Kind Promise: I will celebrate each moment.

Photo of joy ducksLast year, I promised myself to “live joyfully without reason.” This year’s variation is to “celebrate each moment.”

One is building on the other.

Joy. Delight. Happiness. Pleasure. They cluster together like ducks in a pond. Definitions of one refer to the others.

Perhaps due to being an American, I grew up believing that happiness was something to be pursued, but only rarely experienced. Happiness, I learned, was a matter of having needs and wants satisfied: when I have X, then I can be happy.

Then I bumped into the work of Barry Neil Kaufman through his book Happiness is a Choice and a workshop he led. His simple message: regardless of our circumstances, we can choose our attitude. We can choose to be happy.

I choose joy, but it’s easy to forget that choice.  Pain and failure come calling and I fall into mud puddles of self-pity and frustration.

The nice thing about the idea of pursuit is that it includes the notion of persistence. Pursuing doesn’t give up easily. At the same time, it entangles me in unnecessary effort.

All it takes to be happy is to choose to be .  I have a thing I call an “internal gesture.”

  • stop what you’re doing/thinking
  • take a deep breath
  • focus your mind on this moment and add a new thought

in this case, the thought: “I choose to be happy.”

Celebration takes it one step further. I take action to recognize and proclaim my happiness. I have just begun production of a new flock of joy ducks (see above) and I will get birthday candles next time I grocery shop. (The birthday candle idea is courtesy of Life is a Verb by Patti Digh.)

I delight, therefore I celebrate.



Love Ambassador Note: February 13 isTHE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SELF-LOVE. Take some time to celebrate yourself!