• Kerry Leppier

Finding your route to happiness

The title of happiness is pretty vague. But it’s something we’re surely all seeking and we each have different ways of reaching it. Not everything that makes us feel happy in the moment is sustaining and some of these things can easily become an addiction: Spending money for example, service to - or pleasing - others, sex, alcohol, food...

All in all, happiness is something we’re always working on, and often left wanting more of.

Many of us when growing up heard things like: "I just want you to be happy" and we certainly live in a world where we see and hear "do what makes you happy", we look for a job which makes us happy, seek a partner who can make us happy. But there's no measure, there's no understanding of when you're really happy, when you have or have done enough. And although we hear it all the time, we don't always know the things which make us truly happy. Our seeking of instant gratification preoccupies ourselves from seeking the lasting happiness that is possible.

Here is what I am certain of:

There is no quick fix to happiness

There is no one way fits all

We need to experience all emotions

Happiness takes work, time and self discovery

To be more happy, people will try to tell you that you need to have a faith, be more present, ‘just get on with it’ (barf), focus on you, focus on others, have fun, appreciate what you have and more. There are millions of resources out there: books, movies, techniques, teachers. Tonnes of things telling you the route to happiness and some are brilliant. The only way you'll find out if they equate to more happiness for you is to go and try them. Read, study, learn of life, happiness but most importantly learn of you. You already have most of the answers to your individual route to happy town; you just need to look.

And as much as I don't like receiving advice, here is mine to you: Start over with getting to know you. Ignore what other people do to be happy and certainly ignore what they claim will make you happy. Forget about how your relationships or marriage are because the thing is, if you’re unhappy, unfulfilled or empty, your relationships will feel that way also. It doesn’t make them - or you - bad, your relationships will change when you change.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are" ~ Anais Nin

For me...

I know that when I have felt at my lowest, I have felt no need for connection, no desire for friendship and definitely no desire towards my husband. I lock down, retreat into my own dark thoughts and in the past I had no idea of how to get out.

But since I have learned this:

There are special people out there designed and made to listen, accept and love you. These people can change, may not have been in your life for very long, may not be in your future but they are on your path right now for the purpose of lighting it for you. Find those people and reach out.

Happiness ebbs and flows. There are so many factors in our day to day lives that contribute to our happiness. There’s tiredness, hormones, memories/flashbacks, experiences, conversations - or lack of etc. It’s OK to sometimes feel happy and other times not. This is normal, expected. When you have it, enjoy it but don’t cling to happiness. Sometimes we need the sadness too, sometimes we need the process of working towards it again. Sometimes our route to happiness or our time away from it is when we learn the most about ourselves, and others.

How well do you really know yourself? If you're unsure, now’s a great time to start learning. I love the journey of self-discovery and it’s one which never ends. I have learned that I personally get filled by time spent on my own - preferably with a book. That I also need female connection, and that coffee with a friend is one of the quickest ways to fill my tank. Not having too many play dates or group events keeps me present. Limiting my phone use makes me a more fun and relaxed mum. Time with my hubby on our own is the greatest gift we receive. Time in nature is a daily necessity. Talking when I feel low is the quickest route out of it. But that’s just me. Who are you? What makes you happy? And how often are you doing it?

Embrace each step, each emotion. Talk about it always and know that whatever, however you feel you are never alone.

So here’s to our own individual journeys to happiness, let us never compare ours to another and let us never judge another person’s happiness or her route to it. And here’s to celebrating and discussing every emotion out there.

Lots of love x

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