The secret to happiness


Not so long ago I believed that buying another pair of designer jeans/shoes/handbag {insert nice stuff here} would make me happy. And it did - momentarily. I was a sucker for the addictive high I would get after purchasing another something fabulous to add to my collection, until it wore off and the emptiness would return. I craved to have the void in my heart filled, but nothing worked. I would pour over magazines and blogs ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the insanely expensive, yet super pretty things and bargained with myself to work out how I could possibly pay for them all. In the lead up to a purchase, I convinced myself that once I had the shiny new thing, that was when I would be happy. The cycle was vicious and dangerous. It was vicious because I never believed I was enough and no matter how many 'pretty things' I bought I was always looking outside of myself for that instant gratification to fill me up and make me feel happy. And the dangerous part? I ended up living beyond my means and getting into debt over it - not cool.

It's a funny world we live in - magazines and the mainstream media love to play on our insecurities and emotions, trying to get us to play the "we'll be happy when we have {insert shiny object here}" game. They present images of beautiful people with perfect lives, perfect hair and perfect homes and convince us that we need these things in our life to make us complete. Sure, some things are very nice and can enhance our life on a very superficial level; but happiness, contentment and a sense of deep fulfilment? This is something we need to create ourselves, from within.

Here's what I've learned...

Happiness is a choice that only you can make. Happiness is not some magical state of being we attain when we get that new job, pay rise, buy a home or get that designer handbag - happiness is here, right now in this moment. Happiness stems from our inner world and only you have the power to reach within and decide to change . Start with your thoughts - are you thinking positive uplifting thoughts that encourage you and lift you higher or are you being bogged down by negativity? I now use affirmations daily to help guide my thoughts whenever I find they're going off track + gently bring them back to a positive light. This takes practice and is honestly like riding a bike. Once you get the hang of it, you'll soon start to become very aware when negativity creeps in and when it does, simply redirect your thoughts to being positive.

Here are some affirmations you can try -

  • My life is full of possibilities.
  • My happiness is an inside job.
  • I maintain a positive attitude.
  • When I decide to be happy, I attract great things in my life.

Make the commitment and choose to be happy now, today, this minute.

Spend time figuring out what makes you come alive - go and do that. Have you ever noticed that when you spend time doing something you love, the time just flies? Each and every one of us are here for a reason and we all have special gifts unique to us. If you're not sure what yours is, then spend time working out what it is that makes your soul come alive. Write a list of all the things you've always wanted to try or take that course that you've been meaning to enrol in. This was a process of trial and error for me; for a long time I thought my purpose was around fashion and decor and I invested a lot of time in this, but instinctively my heart told me it wasn't the right direction for me, so I moved on. It was through my fashion blog that I discovered just how much I loved blogging. I blogged 4-5 days a week for 3.5 years! Sometimes when we go down one path we make an unexpected, but welcome discovery, so keep your heart open to opportunities that come your way and present themselves in perhaps a different way than what you first expected.

Be of service. Being of service is at the heart of what life is all about.  Shifting your output of energy to focus on being of service to others provides an incredible sense of purpose and gives you the space to be authentically you + allows you to use your natural talents in a meaningful way. If your focus is always on what you can get out of something, this stems from a place of lack and in turn creates negative energy that will only have the opposite effect. On the other hand, when you shift gears and ask "what can I give; how can I be of service?" you're suddenly opening yourself up to an abundance mindset - because when we give to others, we are essentially giving to ourselves and whatever energy you give out will come back to you twofold. Go out of your way to help other people; use your skills to create value in a purposeful way. Lift people up, and spread joy wherever you go and pay attention to the happiness and deep sense of fulfilment this will bring to you.

Much love, Rachel xx

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