I started writing this blog about two months ago and it just wouldn’t flow. I just couldn’t put on paper what was in my mind and my heart. I got a bit panicky because I absolutely love writing. It feels very natural to me, but I seemed to have lost my passion, and I worried that it would never return. I decided to park it and forget about it for a while.

Anyway yesterday I was listening to the fabulous Russell Brand on YouTube. Now I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I LOVE him, I love his honesty, how he perceives reality, his crazy sense of humour and most of all his absolute foul language. In forty five minutes I felt almost enlightened, he had said exactly what was in my mind and heart, and here I am now typing away furiously to put my spin on what true happiness feels like to me. This learning unfolded from my own personal experience and journey, going from a person that felt crippled by self-loathing, depression and anxiety, to a human on a mission to expand and grow into wholeness.

I’ve spent most of my life not knowing what true happiness felt like. I knew that it existed but I had no idea how the hell to tap into it. Happiness to me felt like an elusive state reserved for the chosen few. I’ve been chasing the happiness dragon most of my life, and the day I finally caught it was the day all the pieces of the puzzle called life fell into place.

Now I’m well aware that you may be reading this and thinking to yourself “this poor misfortune is nuts”, (and maybe I am, well just a little), “how on earth can someone go through life and not know what it’s like to feel happy?” I get it, it does seem feckin mad, but for most of my life I never experienced TRUE happiness. And before you write me off, bear in mind I’m talking about a state of true happiness from within. Not the feeling of happiness you get from buying new shoes or meeting the man of your dreams. Because that is really a feeling of pleasure (thank you Mr Brand), which absolutely brings you joy but it is not true happiness. While that feeling of happiness is fantastic and we all deserve to have and enjoy new shoes, a fabulous house or our dream car. It’s also very fleeting, and it can be taken from us in the blink of an eye. Why? Because it depends on something outside of you. Happiness from within however is yours forever, no one and nothing can take it from you.

Yep, deep shit I know, and it only gets deeper! You see in truth I actually spent most of my life running away from feeling anxious, fearful, depressed and sad etc. And I had mistaken happiness for the numbing of those unwanted feelings. How did I numb those feeling? I drank copious amounts of alcohol and partied hard, stayed in dysfunctional relationships because I just wanted to feel loved, and shopped till I dropped, all in a bid to feel happy. My happiness was dependent on the people, things and situations outside of me. And when they weren’t cooperating with me my happiness disappeared into the abyss, and inevitably I felt like shit once again! In truth I was self-medicating in a totally fucked up way.

I used to think I was alone in this and that no one else felt like this. But from working with clients over the years I’ve realised that A LOT of people feel the same way. Some are aware of it and are proactive about feeling more whole. While others are totally unaware of how habitually unhappy they really are, and they keep buying stuff to feel joy or looking for happiness in relationships. But it never really cuts the mustard. In life we are taught how to spell, do math, care for others etc. But how many of us are taught to love ourselves enough to make our happiness a priority?

Ok, so at this stage you probably get what I’m saying, but now you may be thinking “fantastic, but how the fuck do we find that feeling of true happiness?” As I said at the start this is just my experience, I’m not an expert, I’m just a girl who has always known in every fibre of my being that there is more to this human existence. I’m going to explain this as simply as I can, because where this subject is concerned my mind is like squirrel on speed.

So after looking for happiness (which is ultimately love) in all the wrong places, I stopped looking outside of myself and started to look inside instead. My journey began with self-awareness, self-love and self-care. It was my own little recipe for true happiness (aka the happiness dragon). I became very self-aware of my incessant chattering monkey mind, it was bloody relentless. I would observe myself looking for happiness through food, validation from others or new clothes. I would then observe how fleeting that feeling of happiness was and how it never really filled the emptiness within me. With this new awareness came empowerment, instead of reaching for food to fill emptiness I would sit with the emptiness, listen to my annoying mind monkeys and see what I was trying to avoid. Loneliness, ugliness, “I’m not good enough”, fear, anger or boredom perhaps? In this moment I had faced the harsh truth. Now was my opportunity to take a different path, to practice self-love by practicing self-care.

Rather than trying to distract myself from this inner turmoil, I chose to love myself and care for myself. I do this in many different ways. I eat well, get plenty of sleep, surround myself with amazing people, speak my truth, be my authentic self, speak lovingly to myself, have a job I love, practice appreciation, exercise/move, and give and receive love more freely. And the most powerful practice of all, I meditate. Meditation allows me to quieten my monkey mind and to connect to something which is greater than me, and that connection allows me to fill the emptiness within. Now I’m not going to go into meditation in this blog, but with my hand on my heart this is my fastest way to connect to true happiness. True happiness to me is a feeling of wholeness, peace, freedom and love that I experience when I keep myself aligned by practicing self-awareness, self-love and self-care on a daily basis. Some days I’m way better at it than others, hey I’m human after all.

The reality is that sometimes life throws me a curve ball, challenges arise and some days I feel like shit. Yep, I can get temporarily knocked off my true happiness pedestal and it can be a challenge to get back on. But I know I have a choice, I know I can do it and all I have to do to regain my happy buzz is to go inside. Work out the turmoil, meditate, hand that shit over to that which is greater than me, surrender and do the only thing that matters, connect with my true happiness. My true happiness is mine and mine alone, your true happiness is your responsibility. I encourage you to take the time to connect with it, as life will never be the same again. I promise to do a blog on meditation very soon to help those of you that are interested in giving it a whirl.