Thoughts of happiness

I’ve been thinking, how do you know if you’re happy, or not? What is your measure?

I spent some time in Cornwall last week with my aunt who has recently lost her husband, so I certainly didn’t expect her to be bouncing around happy as Larry but something she said shocked me and made me realise that a) I’m happier that I thought and b) not everyone else is….yeah I know, I knew that already, about others not being happy but sometimes when you’re in a place of acceptance and your world is fine, you forget that others may not be on your journey.  It’s not that I’m so happy that people can necessarily tell just by looking at me but that I’m living in a good place and doing my best at everything I’m doing and life is absolutely fine, even with bumps in the road.

I may not yet have my business up and running, I may not be financially independent of the corporate job yet but I’m working to get there and I’m further ahead than I’ve ever been before and I have a plan to move forwards, it doesn’t matter where I am on that path I’m moving along.  Everyday I work on my mindset, making sure that I turn negatives into positives, constantly thinking about my business, I listen to motivational cds in the car and read as much as I can, is this what is making my outlook happier? Quite possibly so.

When reflecting further I can see how far I’ve come from the beginning of my coaching, it just isn’t obvious until something happens which makes/allows you to look back.  I thought I’d lost myself when I was married but in reality, it happened more than once, I just lost a little bit more each time it happened. I was talking to my son’s girlfriend over the weekend and I enthusiastically told her about the workshops I ran after my marriage finished and after I took my holistic massage, aromatherapy and reflexology qualifications…I had forgotten about those and the talks I gave to the WI and local diabetic group plus all the workbooks I developed, how had I forgotten? Where had that confidence gone? I even had my own little business which I’d run while working part time, I gave that up when I was made redundant and had to work further away from home, then I’d had people demolish any self-confidence I’d had by questioning my abilities, that’s where I’d become lost again.

How I love and celebrate being different now, I don’t like being predictable, no fun in that; I prefer to keep everyone on their toes not quite knowing how I’m going to be when I get up but at least I’m happier these days, I’m kinder to everyone, including the dogs, if they are irritating me then the kinder I become…wow that really throws people the dogs just accept and enjoy .  Things are just so much easier when you accept/go with the flow and don’t fight the process, I even laugh when things go a bit awry it’s all a learning curve.

Back to my aunt and what she said, her marriage wasn’t the best and although she never wished her husband the worst she wasn’t bereft when he died, it had been a long two years and she nursed him herself, only getting help in the last few months, it was incredibly hard on her, no family nearby and although we all rang several times a week, she was on her own.  I expected her to be lonely, you can’t live with someone for 50 plus years and not miss that company.  I didn’t expect her to tell me that life wasn’t worth it, no she isn’t likely to do anything drastic, she wants to do some travelling and catch-up with family but she feels that her whole life has been a struggle, no fun and if I look at it she’s never had it easy, childhood was hard and being married to a man who built up her confidence only to smack her down when he realised she was stronger than him, she worked while he enjoyed himself and spent the money, she even worked when she was so ill she nearly died.  At no time did she do anything that even remotely can be called fun.  Why didn’t she leave, that’s more complex than I want to go into here but it shocked me that she wasn’t looking forwards to all the things she can now do, yes money is an issue but can be solved with a little bit of manoeuvring, so it also saddened me but did serve to show me that all I could see were positives whereas before I may have agreed with her and become low myself.  I have to acknowledge that I’m in such a different place now.  I’m excited by the future, the possibilities in front of me and even the journey to get there.

I have learnt so much, nothing is going to happen unless you put yourself out there, you cannot sit and just visualise your future, you need to take action on it in order for the Universe to find you and do its bit, never forget ‘thoughts become things’.

So, am I measuring my happiness correctly? It’ll be different to yours I’m sure but possibly doesn’t make it less than yours, just different and next week it could be different again.