LOOK: Ruffa Gutierrez HANGS OUT with Maine Mendoza

Meaningful Happiness

We don’t have to be “takers” to experience happiness. We each know good from bad, right from wrong. Those basic values are embedded in most of us, even as children. And deep within us, we know the real meaning of happiness. Happiness can come from an observation of the beauty that surrounds us, or the sound of our favorite music or birdsong, or the taste of comforting food, or the touch of a loved one. These simple things can bring us happiness; happiness is the feeling of love. We feel happy when someone shows us respect, offers a well-deserved compliment for how we look, or what we did. And so too paying it forward by giving others compliments, by making them feel special, liked, respected. Take time for self-reflection; explore where you are now in your life’s journey, and where would you like to be going. Our past has shaped us into the person we are today and can guide us toward the even better person we want to tomorrow.

Seeking Balance

Finding balance in our lives – seeking happiness as well as meaningful experiences - is what our book, The Time Cure, is about. If you are stuck in the rut of thinking about all the bad things that happened to you, you’ll discover how to replace those past negatives with past positive experiences and start making plans for a brighter future. If you are present fatalistic and think your life now isn’t worth much and can’t be fixed up better, find out how to have some fun and happiness by practicing selected present hedonism while working towards a future positive. And if you are so future- oriented that you don’t have time to be happy in the moment, learn how to stop your pursuit of endless goals, take time to smell the flowers, to be more self-compassionate, to make someone else feel special, and to share your aloha with others.

Finally, at this time of Thanksgiving festivities express to all you know the gratitude you feel for their friendship and the kindness they have shown you. Even more valuable for your well-being, express forgiveness and acceptance to those who have hurt you in some way and reciprocally ask forgiveness for your short comings with them. Yes, it is time to clean up that old slate to start life anew with pride replacing shame and universal giving replacing self-centered taking.