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Do You Have A Formula For Happiness?

Today we are up to F in our travel through the alphabet and the word that popped out of the dictionary at me is ‘formula’. I love this word – it has so many rich ideas within it. Let’s be creative today with this word. What comes to mind for you when you think about ‘formula’?

What came to my mind were a number of things right off the bat. If you are a new parent, you are buying formula for your baby. If you are a scientist, you are working with a mathematical formula: 1+1=2 is a formula. Or combining different chemicals to make a new product. Have you ever read the ingredients on your bottle of shampoo or the box of cereal you eat for breakfast? Formulas, all!

The word comes from the Latin, as so much of our English language does, and it means a series of words that must remain together, unchanged. So, for instance our Pledge of Allegiance, that’s a formula.  How about those old saws that we’ve all grown up with, we’ve heard since we were tiny, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” that’s a formula.

You may have a formula in your family – Grandma’s recipe for chicken soup. That’s a formula. Any recipe is in truth a formula. If you change something in the recipe, it will taste or look different.

What I like about the word is you can play with it and expand upon the definition to take you in a new direction. You can come up with your own formula for life, both external and internal. What are the can’t-be-without-’em, must be included aspects of your day? Be sure to fill it with the things that bring you serenity and joy. For example, the hugs you want to give and receive, the music you want to hear, the familiar route you take to work, the meals you look forward to eating, the workout at the gym or the walk after dinner. This is your personal formula for happiness. And what are the over-riding principles you live by—fairness, patience, generosity, for instance.

My formula for life comes from A Course in Miracles which is my spiritual path. Lesson 121 says ‘Forgiveness is the key to happiness.’ Over the years I’ve worked with this idea, I’ve come to recognize that being happy, contented, at peace, can only come to me if I hold no grievances against another person. Thus, forgiveness is that ladder that lifts me above the petty thoughts of anger and retribution that keep me from joy.

We all, undoubtedly, experience hurt from others’ carelessness. I believe that most people don’t intentionally want to hurt you. They do what they do because they think it will save them in some way. They are defending themselves from their perceived hurt from you! With this understanding, forgiveness easily becomes my formula for happiness!

There’s so much more to say about forgiveness but I’m going to leave it at that and just invite you to come up with your own formula for life!

Peace and Love Always,

If you are interested in finding out more about MarciaGrace’s ‘Sitting” training program, email her at

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MarciaGrace’s book, “Calm, Creative, Joyful! Lessons in Transforming Your Life” is available on Amazon. Click here to purchase.


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