This is my Happiness Box. The plan is to take time on New Years day and remember the things that brought me joy the last year. It has all kinds of events, moments, thoughts, big things, little things. Basically it is snapshot of the happiness in my life.
My friend is doing this also. Same plan, filling her box with notes to look at New Years day. But she has been in a dark place this last couple of months, and the Happiness Box was moved to the side. As dark times do, hers peaked and passed. And she was left to pick up the pieces and move ahead. But the box, still, was moved to the back.
Until one day we were doing something fun and I said “this goes in the Happiness Box. How is yours doing?” And she realized hers was forgotten. So she found it, and wrote a note. One note led to another. She remembered from the summer that brought her happiness. She started filling in the blanks, and life shifted a little bit for her. She started looking for happiness, and found it.
Today we were talking about this and I said “you forgot to be happy”. And that my friends, is the heart of the matter. How often do we forget to be happy? We get wrapped up in the moment and forget that happiness is a choice too.
There are times in life where happiness is not to found. I have had those times, particularly around deaths. But other losses as well….divorce, foreclosure, job changes, empty nest, lost loves. There is a list of events that happened and I cannot pretend any of that goes in the Happiness Box.
But here is the thing, even within those dark moments there were small glimmers of happiness. Seeing a child laugh, a friends hug, a blue sky, a kind act and on and on. Those glimmers lead us home. Those glimmers are the “don’t you dare give up” support from the Universe. And we have to look for them. We have to court them. And then they come and then they stay.
I can visit the dark but I need to live in the light. I need balance of seeing both in my life. Having some trouble, sadness or feeling lost teaches me to grow past that. It teaches me to choose. It makes me remember and be grateful for the good in my life.
This is not a lollipop world where everything is wonderful. But having my Happiness Box grounds me to the virtues I want in my life. It commits to seeking out that which gives me joy. I physically name my joy and give gratitude. It is a Spiritual Practice, and it is good.
So whether you make box, write in a journal, post it on social media or sing it to the world, celebrate everything that makes you happy. Because what you call into your life will appear and multiply. So make that be your joys.