How to be happy…

It has been an interesting week this- I discovered the cathartic nature of karaoke; started at my new school on Thursday; and had my official goodbye at work. Its been an amazing and scary time full of change, change, and more change.
I received so many lovely messages about my new job and even more on my leaving PP,  I feel very loved and respected and I am glad that I have brought feminism, interesting debates and support to so many of my colleagues. Having cried my eyes out yesterday when giving my good bye speech, I suspect there might be a few tears on my last day next week….
On another note, I seem to be thinking more and more about happiness- what makes me happy; how happy do I feel; what can I do to feel more happy and so on. I have set myself a little project, obviously entitled the ‘Happiness Project’, where I have to do three of my happy things a week. 
My happy things include
– Going to an art gallery/ museum
– Going to an interesting talk
– Spending time with my VIPs (Very Inspirational People)
– Cooking on a Sunday
– Getting out of London
– Reading interesting books, especially fantasy novels
– Baking cakes
– Spending time with my family
– Taking photos in and around London
– Going to the cinema
I started off fantastically going to the Hajj exhibition with one of my VIPs, this was followed by going to see the Hunger Games with friends and I spent Sunday going for a lovely walk around Hackney Marshes with my Dad (photo’s here http://www.flickr.com/photos/364daysoflove/). I had a fantastic time at karaoke (my rendition of let’s talk about sex is hilarious apparently lol), saw my sister and Dad this week and am going to do something cultural soon. And yet, I still question… 

What makes you happy? Send me your inspiration!

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Things I have been pondering this week

I recently had a conversation with some colleagues about whether they believe there is one person out there just for them. To my dismay, several of my colleagues all answered along the lines of they believe that there is not just one person that is right for them, dependent on your age and experiences, there could be several people that could be the ‘one’ and right for you at that time of your life.
This upset my romantic sensibilities. I want to believe that there will be one person that will be my other half and who will be worth all the waiting for. In fact I have been waiting for that person for a while now, rationalising that when I do find them, I wont have to look again as it will be forever. Well that’s what I’d like anyway! The ‘person who is right for now’ approach made me realise that I might have been wasting a lot of time- if there are multiple people that potentially are right for you, I might as well start dating lots of people now. It does take the pressure off of individuals- if multiple people are right for you, it could lessen the sting of relationships not working out as there is someone that will be right for you at each stage of your life. This is a new way of thinking for me, seeped in romantic novels as I am and as the reactive child of serial monogamists.
And then of course I met a man.
And my thoughts went along the lines of ‘Well if this person was my person that was right for this time in my life, I’d be quite happy!’. So maybe I will have to embrace a new romantic ideal.
I have been also thinking about hope recently. Until you are given some, you don’t realise how empty you felt without it. I’d like to give everyone a stash of hope that they could draw upon when needed, it really does make you feel differently. Feeling more hopeful led me to realise that I had been neglecting the everyday thankfulness and positivity that this blog originated with and I’m not sure if its my stress levels but I have noticed that I feel less positive when I am not consciously trying to find things that I am thankful for.
So this week I am thankful for :
  • the continued suggestions for temp agencies from Sophie and Rachael;
  • a great conversation that made me think about seeing the bigger picture; 
  • two evenings out with friends; 
  • the kindness and generosity that my housemates show me on a daily basis; 
  • and finally that I have a free ticket to see the Hajj exhibition and I get to see it with my lovely friends Livia and Hattie.
Just on another note- what makes you feel excited?
Lots of people have been asking me if I feel excited about my new job and I honestly have to say ‘No’. I know this might seem negative but whilst I can acknowledge that I am moving on to a new role that is going to challenge me and is completely different to my current role; and that I have had the courage to change something in my life that I wasn’t happy with. On the whole I feel nervous about my finances and sad to be leaving my colleague and my carnival project. Is this just part of the transition phase or am I just being not positive enough about this change?

I thought back to Gambia and how I wouldn’t let myself be excited before I went which now seems crazy! But I was terrified about doing something so different and it was a defense mechanism. I guess that is what I am doing right now, protecting myself just in case everything doesn’t go to plan. And as I have now realised this, just through writing this blog, I am going to have to be a lot more positive about the exciting new things that are coming to my life!

The Art of Forgetting…

How many times has a friend or colleague asked you ‘What did you do at the weekend?’ and you find your mind has gone completely blank? It happens quite regularly to me if I have not wrote anything down. I wanted to write about what I was thankful for but as I have not noted these down on my calendar, I am left with what my feeble brain can recollect over the course of this week.

Firstly, what has stood out for me the most is the reaction to a text that I sent to multiple friends and acquaintances asking for recommendations of temping agencies. I touchingly received several phone calls, two of which were from friends I had not spoken to in a while, and received a text reply from everyone else. There was slight consternation at my leaving full time work for a part time work – a feeling that I entirely reciprocate, however there was lots of support and suggestions which I am acting on- thanks!

If my happiness is in my own hands I have to make the decision to create change and in this case, it is time to move on. I envy those people that know what they want to do with their lives or are content in their careers. I occasionally feel angry that the universe has not revealed to me my greater purpose
in life but I am gradually realising that for some of us happiness and true understanding of ourselves has to be worked at, possibly as much as others who try to lose a great deal of weight or run a marathon. Slowly training and moderating our thought processes and behaviours for a long term greater gain. Boring, frustrating and annoying but true.
On another note but related to new thought processes- I was thinking a great deal this morning, particularly about my past and stressing myself out far too much when suddenly a thought popped into my head ‘Let it go’. And again ‘Let it go’.

This is an unusual thought process for me- I am uptight and a bit of a control freak and certainly not into letting things go. But as I felt myself let go of those thoughts, my mood brightened and I felt full of purpose- so I quickly got up and cleaned my room whilst I was feeling so productive!

There is so much I would like to forget- but If I do will I change who I am?
 

The Art of saying Yes…

Say Yes. Its simple right? But how often are you invited to do something or to go somewhere and you put off agreeing until you check your diary or what other people are doing? 
As I do this constantly, In my attempt to become a happier person I decided to give up saying ‘no’  for Lent. I am not a particularly religious person but thought it would be a good time to make a positive change in my life.


And saying yes has been good so far- I’ve been to see my first ever musical, had an impromptu dinner, just finished a Business Analysis course, bought tickets for a gig I wouldn’t have chosen myself ; been given a ticket for an exhibition I wanted to go to; said yes to a wedding invitation & to doing a reading at another wedding- in the last two situations I was really touched and honoured. 


Saying yes is such a simple action but I think it can have a great impact if you let it. There can be conflicts- being invited clubbing on a school night for example but on the whole I think it is a positive, more active mind set. So I will continue saying yes  as I think it forces me to have a more active, well lived life and will let you know the results at Easter.


I know I have been neglecting my thankfulness blog both here and on my calendar and today was reminded by the The Daily Love blog that when we are inconsistent with ourselves in achieving our goals, we doubt our ability to complete our dreams. As I want the faith to know I can achieve my dreams I figured a short post on here would be necessary!So I am thankful to Mike for giving me the opportunity to learn something new; to Ed, Livia & Devina for listening to me all weekend and to Stef for asking me to do a reading at her wedding.