Happy International Happiness Day my darlings!
As today's celebration of happiness perfectly lines up with week 7 of my #findyourslow mindfulness challenge, I'm encouraging you to really question what happiness means to you, and when the last time was that you laughed out loud or your heart felt giddy with excitement.
It's different things to different people, and that's ok. To you it may be sinking your feet into the sand, with the sun on your skin and salty spray of the sea. It may be spending time going vintage clothes hunting, or maybe having quality girl time with your circle of light. There is no right or wrong answer here, and it's completely subjecting. I want to encourage you though to think about being more playful, and jolly. Not the deep content happiness, but the fun childish joy that has a peak.
In my slow life makeover these last two years, my focus has shifted to my internal state. Being mindful means needing less external validation of 'what happiness looks like' and looking internally to clarify what happy looks and feels like to you. Comparison is the thief of joy and if you are comparing your life to others, especially online where everything is filtered and edited, you'll always feel lees than. In my Find Your Slow challenge, every week's article has been aimed at helping you to shift your focus inwards and really be present. I no longer look at what other people are doing, or travelling to, what they have or say they have. I stopped buying fashion magazines and only ever buy books and lifestyle magazines that celebrate the same things I believe in. I no longer look at other brands or businesses, I don't even look at fashion trends which, for a fashion brand, would normally mean death. My whole life focus is on my happiness, my purpose,and attracting my tribe that resonates with me.
In your journal today, I want you to clarify what HAPPINESS looks and feels like to you. Start with remembering and writing a day that you think Cindy of when I ask for a happy memory. What happened that day? What were the sights and sounds. What did you feel like inside you, where in your body can you feel it as you write this memory? What is the one word that describes that feeling? Use that energy now, and that word, to write your Happiness Bucket List. This is a list of things that really you really have wanted to try but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Don't think about the how or why, just write whatever comes to mind that you've always enjoyed or wanted to try but never got around to it. It could be 5 things or 10 things. This list is the beginning of your love affair with happiness. You can keep adding to it whenever something new comes to mind.
Now take something on that list that is easy for you to do, and book a date in your diary with that happiness. If it's getting your hair done, book a date next week with your hairdresser. Tick.
Next thing, choose something outside your comfort zone. Maybe you used to really enjoy painting but haven't drawn in a long time. Look for a local evening life drawing class and book yourself it. Tick.
There is no rule or order you need to do these in, but you do need to commit to one play date per week. Commit to you happiness.
As you work your way through your list, you will notice yourself starting to expand beyond your comfort zone as your commitment to happiness grows. Today it's and art class tomorrow it's skydiving! How fantastic is it to have a date with your happiness that you get to arrange and choose. It sounds alot more structured than it is, but the idea is that you finally start to make 'one day' your TODAY. There is no pursuit of happiness, there is only doing and being. Stop putting happiness in future tense and start to incorporate into your routine, make it a priority.
Life isn't one big picture, but little moments that make it into one complete picture, like a puzzle. Have fun putting that puzzle together, size you get to choose how you'll build it.
Playing was something that we all enjoyed doing as children. Unless you still do a sport or have a hobby that's really fun, we get so obsessed with doing things for a purpose that we forget what it's like to do things just because it's fun! We go to the gym to feel good and fit, we go to work to be productive and have an income, we buy things we need or like. We even turn our hobby into a side hustle, because it seems everyone these days has one of those?! Not every hobby needs to have a purpose beyond pleasing us! Your love for embroidery or knitting can be just for you.
Every other weekend, my bae and I go to visit nearby villages in the English countryside. This is something I did in Cyprus too, so I love to see how different it is here in the UK. We also do it when we travel, to see the landscape, the homes, the people. Last week as we were walking we came across a children's jungle gym. Being the big kids that we are, we started playing on the ones that we could fit on. I was surprised to see that we spend about 15 minutes just on the swings. When was the last time you enjoyed swinging without a care in the world? Or jumped on a trampoline.
The endorphins your body releases when you are excited or working out have a long lasting effect on your overall mental and physical health. Not that you need a medical reason to be happy!
Share your Happiness Bucket List with me below in the comments and I'll do the same.