What is happiness?

Happiness_Sign_001

Happiness is not a destination …. it’s a way of life.

Most people would say all they want is to be happy, this suggests right now they are not. That is an awful lot of unhappy people!

What is it all of these people are looking for, what is happiness?

In my experience it is not a bigger better anything, car, house, relationship, money. People turn up at my door, looking mainly to change something about themselves or their circumstances so that they can be happy. All of these things are on the outside, happiness is on the inside. Happiness is simply being comfortable in your own skin, being loving and accepting of yourself …. unconditionally. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Why do we stop accepting ourselves?

We are born accepting ourselves. Have you ever seen a newborn baby worrying about how his or her birth weight compared to someone else’s? Whether their nose too big or the wrong shape and what people will think? Whether Mum and Dad will love them? Is their cot the latest one with bells and whistles on? No, we start out expecting the best because we deserve it. If we are hungry we shout loudly until we are fed, if we are tired we cry until someone lays us down to sleep. We expect our needs for survival to be met and this is our only concern.

The Chinese have a saying, ‘we are born knowing everything and life is an unlearning experience‘.  We are born knowing what we need to survive. These are love, food, shelter and protection. We are wiling to shout loudly to get our needs met. As time goes on we realise that if we shout too much or too loudly our parents (love, food, shelter and protection) start to get stressed and tell us to stop. We are already learning that our needs have to be put second to our parents’ need for peace and quiet because we need them to love us so that they stay with us.

We smile, this seems to make them happy. We have our first disorder of emotions but we have also noticed when we cry for no reason we get loads of attention until we stop at which point they put us down and leave us alone. All children want the undivided attention of their parents and no parent can give it, however perfect they are. By the time we are two, we begin to get more of a sense of self and our power over these adults, who have long since lost their own sense of self. We call it the terrible two’s but it is also the beginning of the end of loving ourselves unconditionally. Manipulating to get attention by being ‘naughty’ gets negative attention but at least it is attention. Most books and TV shows on child rearing teach parents to only reward positive behaviour and most parents think they do that, however then shout or react negatively when the child does something they don’t like and put them on the naughty step. To the child this is also a ‘reward’.

Then there are the things parents say to children without thinking about how the child will take it on. I overheard this in a supermarket, a mother trying to cope with her three year old child’s behaviour said, ‘grow up, behave or you will be the death of me‘. Another said, ‘you are driving me mad‘. These examples are not uncommon, children are like sponges, they take everything on adults throw at them and take responsibility for things they cannot control. A child being told off by her mother with the words, ‘how can you do that when my world is crashing down around me‘, did not know what was going wrong in her mother’s life, only she was responsible for the world crashing down around mother and she grew up with a fear this could happen anywhere she lived.  One of the more unusual phobias I have come across.

It is no wonder even in the most loving families, children grow up into adults who feel less than. Less than what or whom? We then start to look around us to see what it is that others have that seem to make them happy because they are happy, aren’t they? We focus on what we can see they have that we do not, the big house, the car, the relationship, the……. the……. the……. It is endless because as soon as we have any one of those things we realise, ‘it didn’t do it for me after all.

If you are reading this maybe you have come to the point in your life when you know that you will not find ‘it’ on the outside or find it some time in the future when things get better. Happiness is inside you and now, not tomorrow. Stop the endless chatter in your mind that says you are not good enough and look inside to find the real you. You are good enough and you are worth it.

Read about Rosie’s pot of gold on my Mindfulness page. She gets it, you can too.

Google it, to find @pp-iness

HelpKeyGoogle it, to find @pp-iness!

I am amazed at the ease with which we can find out everything there is to know, about any subject imaginable.  Yet the one subject we fail to gain any ‘knowing’ of is ourselves.  We can look up the symptoms we suffer from, or the labels we have been given however there is nothing to be found about the unique person that we are.  We can read how other people with similar experiences to our own feel about those experiences but it does not help, somehow it doesn’t quite fit us.  We have been led to believe there is a quick fix or no fix for all the ills of mankind and all we have to do is Google it, download this app, read this forum or self help book and we will have an answer to sort us out.  However can you find @pp-iness?
I have no apps, forums, blogs or downloads to ‘fix’ you.  I do have the certain knowledge, based on taking thousands of people not at all like you, through a process of self discovery, that you have all the answers within you.  I don’t think you have all you need to know within you, I know you have.  It just requires the right key to open the treasure chest that is your full potential and you will ‘see’.
Neuroscience says, ‘ just think differently’ and you will create new neuro-pathways these will result in new behaviours and although they are right, have you ever tried to ‘just think differently’.  Not that easy when your current thinking has been repeated daily since you were a child.  Do you even know what you think and where those thoughts and beliefs were first formed.  Firstly you need help to become your own observer, step back from yourself and see/ hear what others do. You also need someone who can hold a mirror up to the person you really are.  Step by step you will learn to ‘think differently’ and because it has been a step by step process, rather than an ‘it’ doing it for you, the new pathways will become your familiar route to being you.
A client once told me, although she was a successful business woman she felt like a child hiding behind a big cardboard cut out of a successful business woman and she would soon be found out.  Also it was taking an enormous amount of energy to carry the cardboard cut out around.  I find most people can relate to this feeling in some way and can like her eventually come out and say to themselves, ‘I am amazing’, however it is a very personal journey.  Taking the first step on the journey can seem daunting however once the first step has been taken the rest come naturally, one step at a time.