Do you have a “happy place”? Perhaps you love sitting on a beach or standing at the top of a mountain. Maybe you spend hours in your garden or garage, or lose yourself in the pages of a good book. Perhaps you’re a people person—you’re happiest at the dinner table surrounded by family, friends and comfort food.
Or maybe you don’t have a specific place or person. Animals are your happy place. Your dog, cat or horse fills you with joy; the sound of chirping and squirrels squawking lifts your spirits.
I realized my truest, deepest happy place last week, and it’s thanks to a reader. She emailed me in response to my newsletter (Before You’re Ready – Rehoming Yourself).
She said, “I’m in the same situation as you—married to a good man but we needed to separate for space and time apart. I’m living alone for the first time ever and I’m terrified. How do you be happy with no one to do things with?”
The day after she emailed me, two other women contacted me. They didn’t just lose their happy places, they lost the only life they knew. They asked for encouragement.
In Adjusting to Life Alone After Years of Marriage: 5 Tips for Separated Women I share ideas for finding happiness while going through a separation or breakup. The video is about being happy when your relationship is rocky…but for me it’s much more.
Making that video, I realized the source of my joy, peace and freedom.
My happy place
It’s not a person, place or pet. It’s Presence. And it’s almost impossible to define! How do you describe the indescribable? It’s one of those “you know it when you feel it” things. It’s God, but not the God I was taught to fear, obey and evangelize in church. It’s Spirit, but not the Holy Spirit I learned about in Christian books, Bible Studies or theology classes.
I often think of Moses standing barefoot and humble on holy ground. When he asked the Lord’s name, he heard “I Am.”
That’s how I think of Presence: “I Am.” It goes beyond what I’m feeling, thinking or sensing. It’s choosing to be fully present, aware and accepting of this moment and whatever lies beneath, above and beyond—and it’s powerful! There is literally no room for pain, grief, or suffering when I fully accept and embrace this moment for exactly what it is.
Presence or present awareness includes not laying my thoughts, beliefs, expectations and history on what I’m experiencing. It could be a person, situation, book, odor, sound, taste, physical sensation, thought or perception. Anything. Whatever it is, it just IS. And I allow it to be what it is.
Where’s your happy place? Take time weekly—daily, hourly, as often as possible—to visit it. You don’t have to go to a physical place or experience something tangible. Close your eyes, breathe deep, and allow your happy place to come to you.
May you feel the peace that passes all understanding no matter where you are or what you’re experiencing.
In peace and passion,