I was struck last night by Arianna Huffington’s prescription (on Newsnight) for what we should all do to make ourselves more happy. To paraphrase, she said that we should look more to ourselves, to our inner voices and take the time to or allow ourselves to think, to feel.
I was amazed that someone I had supposed might be rather cold and perhaps a little detached from reality – living in her ivory tower, away from the realities and truths that we all live with day to day – could have spoken my thoughts exactly. This is how I have been attempting to change my life for the past few years.
So I decided to formulate a plan to help anyone who feels stuck in a lousy, overly busy, bothersome space.
Here’s your first assignment.
Set aside three full hours without a radio or TV and without distraction, when you are wide awake. Allow yourself a simple but delicious drink and ready snacks, if need be.
Take a car journey of under 20 minutes, to a beautiful place where you can park on a promontory and, without leaving your car, view the glorious valley below, the copses, animals, insects, moving clouds.
Take in the view, the beauty, the colour, the smell. Feel the breeze gently wafting through the car’s open windows. Take in the light and dark, the contrast and feel this glorious feast of nature.
Swat away all thoughts of meeting obligations for these three hours. Just be, just think your own thoughts, just feel. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Don’t judge yourself by yours or by anyone else’s measure – just acknowledge your feelings to yourself and understand why you feel that way.
This little sojourn, while seemingly taking a large chunk of time out of your life, will invigorate you. You will begin to see things anew. You will automatically begin to weave its magic into your life and your attitude will change to adjust, in tiny little ways, every day.
You can be the change you want to see. And it will be a pleasant process.