Posts on juin 2009

Happily ever after!


I live a happy life.

To my biggest surprise nothing can through me off for a long time. Deceptions, feeling of rejection, anger, sadness, loneliness, nothing seems to stick anymore.
I remember being in New York. I was alone in the penthouse apartment floaded with sunlight. I was crying. I would sit on the stairs and cry. I would stand up at the window, look at the statue of liberty and whip. I would lay down on the sofa and stare at the ceiling.
I had it all! The apartment, the car, the outfit of a life on track. I had the fun nights in Manhattans, the home cooked meals with friends, the gym, the paycheck.  And still sadness was sticking.

Now I can see that I was feeding it with interpretations, internal stories, my outlook on life.

So what is the difference?

I believe mainly two things have changed:

First, like if I had developed the negative roll, I see life differently.  I see all situations, bad or good as opportunities, opportunities to experience and learn. And, if there is something I enjoy in life it is learning. This shift didn’t happened in a day  but  really started when I said to myself “Is there an other way to experience life?” That question alone brought to me a series of encounter that changed my life and my vision.

Second. Now, I use my emotions like if they were little flashing lights on a car board. Sadness is not a companion anymore; it is merely a nice refreshing shower.

I still experience uncomfortable situations and I feel emotions rising and kicking but I know two reassuring things:

One: I have been through it before and I overcame it.

Two: if it’s too overwhelming, I can retreat and switch it off. Yes just like that. I go to my place, I sit and I am me doing the best I can. I will deal with it but I take a little time off. As soon as I am alone, I am peaceful. It’s like those white flags or like we say when we are kids: “Thumbs up” (at least here in France). When you are in a game, it means, stop. Usually you stop the game to discuss the rules.
Now when I feel a negative emotion, I know it’s a signal. What does it mean? What triggered it? Is it an interpretation, an old vision or do I have to change a way, act differently?
I still have old patterns glued to my brain but even if I don’t stress on it, I know I will tackle it when the time is right.

I can’t give a definition of happiness yet but contrasts in my life give me hints as how to describe it.

When you worry, you make it double

I have a slow pace when it comes to writing on the blog but now it’s worse than ever. My commitment is one post every week and I am below that! I start to worry but Bobby McFerrin comes to my rescue teaching us one of the key to happiness: when you worry, you make it double.

Lately it seems everybody I meet has something to do with happiness: happiness diners, happiness teacher, happiness scientist… So I need to gather my thought and write but I didn’t find the right time. I also opened a french blog (tab above) because so many people are interested but don’t feel at ease with english.

I join the slow food movement and create the slow blog community. If you are a reader that likes to take it slowly: welcome! If you want more everyday use the « I Follow » in the sidebar.


Happiness urgently needed

Follow the link if you can’t access the video : HOME

Today I went to the library to buy a book and I came back with five!

I went by the personal development section and discovered loads of books about happiness. It surprised me because I never realized there was so much literature on happiness.
You have to know that here, in France, people can be very cynical about happiness. Happiness is for fools or it’s a sect’s slogan. When you surf the web, most of the people writing, talking about happiness are Australian or American (it seems)(well I don’t speak Tamoul or Chinese).

But lately my beliefs are shaken. Everywhere I go, the topic comes up. Just this week, I was helping a friend at a festival and happiness was on everybody’s lips at conferences. Then a couple of days later, I was at a red light on my bike, and just there was a friend eating at a terrasse. I joined him for half an hour, only to discover that he was organizing happiness diners. They invite specialists on the subject like Ruut Veenhoven director of the World Database of Happiness and editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies and discuss.

I was in shock. A happiness tribe!

Since there is prolific information on the web about happiness (see my blogroll for exemple), I could contribute better by investigating what French have to bring to the table. I have a few people in mind and I hope that even if France is the world champion antidepressant consumer, it has the capacity to produce great happiness thinkers. To be continued…

In the meantime, he is not talking directly about happiness but he is French and I see an evident link between how we treat our planet and the fundamentals of happiness. As I exposed in a former post, when you start to investigate the subject of happiness, more stuff (when basics needs are met) is not doing the trick. Happiness doesn’t lie in having more, wasting, war, exploitation… Once every man will discover his inner happiness, the need to destroy our environment will not be the logics anymore. Well that’s what I believe but It seems I am an utopist ☺

So don’t miss this sublime movie that has been released for free in several languages for us to team up and improve the life of each one of us.


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