Don’t interrupt me, I’m on a roll!

Headphones

It’s pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious – KIN HUBBARD

Obnoxious. Even the word sounds obnoxious, like onomatopoeia or something. This is so true isn’t it?

At the moment I’m efficient. I have almost reached my diet goal, my house is looking less cluttered and fresh, my ironing is up to date. Yada, yada, yada. I start my day with a run and I am even today blogging before work again (yay) now that the clocks have changed and it’s lighter in the morning, my favourite time.

So why am I obnoxious? I called my sister in London and cut the call short (45 minutes, in my defence) to get my morning started. I should mention though that she has just completed ‘the works’ in terms of breast cancer treatment over the last few months 😦 and we don’t speak often enough.

At work I guess this quote pans out also. As a customer service consultant I start every call with ‘how are you going?’ and my callers also ask me how I am too most of the time. This is hardly efficient and I used not to do it but I realise it’s a good way to build rapport, just by showing that you are spending those extra few seconds exchanging pleasantries and I like to vary my response when they ask me from ‘Great!’ to ‘Excellent!’. I even tell the full truth sometimes! My colleague usually says ‘I’m so well, it’s scary’ which always raises a laugh with the rest of us. There is always a way to inject your personality. Have you ever said ‘Fine thanks’ when they didn’t even ask you, or worse, had them do that to you, so you feel you should make them feel less stupid? We have so many laughs at work on the phone! I do love my job.

Anyway I digress. At work, the less ‘popular’ people are the more efficient ones it seems. They don’t always reply to your emails or your calls, or make conversation at the coffee machine. Basically they don’t take time to connect, which is what life is all about to me. 

How else can we be obnoxious? Cut in front of someone else’s car while driving, not give way when someone has clearly been waiting a long time, steal someone’s parking spot, why don’t you? Leave the toilet (or anywhere used by others) in a mess. Tell your kids not to even talk to you while you are blogging?  (oops!) All my examples seem to involve time and being efficient which proves this quote.

So are you going to be efficient or obnoxious today? Will you take an extra few seconds of your day to ‘give’ to someone else? Will you be a little more considerate on the roads, or take the extra time to clean up after yourself?  Will you dress or behave in an inoffensive way, thinking of the good of all or will you be on your own little mission?

Better still, will you realise that most people aren’t actually obnoxious, they are just caught up in their heads, thinking that they have to be perfect, do everything to the absolute best of their ability and that the race to the end is what counts? A kind word to someone so ‘efficient’ may make a big difference and release them perhaps.

time to do it right

And because I’d rather end with a picture, how could you ever look obnoxious doing this?

smell the roses

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When nothing is something

Froggy doing nothing

To do nothing is also a good remedy – HIPPOCRATES

For seven years I had a wonderful friend whom I met with once a week. Since his passing (RIP John Edwin Sheehan 1920 – 2007) I have flashbacks of the things he taught me. He would say ‘When you don’t know what to do, do nothing’. At the time, my impulsive nature and ‘bull in a china shop’ personality found it hard to fathom. To me, it was procrastination which is never a positive thing. But there was truth in it of course. Perhaps it meant to think about the situation longer and if action was needed later, it would be well thought out.

But what are the situations when to do nothing is actually something; a choice and not procrastination? Most likely when something is a consumable, expendable, time related and the opportunity will be lost forever if you don’t do it then. It could be using a non refundable plane ticket perhaps or speaking up at the time someone else is being bullied, or need rescuing from a burning car.

Sometimes when people are talking to me, if I am present and aware of awareness, I can catch myself reacting inside to what they are saying. If my ego was present instead, I might formulate a biting retort. But being aware means I can choose instead to do nothing. Smile and let it go; a much more peaceful alternative. In the past my favourite thing was to walk off in a huff when my feelings overcame me. If I had ‘done nothing’ and stayed put to see how things played out instead, it would have saved me years of uncomfortable impasses in relationships, especially when they didn’t come after me.

