From the day we arrived, I longed to leave.  Living in this land-of-sand never featured on my Buck(et) list and truthfully, it still doesn’t!  But live here I do. For the past seven years and probably for the next seven too. It just is what it is and if I’m as real as I confess to be – I have to own up to behaving badly.

Very badly.

Most, all of the time.

Ouch!

I ve been down mouthed and flippantly loud mouthed about this so called city-without-a-soul.  And for that I’m sorry.

Of course it’s all a matter of perception and perspective.  How we see things is not necessarily how they are.  They are just how we see things. And my vision through thickly mud-coloured-glasses never did anyone any favours.  Least of all, moi!  The urge to get up and go…… well… home or here, there and everywhere other than the sandpit was as strong as the family dog’s desire to mount the nearest human leg when the vicar’s wife comes to visit.

Escaping to somewhere else never changes a thing.  Because everywhere I go, miraculously there I am!

That was, until I simply decided to reach down and open my happy door from the inside out.

Fancy that!

Happiness resourced internally and not in the “waiting for”, as Dr Seuss so aptly puts it in his poem “Oh the places you’ll go”

…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting. NO! That’s not for you!

NO!  That’s not for me either.

My happiness is no longer packed up and waiting in the departure lounge.  It’s not as elusive as calorie free carrot cake and neither as short lived.   Happiness is here and now and living in me and you and everybody!  It’s an internal hum that reminds me that life is lekker and God is good – all the time.

A state qualified and activated by choice rather than by circumstance.

Ha!  Put that in your juicer and drink it!

Stuff happens. And sometimes we can’t choose whether we actually want the stuff or not, we just get it.

Free of charge and about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.

What we can choose though, is how we feel and what to do about said stuff.  I don’t undermine that some stuff is much uglier than another. The world can be shaken and sad, crowded and out of control and there seems to be a hedonistic preoccupation in the hope for happiness.  Listen up, look around, google happiness and you’ll find more than a million definitions and adverts and bill boards promoting the ultimate in nirvanic ecstasy. Books, blogs and projects abound on behaviour economics, how the experiencing-self and the remembering-selves process happiness differently and how being happy IN your life and ABOUT your life are totally different concepts.  Huh?

Information as diverse as the 2 million dudes living in Dubai.

When actually, it’s quite simple:

Think good thoughts, move your mind, move your body and support your senses.

Here’s how:

+ Forget about merely striving for happiness and live deeply in the moment, for everything can be challenged and altered the instant we change our thoughts and take action. Be grateful that the sad and sorrowful highlight the super and sublime. Without the bad, we cannot identify the good. Without the down there is no up.  Minus the ugly we would not know pretty.

+ Focus on the positive and, as in everything life, remember this too will pass!

+ Support your soul with fresh food, deep sleep and like-to-do movement.

+ Do what you love and love what you do.

+ Surround yourself with people who build you up and not tear you down. It is said that we are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with.

+ Find a purpose in life outside and bigger than yourself.

+ Give and forgive extravagantly – with no expectation of receiving.

+ Be a part of someone else’s dream and celebrate enthusiastically with them and for them.

+Don’t take life too seriously – you’re not going to get out of it alive.

And….when you live in the desert, learn to play in the sandpit.

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