Hello! I've been wanting to personally say Hi to you, and finally found the perfect moment to do so.
First of all, thank you for reading our journal - a safe place where you can find tips and stories to accompany you on your personal happiness journey.
Why did I start this? Because, I too, am on this same journey as you.
I've spent most of my life constantly wondering, constantly seeking this seemingly elusive feeling of joy and elation that people around me seem to have. One day, I had a startling revelation - the feeling of joy and elation, is not a rapturous and euphoric high that we see in the movies or social media. It is not the rolling on the floor laughs nor the triumphant moments after procuring that coveted branded bag; These things just don't last.
Have you ever felt a great sinking, plummeting feeling of nothingness after the above-mentioned moments are over? After the night of inebriation is over, you feel lost once again. The bag that cost thousands, brought all but a few hours of pride and victory. Before we know it, we're coveting something else again, perhaps, another night of deeper inebriation, or an even more expensive bag.
I heard this saying, "I need another holiday to get over this holiday.".
A never-ending pursuit of 'Happiness'.
Perhaps, we've got it all wrong. 'Happiness' had been completely misrepresented. The words of association like "euphoria", "rapture", "cloud nine", "ecstasy", "exhilaration" are just distractions.
So, what exactly is Happiness?
Five years ago, I stumbled upon meditation. I started meditating because I was so sick of my chronic insomnia that plagued me to no end; I would be up for 72 hours before crashing for 6, and the cycle would repeat again for the next 6 years. For 6 whole years, I lived like a zombie and hated my life. (In case you don't understand how an insomniac feels - imagine a perpetually defeated, disappointed feeling in addition to the exhaustion the body physically feels conflicted with a mind that refuses to slow down.) I tried drinking warm milk before bedtime, I steered clear of caffeine, I sprayed my pillow with Lavender essential oils, I turned off my phone, I bought expensive contour pillows, etc. I did everything in the book yet nothing worked. There were times I was so desperate to sleep, I'd cry, calling out to the universe to save me. I just wanted a wink, just give me a minute of sleep, please?
I've read much about meditation but I wasn't into Yoga or Religion so I didn't think I was a suitable candidate for it. It wasn't until I felt desperate enough to give it a shot.
However, I didn't agree with forcing my mind to focus (because I simply couldn't!) or wipe out the thoughts swimming in my head (how do you do that?). I know that meditation is sacrosanct to many, so I decided to come up with my own version where my thoughts were allowed to swim in my head and I would review each thought to understand what I was thinking about.
I started very simply, and rather inconsistently. When I remembered to, I'd:
- turn off distractions while driving (no music) and sit with my thoughts
- stop leading a social butterfly lifestyle (if you notice, it's all about others' pretentious, mindless rants that can actually be a distraction to our own thoughts)
- stop reading the news (the news tend to monger unnecessary irrational fear amongst us)
- be grateful for whatever I have in my life, instead of comparing with others and feeling envious or worse, self-deprecating afterwards
- respect my own thoughts and not judge them as silly or unworthy
- stop rushing for things to happen; everything happens at its own perfect time.
Over the next few months, I started to doze off! Slowly at first, sometimes 1 to 2 hours each night, and sometimes the sleeplessness would creep back. But it kept improving and I now manage a good night's sleep almost 95% of the time.
The feeling of being able to sleep felt like bliss and I honestly think this was just a small step in the greater scheme of things the universe has planned for me. But most importantly, I wasn't afraid of being insomniac anymore. The fear of being sleepless was lifted off of me; I felt free!
Many years later today, I have realised that true Happiness:
- lasts and lasts
- is a calm, peaceful, at ease with yourself, kind of feeling
- brings me a kind of lightness (feels like freedom) and understanding of life, that I've never felt before
Before you think this is some woo-woo stuff, let me assure you that it is. :-P
I can't put a label on it, but if I had to, I'll call this "Understanding Life".
Happiness is a result of simply understanding life, and not running away from it.
You probably think this sounds too simple to be true, but please give it a shot if you're facing health problems or a sense of sadness that wouldn't go away. I'll be back again with more nuggets to share. Meanwhile, please continue to read our blog, as my team and I painstakingly gather and produce helpful life tips and stories to inspire all of us on our happiness journeys.
Sending you much healing and clarity,
(Photo credit: David Chan)