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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Finding Clarity

When I can’t see the wood for the trees, I panic and attract chaos and negativity. On the contrary, clarity makes me feel confident and creates positive vibes in my life. So, I really appreciate it when I can see clearly. As recently I was struggling with seeing the big picture, I stopped and created an action plan to find clarity in my life.
picture: Pinterest

First, I watched Cassie’s “You Are Enough” book-launch party webinar and I learnt what important role clarity plays in your life. When you always keep yourself busy and just can’t stop, you can easily lose track of your initial goals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sweating the small stuff and being lost in the details. It’s good to slow down from time to time and look back; just checking on what a long way you have come and appreciate your efforts, mistakes and results.

One of the reasons I love journaling is because I can always look at my old notes in the diary and realise how many things I have achieved since I set a certain intention or created a plan to achieve a goal. Even if I can only tick one or two things on the list, I feel so happy and content and empowered. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing your dreams coming true step-by-step.

It is important to realise that it’s essential to create a plan and organise the steps that you can take working towards your big goal. Once that huge dream is broken down into small and realistic parts, it seems truly achievable. And this can be the most encouraging.

After writing down your goals, creating a plan and starting working on it, it’s good to simply let it go. I have often found myself focusing too hard on certain things that I wanted to invite into my life. I have learnt since then that once you set an intention and have started to make it become a reality, it’s okay to let your hair down and just do things that make you feel happy and involve lots of fun.
It could be cooking, reading, exercise, yoga or just spending time with friends and family or alone. Whatever works for you; anything that you enjoy and makes you forget about your work, problems or the chaos in your life.

Lastly, remember that You Are Doing Enough.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Finding your Way in the Labyrinth of Life

Paul Dolan defines happiness as 
"experiences of pleasure and purpose over the time".
The keywords of Prof. Happy’s definition are experiences and time as he advises to pay attention to living in the moment; i.e. instead of evaluating or comparing our lives to someone else’s or to our own expectations about it, just focus on finding the balance between pleasure and purpose in the present.

Apart from pleasure and purpose, you will encounter other emotions as well, such as pointlessness or pain – says Dolan. Negative feelings are also part of the big picture; so be ready and accept your unpleasant sentiments, as you experience these for a reason. Very often, negative emotions prepare you for something or make you avoid dangerous situations. However, be aware of the difference between necessary negative feelings (e.g. anger) or unnecessary ones, like self-doubt or limiting beliefs about yourself.

To be truly happy, you need to clear your mind, with regular physical exercise, mediation and practicing mindfulness every day.
Then, you must stop having expectations about your own happiness. Instead, just live in the moment and accept that life is not black and white. Start living the grey lifestyle; accept your failures and do not regret anything; finally dare to risk and challenge yourself often. You might fail but by focusing on having a good balance of pleasure and purpose in the moment, you will always be able to follow your true passion and be as happy as you should be.

If you need some more guidance in finding more happiness and exploring yourself and your dream-life, check out Caroline Zwick’s blog. She is another amazing expert on mindfulness and self-fulfillment. Her articles and videos have had a really beneficial effect on my transformation into the person who I really am. 

have just started to discover my true passion in the last couple of years and I would like to share some of the "secrets" that I explored recently; to be as happy as possible, the following are really important:

  • Knowing who you really are and what you want in your life
  • Setting intentions
  • Being positive
  • Appreciation and Gratitude
  • Living in the moment
  • Being courageous; daring to risk and fail
  • Trying new things often (especially things that you do not want to do at all)
  • Balance between pleasure and purpose 

What would you read about in the next posts? Please share your suggestions in the comments below!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Some Secrets of Finding Happiness

Professor Happy’s top tip for happiness is to find the balance between pleasure and purpose every day. Dolan suggests living a meaningful life which is full of activities; being a conscious, mindful and active protagonist in your story. Doing things that you enjoy, as well as completing tasks that you have to do will lead you to the next level. Once you find your passion, the path that you know that you want to follow, things will start to happen and happiness will come to you.

As soon as you finish every task that you have to or want to, you will be happy and content. You will not feel guilty because you have not done something that you planned to do and will be able to fully focus on enjoying yourself and doing something that gives you pleasure. Missing projects or failing to complete duties regularly can cause serious unhappiness. Similarly, living a life without any goals could result in feeling depressed and hopeless.

In her video, Shannon Kaiser advises us to always set intentions in order to be happy. Having goals seems to be the key in finding balance between pleasure and purpose. If you have aims, you actually focus your energies into something that is really important to you. With setting certain intentions, you clearly say what you want in your career, relationship, etc. So, instead of describing what you do not want, you better focus on some really important aims and step on the right path, now. Whatever is your dream job or dream holiday, you can get it by simply saying to the universe that you want them. Once you set clear intentions and start acting, things will happen magically. But first you have to claim the dreams you would like to materialise in your life.

So, in order to be as happy as we could be, instead of wasting time and energy with wanting to be too happy, we just need to allocate our attention appropriately, by focusing on things that we want and are important to us. Set intentions regularly, in order to find balance between pleasure and purpose; act accordingly; fulfill your duties and make sure that you enjoy your free time to experience the most happiness in your life.

Next week, I would like to find out what happiness actually is.  How would you define happiness? When are you happy? When have you been the happiest and why? Please write down in the comments below.

