May 10

Finding the big happy

jumpI have a friend who’s really good at finding pithy phrases that make me think. A while back she said ‘well, I guess we’re all just looking to find the Big Happy’.

And that’s what we’re all looking for, I think – ‘Finding the Big Happy’. But what is it? How can we find it? Does it exist, or is it just an unattainable and impossible dream?

We all know, I think, that some of the simplest things make us happy. One of my very very best friends, who had been having a bit of a tough week, texted me last night to tell me she couldn’t possibly be anything other than happy while cuddling her granddaughter. We all know the joy of watching a beautiful and incredible sunset or sunrise. or climbing to the top of a hill and seeing an incredible view spread out below us. Sometimes we will be surprised by an unexpected gift, or the words of a song.

The lovely and wonderful Hannah Brencher (www.moreloveletters.com) spreads joy and happiness by the simple but radical act of writing love letters to strangers and leaving them to be discovered. A hero of mine, Randy Gage (www.randygage.com) suggests paying the toll for the person behind, and reminds us that the simple act of smiling at a checkout assistant.. or letting someone in in traffic.. might just be the beginning of a chain reaction creating more happiness in the world. The movie ‘Pay It Forward’ (2000) helped millions to see that it’s possible to make the world a better place simply by making sure that one good deed creates another.. creating a flow of happiness in the world. Can you imagine the tidal wave of happiness that would happen if we each did two good deeds every time someone did something kind for us? The exponential effect would be.. well, very possibly ‘the big happy’.

smile2There’s two things I have discovered about happiness. The first is that we are happy to the extent that we are creating happiness around us. We are loved to the extent that we create love. What we give out truly comes back to us – it’s a law of the universe. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”, said Jesus (Luke 6:38). That applies to wealth, which has a habit of returning to you in the measure that you give it away.. as Randy Gage points out, you can’t out give the Universe. Love is the source of our power, and we manifest power in our lives to the extent that we are prepared to love.

Happiness is even more incredible – because it’s instantaneous! The simple act of choosing to create happiness for someone else will, I guarantee, make you happy. It’ll put a smile on your face, create warmth in your heart and put a bounce in your steps.

And the second thing about happiness? It’s a choice. We can, honestly, choose to be happy in any moment. We’re actually programmed to seek happiness, you know – to seek out the things that make us happy at the deepest possible level. And that’s perfectly OK. It’s why we’re here. The problem is that we’ve got it all backwards. We think that we have to HAVE certain things (money, love, freedom) in order to DO things (take holidays, buy a car, enjoy romance) so that we can BE happy, or content, or secure. And we’ve got it backwards.

smileThe secret is to choose to BE happy. Right now. If we choose to BE happy (or peaceful, or content, or joyful, or secure) – then the Universe responds by creating things to DO that flow out of that happiness (joy, peace, security, contentment) that create what we wanted to HAVE. But we have to let go of attachment to those things first. As long as we are expecting money or possessions or a romance or (fill in the blank) to make us happy, then we’re not going to get there. As soon as we drop that demand and simply allow ourselves to be happy for no reason. then happiness arrives.

Try it out. you’ll be amazed. Simply choosing to be happy. Or peaceful. Or whatever feeling you want. Here’s a secret.. create it the way you want it. Smile. Laugh (another of my friends teaches laughter yoga and points out that it’s impossible to stay miserable if you choose to fake laughter.. even if it feels fake, it soon becomes real). Put on some happy music that you love. Dance. Make someone else happy. Hug a tree. Cuddle a baby. Spread a little joy and happiness and see how it feels..

TimSignature

Oct 18

A Love Letter revisited

heartA few weeks ago, I published something that had been on my heart for a while, a post that I called ‘A Love Letter to the World’. It was something that seemed to have come to me over the months that I had been travelling, and although I was petrified of releasing it, mainly because it would nail my colours (and my beliefs) fairly firmly to the mast – I eventually overcame my fear and did.

I’ve got to admit I was worried about alienating friends – that they would perhaps see me as strange or odd – and yet I knew that those who were truly friends would respect my beliefs, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with them!

I did get some wonderful feedback from people when I finally let it go, and I did feel that, no matter what happened and how far it got, at the very least, I had managed to express some of the deeper side of what was going on for me – my beliefs, my hopes – some of what I wanted to achieve on this planet.

And yet, as I expected, I did get some negative feedback, too – and that from a couple of people who I respect and appreciate… and it made me run for cover. I took down the link off my site, and hid.

So, why am I telling you this? Well, I think for each of us it’s time to stand up for what we believe – to decide what we stand for. People have been encouraging me from the shadows for a long, long time. And as Xzibit says in Alice Cooper’s song ‘Stand’;

“Better stand for something or you’re bound to fall for anything”

We need to be brave enough to stand up and say “This is what I stand for. This is what I believe. This is who I am.”

And so, this is my own manifesto, my own declaration. I didn’t just copy this from someone else, or make it up after an evening of surfing the internet.. I poured my soul into it.

I have put the link back, with one or two minor edits based on the feedback I received. I put my own story separately, because in retrospect it didn’t seem to matter as much. It’s all HERE at www.timothyhodgson.com/loveletteragain. Go gently with me – because I am still learning, I am still trying to understand what I believe (and what I don’t!) – but for now – this is where I am, and what I stand for. I hope I’ll have the chance to tell you more soon.

Thankyou for being my friends

 

TimSignature

Aug 06

A Love Letter to the World

Ao Nang (24)For a long time, I have felt an urge, a calling, a desire to write a Love Letter to the world – it was as if there was an impetus from some Higher Power that was urging me to do it, impressing on me what needed to be said. I’ve struggled with how to write it, unsure how to approach it – I wanted to impart the true importance and significance of what I was putting on paper, I wanted to bring through with true clarity and force that these were not my thoughts, but straight from the Divine.

I hope I have been a clear and clean channel to write this. I hope I have heard God clearly. I pray I have been able to express the mind and heart of God to you. I hope I have not put my own ‘spin’ on it. I trust that most of this is from the Divine and little of it is of me. I long that it speaks to your hearts, to your minds, to your souls, to the inner depths of your being – that it wakes something deep inside you.

I haven’t written this to communicate deep spiritual principles. I haven’t written this to be poetry, or literature. I haven’t written this to be pretty, or fine words, or a beautiful story. I haven’t even written this to change your thinking about God, about a Higher Intelligence. I certainly haven’t written this to launch a new faith, or to rally people to a cause.

I have simply written this because I was asked to – to express my understanding of God’s love and compassion to a world that’s clearly hurting. I hope that in some way it heals that hurt, that it brings peace, that it brings truth – and that it helps you.

You can read this Love Letter in full HERE

 

TimSignature

Timothy Hodgson