Happiness…

A dear friend and I were discussing the almost obsessive emphasis on the word ‘happiness’ these days and it was refreshing to encounter a different perspective…one tempered by the winds of time…as opposed to the Hallmark connotation we are slowly but surely being brainwashed in buying into! We tend to talk about ‘happiness’ almost as if it were a consumer item! Your ‘next material purchase’ is almost always touted as the sure route to happiness…this is an underlying message in much of our marketing these days…one that is being bought into in definitive and insidious ways…leaving very little room to maneuver in any other interpretations for discussion or discourse…

There are undoubtedly many and varied ways to interpret this most frail and strong human emotion…Webster’s dictionary starts off by defining it as…good luck…good fortune…prosperity! Other definitions cover…a state of well being…emotions experienced in a state of well being…a feeling or condition of the soul…unstudied grace…contentment…felicity…cheerfulness…blessedness…energy and enthusiasm were my friend’s addition! The list is as endless as there are versions of interpretations of this state!  We all perceive it differently on different days depending on our personal moods…changed perceptions…different stages and ages of life, as well as circumstances…we even view it differently on ‘bad hair’ days !

There is I do believe a basic common denominator…based on the core value of this state…and the depiction thereof in our personal spaces of behavior…attitudes…reactions…expressions…interaction! I believe a core expression of this is a positive attitude…which then manifests itself naturally without any contrivance in that enthusiastic energy which we often call…joie-de-vivre! This covers amongst other things being useful…compassionate…responsible…overcoming fears …confident in the conviction of being loved…having spiritual wealth and inner peace…strength of an inward power of the soul…hope…living fully in the moment. This does not mean that those who live life with this attitude have an absence of problems, they just learn to live with the ability and determination to deal with them. We have to remember that happiness doesn’t depend on who we are or what we have; it depends solely on the tides of our mind! We have to keep remembering that happiness is an attitude…a state of mind…a conscious choice…no one is in control of our happiness but ourself…it is not a destination but a journey…because the time for happiness is now, the ongoing present moment…

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Dubai…

Joy can be a little chaotic…and often such fun in the process! The last couple of weeks have been just this…a blessing that has been enjoyed to the hilt! As always, it is the ‘being together’ with your family of loved ones that makes it so…to be celebrating this time together in a city that has taken the world by storm in more ways than one…as well as left the world’s imagination reeling at it’s mind boggling transition…achievements…success…status…slide…and now a slow but determined path back…is as always, a lot of fun and good times…

Time spent enjoying the hospitality of dear friends…gasps of wonder at the incredible architectural wonder of a mosque with few parallels…a breathtaking ride up to the viewing tower of the world’s tallest building…gourmet eating experiences…the meeting up with kin in foreign lands, a charm of it’s own…the anxiety of a dear nephew’s experience with surgery and pride at his handling thereof…joy of seeing another in the process of settling into a new life…missing yet another very dear nephew badly…meeting up with friends with whom time spent apart has no relevance…hurried forays into fabulous shopping centers…leisurely sheesha indulgences…late nights spent connecting with loved ones…a memory bank nearing overflow…

Yes…joy can be a little chaotic! Coming back home to a third world city after premier cities of the world can be a bit of a downer…sadly more so since my home city was once known as the Paris of the East…now, coming back to a city beset with issues of malfunction is like diving headlong into a pool of heartbreaking pain…the sudden surge of adrenalin turns to one of heartache for what once was…should have been…could be still…if only this city of over twenty million decides to stand up and be counted in positive and functioning ways rather than just lamenting over what we have been brought to! After having said and felt that…the joy of being really and truly home, is still incomparable…irrespective of where home is…

Happy Birthday Son…

It is my older son’s birthday today…I am on a transatlantic flight and although when I alight at my destination, it will still be his birthday for me…it will not be so for him…our lives seem almost surreal at times they have changed so much…but the one aspect…connection…link that is irrefutable and unchangeable…is the connective tissue of the mother to the child! There is a sort of magic that happens when you have a child…and through varying stages…ages…times…when the magic is not always so readily on tap…it is never really too far below the surface to tap into…motherhood has a special gene for this…the Good Lord be praised…

As mothers, our lives rarely follow a straight path…for obvious and natural reasons sometimes…but the discovery of self through your children is a journey of great learning…development…and unparalleled joy…interrupted often…but a ride worth every moment of it’s duration…finding oneself in the sandpits is often…playing the par course…but the journey is one of such incredible love…joy…fun…laughter…tears…angst…humility…pride…up to a day like this, when you can write about it with your head held high…thankful for the blessing of being able to say with bursting joy and pride…humility and thankfulness…This is my son!

The unparalleled joy of seeing a child exactly where he is supposed to be…be in harmony with his heart and universal truths…be able to remake himself and his goals with the passage of time and experience…be ready to explore and learn the power and depth of personal strengths…to have the insight to accept and understand the power of prayer in the development of character…to wisely use his heart and the Divine as a source of real power…is a blessing par excellence!

The prayer is that he will always be able to understand and accept his calling as opposed to fame…continue this path of discovery whilst maintaining dignity of choice…share his calling and gifts in the help of others…understand that we are the sum of the wisdom of the Divine and ancients, and be able to embrace this wisdom…sagacity…values…whilst taking responsibility for his own special positive energy that is his space…continue to develop and hone his innate goodness…and always continue to be the source of joy and pride he has always been…the prayer above all is, that he is able to use his God given gifts to propel himself to be the best that the Good Lord meant for him to be…always…Amen…

A summer extravaganza….

I have been holidaying for the last two months…spending time with a beloved daughter…family…and friends! It has been a ride of much joy…fun…laughter…love…socializing…relaxation…contentment…pampering…inner peace…the Good lord be praised! Time takes on different dimensions and forms on extended holidays in distant and varied parts of the world…each place leaving its own indelible imprint of time spent there…with the last leg of this extravaganza still waiting in the wings…

The pace of life on holiday in the comfort of a great home in ‘suburbia’ has it’s own particular character…it is almost indolent and decadent in it’s slow adagio rhythm…quite unlike any big city pace…days seem to slide into weeks almost effortlessly and unbeknownst to the self…this affords occasion for forced reflection and introspection at many levels…with added and welcome opportunities for deeper personal connections…as well as a gathering of oneself, at a pace that is now not quite so readily on tap in our rushed and hectic lives…this is eased and assisted by a continuous flow of love, spoiling and pampering…

A spontaneous trip to a more energetic metropolis added spice to this heady and indulgent banquet. The city on the Bay, San Francisco, exudes an energy and exuberance that is particular to it’s own unique character…the synergy is palpable and exciting…quickening your senses only to be overwhelmed by the natural beauty and lay of the terrain which is quite awe inspiring! Another much planned and finally executed trip, to meet family in another beautiful part of the country was all it was expected to be…a frantic catching up of the years that have gone by…coupled with the most loving hospitality and care….a rushed and hectic trip in a slow and relaxed milieu…

Through it all…the joy of catching up and spending time with loved ones and old friends…added to which was a joyful experience of easing into the beginning of a new friendship…an unexpected meeting taking root in shared and  common backgrounds and experiences…above all, the solicitous care and attention of a loving daughter and family…time seems to have flown by on wings of love…another wonderful chapter in the chronicles of a glorious memory making summer with dear ones…