There is a balance between the joy of finding new places and the familiarity of returning regularly to places you love. Like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. Although I spent my first day in Christchurch wondering and visiting coffee shops, I have come back to Black & White almost every day. It is an awesome third place with friendly staff. When I used to work in Wimbledon, I visited Cafe Nero most mornings and was greeted by the friendly smile of Anna Bell. She is a Global Citizen from Poland, but living in London, and a great example of the brave people who head off from their home to make a life for themselves. She offered to share some of her story here.
by Anna Bell
What would the world mean to you without considering your happiness? Let me tell you that it wouldn't matter much to me... grown up in a little village, far from the city and all the amusements it has got on offer for youngsters. How did I spend my time over there? Being creative :) Every morning, something was giving me a new energy to breathe and smile, and ideas to try on days off school. It will be too many to mention but it was so fun being there and doing it!
Authority: Mum, the wisest and happiest woman of my life! Trust me, even ill and not able to move at the end of her days, she was still smiling and never down because of her disability. And believe me or not, she passed away having a smile on her face! The only last words she said to me: "Remember" Whatever you do, be happy with that!"
It took me a few years to finally realise and understand her words. Yes, she was totally right! I've started looking at life as a journey of happiness. Day after day giving me more and more shine on my face and love to life. How incredible it was to turn all grief to happiness. Waking up every day admiring beautiful life, health and well being and all that I've experienced. Moving away abroad, finding new places and interesting people, working and learning, new days, new ideas, new challenges... learning a new language, finding a job, making new friends, marriage, divorce, relationships... All of a sudden came together as extremely important and valued life experiences. No limits there yet. Still more to come. Did I regret anything? Not at all. Every moment, every hour, every day, every year has given me more and more fantastic opportunities to explore my inner peace and happiness.
Ability to BREATHE! Oh yeah! BREATHE! Inhale all the beauty of nature and life! Such a feeling when you know you're happy and proud of your life.
Life is too short not to make the best of it! Love yourself and give some love to others too :)
In writing a blog about several topics in which I admit to being a complete beginner, I am going to have to rely heavily on the people I am writing for who cumulatively know most of what I am likely to learn already. I would love it if some of you found the time to write a guest post on the subject of happiness or learning. The framework I use for thinking about these things is what I call the '5 + 2 points' which includes proper (1) exercise, (2) breathing, (3) diet, (4) relaxation, (5) positive thinking & meditation, (+1) relationships, (+2) flow. Naturally if you would like to write about something that you think I have missed, I would love to include that too. If you are up to doing something more practical, it would be awesome if you did a 100 hour project and I am happy to do the writing based on our chats if that is how you roll. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org