{photo by: binkitybonk}

If you want to get more by doing less, one of the things you need to be sure about is your happy place.

Do you know where your happy place is?

It’s that warm, fuzzy place where you feel like time stands still. It could be the place where you feel completely comfortable in your own skin or present in your surroundings. It could be a location like the beach or the library or it could be from within.

The more time you spend in that state of mind, the happier you will be. And the more authentic living you will live.

How to Find Your Happy Place

Grab a pen or a pencil and a pad of paper. Jot down all of the places that made you feel truly alive in the past. Think about all the activities that made you feel grateful, excited, inspired. Start with a list of 10 and add to it when you think of more.

Here is a list of mine:

  1. Biking anywhere in nature. When I think about my past trip to London and Paris, what is most memorable to me is our bike ride. I love to feel the wind on my face, the freedom that comes from letting go of the brakes, the ducks and squirrels that I pass and the sound of branches and leaves crunches underneath as I speed on by.
  2. 2. Old bookstores. When I spotted this bookstore in Paris, I thought I had found my own Louvre. I even contemplated bypassing that and a lot of the other “must-see before you die” tourist traps on our way through France. Why? Any book lover could tell you. It’s the smell of old and new mixing together to create a culmination of everything hopeful and inspiring, past and future, life and death. It actually didn’t matter if it was France, London or California. When I am surrounded by books, I feel as though I am in the company of friends. Friends that have lots of stories and secrets to share with me and I am open to hearing all of them.
  3. Museums. Art museums. History museums. Museums filled with weird stuff. I love all of them. I love marveling at paintings I don’t get and photographs I wish I took. When I am in the presence of greatness, I am inspired to be a better person. When I see history, I see my future. Museums hold our past, present and our future and I love reveling in all of it.
  4. A lil’ ole cottage in Point Reyes. I love cottages. I love their whimsy, their character, what they represent-treasuring what is old and respecting small spaces. If I could, I would live in a cottage surrounded by trees and farm animals. I would live there and type and just be. That’s the happy and peaceful place I dream of when I’m stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. It’s my go to spot when I need a mental break from my work at home writing life.
  5. Reading biographies of people who inspire me. When I read about Walt Disney’s trials and tribulations I feel instantly hopeful. If you know of people who have endured hardship and have not only survived, but flourished, you feel inspired and encouraged to transform your own dreams.
  6. The original happy place. Yes I am a big huge Disney fan. I used to go there every year. There are those who think I am crazy and some of the reasons are understandable (long lines, crowds, etc.). But I go because every time I set foot on one of the Disney parks I believe in magic again. And that’s enough reason for me.
  7. The true happy place. Finding love and peace can be as close and easy to get to as closing your eyes. I sometimes forget the importance of meditation. But every time I take the time to go there, I remember. I am reminded about how important it is to shut down our inner critic and our outer world and just let all things be. And it’s easy to get there. Just breathe.

What do you do after you create your list of happy places? Devote to spending time there at least once or twice a week.

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