Saturday, August 6, 2016

     Where is your “happy place?” Psychologists tell us we need a “place” where we can feel at peace—a place where all worries melt away, and we are filled with a sense of calm. Some may respond, “In my husband’s arms,” “holding my grand-child,” “in my wine glass.” No one can make a happy place for us. I’m sure there are many places you have been happy, but where is that one place that you can always count on that will take you down off the ledge, fill you with hope or restore your strength?

     When I think back over the years to times when I was troubled, stressed, freaked out, ready to hang it up, there were a few places that pulled me in, buoyed my spirit and helped
me tough it out. For me, they were mostly in nature.

     If you are a runner, you have experienced the runner’s “high.” There’s nothing like it. Runner’s can get that release just by putting one foot in front of the other. Some may run on tracks, others on city streets, but those who run in a park, on a beach or in the woods will find that nature embraces and soothes.

     I met a runner the other day who can’t run anymore due to knee issues. I stopped running before the knees became an issue. I see many of my runner friends now enduring painful knee operations, and I’m glad I quit. I would give anything to be able to run again, but alas, I have had to find other “happy places” to find my balance.

     If you do Yoga, meditate or read a lot, you probably find great calm anytime you engage in these activities. They are not places per se; they provide an inner place, a spiritual place where you can feel safe.

     I come back, however, to the initial question of where. Let’s assume you may only answer by a specific physical place. Where would that be? Do you have only one? What ingredients does this place have to have in order to give you what you need? fresh air? water? sand? trees? space? music?

     This “happy place” of which I speak is a place you go alone. It’s a private place, maybe one that only you know—a place where no one can interrupt or disturb you. It’s a place you can close your eyes, laugh aloud, cry, scream, mumble, skip or jump up and down. 

      If you don’t have a place like this, and you get angry, frustrated or uptight, maybe you should consider finding such a place. It doesn’t have to be the same one year after year. Mine has changed several times, but without it, I do not feel centered. It might be right in your own home somewhere. 

     If you never get tense, never want to escape, never feel out of sorts, ignore this entire discussion, and rock on.