Anyway I digress. The image of the frog above suggests that doing nothing is lazy, idle. Look at the way his hands rest on his protruding belly. However, being still and silent like this has so many benefits we are told. It reduces your stress levels, calms your breathing so that you take in more oxygen (which boosts your immunity), makes you more aware and able to see the big picture in life, leading to better outcomes for you and all around you. You can tune in to your inner intuition and make better choices. I wonder if Hippocrates was aware of these?

I seem to be tuned in to the message that meditation is key to everything! For me, being aware of awareness as much as possible is almost like a mini meditation throughout the day, where I catch myself and think ‘this is me, thinking about me’, instead of I have to do this and she should do that or I hate this and I feel bloated.  Whatever 🙂

This being really aware is something I used to do as a child when I looked in the mirror (this is me looking at me) but it freaked me out at the time as I didn’t understand about being trapped in your head and ego and that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Eckhart Tolle is all about that.

So today, as much as possible I am going to ‘do nothing’. I will accept everything that happens, all that I have to do and everything that is said. I will listen as much as I can, react as little as possible, except with curiosity and not run around doing more than necessary for some outdated belief of being more of anything, to please my ego.

Hippocrates’ remedy for what? No clue exactly but let’s see. Maybe it’s the answer to inner peace.

 

But I didn’t ask for your advice!

I don't want your advice, son

There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as adviceJoseph Addison

Now that depends. Is the advice asked for? Do we hate it when someone says ‘if you want my advice….’? There are certain situations when everyone wants to give their advice such as having a baby, child rearing, dieting, or, god forbid, if someone gets cancer. Eat lemons, see that guru, eliminate dairy, meditate!

Sometimes we may think we are asking for advice but really we just want a sounding board. No matter what the other person comes up with, it may just be the vessel for helping us examine our own real beliefs. We may even realise that we want the opposite of what is being suggested. But at least we have our answers by resisting the adviser’s comments and stating our ideas out loud.

When do we go looking for advice? Are we open to it really? Do we have any intention of being swayed or are we too rigid to accept anything outside our current belief system? I like to think I am wildly open to any new idea or suggestion but if I am present and have time to contemplate while the other person is talking, I catch myself thinking. It might be ‘No, but’ and then have dialogue with myself (great multitasking while I am listening) and decide that I might tell them politely but firmly that it’s not for me, or I’ve tried that. Sometimes I might just agree and then go do the opposite! Some cultures are excellent at this; in fact it’s the only polite way to proceed.

Do you have these conversations with yourself, even while you listen to others? If I can be fully aware like this, I far prefer it as I come out with a more measured response and not a reactive one. It can also advance the conversation as you work out how they might respond to the first response you are formulating, so you predict both sides of the conversation and come out ahead.

Anyway, see if you can catch yourself thinking, next time someone is offering advice, and moderate your reply. By responding differently, who knows what different outcomes you might invite into your life and your relationships?

As I was saying...

First you want to cry

Tattoo girl

What do you see? Does this make you happy or unhappy?

This picture, which I just found on Pinterest is a good test for me in my life. My age, experience and the beliefs I have come to attach to my ego says OMG what a waste of such a beautiful young thing, whoever she is. She has ruined herself. How ugly, how rough etc etc. I am not a fan of tattoos. I think the fact that they can be permanent adds to my dislike because I imagine her perfect skin scarred in the attempt of removal. All I see is greeny black mess where luminous young skin should be. One should be focussing on the beauty of nature, not the ugliness of man. Man just can’t compete.

Yada Yada Yada.

But why should I care? Why should I judge? They may bring her immense joy for the rest of her life and be seen as ‘beautiful’ by everyone else. My teenagers will fight with me on this subject until they are blue in the face and I know it’s my issue. I should be happy for this lovely young girl expressing herself, being who she is. It’s only my opinion and I would like to let go of my dislike of tattoos because it serves no-one, least of all myself. My beautiful daughter even now has two small tattoos and I’ve heard that once you get one, it’s addictive and you will continue to cover your body.

Nina tattoo

So this is my lesson for letting go. I cannot control anything, I can only accept and embrace. Who says I am right about anything, especially taste? There is no such thing as good taste anyway. Everyone’s taste is as unique as we are.

These lessons in letting go appear everywhere, every second. Do you judge or accept? How does that work for you and how quickly can you let go? When you next find yourself reacting strongly to something as I did to the photo of the young girl, use it, go with it and hopefully start to resolve it. For me that’s the way forward.

 

 

 

 

Digging the dirt

When you dig be careful where you throw the dirt – WGB

This seems a little sinister after my tale of love and self acceptance but I wanted to explore this. It seems like a little quip – being clever with the metaphor of digging but I can see an extraordinarily valuable lesson here.

I want to share an experience I had years ago where my partner was cheating on me. I became a super sleuth, thinking I was so clever by winkling out every piece of information on who, when, where what! Well I might as well have taken a very large plank of wood and beat myself over the head with it!! For every time I found something I would almost go into shock. It was like a stabbing pain in my heart, the blood would drain from my face and I would get really cold and start shivering. The worst thing that happened was that I forgot basic maths skills. I would add two and two and make five, or two hundred and even a thousand! Seek and ye shall find. I sought, I dug; dug with my bare hands in effect and smeared that dirt all over myself, before I continued digging.

Imagine if we had some milk and it was off. Getting a rancid mouthful is not nice but it’s useful information. We deal with it. Continually testing that sour milk in every coffee, or on cereal or to make smoothies once we know the milk will probably give us a sore stomach, is just madness. We have our information. We dug and we found dirt. Lay the dirt gently aside and process what you have found. Stop digging.

Indulging an awful addiction is the only way I can describe it the sleuthing and was one of the bleakest times of my life. It was not because of the events – yes he was troubled enough to think that chasing other women would help him escape his woes. I don’t judge him for that. The problem was my reaction and the need to keep attacking myself with all the details which clearly hurt deeply. I didn’t see that then. It was like I enjoyed this heightened sensitivity. I was full of rage; self-imposed I now realise. I told myself wild stories about what a monster and a liar he was and that I was undeserving of this treatment. However he wasn’t doing it to me. He was just doing it to himself. In the same way I was just doing this to myself; looking for further proof that I had a right to anger and misery. But we probably all have a right to anger and misery if we relive our past and judge an event as worthy of self pity. Of course I was actually afraid – of my life changing with the split; of being unlovable, alone and broke.

But all good things come to pass. And I say good because ultimately we were fine and good friends and better off apart. What I have learned from this quote is once you have dug and found what you are looking for, process it, and let it go. Don’t take the dirt, roll in it, smear it on your friends with your rants, fling it at everyone who comes near. Step outside and see it objectively or seek help to do this, as if it were happening to someone else, because your own health, mental health and wellbeing are at stake. It is extremely difficult to do but you get the ultimate prize – the strength to deal with crises as they arise, and more importantly the knowledge that you have that strength when you need it.

Powerful beyond measure

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure – Marianne Williamson

These words by Marianne Williamson, part of a wonderful essay on how we should let our own lights shine, and be brilliant, were quoted by Nelson Mandela in a speech. They are now falsely attributed to him. I do not imagine that Marianne minds as I believe that she would rather her message reach the world. It’s an important message – that it is our duty to develop and share our gifts with the world. Not because the world needs more, it probably needs less, but because of the energy and good feeling generated by people finding their own brilliance is contagious and adds to the collective good.

Marianne realises, however that we are we are held back by humility, fear of looking arrogant, fear of surpassing and outgrowing our loved ones, and making others feel insecure around us.

