I'm pleased with the progress of my happiness project so far. As I move through it I'm discovering that its actually quite a serious matter, finding your happy. And it's made me consider why I am doing it and what I really want from it.
As most of you know 2015 brought trying circumstances for us up on the hill. I had quit working for the corporate monster in June 2014, and I didn't realise just how difficult it was going to be to extract myself from the slave mindset of 'I'm just not good enough, but if I just work that bit harder maybe I will be....' into the one that I wanted - one that allowed me to make choices about my time and how I spend my energy.
My inner struggle took over my life. My energy was gone - I had nothing to give anyone or anything. What I wanted was to launch myself into my new life, but I just didn't have the wherewithall to do so. I was knackered. I'd lived for so long out of my safety zone (let alone out of my comfort zone) that the mere thought of leaving comfort nearly killed me. So then I started beating myself up because not only had I failed at the corporate thing, but I also now wasn't doing the thing that I wanted to do. A double-whammy negativity spiral. Yahoo!
And this struggle, the one just finding the energy to get up in the morning, manifested itself outwards. I got short-tempered. I got defensive, I got angry. Not very nice, for me or anyone around me.
Sounds a bit like depression doesn't it? And indeed in August last year the Doctor diagnosed me with moderate depression and prescribed me some happy pills (which are working wonders). But it's not severe. Other people get it much worse than me. So that got me thinking.
I think that during that time I developed a bad habit. A habit of being melancholy. It became my normal behaviour. I felt comfortable in a place of low energy, not wanting to move, miserableness. I did it by default. Without realising it, without doing it intentionally, my life became dull, I became sad and I gave that out to everyone around me. Not all the time - there were times when I could rise to the occasion, but generally misery became my best friend.
In June last year I realised that I wanted to change. I knew that I wanted to devote the rest of my life to helping people, making their lives better, and I realised that if what I really wanted to do was make other people happy I really needed to be happy myself. Can't do that if I'm melancholy.
The second thing I realised was that my anger and my sadness was powerful. I could affect a room when I walked into it. I could ruin someone's day just by giving out that anger, unintentionally. And, I thought, if I can do that with anger, then how powerful would I be if I gave out that much happiness instead? If the message I sent into the Universe all day every day was compassion and love, not anger and hate.
And that's where it started. Realising that I wanted to radiate love and compassion. I wanted to see what a difference that can make to people, not through talking or doing anything with them, just by sending out waves of love.
That has turned out to be a powerful intention. One which has changed my life. I have concentrated on changing my thoughts. And that's pretty much all I have concentrated on for the last 2 months, determining what my mantras consist of and making sure that they are with me at all times and that I stick to them. And when I waver, which I do (I have an irritable streak which I see in my father and own all in my own right), I stop whatever it is that I am doing, remove myself from people around me and sort my shit out. I rewrite my story to be Anne who loves the world, not Anne who hates it.
And it is starting to have an effect. I wake up happy. I really do. It is starting to become my default emotion. To the surprise of those who know me - they look at me suspiciously, thinking I have an agenda. But I don't. I just am that person now. And they'll get used to it. I hope I won't. I hope it always fills me with as much wonder and joy as it does today. Cause right now everything's going my way.