I set up a Happiness Club almost a year ago, we have all committed to each of the GREAT DREAM messages over the months. Together we've shared a journey discovering what really makes us happy.
For the past month, we’ve been practicing accepting ourselves – unconditionally. Personally, I found this hard to do. Too often I was drawn into the high pressure, high stress reality of trying to do everything perfectly, so that I could feel good about myself. Frequently, maybe not frequently enough, I recognised this and offered myself kindness and compassion and fought against the urge of perfectionism. I accepted myself with lower standards and it felt liberating. I will be focusing on this unconditional acceptance going forward, I have only just scratched the surface, and need to commit to this each day in the future. I can almost touch the freedom that unconditional acceptance brings! I’m thankful that my happiness club friend has really inspired me. I have some great ideas of how I can take this forward into my life from her. We also talked about the month of meaning and how to be part of something bigger in the next month
When I read Psychologies magazines recent happiness club article on acceptance it was a big lightbulb moment. I hadn’t considered ‘conditional’ or ‘unconditional’ acceptance of myself until this point but knew instantly I only accepted myself conditionally depending upon my own internal standards and successes. I talked about this with friends outside of the happiness club and, lo and behold, they did the same thing. It wasn’t that surprising on Monday evening to discover friends in the happiness club did too. We would accept our own children unconditionally, so why is it so hard to accept ourselves unconditionally?
This month’s blog is going to be focused on one Happiness Club member’s past month. It feels only right, as this month she opened her home, and heart, to a Kenyan runner. The experiences they shared show what true resilience is.
We’re all looking forward to our month of positivity. Here are a few thoughts on how we’ll commit to it!
I posted a quick mid month updated recently on what I felt about the importance of Direction. Last night I met with my Happiness Club and found out their experiences.
We’re over halfway now in our Happiness Club journey, entering into the DREAM of GREAT DREAM! What has been lovely is that we’ve all noticed how the things we started our experiment committing too (e.g. giving, relating etc) have dripped through to the subsequent months. So now we’re still giving more, exercising more and so on because they’ve really become part of our daily lives, of who we are. But now we’re starting to try new things and look forward with direction. In this blog I’m going to review our month of Appreciation and Trying Out as well as have a quick chat around the forthcoming month of Direction.
Mindfulness is not new to my Happiness Club. I am passionate about it and have been practicing it in my daily life for over 18 months (http://moremindfulme.tumblr.com/ ). Another club member (Diane Shillito http://www.dianeshillito.com/) is a Mindfulness Mediation Facilitator – amongst other wonderful things. Other club members have been practicing Mindfulness over the last year and have already been enjoying the many benefits that it brings. Regardless of this we are all excited about making a further commitment to practicing more to be present, right now, in this moment. After all, this is the only moment we really have!
Last night my Happiness Club met for the fourth time and reviewed our month of exercise. Beforehand we ranged from people who exercised regularly to those that felt they did very little and taking part in this month was not as eagerly anticipated as some of the earlier ones. That did mean that the review of the month was all the more surprising! Some of the highlights are discussed below.
I read about the Happiness Club idea in Psychologies magazine when I was on the train home from an overnight Spa break with my sister. I knew instantly that it was something I wanted to do and felt excited straight away. I didn’t have the comedown from the Spa break I expected! I emailed to be one of the Club Founders from the train station waiting for my connecting train home and it made me feel so energised. The feeling I get whenever I do anything to take control of my own happiness is so empowering and exhilarating that I knew I’d love to be in a Happiness Club, committing to each Key to Happiness and discovering along the way how that made me feel. I wanted to find friends to join me as soon as I could and I was delighted that I had 6 friends who said yes. I was ready to plan in the first date when I had an email congratulating me on being a Club Founder! I couldn’t wait to share it with the Club. We set about organising a good day for everyone to meet, which was no mean feat! Eventually we found a date most could commit to – Wednesday 25th February.