Ever since I was a little girl all I desired was to be happy in life.
I would say, “Once I ace this test I will be happy. Once I have a boyfriend who loves me I will be happy. Once I graduate high school and go to college I will be happy. Once I graduate college and move back home I will be happy. Once I get a job I will be happy. Once I do something that matters I will be happy.”
Notice a pattern?
A) I was never grateful for what I had. I was always looking to the next thing as if that was going to be the source of my happiness.
B) I was living my life in a definitive linear way, following all the steps. First you have to do this, so you can have this, so you can achieve this, and then you will be happy.
The bizarre thing. Everything I was doing to make myself happy, was keeping me from happiness. It was a vicious cycle of always looking for more, always waiting for the next thing, always on the journey and never arriving. Never being fully present in my life. Never BEING happy.
When I was 20 I graduated college with honours, got a great summer job as a graphic designer for Manitoba Hydro, and had a fantastic boss who was letting me move my workspace from the Winnipeg Hydro office to the Brandon office. This would mean after two years of long-distance I could move in with my boyfriend! It was AMAZING. It was all I ever wanted. I was soooooo excited. For the 2 weeks leading up to the big move, all I could think about was how perfect life was going to be when I was finally able to be home for good.
Well the weekend finally arrived. I pulled my 2003 Malibu, loaded to the rim with my belongings, up into Josh’s driveway, ready to move in and be happy.
That Saturday morning I was sooooo excited. I woke up early and was ready to start unpacking and rearranging!
Josh woke up shortly after and got ready to head to the farm to do chores. As he was leaving I said, “Oh Josh I have a busy day ahead of me, when you come home you’re hardly going to recognize the place!”
Josh gave me a stern look and said something along the lines of, “Don’t do too much. You’re not the only one who lives here.”
You see at the time, Josh also had a roommate, who was probably not as excited about me moving in. Mostly because Josh’s girlfriend moving in meant less time for Josh to hangout with the boys lol …
Regardless, I had to do something! So I went ahead and moved in all my things – trying to be as discrete as possible – and rearranged Josh’s bedroom, so I could have space for my things too.
Josh arrived back home that evening and I quickly ushered him to his bedroom and with a proud “tada!” revealed his newly organized room. It wasn’t THAT dramatic of a change, but a few pieces of furniture were moved and I took over one of the dressers. Josh proceeded to sit me down on his bed and give me a talking too. “I know your excited,” he said, “but just be aware of how you’re making (let’s call his roommate Todd) Todd feel.”
I knew he had a point, so I with little resistance I agreed to tone down my excitement. But regardless of my agreement, I started crying anyways. Not a gentle sob, or a gross ugly cry, but a steady stream of tears that would not stop.
I felt absolutely ridiculous. I wasn’t actually that upset about it, and I knew I had everything I had ever dreamed of, so why was I so sad!?
To be honest at the time I wasn’t really sure why, or maybe I was sure, I just didn’t want to admit it to myself. But looking back now I know exactly why I was so sad …
I was stuck in the linear thinking mode of life. I was telling myself, I got the job, I got the guy, and I finally get to move home, NOW I will be happy … but I wasn’t. As soon as Josh popped my happiness bubble with his one comment that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I realized life was still exactly the same as before, I still had an underlying feeling of unhappiness.
I had built up all these crazy expectations for all these materialistic, external things that were going to make me happy, instead of looking inside at what it would take to BE happy.
Since then I have made a lot of changes, which I talk about often. I meditate every morning, practice daily gratitude and forgiveness, release fears and doubts, have a greater sense of self, more confidence, and genuine trust in myself and the universe. I have learned to live in the moment, be grateful for what I have, choose for me, be generous of spirit, and BE who I truly am.
This is what has brought me to a space of happiness. Not achieving, but instead, being.
But my growth hasn’t stopped there.
In one of my recent Instagram posts I talked about an appointment I had with a naturopathic doctor. She asked me this super simple question, but it has totally expanded my entire outlook on life. She asked if I believed in myself. I wanted to say yes, but I realized that no, I do not believe in myself.
This one question has caused me to dive into an even deeper reflection of my life – of what I would do if I truly did believe in myself – and a lot of points have come up about this darn linear thinking thing that we get sucked into all the time. Of achieving and not being.
As hard as it is for me to admit, I realized that even now in my life I am choosing to do a lot of things with the expectation of “achieving” more happiness … to be specific, I have been taking on all sorts of side freelance work, in the hopes that I can one day make enough money doing my side-hustle to quit my day job, in hopes that I could eventually transition out of graphic design completely and become a finally after that become a full-time artist, which is my lifelong dream … isn’t that totally backwards though?! Why do all the preliminary work?! Why not just do what I would like to do now!
Because that is how our brains work. First I will do this, then I can have this, so that I can finally be here and do what I would really like to do.
So instead, I’m choosing to BE an artist now. I have no idea what that looks like. I have no idea how I’m going to do it and that’s okay. We don’t need to know all the steps. We don’t need to have a detailed master plan. All we need to do is choose it. Be in the moment, ask for what you would like to have, and choose it when it pops up.
For example, as I’m sitting here writing this blog post on a sunny, winter, Sunday afternoon, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do after I finish this post … will I work on my online course? Fix up my website? Make some food? Or, listen to what I am being called to do and paint a picture that’s been swirling around in my head all week!
Hmmm .. let’s see … Yes the picture from my head wins!!!
I call it Happy Winter Mornings. I experienced this view while taking a morning walk last week — it has not left my head since!
I hope you enjoyed this piece and I hope you enjoyed my little insight into what I know as true happiness.
The takeaways from my story today: be okay with where you are, be grateful for what you have, be honest with yourself about what you really desire, believe in yourself, ask the universe/god/yourself for what you would like to show up, and in every moment, as choices pop up, choose what feels light to you.
If you do this, you will flow with the acoustic energy of life. You will allow greater possibilities to show up than you ever imagined possible. You will BE happy.
Keep shining friends!
P.S. If you are a creative woman, who has a big heart and desires to live a vibrant, joyful, abundant life, please feel free to join my private Facebook group here! In this space we will be sharing even more specific tools on how to create a life of happiness, among many other topics 😉 I will also include content that you won’t see anywhere else! Hope to see you there!