Saturday, 11 April 2015


Focus has always been one of my favourite words but not because I like two-syllable words or photography but for the various layers of meaning in it. What is more, after having read Paul Dolan’s book about designing happiness, I started to get to understand more about what an important role focusing plays in our lives.

picture: Pinterest

Prof. Happy simply says that your happiness depends on how you allocate your attention; i.e. what you focus on. He also claims that “if you are not as happy as you should be, you must be misallocating your attention”, therefore, if you want to maximise your happiness you need to make sure that you give attention to things that actually make you happy. It sounds so simple and easy to follow; so why are most people so unhappy and unsatisfied with their lives?

The answer to this question according to Dolan is that we are trying to be happy with thinking about it too hard.  In our busy lives, we are surrounded by so many distractions that we simply forget that it is actually possible to control how we feel.

Our behaviour is influenced by the environment, the context in which we exist, e.g. by other people’s feedback. However, instead of others’ opinion we better turn to inwards to find the answers. Besides, we tend to either pay too much attention to the past or worry about future events and eliminate present from the centre of our attention. With simple affirmations, we can easily bring our focus back to the present, making our life easy and happy. One example is one of Lousie Hay’s mantras: 

All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come. I am safe.

If you want to know what is the key to happiness according to Paul Dolan and what this expert on wellbeing suggests us to pay most attention to, come back to the Rhythm Blog next week. In the meantime, follow our facebook page for some extra inspiration.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Silk Skirt (2)

The young girl walked into the tiny bathroom that was actually part of her bedroom. It was created for her convenience, after the accident, so that she could easily access this small but well-organised room. It had a certain style, a kind of elegance and always smelled like cinnamon and tangerine. There was a round sink, a shower and a toilet inside; everything white, except for the apricot coloured tiles. Just above the sink there was a window with a view to the lake.

In her room, black and white portraits were hanged absolutely everywhere, including the bathroom. Even the wall behind the sink was completely covered with old pictures in funny frames. She washed her face and wiped it gently with a fresh and clean towel. Then, she gazed at one of the photos. She liked looking at pictures and spending hours with organising them. Most of her pictures and paintings were kept in various pastel-coloured paper-boxes except for some that she kept hidden, underneath the wooden flooring, right behind her desk. She started to think about lifting up that piece of parquet and having a look inside the box but then quickly changed her mind. The time did not come yet; she thought. She was not ready for it.
picture: Pinterest

So, she went back to her bedroom and took out the watercolours and the brushes. Most of the paints were either finished or really dry, as well as the old brushes that seemed to have been used heavily and many-many times. She wanted to turn her new energies and inspiration into creating something; to start a new painting, perhaps. But how? How could one do anything with these dead paints and brushes? She thought that maybe she could take the courage to go to the village. But how?

-- to be continued --

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The 3D-Secret of Happiness

About six months ago I read a very well-written and positive review about  Paul Dolan's book called "Happiness by Design", so I decided to buy it. As I not only enjoyed reading the book but found it extremely useful as well, in this article I would like to share one of the many smart and easily applicable strategies that the writer introduces to the readers of this handbook about creating your happiness.

Paul Dolan says that we could be much happier if we paid more attention to the “Three Ds”; namely Decide, Design and Do. According to the author:
"Decide will help you answer whatever question it is you have about your happiness, design will make it easier to implement the answer, and do will ensure your attentional resources are running smoothly."
picture: http://www.designzzz.com/

As soon as you are inspired, take the time and effort to brainstorm a bit by doing some research, dreaming, meditation, etc. Simply, just let yourself go with the flow: read, draw, write, take pictures, ask questions, listen to music, exercise; do whatever makes you feel good and use your energy to create a bunch of ideas that you could use for finding your passion and purpose in life.

Once you have plenty of plans, try to organise them and select one aim that you want reach first. Be specific, go into details and make a strong and determined decision; if you want, you can write down a similar sentence to yourself:

“I want to … by … (a date) in order to …”

Now, you need to plan or design the process that will lead to the successful and efficient completion of the task. Ask yourself what you can do today, tomorrow, next week or next month to reach your goal. Write down the steps that you want to take in order to carry on with your project. If you think that you need some help, do not hesitate to contact other people who can help you realise your dreams. 

Finally, just do it! Take actions to your aim every day. Create new habits, certain routines that make you work towards your goal regularly. Start small, do not overwhelm yourself with too difficult tasks or extreme changes in your lifestyle. Be realistic but do not give upon your dreams for a minute!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Silk Skirt (1)

picture: Pinterest
Fresh, light and sweet spring air came into her bedroom when she opened the windows. She suddenly felt happy and energetic. The gentle breeze lifted up the white lace curtains and the room was now filled with good energy. Her mood now reflected only positive thoughts and feelings. After months of darkness, she finally experienced the light; she felt easy, content and motivated.

She closed her eyes and started to visualise beautiful things: she saw the secret garden; the white, yellow and purple crocus appearing early spring time; the rare off-white daffodils in the corner, in front of the evergreen bushes. Then, she was looking at the tiny, brown, dotty birds dancing around the little pond. She wished she could just get up and walk into the garden and see whether anything had changed at all.

She took a deep breath, held it for few seconds. Then, she exhaled, panting loudly for a long time. She repeated the practice several times, until finally she felt relieved as she let go all the problems through her nostrils.

--to be continued--