Yes, that’s where I am, in happy land. I’m happy! I’m pleased with my life, I like my life.
Getting there have been work. I started looking at what wasn’t working in my life, what I weren’t pleased with. The first part was recognizing the unhappy thoughts – I dislike my life, I will never be happy, I don’t belong, life is meaningless etc. and figuring out what triggered those thoughts, and what feeling of loss was there, what was I missing in my life?
Then I started looking at what I liked doing, what gave me a sense of pleasure and well-being and what I wanted from my life. What I really wanted was a feeling of peace and stillness within myself.
So how does one find peace and stillness? It’s not something one suddenly can decide and then feel it immediately afterwards. I had to search for it.
The first decision I made was that I will not grow complacent about my own well-being. If I’m unhappy, I need to figure out why and deal with it immediately. If I wanted peace, well, god damn it, then I had to work for it. What stopped me? What troubled my mind? Peace and happiness is an internal mood, but to get it I had to deal with external problems, internal issues and doing activities that I liked.
From a friend I got two tips: Nonviolent communication and Katie Byron. Nonviolent Communication is about how to communicate with others in a compassionate way, but it’s also about finding and recognizing ones needs in dealing with oneself and others. I started working through the issues I had, and my needs behind them.
Katie Byron have come up with a process called ‘The Work’ for dealing with issues and suffering in ones life.
By combining these two methods I started working on myself and figuring out what I needed to do to moving forwards and becoming happy. That was the start, but it’s an ongoing process.
I have never been particularly interested in self-realization books, but when I started to watch Oprah and get some tips, I got the sense that I can use those too feel better and I started reading them. I bought ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle and ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. I take what works for me and discards the things that doesn’t work for me. What I have found is that by even taking the time to read those books, I feel better and more happy.
I have made several decisions over the course of time:
- I shall like and be happy with everything I do.
- My surroundings shall have people that care about and love me.
- Affirmations, I tell myself every day that I like my life, I am secure about myself and everybody in this universe will work to make me happy.
Weekly happiness tasks:
- Exercise at least once a week
- Go to a cafe, relax, read a book etc. once a week
- Spend at least one hour each week on my religion (reading, translating etc).
- Doing an activity that connected me to other people. In my case I decided to do some volunteering work for Red Cross and for youths.
- Indulge myself with a massage twice a year.
- Visit my friend in Trondheim at least twice a year.
All of these activities are something I want to do, that gives me joy. I look forward to each and every one of these activities. And what I find is that this list keeps on growing over the months.
The result: I’m happy
Things like cooking (which I haven’t liked before), I suddenly enjoy. I enjoy baking, cleaning up. Even the smallest task is suddenly something I look forward to. I feel peace and stillness within myself, and my life is richer for it. And I nurture that happiness each day, so that I may never loose it again.