I’m going to be honest with you, I talk a good fight but sometimes I am a little short on the action required to make it a reality. That was until I discovered my happy place, a small piece of mental real estate far from the madding crowd, safe and secure from all life’s ills. Now my mission is simply to stand firmly on that small piece of land and watch as the troubles and storms of the world pass me by.
Now before you start thinking I have lost the plot completely and am in need of some urgent medical attention let me explain. This train of thought is the result of spending five hours in the presence of the Dalai Lama – the symbol of joy, peace and happiness –and some of his note worthy friends in one of the most peaceful encounters I have ever experienced. Five hours flew by and I never once looked at my watch. I was too preoccupied with my ‘happy thoughts’.
The Dalai Lama starts and punctuates his day with meditation; a practice that has been languishing on the top of my ‘I’m going to do list’ for longer than I will admit to, but in the five hours I was in his presence I was mindful of my thoughts and conscious of the energy in the room.
Suddenly the answer to the question: what makes me happy was easy to answer and the answer was simply I do! That was it, in that moment I knew that I didn’t need material things, I didn’t need more money, I didn’t need a man!
None of those things are prerequisites to my happiness. I am living in a world full of choices and life’s choices are like a restaurant menu and I can just point at the happy dish and say I’ll have that one please. The Dalai Lama says “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”, so I’m taking action!
I was reminded that boats do not sink because of stormy weather; a boat will only sink when the situation on the outside gets in on the inside and just like that, the negativity and challenges of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.
My encounter with the Dalai Lama reminded me of a few things:
- Life is simple. It is we who make things complicated. The Dalai Lama said that the things we are concerned about in life – fear, worry, anxiety etc.- rarely kills us, but if they do then it is over!
- No one else but you is responsible for your happiness
- We can’t always determine the cards we are dealt in life, but we can always choose how we play the game
- Happiness is a learnt behaviour and we can always learn how to be happy
- We hold the key to happiness, it lies within all of us
- Everything in life is about the choice we make
I am exercising my God given right to choose and in every situation I will consciously choose to be happy and each moment I will claim my oasis in the midst of the storms of my life and vehemently defend my piece of real estate. I am not saying that I don’t or won’t have challenges or issues, what I am saying is whatever is going on in my life there is always a happy place and my job is to find it!
I challenge you to find your happy place and to make it your mission to live there.