I know, we’re not quite into spring yet, especially those of you in the East, but with our warm winter in the West many spring flowers are making an early appearance. Tulips have popped up in many gardens and flower shops, daffodils are brightening fields and roadsides and magnolia trees are dazzling our eyes with their beautiful blossoms. Here are a few of my spring photos:
Until next time…Connie
With the holidays and the traditional gift-giving season behind us it’s easy focus on our own concerns and forget about giving until next year. But if one of our concerns is feeling happy, we’d be better served by finding ways to give, give, and give some more. Science has told us in many studies that giving makes us happy. An excellent, fun to read article from Happify has lots of information and clever graphics about the science behind giving and some suggestions about how to keep it going.
The article was published before Christmas when we tend to spend more on gifts than we do throughout the year, but it’s not necessary to spend anything to make yourself and someone else feel good. A smile, a hug, a kind word from you can make someone’s day…and yours, too.
A few days ago a friend wondered aloud if happiness and joy were the same. I said that my experience has been that they are different, but I welcomed the question and promised to look into it.
A website that was a good starting place is Diffen It looks at both words side-by-side under several different categories. Another helpful site, Lessons 4 Living says, “joy is related to happiness, but it is a deeper experience. In the search for happiness the individual focuses upon himself, but joy moves a person out of a self-centered preoccupation and provides an orientation towards others.” The author goes into some depth in discussing the two words.
In my search I found that “joy” moves one into religious/spiritual territory fairly quickly, whereas “happiness” doesn’t. I like how blogger, Danielle Laporte describes her personal experiences from a spiritual perspective. “Happiness is like rising bubbles — delightful and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen — ever present.” She suggests that joy is our birthright and the foundation of our being, always there, even in the most difficult times, whereas happiness is fleeting and more dependent on outer circumstances.
I like that. Although I can’t say I’ve touched that all-pervading joy very often, it’s somehow a comfort to think that it’s there, under the surface, ready to reveal itself when all the garbage is swept away.