The journey towards true happiness often appears effortless for some, but for others, it can be a tumultuous ride through peaks of well-being and valleys of despair.
I intimately understand this journey, having several years marked by depression and misery, it left me feeling lost in my 40s, a time when happiness seemed elusive, and joy a distant memory.
In those challenging moments, I voiced my lack of joy to friends, acknowledging the unfamiliarity of such positive emotions in my life. This admission marked the beginning of my mission to rediscover the meaning of happiness, a place I once knew but had temporarily lost.
Through dedication and time, I gradually crafted the tools necessary to emerge from the dark shadows, reclaiming not only my mental and physical health but also experiencing a profound and lasting happiness.
The realization that happiness is not guaranteed, and the awareness that many people suffer without ever truly knowing joy, has become a driving force in my life.
In my work I also realised this was a common issue for women over 40 and I am passionate about teaching women there is life and quality health to be had in our over 40 years and beyond.
Discovering the path to happiness and understanding how to navigate life’s challenges is a profound lesson that remains etched in my memory ready for me to call on when I have moments that I need to lift up.
Having incorporated specific concepts into my daily practices, I now possess a reliable compass that guides me through life’s uncertainties. The three foundational components I share – Cultivate, Knowing, and Embody — serve as pillars I share that support a happier and more fulfilling life.
1. Cultivate: Nurturing the Seeds of Happiness
Cultivation, likened to the careful practice of tending a garden, involves digging deeper to uncover the roots of our happiness. In cultivating happiness, we actively develop the skill of being happy.
This process mirrors the tender care a gardener provides to the soil and seeds, emphasizing the importance of patience and dedication in fostering personal growth.
2. Knowing: Unveiling the Distinctions of Happiness
Knowing what brings us happiness requires a deeper exploration of our desires and preferences. It extends beyond surface-level pleasures and taps into our intuition—a subtle guide that leads us toward choices aligned with our deepest values.
Taking time for introspection is crucial in discerning the nuances of joy, whether it be found in solitude, family bonds, time in nature, or a sense of peace and calm.
This knowing also delves into our intuition, a profound inner compass that, when nurtured, empowers us to make choices that align with our authentic selves.
Ignoring our intuition often leads to settling for less, inhibiting our ability to make powerful decisions that catalyse positive change. Over time, neglecting our inner knowing can erode confidence, impair decision-making, and ultimately jeopardize our happiness.
3. Embody: Turning Up the Happy Gauge
Embodiment of happiness entails internalizing and intensifying the sensations that bring us joy. It starts with our emotions and extends outward, permeating every part of our being.
Physical exercise and mindful practices act as conduits, connecting our inner and outer worlds. In Qigong we focus on cultivating Chi—the life force within us— it enhances our sense of vitality, presence and awareness.
To truly reprogram the subconscious and foster lasting happiness, we must move beyond relying solely on external factors. By taking the time to practice and embody every emotion and physical sense of joy, we strengthen our connection to the inner self, paving the way for a richer and more fulfilling life.
The pursuit of happiness is a multifaceted journey that requires dedication, self-discovery, and intentional living. The three components of Cultivate, Knowing, and Embody provide a foundational framework for navigating life’s complexities. By incorporating these principles into our daily lives, we unlock the potential for a profound and enduring sense of happiness—one that emanates from the depths of our inner world and expands outwards to bring light to those arounds us.
Sandra Leigh is a Professional Pilates Instructor, Qigong Teacher, Trainer and Coach who specialises in helping woman over 40 live free from physical and emotional pain! If you would like to find out more about how SANDRA LEIGH TRAINING can you help you.