Is “happy” a magic word?

**This is an excerpt from my book, TBA … I will brag about it soon enough**

I studied happiness (subjective well-being) in a doctoral dissertation for a HOT minute … [years]. I also taught it for longer than that. Scientifically speaking. I also used it as a construct in delivering services in both my coaching practice, and my mental health counseling practice for years.

The one thing I know it is not. A magical word.

Yet…

People are drawn to it like some elixir out of the fountain of youth. It’s not this wand waving Wiccan princess gifting soul changer. I sort of wish it were.

“I give you the gift of eternal happiness, and you shall be free of all burden”

Though, honestly, that would be pretty cool.

Until a troll came along and snatched the person’s payment that they moved mountains for, ’cause we all know there is always a payment or a toll to pay for the quest.

Also, a fun concept for those who write mystical creature fantasy paranormal stuff.

Happiness is not a golden ticket or anything we need a book for or have to pay thousands of dollars to to see the Wizard behind the curtain (of celebrity).

Trust me, I have ALL the books, and the gold ticket (aka, a student loan debt that should have made me a medical doctor) and I’ve met the Wizard. In person. That green curtain, when examined closely, looks a lot like the highway systems in Pennsylvania. Have you ever driven though Pennsylvania where their slogan is,

“Pursue your happiness”

Pursue personal awareness ~ Pursue self-truth ~ Pursue being a good citizen.

Happiness is a billion dollar industry, centered right in Pennsylvania. It’s ivy all the way. Of course, the state paid tribute to the biggest cash cow of the 21st century. I mean, it’s a fair reality.

The thing is ~ psychology has been around for hundreds of years but it’s predeccesor for thousands and the ancient Chinese wisdom/philosophy for thousands more than that. The Greeks included discussion on it too.

Entire populations of people (female, other cultures, anyone who had no financial value) were left OUT of those conversations and to this very day … still are.

Happiness will happen all by itself | When you’re ready to receive it. | All by yourself.

Nope. It’s not a magic bean that you grow or a pill that you swallow.

Here’s what it is ~ ready ~ I’m going to share this BIG billion dollar industry right now. Here. For free.

Know why they tell you that you have to charge people for the big Aha moments?

They are under the impression that psychologically, you won’t value the information. They’ve done studies on it. They research intrinsic motivation. They, the mighty academics who, we have to remember, are just people doing a job.

People (they train us to believe, based on some substantial science to back it up) will NOT pursue their passion unless ~ they can spend money on it.

So? If this is true, YOU won’t even try to be happy unless you spend mega dollars on it.

Decision Making …. what? That’s what we need to be happy? Well, yes and no.

Their data always challenged by other social scientists ~ their data often flawed in some way. They know that everyday people have the attention span of 300 words at a clip. That people can only truly successfully memorize 7 pieces of material at one time. Which is why the base phone # system is what it is.

When we draft blog entries, we are told, no more than 300-500 words ~ anything longer and they lose focus. They (the reader) loses interest.

This is why I add in images and videos ~ to break it up. Why? ’cause our brains want the chunks.

Tell that to any and everyone whose read George R. R. Martin, or as a child, J. K. Rowling, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

WHY do people hang on to these great long epic tales? Because we are emotionally invested in the journey.

Some social scientists say that emotions and decision making are intrinsically connected. The serendipity is ~ not all agree with this. Then again, some are still arguing over the definition of happiness, while others (other disciplines) are simply living their lives, completely unaware of this war of words.

Dr. Brene Brown from her book, Dare To Lead

For me ~ talking about happiness is rumble language.

Happiness is … not always thinking that we have to be swimming in our dopamine. It’s not always floating on a cloud in our incandescent palace with a chalice. It’s not laugh out loud joy spilling into an easy, fun filled life, surrounded by friends.

If it were, then it leaves a whole lot of people out of the equation, now doesn’t it.

The actual researchers in happiness have never said that it’s any of those things. I don’t agree with some of their research. They haven’t proved it’s long lasting effects. They treat it like fight club.

Don’t talk about it. I’ve been ghosted for trying.

They teach us that we have an internal threshold for how much happiness we will feel in our lifetime that is part of our genetic make up. We are 40% hardwired for happiness. They say.

Our life experiences make up the other 60%. They report.

One person’s joy or contentment level looks completely different from someone else’s. This we know is true.

Let’s complicate that with other fields about thinking. Cognition is one, but so is Epistemology, then there are ways of life that also define how we think about what we’re thinking. Our new age movement is one, but it’s also being mocked by the very psychological researchers who are promoting their version of happiness.

