I’ve had many people ask me, “How are you always happy?” and “You’re always smiling, how do you stay feeling good all the time?”. I practice one thing every second of every day…
I live detached. Detached from past and future, present moment expectations, external negativity, relationship drama and media hype.
To be detached I imagine being in my own ‘bubble’, and perceive myself to be separate from everything outside of this bubble – every person, thing and situation. I don’t attach myself to anything.
I see many people attach themselves to their partner, their favourite piece of jewellery, the perfect wedding day they’ve planned – whatever the person, thing or situation is – and if it fails or doesn’t go as hoped, in floods the negativity.
Now I need to note… there’s a difference between being detached and disconnected. I remain detached yet am connected in each moment – consciously connected to those with which are important to me (those people, things and situations that are positive) but I never rely on anything outside of me to “make me happy”.
In every moment I imagine being detached and simply be in the moment – accepting what is and practising optimism (being optimistic by solely focusing on the ‘good’ in each moment). Yes I acknowledge the ‘bad’ (by recognising the negatives and taking a lesson from them if applicable) but then very simply place them in a box, put a lid on it, and intentionally keep my focus on the positives.
I was at LA airport last year, coming up to eighteen hours already in my journey home to Australia. After six hours in delayed transit I had two options: 1/ whine and complain, or 2/ simply be in the moment, detaching myself from time, my preferred situation and the people around me whinging. Everything external that was out of my control I detached myself from it. Feeling exhausted and near desperate for sleep, I calmly and contently walked around the terminal. I pulled up a bar stool next to a nice-looking man. For two hours we chat and share stories as eating nachos. When he heard how long I'd been in transit he said, "Wow, you must be wishing you were at home right now!". I thought, and replied, "There’s nothing I can do about it, and I'm enjoying right now so it doesn't matter where I am in the world, all I have is this moment". And this was so true... yes I was craving a shower and sleep, but the situation was what it was so it didn't matter where I was, it all depended on how I viewed the moment and how detached I was from the things that were out of my control.
Are you attaching yourself to:
// Past and future //
Are you holding onto the past; reliving negative memories over and over again? Are you attaching yourself to future anticipations; getting your hopes set on something happening? All we have is this moment. Be in it.
// Present moment expectations //
When in the moment, are you discontent with what is? Do you want to change what cannot be changed this very second? Our happiness depends on our ability to fully accept each moment, feeling content with the experience. It’s merely our perception, and our perception is our choice.
// External negativity //
There is so much external negativity surrounding us. In every moment there’s something or someone that has the potential to influence how we feel. Do you let your external surroundings make you feel sad, or let other people’s negative comments or judgements cause you to feel upset? When we detach ourselves from all external negativity we keep ourselves happy.
// Relationship drama //
Whether it be friendship issues, family conflict or partner problems, when we detach ourselves from them we’re in a space to calmly respond as opposed to react. It enables us to see the situation clearly and look at the big picture. Do you react to the little things? Are you caught in the middle of relationship drama?
// Media hype //
I don’t watch TV, read magazines, stay up to date with celebrity gossip or follow the latest fashion or “beauty” trends. I consciously detach myself from this media hype because I believe it keeps me focused on what’s important in life. Are you caught up in the media “entertainment”, and is it making you blind and disconnected from the important things in your life?
Jenna Claire Fletcher is the founder of FLO Girls and The FLO Movement. We are very happy to have her as a contributor to The Happiness Compass as we both strive to build strong and robust communities for health and happiness.