15 Oct Happiness is a choice; choose to practice and choose what you see!
I'm happy, today, to bring you this short and simple, but useful and positive article on happiness from our friends over at Prevention magazine…
by Amy Patchett
I believe that in the same way physical exercise can change your body, regular mental exercises can change how you see and engage with the world and the people you love.
Last September, I attended a meditation workshop. The meditation was this: Sit for 11 minutes with your hands in front of your heart, palms facing each other a few inches apart. We were to see the person we loved inside the space between our hands. We were to think of them happy, to see them bathed in light, to see them as their best selves. We were given a little song to sing during the meditation, but the song wasn't the point. The point was to see the person you loved as happy for 11 minutes every day.
It was a 40-day meditation, and if you missed a day, you had to start over at day one. So every day I sat down and thought about my husband as happy. I pictured him on a boat or sleeping with our dog or laughing on the phone with his mother. We had a good marriage to start with, and now the small traces of impatience or judgment I had brought to our relationship fell away. I no longer cared if he neglected to unroll his socks before dropping them in the wash. I felt a heightened sense of joy when he came home from work. Again and again I pictured him at his best, and I responded to that best self accordingly. I remembered how grateful I was to be married to him, and then I remembered how grateful I was to even know him. The more goodness I saw in him, the more goodness he showed me. He even started going to the gym, feeling better about work, doing more to help other people. He asked me often about the meditation, and thanked me for it.
At the end of 40 days, I asked the teacher if people ever decided to push on. She told me that 40 days requested a change, 80 days formed a new pattern, and 120 days sealed your intention. I pressed ahead. It's easy enough to find fault with people, but it's equally easy to see their radiance if that's what you decide to do. I didn't change my husband, I changed myself, and in doing that I opened my eyes to what had been there all along…