I hope you had a happy Christmas or holiday!
This week I have been thinking about the topic of happiness. After all, we are all about to wish each other a “Happy New Year!!!!”
I have some quotes from some great yogis about happiness.
"If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you." - Paramahansa Yogananda
"Be happy for those who are happy, have compassion towards the unhappy, and maintain equanimity towards the wicked." - Patanjali
"Make others truly happy as you strive to make yourself happy. Speak a helpful word. Give a cheering smile. Do a kind act. Serve a little. Wipe the tears of one who is in distress. Render smooth a rough place in another's path. You will feel great joy." - Sivananda
When I read these quotes, I understand that happiness can be a practice.
Maintaining my own happiness could be a combination of having a strong intention to practice happiness, having an abundance mentality and being glad for others’ good fortunes, and keeping an attitude of service in my heart.
But then I have questions. Why does it sometimes feel that happiness is elusive and out of my hands? Could happiness be as simple as a practice? How do we keep happiness afloat amidst the powerful ups and downs of life?
I can’t say that I have the answers.
The Bhagavad Gita speaks about deriving our happiness from another source. It says, “Human life and likes are fickle and hence derive strength and peace from the Divine.”
This is a good reminder that we do get strength, comfort, and happiness from the changeless divine God. No matter how hard we try on our own, we do need the support of grace in our lives. We can align ourselves with God’s grace by performing spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, and scriptural study.
My teacher says that if you want the bird to fly, you need both wings of self-effort and grace.
By doing our part to practice happiness and by drawing our strength and happiness from God’s grace, we can be a source of happiness for those around us more and more of the time.
And with that, a very happy New Year to you and yours!