What Do You Need To Be Happy?
In my last journal prompts for a simple life post, we talked about being happy. I asked you to look at all areas of your life and ask yourself if you were happy. In this post, I’m asking you, what do you need to be happy?
Ask Yourself the right questions
Once you’ve identified which areas of your life are not bringing you happiness, it’s time to discover what will make you happy. You can’t create anything if you don’t first have an idea of what you want.
Using the example I gave for an area of my life where I was not happy:
I’m not that happy with my work life. While I feel I am providing service to people with my blog, writing and online business, my work as a yoga teacher lacks any meaning. I would love to bring more authentic teaching and have my own studio rather than teaching in gyms. I feel that I have no opportunity to create a real community or human connection through my yoga without my own space to teach in.
If I were to ask myself what would make me happy in this area of my life, my answer would be:
I would teach from my own studio space. I would have a core group of people that came to my classes weekly. Together we would create a community based around our self-development and love of yoga. I would be able to teach a more spiritual yoga practice instead of the Asana based practice that people expect in gyms. I would have an online component to my teaching that would enable me to connect with more people while still creating a community.
What do you need to be happy?
So the question is – what do you need to be happy? If this were a perfect world, how would each area of your life look?
I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect world, but if we get clear on what our ideal is, or what perfect would look like to us, we have something to aim towards. Don’t worry, if you check in with yourself regularly you will notice your happiness grow. And you will reach that point where things may not be perfect, but you will feel happy and satisfied with your life.
Take your time
Defining what you need to be happy is not something to rush. There are no rules for productivity here. This is soul work, so take your sweet time. Think deeply about what makes you happy. Meditate daily so you can delve beneath the surface of your thoughts and reconnect with what is in your heart. Spend time visualising how you would like your life to look. Visualise each area of your life that you’ve identified needs your attention. In your imagination, see yourself doing the things that you think would make you happy. Pay attention to how you feel as you see visualise. Do you feel good? Are your visualisations bringing up feelings of anxiety? Don’t make any judgements on yourself but pay attention. What you feel as you visualise will leave you clues as to what you really want.
It’s all about you
This is your life, and you are discovering what you need to be happy. Let go of anything that you’ve seen or heard on social media about what should make you happy. Or how your life should look.
This is about you!
You may have beliefs instilled in you form your parents, or your community, about what your life should be. Acknowledge them, but continue to discover what you need to be happy.
Let your subconscious talk
I practice morning pages. It’s an amazingly effective journaling technique that lets your subconscious speak to you.
I first learnt about morning pages from Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. It works like this; as soon as you wake up each morning, open your journal and write the first things that come to your mind. Whatever comes to mind, write it down and let it flow. Writing like this allows your subconscious to offload anything it’s working through. To make this practice really effective in helping you define what you need to be happy, I would add this practice:
In the evening, before you go to sleep, write a question in your journal. For example, if you’re trying to discover what would make you happy in your relationship, you could write
What do I need to be happy in my relationship with…
Then close your journal and drift off to sleep. Your subconscious will work to answer the question as you rest. In the morning, begin your morning pages and see what comes up.
You may not answer that question straight away. Other issues may come up, and you may solve different problems on the way to answering that particular question. It may take you a week, or longer to discover what you need to be happy in that area of your life. That’s ok. Your subconscious will get there. Sometimes there’s a lot of other stuff that needs to be dealt with first. As I said before, take your time. This is soul work, trust the process.
Show yourself kindness
Throughout this process, be kind to yourself. No judgements towards yourself, or to others. Be compassionate as you create a life that is authentic to who you are. A life that will bring you joy. Love yourself throughout the process.
You deserve it.