At a hotel on a recent trip, I swung the shower curtain aside and stared at the body of a stranger. It gave me a shock! The mirror I was looking into reflected a woman with sagging boobs and arms pleated like a 1950s skirt.

Despite the signs of aging my body shows, I’m  mostly happy.

Recently, I read an article saying happiness comes from within. So, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, count your blessings. This isn’t a new idea for me. While my husband, Larry, was sick, I made a simple gratitude book with pictures of things I love. It reminds me of all the great things in my life like chocolate.

If you don’t already have a purpose, find one. That’s not always easy and might take some false starts, but eventually you’ll find yours. It took me a few tries. When circumstances change, your purpose might need to be adjusted too,

Netflix has a documentary called Mission: Joy Finding Happiness in Troubled Times featuring the 2015 meeting between two unusual men. Archbishop Desmond Tutu who was an activist during anti-apartheid in South Africa and later became a bishop, met with Tibet’s spiritual Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama. The theme was joy and how to feel it during the stress of the world we live in.

The Dalai Lama is 88 years old. Archbishop Desmond Tutu died at the age of 90 in 2021. The documentary was filmed in 2015 when the Archbishop visited India to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.

The two men developed a friendship that surpassed their different spiritual beliefs.

Their joint advice of not watching or listening to much of the news was underscored when one of them pointed out that the news highlights the worst of humanity. There are millions of good people in our world who you never hear anything about.

Not paying so much attention to the news is tough advice when we want to know what’s happening in our world, but it makes good sense. The media coverage is graphic and intense with their struggle to out-do each other and fill up hours of news time. Good stories don’t grab attention like dire ones which wear us out emotionally. They leave us with few avenues of action. There’s no way for you and me to fix or right the wrongs in our world.

According to the Dali Lama, after you find happiness in yourself, compassion and helping others will increase your joy in these troubling times.

Both men use meditation to calm themselves. I’ve tried to meditate in the past, but it never worked out because there was always some type of Welsh corgi commotion going on. Recently, I discovered if Barney Welsh corgi is reclining on my lap in the morning, I can position him so he puts his head down onto my chest. I lay one hand over him right where his heart is beating. With my eyes closed, the rest of the world disappears for a few minutes. How cool is that?       

The two men wrote a book after their meeting. You can get it at Amazon.

What calms you and makes you feel happy?

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