My house is filled with birds. I mean – FILLED.
I don’t mean live birds. I only have one of those.
But my art, pillows, pens, screensavers, candleholders, purses, journals, lamps….you name it, there’s probably a bird on it.
This is because birds make me happy.
And depending on how my day is going at any given moment, I might not be feeling particularly happy about anything else. Some days I like my work and some days I don’t. Some days I like the people in my life and some days I don’t. Heck, as I wrote about last week, some days I like me and some days I don’t.
But just let me set eyes on a bird-shaped figure or form, and a little spark of happiness is reliably ignited once again.
I have learned the hardest way possible – through 20 years of battling and then recovering from an eating disorder, depression and crippling anxiety – that for me, growing happiness happens best tiny mincing step by tiny mincing step. It is not a “big leaps” kind of enterprise – at least not in my personal world.
This is because a big leap might intimidate me too much. It might scare me – the me who is used to small bursts of fleeting joy just every so often. But small steps – tiny hops – little flutters of happy-joy here and there – these I can confidently welcome and even expand upon no matter how challenging my day or my life might become.
In time perhaps I will be ready for big leaps. Truthfully, I hope so. But I am also finding that perhaps it doesn’t really matter – because when I string together small bits of happiness one behind the other, the result is sustained joy.
Which is exactly what I have always wanted anyway.
Today’s Takeaway: How do you experience and grow bits of happiness in your life? Are you a “tiny steps” or a “big leaps” kind of happiness-builder – or do you fall somewhere in between? What do you do to notice and grow happiness and joy in any place it appears in your life?
Origami bird photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 26 Mar 2013