Happiness – a pretty elusive term. How is it possible for a nine letter sequence to succinctly capture all that ‘happiness’ encapsulates, inspires and yields. It just can’t. And the beauty of its concept is that it’s totally independent and individual to each and every one of us. I have a pretty bangin’ list of happiness inducers, my go-to smile makers, but I can almost guarantee that this list is unique to me. I’m yet to meet another human who gets as excited over a bunch of kale as I do; and on the flip side someone who bangs on to me about their new ‘Ford territory D5 cab chassis with a V8 tri cylinder engine’ with the boldest of smiles just ain’t going to get that reaction from me. Sorry, not sorry.
People can personify happiness and exude joy. These people are usually pretty unawares of it, that their subtle nuances and mannerisms radiate a hefty dose of the feel goods, and just go about their business leaving a trail of magic and sparkles in their wake. Disclaimer – if this is you, hit me up, we need to meet for coffee asap rocky please. And, the shadow side of these joyous people are those who don’t perhaps realise their unhappiness. Many people often think that life isn’t necessarily correlated with a perpetual feeling of happiness (heads up, I believe that it can be if you want it to be) and spend their days a little downtrodden and sad.
Think about yourself for a second, and hold that image of you in your minds’ eye. Are you smiling? Are you positive? Are you slumped? How does your energy feel? Is it light or heavy? Is it bright or dull? How do you perceive yourself in terms of happiness? Is happiness a priority for you or is it an unrealistic ideal? If people were to describe you – would ‘happy’ come up in their list of wonderful things that make you ‘you’?
I reflected on it in the past, in an entry just following my return from South America (a whole six months ago), that I kind of lost myself and that connection to my ‘happy’ when life dealt me a few curve balls last year. The way that I saw myself, my life and my future was, in essence, picked up and shaken, leaving me to assemble my perceptions totally independently. I had always thought of myself as a ‘happy girl’, I smile a lot, I genuinely adore errybody in my life and the world around me, I can usually find the positive to every situation – yet some of the people who were closest to me challenged this image. Labeling me as ‘unhappy’ and in doing so left me completely confused as to how I could have gotten it so wrong … how could I think I was something that I just wasn’t.
Cue twelve or so months later and the biggest lesson of my adult years blaringly loud and glaringly obvious – Happiness is an Inside Job’. Sure, you can enrich the lives of others and share a little of your magic around, infusing love and care and fun – but we can never be directly responsible for the happiness of others. Our sole (and in fact our ‘soul’) responsibility in life, according to this old chestnut who yields no real wisdom or know how but is fumbling as she goes, is to figure out what sets our hearts alight, what makes us happy and learn how we can cultivate that each and every day (independent of circumstance and context). People within your life with come and go, material possessions will come and go, beauty will fade, money will fluctuate, the scenes and backdrop of your life will evolve – none of these things remain constant except for you. If you figure out how to be happy, how to create happy and how to emit happy, regardless of outside appearances or tangible constructs – then you’ll truly find your happy and be able to really and truly experience it, in its blissful entirety, erry dang day.
The moment I stopped giving a shit about whether or not other people deemed me to be ‘happy’ and just started pursuing stuff that felt right for me, was actually when people started to comment on how ’truly happy’ they perceived me to be. Write the own rules to your happiness, without allowing the opinions of others to influence your choices or path, and watch the right people and opportunities and enchantment etch its way into your life.
– TIPS TO UNCOVER YOUR HAPPY –
1 // Think back to when you were little, before anyone told you how to be or who to be or what to do, and try to recall what you enjoyed? What made your squishy, little, puppy fat laden face contort its way into the most joyous of smiles? Next step … forget that a billion years have passed, go and have an exploration of how these same happy-makers feel for you now!
2 // Start to take a little happiness inventory and introspective look into your energy levels throughout the day. Sipping on your coffee – check in, are you happy or anxious? Sitting down to write that report – check in, does it make you feel positive? Notice recurring themes and patterns into what yields what. Do the times in which you are outdoors usually bring about ear to ear smiles; or are you usually smiles a plenty when surrounded by others? Does time in the car usually bring about an epic dose of road rage and anger towards the world? What brings your energy up and what drags it down?
3 // Figure out how you can take what you’ve learned in steps one and two and then shape it, mould it, contort it until its able to be replicated (as best as it can) within your day to day life. Yes, its true, we all have responsibilities and things that are required of us that might not make us 100% happy, 100% of the time. But I think it’s a pretty pessimistic viewpoint and a waste of a rare and one-of-a-kind life, to believe that our days weren’t meant to be spent in a state of joy and contentment (active contentment, not the ‘near enough is good enough’ complacent kind of contentment). If reading makes you happy – sub out the Bachie re-run and gift yourself with a half hour reading sesh. If connecting with friends makes your heart go boom boom, but you don’t have time around work to see them, send a text or phone during your commute. Infuse a little of your happy into your every day.
Here’s what I’ll leave you with – a final Emily thought and recent epiphany – life is too short to spend even a single second of it unhappy. “Do what you love, and be done with the rest”. Find your happy, manifest your happy and live your happy.
Blessings and love from the happiest chicka in the Southern Hemisphere x