Charles M. Schulz was one of the first people I could call a favorite author. As a child, I adored Snoopy, and read every piece of Peanuts literature I could get my hands on. In the ’70s reading the Sunday comics was a much anticipated event, and I began to countdown the days until “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas,” until I was — well I still do.
One of his more influential works, that I still have today, is a small paperback he wrote called, “Happiness is a Warm Puppy.” Originally published in 1962, each of it’s 32-pages contains a nugget of wisdom from the Peanuts with Schulz’ famous illustration. I still pull it every once in a while. The pages have yellowed and become more fragile with time, and it’s wrinkles show traces of the attention it has received over the years.
I stumbled across the book again recently, and thumbed through it. But instead of taking a trip down memory lane, this time I relished each of the messages on the pages, and pondered about the things make me happy. Some of the simplest moments, gestures, feelings, sensations or objects seem to bring me the most joy.
The glow of a burning candle in a dark room. The smell of pavement after a rain on a hot summer afternoon. Hearing my mother’s voice on the phone. The smell of geraniums and puppy’s breath. The feeling of cool sand under my toes. Sinking effortlessly into pigeon pose on my yoga mat. The coloring book page with rainbows of color hanging on my refrigerator that my niece gave to me 3 years ago. And, of course, petting my dogs.
When we live inside our minds and project what we think will bring us happiness, it’s often something material; something short-lived. But, if you take a moment to sit in silence or take a walk outside with no agenda or goal, think about the little things that bring you the most joy. And, bring them with you wherever you go.
What is your happiness? What is your warm puppy?
-Your Charmed Yogi