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At the moment, I have a stuffy head. My bike has a flat. And, we’re still not very sure what our life plans are.

I’ve been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace Is Every Step for weeks now. A thin book, my tendency has been to read small bits at a time. As a kid,  I remember taking my time nibbling on a Chips Ahoy cookie, the allowed sweet after dinner. I’d relish in each little bite, letting the chocolate melt, the sugar dissolve, before swallowing. I wanted it to last.

This book is like that. Small nuggets of love and wisdom; enough for a daily intake. When we go through transitions in life, these are precious.

In a recent chapter, the idea of focusing on what is not wrong is shared. Do we need to wait for sickness in order to appreciate health? Do we have to lose a dear one in order to tell others we love them? Does time have to show itself so that we can motivate to follow our dreams before we’re too old? Does something wrong have to happen in order to honor the right?

It’s true. Sunshine is glorious after weeks of rain and a hot shower soothes after a long voyage. Comparison helps enhance appreciation. But Hahn offers this:

The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, the wonder of our breathing. We don’t have to travel anywhere else to do so. We can be in touch with these things right now.

So, what’s not wrong?

  • our adopted pup, Buddy, is on the other side of being very, very sick and nestles sweetly on my lap
  • there is a view of bamboo groves and banana trees from the window before me as I type
  • Craig and I have found a way to hug out our feelings of insecurity
  • shortly, I am crossing the Mekong to hike with one of my best friends and a small group of novice monks
  • this is one of the most vivacious times of my life

The more I live, the more I understand the happiness cliche. It is not a remote island, an ideal relationship, an amount in the bank account. It’s within…plain and simple…right there, within reach.

{image credit: Buddy}

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