Can't Get No Satisfaction.. or can I?

I've been thinking lately about doing a little re-framing in my thoughts around what makes a good day.  I seem to always be looking to be happy... and that so-called happiness tends to be contingent on things that are somewhat out of my control... like whether the baby sleeps a long time during his nap so I can do whatever is on my To-Do list, or whether or not my day includes time to totally slack-off and forget that I'm a responsible adult for a while.  It isn't real Happiness.  It's more like little pleasures I'm seeking out.  Ways of appeasing the inner frustration around my perception that time is the problem.  (laugh)Instead recently I've started thinking about my day in terms of whether it leaves me with a sense of satisfaction or not.  This totally  shifts my view.  So many tasks and duties exist in my day that in and of themselves are not particularly enjoyable or fulfilling in a 'follow-your-bliss' sort of way.  But, when I look at them in terms of satisfaction, they do change shape.

As in, cleaning my house.  ok that's a joke because I almost never do that.  But let's use that example anyway.  Cleaning the toilet is not particularly my favorite task.  It is a part of homeownership and cleanliness so it must be done and so it gets done. But does cleaning the toilet make me happy?  No.  Not in my limited pleasure-seeking mindset.  Does it give me a sense of general satisfaction? Well... Yes, actually. I feel like I've made a difference in my general well-being and the well-being of those other creatures in my house.  I feel like I've actually DONE something, and taking action is always more enjoyable than complaining or noticing that the action isn't done.  And I am the one who has done it.  That gives me a sense of ownership and efficacy in my life.

Same with some of my yoga poses these days.  My body is very tired and very sore in strange places as it tries to put itself back together.  Some of my favorite poses aren't feeling nearly as awesome as they used to.  But when I do those deep hip openers, or standing poses, or lunges or  - let's face it, almost ANY pose these days - it gives me a sense of doing something that helps me.  Something to heal myself and to bring some balance into my emotional and physical systems.  At the end when I rest in savasana a mini-feeling of satisfaction arises if I let it.  So while the pose itself may feel like agony for a moment, the resulting satisfaction with my efforts directed in a way that I see as beneficial is totally worth it.

What say you?  Where are you happiest? What leaves you feeling the most satisfied in your day?

Elizabeth Fuqua