Here is your Friday story

Here is your Friday story,

The Secret of Happiness

I was born to parents who right from the word go, instilled in me that happiness is THE most important thing and that life is to be enjoyed.

When I was 14, my parents bought a children's camp and activity centre 350 miles from where we currently lived, they thought it would be a great upbringing for me and my three sisters and a new fun adventure for the family.

It was a big change for me and my sisters but an even bigger challenge for my parents. Not only were they up and moving their children out of school into a new area, they were going from a home with a garden and one dog, to a home with 50 acres, 15 horses, 2 pigs, 1 cow, 1 lama, 1 deer, 18 chickens, 1 turkey, a couple of guinea pigs and 54 sheep, oh and they had exactly zero experience with any of the above!

And, just 1 week after we were to arrive, a coach full of children would also be arriving eager for a week packed with activities, many of which my parents hadn’t even tried before.

However it didn't take us long to learn the skills we needed and we adapted nicely to our new outdoor lifestyle. As soon as I could, I began to assist and teach with the onsite activities, things such as horse riding, canoeing, archery and orienteering. It was always great fun.

At the age of 15, inspired by my parent’s courage and tenacity, I decided that I too wanted to be my own boss as I wanted the freedom to earn my own money and make my own decisions.

At 17, I began to put the plan into action and started my own business in the automotive industry; I was young but confident, fearless and enthusiastic.

I set out into adult life intent on earning well so that I could live comfortably, buy what I wanted and travel to different parts of the world. And of course it went without saying that I would also look after myself and be kind and caring toward family, friends and strangers.

I hadn't ever consciously thought to myself at any point that this was the way to happiness, but I wasn't aware of any other way of thinking or being and so just accepted it as the way.

Fast forward 8 years and a couple of business ventures later and where once stood a girl excited and full of beans, now stood a girl who was uninspired, drained and frustrated.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wondering who this girl was looking back at me. I said to myself in my mind 'Vic what are you doing, you are getting it all so wrong'.

Fed up with seeing me take life too seriously, one of my sister's suggested that I needed to inject some fun into my life and proposed we take a holiday in the sun, which I eventually agreed to. We decided on a two week trip to Egypt. And little did I know that my life was about to change forever!

After the first few days unwinding and relaxing into the holiday mode, I began to find myself, my thoughts and beliefs being challenged. My ideas about life, happiness, success and purpose - which I had believed were the truth, were suddenly in contrast to the emotions I was feeling and the reality I was seeing with my own eyes.  And these contrasts began to cause an unexplainable feeling of familiarity and feeling safe, at a depth far beyond what my conscious mind could know.

And this feeling of familiarity began to raise some questions which I'd never before considered. 'How can I feel so familiar in a country which I have never before visited? Have I lived before? Will I live again? What else have I believed as truth – which isn't?'

It got me thinking that if I had lived before, who was I, who were my family, what did I do during that life time and if I do live again, I could be born anywhere, in any culture and any country, suddenly I felt so connected to everyone.

Dormant emotions within me became stirred, feelings of appreciation and compassion run through every inch of my being. I began to feel a rush of internal peace and happiness and with it came a revelation – being happy isn’t experienced only by fulfilling dreams. The way that we feel is directly linked to the way that we think. True happiness is when we are thinking thoughts that are in   alignment with who we really are - our true nature. It is rarely our experiences or circumstances that cause how we feel – good or bad – it is our chosen perspective about our circumstances and situations that ignite our feelings.

Over time, as I put into practice a way of living which reflected my new thoughts and perspectives, I found myself even more aligned with my true nature, my heart and mind continued to open and my world changed. Andeven though I feel very fortunate to have had this direct experience, I know that it wasn't so much the experience that changed my life but my perspective of life that was born out of the experience.

Victoria Phelps

Trish's picture

Thank you Eric,

I am finding this to be the case as well. Much of my unhappiness has been based on living and thinking out of alignment with who I really am.

It's been rewarding to start to rediscover my true nature, and to try and develop habits that will reorient my perspective. It's comforting to know that even setbacks and failures are part of the process, to be welcomed as opportunities for learning and practicing gratitude for grace.

I think I will start a gratitude journal, like you mentioned you are doing. Thank you for the idea!

Love, Trish

Brian's picture

What an unexpected path that story took. I didn't see it coming. I thought she would say "and so then I remembered my mom and dad's attitude of fun and I turned my life around". I didn't imagine she would feel connected to Egypt and find meaning in a past life experience.

Trish-I liked when you said " It's comforting to know that even setbacks and failures are part of the process, to be welcomed as opportunities..."

About a year ago I suddenly grasped that for the first time in my life for longer than a millisecond and it was one of the most comforting thoughts I've ever experienced! It transforms your struggles into almost noble experiences or at least makes them seem purposeful. It let me loosen up a bit. So I try to remember it but that real understanding of it eludes me most of the time. I have some kind of investment in resisting it. (I was an unhappy kid plagued by failure and determined to resist this unfair life. I think that might have something to do with it)

Trish's picture

Dear Brian,

It would be amazing to feel a connection with past life experiences; perhaps it will happen when I am ready - I could see if it happened too soon, I might become attached to it and distracted from my present life.

I think many of us have been taught that our worthiness depends on how we perform compared to some external standards. For me, in order to live out my truth that my worthiness never changes, I need to deliberately practice self-love, patience, and validation. 

In an email group that I'm part of, I was expressing my frustration that I was not as 'far along' in being present and open with people as I would have liked, and in response, someone said, "I feel to say, be kind to yourself." That struck a chord deep within me, and now when I feel like being hard on myself for my failings, that phrase resonates from within, "Be kind to yourself."

I'm also learning more to validate myself, to accept validation from other people, and to validate others. I think I know what you mean about resistance; it comes to me that in order to be fully validating and life-giving, we need to give up our dedication to holding onto negativity and pride.

For example, I've realized that my reply to you earlier on the chem trails thread was not very validating. I was feeling tired and frustrated, and I totally missed that when you were asking for people to respond, what you were asking for most of all was validation. I'm sorry for that, and I do see that what you have put forward is a caring and thoughtful perspective.

Peace and love,


onesong's picture

'when I feel like being hard on myself for my failings', to anyone feeling like this at any point I'd like to say "you have failed at NOTHING."  Sure there are times in our lives when the outcomes are not as we expected. Sometimes we know right away that our choices could have been better and wonder "why didn't I see that coming?" But failure? Every experience makes you who you are and who you are will change each day that you are alive.  If you aren't changing then you're stagnating.  So don't get stuck in the 'mud' of guilt and regrets. Fix what you can, say your sorry if you need to, look deeper inside even when it feels difficult.

(Listen to Wendy's post from yesterday 3b4Jhoy if you need to!)

In the grand scheme of things, as I look back on 50+ yrs of living, I realize everything I thought at the time was a really bad situation (or even perceived was a really good situation) were all lessons I simply needed to learn.  Sometimes they weren't even lessons just for me, those around me also benefited from the experience.  The things that felt the 'worst' at the time, were often great catalysts for positive changes coming in.  Be flexible when things seem inflexible. There is always another way. Keep your eyes and heart open to it.

So I've learned to be more accepting of all things, to be less concerned about outcomes as long as my motives and intentions are honest, without malice and entered into after conscious thought about not wanting to hurt others during my own 'process'. We've maybe all heard alot about 'sin' from various religions, parents, etc.  but the word has it's origins in the archery world.  To 'sin' is to miss the mark.  When you 'miss the mark' you straighten out your aim, focus on the target and you try again. 

Lose any fear of failure, love what you do, do it with all your heart, and if it doesn't turn out exactly as you planned then know the universe has something better in store for you than you can dream for yourself in this moment.

Love this opportunity for life, it's what you're here for. 

Brian's picture

Thanks for that Trish. It's almost impossible for me to appreciate that others think and feel differently. I just have to accept I have no aptitude for understanding people (there's a line of people waiting to say so I think). It was very painful and worrying when I believed in chemtrails. I felt violated and helpless at being poisoned. I was/am astonished that others have settled ways of not worrying about it while believing/living in it.

 I want to explore past/future lives too. Because of family members dead or nearly so, I feel compelled to inquire about death and I feel so much better about it lately-not quite yeehaaaaw but... I'm reading The Last Frontier by Julia Assante. Fabulous book that can give you a much lighter perspective on dying and death because it can nearly remove any doubt about life after death and that it is a beautiful place waiting. No religous overtones. It is packed with information. I don't worry about hell, or about just going into the black, or about pain or suffering I might feel when dying so much now. Julia is both a long-experienced medium and an academic in ancient societies like Egypt and Mesopotania. The book answers thousands of my questions and dispels the social ideas/crap we grew up with that makes people like Americans so terrified of dying. Grateful to have met Julia and done a workshop with her on mediumship-THAT was mind blowing I can tell you!

Noa's picture

Speaking for myself, Brian, I worry about chemtrails, GMOs, and all the other diabolical plots meant to usher in the New World Order... but my fear doesn't prevent me from wanting to know the truth or from telling people what I know.

I think that I'm in the minority and that most people are like you.  This is difficult for me to accept because I think we need to be a united front in order to overcome these challenges.  In the end, we are more alike than we are different, so perhaps the key is letting go of the idea that everyone has to be alike to achieve harmony.

Getting back to Eric's beautiful Friday story, there is power and peace in aligning ourselves with our true nature.  I believe there's a reason each of us was made unique and expressing our uniqueness with integrity fulfills our purpose here on earth.

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