A “Happy thought” to Find Joy

There is a bench that sits on a low bluff that looks out into the ocean. I go there every morning and sip my coffee and watch the tugboats and fishing vessels go back and forth. The seagulls caw overhead and occasionally an eagle flies by. Each day is a different scene. The water color, the waves, the air, sky, wind is always different. Something about that view as I sit and sip my coffee is forever imbued in my memory. It is my “happy place,” a place that brings me the most joy.

When I’m feeling low or stressed. I take myself back to this place by the sea and the rememberance of the images, the sounds and smells bring me peace, joy and love to my being.

William Butler Yeats felt something similar when he wrote in his poem, the Lake Isle of Innisfree. He was standing on a busy street and the sound of a fountain’s trickling water took him back to his boyhood and he conjured images of a past time of not only wonder and beauty but peace, love and joy. He created a place in his mind where he could go to feel better about life.

I hope everyone has a happy place, somewhere in their mind they can go to feel a deep sense of peace, joy and love.

I forgot my happy place when I started watching the news and reading social media. All the fear built up by others, all the information and not knowing what to believe, kept my mind in a constant state of turmoil.

When I reach for my happy place in my mind, it gives me some pause to feel what peace, joy and love feel like.

I know places are not the only memories where I can peace, love, and joy.

Family memory can bring me joy. My grandchildren and their actions and play or just remembering their smiles, puts me in a good mood.

Meditation using Headspace or Calm can bring me back to a more relaxed state. It doesn’t give me joy but it does bring me peace.

Friends can bring me into a joyful focus either by remembering the good times with them or calling them up and falling into conversation. I recently began calling a friend from my high school days. It’s been over 20 years since we last spoke, but our conversation was as if we just spoke yesterday. We fell into easy relaxed conversation that quickly.

Religion helps me sometimes. Knowing, feeling and believing my greater-than-life force brings me to a higher level of positive energy. Reading The Book in times of stress brought me back from despair many times when I was younger.

Experiences from the past, times of my life when I felt so on top of the world, might make me feel better, but for me events from the past, stay in the past. I don’t relive them. I know people do, and this might be a tool to uplift someone.

Journal writing also can bring me more joy. It allows me to empty my soul of all my negativity and then write in the positive reflections in my m life, give thanks and gratitude for what I have, and create a list goals to my day.

Bravery brings me a sense of joy. Doing something I’ve feared attempting. I do it in a small way, nothing grandiose. Examples might be calling my friend from high school; writing a blog for others to read; finishing a novel or poem and sending out for others to read.

One brave activity I’m trying is camping. I haven’t really camped in my life, but I love nature and I want to try. So, I did baby steps first. I watched videos online. I began collecting what I need for my camp box. I drove to campgrounds to see what they have. I practiced setting up a tent in my backyard. I learned to cook on a camp stove. With each practice, I took notes: what am I missing? How should I organize my camp box.

People smirk and say, “Just go camping.” But, I want it to be a success and success to me means planning, practice, and patience. Small steps lead to greater joy, to me.

Capturing joyous moments

I have my first overnight camp trip in two weeks. I reserved it online. And, of course it’s at the beach. I felt such joy when my reservation was confirmed. I can’t wait to continue stepping out of my comfort zone toward another goal.

Whatever my happy place, having a picture or video helps me to remember the experience.

I’m sure there are other forms of “happy places” in the mind but for now, this is a good start.

May all seek and find a thought that brings joy to life.

Peace, Joy, Love