I used to believe that happiness was dependent on the circumstances of my life. Even though I knew logically that true happiness came from within, it took me a long time to realise it fully and experience it for myself.
Gradually, I become aware that we can always choose how we respond in any situation, choose the meaning we attach to life events, and are responsible for how we create each part of our lives. Including, whether or not we create a true, unshakeable sense of happiness for ourselves.
Sounds simple enough in theory, but in fact this took me years to appreciate and apply to my own life, particularly in areas where I felt challenged or stuck.
The turning point came when I began cultivating a real relationship with myself. Looking at what deeply mattered to me, being honest with where I was at, and being genuinely okay with the thoughts, feelings and emotions I had.
I realised that underlying all of my experiences, thoughts and feelings, was the 'real me.' The essence of who I was. No matter what happened in my 'outer' life, the deepest part of me remained present.
And, the more space I gave to this essential part of myself, the more deeply happy I felt -- a contentment that started at my core and permeated into my outer life.
I know that I can tap into this part of myself - the true, unchanging, and soulful part of who I am - at anytime. It's there when I strip back everything else, and allow my real self to unfold. I feel it best when I: