C.G. Jung wrote, "..the world is empty only to him who does not know how to direct his libido toward things and people and to render them alive and beautiful." (CW vol. 5 253). The capacity to feel happiness is thus a cultivated ability. Shamanic psychology teaches that illness and well being are choices. We direct energy into life and beauty and happiness becomes possible.

Of course, this depends on clearing out emotional debris. We can't put on a happy face and suddenly experience authentic joy. Emotional falsity and superficiality do not create genuine well being. Working through underlying psychic gunk, old pains and resentments, must precede the knowing of joy.

Happiness is the experience of being alive and knowing life to be beautiful. "I feel it in my body," said a trauma survivor. This person had felt the pain of being physically and sexually abused. Their body had gone numb and at times felt dead. "Now, I feel the change of seasons, the shifting light, different scents in the air. I'm alive. I'm happy."

She went on to say, "Happiness is my life process. It's always in the works and I'm always working on it." Dream material showed her, the dreaming ego, as shoveling through the debris of the day and each day discovering a particular luminescent stone. They were natural stones such as lapis, turquoise, agate. Each symbolized a particular understanding of importance to her for that day. Conflicts and contention held potential for meaning and insight. She learned to, in the words of Jung,  "direct libido toward things and people and to render them alive and beautiful."

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