Hunting happiness?

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Easter week­end is nearly upon us. As a child I looked for­ward to our tra­di­tional Easter egg hunt, hunt­ing hap­pi­ness in the garden.

What­ever the weather, on hear­ing my father announce the arrival of the ‘Easter bunny’ my brother and I would rush out­side, paper bag in hand to delve amongst the spring foliage, peer­ing into tulips, care­fully sur­vey­ing bright heathers, fol­low­ing trails of sprout­ing clema­tis and hon­ey­suckle, in the pur­suit of a tiny choco­late eggs wrapped in bright shiny foil. Very rarely did they melted in the spring sunshine.

This after­noon I bought two bags of lit­tle eggs, to hide in my cot­tage gar­den on Sun­day for my three sons, my niece and nephew. Char­lie, my eldest at 23 years old prob­a­bly enjoys the occa­sion the most of all! I indeed love watch­ing them too. Hope­fully they’re grown up enough to bypass the argu­ments and tears over who has col­lected how many eggs, but I’ll let you know about that one later!

I have recently read and thor­oughly enjoyed Rachel Naomi Remen’s book “Kitchen Table Wis­dom.” Dr Remen shares a vast num­ber of true short sto­ries from her can­cer patients and insights she has gained over her many years as a physi­cian, a pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine, a ther­a­pist and long-term sur­vivor of chronic dis­ease. She is one of the ear­li­est pio­neers on the field of mind/body health which fas­ci­nates me. Since my expe­ri­ence with breast can­cer almost four years ago now, I con­tinue to be amazed by the incred­i­ble impact our thoughts have on our health, well-being and heal­ing and how import it is to under­stand what we attract into our lives, too often in total oblivion.

Rachel believes that in shar­ing sto­ries and thoughts it helps us all to heal, so I have writ­ten down a few of mine to share with you today.

When asked, ‘What do we want in life?’ I believe most of us will say ‘to be happy’. As I look back on my life, I was always in the pur­suit of over­all hap­pi­ness. Often I felt it was never quite in my grasp, just those few feet away, I was always nearly there. Whether I was try­ing to achieve bet­ter grades at school, sav­ing for a hol­i­day, get­ting mar­ried or even hav­ing chil­dren. I was always look­ing else­where or onto the next hori­zon , whilst often gaz­ing at oth­ers who had what ‘I wanted’ and try­ing very hard not to sound envi­ous of their circumstances.

Hunting happiness?

I have spent much of my life look­ing out­side for hap­pi­ness and ful­fil­ment in life. Only hav­ing can­cer did I stop and ask myself how impor­tant was my life to me. In my search for answers I began to realise that true hap­pi­ness lies within me, in my con­tact with the real me, not who I think oth­ers would like me to be. It may sound cliché but I do feel my soul is revi­talised by nature around me. I have a sil­ver dog charm, I call ‘Grat­ed­ful’ which hangs from my hand­bag, each time it jan­gles it reminds me to be grate­ful for every­thing I am able to do, have and enjoy.

Have you ever bought a dress and stood moments before in the chang­ing rooms, admir­ing how you look, excited at the prospect of wear­ing it out? To ‘feel’ good. To have the con­fi­dence to stride out, know­ing you look great. Then for some unknown rea­son sev­eral weeks later you put that same dress on and won­der why on earth you bought it ? ‘What did I see in that?’ Those fleet­ing moments of hap­pi­ness, cre­ated in buy­ing the dress have passed and quite pos­si­bly now you are annoyed with your­self for friv­o­lously spend­ing the money. You can tell — I’m writ­ing about me!!

Yes, I do enjoy going out to din­ner, going on hol­i­day, being able to buy gifts. I would like my own house and quite pos­si­bly a new car but I know that whilst these goods will bring a smile to my face, often equal sat­is­fac­tion if not more comes from imag­in­ing their arrival.  How I choose to think, makes all the difference.

When I was 16 weeks preg­nant with my third child, I was told the foe­tus had died in my womb and I would need an oper­a­tion to remove all that remained. I had been con­vinced it was a girl too! When the time arrived that the child would have been born, we went away on hol­i­day to Greece for a 2 weeks, tak­ing our eldest son Char­lie, out of school. The weather was per­fect and we relaxed on the golden sands. On return­ing to the UK how­ever I felt incred­i­bly low and depressed, I couldn’t lift myself up for sev­eral weeks. I could have allowed myself to see how lucky I was to have my two won­der­ful sons, to have been on our first hol­i­day but I wasn’t aware of the impact my thoughts were hav­ing on my health, on my appre­ci­a­tion of life.

Yes­ter­day my youngest son pro­duced a long list of items, his school require him to have for his ori­en­teer­ing week­end in a fort­night. As I glanced down the list I began to feel stressed. Most of the items we didn’t have not to men­tion the cost of buy­ing them. My stom­ach churned, until I released what I was attract­ing to myself with those set of beliefs, based on pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ences. Instead of fret­ting ‘how’ I was going to man­i­fest these items, I allowed myself to believe that they will appear when required either through hir­ing them, on loan from friends or pos­si­bly decid­ing that given the time of year, he sim­ply won’t require them.  I imme­di­ately felt a shift inside me, calmer and more relaxed I reminded myself what a great time he’s going to have, how much he’s going to learn.

I am still learn­ing every­day to appre­ci­ate life. To be enriched by the beauty around me. Not to feel stressed or dis­ap­pointed when things don’t go the way I planned or expected, but to hold belief and faith that God, the Uni­verse has some­thing bet­ter in mind. I ask myself daily ‘how I feel’ about given sit­u­a­tions and con­tinue to fol­low my instincts and intu­ition, when I remem­ber to pay attention!

Easter Sun­day, tra­di­tion­ally seen by Chris­tians as Jesus’ asser­tion into heaven. I’d like to think God is part of every­one of us, but we need to ‘seek’ in order to ‘find’. I believe we have far more con­trol of over our des­tiny than many of us like to imag­ine. I have to thank can­cer for open­ing my eyes to the power within me and around me. Whilst my chil­dren will be seek­ing choco­late eggs and hunt­ing hap­pi­ness in the gar­den on Sun­day, the whole expe­ri­ence will bring us all together to cel­e­brate life.

Happy Easter.

Think it. See it. Achieve it.

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Category: Connect

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