Happiness Is Already Yours

Moments of joy are available to us even during difficult times, writes editor-in-chief Heather Hurlock. Happiness belongs to all of us, inherently.

Adobe Stock/Marina Zlochin

It’s been difficult for me to think about happiness lately. I’ve been in a spiral of grief and sadness with a detour into COVID and a concussion thrown in for kicks. My fuse is short, my tongue is sharp, and my moods are stormy. But even still, I receive glimmers of love that remind me of who I am at my core. For example, just last night I lost my temper with my two precocious daughters (who were doing everything except what I was kindly asking them to do). After I cooled down and apologized, my daughter said, “I get it. We all have big emotions sometimes, Mom.” I nearly cried. And, when I was with my dad yesterday who’s ill and not long for this world, I told him: “You’re in my heart forever, Dad.” And though he isn’t strong enough to say much, he looked at me with a light in his eye and said, “And you in mine.” I cried the whole drive home.

Weaving a Tapestry of Connection

These little sparks tell me that my life is more than just the difficult moments. My life reaches back in time, through my parents and their parents, and into the future through my kids. It ripples through the people I talk to every day—and even to you, dear reader. And, in this way, we all weave a tapestry of connection that can hold us in our time of need. How beautiful to recognize that our lives are a web of care woven across time and space, holding the love that’s been given and received like tiny drops of dew. Is this what happiness is made of? Maybe. Roshi Joan Halifax says, “Relationships, doing good in the world, benefiting others—these are threads that make the cloth of happiness.”

We’ve been asking our network of mindfulness teachers, researchers, and writers what leads to happiness. And the August issue of Mindful is packed full of wisdom we can’t wait for you to discover.

Happiness Is Inherently Yours

Nkoula Badila shares what planting a garden with her family taught her about self-care, community, and nurturing a connection to her roots. Ten women who are blazing pathways in mindfulness offer insights that remind us of the ways joy is alive in the practice. And four teachers—including founding editor Barry Boyce—offer practices to inspire a sense of savoring in your summer days—no matter what they bring.

This life of ours can be exasperating. That’s just how it is sometimes. In those moments, I hope you can find the glimmers of love that are no doubt showing up for you, too. And in them a reminder that happiness isn’t out there somewhere to be found. It’s inherently yours.