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There is a scene in the film ‘The Hours’ when the character Clarissa says ‘ I remember one morning getting up at dawn. There was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling. And I, I remember thinking to myself: So this is the beginning of happiness, this is where it starts. And of course there will always be more…never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment, right then.’
When I first heard this line it was a real light bulb moment for me and it has resonated with me ever since. At that time I was actively chasing happiness even though I did not think I even knew what happiness was or what it felt like. Was it an amount of money in the bank, a certain lifestyle, or status? I couldn’t even tell you what it was I was chasing. But this line said it all to me really.
Shortly afterward I was walking my dogs in the local woods, it was a glorious morning and Spring was in the air, I looked up at the sun and I felt truly blessed to be alive, to be with my dogs walking in abundant nature. To be honest, I was so happy I almost cried. And it was then that I thought of this line from the film….about the moments. I was experiencing bliss right then, in that moment, and I recognised it. Instead of thinking of the future; what might be, or the past; what had been – I was just caught in that moment. I now use that memory as an anchor, a well known neuro linguistic programming tool – so that when I am down I put myself back in that moment, I imagine seeing myself walking through the woods as if watching a film, and I feel bliss again.
Previous to this revelation, of course there were times in my life when I had been happy, but they were all ‘moments’, and I was expecting more. Yet these moments make up your life. I was looking for something external to make me happy, but happiness is internal; created within. Now when I am happy I sit and dwell in it, hell I bathe in the glory of being happy in that moment. I also remind myself that it can be fleeting, which gives it so much more power, and by giving it power, it is enhanced and lasts even longer. Sounds crazy but its true. Its one of those laws, and it absolutely works.
I always knew what I liked to do, but for some reason I was living my life for and most probably through other people. I was trying to live up to what other people expected of me, and therefore not finding my happiness. When I started to do what I liked doing, I found happiness. Oh how simple is that. I had heard people confirm that this obvious approach worked but for some reason I would sabotage my own dreams on a regular basis. I would sit there and give myself a mental list of excuses which looked something like this:
I have to pay the mortgage so need a job paying x amount so cannot possibly give it all up and do what I really want to do.
I am too fat to be beautiful.
I am not clever enough to be thought of highly.
I am not worth it.
Good stuff doesn’t happen to people like me and on and on and on.
I lived in that prison for years; not even recognising the moments. I have wasted half my expected life doing stuff I didn’t like doing. Well stuff that! I only have one life in this realm. So for the next half, I am off ‘moment’ catching.
‘And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking.
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older.
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death’ – Time by Pink Floyd.