We all have the ability to find our inner contentment and peace today. It can be a challenge, but you can do it. The resources are not necessarily found in books, in expensive therapy sessions, by finding the perfect job or the perfect mate. You already have the tools.
I touched on this topic a few weeks ago in a post titled “Where’s Your Happy?” http://wp.me/p3yLoX-mn
In that post I mentioned the long sad road of trying to find my own Happy, and finally discovering it was right within me instead of being found elsewhere. I recently read a few articles that hit me with enough force to encourage me to share more of how I learned to keep a grip on my Happy.
A few years ago I was still working long hours doing online customer care, post moderation and writing FAQ articles for a large multi-player social online gaming company. I mostly worked from home. During my last years with them I suffered through several major foot surgeries as well as a repair to my left patella (known as knee cap in most circles). After each surgery I had to go through physical therapy which included lots of walking. I would regain the ability to walk two to four miles each day and then be laid up another eight weeks following the next surgery. Fighting my way back to mobility was not an easy assignment. I made slow but steady progress because I was determined to. But I often felt battered despite the continued improvements.
Then the job I’d loved for several years became much more stressful. One morning as I sat down to work at home I experienced symptoms of a heart attack. I got to the hospital, was examined, treated and admitted for further testing and observation. It all turned out to be a false alarm – likely brought on by stress.
The episode is one I now joke about, dubbed the “fake heart attack”. But it was scary at the time.
I had to make some serious life changes.
The smart choice was to retire in about six months at sixty-five instead of waiting until I turned sixty-six, accepting a lower amount of monthly social security. The plan was to reduce stress and finally have time to create and sell art and do some writing. I began putting plans in motion.
Also around that time my long-term relationship with the man I’d thought would become my husband ended. It ended sadly. More stress and turmoil took over my brain and body – I lost my Happy.
********I wore out two pairs of walking shoes trying to calm my inner turmoil********
Reducing monthly living expenses meant moving from the San Francisco Bay area to live in a small Mid-Western town where my middle son and family reside.
That meant I had to pack up everything, rent a truck, get it loaded and drive myself and my belongings about 1860 miles away.
No friends or family lived nearby anymore to help.
There was not enough money.
I began pawning jewelry, selling electronics and household items – anything I could think of.
Family and friends donated what they could afford to help out.
None of this felt like progress; it felt like failure.
I was confused and lost track of my Happy.
To motivate myself to keep walking despite physical and mental pain I began listening to audiobooks. One of them was Dr. Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Darrell Cherry recently mentioned it in a great post you might like: http://yourlifebetter.net/life-and-living/.
I hope you will check it out.
Listening to that autobiographical account from a concentration camp survivor helped put everything back in perspective for me. I then “accidentally” listened to Dr. Wayne Dyer. I think he was on a PBS special – cannot recall for sure but it caught my attention. What I was reminded of by both those men was how to regain my Happy. It feels like I have learned my lessons well, as I’ve been tested a few more times since then. The difference now is I have a solid grasp on what matters, and feel I am in control of my future path. That is not to say I know where I am headed all the time – ostacles and detours can occur, but I am not derailed. I know my path.
I embrace my Happy and my internal integrity.
It might seem as if I looked outside myself to find my Happy. Nope. I simply utilized a few tools, if you will. I did all the internal work just as anyone else needs to do – and can do. That was easy. The hard part was the suffering that led up to my awareness and positive growth.
If you are interested in realizing how such internal security can even affect presidents, it seems “The Butler” is a movie that demonstrates it nicely. Watching the movie prompted Lisa G. Froman to write about it in “No, The Room Should Not Feel Empty When You’re In It”: http://taoflashes.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/no-the-room-should-not-feel-empty-when-youre-in-it/
Think of a world that feels welcoming and full of possibilities. Make it that way. Let it embrace you.
I’m not always a serious sort – mostly I am filled with all the possibilities that await each of us and that makes me smile.
Okay – I AM serious about seeking and finding your Happy.
Wishing you happy days always…