I believe there is one fundamental driving force that propels the vast majority of us continuously moving forward, irrespective of our beliefs, experiences or life circumstances. Without indulging in ‘wordy’ explanations or lengthy analysis of what it is, or the multitude of superlatives we could use in the expression of it, the holy grail and at times elusive state I am referring to here is…..drum role….. ‘happiness’.
This is what we are all aiming for ultimately, is it not?
Happiness….How do we define it? How do we create it? How do we sustain it? Happiness has many other names….perhaps we call it peace or contentment, how about fulfilment, excitement, joy or my favourite…..truth……but whatever label we want to give it, the one common denominator we can all agree on is the sometimes hard to hold, fleeting nature of it.
What creates a true sense of happiness within us? Is it based on our physical appearance, the material objects we have acquired, or perhaps what we have achieved professionally? Arguably with much of these acquisitions or achievements we inevitably come to the realisation that they too are only a temporary and/or unsustainable source of true happiness. Is our happiness dependent on our physical health, our mental health or perhaps our conditioned thinking or spiritual beliefs? It has always been my view that what makes us truly and flexibly happy comes from a deep sense of connection, consciousness and peacefulness, an ability to accept life in all its wonder AND in it’s expression of difficulty, or as I often refer to as….life in all it’s manifestations of grace.
However, as true as that is, I am still a woman with needs, expectations, desires and attachments. To name but a few – I acknowledge I am slightly clothing obsessed, I religiously colour my hair, I have an arguably healthy pre-occupation with cosmetics and skin care, I LOVE high heels, I adore chocolate, I appreciate a good glass of wine and so on……It was once my understanding that having these attachments meant I could never quite reach my goal for spiritual fulfilment, believing that to truly find that complete level of peace and connection, in other words sustainable happiness, I would have to eventually let go of those attachments. Thank goodness I let go of that misperception!
My life’s balancing act was born from an extensive and continuously evolving background, both personally and professionally, of eclectic and at times perceivably completely contrasting worlds. A career that originated in the world of modelling and fashion, that meandered off into the study and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, massage/body therapies, psychotherapy, counselling, meditation and martial arts before returning, once again, to the more aesthetic worlds of the skin care, cosmetic and hair industries – what a ride! Then along came cancer; one of the toughest, most frightening and yet utterly enlightening periods of my life. It is here that I must mention that finding my sense of balance was enormously tested, and yet it was in these truly confronting and challenging moments that I felt my understanding of a ‘balancing act’ was further refined into a life sustaining practice.
To me a sustainable sense of happiness is the ultimate balancing act: living mindfully and connectively, maintaining a healthy body and spiritual consciousness, having fulfilling relationships, passionate pursuits and indulgent expressions of creativity…..and most importantly….lots of adventure and fun!
Sometimes the scales may tip and balance must be restored, awareness always playing a key role in continuously assessing your equilibrium, ensuring your own personal balancing act, and hopefully in turn, your own unique version of happiness.