The Happiness Connection  

Enjoy what is

Everyone’s life is full of ups and downs.

Optimists try to focus on the ups and remind themselves that the downs have a purpose and won’t last forever.

It’s a good technique, but recently I’ve been wondering whether there isn’t an even better way to approach life.

I suspect that this change in thinking has been at least partially encouraged by a saying I was introduced to by my friend Ross Freake. He returned from an extended holiday in Asia, with the sage expression, enjoy what is.

I immediately liked the phrase. It appealed to my belief in the power of positivity and the importance of living in the moment.

But has time has gone on, I’ve begun to consider that there’s greater depth in these three words. Maybe that’s part of its beauty. There’s more to it than initially meets the brain.

What does, enjoy what is, mean to you? I encourage you to take a minute and think about it.

Is it possible to enjoy what’s happening to you, regardless of what that might be? Enjoying what is can’t possibly suggest that life will always be fun, can it?

Sometimes words like joy and happiness cause misinterpretation because emotions don’t mean the same thing for everyone. You and I may have very different visions appear in our heads when we think about enjoyment.

I have to remind myself not to get caught up in words. Enjoyment is about appreciation, peace, and gratitude, just as much as it may refer to delight, amazement, and joy.

Everyone has times when they experience negative emotions. It’s unrealistic to think you can create a life that’s devoid of sadness and frustration.

Being a happy person doesn’t mean you’ll never be unhappy or that everything you do will be pleasant.

However, you don’t have to be in the perfect place to experience a sense of peace or contentment. You can find these feelings in the darkest corners if you accept all types of emotions as part of life.

As I tape together yet another box and begin to place carefully wrapped items into it, I wouldn’t describe myself as enjoying the experience of helping my mom move into a new home.

I can’t remember when I last felt this tired, or when my body has ached this much. I am, however, totally at peace with the situation.

I chose to help my mom. I don’t feel obligated, or annoyed. I feel moments of frustrations and exhaustion, but that’s OK. It’s all part of the experience I volunteered to be part of.

Rather than waiting for a better time to start appreciating your life, or thinking you should always feel good, maybe it’s time to stop trying to banish negative emotions.

Perhaps the less all of us resist unhappiness, the greater our chances of being happy.

You don’t need to wallow in negativity, but acknowledge it with curiosity and acceptance when it appears. Maybe that’s how we enjoy what is.

I’m sure I’ll continue to ponder this phrase for some time to come and I’ll probably uncover new levels of understanding.

Whatever this expression means to you, I hope you enjoy what is.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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