POSTED: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 1:46pm

What is the Source of Your Inner Happiness?

Calling all Francophiles: WHAT is the source essentially of your inner joy and happiness?
REPLIES 38  (Jump to bottom of page)


POSTED: Sun, 03/28/2010 - 9:36pm

Comfort in Cooking

I love to cook! Just the idea of preparing something wonderful for the people that I care about, makes me sublimely happy. I honestly feel that I am at my best when preparing a meal.


POSTED: Mon, 03/29/2010 - 3:51pm

Oh me too!

We think alike. So very much alike.

Elizabeth G

POSTED: Mon, 03/29/2010 - 3:17pm

Ella's Feast

Ella, when I read your post I had a flashing memory of "Babette's Feast" -- have you seen the movie? It's just beautiful! When Babette prepares a lavish meal for the grim, dour dinner guests, her utter joy in presenting them the gift of her time and talent transforms them from grim to relaxed and pleasant.


POSTED: Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:44am

Babbette's Feast

Elizabeth, I have not seen that movie but have placed in on my video list. It sounds like a charming movie.


POSTED: Sun, 01/31/2010 - 8:01am

Thinking about your question,

Thinking about your question, Violette, and reading all the replies has really made my day. I feel so content now! We sometimes need someone else to open our eyes for us and show us how happy we really are and how much we should be thankful for. Thank you all!


POSTED: Sat, 02/06/2010 - 3:40pm

Bonjour Nya Nya

That's so neat what you wrote! Nice to meet you~


POSTED: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 7:01pm

Being in Nature

A major source is nature. The smell of lavendars, pine trees, fresh air. Nothing fails like a great walk in nature to perk me up and bring a smile to my face.


POSTED: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 7:10pm

Inner Happiness vs. Inner Joy

In my old age (LOL) think I have learned there really is difference between happiness and joy. Happiness seems to depend upon our circumstances, our pleasures, our surroundings, what we do/don't do/how things go, etc., where I believe joy is something we can all have regardless of our circumstances, if we cultivate it. Seek it. Happiness ebbs and flows, joy never leaves our soul.


POSTED: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:39pm


I could not agree more.Well said.


POSTED: Sat, 12/19/2009 - 5:44pm

Native American wisdom

I have a book The Wisdom of the Native Americans edited by Kent Nerburn. I read it and it reinforced what and how I already live. I am half French and half Native American and I answer this question with one word and that is peace. Peace of mind, inner peace, however you would like to think of it. Once you have found an inner balance the peace comes and to me that is happiness. There is a quote out there that says something along the lines of reality is what it is. It is not there for my approval and is not to be preapproved by me to exist. It is what it is and is to be accepted as such. One can also follow the serenity prayer which says: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Peace to you all. Deborah


POSTED: Sat, 12/26/2009 - 7:39pm

That's cool Frenchy.....

Frenchy: That's cool your awareness of Native American wisdom, as there is SO much there indeed........peace, tranquility, and much wisdom, as in so many cultures, religions, etc.,...That book you mention by Kent Nurburn sounds most enthralling. Will check it out, as well as some books on the wisdom of the Buddah. Had a serendipity over X-mas and just figured out a huge chunk of what attributes essentially to my peace and happiness, this is.....passing on my faith to my family. I could not believe it when my teenager actually invited some of his friends to midnight Mass on X-mas Eve and that he took the initiative to actually GO himself....I was overjoyed! that what perhaps we have passed on, HE actually has embraced. Anyway this was an awesome moment for me, a mom, and it tickled my heart strings. Told him so of course.!!!! Such a proud mom I am!!!!


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 1:34pm

Quebecoise/Iroquois heritage

I am an American, whose parents immigrated from Montreal with many French Canadian attitudes and traditions intact. But, like many with this background, the Roman Catholic influence was very strong, basically drowning out any Native American influence. Just curious, Frenchy: did you grow up honoring any Native American attitudes/traditions, or are you coming to this as an adult?


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 8:52am

You're not going to believe this...

I grew up just like you did being raised Catholic and as Jean and I have discussed in another thread...the cathedral, Saint Josephs in Montreal was built by my grandfather's cousin, Brother Andre. My grandmother has his beatification papers and he has been cannonized. His mother was a Champagne which is my grandfather's name and she married a Bessette. I have the 600+ years of the family tree printed out for my mother's side of the family. We are from Champagne France. My father is a Cherokee Indian and it wasn't until I was 17 that I walked away from the church and began learning/studying about my father's side of the family. I have two great-great grandfathers who were tribal chiefs and I need to dig further. It is difficult as very little was recorded. How about you?


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 12:46pm

You are so lucky to know your heritage in such detail.

Mine is scattered to the winds. I met with my birth family a couple of times, who told me one of my grandmothers was Iroquois, but they had very few additional details to offer. My adoptive family was also of French Canadian/Native American heritage, but they knew little of their geneology beyond a couple of generations back. I understand that baptismal records in Canada are the best way to trace lineage, though I haven't actively pursued this. A cousin of my adoptive mother traced back one branch of her lineage, discovering a genetic tie to a viceroy in the early 1600's who came from Normandy. I'm sure there are plenty of trappers/farmers etc, along with a horse thief or two in the mix!


