Holiday Happiness: The Joy Of Simple Living
Simplicity is Happiness
The lights of the season illuminate our homes, businesses, and stores.
Some are heartfelt and in celebration of traditions of old. Some are to catch our eye with the latest gadgets, fashions, and toys.
But my favorites are fresh pine, cedar, holly leaves and berries, ivy, moss, and other goodies gathered from the woodlands with gratitude and care. And, of course, the homemade cookies and green tea lattes or chia tea.
As I grow older and my life becomes less complicated, I have found that it is the simple things in life that bring me true happiness and peace. Is it a way of life?
Or is it the attitude of those who find pleasure in watching the rain as it hits the fallen leaves or a hawk sail gracefully in the blue sky? I think it’s a bit of both.
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Our Attitudes Become a Way Of Life
It begins, I think, with acceptance. When we can face life with all its changes, its ups and downs, we become more resilient.
As we become more adept at this, our attitude and the way we view things gradually begin to change.
As our attitude changes to a more harmonious one, life is more than happy to send us more experiences in kind. Soon, before we realize it, harmony, gratitude, and the ability to sway with the winds of change have become a lifestyle, a way of living that brings us the most happiness.
This all doesn’t happen overnight. Nothing worth becoming or having is ever that fast or effortless. Instead, slowly, day after day, month after month, we find ourselves able to bounce back a little quicker from the curveballs that life throws us.
We also find our hearts opening up a little bit wider with new experiences. Before long, we’ve granted gratitude permanent residence within.
Open Heart, Open Mind
As our hearts open wider still, and we find our tolerance and acceptance growing. Our minds grow to match our opening hearts, and empathy and compassion bloom to fill both spaces.
With all this opening, growing, and blooming comes a deeper appreciation of all life: our fellow human beings, all animal life, trees, and all flora. We understand the connection between ourselves and the world around us. We now notice when something affects the web of life, even if we can’t see it from our vantage point.
We can feel the struggles of those on the other side of the web—the entire world.
As we grow more and more toward the simplicity of thought that we are one with all, we begin to notice all the beauty that surrounds us each and every day. Every moment of life is precious and of the same value. At the very core of our being, we finally realize that what we do to the one affects us all.
Living Simply with Consciousness
Consciousness is a byproduct of living with a grateful heart; a simple heart full of love and compassion. We are no longer in competition with one another. We realize that in helping others, we help ourselves. In loving others, we find more love ourselves. In protecting our resources, the trees, water—the Earth herself—we are protecting our future and the futures of generations to come.
There won’t be a lot of presents under my tree this year, as there wasn’t the year before. But my kitchen will be warm and full of nourishing food for my family and myself—simple, fresh, healthy food in moderate proportions. And there will be love, compassion, and happiness at our table for friends, family, and life itself.
I will bask in wonder and joy as I watch the deer eating acorns and squirrels chasing each other round the old oak trees. The birds (and squirrels) will have fresh seed in the feeders to celebrate the Solstice and the coming of a new year.
May the world come to know the joy of simple pleasures and a life well and simply lived.
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