My theory: Happiness comes mostly from a choice to be happy.
What does that choice look like? I'm mostly happy if I:
1. Keep an inner attentiveness...
2. Which lets me recognize gifts as they come.
3. Let little routine things make me as happy as big things. A small dose of delight or deep peace or beauty or laughter can brighten many hours.
4. Set aside time to absorb the big gifts, like the life of my amazing sister who died last week (more to come about this).
5. Appreciate and share myself with the astonishingly fine people around me.
6. Laugh out loud when things are hilarious...or ridiculous.
7. Recognize my freedom, and make actual choices about daily activities instead of just feeling "I've gotta do this and this and this." Do what really matters to me at this moment...
8. Which lets me find joy even in tough things, like accompanying my sister these past months, and in routine things, like doing normal errands for the first time in weeks.
9. Work with wise, creative, merry people towards the future in which we hope.
10. Put myself in context. And the context is always, ultimately, the gracious Mystery that we name God. "God within me, God without - how can I ever be in doubt? I the sower, I the sown; God's self unfolding, and God's own."
Number 9 is definitely about Solidarity with Sisters and the people I've come to know through this work. What a gift.
What's on your list? What choices make you happy?