If I am honest, the thing that I used to dream about the most as a pre-teen was being happy. In hindsight, the thing that stopped me achieving this was the not being clear on what it meant. That problem appears to have continued and quite rightly so; happiness will look different to different individuals and changes over the years. It is only within the last few years that I have experienced feelings that mirror what I think Happiness looks like but what is interesting are the big shifts that have been necessary to get here.
A Huge Shift Outwards – Dependence
Due to the life that I had as a child (which was in a wealthier household than most but one filled with chaos) , I would often dream of someone coming to take me to live elsewhere, these were consuming thoughts which had no reasoning involved as to the place that they would take me to but it would be away from here. Now that makes no sense whatsoever but when you think that something will make you happy, the devil is often not in the detail – that is a skill that comes with experience. What was most important was getting away and assigning the responsibility for my happiness to someone else; it could never have worked, and this was proven several times over including when I got married. I remember waking up on my wedding day not full of excitement but full of dread. I have no idea why I still went through with it but it fit in with my flawed model of happiness. Ultimately for many years my personal and academic growth was stunted.
A Huge Shift Inwards – Taking Responsibility
Divorce is a funny thing, not funny ‘ha-ha’ but funny peculiar. There is no doubt that it is painful, but it really taught me the level of the strength that I have within. I mean, people who know me have often commented on my strength, but this demonstrated it. What was the shift here? It was realising that no-one is responsible for my happiness; that I had to pull on my own reserves. The difficulty? My reserves were locked away and I had to find a way of accessing them. Talking therapy worked wonders for me (everyone has different successes and the right method has to be discovered). On accessing them though, the warrior woman was released, and things started to make more sense; I started to manifest the life that I want. I just wish that I could assure you that it was a smooth journey which was quick, but it wasn’t – the importance was in making a commitment to my happiness and passing the feeling of contentment onto my children. The key message is that the shift inwards only began after my taking responsibility.
The Young Person’s Perspective.
If the journey of an adult can involve such a long and winding road, imagine what it may look like for a young person. The confusion level is heightened and without guidance can be quite debilitating. The thoughts about parental expectations, peer expectations, fears about growing up and adulting often leads to overwhelm. Now the provision for mindfulness is not adequate in the school system financial resources are therefore hindering the potential success; alternative places to match learning and mindfulness are necessary. Those mountains are there for everyone to climb.
As stated by Sir Ken Robinson ‘The history of human achievement is that people have done remarkable things from very improbable beginnings’
Jacqueline Gold – Founder of JG Educate ‘The Art and Soul of Teaching and Learning’ ™