Happiness is a journey, not a destination . . .
This is the season of Late Summer, a time for gathering in the harvest, a time to reflect, a time to contemplate; it is the momentary pause in the breath of the seasons as the seasonal energies quietly gather before beginning their slow descent into winter. Now is the time to ferment pickles and create preserves and chutneys with the gifts from of a good harvest so that we can take nature’s gifts with us into the colder months.
This special time of year is a pause as we move from the Yang seasons into the and Yin seasons. First came the vigorous upward, expansive energy of spring and the spreading, expanding nature of summer and now there is a pause before the contracting, inward movement of the autumnal energies and the downward, quiet energies of winter. In this lull of seasonal energy it is a good time to take stock of life and how we are living it.
Maybe you have a habit of living life on a trajectory, passing through today to get to some perceived destination, some future goal. A strong sense of direction, purpose and drive is seen as commendable in today’s society, but it is important to pay attention to how you live from day to day in order to feel properly satisfied with life. Take time to stop and smell the roses, don’t rush past, worrying about some abstract concept of what happiness might look like in the future.
In contrast, you may flounder if you feel as though they have no goal in life. If you feel hemmed in by a difficult situation at home or at work, this sensation of feeling trapped or powerless can feel quite overwhelming. If the situation goes on for any length of time it can have a really draining effect on your energy and sense of fulfilment which can then start to have a negative impact on your physical and mental health and wellness.
In any of these situations there is not enough attention focused on how to live a good life on a day to day basis, how to live here and now. You can restore some degree of balance by taking time to incorporate activities that will genuinely feed your soul and help you to cultivate the life you are living right now. As with everything, if you build up the good feelings, it will help you to balance negative feelings. Making time for yourself will help you to build a sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
Spend time outdoors in nature regularly, whether that time is spent walking, gardening, reading or just sitting in the garden with a cup of tea at the weekend.
If there is something you have a hankering to learn, some skill or hobby you would like to take up, find a way to make it happen. Join a local art class, take up yoga, learn to play an instrument, find a local group to join to start learning to speak French, Spanish or even Mandarin!
Try to see whether you can start a regular mindfulness practice to help you to really engage with the here and now. There are lots of internet resources you can use to help with this such as www.headspace.com or www.stopbreathethink.org
Make more effort to create some quality relaxation time, set time aside for you, even if you can only manage a little time. Listen to some of your favourite music, have a candlelit bath with aromatherapy bath oil, meet a friend for coffee, treat yourself to an hour curled up with a good book.
‘Happiness is a journey, not a destination’ means that you can find peace and fulfilment in your life if you learn to cultivate the path you are on. Now is a good time of year to take stock and make sure that you are living a life that offers you some good opportunities to nourish your soul on a regular basis.
Alexandra O’Connor LicAc MBAcC
Holicity Acupuncture (Maldon)
Burnham Osteopathic Clinic (Burnham)
For appointments in either location, please telephone 01621 786600