So it’s taken me nearly half the month to start writing about happiness, it’s been up in my head but typing out the thoughts became a block to getting started. I think I am feeling a bit sensitive to what others will believe or judge me on, when they see my perspective on ‘happiness’ over the next few blogs, but here goes… I’m pleased I have started, and in this exact moment, as the act of writing gives me so much joy, it is my happy place.
I often have Clients come to me with their happiness being the measure of success. The first question I ask will be, ‘what does happiness mean to you?’ I can’t count the number of puzzled looks I get or responses which start with, “I don’t know…’ It often leaves me quizzical too. So here is some of my perspective, from much reading, research and more from experience. You may agree you may not, but try some of it and see if it has an affect on you (that’s if you feel you need to work on it!)
I don’t believe happiness is an emotion. Rather, it’s a response to the emotions you’re feeling and if sustained over a period of time, it becomes a state of being (incorporates your mental health, emotional state, physical wellbeing and sense of spirituality or connection with yourself and the rest of the world) It’s about participating, showing up and being who you are, pushing yourself to be more, and experience more.
So what is staggering to me when I observe others is the number of people who aren’t willing to do anything about it. Living life through the eyes and experience of others, comparing themselves, not feeling good enough, that they have enough, and all the while not focusing on what makes them feel better and more fulfilled – and taking steps towards changing that. It’s linked to the Einstein factor, do the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
I also notice a tendency to wrap happiness up in cotton wool, like it needs to be treasured and specialness bestowed upon it – as it can’t be sustained over time or may run out. A strong judgment of other emotions then occurs; therefore happiness is deemed right. We are meant to experience all the different states, it’s the pleasure of being human. Even the ugly emotions like jealousy or envy, frustration, hatred, being complacent and indifferent have their place and they are okay too. Can you notice if you strive to keep happiness at bay, or for special occasions?
Experiment a little…
Take a moment to think about what happiness means to you? No judgments of yourself, no comparisons to others – what makes sense? When was the last time you felt it?
Join with me the next few weeks of October to discuss happiness and factors that contribute to it. I also wanted to add in this image of one photograph I found many years ago and it absolutely represents pure joy to me. I can’t remember the name of the photographer but would love to be reminded if anyone knows? Have you got an image that does the same for you?