Mar 8, 2018
We live in challenging times in America… If you’re like me, some days just looking at the headlines can cause your blood pressure to spike.
An unquestioned, twisted golden rule of 24/7 fearful outrage now dominates digital media.
The underlying assumption seems to be that everything is horrible, so you have no right to happiness.
On October 1, 2017, I was spending the weekend away in exotic Las Vegas. I was staying on the 23rd floor of the Luxor Hotel, with a motion picture approved view of the mass shooting site where 58 people died and 500 were injured. As the police scanner app informed us of an ever-widening swath of shooting reports and bomb threats, I remember choosing to redirect my focus from the crazy scene below, where the shooter next door at Mandalay Bay was still at large, and to gaze up toward the perfectly luminous Harvest moon, remembering that the bloodshed happening below was not likely to rock her from her serene, beautiful orbit.
Desert animals and insects would most certainly be carrying on their hunting, foraging, and making little animals and bugs. Most of the world would be going on quite well only a few miles away. That gave me peace, a form of real happiness. It helped me to maintain my composure and even a vestige of humor, my go-to upper.
What if Happiness were a tiny, nearly forgotten muscle wedged somewhere between hope and giddiness that we could flex instead of the despair, outrage, and depression that have become way too familiar since 2017?
For your consideration, I’m sharing this, my seasonal exploration into how other cultures describe their many different experiences of happiness, such as love, the seasons, food, friendship, sex, hobbies, music, and dance. We will be getting a broader context for considering how we can enjoy satisfying, even rapturous, ooey-gooey heartwarmingly powerful states of HAPPINESS.
I invite you to travel through the seasons with me as we explore ways to Happiness, both foreign and domestic.
Lori Randall Stradtman