Primarily we miss out on greatness and we hide our talents under a rock because of our fear of what other people think of us. If I could instil anything at all into my children, it would be this lesson – to not contemplate or stress about what we believe others think of us. I have had many a futile conversation in my head and caused many a forehead wrinkle in this endeavour, for absolutely no positive outcome that I can think of. Others will think what they like and it does not ultimately have to affect us, except in the contemplation of it. Plus I am also often so wrong, to my own detriment.

Why would we fear being powerful beyond measure? For me it’s a fear of inadvertently doing ill with that power. We would have to take responsibility for our now more powerful actions; actions that might have further reaching implications than anything we do now, in our little, sleepy life.

As we exhibit our talents, we are more likely to attract the attention of others – people who will see our actions and judge us. We project onto our observers every thought we have about our own capabilities. It is like a magnification of our own beliefs and fears about ourselves. If there is any self doubt at all it would be torture. But imagine if, when the naysayers came out of the woodwork as they surely will, that what they say does not touch you? You observe, accept and even learn from it, thanking them in the process, because you are strong inside.

So what I have learned just now by exploring this is that your fear of unearthing your talents will evaporate once you have self acceptance and let go of worrying about others. You are not that powerful anyway. Any power you have, they have given you. It is their choice. Identify and take back your own power in the same way. You ultimately choose your thoughts.

As you develop your confidence, you will erase the self doubts. There will be no inner fears to magnify by being ‘brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous’ and thereby attracting attention. You are already powerful beyond measure and that kind of power is not to be feared at all. Fame and success if that’s what you seek come afterwards, as a manifestation of your confidence. You just know that you enjoy developing what comes naturally. Life flows. You can gradually accept the acclaim if you believe you deserve it and know you have worked for it.

As you mature, events in your life are seen for what they are – just neutral events; neither good nor bad. You can accept them with grace. You need not fear others’ reactions because you realise it’s just their opinion and you don’t have to give it any power. If those you love react to you suddenly changing, growing and shining, know that it is their reaction, independent of you. Hopefully your presence will liberate them and they will uncover their talents and join you. If they shrink away, give them love for they need it most. It is their own journey.

 

Too High A Price

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it – Henry David Thoreau

I don’t like the thought of having to pay a price for anything but of course we always pay in one way or another. People will nod their heads sagely (as in sage, a wise person) as they say ‘Yes, that’s the price you pay’. And of course they aren’t usually talking about money. Price, cost, charge – such negative connotations even though by the mere act of consciously deciding to part with something in order to get something else, you are appreciating the value of that purchase.  Conscious is the important aspect here.

The kind of price I most fear paying most is the price of happiness, inner peace, sanity. I’ve lost all three at times it seemed and whatever it was that shook me; it was too high a price. I also value honesty, integrity and being able to sleep with myself at night which means of course that I probably miss out on a lot of ‘fun’.

How do we recognise the things that cost us in that way; that exact too high toll on our life; on our inner peace? Do we know ourselves well enough and the likely outcome of a certain action that we repeat in our lives until we learn the lesson? For a recovering alcoholic the price of a drink may be too high. It will likely cause inner turmoil and disappointment. For a battered wife who believes her husband is sorry and has changed this time, the price of keeping the home together when he regresses again is probably too high. She distrusts her ability to judge – herself or him. Do you know your values, and the price you pay to hang onto them? Are there situations where you wobble and can’t decide your course of action because you forget the price you will pay?

Henry talks about price as being ‘the amount of life’. How do we measure this amount of life? It’s unlikely to be in years. I could say I gave 15 years of my life to my ex husband! But that’s rubbish. I didn’t do any such thing – I lived and so did he during that time. We lived, loved and had a good time. No price paid there. Other ex partners might count that cost if they feel they ‘gave their best years’ as if being younger meant those years were better in some way. Most people I know love being the age they are; we are always at our wisest point with all the lessons we have learned along the way. Actually we are always at our youngest, most gorgeous point too. Tomorrow I will be older and a little more wrinkly so today is great! I’m the most gorgeous I will ever be. Enjoy it Emma. Life can just get better and better.

