Day Crafting Today / Counting your happy days.

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Counting your happy days

Here’s a short story about Abd al-Rahman III and Day Crafting. He was the grandson of the Emir who chose him from all of the potential successors to take the throne at the age of 21. His father had been assassinated by one of his brothers but there were other uncles and cousins to choose from so he must have been special. Abd al-Rahman III was unusual in other ways – despite his Arab lineage, he was a short and stocky, fair-skinned, blue eyed man which suggests there were European concubines in his family tree.

Muslim Spain had enjoyed some unified peace under one of his predecessors at the end of the 8th century but by the time Abd al-Rahman III came to power (912), the peace had unravelled. Abd al-Rahman set about restoring peace through military acumen. For most of the 10th century he was the most powerful prince of the Ummayad dynasty in Spain and was known as the Emir of the Cordoba region (most of what is now Spain and Portugal except the North West) and later as the Caliph. His rule extended to providing a degree of harmony between the Muslims, Christians and Jews that made up society in Spain at that time. Cordoba, under his reign, became one of the largest, wealthiest and most cultured cities in Europe.

He spent 32 years as a powerful and revered ruler of a peaceful and prosperous region with 3,000 European eunuchs to protect him and his harem. There’s much more we could say but what first grabbed my interest is a quote directly from him.

“I have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to Fourteen: - O man! place not thy confidence in this present world!”

Wait, what? One Four? Fourteen?

Do you have a touch of schadenfreude at this revelation? I think I feel a little sorry for him. According to positive psychology measures I am what’s called negative affect but even I’ve had more than 14 days of genuine happiness. I observe these days and these moments by asking myself a quick question: could this moment be improved in any way, and I often find myself in moments that couldn’t be. How wonderful.

Some of these moments are down to chance and mindset – the seemingly perfect collision of circumstance, connection and inner state and the willingness to interpret the moment as genuinely happy. But it has always been an intention for Day Crafting to provide a practical skillset for us to make happy, perfect, brilliant or remarkable days. In the Body-clock workbook I’ve devoted a whole section to the idea (wouldn’t that together with the Introductory Workbook make a good Christmas present?).

What about you? As we are nearing the end of the year, how many remarkable days have you designed and crafted? Have you kept hold of the benefits of these days by recalling them? I’m putting together an exercise to review the year and recall these days more effectively for newsletter subscribers.


The Practice

How many remarkable days should we schedule, design and craft in the new year? More or less than 14?

Written by Bruce Stanley on Fri, December 02, 2022

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