Where is your happy place?
Happiness is a place. And the good news is you can be there in your mind even if you can't make it in body.
When I first arrived in New Zealand from Canada 19 years ago I remember thinking 'oh it's so green' followed by 'wait a minute, that means it rains a lot'.
Green is my happy place. Walking down a winding bush track, sheltered by a forest canopy, the smell of earth, the sound of birdsong. It's a time when the rhythm of footsteps whittle away at worries, slot ideas into categories and hammer problems into manageable chunks. It's thinking time and being time. Fresh air (buckets of oxygen on the uphills) and comfortable solitude.
My friend, Felicity, loved beach walks. The shore was her place to feel wild and free, enlivened, envigorated. But she was at a crossroads in her life, a time when big decisions meant big changes and vastly different paths. She walked on the beach again and again but without coming to any conclusions until she met one of my forest kin. He told her that in times like this she did not need to be on the beach; she needed to be in the bush. The green was healing for her heart, he said, and her ideas and thoughts would be contained there, held in the canopy and reflected back to her for consideration - not blown out of proportion by the ocean breeze. Makes sense! A purpose-driven happy place.