We’re all looking for happiness, it’s one of the common traits that bind us as human beings.
And of course there are many obstacles to finding it!
One of the biggest reasons many of us aren’t happy is because of the idea we’re sold that happiness can be bought.
Or that it’s instant, that it’s siting somewhere waiting for us to stumble upon, like a shiny new toy on a shelf, or a magic tree in an enchanted forest.
We start to believe that if only we knew that secret location we could finally find that instant happiness we’re so desperate for. Couldn’t we?
No! Because true happiness doesn’t come immediately just like that. It’s not an off the shelf ready made solution.
Happiness too, is not neatly packaged, all in one place, and all from one source, like that new computer or gadget that seems to do everything you could possibly want it to, AND make you tea and toast in the morning.
All the time we’re looking for this all in one happiness, we’re fooling ourselves and making it harder and harder to find what really will bring us peace, contentment, joy.
Let’s instead think of happiness, and creating a happy life, as a tapestry.
We all have golden threads running throughout our lives. These are the themes and passions that keep recurring in different guises and make us feel most engaged, most alive, most us.
Your golden threads might be singing, or teaching, or gardening for example.
To create a happy and fulfilling life, we must first find our golden threads, then begin weaving our tapestry.
Finding them alone is not enough.
There’s no point knowing that you love dancing and then never setting foot on a dancefloor. Your threads must be honoured and given your time, energy, creativity and devotion.
This is where your tapestry of happiness comes in. You have the individual threads, so start to weave with them.
With your thread of dancing you might start weaving by going to a dance class every week, and dancing for 15 minutes each day. You might have offshoot threads that involve discovering new music that you love to dance to, or reading about the history of dance, or watching films and documentaries about dancing.
These are all around that same single thread – dancing.
Then you might have another thread, say eating delicious food. You can serve this by going out to great restaurants. Offshoot threads might be cooking your own meals at home, studying nutrition and diet, or growing your own vegetables you can then cook and eat.
Each thread can be woven into many different things, many beautiful parts of your overall great tapestry.
The tapestry itself then must be woven together, the different parts of your life – the diverse threads – all bought together as one.
This is about finding balance, finding what works for you in various combinations.
If you only ever danced and didn’t have any time for eating, relationships or rest for example, you wouldn’t necessarily be very happy, because that balance would be lacking and you’d feel burnt out.
Let’s talk about you for a moment.
How does your own tapestry of happiness look right now? What are the most dominant threads?
Are there other threads that have been neglected recently that you love to begin weaving in again? What are they? How can you reintroduce them?
Are there threads in your tapestry that don’t serve you well, that weigh you down, that disolour and dull the rest of the threads? How can you begin to reduce and eliminate them?
Happiness is not a ready made pocket sized solution that you’ll suddenly be given one day.
It takes patience, and courage and exploration to go out and first find your best threads, then slowly weave them together into the most beautiful tapestry you can.
Your tapestry is unique. The bad news is there are no short cuts, and no-one can weave it for you. But this is also the reason why it’s such good news. You can weave it exactly as you wish, and you can begin right now, today.
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