the pursuit of happiness

3 books.

3 words.





I am believing more and more that you can pick up a book and open a page and find what you need to read, see or hear.


I used to only ever have one book on the go. Could never understand people who had more.  But now that my home is my space, my haven, the OCD rules relaxed and I can have books, open, spine up or down, casually placed or littering whatever surface, arm chair end, shelf or bathroom I please.


Yesterday I took 10 minutes of the quiet time to read a little more of Gabrielle Bernstein’s ‘The Universe has got your back’ and the first line I read was ‘Take a moment to get crystal clear about how you want to feel.  What does it feel like to be in a place of joy? Write about it now.’


So I did.  And given my journaling and writing, I know and remember exactly how it feels.  Writing embeds and reinforces feelings, thoughts, goals and locks it in.  I remember writing about being joy.  And how I felt.  I was dancing.  I was skipping.  I was in love. I was Happy with a capital H!   I was fulfilled by life.  I was on purpose.  I was energised and sparkly and full of smiles.  I was grateful, abundant, full to bursting of being and feeling enough.  I remember exactly how I felt when I wrote about being Joy in a green dress and blue hair. ‘I am joy!’  October 7th.  Not that long ago.




The second part of the exercise was then to ask for a sign.  A sign for guidance.  A sign that you are on the right path to achieving that feeling you desire in the words that you have written down.  The sign could be anything… a picture, a sign, a song, a word, letters, numbers, a sequence… anything.  Anything that can be a nod from the Universe to say you are heading in the right direction.


True to self, I over thought it, kept swinging from word to word or animal or thing.  So I walked away, let it go.  It would come to me when I cleared my head.




The word, my sign. Of course.


And this morning just as I was heading out for a run, I saw it, an old book I bought a few years ago, that I had forgotten about ‘The Book of Awakening’ by Mark Nepo.  A wonderful book with a small passage for each day and probably how my subconscious decided I should write a daily blog.  I flicked to the current date.  The daily quote said, ‘If all I have is Now, where will I look for Joy?’.    Joy.  My sign. My heart skipped a beat.   I was on the right path.  Running.  My time to let go, live in the moment, breathe and get out of breath.


And the passage that followed was beautiful.  And it rang so true and calmed my very soul, explaining the tug of war between the future, the past and how to stay present in the moment.


The Universe book also said that your sign needs to be a billboard, so clear that you cannot deny it.  I was shopping, grabbing just a few items for supper, different to turkey, ham and pork pie.  As I did, I subconsciously decided I should offer to cook supper for my parents in law after they had been so generous, compassionate, caring over a very emotional couple of festive days.  And as I threw the groceries in to the basket, I walked under a big sign… bla bla bla.. JOY!


A clear a sign as any that my family, extended family are to be kept close.


And that closeness, that sense of connection brought me to my last word.  The words I read in my last book of the day.




In the little book of Hygge it reminds us that ‘Touch releases the neurohormone oxytocin, which makes us feel happy and reduces stress, fear and pain.’


I miss touch.  I miss closeness.  I miss closeness to him.  I miss connection and skin and warmth from the outside but also from the inside.  The invisible thread of connection, without communication, without words; just intuition, a piece of your heart in another’s, beating to the same rhythm.


I withdrew radically for someone so tactile, so used to connection.  And in hindsight I can see that added to my heightened stress, fear and pain. But the destruction of trust, the sudden distrust of my own heart did that, because my heart is part of his and his mine.


With foresight and having read those lines in my little book of hygge, touch and connection will play more of a part in the healing process as I move on.


So with touch to reconnect me and joy to guide me, I am firmly on my way in the pursuit of happiness.




Passage from The Book of Awakening


December 27


If all I have is Now,

Where will I look for Joy?


Without hope for the future, without hope that things will change, with no hope of finding what’s been lost, and no hope of restoring the past, with only the risk to crack open all that has hardened about me, what will I do with what I have?


At first, this might seem scary or sad, but as a tired swimmer comes ashore surprised to find pearls washing through is legs, I lift my tired head again and again to find all I need is right where I am.


But being human, I stray and dream of lives others than my own, and soon I am busy wanting something else, somewhere else, someone else; busy imagining something just out of reach to strive for.


It leads me to say if you are unhappy or in pain, nothing will remove these surfaces.  But acceptance and a  strong heart will crack them like a shell, exposing a softness that has always been, exposing a soft thing waiting to take form.  It glows.  I think it is the one spirit we all share.



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