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
Cutts, S. (2013). Growing Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 25, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2013/03/growing-happiness/