To date, there are 103,289 books with the word ‘Happiness’ in the title listed on Amazon.com.
That’s right: 103,289.
Do you think our forefathers and mothers were in such a search for this elusive thing called Happiness? Something is going on here as we now have the world at our fingertips in a phone, we are more global than ever, and at the same time by 2020 depression is predicted by the World Health Organization to be the number one cause of disability worldwide.
It feels like as the world is speeding up, there is more and more pressure to be ‘happy’. But the contradiction is that happiness cannot be found out there somewhere, even in a book. It can only ever be found right here. And it is found differently for everyone. What does the word ‘Happiness’ conjure up for you? It could be health, meaningful relationships, meaningful work… but even then it is passing. I’ve got an idea: how about we give up in trying to be happy and accept the following truths: life is messy, life is challenging, and life involves suffering. It doesn’t mean we don’t try to move every.single.day towards what feels good, but we also accept that the downs will happen, and it’s ok.
In the book ‘Joy’, Bishop Desmond Tutu, who was a leader of peace in South Africa during the dismantling of Apartheid, encourages us to accept the full range of human emotions: laugh, cry, be horrified… that is what it means to be truly human. Coming from one of the most joyful beings on the planet, who has also endured tremendous suffering and witnessed incredible trauma, I would say it’s good advice!
Take the pressure off. When you feel down, you feel down. Once you can accept that, you can move forward. Don’t ignore it or try to escape. Just move slowly and carefully towards what feels better for you:
- What thoughts can you nurture through your mind that feel nourishing?
- What small thing can you do right now to feel better. A walk? A phonecall? A cup of tea?
Now, the biggee. I want to share a story. On Christmas Day my family and I woke up in South Africa to a beautiful sunny day. Since we had made a big journey, Santa was not as generous with presents, in fact, there were none. The trip was the present. Now, my youngest boy woke up eagerly as always but soon found out there was no tree, no presents to open and naturally had a hard time with this surprise. In his disappointment, I asked him what he would like to have received. He wasn’t sure. I asked him what other boys in South Africa would like to receive. He came up with toys and shirts. I asked him if he had any extras he would like to give away… you see where this is going.
We went through his small amount of baggage and picked out things he didn’t need and made a pile. We put them in a bag, went out and looked for people who might benefit from new clothing. Of course this didn’t take long to find a mother clearly impoverished, so with dignity and respect we asked her if she would like clothes and gave them away.
My son had the biggest smile on his face as we walked home together thinking about how her family was going to open the bag, and perhaps have a brighter day. It was small, but it was significant.
When we give, we feel better. No matter what is happening, we can always give. A smile, a listening ear, a word of support, or your time to volunteer. When we make the world a more giving place, we give hugely to ourselves. We are wired to give to others. The world will give back in unexpected ways. Try it today and see.
And now I have a special gift. I am looking for 3-4 people who have anxiety and are interested in a holistic approach to feeling better. I am trying out a way of combining all my most effective tools to create a package for you in my new home space.
I will provide:
* a safe, confidential space for 2.5 hours (including a break) on a weekday
* a listening ear and expertise
* a combination of cognitive (thought) work, breathwork and maybe even a couple of yoga poses if you want
* a practice package that is unique to you, your situation and your struggles
* a copy of my book “Mindful Breathing”
* a $300 value for only $100 as it is a trial offer
* have struggles with anxiety and know life could be better
* a willingness and commitment to practice
* will provide me honest feedback and a follow-up call
* have 2.5 hours on a weekday and $100 to invest
* a sense of humour is encouraged!
Let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested. I’m really excited to be able to provide lots of good stuff for people to find more ease in their lives.
Reply back to email@example.com and we can see if this is a good fit:)
Lots of love,