So I got this really cool Christmas gift from my daughter.  A hand made, hand bound journal.  It was a school project.  I heard about the idea.  I heard about the process.  And then I didn’t hear anything. I asked how it was coming and if I’d get to see it. She mumbled something vague and while I was curious, I have to admit, I sort of forgot about it.

And then I opened the gift.  She’s always worried about whether the recipient of her kindness will be happy. You can see the apprehension in her face. She had nothing to worry about.

She couldn’t have picked or made anything more perfect, right down to the colour, one of my favourites, an earthy green.  Like most creative types, after ensuring that I actually liked it, and then double checking to make sure I really, really liked it, she was quick to point out what hadn’t quite gone right. All I could see was beauty and perfection in all its imperfect glory.

How To Be Happy







I opened it.

Blank pages.


Really, I mean it.


Because for each of us happiness is a little different, a little unique, a little personal.

There is no self help book, advice column or guru that will grant us happiness. All they can do is provide ideas, guidance, mind opening dialogue. We write our own happiness.  We choose it.  We define it.  We create it.

Spoiler Alert:

It comes from within.  It always comes from within first.  We write our own happiness. If we rely on it coming from outside we will always be disappointed because while what is outside of us can enhance our joy and happiness, it is transitory, temporary and fickle.  Only what is inside us, that little spark we fan into a flame, that’s what is with us always.  That is what can always at some point and in some way be fanned back to life.  Learning to love ourselves within suddenly begins to make changes in what we see outside ourselves.  Our perceptions change. Happiness isn’t a 24/7 euphoric high. Happiness is a state of mind, a chosen state of mind. One that takes a little time and effort to achieve, a little time to allow our perspective and our perceptions to align. To see beautiful in everything. To realize that happiness isn’t dependent on “good things”, it’s dependent simply on attitude. The attitude that no matter what, I will CHOOSE to find the good, the beauty and the happy. Even when it’s hard, elusive and frustrating. Because I know it’s there, whether I choose to see it or embrace it or not.  It’s there. My choice.  Always my choice.

The blank pages, unwritten, waiting for me to write my own happiness.

When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. Harley Davidson

It reminded me of one of my favourite songs, another power anthem by Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined. I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned… I break tradition, sometimes my tries are outside the lines. We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way. Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window, let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.

So this little journal is my adventure in how to be happy.  It’s unwritten.  It’s ending completely unplanned. Only one thing that’s guaranteed, it will be happy.

And guaranteed, many of my tries will definitely be outside the lines.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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