The art of choosing to be happy

I heard a funny thing recently. It was an old friend who’d emailed and asked how I was enjoying my time in Lucerne. He wrote ‘you certainly look happy on Facebook.’

Ha! Maybe he was being ironic because who doesn’t look happy on Facebook? I mean, no one’s posting about their two-day crying bender or the hours they’ve wasted online when they could’ve been, like, watching TV and stuff. Right? There are plenty of cute kids but rarely tantrums or sleepless nights. It would appear we are all happy.

Or even next level… with the number of coaches I have now befriended thanks to my course, it can certainly feel like everyone else is having this rocking life, sunning themselves by the pool with their lap top while the money pours in. This is one version of reality. It’s like a holiday snap shot – we don’t see the delayed flights, the cattle queuing, the Bali-belly or the feeling of being seen as a walking ATM machine. We only see mid-aftrenoon cocktails in the pool and sunny days.

That’s why I like to post the occasional photo of Lucerne’s glaring grey skies. It’s my way of keepin’ it real (dawg). But it’s a kind of taboo thing to do – post our unhappiness on social media – unless you mix in certain circles that do that type of thing.

In light of this, I bring you the news that apparently Facebook makes people depressed. Just begin typing ‘Facebook makes me’ into a search engine and see what options are suggested.

Who can relate?

Then, to top this off, M said I’m giving people the impression from my blog that I’m happy all the time.

I AM NOT ALWAYS HAPPY!

I totally fall off the wagon and give into fear-based thinking and feel not good enough and too flawed to post anything at times. But then I get back up, read or listen to something inspiring (as I’ve posted so many times before), get on with my work and get back to the version of reality of my choosing. It’s not important if we come off centre, what’s important is how quickly we get back to it.

I have pretty high standards when it comes to the way I feel. Don’t you?

So today, in honour of maintaining a miraculous mindset, I present you with My Top Five for High Vibes, which will have you high fiving the plants and singing down the street (or whatever your version of happiness is). Because sometimes we just need a little help from our friends.

1. Sensual Sipping

Where would we be as a race without tea and coffee? We’d probably still be trying to rub sticks together to make fire. Personally, coffee can kick me into the best mood. It has transformative powers. It makes me more creative, focused, motivated and joyful. And that’s why I believe in the transformative powers of coffee.

Coffee is often demonised, so it was with great pleasure that I inhaled this article about Turning Your Coffee Habit Into A Healthy Morning Ritual. Ahh sigh. Using our coffee ritual to practice gratitude is my kind of morning fun.

I too wrote about rituals once upon a time…

Our beloved brew can set us up for the day ahead, like meditation. I wanted to write that drinking coffee is a form of yoga but a web search revealed it was not so. Dammit! There are appears to be no link between coffee and yoga (under the search ‘what kind of yoga is drinking coffee?’). Let us not be swayed by this though, nor fear of coffee breath nor yellowing teeth, Coffee Time (or of course Tea Time) is our time for reflection. It’s the opportunity to take a break from our busy days and just be. It is also a reason to get up in the morning. Can I get an amen?

2. Happiness Playlist

Music can change a mood in an instant – but we forget to use it when we need it most.

So make yourself a collection of songs that can snap you back to a happy reality. I have twenty songs on repeat. I often play them on the bus to the hospital and I am certainly one of the happiest people in the radiotherapy waiting room. Life is just better with music. On a clear day I sing my way home through the quiet residential streets. I get a kick out of being crazy amongst strangers. It is part of my self-prescribed treatment.

First up for me is a song I still love, Blurred Lines. Seriously, try not to a) dance b) strut c) bop your head a little at least. It’s impossible!

I also love Rihanna’s & Calvin Harris’s We Found Love

It’s not exactly a ‘happy’ song but it makes me feel ALIVE and has that jumping round the living room like you’re down in the mud at a music festival kind of beat. Obviously, it’s way better though because you don’t get dirty.

Another song I kill daily is Rihanna’s Diamonds.

Shine bright like a diamond

Shine bright like a diamond

Fine light in the beautiful sea

I chose to be happy

Those five words – I chose to be happy – that’s everything right there.

It hits me hard every time.

Being emotional is just as fun as being happy.

3. Helping

It sounds like a mother’s cliché but isn’t it entirely true? Helping releases some crazy good endorphins. And this one actually is a form of yoga – karma yoga – or being in service of others.

