I’m gonna out myself- in a society where struggle is glorified, and it’s ‘normal’ to feel ambivalent to (at best) or hate (at worst) how you spend your time for 60 hours a week, I’m an outsider- I’m pretty fucking happy. Not every minute of every day, of course. But I’m mostly content, grateful and connected to myself.
Is that something you can choose? Should you? Yes, but maybe not how you think.
The way I see it, there are two distinct camps that try and recruit us for their happiness strategies, and I wanna invite you to meet me in the middle. Bring your own tent.
1. CAPITALISM/ CONSUMERISM: Basic premise- you need ALL THE STUFF! You’ll be happy when you’re carrying THIS handbag, wearing THESE jeans, eating at THIS restaurant, when you fit into THIS clothing size.
BULL. SHIT. Perhaps you’ll feel satisfied, joyful, excited, proud for a bit. But the feeling will ultimately fade, and/ or disappear immediately if someone tells you that’s no longer desirable, or takes it from you.
2. MINDSET/ MINDFULNESS/ TRANSCENDENCE/ ENLIGHTENMENT… I DUNNO HOW TO SUM IT UP: Basic premise- you don’t need ANYTHING to be happy. It’s a choice, and that’s all there is to it. So what if you’re oppressed, poor, isolated, in any kind of challenging circumstances. You’ll be happy when you realise, your thoughts about this stuff are where your unhappiness comes from. Think happy thoughts and you’ll be fine.
OOOOOPH. Perhaps you can use gratitude work for a temporary lift (it works, for SURE). Perhaps you can learn to eliminate the portion of your unhappiness that comes from ruminating on the past or catastrophising about the future, by being more focused in the present. BUT.
WHAT IF THE PRESENT IS ALWAYS CRAP? And by crap, I mean, misaligned- not reflecting your values, your desires, your purpose on this planet. Could choosing happiness in the present be keeping you from taking courageous action to redesign your life? How long can you really keep this up- appreciating what you have, being in the now and making the best of it? How long until you realise that all of those moments now behind you have been spent enduring rather than enjoying?
At what point will you allow yourself to become uncomfortable enough to make a move? When will you become a friend to your future self?
The thing about the second camp, is that it’s a great solution for situations where you genuinely cannot change or influence it, or when doing so will inevitably take a long period of time. (It’s a coping mechanism, just like the STUFF the first camp want us to buy.)
The problem is that most people spend their lives believing that most of their circumstances are out of their control. The job they have to do to pay for the sort of house, car and holiday that ‘should’ bring them happiness. The ways in which they ‘have to’ spend their time, submitting to other people’s expectations and conforming with societal norms that tell us what’s reasonable to desire.
I am inviting you to stop tolerating a misaligned life and disguising it as enlightenment.
It does not need to be SUCH HARD WORK to be happy on a moment by moment basis. Effort, energy and awareness, yes. But not fighting off sadness/ resentment/ rage stimulating circumstances left, right and centre.
It’s like living in a top floor flat in a 10 storey building with no lift, and needing to get baby triplets and 3 dogs out every day. You wouldn’t tell yourself how lucky you are to have a roof over your head for long. You would move. But if EVERYONE ELSE was in the same situation (dunno where all these triplets came from but bear with me…) you’d probs accept it and berate yourself for not being more grateful.
We’ve gotta normalise the happiness that comes when you design your life on your terms. Purposeful living- that IS something you can choose, and you won’t regret it.
If you know you’re ready to get SHIFT FACED with me (i.e. shift your perspective on yourself, the world, and what’s possible for you within it), I’ve got a crazy early early bird price running for Thrive Like A Mother 2020: The Revolution. It’s password protected, because to view it, you get to become a bit more of the woman you wanna be. You get to make the bold and audacious move of emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org), or messaging me on insta, asking for the password. There’s no pressure when you do, just an energetic step towards a more intentional you).