Here we are, well in to the second month of the year all ready. I'm quite convinced that the passage of time happens in inconsistent ways. Warmer days and weeks slip by quickly, colder weather periods move slowly.
My working year started out reasonably quietly, then got quite busy again. I had an influx of couples coming in, wanting to address issues in their relationship. This showed sensible intent on their part for two different reasons. Firstly relationship issues can be more readily addressed and resolved, the sooner the couple resolve to get on with it. Secondly, the three free sessions that couples in New Zealand have been able to access will soon be discontinued, with the Family Court moving to a user pays situation.
I've mentioned a few times in this blog the importance of happiness in our lives, but also the importance of tempering our quest for this against our ability to experience a whole raft of emotions that humans are capable of experiencing. Sure it's great to be happy, and we should aim for having a good amount of this in our day to day lives. But we do have a unique capacity as humans to feel and experience a range of varied and rich emotional responses to the events and people that move through our lives. To truly experience a full range of emotions reminds us that we are really alive. Whilst happiness is good, there are other feelings or emotions that are just as significant. And yes, I agree, we don't want to be sad or angry the whole time. But we don't want to aim to have any one emotion present the whole time - because then we miss out on all those other feelings that we are equally capable of...
In our quest for happiness, it's good to be able to think about what has brought us happiness in the past - when you have been feeling in a really good space, what was happening for you at the time? Were there particular circumstances that came together by pure chance, or were you actively setting things up so that you would ultimately feel good?
One thing that is becoming increasing clear, is that whilst happiness can come from a variety of sources, it is also more likely to come from things that we do, (or experience) rather than things that we acquire (or buy). Here's a way to check this out for yourself: think back to a time in your life that you were really happy - what was going on around you at that time? There's a good chance that this happened as a result of something that you were doing, rather than something you had bought. Sure, we might get a buzz from a new 52 inch plasma screen, but this buzz will not endure in the way that good relationships or experiencing something new will.
Here is a very simple example of experiences bringing happiness and satisfaction with life - check out Matt in the video clip below. He dances his way around the world, enlisting people to dance with him, as he goes. Two important things. The first is that Matt can't really dance at all. It's more of a robotic shuffle kind of thing (but that's just my opinion...). The second thing is that everyone he coaxes in to joining him on his quest looks really happy. Because it's the simple experience of dancing. And Matt looks like he couldn't care less about his wooden dancing skills - he's having a ball anyway... Go Matt!
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."