I was talking to a friend a few months back, and she was telling me all about her struggle to find happiness, and how, despite everything she’d been doing of late, it was still eluding her. It was a topic we were both extremely familiar with because we’d been having this conversation, in a variety of forms, for about five years.
We’d both moved and started new careers more than once over the course of that time, and had fallen in and out of love with our lives. Again and again.
Both of us were feeling a little exhausted by the game, and more than a little bewildered.
We both had great apartments. My friend was working in a job she’d designed herself, socializing and dating a lot. She had a dog. She’d read all the self-help books. She had vision boards going all over the place. She meditated.
So, why the failure re. happiness?
It suddenly hit me.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to be happy if you’re not doing what you’re meant to be doing,” I said.
“Oh, my God,” she replied.
The next thing you know, she’s writing a brand new solo show and is all excited about life.
And is feeling happy.
What just happened?
Well, we’re given messages from the great beyond which are meant to keep us on point in our soul mission. We feel “off” when we veer off the path.
For my friend, no amount of doing things that are supposed happiness-generators, like getting a massage, going out to dinner, watching Netflix, or tending to her spiritual life, were doing a thing for her happiness level — because she was missing the main point, which was, it turns out, that she was supposed to be performing as her lunatic self on stage.
Her gifts include being a spiritual jokester who uses her own mishaps and foibles to let her audience know they are not alone in the vagaries of the human experience.
When she’s not doing something along these lines, as cool as her life might look from the outside, it misses the mark according to her inner barometer for success.
So getting back in the game with her soul mission and her innate gifts (of lunacy, humor, insightfulness on the experience of being human and showmanship) created the happiness she’d been seeking.
I’ve seen this with myself. I’ll find myself focusing on getting just the right amount of sleep, timing all my supplements, taking baths and long walks, and being gluten-free.
And I’ll feel meh. Whatever. What’s the point? Nothing’s fun.
Then you get me to Mexico. Where I’m sharing space with countless strangers, I haven’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep in three weeks, and who knows what I’m eating. I’m driven half nuts by countless things, and daily life has never felt more inconvenient.
(To get the full picture, briefly consider barking chihuahuas all night long, no running water first thing in the morning, and alternating tropical sweaty heat + mosquitoes with bone-chilling torrential rain when you’re biking home at dusk. Oh, and none of which you’re ever prepared for.)
But I feel freaking amazing. Happy.
How can that be? It doesn’t make sense.
But check me out! I’m writing like crazy, my new blog is up, I’m all over social media, and I’ve started countless articles for several online magazines. I love the weather, in all its random extremes. I got the call to come to Mexico and I answered it, I didn’t bury it away in a pile of all the unlived dreams we each tend to carry around.
So, am I happy? I don’t even have time to think about how good I feel, I feel so good!
Right now I don’t have to “do” a damn thing to be happy.
Because I’m on point. With my soul mission. I know I’m meant to be writing. I mean, it took me years to get there, to realize it.
But I’ve always been a writer.
When I was twelve I went to a bilingual French-English camp in Montreal, where they had woods and horses and all kinds of activities.
I sat at a picnic table with my notebook.
“She’s a writer!” this one boy would start yelling, gesturing to me, as he stood on the picnic table.
I loathed the very idea. It struck me as socially unacceptable and unglamorous.
Today, however, I have accepted my destiny. Writing is one of my soul gifts. I have to do it in order to feel happy.
I find it healing to get my experiences and impressions down. I find the experience of engaging with other people through my writing hugely gratifying.
Now when I tune into my inner being, I’m greeted by a lightness of spirit and a humming in my heart of this gleeful newborn joy. Not the heaviness of being stuck and unexpressed. Not the jumpiness of self-doubt or the sinking feeling of life passing me by.
So, how happy are you?
Are you as happy as you can be?
What’s your happiness barometer telling you?
Are you on point?
Do you know what your soul mission is?
What your glorious gifts are??
If not, get on it. There’s nothing like it.