My dear friend, Deedee wrote this email to me to share what transpired shortly after we talked about “Happiness”.  I found this very powerful & and asked her if I could extend this inspiration to all of you. 🙂

“SO the most incredible thing happened to me Tuesday night that had to do with this very topic!!!!! I prayed for it and waited patiently for the Universe to respond and of course, It did!”

I (Deedee) was on the plane to Tucson after I spoke to you (Carlyn) and since the flight was less than full I choose to sit  next to this guy who was quietly reading his book. I really had no intention of starting a conversation with this guy instead I picked up a magazine and flipped thru its pages. As the cabin lights dimmed, the man sitting next to me reached over and turned on my reading light for me…a very sweet and thoughtful gesture. I looked down and noticed the book he was reading and to my surprise it was based in yogic philosophy and meditation. I commented on the book asking it he was enjoying it and this opened the door to a beautiful conversation that shifted my perspective on happiness.

Noah was flying from Seattle to Tucson to be with his father who was undergoing surgery for crones disease. In Seattle, Noah spends his time doing theatre and counseling gay men who are HIV positive. He finds great joy in community and helping others. He spoke about his path to happiness, about his coming out and the acceptance of his Truth. He mentioned that he was also involved in a 12-step program and I shared with him my own path to recovery and healing.

As we started out decent, Noah gifted me with a book that was dear to him, saying that we can only keep what we give away. The book was called ‘The Art of Happiness’ co-authored by the Dalai Lama. Basically to make a looooong story short, the book does mention our ‘happiness set point’ but explains that we can train in happiness, that our minds are pliable. Our basic and fundamental human desire is to be happy. By remembering that we are innately compassionate and kind beings we can begin to view the world more gently. The book also talks about Pleasure vs. Happiness- Pleasure, although it can be immediately gratifying, ultimately leads to more suffering while the path to happiness is one of self-discipline and isn’t necessarily always easy. To walk the path of happiness, we must ask ourselves the simple question “Will this [action] bring me pleasure or happiness?”

Anyway, for me waking up early to run in the morning sunshine, an authentic conversation with a friend, helping others, reaching out to those in need, eating well, remembering to BREATHE…these are things I have learned that create positive emotions and raise my happiness baseline!

What do you do to create more positive emotion in your life?