A friend of mine spent last Sunday at an orphanage in Mexico. She was astounded to see that the children were blissfully happy, loving, generous, and affectionate. These children are living in an impoverished orphanage with very little food and none of the physical trappings so many of us “require” to be happy in our own lives. Yet, they were laughing, jumping, sharing, and enjoying life to its fullest. They were simply happy to be spending the day at the beach.
Children are wonderful that way. They have a knack for living in the present moment. Their focus is most often on playing and enjoying life. And honestly, the happiest people I’ve met have been on my travels to 3rd world countries–people living without running water, dirt floors, no cable tv, no designer clothes- yet, these people were genuinely happy and graciously sharing their homes, hospitality, and food with me. And, truthfully, the happiest times in my own life have had nothing to do with material possessions.
And yet, I woke up this past Saturday in a bit of a mood. After a night of girl talk and too much wine, I woke up feeling frustrated by all that I lack ( or think I lack) in my life: my soulmate, career at highest pinnacle of success, Lake Como villa, thinner thighs, sane relatives, 2 kids and a cute dog who each have their own nanny, international jetsetting, my own sitcom & a 3 picture deal. I was feeling overwhelmed by the day’s obligations and not looking forward to back to back appointments.
By midday, I was out of sorts, 20 min behind schedule and pissy. Then, I remembered that my assignment today is to see the world through the eyes of a child. It was a gorgeous, sunny day with a cool breeze- true California weather. Then, I had an unexpected conversation with someone who surprised me with his experience, education, and depth. We actually talked for hours. And, I really enjoyed it. It was exhilarating to get to know him outside of his public persona and discover the things we have in common. And, I found myself feeling better.
I was no longer focused on lack; I was enjoying the cool breeze and the buzz that comes from feeling a connection with another human being. We talked so long that I gave up on rushing to my next “obligation” and just decided to be in the moment and let it take me over. And, all of a sudden I was happy. Happy to be alive. Grateful to be living my dream and honoring my passion. Grateful to be right there in that moment. Grateful to have the opportunity to share with another human being. Grateful for the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
The rest of the day was joyful. I found myself singing in the kitchen as I prepared for a night of dancing and well wishes for a dear friend who has decided to move back to Texas. His farewell party was at Harvard & Stone, my new favorite bar–great cocktails, burlesque dancers, chill crowd, and dancin’ music. And if you know me, you know I LOVE to dance. Love it. Music speaks to me. And, I got to dance the night away with good friends, sweat running down my back, hips swiveling, smile on my face. I was in the moment, playing with my friends, dancing til the sweat ran. I think my inner 6 year old was very proud…and having a blast!