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  • Writer's picturelifexploratrice

What makes you feel the happiest?

Updated: May 17, 2022

This is the question I was asked on Instagram. To answer it fully here is an article. Indeed, it is interesting to contemplate this question.

To address it I will divide the reading into two parts. One answering it in a simple, expected way and then the other one looking at the depth of this question. Maybe you will discover new perspectives!

The quick answer given to someone I just met and/or who is not familiar with self-exploration

The things that can give me a feeling of wow, of happiness from the most obvious (or not) to the least obvious are :

Sitting on the roofs of Paris, observing the amazing view of Paris from above. Globally, any view of a city, a village, the mountains, the sea, the stars (all this is very rare when you live in the city) etc. amazes me, sometimes to the point of tears. I like cliffs, big rocks on which one can meditate,

I like simple things, a walk, alone, can do miracles, the observation of plants, light, insects, earth, people helping each other (it's something, same, where I can have tears in my eyes, simple gestures like picking up a fallen card and runing after the person to give it back, holding the door of the bus, subway to the latecomer, trying to calm down a person who is fighting, daring to speak up when someone is being assaulted, looking at or speaking to disrespectfully, a loving gesture from a parent to a child, the warm complicity of friends...).

I can be amazed by the appearance of water, its taste, the warmth of blankets, the generosity and sensitivity of someone.

I appreciate the moments when I am completely alone, when I have nothing to do, no obligation or need for survival (food, water etc) and I am just here. It's very powerful, I might not smile (by the way when I'm very focused it looks like I'm sad because my face is relaxed and my focus is somewhere other than preoccupied with doing social mimics) but something deep is happening.

I love it when everything happens in the flow, that you just have to let yourself go; Ah what a feeling! In nature I am in my element. I explore, play, observe, sing, speak, shout, hear, I am not someone anymore, I melt, alert.

I love it when I'm with people who are having fun, doing unexpected things regardless of how others look at them, it's great fun, I love it. When I am accepted completely without expectations, when I can make my not-so-well thought out jokes, and decide to lie down, close my eyes to recharge for a moment or go home early because it took a lot of energy socially. We can dance in the street, walk barefoot in Paris, shout, sing, move with the wind, laugh, jump, lie down on the floor, dance.... I let myself be carried away and feel that I am living life to the fullest. I used to love to go to parties to dance and the next days feeling my all body being at peace and alive.

Well, Imay have forgeten many things. Many elements are fascinating.

Now, let's go back to the question "what makes you feel the happiest?

The term happy means for me something impermanent, superficial.

Whereas joy is always there, not necessarily felt, recognized, but always accessible if we want it. It is part of our essence, it is an inherent quality and not an ephemeral pleasure.

What does it mean to be, feel happy?

In other words, one is caused by something external to us at first sight and the other comes from ourselves, from our being, just being, here and now.

And this is confirmed by the term "makes", "what makes you feel the happiest?"

Now, Joy, cannot be dependent on a context, on something "outside of oneself." To expect it from something external is to set yourself up for failure. It is to know pertinently that there will be an end to this feeling of happiness, it is to believe oneself incapable alone of being Joy, of emanating this Joy withou any contextual reasons, but by the very fact of Being! It is to disregard the responsibility of one's own blooming, of how much one can live fully, satisfied, at ease and bliss.

All this to say, that the craziest thing that surpasses all possibilities of answers to this question is for me, the practice of Yoga, meditation, contemplation, self-exploration. I would almost call it divine joy; you are smiling for no apparent reason in the street, at home, on the subway or whatever. Here you are, bursting with ecstasy and energy enveloping your whole being during a meditation, asana practice, when I am teaching a class or even after the class, or without any specific action.

All this is shared with the limit of words.

You may think that we have reached the end of our perspectives on this notion of happiness. Only not. There is something even more transcendent (in the sense that it is beyond your imagination, that probably if never experienced, you have no idea of this possibility). Something that makes insignificant (not in the sense of superiority or inferiority, but of resonance, of something that makes much more sense in you) these notions of happiness and even of Joy, of bliss. And I could translate this into words, or at least try to, but it is less fun that way. It's up to you to experience it, to realize that there is something more to all of this, that you are not what you think you are, that the reality that you have been presented with, educated with since your youth, is perhaps not so definite as that, not so real as that... This realization exceeds all expectations, and makes all life joyful, it turns everything upside down and forever changes your vision of life.

It is on these terms that are becoming more and more abstract and subject to interpretation that I leave you,


- Marie Mazeau Yoga teacher in Paris and online internationally. Beyond time and space. Guiding with gentleness, mindfulness and Joy.


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