As a child, there was an apple tree in our backyard that was my personal sanctuary. I used to climb up and settle down on one of the thicker branches while leaning back on another branch with smaller ones extending outward like arm rests. From my perch, I could look through the kitchen window and watch my family moving around inside while feeling safe knowing they were nearby. I eventually found another place that offered me this same feeling of peace.
This place is a small clearing in the local woods that has everything that I could want for my sanctuary. I sit on two roots that mimic a yoga stool while looking over a lake surrounded by trees. Year round, the smooth water sparkles with the reflection of the trees and bubbles from the frogs and fish moving about. Often, I lay back and stare up at the moving clouds and waving branches as birds swoop down onto the water. In the nearby distance, you can always hear the sounds of hidden people laughing and talking as they walk and bike through the woods mixed in with bird songs, insects buzzing, and the rustling of branches in the wind. My lyrical description is the best I can do to share a glimpse into my Garden of Eden, my happy place.
Everybody needs a happy place. Where is yours?
Though I shared a natural setting as mine, yours may be very different. Wherever it is, it is perfect for you! It doesn’t have to be outdoors. Your place might be sitting around the kitchen table with the family talking over each other and arguing about who gets the last dinner roll. Maybe it is the quiet ride on the train as you head back home after a long day in the city. Your happy place can be anywhere that offers you surroundings of peace and joy.
By recognizing where you are happiest, you can bring that same “happy” to other places in your life because what made you happy is not the location. It is the place in time that produces emotions of comfort, contentment, peace, and joy. When I realized that my happy places were usually outdoor locations, I realized that I was happiest when I was away from the modern day comforts offered by modern day technology. By dimming the lights in our family room and shutting off the television, I can transform the room into another ‘happy place’ for me when I need a place of serenity.
Once the commuter realizes that it is the quiet time, not the train car, that offers that needed sense of peace, you may discover that taking time at home without interruptions and sitting back with a good book has that same effect. For the folks that enjoy the hustle and bustle of family around a dinner table, they can create more table-time through board games, jigsaw puzzles, and maybe, even just talking there instead of in the living room with a television or radio playing in the background.
Everybody benefits with a personal sanctuary. It could be in a tree, on a train, or in a crowded household. Wherever it may be, find it, claim it, and savor it, because you deserve a special place in your world.
Sharing My Happy Place With You