Image via WikipediaHappiness: the holy grail of emotions. It's hard to find and even harder to hold on to, which is why, when it comes to happiness, you need more than one goddess. You need three. Namely, you need the Greek graces. They're sort of like the muses, in that they are sisters who hang out together and who, because they do good deeds instead of start wars, are considered minor deities.
Aglaia (goddess of splendor), Euphrosyne (goddess of joyfulness ) and Thalia (goddess of rejoicing) were daughters of Zeus and...hmmm....It was always so hard to tell with Zeus. They might have been Hera's daughters, but they might have been Eurynome's daughters. It's a little awkward so we'll leave it at that.
The point is, these sisters liked to have a good time. They liked to dance and listen to music. They hung out with party boys Apollo (god of music), Dionysus (god of wine) and Hermes (the messenger god who invented Whoopie Cushions and squirting lapel flowers). They were also attendants to Aphrodite, who also liked to have a good time and who had children with Apollo, Dionysus and Hermes.
But don't go thinking the Graces were a bunch of slutty Paris Hiltons in togas and stilettos. Oh, no. The Graces were no floozies. They were good friends who recognized that life gives you two choices: you can cultivate despair or you can cultivate joy. They cultivated joy.
Like this one time. Aphrodite was totally bummed because her husband Hephaistos had arranged for all the gods to see him catch Aphrodite and the war god Ares in bed together. Afterwards, Aphrodite was so embarrassed that she slunk off to Cypress and became so despondent that she wouldn't even blow dry her hair. The Graces went after her. They listened to Aprodite's laments. They ran her some bubble baths. They took her shopping. They gave her some chocolate. They did not give up on Aphrodite until she went back to Mt. Olympus looking hotter than ever and completely ready to cheat on her husband again.
The Graces teach us that cultivating joy is like cultivating a garden. It takes work. Happiness won't just come to you. You've got to make it happen. You've got to fight off inertia like you've got to fight off white flies. Go. Connect with friends. Eat chocolate. Indulge yourself. Listen to music. Dance. Don't listen to people who would bring you down. Put on your best dress and live.
Channel this goddess: When you're feeling blue, when you're stuck in a rut and you don't know how to get out, when you've lost your spark and want it back, or when you're going out with friends and you're looking for fun.
Georgie: The Graces are for you. Buy them a beer or a least some ice cream.
Need a goddess: Tell me what you need her for and I'll see what I can do.