At the end of last month I signed up for ZenHabits Sea Change Program. It all seemed most apt given that I’m about to do exactly that. Literally.
I’m hoping the program’s creator, Leo Babauta doesn’t mind me sharing part of a lesson which focuses on our need to seek happiness from external sources.
I touched on this a while ago in my post about becoming self-happy. But now that I’m unemployed no longer a working girl (and I mean the kind of girl who works, not the hooking kind!) I’ve been catching up on some lessons from Leo’s course.
Leo posed some questions allowing us to consider whether or not we seek happiness from external sources:
What are your external forms of happiness?
Food, wine, books, TV
Can you be happy without them? What would happen if you spent a few hours alone, with nothing to do or watch?
I would be bored and have too much time inside my own head!
Are you happy with your body?
Shit no! Not even vaguely! Am overweight obese.
Do you need to be with people?
Nope. I’m more than happy to be alone!
How do you shut others out?
Avoidance – I don’t speak to people on the phone; don’t make plans; don’t ask for anything.
Are you insecure, jealous, lacking confidence?
Yes. All of the above. I envy those I believe have what I don’t, or can do what I can’t.
Do you trust yourself?
I trust myself but don’t have ‘faith’ in myself.
Do you think you’re awesome?
Sometimes I can be awesome.
Do you think the world is awesome as it is, or do you constantly wish things were different?
I constantly wish things were different (in relation to my own life!). I’d like ‘more’.
What kind of changes do you fear?
Not having enough – of things.
What do you expect of life?
Happiness, fulfilment, contentment.
What do you expect of others?
Consideration, respect and appreciation.
It’s no secret that I struggle with the concept of self-happiness and seek solace elsewhere (usually at the bottom of a corn chip packet or by inhaling a kilogram of chocolate!). And today I’ve really struggled!
I’m feeling a bit angsty. It could be that I’ve finished work and feel uncertain about what’s next. It could be that I need to start a bloody ‘to-do’ list cos I have stacks of stuff to do. It could be that my place is on the market and I’d signed a contract, which today fell through. Or it could be that I need to decide whether or not to put an offer in on a property elsewhere or miss out.
It could be any of those things really.
And all I really want to do is sleep.
So I’ve spent much of the day feeling low. I almost jumped in my car and drove the 300km to my mother’s place to hide out there for a few days I almost decided that my low mood allowed me to buy the food I love so I could binge-eat for comfort. For happiness.
Again, I was looking for love happiness in all the wrong places.
Obviously I did none of those things (oh, except sleep. I did do that!).
It’s gonna take some work… this self-soothing, self-happiness thing. But if I take it one day at a time (unburdening myself to you, as I tend to) hopefully I’ll get there.
Do you look for happiness from external sources?
PS. Did you note that I actually said “Sometimes I can be awesome.” Now, that’s progress!