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Happiness is Overrated

A realization on Christmas

Being in the midst of a forest, one couldn’t ask for more. Surrounded by exotic trees of varies shapes and shades of lime while the all mighty sun beams over as I sit by the terrace of the restaurant in a woodland wellness resort. In this calm and tranquil environment, my mind wanders to life and all its meaning.

We live life searching for happiness. What is happiness, I ask myself as I sit here typing away? Happiness to me is over rated. Happiness is the high, the excitement when something is achieved. Happiness is when I landed that great job I’ve been wanting. Happiness is when I have published a book I’ve spent months writing. Happiness is coined with what we want deriving from an external source. It is a temporary high because it fluctuates based on what occurs in our lives. Peace, on the other hand is a different kind of experience and feeling. Peace leaves you feeling relaxed, calm and centered. Peace is the constant sense of feeling connected, feeling content and a part of the bigger picture. Peace, unlike happiness, is not through attaining but through being. Peace is through staying still.

I’m experiencing peace whereby there is no desire to do anything, to achieve anything nor to be connected digitally. There is a sense of calmness and tranquility. This I tell you has come upon me from a whole day of being extremely sick because my body refused to accept this type of ‘peace’. Living in the humdrum of a cosmopolitan city, peace is never the word one seeks for. 

Peace almost sounds like a passive role like not actively pursing life, of silently watching the world go by and being an observer of it all. Whereas happiness has a more active persona, it gives a feeling of doing, of a masculine energy, of being a go-getter.

I have been just that – a happiness seeker. Having a long list of goals and to dos that I forget to ask myself where is the peace in all of this? Whilst being away, I have barely looked at my phone or done any of the work I had intended to because peace is reminding me to just be. We are all great at achieving results because that is what we have learnt however results don’t always give us a long lasting sense of calmness.

As an author, I was over the moon when my book was out and I can’t say that that emotion, that happiness is still with me. Whilst I am proud of my work, it is just that – my work. It doesn’t give me a feeling of internal stillness. This Christmas, while you celebrate life through family get-togethers, and pray together, may you also take the time to be still in a serene space that connects you to you. Have a Peaceful Christmas!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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