My favourite form of helping is called ‘helping the tourists’.  I have an affinity to the helpless group of lost wanderers. If you want directions, I’m your girl! I’ll scan the shelves for gluten-free products with you! Pick me! I’ll tell you the best place to buy your ‘gelatto’! I separated euros and francs for a Chinese man at the supermarket last week and came home buzzing. Helping others totally changes up our energy.

As Gabby Bernstein says,

When you’re feeling helpless, help someone.

 4. Earthing

It sounds like something the aliens made up but this is actually something real people are talking about. Earthing simply means walking barefoot, grounding your body to the earth, and is supposed to reduce inflammation as electrons are conducted from the earth to our bodies. Seriously, I’m not making this up. There are even experts in the field and whole books written on it.

But what I really wanted to say is that it’s so great to lie on the ground and just be. We went to Lugano a Saturday ago to see the sun (it sounds like a tourist attraction and it is) and our favourite part of the day was when we lay under a tree on the grass and didn’t speak, except to talk about when last we’d done this and how awesome it was. We relaxed into the arms of Mamma Earth. And it felt so good.

5. Just Feel It

Rather than stuff our feelings down or try to be inflatably happy, we can just ask,

‘What am I feeling?’

‘And given that I’m feeling that what do I want?’

Maybe you’ll find that you really want to have some fun… or do the work you’ve been avoiding… or deepen your friendships… or go to sleep… or become a better conversationalist… or be more interesting… or hold a one-man dance party… or sing at the top of your lungs in public… or clean your room… or hire a cleaner… or start your own business… or lie under a tree…  OR forgive yourself a little more.

Because we all need a little help from our friends at times.

I hope you will let me know how you keep your vibe high in the comments below. What makes you sing?

And I’ll leave you with the words of Rihanna,

We chose to be happy

(like diamonds in the sky)

6 comments

  1. Nadiya says:

    You made me think about what is my Top 5. And I came up with the following.

    1. Wandering around.
    Go out of the house and just keep going wherever my feet will bring me to. It gives me fresh inspiration. During such a walk my mind starts singing again.
    2.”Going high”
    If I have a chance I always try to find the highest spot wherever I am, go up and feel like the wind plays with my hair, fills me in with its strength and energy. And scream out loud! This is my therapy.
    3. Spinning around
    As simple as that – whenever I feel I need to renew I start spinning around like a little girl. Always end up laughing out loud.
    4. Definitely music
    Music has magic powers. Every day different song becomes the song of the day that can cheer me up the best. Today’s song is Garou “Stand up”. Can’t stop singing these words from the song for the last 4 hours:
    “Give yourself a break and listen to your heart
    Let your conscience guide you never let your guard down
    Find out the best of you”.
    5. Writing
    That’s the easiest way for me to feel myself better in no time.

    Thanks, Mireille, for sharing! I think I since some time I can add #6 to the list and it will be reading your blog. Sometimes the right words from your post I find out at the best time, which helps a lot to feel awesome again in order to continue my life song!
    Thank you for that.

    Cheers)

  2. Mireille Parker says:

    Oh my God I love your list!

    Yes I love wandering around too. Walking brings new ideas and perspective for sure. The trick for me is remembering to do that when I need it most. Sometimes I want to battle away at the computer. But when I finally let go and take a walk outside, it all falls into place.

    Going high I love too. Next time I will scream and spin round and think of you (Martin will hate it) xxx

    And writing…of course we share that great love (-:

    I am so thankful you shared your list and that my post reaches you at just the right moment. Synchronicities are definitely right up on my list.

    And one more thing you forgot to add. How about swimming in freezing cold lakes in winter? I’m sure that gets you so high!

    Love xxx

  3. Sophie says:

    Beautiful post and I couldn’t agree more: social media tricks us into thinking everybody is leading an amazing life but of course, that’s not the reality. I love your list and suggestions. Thanks for finding me, I’m going to keep coming back 🙂 xx

    • Mireille Parker says:

      Hi Sophie! I don’t know why I hadn’t seen this sooner. Or maybe I saw it when I was busy and forgot to reply. Anyway, thanks for commenting. I enjoyed reading your posts too and will keep checking in xxx

  4. aleya says:

    congrats on the new site (i guess it is not so new anymore)! i love your list…what would i do without my morning coffee before all my noisy neighbours wake up, where i can read my blogs in peace? 😉 aleya

    • Mireille Parker says:

      Thank you Aleya! There is certainly a lot of change going on around here! Your morning ritual sounds lovely. Just looking at your email address and wondering if you’ve been to Australia?

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