The Art of Happiness

Happy Face

If you ask people what the one thing that they want above all else is, most of them will tell you that they wish for happiness. Lately, we got to wondering why happiness is such an elusive thing in our country (may we site our government’s Misery Index?) We are wealthy in comparison to most of the planet and yet we are seemingly so miserable. What gives?

The Pioneers are in search of happiness just like everyone else and simplifying our lives seemed the best place to start. Our first step in accomplishing that was to leave Los Angeles and to go back to the earth. Has this made us happier? You betcha! I mean we no longer live with the worst traffic in the country. In fact, a traffic jam for us is ten cars waiting at a red light. Heaven! And while no traffic makes us happy, it isn’t the kind of soul-reaching happiness we’re after.

Gardening makes us happy as well. It is hard work that can leave us more exhausted than we ever thought possible. Yet it is deeply rewarding to be able to grow our own food, healthier and more delicious than anything found in the stores. So this is happiness as well.

Raising our beautiful daughters near extended family is a nice big dose of happiness.

Being healthy is happiness.

Do you by chance see where we’re going here? The seed of happiness cannot grow in a heart of expectation and entitlement. Happiness flourishes in a soul rich in gratitude.

In 1972 in the country of Bhutan, The Fourth Dragon King,  Jigme Singye Wangchuch coined the term “Gross National Happiness”, where he was known to say that Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.  Maybe that’s where we got it wrong. We, as a nation, are so focused on getting more, achieving more, and accomplishing more that we don’t bother acknowledging and showing gratitude for what we already have. We are focusing on our misery, not our gratitude.

In that vein, here is the source of The Pioneer’s happiness. We are grateful for our families, our children, our friends. We are grateful that Jimmy’s cancer is gone and that his little girls will grow up knowing the man that loves them more than anything else in the world. We are grateful for the land and the abundance thereof. We are grateful for our journey, which has not always been easy but always full of lessons learned. We are grateful for our mistakes for they have brought more knowledge than we have yet utilized. We are grateful that we have not received everything that we have desired, for desire makes us work harder.

When The Pioneers get together for Sunday dinner each week, we hold hands and sing The Johnny Appleseed Song as our grace. “The Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.”

Here’s wishing you true happiness and may the sun, the rain and the apple seed be abundant in your life!

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