Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Glow in the dark stars
16 februari 2015
Glow in the dark stars
You might just already be on to something good"
~ Boy & Bear ~
One of the former residents of my living room put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. I've lived here for just over a year now, and it's actually become one of my favourite things about this place. Why? Because every now and again, I like to turn off all the lights, put music on and sit on the floor with my back against the wall in the dark. Music sometimes just sounds better with all the lights off. Seeing those little glow in the dark stars glowing away above me in these moments, somehow always makes me smile =)
I'm sure it's partly linked to happy childhood memories. I used to be a bit of a geeky kid. (Some would probably argue I'm still a bit of a geek, and they're probably right. At 28 I'm no longer a kid though ;)). I was always fascinated by the stars and the constellations. The vastness and unendlessness of it. I still am. When I was around 9 or 10 or so, I used to collect all newspaper clippings about the moon and planets and stars I could find and stick them in a notebook. I used to go outside and stand in the backyard with my 'starmap' to try and find all the different constellations in the night sky. Fastforward a decade or so and I'm at uni, doing a subject called 'Fascinating Universe', where I learned what happens when galaxies collide and how to calculate the distance between Earth and the stars. Not a useful skill to have at all in day-to-day life, but I loved that subject all the same. If only for how it woke up that inner geeky kid in me again who collected newspaper clippings on the moon and the stars and searched for the constellations in the dark night sky =)
So what is happiness to you? It's a question I've been actively asking myself these past few days. Last month, my friend Fabrice launched his new business that focuses on increasing happiness (for my Dutchies, see www.reignbow.nl if you want to know more, he does some really cool stuff =)). And for this launch, he wanted to share one of his workshops on happiness with some friends and family. It invites you to think about questions such as what is happiness, how do you think it can be achieved and what are things that you initially think will make you happy but really don't or its opposite: what are things you initially think will make you unhappy but actually do lead to more happiness? It was definitely an interesting afternoon working through some of these fundamentally universal and incredibly personal life-questions with complete strangers =)
For me, happiness is a sensitive topic, as my relationship with it has not always been an easy one. As some of you probably know I've really struggled with happiness in the past and though I've found much more balance again in recent years, sometimes I still struggle with it and I probably always will to some extent. So for me to dive into what happiness is and means to me - and say it out loud too! - was already a thing in itself. This weekend however, happiness felt especially fragile and elusive. Late last Thursday night, one of my housemates got a phone call no one ever wants to get. Her mother had suffered a brain hemorrhage and had been rushed to hospital in critical condition. By the next morning it slowly became obvious nothing could be done anymore to save her life, and by nightfall she was officially declared brain dead. Only an hour or so before the workshop on happiness started, my housemate's mum was taken off life-support. In less than 24 hours, one life had abruptly ended and the lives of her loved ones had changed forever. The personal tragedy of it is enormous and unfathomable and I cannot even begin to understand how this must feel for my housemate and her family right now. With that fact constantly present in the back of my mind as I went into the workshop, it put things into perspective and added another dimension to the questions of what happiness is and means in my life.
So what is happiness to me? It's creativity, music, stepping out of my comfort zone, travel, freedom, friends, family, doing something meaningful, being challenged. It's being invited to that workshop and feeling safe enough to share some of my thoughts and feelings on happiness with complete strangers. It's ending the emotional day of workshopping on happiness while my housemate's personal tragedy is so very fresh in my mind with a dear friend beside me on the couch catching up on a TV series and not having to say much at all as we're both nearly falling asleep from our respective long days anyway. It's realizing I've come a long way in finding my balance in life and that even when it feels very fragile, by now I might just already be on to something good.
It's glow in the dark stars on my ceiling =)
My love to all of you. xx
16 februari 2015 01:52 | Door: Mum
Lovely! Be happy and remember...we're all fragile, even the people that look solid as cement
16 februari 2015 04:05 | Door: Froukje
Hi Carine, ik lees je blogs met plezier, leuk om weer van je te horen! Dat van die sterren is zeker cool! Laten we een keer sterren gaan kijken, volgens mij kan dat in Utrecht:) Liefs, Fje
16 februari 2015 17:56 | Door: Annet
Fijn dat je balans in je leven hebt gevonden. Hoe kwetsbaar dat ook mag zijn.