Happiness

It’s your fault. You didn’t do anything interesting with your life.

I know you’ve had this conversation with yourself. Because I did, too. It goes like this:

“It’s your fault. Why didn’t you do something interesting, just for a change?

Something unforgettable. An experiment. Something where the outcome wasn’t known in advance. Something that, at the end of my life, would be worthy of a pat on my own shoulder: Great job, Andrea. Great job. I’m quite impressed.” *leanbacksipchampagne*. Ahem.
hot-air-balloon
But looking around, the topic that overshadows all others when planning life (if that’s possible at all) is not going out there, taking a hand full of this fantastic world, throw it all up in the air – and let great experiences rain down. Now, the key words we’re looking at are “security” and something psychologists call “cocooning”. Moving to a foreign country? And what about my pension?
There are many paths, and by not taking any of them and just tagging along, with life and fate leading the way (beware, not making any major decisions!), at least you’re on the safe side. Maybe it won’t be great. But then, it won’t be bad. I mean, not really bad. If you don’t take a risk, you cannot lose. Right?
Life in the hamster wheel is great. You never won’t get a reply after sending that irrational love letter. Your plants won’t die because you went backpacking for three months. Nobody will refuse you a job on the grounds that you were abroad for too long while others have been boosting their resumes.

But hey, I’ve got news for you.

Contentment isn’t satisfaction. We can be content with our lives, and then, five minutes before it’s over, realise that we were never really excited by anything we’ve done. We can have an “okay” job. But would you marry someone you find “okay”? How about we went for that job we love?

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Yes, now we’re talking. But now the obstacles are pouring in. All the familiar catchphrases. How about money. Who fills the fridge. Who pays for the children’s education. Life isn’t a playground. It can’t be fun all the time. There are responsibilities.

BUT – without risk, no development. Without fear, no growth. And how on earth will you tell your children that they should strive for happiness, find their true calling – if you didn’t lead by example? But the biggest obstacle we haven’t even touched on (don’t lean back just yet!): If someone told you: JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH THIS LIFE!What would you do?

Have a great yoga practice (or quiet time, just sitting, thinking, dreaming…),

~ Andrea

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6 replies »

  1. Love this! I’ve made some pretty radical changes over the past two years, and at times have been completely terrified by it all. But little by little, everything is shifting, coming into a new fantastic balance. Thanks for pointing out how important it is to Live Bravely!

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  2. You are speaking my language, Andrea!! We sold everything we owned and are currently traveling the US with plans to spend a few months in Florida before heading to Dublin (my hometown) to allow our youngest to experience school there. My life philosophy is to embrace abundance, to “be fully alive til you’re fully dead” and to share some of my favorite quotes :
    from Mary Oliver: ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’
    and from Erma Bombeck: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. (just used this one in my blog)
    Namaste,
    Lesley

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  3. Absolutely right on, Andrea. My wake-up call came when three friends, younger than I, all passed away within 18 months. All those wonderful things they were going to do tomorrow, never happened for them. After that, everything changed for me. I figured out what I wanted and made the adjustments necessary to let it happen. Now I live in Bali, I write, and my life is pure joy. I had no idea there was this kind of happiness available for me. Security is an illusion. It can all be gone in an instant. It’s best not build a life around it.

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    • Thanks for your comment – it’s amazing, isn’t it, how we take this precious life given to us simply for granted. As if it will last forever. And then we discover the hard way how quickly it can be over. Let’s seize the day! :)

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