Happiness Jar

Day 1 of "2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge" : Happiness Jar

I was a member of the English Choir in school. It was a long time ago though... late 80s and very early 90s. So I don't remember most of the songs now. There is one song, however, that I still remember, even after all these years. And it goes like -

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

I was barely a teenager back then though. So the words didn't mean much at that time. Most young ones are in a "by default" blessed state anyway. So "counting their blessings" means nothing to them. It's only when we grow up, when we have been tossed around by life, and when we give in to despair, that we understand the meaning of "blessings".

Yesterday, I discovered that some people in this world actually follow the advice of this song... literally!

Vidya Sury has made it a family practice of counting their blessings -- little everyday things that make us happy, that we generally don't even notice -- and they (her family members) write them on slips of paper and store them in their "Happiness Jar" (http://vidyasury.com/2011/10/my-happiness-project.html).

Picture Credit: http://starttravelinglight.com/printable-happiness-jar-project/

Since it's a jar, I suppose we can also add little mementos from our happy moments in life - souvenirs from some place we had super fun, a wrapper from a surprise gift of chocolates maybe, photographs, other little odds and bits.

Isn't it a brilliant technique to shift our emotional state from sad to happy?

I don't remember now where I read this (it was some book), but our mind can hold only one thought at any given point of time. If it's a sad thought, we become sad. If it's a happy thought, we automatically become happy. And this "Happiness Jar" can be that perfect vehicle for transporting us from the state of unhappiness to happiness.

In fact, as Vidya says in her post - "... it may not even be necessary to open the jar and read each slip... just seeing it fill up will be motivating, inspiring."

This is my first post for 2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Link to the 2013 April Spring Cleaning Challenge: "KBL-T30: Spring Cleaning"

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Vidya Sury said...

Yes, you are right. Your Happiness Jar can be as big as you want. It can be a carton. I personally prefer it to be see-through - because you can see it fill up.

Big hugs, Chicky - am touched by your reference.

Much love, and wishing you lots of happiness,


Shail Mohan said...

Happiness jar is a good idea. but with someone like me, it is to enjoy during happy times. I wouldn't glance its way when I am unhappy.

Shilpa Garg said...

Oh Wow! This Happiness Jar is such a beautiful and wonderful thing to practice and implement n one's life. Truly inspiring and motivating! :)
Thanks for sharing.... off to read Vidya's post now!

Bhavya said...

Yeah.... that was a brilliant idea. More than an idea, it is such an empowering thought, every time you pass by that jar, your mind would fill up with happiness, merely at the thought of being so blessed and loved.

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

HI Chicky, I count my blessings too, particularly when I am feeling low. I don't have a happiness jar though. Maybe I should get one.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Vidya, even I would prefer a see-through one... and placed at a prominent spot, so we could pass by it N number of times a day and count our blessings!

Thank YOU for sharing this technique! It would be a shame not to pass on something like this to as many people as we can!

Hugs back to you too! :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

No Shail! That's the whole point of making it! That you have something to lift you up when you're feeling low! Keep it someplace visible na... where you simply can't miss it!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Isn't it, Shilpa! I loved it! :D
You must check out Vidya's post!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Bhavya - "every time you pass by that jar, your mind would fill up with happiness, merely at the thought of being so blessed and loved. "
Exactly that! :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Cynthia - Sometimes, life gets so tough that it becomes just impossible to remember our blessings. I think I sure can use this Happiness Jar in my life right now! :)

Smita said...

This is such a nice & everyday concept....but you know my happiness jar lie within...at the end of the day I count my blessings and what all happened in that day. I make sonny boy repeat what all happened in the day just before he is about to nod off :)

Nice one here :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Smita - You're giving good training to your kid. He's a lucky fellow! :)

Corinne Rodrigues said...

It's a wonderful idea, Chicky. We all have so many moments of happiness, if only we'd stop to remember and give thanks for them. I like what you said about our mind having the ability to hold only one thought at a time! :)

Richa Singh said...

this is such a lovely write up. Firstly kudos for the UBC this is going to be one helluva blogging marathon! Al the best :)

and of course I know Vidya her tips save many a day.

