(On the “Circular Walk” trail in Mallaig, Scotland.) One of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had so far happened to take place one day in a tiny town called Kingussie, Scotland. I was sitting in a cafe enjoying a cup of coffee and writing and I suddenly realized I was completely happy. This may seem completely unimportant, but my happiness was not coming from another person. It was not coming from my coffee, it was not coming from the location, it was not coming from writing. My happiness, I realized, was a blissful feeling of being completely content with myself and my life. It was like my entire being was just, well, happy.

I don’t remember ever feeling so completely happy before, and that’s what was so profound about this moment. Because I allowed myself to let go and proverbially fall backwards and trust I would be safe I allowed myself to experience this beautiful moment. There wasn’t a rainbow, and no, I wasn’t smoking anything. I simply realized that I have everything I need.

I think this moment was also important because, in daily life the messaging for happiness has felt very different. The television tells me with advertising that I will be happier if I buy potato chips, a running machine to lose weight, drugs to eliminate pain, etc. Society has led me to believe money will make me happy because it’s how I will buy a box to live in and stuff to put into the box. (I’m still struggling with that one because, yes, money is how I am affording to travel and have these amazing experiences, so there is a lot of good in money, too!) The thing is, I didn’t feel happy in my box, buying all that stuff – it just made me fatter so I needed to buy a gym membership to stay slimmer and left me surrounded with “stuff” that made me feel I couldn’t escape my clutter.

So, the idea that I could just be happy by, being, well, that was enlightening. I wonder if a worthy goal is to come back to that inner happiness as often as I can.

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