A Happy Place

I’ve always been a realist. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always towed the line between negative and positive. Doomsday versus winning the lottery. Neither of those are ever possibilities in my mind. I just accept that the world is eternal and full of losers (as in people who don’t win lotteries).

The definition of being a realist, to me, is expecting the worst but hoping for the best. This was my general mindset when we first found out we were pregnant with Charlotte. But somewhere along the way, I got nervous. The negativity started to chip away the layered bricks of my guarded wall. I became so afraid of losing the one thing I’d always dreamed of having my whole life; the fear of being so close and then possibly losing it took a mental toll on me.

My anxiety was so heightened during my pregnancy that a wonderful co-worker (who I now consider a friend) would meet me at the chapel (in the hospital we work at) to sit with me and meditate. The first time we discovered the chapel was by happenstance. We were simply tagging along with another co-worker to see the prayer room where she escaped to five times a day. Coincidentally, the chapel was right down the same hallway. It was a small but peaceful space. We decided then that we’d come as often as we could, even if it was just a quick break from a long day. It was there that my friend would take a few minutes to gather her thoughts and quietly pray. She invited me to close my eyes and think of positive thoughts too, anything that could relieve me of my anxieties. Week after week, this became our ritual.

You often hear the phrase “go to your happy place” in the realm of meditation. Most people have a happy place, I think.  It can be a physical space, perhaps it’s your home, on a beach with toes dipped in sand or a favourite hiking trail. Alternatively, your happy place could be an emotional state, like being near someone you love and how complete that makes you feel. Sometimes these places come into existence organically and stay constant throughout our lives and other times they are more fluid, ever-changing depending on the milestones in our journeys. I never really had a specific happy place until the very first time I decided to try meditating in that chapel all those years ago.

The very first image that came to my mind, sitting on that pew in the chapel, was the view of the clear blue endless sky, surrounded by bristling trees. It felt so real that I could feel the piercing rays of the sun burn so brightly against the thin veil of my eyelids, the warm glow kissing my skin. It’s a mental picture that brings me back to my childhood, spending time running in the field of my elementary school and falling to the ground to take a breather to enjoy the view. When I am here, in this happy place, a sense of peace always washes over me, and my mind settles into a calm state. For me, it represents a place of innocence and safety; a place full of wonder, new beginnings, and infinite possibilities.

Do you have a happy place? 

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35 thoughts on “A Happy Place

  1. My happy place is my farm and it’s probably for the same reasons that your happy place touches you. The tall pines, the earth that’s mine, the blue skies, rolling hills, and Mountain View’s. My animals greeting me and the bend in the dirt road that when the sun sets… turns to gold. 🥰

    Loved every detail of this one my friend and especially loved the peace that made it all tangible

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  2. I like your definition of a realist, of the centrist, the one who walks the golden path. I read that studies show that pessimists tend to be more realist than optimists, and it made me wonder why that is. What do you think?

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    • Thank you! I believe that, yes! Pessimists tend to be more realist than optimists… I guess it’s all about breaking down the nuance of it all… I could categorize myself as a realist, pessimist and optimist.. it really just depends on the day I suppose. Expecting the worst in any situation is probably the best definition of a pessimist. The difference between the two is that pessimists don’t hold out any hope… As a realist, I could hope all I want😉 but I generally base my outlook on realistic outcomes. Does that make sense? It made so much sense in my head…. 🙂

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      • I’m quite familiar with the difficulty of getting the logic out of my head and into words that would make sense to others 🙂

        One of my favorite quotes on this topic is “Optimists invent airplanes; pessimists invent parachutes.” I think we need a little bit of both… what do you think?

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  3. What a good friend! Sometimes when I think back to when I became friends with someone, there is a defining moment such as this. This past weekend one of my best friends since high school threw a Decade Party. She is one of those people I can not see for a couple of years, and we always pick up right where we left off. I don’t take those friendships for granted. Not only is she one of my best friends, but I am the godfather of their daughter. My goddaughter is starting medical school this year. My answer is my happy place is with trusted friends. If I were to choose a specific area, it would be anywhere I can be out in nature.