That’s entirely puzzling to me, but … as usual, I digress.

Here’s a question for you. Do you think about being happy, then get happy? OR, are you happy, therefore, think that you are happy because you thought about it?

What comes first? Happiness or Thought.

Volumes ~ no, tombs of research have been done on this one single thing. Drives a person bonkers just thinking about it. Which btw, I also find to be very punny.

It’s no wonder that all it takes for a mom drinking wine out of a box of ice cream to become a million dollar happiness guru is to say, “so moms, are we perfect? No. Let’s drink our wine out of our ice cream to save time”.

Her audience laughs, ’cause they connect to her humor and then, poof, buy her books and t-shirts, go to her concerts ~ she turned her “I’m really screwed up, but I’m happy” mantra into a full time business.

Moral of the story? Sometimes all you need is an active ear and a really big heart for everyone. Kristina seems to possess both.

(If you watch this video ~ it’s very sad. Don’t watch it if trauma triggers you. I work with trauma survivors, so I adore KK for creating these videos). However, they are hard.

Not a single penny of student loan debt or epistemology required.

Who’s the genius?

Who is happier?

Honestly? I’m going to say, Kristina Kuzmic for the win on this one. She’s really funny. She’s gotten a little glamtastic celebrity ~ where they lose their momentum, but honestly, I imagine that sort of money, fame, and pressure would get to a gal.

There are SO many Mom-Gurus. They help each other. There is someone for everyone when it comes to support. Regardless of gender or letters after our names. You don’t HAVE to follow one that doesn’t align with your emotional tie to them.

Studying happiness?

Was it enough?

Even for those of us who do battle with a lower level of that inherent genetic happiness. OR< for those of us who do battle with PTSD, anxiety, depression or some other life experience that f*cked us up along the way.

Happiness looks, smells, feels, sounds, tastes and sits in our soul differently for each and every human on the planet.

It lives inside and costs nothing.

Imma gonna say that again.

It costs nothing.

It’s a thing we can choose, but it’s also a thing we can create. It’s really big when we go through a positive experience, but we can be happy at funerals too.

If we focus on the moments then pull a joyful memory out of it, we can remember it as a happy occasion.

We can become closer to others in a crisis, which gives us meaningful moments in that crisis. We can be completely at peace, by being alone, grieving the thing that made us crave our isolation.

Happiness is not a thing. Which is why so many people turn it into a thing we can buy.

We want evidence. We want the souvenir. We want a visual.

It’s not enough for us to just be okay without also attaching it to something as proof that we are happy.

The other side of that is a kick in the ass though. We can be really, very happy but if we don’t look a certain way, other people in the world will assume we’re not happy.

If we are heavy, or have a malformed part ~ others will take one look at us and say, “Ah, you don’t look happy, here, let me fix you to look like me and then, you too, will be happy”.

It’s bullshit. It’s lacking in diversity, cultural awareness and seriously, socioeconomic inclusion.

But it’s typical.

Shoot ~ I just counted 1217 words. Are you even reading anymore, or did you need a break and a snack. I know … these are long.

I’m brain dumping …

Sorry. Not sorry.

Somebody got paid a lot of money to create this list. ~ Think about that. I do. Every time I wake up.

Google search for “How to be happy”

Get out there today. Decide in that one moment when the panic attack is coming on in the drive thru, that you will be happy. In that moment when the jerk in the car behind you is screaming profanities at you to get out of their way, while their cigarette is clogging up your asthma-lung and the kid in the backseat just shite themselves, crying with overstimulation, while you, single mom with only enough money to get through the day are listening to an Audible on how to be happy.

Yes ~ tell the world in that moment to f*ck off. That will make you happy. If you don’t use flowers in your language, then use the words that most empower you.

I’ll be thinking of you. I know only a few dozen people read this and most are probably just judges of the universe. With that said, this time, I’d love to hear any comments on what happiness means to you. I’m curious.

If not, that’s cool. My happiness is not defined by others.

I also am fascinated with psychic and magical stuff so … I’m going to hit up the local Wiccan store to see if there is anything on happiness in there. I bet I come out with a candle or crystal. Maybe a potion. 😉 I love ’em. They make me happy.

In peace and thinking thoughts,

(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller

henryhealing.com

OH wait … My original question ….

Yes.

Happiness is a magic word.

We contrive it into existence, then embrace it like a favorite sweater on a cold December day. All cuddly and cozy.

Published by happinessnoir

Writer | Advocate | Free Range Female | Change Agent | Essayist

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