

I found myself grabbing my Iphone as I went out on the porch to drop off the food for Lucy. As I watched her eat….I was thinking “What is something around here that makes me happy”….actually the question could have been reversed…I just love my home and garden so much…it all brings me such happiness.

But my newest addition…the gray kitchen cabinets on the B&B side of the house seemed to pop up out of nowhere in my mind.

I was so proud of making the decision to go dark gray for my kitchen cabinets and use a new paint that gave them a rustic look….and then have it turn out just the way I envisioned.

photo 2As I got ready to ‘shoot’ the photo of freshly painted cabinets…however, it was the light from the kitchen window that drew my attention….I found myself looking out the window and from this angle…I could see part of the deck and the garden beyond…two great sources of happiness that didn’t even exist two years ago…I took the picture and smiled.

It was then it happened…I had purposefully left one wooden Christmas decoration in front of the kitchen cabinets (by the kitchen window) because I loved its contrast of brightness against the dark gray and the familiar Christmas scripture.

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As I re-read the scripture again….a thought suddenly came to me. Our happiness here on earth centers around the spiritual experience of having God in it… who is “Wonderful, our personal counselor, mighty (beyond our comprehension) our everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

Think back to the times when we have felt a deep sense of contentment and happiness…hasn’t it come after experiencing a kind comment or some act of love given and received?

We feel loved by Someone who personifies LOVE and we feel a deep-seeded sense of peace permeate our body and soul. The directions to happiness were right there in the Christmas left-over decoration filled with the WORD…the WORD of GOD. We need look no further for happiness.

So until tomorrow…take time to look around you in “love, grace, and gratitude” at all God has given us to bring happiness into our midst…and then look inward and send a “thank you note” to God. I just licked my envelope!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Gin-g and I went to the Continental Corner for dinner last night….so yummy! We had so much catching up to do and laughter did abound. Father Ernie even gave us a free dessert. (Since we talked the whole meal about cutting back and being “good” with our diet this month… we split one piece….sharing dessert with a friend produces no guilt…a mandate among girl friends!)

I felt so honored to get to ride in Fred’s red jeep…”The Bomb”…I felt like I was back in high school or college.

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“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter” – e.e. cummings

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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