4 Blissful Moments That Fill Me With Happiness

What images do you pull up when you need a lift of happiness or want to add to your current delight? Do they include your wedding? The birth of your child? A great trip? A decision that changed the course of your life? Some special words from a favorite person?

Write down a sentence or two for the images that jump up for you right now. You'll only need a few words because they already carry so much sweet weight. As you read on, add other memories that come up for you. Ready?

In the Swiss Alps
I was daydreaming the other evening and connected 4 very special memories as being full of pure delight. I remembered an early morning I spent in the Swiss Alps, walking from Murren to Gimmelwald. I remember knowing those hours watching the sun come up and move across the sky were without compare. Not even a perfect partner beside me could have increased the bliss I felt. The mountains were magnificent, the silence expansive, and nothing mattered except being in step with the rising day.

I took in the frost on the garden flowers, the milk delivery truck, cattle walking to a water trough. At a shop, I got a towel, embroidered sachets and an apron depicting scenes of Heidi, Grandfather and Peter. The apron was for my granddaughter when she overnights with me and makes whole grain pancakes on Sunday morning. Though I only took three days of my 6-week European trip in Switzerland, that day won a gold medal for joy. When I catch myself feeling overextended, if I can put myself back in that October day's sweet peace, I feel a lightening up that calls back that perfect day.

Playmates with the Wind
When I want to glory in feeling totally free, I recall the day on Lincoln Park Beach when the wind was gusting at 50 mph. I was bracing myself with my friend Rick as the wind threatened to push us relentlessly forward. If we stood on one spot, it was our will vs. the wind's force. When that competition tired us, we rested in a secluded corner before we bravely took on the force again. I would have loved if he could have tied a rope to my leg and pulled me overhead in the wind's path—a human kite. I could feel that possibility so tangibly it was hard at that moment to believe that gravity would have a chance against my inner child's fantasy.

Rick would only have to start running, and I would fly behind him, aloft in wonderful kinship with the elements. I dared the wind to topple me as I stood firm. It was even a more daring challenge to Nature than the same stance braced against ocean's waves. I'm still not really clear why that encounter with the Wind made me feel so free. It was like I had no expectations other than delight in being total Child. My invisible playmate was asserting herself and I loved our tug of war.

I Couldn’t Stand Still
I was dancing all by myself to the band Cayenne that day at Pier 56—wonderful Cajun music. They were part of the Out to Lunch series, free lunchtime jazz, Cajun, rock, blues, and classical music. I wondered how anyone could hear the music and not be out there moving! I was taking in and appreciating everything: the warm day and the visor that kept me from squinting, the snow on the mountains, the reflections from the water, the water taxi coming from West Seattle, the Argosy cruise ship (with a loud horn) taking visitors and locals out on the water.

I saw tourists and people on their lunch hour eating fish and chips. I reveled in being 60 and dancing every waltz, fox trot and Cajun song they played. I was thrilled to the sensuality of moving from my insides, wearing a white top, a short skirt—looking and feeling good. I was sporting my button "Much Older than I look" which made me feel more approachable. I bought the CD so I could dance Cajun any time I liked. The best part was how fully in the moment I felt—I needed nothing or no one to make the experience better.

As is usually true for me, I had a long To Do list and I am SO happy that nothing on it took priority over the joy of dancing. Isn’t pleasure wonderful! 

I think I’m falling more in love with "dancing in the moment."

There are lots of ways it happens: Eating breakfast in the back yard and enjoying the colors and textures of plants, bringing my own popcorn to the theater—it’s one of those times I feel okay about making my own rules, hugging my granddaughter every time she slows down enough to come to my arms, and reading books that make me think or laugh or appreciate something a bit more.

Now I’m going to get on the bus and see where I feel like going, and bring a book and snack along. I hope you’re having pleasure in this moment also.

Beauty After 50
A similar feeling of total expressiveness took me over when I posed nude for a 6-week gallery show called "Beauty After 50." I'd seen an ad for models and thought that'd be a kick. The photographer was warm and gracious, and encouraged me to move in any way I liked. He asked which CD I might like and I chose one by Andrea Bocelli. I felt as uninhibited as a toddler dancing to Sesame Street songs. I was ecstatic at the complete abandon I felt.

I've enjoyed public nudity for many years, but to feel so full of bliss at simply posing nude astonishes me even today at the memory. I'd raise an arm and sweep across the room. I'd lie on a couch and drape my leg over the end. Then I'd recline on the carpet and roll one way or another. I wasn't trying to be provocative—I simply was a child let out of latched gates. I wanted to explore what my body might express. It was the gay abandon of a child who'd never learned shame or fear. Even today, the memory of that ebulliently idyllic afternoon pushes aside any momentary doubts about the inner Child's reality and creativity.

Those 4 experiences need no prologue, no moral. They are complete because their memory is full of awe and natural ease and childlike wonder. I'm curious—when will there be another moment like them? I'm ready. I'm open. I'm anticipating.

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