Needlessly Happy

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

Unknown Author

Today I am a staggeringly rich man. Only I am not a man and I do not have a huge bank account. But according to this quote, I am a billionaire. I am so happy, that as my undiscovered artist friend Leanne Wilkes says ‘Sometimes Stella has so much love that she could hug the world’. Leanne has a beautiful sketch to go with that but I don’t know how to put up pictures so all I can do is link to another image of her cartoon character Stella having the completely opposite day to mine today.

So why today? And how can I capture this feeling, put it in a bottle and take a large spoonful whenever I need it? I am having one of those days where you are so excited that you start ‘spinning’. You know, where you start to walk towards one corner of the room to make a coffee, say, but then you think, ‘Oh I will just wipe down that sticky surface’ and as you go to find a cloth you find yourself turning again to go do something else, until you end up literally turning on the spot with a huge smile on your face? That is the best feeling. You are enthusiastic for everything, even cleaning!! I have so much to do and I really want to do everything. I don’t even know where to start. I realise this is as good as it gets. Life does not get any better than this. Joy is Now. This is all I could ever hope for in life. Having billions and getting to meet Barbara Sher could not even improve on this mood. If I felt like this every day, you’d probably buy me one of those awfully long sleeved, tight fitting white jackets that only do up at the back. I have actually arrived at that fabled destination somehow without passing go and without enjoying the journey along the way, and I wish I had the coordinates on my GPS to work out how on earth this happened!

It doesn’t happen everyday. I don’t take drugs (or smoke or drink) and I have not eaten anything special. In fact I forgot to eat until 11am today which was so unlike me that I can’t ever remember doing that before. Everything seems to be falling into place for me and yet nothing in particular has. I have the same financial obligations, house and garden chores; everything that can stress me when I am in the wrong frame of mind but today it’s not wrong. It’s all right! It’s the opposite of getting out of bed on the wrong side. So I remembered this quote and sought it out on the internet instead of finding a quote in my calendar and forcing myself to examine it for its inherent wisdom.

Therefore today’s post may be a bit different but I am still looking for answers. Capture this feeling, examine it, be able to recreate it, Emma!! I know from experience that feelings are like quick sand. You can cup the sand in your hands, and do things to hold on as long as possible but one by one the grains slip through your fingers and get replaced with new feelings. Life would be boring if they didn’t and we wouldn’t be able to know just how good a good day was unless we referenced it to a bad one. So that’s OK but I can’t help being greedy.

One piece of advice I found when I was looking for answers to my depression a few years ago, was to keep a journal of when you were happy, and not just when you were sad. You had to write out exactly what you were feeling, what had happened to make you so happy, what you had just done that day etc. It was good advice and I still have some of those journal entries. The objective wasn’t to recreate exactly what you had done that day (and today all I did was wake up and read for a bit in bed), though it could certainly help because we all forget what makes us happy. The reason to write it down was to read it again when you were sad to remind yourself that you would be happy again. This too shall pass. And knowing and believing that I wouldn’t always be depressed was the best comfort ever!!  When you are depressed you somehow think ‘this is it, this is all I have to look forward to, more of this’. No wonder people get desperate. I had my ups and downs and still do (the full moon has a lot to answer for) but I observe my moods rather than jump into them. I have not had ‘depression’, nor taken the drugs for them, in 7 years and nor will I need them again now that I ‘self-medicate’ with healthier thinking.

Anyway, I digress. I think the answer for capturing some of that richness, (well happiness really), could be in this quote perhaps.

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

What is the direction, the cause and effect? I am happy as it states because I don’t need anything right now. I need the least and I am therefore ‘rich’. But it also works the other way.  Because I am so happy I then don’t need anything more in my life in order to keep enjoying this happiness.

So how do we make ourselves ‘need the least’ in order to feel rich and happy? I think perhaps I am happiest when I narrow my focus down to my immediate surroundings and activities. Joy is now, here.  I realise for example that I am reading a book in order to be relaxed and happy while I am reading it. I am not reading it to get to the end! There is no special prize for finishing it; in fact I will be sad when I do. By remembering that I get happiness from reading, I enjoy reading it even more.

I feel rich by forgetting or not focusing on the things that I sometimes think I need. I only seem to need an amazing holiday involving hot black stones and Frangipani flowers when I look at a Luxury Travel magazine. I don’t need them today because I can see how happy I am without them and that they could not add anything more to my life.

So what have I learned today from the unknown author?

I have learned that if I take a moment to observe my happy moods and appreciate them while they are here, then in these moments I learn that I truly don’t need anything else in order to be happy. And if I can hang on to that wisdom when I am being tempted by glamorous things I can’t ‘afford’, then I am less likely to think I ‘need’ them in order to be happy.

It is a great mood to learn from yourself in. Get out your pen or computer next time you are happy. It’s a really good investment.


3 thoughts on “Needlessly Happy

  1. Pingback: unknown moods. « Sick with Poetry.

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