Monday, June 14, 2010

seeking happiness

Photo credit: Mindy Johnson
Hello there. I am blogging from 32,000 feet in the air on my way home.
Wifi on the airplane is pretty cool I must say.

On my long flights to & from Puerto Rico not only did I sit by a woman who coughed out her lung onto my lap, which I politely handed back to her. Or the elderly woman on this flight who every time she falls asleep slowly leans over and cuddles up next to me... but I re-read the book Eat Pray Love. I grabbed it from my bookshelf as I ran out the door because I'm excited to see the movie and I think she's an entertaining writer. As I was reading it, I noticed that I highlighted a section of the book that clearly stood out to me the first time digging into its pages.

Maybe this quote really speaks to the Behavioral Science degree in me but I really needed to be reminded of this idea of happiness. There have been times in my life when it was up to me to choose it. Then even more up to me to continue to seek it. I love the reminder to keep praying even after the crisis has passed--another note to self.

"I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
You fight for it
strive for it
insist upon it
and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations for your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

And for those who have read the book--"Smile in your liver." ;)

43 comments:

Sara Ancich said...

i needed that.

josefina said...

I'm in the middle of reading that book and I've been marking quotes I love (plus places to visit if I ever get back to Italy again). I'm looking forward to the movie (saw the trailer on Kelly Purkey's blog)!

Heather at Blessed Little Nest said...

that book is an all time favorite of min and can't wait to see the film either. i love that excerpt and feel like your timing of sharing it was perfect. :)

Anthonette said...

I haven't read the book yet, but I loved her interviews on Oprah. I remember the "smile in your liver" quote. Thanks, I needed to hear this. Safe trip home!

janjannyjan said...

I am waiting for my 'hold' copy to show up at my local library! My biggest worry is not having the time to read it - now I see I must MAKE the time ; )

Anna said...

Hi Liz, you are so right happiness is indeed a choice we can make every minute of everyday. Being conscious in every action, thought and word we speak to always look for the good in everything and everyone. As the saying goes where thought goes energy flows, we may as well think happy thoughts to create a happy life since the choice is ours to make.

Anonymous said...

Happiness has always come easy for me, it's funny people struggle to find it or have to read a book to seek it.

Jessica Woodford said...

I keep meaning to pick this book up...glad to hear it was really good!

That is a powerful message...can't wait to read the book now! :)

Thanks!

Jessica

Amber Lee D. said...

I have to say my favorite part of that book was Italy. I still wake up craving pizza I have never eaten or even smelled but her description of it was so vivid it was like I was there eating along with her.Safe travels home there will be three smiling livers waiting for you!

Micki said...

"Smile in your Liver." I say that to myself everytime I feel myself getting upset. It's a blessing to not have to work at happiness. I wish I could say that but I can't! I have to work at it because in these times it's so easy to let yourself get down. Thanks so much for the quote! I love your blog.

carrie said...

What a perfect time in my life for this post! Thanks Liz! I needed that. I'll have to check the book out. Have a safe flight home! :)

summer said...

can't wait to read this book, it's our next selection for book club and then we're going to go see the film. what an awesome quote and poignant reminder to make our own happiness!

Sarah Mullanix said...

love love love that bit from the book, even though I haven't read it which I really need to before I see the movie!! that photo btw, maybe the most beautiful I've seen!! :) tfs

suzyplant said...

Wow - love that quote - and it does sound like something I would write! I have to read that book! Thanks for the inspiration! suzy

Tiffany said...

Happiness is more often than not based on emotions. The author is right when you have to fight for it because our mood will often influence our decision to feel happy or not. When we reflect on the blessings we do have instead of focusing on our problems or the things we don't have, happiness definitely comes. =)

Joy is something that I have inside of m, even in the midst of frustrating times. One of my favorite verses is James 1:2.

Sorry if I sounded preachy! I just had coffee so I am feeling extra chatty hehe!
Great post today Liz!

Katie said...

thanks for this! I strive to be happy and people always wonder why I'm so happy all the time. It's great to see someone calling out that it's not something you just have.

Tina said...

I completely agree and actually live by this passage. Even after finally getting pregnant, I still continued to pray & to thank God for my happiness. I do every night before going to bed. I should pick this book up. I keep hearing good things about it.

Collin said...

I was going to quote something from Green Eggs and Ham, which I just finished for the *3rd* time (horn toot), but I'll hold off ladies...

