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The Russian writer Count Leo Tolstoy proposed that there were five tenants for happiness which no one can deny. The first of these tenants is a connection with nature. The second tenant is labor, which is better expressed as willing productivity. Third is family life. The fourth is free, friendly communication with others. The fifth tenant is health. Tolstoy wrote that if these five things are present is a person’s life they have no choice but to be happy.

In our illness we were cut off from any or all of these basic ideals. We had no appreciation of nature, even if we were living in the most naturally beautiful place on the planet. We viewed any form of labour or productivity as a hardship. We isolated ourselves from others constructing walls all around us making us unapproachable. We destroyed our connection with family. Both mental and physical health did not exist. We saw only what was wrong with the world and what was wrong with our lives in general.

If we come to understand that we can start today to look for natural beauty, even if it is just a flower on a window sill. To be willing to be productive in any way we are able, even it is just to make our bed and have a shower. To reconnect with family, forgiving the hurts and seeing the real importance of the love you can only receive from family. To put ourselves out there and take down the walls to develop friendships that can grow. We can start today to improve our mental and physical health.

We have to start somewhere and maybe these simple ideas will be a starting point for you.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.