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 5:35pm

RC and PQ

As an RC living in PQ most of my formative years,I know first hand the supression of anything not RC.To my everlasting shame,I had 2 cousins,Jesuit priests who worked in the Residential Schools in the North.You may have heard of the unspeakable way the Church treated Aboriginals.The horror still impacts many people.Our Prime Minister made a formal apology and people are getting money/help.Too little ,too late,I say.It should NEVER have happened.I do not know of an aboriginal connection in my family,but I know several people who do.As a young girl I was utterly fascinated with NativeCanadian/ American culture and spiritual values and studied it for hours at a time.The whole thing,attitudes and traditions seemed so familiar and right for me.


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 10:42pm

Plenty of guilt to spread around

Jean--Last week, you mentioned you were listening to an old Christmas song, called 'The Huron Carol.' I had never heard of it, so I googled it and found that its composer was a Jesuit priest by the name of Brebeuf who died horribly at the hands of the Iroquois in the 17th century. Such a tragedy! It's best to move beyond the past atrocities, and concentrate on what is worthy of respect and emulation.


POSTED: Sun, 12/20/2009 - 5:33pm


In its deepest,truest sense is what I want for everyone.

I think the Native American philosophy is beautiful and soul satisfying.OXO Jean


POSTED: Sat, 12/26/2009 - 11:15am

The Four Agreements

Jean, I try to follow the teachings of the Toltec Indians from Mexico. The book, "The Four Agreements" have helped me so much. They are: Always do your best. Never take anything personally. Be impeccable with your word. And, Never make assumptions. When I can follow those agreements, I am at peace. All the best, Sherie


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 12:46am

Thank you Sherie

Those are simple but very,very deep.


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 12:01pm


They have changed my life. I highly recommend the book. When I first purchased it, I thought it was a cute little gift book idea. But when I started reading it, I could not believe the wisdom it contained. For example, being impeccable with your word also means that you are not allowed to admonish yourself more than once for unwise behavior...meaning berating yourself over past behavior. Otherwise, it's considered to be self-abuse. Just knowing that has stopped me right in my tracks when I am engaging in unhealthy thought patterns. Life is rich, no? Sherie


POSTED: Sat, 12/26/2009 - 1:12pm

Definite aids to contentment

I'm putting these Four Agreements somewhere prominent, where I will see them often. Thank you, Sherie.


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 12:03pm


You are very welcome. I have them up in my bedroom and on the refrigerator!!! The "never take anything personally" agreement has helped me the most. Sherie


POSTED: Sun, 12/27/2009 - 9:09pm


I'm thinking that will be the most helpful to me too. Thanks again.


POSTED: Sun, 12/20/2009 - 5:24pm

Serenity prayer

That is so simple but amazing. I must try to live to that. Thank you Deborah.


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 12:03pm

You're Welcome Everyone

I often have to stop or catch myself because I have come to the realization that most of the stress I experience is self inflicted. Let's think about it here. How often are we allowing ourselves to become over burdoned by stress when it really is so much easier to stop for a moment, assess the situation and decide if it is really worth getting the blood pressure up over. The world around us has become so fast paced that we get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. I say ladies and gentlemen take time to slow down and look at each situation and ask yourself: Do I really need to become upset by this? My wish is for everyone to have a happy and peacefully calm New Year. Deborah


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 12:14pm

Yep that's it

We have a choice.The choice to be healthy is always the right one.It does take practice.A recent incident brought that home to me again...as you know I lost my wallet.A right,royal pain...I was annoyed but not overwrought as I would have been in the past.My observing ego(Psych. term)simply stood back and asked what can you do about this,do you need to freak ?I did only what I could and let the stress go.And guess what?The phone rang at and my wallet had been found.Gotta run out to fetch it now.The rest of the story is amusing


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 1:25pm

Awesome news!

Congratulations, Jean. Hassle diverted! I've long been a fan of keeping a positive attitude and putting one foot in front of the other. Hey, and if that doesn't come easily, I'm also a big fan of the 'fake it till you make it' school. You didn't overreact, which was amazing under the circumstances, and it paid off. Years ago, I was studying for my doctorate in clinical psychology, but found the emphasis on pathology and depersonalized therapies too disheartening, so I dropped out. Back then, the psychoanalysts and Skinnerians were holding sway, and were very disparging to others who held other views. But, that is then, and now is now. Things have changed. If I were free to move right now, this would be a graduate program which would truly ring my chimes: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx. Oh, and a disclaimer: positive psychology isn't an panacea for all that ails the human mind. I just happen to think it can be a useful tool for those of us who suffer mildly from the human condition.


POSTED: Thu, 12/24/2009 - 5:49pm

A lot to be said

for the kind of energy we put out there.Lucky me.