You have highlighted the elements so beautifully if only we all can follow such practices and remember to be thankful about things we have.

P.S I was also in school choir and the song brought back memories for me too :)


Rainbow Hues said...

Wow! that's a nice thing. I guess, I must start the happiness jar myself...Thanks for the tip off.

Thanks Vidya for the overall idea :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to start doing this!
Its very exciting and its always a good idea to count our blessings!! :)

Thank you Chicky and Vidya!! :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Thanks Corinne... I read it in some book, but I can't remember which one.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Hi Richa! So did you have separate choirs for Indian and Western music? Or was it a common choir?

Kaneenika Sinha said...

Hi, nice to meet fellow UBC marathoners (Chicky and many commenters above). All the best. I see blogging as a "Happiness Jar". For many , it is an avenue to vent out and express their thoughts about something that bothers them and I also do it occasionally. But, blogging also helps to write freely about things that we like and feel happy about. In that sense, it has a therapeutic effect :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Nice idea..but at my place, I think it'll just be another one item to be dusted occasionally.Or rather apart from me no one will be putting in notes and no one else will ever take out time to read through the notes. :-D

the little princess said...

this is something that touched my heart! and i'm doing this right away! i have a beautiful porcelain jar which I'll turn into a happiness jar... im sure my kids will be excited when they see this in the evening!

Anonymous said...

Hey chicky..nice post..Happiness jar is wonderful idea to lift the mood up anytime.
I would love to start this at my home too..thanks for sharing this :-)

hibiscuschica said...

Just talked about this on the FMS page on "Happiness is" day. And now here on your blog, must be sign! I need to start one myself! :-)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Kajal and Pixie - You're welcome! :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Kaneenika, I totally agree with you. Blogging makes me happy too! Thank you for dropping by... this round should be fun together! :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@rekspoursout - ROTFL @ "it'll just be another one item to be dusted "! :D
Some family you have! :p
Thanks for visiting! See you around!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@the little princess - I'd love to see a pic of your jar! :D
Do post it on your blog if you can.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@rashworld - You're welcome, Rashmi! Glad to connect with you through UBC! See you around now... :D

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Hey Carol! Good to see you here again! :D
Of course, it's a sign girl! Go ahead and make a pretty Happiness Jar! You're so creative, I'm sure just looking at it will bring a smile to someone's face! :D

Sridevi Nayak K said...

quite an interesting post. Very blessings do count and make a big difference in one's life. :)

Kathy said...

How utterly awesome!! I make a practice of this daily. It makes me feel so much better. When I was growing up my grandma insisted on the family joining hands and singing this song before meals right before the prayer. I wondered why then, but now memories of it touch my heart.


Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!

I am reading these posts in a backward order. First I read Shail's post, then I read Chicky's post and now I am off to read Vidya's post on Happiness Jar.

Interesting concept. Great write-ups make equally great reads. All the best to everyone.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Hello Sridevi. Thank you for dropping by and your kind words :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

So true, Kathy. When we are kids, we hardly ever understand why our adults do whatever they do. But as we grow older in life, we seem to connect more and more with them. We understand them better. It is always lovely to have lots n lots of memories of such special family moments. They take us through those patches in life when we may feel lonely.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Thank you Swati! :)
Smiles and happiness really are infectious! :D

Anonymous said...

superb writing....and awesome idea.
I am going to implement it today, for my home.
Thanks for sharing those beautiful thoughts and keep writing.
My Blogs at http://anoptimistic.wordpress.com
Please visit and let me know your feedback.

Thanks !!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Thank you, anoptimistic! :)
Glad you liked the post! Will surely check out your blog.

Ashwini C N said...

People have been saying this for ages,but we human beings are busy looking at the negative side of life. At times when things just dont seem to work out, counting your blessings is one instant way to change the mood from being sad to being happy. Well said :-)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Exactly, Ashwini. At times, things are just out of our control. There is nothing we can do to change the situation. And staying miserable automatically distances us from any other good things that might be waiting to happen to us. For such occasions, this Happiness Jar could be an instant mood-changer.
Thanks for stopping by to say Hello! Cheers! :D

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