Happiness by Choice

I have a love hate relationship with Delhi the city of my birth.

I have always dreamt of leaving it, convinced that my happiness lies somewhere else.

Its extreme oppressive weather and lack of safety are just the beginnings of my long list of why I find it hard to be happy here. The only time I love it, is in the initial 2 days when I return from a trip. It is a predictable and known quagmire.

Much like coming home to a lover you endured in your twenties; the one who treats you badly, has no appreciation for your gifts, no room for your truth but is the only one you know so you keep coming back to him.

I was in Chandigarh for a few days and its calm organised civility, unconditional politeness, logical traffic flow and clean air makes it one of my favourite cities in the country. Being able to leave the house, walk in the streets, go to a government office or visit a tourist attraction like the Sukhna lake along with a few hundred locals without being gawked at or groped , without the general feeling of unsafely that every Delhi woman knows so well, reminds me of what happiness tastes like. What freedom feels like! What its like to be living in the 21st century with all its gifts, of connectivity and endless possibilities .

Like you I’m sure, I wake up to my social media handles and WhatsApp and emails full of new ideas, studies, tests, articles, opinions and so much information. Facebook was founded in 2004 with other platforms that soon followed and lured us in at different levels of engagement , so we have been in the Information Age for over 10 years.

But to what end?

One assumes with this much development in the speed of communication and access to skills, research and development it would make us happier than we were say 20 years ago.

As human beings with our natural tendency to want more, know more and be more, this influx of so much information should have a quantifiable effect on our happiness quotient or so I think.

Lately after a trip away to somewhere calm and clean and more suited to my temperament, I have started to pay attention to the internet or the social media world as a place/ destination we spend so much time and energy in.

When I imagine an ideal life, I imagine being outdoors more, spending time in nature doing day to day activities without looking over my shoulder all the time. I imagine long meaningful conversations with artistes, thinkers and doers. Teaching workshops with people who want to co-create change. But most of all I imagine choosing how I spend my time and living with an awareness of the power of the present moment and its connection to joy.

Lately I had the realisation that this engagement with all this information, thru social media or youtube is going to have to be moderated like an exercise in self care. Much like working out or eating healthy and clean or meditation, I have started to become more discerning about what I am reading, watching or engaging with online.

How does it add to my happiness quotient ?

Has it become another version of my experience with Delhi or am I engaging with it as I would my ideal destination with careful consideration.

I am reminded about the power of choice and the importance of the daily practice and the discipline to commit to happiness every hour and every day…” ~ Divya Chandra

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