Anyway I digress. I think Henry isn’t referring to time. I think he is saying that the price of your decisions is the toll on your inner life.  Value your self acceptance and the confidence to deal with what life throws at you. That’s worth hanging onto at any price.

Why am I shrinking?

All are apt to shrink from those than lean upon them – Lord Halifax

I admit I went to find a suitable quote today for a troubling experiencethat  I had this morning. I shrank today from someone who appeared to be leaning on me. I would like to think that I rise to the challenge of a troubled soul. I write each day to soothe my own soul and hopefully remind others of what is important. However this is the second time this year that someone seemed to want to hear what I had to share but fought back so hard against my ‘advice’ that I shrank and ran away. They were looking to me for something I couldn’ t give –  validation for the ‘terrible circumstances’ which caused them such misery.

There is no such thing as a coincidence so I have been thinking today about what happened.

I was interrupted on my morning walk by an intelligent, attractive young man whom I had not seen in a year. He called out from where he was sitting on the most stunning little white sand beach behind the row of trees I was running past, and I went and sat down on an adjoining rock by the water’s edge. He asked how I was and I looked at the water, the view, the sunshine and said “Great! Isn’t this so beautiful? How are you?”

His expression in response told me all I needed to know. Then I noticed the brown paper bag wrapped around a bottle beside him, cigarette in hand which he had to relight a couple of times. I waited as he clearly wanted to talk. He was in despair because he had come back from where he had been living overseas for 6 months (dual passport but grew up here) only three days earlier in order to go for job interviews in Australia. He said his ‘heart was bleeding’ because everything overseas was so much better and Australia was awful – the people, the radio station, the traffic etc. He started to expand on all that but I stopped him.

‘Can you get back to this other country? I asked gently.

‘Yes I am he said, soon’. So what’s wrong? I asked again. ‘It is Winter over there. Can’t you just enjoy this mini Summer Holiday and this glorious place until you get your ticket? I hate to see you so sad.’

He denied being sad but get kept going on about how in this other country he had dated a model and was positively ecstatic for 6 months but here his heart was bleeding. I admit I tried to jump in with things like – ‘Happiness is internal. If you are unhappy here, you can’t depend on another country to make you happy. You will take your way of judging with you and eventually be unhappy there too.’ He swore that wasn’t true.

I tried another tack. I said that that when I had had counselling 10 years ago, the whole job of the counsellor wasn’t to hear me rant and agree with me, but to gently point out that my thinking was not serving me.

Nothing. He was convinced it was torture being here on this glorious day in paradise. And so it went on. I kept trying to escape because we were at such cross purposes and I felt powerless to help. I was being fairly rude in a way and very blunt, cutting him off even and agreeing to disagree on his way of thinking, not whether one country or another was better. I told him his ‘story’ was making him miserable and I could not understand. Could he not just drop his thoughts and enjoy the day?  Be present, here, now?

Despite my not sympathising with his plight he kept asking if I could stay, which I didn’t want to, to be honest. I said I really cared for him and understood his state because I had once had depression but that I decided I didn’t want to ‘receive the benefits’ of that horrible thinking any more and my way out was to take responsibility for polluting my own thinking and change it.

After 10 minutes I could not make a dent. He absolutely defended his right to be utterly miserable. And now I am left wondering if I totally failed myself, my values and my will to help the world, let alone him. Any answers for me my lovely followers?

My lovely flatmate has just asked if he was high and now I think about it, he did used to partake. Can I use that as an excuse for shrinking?

 

How to Fall in Love

The one that will relate with your beauty and radiance is the one that already experiences their life that way. The you that will find them is the one that is in love with yourself and the world. – Damon Gautama www.becomingfullyhuman.wordpress.com

I think this author/blogger should be famous so I am quoting him! I make my own rules here 🙂 Damon has kindly given me permission to use his words from time to time.

