What is happiness to you? Does it mean achievement or success, having a alluring car, or powerful influence? Does it mean having close personal relationships, realistic goals, and sufficient funds in your pension account? Is it an extreme emotional high, or having something go perfectly?

On a happiness scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most and 1 being the least, what is your happiness barometer telling you today? Do you feel happier today then a moment you might select to review from your past?

Although the body of scientific research tells us that biology contributes to a good portion of our 'set level' of daily happiness, there is something we can do about the rest of it.

To me happiness is a level of contentment in the present moment wherein I realize that I am connected to all things. It allows me to step out of attachment to any past pain, to the place where I stand in the strengths and values that I claim as mine. I have not given up all of my material comforts and pleasures--that is not my intention, but I have given up much of my attachment to them. Actually, I had to learn this lesson relatively early, when I was a teenager and lost almost all. What that experience gave me(although at the time, I only saw loss) was my present vision for a larger reality.

It is Truth that we cannot always be happy. Neither is happiness an all pervasive intense experience. Nor is it the same as great pleasure. Happiness goes much deeper to my soul. Yet happiness gives my life meaning and purpose. It comes, not from a belief in power or control, but rather from a spiritual place within. It allows me to look at the challenges I have overcome, and the opportunities I have chosen to pursue. It allows me to identify what services I can give to others, what relationships to hold onto, and which ones to release. It evokes within me what I must do with my life.

For me, I know that helping others through my coaching, nurturing family relationships, a few good friendships, reading, music (listening and making), art, spiritual practice, and travel are at the heart of my existence. These are things that drive my energy and provide me ultimate satisfaction. When things aren't flowing perfectly, I call upon my inner strengths and resources, and upon a higher power, to help me accept the gap between where I am and where I would like to be. Sometimes I need to realign my thinking with my best wisdom and values to attain a sense of peace and satisfaction.

I recognize that life is not written in only black and white. At times other colors, even unwelcome ones, seem to invade what would appear to be the perfect solution in the moment. Like sunshine hitting a waterfall revealing myrid paths and channels, we are funneled into unfamiliar waters that can take us to a different place--maybe even to a better on than we had intended.

Usually I try to make peace with the immediate situation. In this way I attain a measure of acceptance, if not joy. Not that in that untenable moment I accept everything as being well and good. There are always decisions to be made about where one wants to stay, the company one wants to keep, or not. I make those decisions now more easily now, blessing them when they do not turn out as I expected. It is the weeding of the garden that life requires, and sometime we are the ones weeded out of another garden. But then we are free to focus with more gratitude upon the satisfying elements in life and try to vision where we are going from here.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie engages her clients to identify and pursue their life purpose and calling; to champion and guide individuals to live more happily; to map out a plan for their best future, and to consciously connect with their spiritual essence. She is the founder of Life Refocused Coaching. Visit her website at: