As many of you who read my blog know, for the last three years have I been traveling A LOT in Asia. I have taught English at a Buddhist monastery school for children of underprivileged backgrounds in Myanmar, walked A LOT in the Himalayas in India, Nepal and Bhutan, traveled in Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia, practiced yoga in India and been on climbing expeditions in Nepal. I have even tried to climb Everest twice during my travels in Asia. It is time for reflection and to find my everyday life in Oslo again and also to find my way back to my everyday happiness. It is easy to be addicted to the life of living on the move with a backpack looking for new adventures to participate in… After all, as long as you have the money, this type of traveling an easy life to live!
My life in motion traveling in Asia was not something I started on an impulse. It was well prepared, and it took one and a half years from the day I made the decision until I was on the plane that took me to Bangkok, Thailand in January 2013. Why did I use such a long time preparing for this journey?
The reason that I wanted to spend a long time on the preparations was because I had seen so many people fly away from their problems and lives, which they do not like, and think that an adventurous journey will heal a miserable life at home. I did not want to be one of them, so I decided that I should work on my life and make sure that nothing that I could control was imbalanced before I left. I wanted to return home from my journey knowing that I had a good life in Oslo. Thankfully, this is something that I think I have done. It is a big pleasure to be home and to enjoy the small things in my everyday life that mean A LOT to me.
I like to call these “small things” that happen in my everyday life, which bring me happiness “everyday Happiness”. I can count between 20 and 30 different experiences that I have with everyday happiness that occurs regularly in my life. I do not experience all of them in one day, but I have some experiences of everyday happiness in my life daily.
Some of us are good at recognizing the small things in our everyday life (or everyday happiness, as I will call them) that give us a small rush of happiness in our hearts; others are not so good at it. That does not mean that the people who do not recognize it do not experience everyday happiness. I believe that a reason some do not experience it can be that their minds are busy with paying attention to A LOT of other things like too much work, relationships that are not working, being focused on something that happened in the past or something that lies in front of them. All these things can draw the attention away from being present in the moment that is here and now and, in turn, missing out on an opportunity to experience real everyday happiness.
I will give you five examples on everyday happiness I experience in my own life.
1. I shop in a store, where the staff knows the meaning of good heartfelt service. I experience this when I go shopping at the greengrocer Frukthagen at Voldslokka in Oslo. I know they work really hard and long hours to give their customers the best products and service. I always leave their store a little bit happier then I was before I came into the store.
2. My Mysore yoga practice at Puro yoga in the morning. I get filled with happiness in the moment I put my foot inside the door of the studio. I love the atmosphere, being around the other yoga students, the yoga teachers that work hard to give us the support we need in our practice and the heartfelt energy in the studio. Unfortunately, I have been lazy lately and do not have a regular practice at the moment. This is a place of improvement for me.
3. Going to the climbing gym Klatreverket to hang out on the climbing walls together with good friends. I am not a good climber, but I just LOVE to be in the gym and climb. I can’t explain why it is so special for me. I just get this happy feeling within by being “in the present” on the climbing wall, or helping my climbing partners to stretch a little bit out of their comfort zone, and the good feeling it gives to succeed in something that has been out of reach for them.
4. Going for a walk in the forest. I am so lucky that I have only a ten minutes’ walk from my apartment in Oslo to the forest. In this forest, called Nordmarka, can I walk for weeks if I feel for being out in nature for a longer period of time. Normally I go for a walk that last between one and four hours. It is a playground for my mind. I can let my thoughts fly and be free in beautiful nature. My body is relaxed, my mind is relaxed and A LOT of good ideas and projects has been born on these everyday adventurous, in my own backyard.
5. Spending time together with good friends in a cozy café letting the talk interact between us for hours. My experience from my everyday life is that everyday happiness occurs and develops between friends and also between strangers in a café with good atmosphere. There are many cafés in Oslo that creates this space for the visitors.
I could continue writing down examples on everyday happiness from my life. I had a hard time prioritizing and choosing the examples I wanted to tell you about in this blog. What is common for most of my spaces, where I feel everyday happiness, is that I am surrounded by people who surround themselves with good energy, in awesome nature or both.
Do you have an idea about what I mean when I share my thoughts about everyday happiness with you? Have you got some experiences on everyday happiness that you want to share? Please do so in the comment box below this blog, or send an e-mail to Ingvill@Livealifeinmotion.com. I look forward to hearing from you and to sharing your insight on how we experience this rush of happiness in our hearts that occurs in a second of a moment when we are in places that create everyday happiness.