Monday, October 1, 2012

My happy place

Sometimes, in my life, I look at what's happening and how I'm feeling, and I know I'm in my happy place.  My life is balanced, my health is good, my activities interesting, and my relationships rewarding. I used to think I had to work really hard to find such a state, or find the magic formula. As I've gotten older, it's not so hard - it's almost like a gift from the universe to those of us further on in life.

A blogging friend, Galen Pearl, has written a book called 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There). It's also the name of her blog, where much of her book originated. I got a copy of the book recently, with a request that I write a review. I read it in a couple of days. In her introduction, Galen says, "Happiness is not a destination, not something to be pursued. It is the way we live." The 10 Steps in her book, and the multiple two-page sections in each Step, are descriptions, ideas, experiences, wisdoms, and commentary. Galen includes short quotes from various sources; one example in her introduction is "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." (George Moore)

As I read the book, I thought it would be lovely to read one short piece each morning as part of my quiet time, as a useful reminder of one way to be in the world, at times when I think all I am is a maker and executor of to-do lists.

My favorite chapters? Step 2 in Galen's list is "Decide if You Want to Be Right or Happy". I actually discovered the wisdom of putting "being right" way down on my list of ways to live when I was in my 50s. Life-long Achiever, you know. And Step 8 is "Forgive Everyone". I resisted that idea for many, many years. It wasn't until a visit to my great grandfather's grave a year ago that I finally got it. Reading the sections of Step 8 in Galen's book reminded me of the gifts I get when I take that Step. These two Steps, in particular, remind me of recent ways I've grown.

Galen includes pieces of her own life to illustrate the Steps. She remains an optimist even after facing many challenges. I couldn't say, "Well, of course she has Happy Steps. She hasn't had a lot of hardship in her life." But she's had her share.

10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There), by Galen Pearl. Optimistic and wise. Worth a read!





15 comments:

Retired English Teacher said...

This sounds like an important book to read. I will have to check out her blog. Thanks for sharing.

rosaria williams said...

Attitude counts more than anything else. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Reeder said...

Could I be happy that I'm right? :) I haven't mastered that one yet, I guess.

Out on the prairie said...

A fine set of ideals to set ones life with. Your daily thought is always nice to enlighten ones day. I need to get a copy and look it over.

Olga said...

I checked out her blog. I like "feel your feelings."

DJan said...

I'll check her out. Here it is Tuesday already in OUR week. See you soon!

Grandmother said...

That one about being right or being happy- I've actually struggled with that one, aware that I was struggling and wondering if this might be the time to be right! Talk about stinking thinking- it never is better, of course, and it's wisdom to choose happy. Good for you that you are in a happy place.

marciamayo said...

I'm going to check out the blog and the book too. Thanks for sharing.

Ms Sparrow said...

I think the hardest one to follow would be about forgiveness--not forgiving others, but forgiving myself. I keep dwelling on regrets and past mistakes and beating myself up over them.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing this! Happy to hear you're in the happy place :-)

Galen Pearl said...

Thanks, Linda, for a lovely review. I'm humbly grateful.

Sandi said...

Thanks for sharing about this book. It sounds like something I am interested. It's always good to be in that happy place!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Thanks for making us aware of her book and her blog. I look forward to reading both!

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks . . . gonna go check it out.

Friko said...

The simplest reminders of how to live life are always the most useful.

When I read such plain truths I know that they get forgotten in the hassle and need quiet time to come back up into the foreground.