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The Hidden Art of Happiness

So what you have to know when I talk about process, is it’s about the hidden work. It’s like knowing that almost everybody in the office or at an event did a basic fifteen-minute makeover before heading out the house, so that they looked fabulous. From checking themselves out in the mirror, to straightening out their clothes or putting a comb through their hair. Yet many of us just think that other people look naturally great. It’s very representative of life. Maybe they do look naturally great? However even the most beautiful person could be overlooked if they’ve got mud on their face. That’s how strong our mind filters things too. There are plenty of things that many of us can’t see beyond. We only notice many opportunities or even people if they are served up clean, polished and on a golden platter.

Somebody’s website doesn’t just look amazing. People don’t just become amazing, they had to secretly work on it, not that they were trying to deceive anybody just that they put in a certain volume of time to get to where they are. The thing that you will slowly figure out is that the things that you ‘secretly’ squirrel away your time on, are the things that you should be doing, and are in fact the things that bring you joy. You may not be standing proudly next to a bona fide master piece just yet. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “From small acorns mighty oaks grow”, what you work on is what you get. Imagine all the bursting potential of an acorn? How could it possibly know what to do? Or that one day it might become a magnificent centuries old giant oak tree.

Take me for example. When I was a kid I wanted to be the gypsy in the Cadbury’s Flake advert and my personal theme tune probably still is The Littlest Hobo . You can imagine my confusion with the western schooling system. As a teenager I dreamed of festival hopping and long walks in the wilderness. Yet everybody I knew had other plans for themselves or even me. I was very very confused. One of the happiest times in my life was when I lived on my own boat and realised I could take my home with me. Now I live in a one and half bedroom cottage as a thirty-six-year-old woman. I have no income and currently no ‘job’. Is it where I thought I might be at this point in my life? No. Is waking up in Cape Town every morning a fabulous surprise? Yes. My life is messy, invigorating and incredibly rewarding. It turned out to be far more exciting and adventurous than my fourteen-year-old self ever could have dreamed. Yet it took me years of second guessing myself to accept and embrace my free spirited qualities that made me the mischievous gypsy child I’ve always known I am.

I didn’t choose to have a burgeoning property profile, a spotless curriculum-vitae, or even children. I chose to be happy, being happy was more important than anything else. That doesn’t mean that living without material success isn’t a challenge to the psyche. And Yes, I have minor anxieties about money or the big picture progression of my life, yet every day I am happy. I wake up joyful, laughing with play in my heart. Yet in western society happiness alone is totally undervalued. Supposedly you need material success before you can be happy. All I had to do was change my mind and choose happiness first. The great thing is you can too.

Kimberley Stone is originally from Scotland, lived in South Africa for 6 years and is now based in Cape Town. She is an ILS and ICF Master Life Coach, with a knack for manifesting in the most unusual ways and says “I certainly have a very unique world view. My power animal is a Unicorn (The National Animal of Scotland). I love storytelling and I believe that personal storytelling can be both cathartic and transformative for both the teller and the listener. That by being our deeply flawsome selves we give people the ability to find themselves. I’m not into prescriptive advice. That if you balance on one foot for an hour a day you’ll become grounded. That if you only eat tofu for 18 months you gain quadruple ecowarrior points and the universe will award you with the ability to see fairies. Every person is unique, everyone has to find their own way and that if you manage to drink even a litre of water a day you are actually taking incredible care of yourself. If that water gets swapped out every second day for a litre of synthetic banana milk and that’s what make you feel good, right then and there, you are also taking amazing care of yourself. I will applaud you for all your efforts.”

Kimberley can be contacted on kimberley@thelifedoula.com

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