A mini lesson I had to remind myself of when I found his blog this week is not to compare myself with others! Otherwise I would cease blogging immediately and lose the joy I get from expressing myself openly. Here is another quote from me. There is room for the rest; not only the ‘best’ – Emma Victoria Capell 🙂

Anyway I digress. To me Damon’s quote is the perfect, in fact only, recipe for falling in love. I believe he is saying that you will attract the people into your life who experience life the same way that you do. When ‘the one’ is attracted to the beauty and radiance you (we all) have inside, they relate with their own inner beauty and radiance and fall in love. For your part, ‘the one’ part of you that loves yourself and the world, ‘the you that will find them’ will fall in love with their beauty and radiance in return because you can relate to it.

We all have different ‘you’s’, don’t we? The you that loves yourself and the you that berates yourself. Me, myself and I; the ego and the id. Too many voices. Choose which one you listen to very carefully.

Anyway that’s why falling in love is so magical. We fall in love with ourselves and life at the same time as we fall in love with the other person. Our optimism for the future soars. But which came first – the inner or outer love? I believe Damon is saying that when we have love for ourselves and the world inside us all along, we will attract ‘the one’, to come along and share the beauty and radiance of the world with us, so we both fall in love.

Of course attracting people who relate to your negativity also applies. People who connect with others by complaining still attract and relate to other people, but in a different way. It is still connection.

But back to the people in love. I think some find it harder to find love because they have this back to front. They think ‘the one’ will change their negativity, point out what they secretly hope about themselves (that they are beautiful and radiant) and make everything right. Unfortunately we are least attracted to the negative in people. It can feel like a vicious circle, looking for love to make you happy, when you don’t feel optimistic to start with.

So how do we maintain this optimism; this glorious feeling of being in love permanently? What does it take to fall in love with yourself, the world and therefore your life, without needing this outside person to point out the ‘beauty and radiance’ already within you? How do you unlock your love of yourself and the world? For me it took my incessant reading, learning, my journey and now blogging to clarify the ‘I’m OK’ message! It brings the message home. Finally! I have won the prize I sought! (Most of the time 🙂 )

By this rule of attracting others who experience the world the same way, my words may appeal to people curious about life and not scared of it; people seeking clarity and peace. I was originally hoping to find people who were depressed, whom I could really help, as I have been there. But unless they are looking for help they will not find it. Seek and ye shall find! And if they did find me and my cheery outlook, they might not relate and find me annoying.  I can only wish them well.  This happened to me years ago but I never forgot the bubbly lady in question. I ‘defended my right to be unhappy’ and felt she was unsympathetic at the time. She only wanted to help.

So thank you Damon for these lovely words. May ‘the one’ in all of us, continue to experience beauty and radiance in the world, in whatever form and as often as possible. And may ‘the you’ in all of us, fall in love with the world and ourselves whenever we can.

It’s a beautiful union.

 

Needlessly Happy

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

Unknown Author

Today I am a staggeringly rich man. Only I am not a man and I do not have a huge bank account. But according to this quote, I am a billionaire. I am so happy, that as my undiscovered artist friend Leanne Wilkes says ‘Sometimes Stella has so much love that she could hug the world’. Leanne has a beautiful sketch to go with that but I don’t know how to put up pictures so all I can do is link to another image of her cartoon character Stella having the completely opposite day to mine today.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/lost-reserves-leanne-wilkes.html

So why today? And how can I capture this feeling, put it in a bottle and take a large spoonful whenever I need it? I am having one of those days where you are so excited that you start ‘spinning’. You know, where you start to walk towards one corner of the room to make a coffee, say, but then you think, ‘Oh I will just wipe down that sticky surface’ and as you go to find a cloth you find yourself turning again to go do something else, until you end up literally turning on the spot with a huge smile on your face? That is the best feeling. You are enthusiastic for everything, even cleaning!! I have so much to do and I really want to do everything. I don’t even know where to start. I realise this is as good as it gets. Life does not get any better than this. Joy is Now. This is all I could ever hope for in life. Having billions and getting to meet Barbara Sher could not even improve on this mood. If I felt like this every day, you’d probably buy me one of those awfully long sleeved, tight fitting white jackets that only do up at the back. I have actually arrived at that fabled destination somehow without passing go and without enjoying the journey along the way, and I wish I had the coordinates on my GPS to work out how on earth this happened!

