Recently a friend of mine made a great post about this Henry Ward Beecher quote: “The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” In the post, she explained that while she loved the quote, she felt badly about using it because, at that time, she couldn’t extract any happiness from her life. She decided that it was time to start working on the present so that she could have a better future.

I’d like to share my response to her post because I think that it is important to understand that extracting happiness from common things and focusing on the present are inextricably bound together.

“While at first, the two things you’ve described here seem to be separate (extracting happiness from common things AND focusing on the present); I actually think that they are very much the same.

We must extract happiness from common things in the present moment. Marvel at the morning dew on your windowsill. Be in reverence of the sunlight poking through the cloudy morning. Enjoy the smell of fresh coffee brewing when you get into the office. And so on and so forth.

Every single moment is a tiny miracle. Once we realize this, we will automatically live happiness. We choose what we focus on and when we focus on the beauty that is all around us—we choose happiness.”

Yes, happiness is a choice & by understanding that every moment is a small miracle, we will live happiness.

This morning I marveled at every little thing—I enjoyed the precious moments that I spent flossing my teeth; I was in awe of the gorgeous, intricate feathers on the wings of the black bird poking through our trash; I thanked the Universe for the bright prisms of light that came through the crystal hanging from my rear-view mirror. Yes, everything is a miracle! Every day is a gift and that is why we call it the present.

And with that, let’s get onto this week’s Carousel.

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Every Friday, I post my favourite links, posts, & resources from around the Web. Expect to learn, grow, & be inspired.

1. Winnie the Pooh’s Guide to a Happier Life: Two of the best things ever in one place—a happy life & Winnie the Pooh. Yes & yes, please!

2. Health Care Reform Changes Coming: This is in no way intended to be political or to spark any debate. However, I think that Baker’s remarks are thoughtful and the graphic is beautifully done & informative.

3. Deniability & PowerPoint makes us stupid: Yesterday, I participated in a webinar where Penelope Trunk interviewed one of the great brilliant minds of our era—Mr. Seth Godin.

I was thrilled when one of my questions was featured during the interview. I’ll be writing a full post about that soon, but in the meantime, enjoy these two fantastic posts from Seth.

4. Stop the Spiral of Debt Part 1: Really solid advice here about what you need to know (and do) if you want to get out of debt.

5. Post Pals: Post pals is a place where you can become pen-pals with children who are in hospital or are sick. I found out about it via Gala Darling’s Friday Carousel and thought it was too wonderful not to share.

6. 5 Things Happy People Do: The first one is my favourite—find your most golden self.

7. Die on Purpose: While it sounds morbid at first, this post is actually just beautiful. “I think it’s really helpful to forget you exist, and often. It sounds impossible, but it can be done… There is no sufferer, so there is no suffering. Curiously, beauty survives.”

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Well that’s all for this week’s round-up. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it. May you all be blessed with a wonderful weekend full of love & light.

7 thoughts on “Carousel — 04.30.10”

  1. One way that I find happiness is by interacting with my kids. Every little thing they do has an element of happiness. To bad life isn’t that simple anymore.

    Thanks for the shout out too 🙂

    1. @Jeff – Thanks so much for your comment. Yes! Interacting with children is one of the ultimate sources of instant happiness. There is so much that we can learn from their curious, free-spirited nature. My nephew just turned 1 in February & the time that I spend with him is so precious to me.

      You are very welcome for the shout out. I’ve been following your blog from the sidelines for awhile. I found you through Brad @enemyofdebt who is a great friend of mine. One of my close family members is actually in a big knot of financial troubles at the moment I referred him to your blog today and signed him up for your mailing list. 🙂

  2. I’m working hard on this…. animal’s are the easiest thing to be happy about, the belief that they don’t have the same level of thought as us gives them a purity that can only be marveled…. I often visit the street dogs here in Cairo just to say hi and watch them for a while.

    As for other things, I laugh a lot everyday at the smallest of things but this has been gradual and I am on a slow path to enlightenment…. But at least I am on the path.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

    1. @Forest – Hello! So glad we connected on Twitter, don’t know what took me so long! Oh, animals. I really have to get around to writing about my beautiful pets. At my house I have 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 snake, and several fish. At my parents’ house, I have 1 dog & 1 cat. I love all of them so much. There are no words to describe the joy that these animals bring into my life. What I love most about them —> UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. There is so much that we humans can learn from these creatures.

      Thank you so very much for your comment, my friend!

  3. Hi Dena,

    Thank you for your lovely comment and your post! I never really thought of that when I first stumbled onto the quote, that the present and finding happiness would be used in the same context. What you said made me realize the little things in life is precious and we have to savor those moments. =)

    1. @Nadia – Thank you for bringing such beautiful thoughts into my mind. I love your post, your thoughts, and your willingness to open yourself to new ways of thinking. You are truly an inspiration. 🙂

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