Happiness in the Simple Pleasures
For the last couple of years there has been a bit of a push back on the idea of seeking happiness. You see a lot of posts like this one, Stop Chasing Happiness. The piece is actually pretty good and there are some great tips in it about how to live a happier life. Yes, I get the irony in that sentence. Part of the issue is the ambiguous nature of the word happiness. Other than a 70’s mood ring, there isn’t a way to know now I’m happy, now I’m not. Also, people often put unrealistic expectations on the term or continually defer to, I’ll be happy when…. instead of enjoying the happiness they are experience at the moment. This is one of the reasons I often say the suggestions I make will help you live a happier life. No one is happy all of the time, nor should anyone expect to be. It’s important to take pleasure, contentment and find happiness in your everyday ordinary life.
So tonight I want to talk about some of the simple pleasures in my life, in order to get you to think of some of the same in your life. I’m going to start with having my back scratched, man, there isn’t much that’s better than a good back scratching. My oldest niece is a world class back scratcher but she lives about 3000 miles away. Luckily, backscratchers exist. I spent about three months living in my aunt’s cabin in Utah one year and next to the bed was a simple wooden backscratcher. I became thoroughly addicted to how good it felt at night to scratch my own back. So much, that when I stopped traveling that year and settled down to work, the first thing I did once my apartment was set up was to order a backscratcher. I still have it 15 years later and still use it almost every single day.
Several years ago my wonderful friend KC gave me a gift. As you can see from the image it looked like some artistic rendering of an alien jellyfish. I’m always thankful anyone would give me a gift but was more than a little skeptical about this crazy looking thing. Then when I got home I started to try and use it and there was a moment as the little tentacles rolled along my scalp that I had one of those full body spinal shivers. The kind where that wave of pleasure rolls through your body and you have that moment of physical and mental bliss. I’m even more addicted to this thing now that I’ve shaved my head, head massages are a pretty normal part of my life these days and still incredibly wonderful.
We all have these simple pleasures. For some it’s a quiet cup of coffee or tea early in the morning before anyone else is awake. For others a nice piece of chocolate and I think for all of us, a really good hug qualifies. I could list a ton of others, sitting quietly listening to an album in the dark, laying out flat and having my spine crack back into place, a really great piece of pizza and a coke. Whatever those small things are in your life isn’t important, what’s important is that we take time to stop, appreciate and be mindful of those moments. These small moments come so much more frequently than the big moments, that if you add them up over time, they’re likely more important. So don’t let them slip by my friends. I’m now going to go sit in my favorite reclining camping chair and massage my head while I listen to some music. Hope you can find some time today to indulge in one of yours and have a happy moment my friends. ~ Rev Kane