I play all kinds of games with myself in order to remain optimistic. When I remember stuff, I usually cycle through the things that have made me sad or angry first, before I see the bright side of the situation (and I usually do see the bright side of even the darkest stuff – eventually . . .)
I came across this post by Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s a great exercise in gratitude and awareness – and I can think of at least half a dozen people who could use this idea – so I am sharing.
Dear Ones –
Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce to you all the concept of a Happiness Jar.
Here’s me with mine!
What is a Happiness Jar? The simplest thing in the world. You get yourself a jar (or a box, or a vessel of any kind) and every day, at the end of the day, you grab a slip of paper and write down on it the happiest moment of the day.
Even on lousy days, you do this. Because even on lousy days, there is one best moment (or at least, one least-worst moment.)
You stick that little piece of paper in the jar.
Over the years, you have a record of your happiness.
On bad days, I will thrust my fist in that jar and go fishing — pulling up a handful of great moments that I would have utterly forgotten, had I not documented them.
I’ve been doing this practice for years, and I love it.
If my house ever caught on fire, this would be the one material object I would grab before I ran out the door…because what’s inside this jar? THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT — the whole point of this life.
Over the years, my Happiness Jar has taught me much. What continually amazes me is what ends up on the slip of paper every day. Not awesome events, not huge achievements — usually just a small and tiny thing, a moment of awareness…that moment when you step outside and between the house and the car you get hit on the top of the head with a beam of sunlight, and suddenly feel awash with gratitude simply for being alive, and you think, “Yes. This is it.”
It’s usually something that small — and something that grand.
I know that many of you have started this practice, too — and I love seeing the pictures of your jars, and hearing how you have adapted this to your own lives. I love the woman who put one in the middle of her dining room table, and she and her kids each put an entry in there every day — what a cool family practice! And I love the woman who wrote to me last week saying that she had the hardest year of her life, but she kept her Happiness Jar practice going the whole time, and today — on the last day of the year, she’s going to pull out each piece of paper in the jar, to remind her that even now, even in hard times, there was always one good moment a day.
So if anyone wants to begin this practice tomorrow, a New Year is always a great place to start!
Sending love, and, of course, wishing you all an abundance of Happy Moments in 2015!
A good way to start the New Year!
Om shanti om.