This time of the year we say “happy” so many times but I wonder how many times we really stop to think what it means for us. Because let’s agree it has a different meaning for each of us. And that it may have been different for you last year or three or ten years ago. Our own definition of what makes us happy changes. Evolves I think.

Listening to some of my students at the University the only thing that they related with “Happy” was success in their professional career. Success is happiness. Professional success, making enough money to pay their debt and live a “good life” is happy. As I listen to them I could only imagine how , at least for some of them, this concept is going to change, maybe in even less than five years.

I had conversations with few people around me that  expressed to me happiness is just being able to accomplish getting more and more every year. More presents, more health, more food on the table, more people to host.

A couple of my closest friends suffered important losses this year so for them I heard Happy is a feeling they are not there yet, but could think of ” feeling in peace” when trying to explain what “happy” is for them right now.

I always think of my father in law mentioning that Happiness is only moments, and sometimes I think he is right.

Saturday afternoon I could have around my three girls around me engaged in different things they chose. One was baking, the other one watching videos, the youngest one playing a card game, that precise 20  minutes were happiness for me.

Whatever means for you now, just remind yourself to be mindful of the moment or moments. Be present. Enjoy

Busy lives and mindfullness

Not sure if it is December fast approaching, the Holidays or the weather particularly nice this year but we all notice many many people around us are irritable, angry, over eating, over drinking.

For most people it is a busy time of the year. Pressure at work to achieve deadlines, from home to accomplish all those projects that were supposed to get done “before the Holidays”, our own expectations to finish the shopping, the cards, the lists, etc. It is definitely overwhelming however it would be so much better and nicer to actually enjoy it.

When we think about meditation we tend to immediately envision a sitting still yogi doing nothing. Can you imagine doing that NOW? In December?

If meditation is not even thinkable for you these days there is one thing we could still incorporate. It is done during and while you try to survive this time of the year and that is being MINDFUL

Mindfulness is the ability of just being. Being in the moment, present, accepting without any judgement. If you are paying for that first item on your list, just stay present, connect with the cashier, pay attention how you are feeling about that transaction, are you happy with what you bought? It feels right? It feels an obligation?

Try for one moment not to judge, not to think what if? Listen to how you are feeling and keep going.

Even if you don’t intend to slow down , you will, and that awareness will make your next experience more pleasant.

Probably you need to be fast and move to the next task on your list, pick up the kids from School cannot really wait, however if being in the moment, and acknowledging how you are feeling will make all the experience less stressful.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as an approach to life based on the understanding that:

the present is the only time that any of us have to be alive – to know anything – to perceive – to learn – to act – to change – to heal”.


Just in case you decide to look further let me suggest two very good reads to start: