Choose happiness

When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina, a cook, a veterinarian, and many other things as life went by and years seemed  to last forever. Afternoons playing with clay with my dad, my grandad teaching me how to play checkers and me winning mysteriously everytime, listening to music on the street and dancing like no one was watching, baking my first cake in a lamb-shaped cake pan. Our tiny selves feel everything so intensely and time goes by disregarding the laws of physics {those looong summer holidays}

I remember growing up and being in my teens, always a romantic and thinking, like many young girls, that I would have a regular job, be married and with children at 25! The truth is that by 25 I was starting my Doctorate studies and nowhere near settling down.

Now I am looking at my 30’s coming by and I dream of one day having a farm sanctuary, my own vegetable garden, teaching yoga and to keep peacefully doing my research. We change, dreams change, but all through this time, what we really dream of is to be happy, and that happiness is always dependent of what you love at the time. In the end, happiness comes from within. You can change, love different things, meet different people and experience many moments, but you can always choose to be happy no matter the circumstances.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel sad, angry, frustrated or disappointed. We are only human! But you can feel sad and still be a happy person, a positive being. In many languages, like portuguese, there is a different word to describe each moment – “ser” and “estar”, which means that you can say – Eu “estou” triste”, but not exactly – Eu “sou” triste.  You can say you feel sad but not be a sad person, turning this  into a momentary feeling, no matter for how long you feel it. Allow yourself to feel what comes – good or bad, but make an effort to keep rooted in happiness and life.

As you define yourself as a happy person, and you make an effort to practice gratitude in your life, it becomes harder to feel and stay sad or angry. And you will start to see both the world and yourself with different eyes. You will find a new respect and love for life and yourself and you will also start to treat yourself and others better. Now imagine if everyone started doing this exercise: Choosing happiness and practicing gratitude, instead of being mad with someone/something for long periods of time. How many times did we ignore a message or a goodnight kiss from someone we love because we were mad at them? Or let a good opportunity pass just because the last one didn’t go well?

Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and think that maybe that person in front of you in the traffic is being a bad driver because he/she had a bad day him/herself. And yes, there will still be things in the world that will make you feel sad and angry or people being rude, but the one thing you can do is try to make a tiny difference by yourself and maybe, that one person that was having a crappy day and was about to have a argument with his/her spouse at home, sees your kindness and your smile and will feel much lighter, and goes home to give his family a hug.



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