A Happy Kind of Crazy

I’m pretty sure I looked a tad bit delusional as I took our dog Bliss for a walk yesterday. A huge smile was plastered on my face.

The walk didn’t start that way. At first, I was thinking about all the things on my to-do list, worrying about how one of our kids had been exposed to covid, and how the day would have gone differently if only I had left for the walk earlier.
Then something shifted. I noticed the smell of wood burning in a fireplace. That made me happy.

Then I saw a blooming daffodil. The first one of this year. That made me even happier.
Then I spotted a hawk sitting on a streetlight. I stopped underneath him for a while looking up as he looked down at me. That really did it. Suddenly, everything looked beautiful.

The happier I felt, the more people started looking at me the way I was looking at that hawk, as if curious. Bikers and walkers started making eye contact. Some even walked toward me from far away and started conversations. A paddle boarder came close to the shore to ask about Bliss.
A little voice inside my head warned me to stop smiling so much. It was the anxious voice, the one always trying to keep me out of trouble. Clearly, she thought I had crossed over from a socially acceptable sense of mild happiness to crazy over-exuberance (funny, how we have so many rules for ourselves). 
But then I remembered the magic of flow. When we are in a flow state—regardless of what we are doing—we don’t care what others are thinking of us. In flow, we are fully present, fully engaged in what we are doing. We feel fully alive.
I remember after my Dad died how every step felt heavy. I was in shock. The world seemed like a very different place. Then I would see a raven sitting on a fencepost, or a sunbeam breaking through a cloud, or the sweet smell of jasmine and something would shift, just enough to feel like a miracle.
Isn’t it amazing that we can feel two things at once—grieving and grateful, anxious and open-hearted, judgmental and delighted by the sheer magic of being alive?
So often we think of triggers as those things that send us from a state of peaceful contentment to reaching for our favorite bad habit. As we start the New Year, I’m going to be on the lookout for good triggers instead. Who are those people, places or things that make our souls soar, or at the least, trigger a good mood?

We rarely know when it’s going to happen, but when life swoops in and takes us for a ride, I think it’s worth going along to see where we end up next. Even if sometimes we feel a little crazy.

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