If we are struggling to find purpose in life, then another possibility is to find our happy place? A place where we find peace and comfort. Our happy place is somewhere we can retreat. It is our sanctuary. It is a place to help us thrive in life when life is more on the downside, then the upside.
If you are someone who does not experience the ups and downs of life than you are truly in a happy place. But, for most of us life does not work like that. It might go along alright for a time than the unexpected happens. It can be as simple as turning on a tap that will not turn off! Or running late for work and there is a collision with another vehicle. The rippling effects of these two incidents can go on for some time. It can upset our equilibrium and dismantle our happy place in minutes.
But then what about the major events in our lives? Marriage problems; unwanted separations; hurt and angry children; the loss of a home; financial problems; mental health problems; domestic violence; a natural disaster; alcohol and drug abuse; homelessness. With just one of these events in our lives our happy place can disappear in a moment. I have known people who juggle more than one of these events. Then, how do they find their happy place?
Finding our happy place is a destination of choice.
We all need our happy place to get away from a situation causing us discomfort or stress. Finding our happy place does not mean we have to spend lots of money to go to a mountain retreat, rainforest walk or a beach to relax and unwind. We can do it in the place we find ourselves.
Your happy place might be a place in your home or your garden. It could also be an activity that gives you a sense of quiet contentment.
Finding your happy place can also come from recalling a memory. You will know when you find it. It creates a smile, and you feel good about yourself and life, even when life is throwing you curve balls.
A happy place is where we can find and lose ourselves in the moment.
The happy place for Australian artist John Olsen, is his art studio. He refers to it as his chapel, a place where he creates and prays.
I do not have far to go to find my happy place. I find it at home. My home is my sanctuary, my sacred place. A place where I am comfortable, at peace and happy. I can find my happy place by a walk in the garden. Even sitting at my computer and writing with music in the background, makes me happy. For the moment I am taken to another place. All the cares in my world disappear.
Our happy place does not have to be created. If you take a walk in the park and sit under a tree. It is always there, waiting for you.
Ideas for your happy place can be created by you or nature.
Surround yourself with items you love. This does not have to cost lots of money. Shop around the second-hand shops.
Light a scented candle and sit quietly. Be aware of the aroma. Muse on your dreams.
Spend time at your local park or botanical gardens. Allow only beautiful things into your eye gate. If we cannot go there in person, we can visualise a beautiful garden.
Put up some fairy lights and create a wonderland, inside or outside. Do not wait for Christmas. This is all some people need to feel good inside. To gain back a sense of well-being.
If you do not like isolation your happy place could be in a library or a shopping centre. Are you one of those people who find their happy place sitting in a crowded shopping centre and people watching?
Then there are water views, lakes, and oceans. Watching the motion of the water or sailing across the waves. Or simply a bathtub with bubbles.
Your happy place might be in walking. Is it around your neighbourhood or on a golf course? We do not need to travel the world. Our happy places are all around us. Yet, is our most tranquil, most happy place found within?
Finding your happy place in happy memories of places and people.
Not sure where your happy place is, then take a seat. I did this during the week. Then it is time to recollect your happy memories. Where are the places you have been that gave you joy? Who are the people that bring you joy? Think on such times.
Where would you be right now if it were possible? A happy place for me was at a café in a cobbled back street of Rome, eating pizza with red wine and listening to the excited Italian conversation around me. If only, I could go back now! But I can close my eyes and remember. It takes me back to those happy times.
Then there is the imagery of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Sitting on the balcony, starring at the lake, and listening to the church bells. Why don’t we have more church bells ringing these days?
I have a great memory of sitting in a cottage in Ireland on a cold evening looking at the fields outside, while the peat fire was burning. The roasted lamb dinner was cooking in the oven. Riverdance was on the television. I have so many memories of happy times to recall when I need to find a happy place.
But if we want a constant happy place, it must come from inside ourselves. Next week I will write about an extraordinary person who in extraordinary circumstances did just that!