As many of you will know I am busy working on a happiness project at the moment called The Happiness Effect, it's a 2 day workshop based around exploring what happiness means to you and how to access happiness in your life in each moment. Through my research around happiness and my own personal journey over the years I have learnt that taking time to ask yourself "what is happiness" is the path to unlocking it within yourself.
When you explore what happiness is you also get to learn what it's not and what it means uniquely to you. What makes you feel happy might be completely different to your partner, friends and family.
I am not speaking about positive thinking, which can sometimes trick our mind into thinking we are happy when actually we're not. For example staying in a job you really do not like, or a difficult relationship. I mean that sense of joy, and also peace, you feel deep within when you feel real happiness.
When I was younger I used to delay my happiness, I'd think to myself when I have travelled to X country then I'll feel happy, or when I have achieved a certain income, bought a certain item of clothing (on the never ending want list!) and so on. This way of thinking left me with a constant feeling of striving and dissatisfaction with the present moment. In fact back then I probably was not even aware the concept of the present moment!
The difference now is that how I am being in the present moment is the key to my personal happiness. How I am choosing to spend my time, doing the things I love, the things that are good for me and feel right in my heart. It's spending time in nature. It's being grateful for what I have in my life right now. It's being with people I love, that fill me up rather than take away my energy. It's also being in awe of the magic of how life unfolds naturally in it's own perfect timing and having faith in that.
Robert Holden (author of fab book "Be Happy") has a great exercise to connect with what makes you happy, he calls it "The Very Happy Exercise". Take a few moments to work through this and I am sure you will gain some insights into what happiness means to you:
Complete the following sentence 10 times:
I am very happy when......
Next write down the date by each point when you last experienced that.
Then notice what you can learn about happiness and yourself from this. It can be a very insightful exercise.
If you would like to find out more about our workshop, The Happiness Effect, please visit our website and you'll find there is a special early bird discount on offer until Thursday of this week - £200 instead of £495 which is the full price. This is only available until Thursday!