Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Happiness Project

I recently came across a website in which a woman is, in her words, “test-driving every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study I could find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah” to find which ones help her increase her happiness.

And I realized that I’ve been doing something similar for some time, now. Except, I had found one that worked so well [for me] that I’ve used it and it alone for years—and have increased my happiness exponentially.

It’s called The Gestalt Prayer [author Fritz Perls]. A simple concept—which takes some work to put into practice—and a lifetime to master. But, hey, that’s what I’ve got to play with: a lifetime! :)

Here it is:
“I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations.
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
I am I and you are you and if, by chance, we find each other—it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.”
I find that, if I begin to slip into judging others [or feeling judged by others] and I simply allow myself to breathe into this statement of fact, I allow myself to relax. I stop judging the 'other’ and I stop judging myself [which is what ‘feeling judged by others’ is, REALLY.]

And my happiness returns.
So, I offer the Gestalt Prayer to anyone who’d like to try it. Of course, it’s not mine to offer—so just go for it.
It’s also not the only philosophy out there. There are a myriad to choose from. So, shop around—find one [or two or three] that you feel comfortable with. Allow yourself to try em on and, when you find the one or two that fit for you, simply live the precept[s] you have chosen.

And, be easy with yourself.
If you find yourself slipping into judgmentalness, disappointment with the actions of others [or yourself], anger, etc. etc. etc., try not to compound the problem by judging yourself for not being perfect at it.
Just breathe.
Start again.

The bottom line is—this approach really does work.
Have fun! :)


LET'S TALK said...

Hi two crows, now that's what U call great inspiration..."the Gestalt Prayer"

LET'S TALK said...

Excuse me for splitting up my comment but I hit the wrong button.

I really like the concept and what ever makes us happy is just great by me!

two crows said...

hi, Larry--
yup. happy is good. :)

I've known this concept and lived with it so long it's 2nd nature now. which is, probably, why I didn't think to share it earlier.

when I have a hard time putting it into practice, I remember that even Perl's wasn't perfect at it.
once he tried to run down a woman with his vw beetle because he was angry with her about something or other.