I’ve experienced tremendous highs, lows, and plateaus as I’ve worked to recover from an unhealthy success addiction and shift into a focused wellness practice. You’d think the recipe for perfect and consistent happiness is all right there for me: eating well (check!), working out regularly (check!), detoxed environment (check!), sharing wellness practice to help others (check!), doing self-care activities that bring me joy and peace (check!), surrounding myself with positive influences (check!). And yet, with all those elements in place, the practice of wellness doesn’t always culminate in Happiness. This was one of the hardest things I’ve had to come to terms with. Happiness is a fluid state no matter how much you prepare.
When you’re hard-wired with a competitive personality you crave the satisfaction of milestone achievements. It’s often difficult to find joy in the path or process. For me, it has always been about the ending – crossing that finish line and basking in the moment. The real kick in the pants for my type of personality is realizing that happiness isn’t a destination. It is the journey at best…often, it is only small parts on the journey.
Accepting and embracing this fluidity of happiness takes practice. Similar to meditation, when your mind wanders you are supposed to witness it without judgement, but come back to the present. When your life gets out of balance and happiness seems to wane, the challenge is to know what levers you need to pull to put the elements back in symmetry.
Experts generally agree that those elements for happiness include:
- Nutrition – the right fuel will enable you to channel your energy with greater ease
- Body & Movement – exercise helps both mind and body operate properly
- Purpose – find the right way to use your unique gifts to help others
- Relationships & Community – the right, positive people in your life drive good health
- Spirit, Mindset & Emotional Health – your positive attitude, enthusiasm and better management of stress effects all aspects of life and satisfaction
In staying mindful and accepting of the complexity and fluidity of these pieces you can, perhaps, make peace with the ebbs and flows of being happy. To that end, you may gain perspective, tolerance and understanding of the behavior of people around you struggling with the same thing. Go easy on yourself. Go easy on others. And, together, we may be able to find moments of camaraderie, understanding, joy and pure Happiness as we all take this shared journey to nowhere and everywhere.