Ale Loiacono said...

Collin you crack me up, hahaha!!!!
Liz, awesome post very inspirational and uplifting!! Love the picture and I was lol with the ladies story on the plane!! So funny!!:)
Have a safe flight home!!

Smilling my liver,
♥Ale

Lee said...

This is one of my all-time favorite books...both for the wonderful story-telling that I enjoy for its genuine worth and for the life wisdom that I have connected with over and over and over. Especially this quote - it's a lovely reminder that life takes an effort.

Looking forward to the movie...and hoping (hoping!) it does justice to this beautiful book. =)

Martina said...

wifi on the airplane?? how awesome? which airline? thats so cool :) def. need that for my next long flight :D

xx martina

mstef_87 said...

I love that quote! Its completely true, and yet sometimes we forget to look at happiness like that. I keep meaning to get my hands on a copy of that book- now im stopping on my way home to get it!

leni said...

i just picked up the book last week. i've heard such great things about it. i hope i'm not disappointed.

Scrappy Girl said...

I think I will pick that up tonite...was looking for a good book. I just finished "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" the Eclipse novella. I am sure Collin has already read it twice...I know what a Twilight fan he is...lol.

jeana said...

timely thoughts indeed.... thank you! :)

Debi said...

Lizzy: I need to pick up that book and read it. (I own it...just haven't taken the time to read yet) Now I will for sure. Thanks for sharing. BTW, your little baby bump is so cute!!! You look beautiful as always.

Marti said...

:) I just picked up that book- it is next on my list to read- right after Green Eggs and Ham. lol!

Libby said...

Thank you so much! I need the reminder!

Kari B said...

I Love this book, i actually listened to it on disk during a trip with girlfriends and we couldn't wait to get in the car to listen again. She narrates the whole book and I think adds even more dimension to this book!! Can't wait to see the movie with those same girlfriends.
kari

creatorbri said...

I've never heard of the book, I suppose maybe it's one of those that resonates more with women than with men.. :)

But the quote you highlight here is, in my opinion, one of the most important principles of life. It's one of those golden pieces of wisdom that seems counter-intuitive, but that comes to us in little bits and at some point manifests itself in our lives with absolute clarity.

Thank you for sharing this; I'm going to pass it along.

Vanessa, Florida, USA said...

I am reading the book right now and loving it :) I picked it up during a flight home a few days ago but haven't had a chance to finish it yet... Glad you had a great time in PR!!!

Shabby Chic Crafts said...

word. I love the book so far...I'm excited to see it too!

Jen said...

I just re-read this book last week and remembered all over again how much I am in love with it! In fact I finished it on the day I turned 30 and blogged about it here:

http://scribbleandscrap.blogspot.com/2010/06/reflections-on-turning-30.html

Its such an amazing book that spoke to me even more the second time I read it! Great minds think alike I guess- I posted that same quote on my blog along w/ a few other favorites!

Aubrey said...

Wow Thanks. I am a perpetually happy person. But I have woken up the past week in a terrible sad way. THANKS. Wi fi on a plane! How cool is that?

Anonymous said...

i didn't really get it.

Julie said...

Thanks for this. We're dealing with a family member in ICU at the moment, and this makes me smile a little.

Leah said...

I am reading the book right now. She is in India. So many things she talks about while in India I want to highlight. So far it is my favorite part. The Italy part just made me want to eat and I don't need any encouragement in that department.

Giny Cort├ęs said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I just started reading the book and I can see I have a lot to look forward to. Glad you made it home ok from PR. Good luck with your Evo Conference and I look forward to additional info on the Shades of Summer! ; )

Lori said...

Thank you for the quote! I need to re-read the book before the movie is released in August. I'm reading "Committed" right now, and it is just as thought-provoking. Love her writing -- you feel like you are talking to one of your closest, and most insightful, friends.

amytangerine said...

LOVED the book & thanks for the reminder that I should totally read it before the movie comes out. I'll be taking it next week on the long plane ride to europe. xoxo

becky said...

hey! so this picture you posted is my close friend mindy's picture...i recognized it! we should probably give her credit!

i definitely will be trying to read this book, sounds amazing!

elizabeth kartchner said...

totally becky. thanks for letting me know who took it. First saw it on tumblr on my plane ride and it didn't say who took it. thanks!

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