12 Happiness O
"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." Marcus Aurelius
Balancing freedom from obligations with the freedom to seize opportunities is critical to happiness. True sustainable joy comes from within. Reducing reliance on external sources of pleasure allows us to maintain a level of comfort and contentment. Find ways to be content with little. Grow gently. Take pleasure in the small things, laugh every day, and remember that many of the best things in life are free. Spend time with kind forward-thinking people
Happiness can be received, but it can also be given out. What can you share or give away? What happiness can you inspire in others? Whose day can you make? Appreciate the miracles on your own doorstep. Happiness is a journey rather than a destination. "Thousands of candles can be lit from one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases from being shared." Buddha. Lead by example.
Feather (Air) There is a gentle forgiving lightness in pure joy. Happiness is weightlessness.
Key (Earth) We all hold the key to our own thoughts and emotions. Find it and use it.
Candle (Light) Share your happiness to help illuminate the dark places that others may fear.
Poison (Dark) Some thoughts can poison your happiness. Choose your thoughts wisely.
Bottle (Water) Protect your happy feelings and carry them with you for when you need them.
Flower (Earth) May the fragile beauty all around us inspire you to be vulnerable and beautiful too.
THE MAGIC SEAL
Happiness is the 'sister card' of Melancholy. All together, side by side, they create two different meaningful scenes, depending on which card you place on which side. In this way, you can compose the central figure of a huge house or, instead, create a tree representing at the same time Springtime and Winter.
In Happiness, what in Melancholy was a beautiful mansion is now a spooky house that is falling apart. Here the gardens are neglected and the big red tree is dead, its branches barren and deserted by birds.
The animation is in plain contrast with the scene we see in the card: it is an explosion of life and nature. Insects in the shape of dragonfly-lamps are joyfully flying around, while a flower is blossoming in the background. Happiness and Melancholy are two cards that play with the contrast between what we have and how we feel, the outside and the inner world, having and being.
In order to tell the story of Happiness and Melancholy, we approached the incredible, award-winning artiste, Pi The Mime. Pi transports audiences to fantastical worlds through Mime, Clowning, Physical Theatre, Kindness, and Intelligence. It was essential to fill this character with pure emotion, and Pi accomplishes this with a look, a gesture, a breath.
A recurring theme in any conversation about the existential nature of Happiness is the question of materialism and definitions. Pi doesn't live in this world, Pi sees the things we sometimes take too seriously as an opportunity to play. Through the magic of Mime, Pi is able to show us things that seem invisible. This challenges our assumptions about our world. Riches might give us a thrill for a time, but if our happiness relies on external sources like material possessions it may not be sustainable. There are opportunities to find joy and happiness everywhere. "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." Victor Borge.
Explore Pi's wonderful world at www.PiTheMime.com
Winds of change have brought happiness, contentment, and a harmonious adventure. The instruments are all merrily working together - the percussion and double-bass give us a solid upbeat foundation for us to put our best-foot-forward. A chipper stride piano joins in with a cheerful melody, which it hands over to a finger-plucking guitarist, then they share the melody, bouncing along with an enthusiastic and infectious toe-tapping tune.
LINKS TO GO DEEPER
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE (better known as Charlie Chaplin) wrote, directed, produced, and starred-in a wonderful movie called Limelight (1952). In it, Chaplin (in the role of "Calvero") shares a valuable lesson with Thereza "Terry" Ambrose (played by Actress Patricia Claire Blume, CBE).
Terry: I'm tired of fighting.
Calvero: Because you're fighting yourself. You won't give yourself a chance. But the fight for happiness is beautiful.
Calvero: There is such a thing.
Calvero: Listen, as a child I used to complain to my father about not having toys and he would say this [pointing to his head] is the greatest toy ever created. Here lies the secret of all happiness.
Click here to see this scene on YouTube: The Secret of All Happiness from Limelight (1952)
Charlie Chaplin's iconic song "Smile" is always worth a listen to remind ourselves of a very important lesson in Happiness. You can Listen to Gregory Porter singing Smile on Spotify.
And another master of laughter - the man who so brilliantly observed that "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people" - visit Victor Borge on YouTube.