I checked out that site.Extraordinary.Wonderful.Much healtier and human.I know what you mean ;it was a bit cultish back in the day.Could you do the program on line ?Even people with the most serious illnesses could benefit from a more caring approach.

Have to tell the part of The Wallet Saga that made me laugh...my phone rang at 7 a.m.I was out cold,having been wakened by a computer calling my number at 4 a.m.I was to put it mildly, grumpy.Also,have a still very raspy voice.The poor person at the other end kept saying"Sir,sir please don't hang up!This is important"When I finally got it ,I had a bit of trouble convincing her I was indeed Jean and female."Sir,sir"too funny.


POSTED: Sat, 12/19/2009 - 5:49pm

Thanks for this Frenchy!

The Serenity Prayer is one I live by. But I find the need to say it often as I will forget it and retreat into anxiety. TYPE A is my personality...... Peace to Everyone~ Elizabeth: That's great you are helping your co-worker! he needs people like you! PEACE~

Elizabeth G

POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:24pm

Genetics can play a role

I've always been lucky enough to be an optimistic, resilient person. I bounce back from problems and worries quickly. My mom was the same way, and fortunately I see this trait in my sons (more so my younger son than my older son, who is more cynical about the world in general). I naively always assumed that everyone SHOULD be this way, and if they weren't, well then they just weren't trying very hard. I'm essentially a happy, contented person who believes that tomorrow will be a better day.

In the past year, I've become friendly with a co-worker who suffers from quite severe depression and it's been a real eye-opener for me. He can't bounce back from adversity, and has shared that his mother has long suffered from depression as well. He thinks about suicide often, although he sees a therapist and is on antidepressants. He truly has no hope in the future and doesn't believe he deserves happiness and good fortune. It saddens me to say so, but some people simply don't have inner happiness, only sadness and darkness. I think through therapy and medication they can feel better, but probably will never feel as I feel: Love is grand, life can be beautiful, we're lucky to be alive.


POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:36am


No I do not practice Bddhism.But there is much to be said for that point of view.It is a psychological philosphy.When I read the Five Remembrances of Buddha,which basically says in elegant language that nothing lasts for ever and the fifth one rang so deeply true for me.I am paraphrasing here...the only things I own are my actions,my actions are the ground on which I stand,I am resposible for my actions.When I thought about that seriously and decided to accept that and to live it,lfe became less fraught for me,I felt better centered and happier with myself and my life.This is not an easy way to live and I stumble frequently.It is the right course for me and so I soldier on.Another way to express it perhaps is to say "To blame is to give your power away"It has aided me in recognizing the gifts that are abundant in my life and to let go.When I can do that,I am happy.It is a journey and as I write this I am realizing I will apply this to certain areas of my life that need attention.Many people,events etc. bring me joy,delight,and I am grateful down to my soul.Yet only I can be happy.OXO Jean


POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:48am


That is so great, Jean. I will carry that with me too, that I own my actions and the are the ground I stand on. That is so centering.

I try to be centered everyday. It's a conscious effort most days. But I think that when I am grounded and have my energy around me, rather than scattered everywhich way, I am in touch with my inner happiness.

My children have always been the source of my inner happiness. I am happiest with them. Nothing else holds as much importance to me.

Centeredly yours,


POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:02pm

Deb Good Morning

Being with my little family is the source of truest joy for me,a time when I feel "at home"in every way.So I fully understand what you say.

It is easy to get off center.It does require conscious effort and everyday.I like your idea about keeping your energy around you.

Have beautifully centered day.Jean

Viva la Diva

POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 9:48am


GREAT question. I have a few answers that come up immediately. One source, without a doubt, is creativity. I know there are other sources, but I feel as though I need to give it some thought. This is a great topic to think about, thanks!


POSTED: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 9:14pm

Good Question

Not sure how to answer it......must think more.Stay tuned.


POSTED: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 10:10pm

Scratching my head here too....

...but I'll take a stab at it. I'm inclined to say when I feel inner contentment (thinking joy is too extreme a term for my everyday feelings) that I allow myself to experience a sense of gratitude and willingness to accept imperfect 'happy moments.' I also know that a dark cloud can roll in a la Charlie Brown at any moment, which might change my perspective. Also, if negative thinking starts taking over my psyche, I try to push that out before it snowballs by focusing on a happy moment, nice comment, or even a nice image--usually pulled from everyday life, not a fantasy trip to Bora Bora. Some difficult feelings, like grieving a loved one, can't be hijacked or covered over, but most worries shouldn't be allowed to stay long. I like this Chinese proverb: "That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change,but that they build nests in your hair,this you can prevent."


POSTED: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 9:00pm

Love that Chinese Proverb Cecily!!!!

Love that Chinese Proverb Cecily!!!!Will remember that. I don't really have an answer to this question either. It can be many different things. I guess knowing life still will go on no matter our circumstances and life is what we make of it and our attitude! Happiness is determined by circumstances, while joy is something we can never lose, its from our souls.


POSTED: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:18am

I like that one, too.

So visual for an inner mental process!

“Il y a poids et poids ”


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