If you did a worldwide survey on happiness, I’m pretty sure over 70% of the population would say they are searching for it. Theirs may not be a constant quest, but every human being is driven to seek out and find happiness. The funny thing about happiness, though, is it’s usually right under our noses, and we’re so busy worrying about it that we miss out.
Case in point, I have been riding my bike down a street in my neighborhood for years. I typically am very present when I ride my bike and have had some awesome meditation time while peddling. Last week, when I was riding my bike home from a beach yoga class, I happened to look up at a street sign to find happiness…
I couldn’t believe that I had ridden my bike right past this hundreds of times and never noticed that happiness had always resided a few blocks down the street from where I live.
How could I have missed it? Happiness has been hanging out in my ’hood for years, and by now we should not only be neighbors but best friends. It made me think about what else I’ve missed out on because my eyes and heart weren’t open.
The truth is that happiness is always attainable and always available; we just have to live in the present, be full of gratitude, and let go of things like fear, judgment, and wishing for possessions we don’t have or need.
Finding happiness is like practicing santosha, one of the niyamas from the eight limbs of yoga. From the translation of the yoga sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda, the definition of santosha is being content with what you have and where you are at instead of wishing for things you don’t have or daydreaming of the future. Santosha is living in the present and feeling true satisfaction. And here’s the kicker: When you have this kind of contentment, supreme joy and happiness can be attained.
Open your eyes, be grateful, stop worrying so much about what’s going to happen, and you may just find that happiness resides on the street where you live!