My little toolkit

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I bought the Happiness Project exactly a year ago. At the time the word “project” intrigued me more than the happiness. I was drawn to the structure, the breakdown of tackling one resolution a month. But it took me ages to even make it to March and excuses aside, let’s just say I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. But two weeks ago I picked it up again and decided to read it on the bus. I’m now up to August and I’m itching to read more as soon as I finish this post.

It’s funny how things happen, because I carry this book every time we travel, go on holiday or have some “down time” but I never manage to open a page. But for some reason my 30 minute bus ride to and from work are the perfect windows to read. Perhaps it’s because I feel lighter, freer and more open to different perspectives that’s allowed me to really get into the book. There are comments from her readers that, to be honest, are quite cynical and negative, but instead of slumping my shoulders and agreeing (because I feel like I should) I smile at myself and realise just how much progress I’ve made since I decided to let go. 

See, I hold things very close to me and get overwhelmingly disheartened when things don’t feel right. But in just the last month I’ve started to let go of that feeling, I’m continually learning and as a result I’m growing. 

Since I read You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap) over Christmas, I did my Unravelling 2013 then started to write everyday, things just became easier. Add my 52 Changes on top of that and I think I found myself a little toolkit that works for me. A common thread from all these writers is that it’s okay to fail. It really is better to give something a go and fail then wonder if you were going to be any good at it. 

I’ve always been a generally happy person. But beneath the surface I would often convince myself that I have no reason to be unhappy, I should be happy and get so confused because if I was indeed happy, then why do I feel so low? Now I know it was my Pink Monster (the state I call my depressed side), it’s my lizard brain, that I feed when I’m down and end up in a spiral trying to dig my way out. But now I’m in control and instead of feeding my Pink Monster, I nourish my Baby Buddha (the state I call the power in me that gives me strength). I feel like me and that’s super exciting. I guess I’m doing my own happiness project, but for me I thought it was just my elective year, where I pick and choose what feels good and fun at the time. I’m doing it for me and that’s been the best decision ever.

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