Happiness and fitness, a strange mix:
To have changed many lives for the better is what makes me very happy.
Recently, following an unexpected visit by a lady from the past - who'd dropped in out of the blue - I made the connection, as to why I have written the book, "Links to Your Happiness", in the particular way I did. There's always a reason for the things you do: occasionally, it reveals itself. That night as I lay in bed, I had a revelation that blew me away.
As I'd worked and reworked the section - dealing with quotes from pages taken from our Happy Books, I felt very driven. Something told me that it was extremely important to try to paint really vivid pictures of my happiness with words; so that people could visualize each happy item listed there.
My visitor explained that her 45 year-old daughter is in a hospice in the final stages of MS. She is blind and cannot feed herself. Following each long, hard day at work, Liz goes to the hospice to feed her daughter through a tube, to read to her and settle her down for the night. On weekends, she takes her daughter out. So, as well as working full time, she's caring for her only daughter, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Some time ago - despite being advised to do so by doctors - she refused to pull the plug on her daughter and snuff out her life; a heart-wrenching decision for her. All this has affected the mother's health and recently, she was sent off for a week's respite, to help relieve the stress she was carrying. I was so pleased, she set aside that precious few hours and made the effort to travel up and visit me here, on the shores of Lake Macquarie. It's a lovely place to be and the tranquil surroundings did her good.
The mother was very thrilled, when I gave her an autographed copy of "Links to Your Happiness" - plus a Riddle Book - to take back with her. She loved those sample pages from our Happy books that are placed between every two chapters. She's going to read them to her daughter, who's unable to read now, as her sight, has been seriously affected, by MS.
Those word pictures of my happiness are going to help her - and as well - help the mother, to get through this especially, challenging period. Many other people, who have had chapters from the book sent to them, while it was being written, found that it eased their way through the difficulties they faced. Used in a positive way, words can help create a powerful energy; to heal and soothe the many hurts we suffer, from the challenges life throws at us. That's synchronicity at work in the best kind of way!
An email I received through http://www.happinesslinks.com this week, regarding the Happy book: the daily strategy, I promote in the book, gave me great delight and I'll share some of it with you.
"Helen, you will be pleased to know that the 14 year-old boy I mentor is using your Happy Book. He's really enjoying writing down what makes him happy each day. I can see definite improvements in his general attitude. Congratulations, once again, on "Links to your Happiness". - Sue, Manly, NSW
I also used it, when I visited my grandson, who has ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome, which at times creates difficult behavioral problems. He loves to write in his Happy book. His behavior, has settled to just an occasional outburst and has been remarked on by his school. His mother thinks they may be interested in adopting the idea for a school-wide program, as the head master wanted to know more about my book and has recently received a copy, along with a Happy book to use.
The little Happy Book may seem a simple strategy; but it contains many important secrets. Firstly, the beautiful cover has immediate eye appeal - a strong sensory reaction, which helps in the release of endorphins into your bloodstream. Different colours and patterns appeal to different people; which is why I have created a wide variety of brightly coloured covers to display, in our talks to community organisations.
Secondly, when you handle the book, the textured cover helps stimulate certain sensory areas of your hands. This sends messages to the brain, which triggers a release of serotonin. The bloodstream is quickly infused with mood-enhancing endorphins to help improve your mood and make you happier. I've watched countless people pick up the books and caress them with their hands. It's an automatic response. Both of these senses - sight and touch - help lift your mood to make you happy.
Next, comes the act of writing down pleasurable memories, which also adds to your happiness. It's human nature to look back at what has gone before, prior to making the new entries. After the day's items are listed, you experience a great sense of well being, from just revisiting these happy events. Once you've written a few pages in your book, you can look back and enjoy reading the items that made you happy. Amazingly, your whole being seems changed, to a very positive, much happier focus. All this takes place in a brief few minutes.
Looking back over the years, there are so many seemingly insignificant things that brought me joy and made me happy. Flipping back through the pages of my collection of Happy Books, patterns begin to emerge and I get clear insights into the person I am. My friend says she has a "cleaning fetish", and loves to see a fresh, sparkling, beautiful home: whereas I love beauty, natural and very sensory things and the outdoor life. For both of us, it is a simple form of psychoanalysis that's helped us understand more about our inner selves.
For those in need of a survival strategy, the daily use of my Happy Book has helped me survive some appalling crises - especially recent ones - that could cause you to despair. When you get as close to the edge of life's precipice, as I have, and look over at eternity, you become very aware of how precious living and every one of life's special experiences, becomes to you.
Medically, for the past year, I've been right on the brink of that precipice: I'm "a ticking bomb - living on borrowed time," as one doctor warned. So, as every day is now more precious; I write down every joyful experience - however insignificant it seems; happily sharing - with as many people as I possibly can, my knowledge of how to live a happier life. It gives me great joy to know that the strategy, I have shared and written about, has already changed many lives for the better.