It doesn’t happen everyday. I don’t take drugs (or smoke or drink) and I have not eaten anything special. In fact I forgot to eat until 11am today which was so unlike me that I can’t ever remember doing that before. Everything seems to be falling into place for me and yet nothing in particular has. I have the same financial obligations, house and garden chores; everything that can stress me when I am in the wrong frame of mind but today it’s not wrong. It’s all right! It’s the opposite of getting out of bed on the wrong side. So I remembered this quote and sought it out on the internet instead of finding a quote in my calendar and forcing myself to examine it for its inherent wisdom.

Therefore today’s post may be a bit different but I am still looking for answers. Capture this feeling, examine it, be able to recreate it, Emma!! I know from experience that feelings are like quick sand. You can cup the sand in your hands, and do things to hold on as long as possible but one by one the grains slip through your fingers and get replaced with new feelings. Life would be boring if they didn’t and we wouldn’t be able to know just how good a good day was unless we referenced it to a bad one. So that’s OK but I can’t help being greedy.

One piece of advice I found when I was looking for answers to my depression a few years ago, was to keep a journal of when you were happy, and not just when you were sad. You had to write out exactly what you were feeling, what had happened to make you so happy, what you had just done that day etc. It was good advice and I still have some of those journal entries. The objective wasn’t to recreate exactly what you had done that day (and today all I did was wake up and read for a bit in bed), though it could certainly help because we all forget what makes us happy. The reason to write it down was to read it again when you were sad to remind yourself that you would be happy again. This too shall pass. And knowing and believing that I wouldn’t always be depressed was the best comfort ever!!  When you are depressed you somehow think ‘this is it, this is all I have to look forward to, more of this’. No wonder people get desperate. I had my ups and downs and still do (the full moon has a lot to answer for) but I observe my moods rather than jump into them. I have not had ‘depression’, nor taken the drugs for them, in 7 years and nor will I need them again now that I ‘self-medicate’ with healthier thinking.

Anyway, I digress. I think the answer for capturing some of that richness, (well happiness really), could be in this quote perhaps.

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

What is the direction, the cause and effect? I am happy as it states because I don’t need anything right now. I need the least and I am therefore ‘rich’. But it also works the other way.  Because I am so happy I then don’t need anything more in my life in order to keep enjoying this happiness.

So how do we make ourselves ‘need the least’ in order to feel rich and happy? I think perhaps I am happiest when I narrow my focus down to my immediate surroundings and activities. Joy is now, here.  I realise for example that I am reading a book in order to be relaxed and happy while I am reading it. I am not reading it to get to the end! There is no special prize for finishing it; in fact I will be sad when I do. By remembering that I get happiness from reading, I enjoy reading it even more.

I feel rich by forgetting or not focusing on the things that I sometimes think I need. I only seem to need an amazing holiday involving hot black stones and Frangipani flowers when I look at a Luxury Travel magazine. I don’t need them today because I can see how happy I am without them and that they could not add anything more to my life.

So what have I learned today from the unknown author?

I have learned that if I take a moment to observe my happy moods and appreciate them while they are here, then in these moments I learn that I truly don’t need anything else in order to be happy. And if I can hang on to that wisdom when I am being tempted by glamorous things I can’t ‘afford’, then I am less likely to think I ‘need’ them in order to be happy.

It is a great mood to learn from yourself in. Get out your pen or computer next time you are happy. It’s a really good investment.