I was on holiday last week with my family on a cruise ship sailing around the Mediterranean. I have seen some absolutely stunning sites whilst I have been away. The sun setting in the sky melting away into the sea. Scenes where you don’t know where the earth starts or ends because the sky kisses the sea, and there is not a cloud in sight to be seen. I have been lucky enough as well to be able to capture a lot of them on my iPhone. I don’t poses any fancy camera to take detailed close up pictures…or the latest phone that has millions of pixels. But I have managed to capture pictures that will keep the memories lasting for a lifetime.
Sometimes though, what the eye can see, the iPhone can’t! There was one night where I had one of those moments I wished I had a really good camera. I walked out onto the balcony of my cabin and I was absolutely astounded by what I saw. Stars. Not just one or two scattered around here and there, but hundreds of stars. Far too many to count. The more I looked, more stars kept appearing. I have never in my entire life seen stars placed in the sky like I saw them that night. It was like God had thrown a netting of twinkling star lights over the sky.
All I could say to God that night was thank you. Thank you for everything that I have. Thank you for my beautiful family. Thank you for my wonderful husband who lovingly accepts me just the way I am. Thank you for my three gorgeous children, each of them unique in their own way. Thank you for the fantastic holiday that I have had to be able to appreciate all of these wonderful things. I know that I am fortunate. And I thank God for that too. Two months ago, although I knew I had all these wonderful things, I wasn’t able to truly see it. Two nights ago, I held my husband in my arms as we were dancing the night away, and I felt that same love that we had early on in our relationship. The love that just melts your heart and gives you that warm, happy feeling inside. People around us saw how much love we had for each other and thought that we were a young courting couple…laughing and dancing the night away without a care in the world. Little did they know that we had actually been married for nearly 13 years and had three children! They were amazed when they knew.
Over the last 16 years, we had never lost that love. We still have that feeling that we had when we first met, the feeling you get when you look into each other’s eyes and you know deep down you have your soul mate. Recently though, I had just closed my eyes to the goodness that I had around me. One of the reasons that I have been able to open my eyes more has been due to reading “The Happiness Dare” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. This is a book that I am going to have to read again to work through a few of the other issues that have around self-acceptance. For now though, what I concentrated on was finding my own unique happiness style, and how other happiness styles were also beneficial to me and how to use these styles in the situations that I was in. This has really helped me to open my eyes and to be more aware of what I have around me. Admittedly, it has helped going on holiday, but I have been able to look at situations more positively and instead of fretting about how things are going wrong, I’ve gone with the flow and enjoyed whatever has happened.
One of our ports we visited was a lovely little Greek Island called Mykonos. My plan was to walk to a little restaurant and have some Greek food and then walk back via a beach and do some shell hunting…and maybe stop for an ice cream. I was determined to really enjoy family time and thought I’d planned it perfectly.
Well, things don’t always go to plan. It took us longer than anticipated to find a place to eat so the kids were getting tired and grumpy…grumpy and hungry is not a great combination for kids! We found a place though and settled and had some great food. On our way back through the beach, surprisingly we couldn’t find any shells! Really? Well, the kids had other plans instead! I was not prepared for what they wanted to do though so I had to really let go of my tendencies to pull them back…no swimming costumes or spare clothes and plenty of sand is not my idea of fun…but watching the kids opened up my eyes and I had to let go and let them just be kids and watch them enjoy themselves.
So glad that the day didn’t turn out how I planned it! If it wasn’t for reading the book ‘The Happiness Dare’ I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. It has really changed my mindset on a few things. I am consciously looking for the ‘happy’ in the moments that I am in.
If you would like to find out about your own unique happiness style to see if it might open your eyes to the beauty around you, then click here. It will only take you 5 minutes to fill it in…you may feel that another form-filling exercise might not be what you want, but when I think about how my eyes have been opened up and how my heart now receives things, 5 minutes is nothing. Try it! You never know…it might just be what you needed.