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    • Yes, good friend indeed! 🙂 It’s one of the things I love about how our friendship blossomed! I love that you and your friend are able to just pick up where you left off last- I love that about long-lasting friendships! I have a few of those too, and they are hard to come by! Congrats to your goddaughter- what an amazing accomplishment! You must be one proud god-papa! 🙂

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  4. Oh this is sooooo lovely and it’s such a Goddess Attainable kinda post 🤣 Gosh, I wish I could access a happy place like that. I do have one that comes to me in dreams sometime and maybe I should try to deliberately access it more often. It’s around sunset and I’m floating in this peaceful bay of black water and it’s so warm and feels like silk on my skin. The sky looks like candy and there’s actually a huge moon in the sky with a face smiling down at me. There are magical buildings all surrounding me and friendly boats and animals in the water. And it feels so safe and sensuous all at the same time. Thank you for this reminder, I will try to visit there more often and see what happens! 🌚

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  5. Meditation is so relaxing -and, when we were going for a natural birth one time, we had to learn a mental exercise like this in order to deal with the pain of labor. I never actually had to go through with it but still use the exercise.

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  6. I am so glad you found a happy place. It really does make a difference to our mental health and keeping the positives flowing. Mine is a sunset, or a view of rolling hills and trees (but I still buy occasional lottery tickets.)

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  7. My happy place is the park where I walk most days. While I stray to larger parks on weekends, when I have more time and do not have to be looking at my watch (I work from home weekdays and don’t start until 11:00 a.m.), it is a brief escape from reality. Reality these days (especially in the U.S. with all the mass shootings) is pretty darn frightening. So I tune out the news events, internationally, nationally and locally and just focus on my favorite nature nook. The fact that is just one mile from my house makes it a huge plus … where else can you be walking through the ‘hood one minute and gawking at a pair of swans the next?

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    • I love that you have a favourite nature nook! I don’t think I’ve ever had one so I think that’s awesome! That’s the thing I enjoy most about working from home, the balance of life and work… the flexibility for transitioning easily from one to the other! (Also, an 11am start doesn’t sound too bad either!) 😉

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      • Yes, it is so peaceful to walk there Jen – since I’ve been walking there nine years, I know what to expect as far as the change of seasons and their attributes and the changes of the critters as each season arrives/departs and how they acclimate to it.

        I like working from home for that reason as well – that is why I started the walking regimen as I was not walking around the house as much as I would have in the office. But it seems the day is longer (in a good way) by being able to incorporate more into that day, than just getting up and getting ready for work and the commute to/from work. I like my start time – I technically only work part-time, but it is six hours a day (until 5:30 with a half-hour break).

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  8. At the risk of sounding edgy, my only happy place is exercise-induced pain. Every time I have a problem, I just work out and ask myself: “Is this pain worse than my problem?”

    Most often, it’s not. Which allows me to go harder. Then I keep asking myself that question until yes, the workout is worse than my problem. That’s usually when I start to redline, when only breathing matters. In that moment, and a couple hours after, my problems don’t seem as big as they were, and that’s when I know I’m at my happy place.

    Great post, Jen!

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    • Hey, I totally get this! You know ppl who are addicted to pain.. it makes sense.. bc a lot of times pain means progress (especially with exercise).. I love the feel of ab pain the day after a good ab work out (I miss those days lol).. I’m also someone who gets hooked on the feeling of accomplishing something, it could be great or small.. just the feeling of knowing you finished something and can admire it and your journey to getting it complete… so I totally get your happy place! 🙂

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  9. My happy place is out hiking in nature. It’s peaceful and always changes my mood. It gives me a chance to even sort of dance as I’m hiking, and it always brings a smile. Thanks for sharing this fabulous article!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my post/blog! Hiking is a great past time for me, lots of great memories being in the outdoors with my husband and extended family! I get that totally! 🙂

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  10. So many happy places. Outside, a lot of them are outside, at beaches, feeling calm and warm in the winter sun, doing something I believe in and know is good, meditation, yes. Thank you for this post.

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