Monday, November 3, 2008

Happiness in a Time of Recession (Part 1 - Gardening)

Things have been taking a decided dark turn in my recent posts. Time to lighten-up and pull myself out of this nose dive into depression .... even with all the horrors in the world, not least of which is the financial crisis that promises to make us all that much poorer, there still is so much good in this world to celebrate.

So I have decided to write some notes about how we can regain some control and take on some simple activities that can lead us to appreciate the world more, and in the process, give us some happiness and flow.

For my first activity, I choose something that we can all engage in - gardening!

The best distraction I can think off from brooding over the diminishing value of your investment portfolio is to watch a plant, any plant, grow and thrive under our care.

Now if you already have one, then it is as easy as getting out there and watering and generally maintaining it. But I for one live in an apartment, so my gardening ambitions have to necessarily be very modest. Sure, one can jazz up this gardening project to be as complicated as one likes, but the aim is to grow something - anything. What it is you grow, and how you do it, is not the point .... the pleasure arises in putting some care and attention into our "garden" and gaining the satisfaction of seeing mother nature respond.

So get started asap as it is cheap, green (yes, in more ways than one) and rewarding.

Gardening really is one of the best flow activities that can give us plenty of feedback and a deep, primal satisfaction that I believe must have been programmed into humans over the millenia. Put in just a little of your time, energy and attention to nurture even a single pot plant, develop a daily ritual to tend to this simple life-form, and you will find happiness - I guarantee it!

At least while you are potting around doing what has to be done in your garden, you won't be thinking of the looming recession and losses you have already sustained.