The happiness garden

iCAP Services logoAs my friend busied himself making our coffees, I stepped into his backyard to check out the much-loved garden.

I looked over the slightly unkempt garden beds and I had a sense of ‘neglected love’.

Knowing of the past efforts he put into making them look just right, I decided to start a conversation.

‘What’s happened to the garden?’, I asked.

‘It’s fine!’, he replied, somewhat defensively.

I knew from previous conversations that the garden meant a lot to my friend. He once described it as being the source of his happiness.

‘What makes me really happy’, he often said, ‘is sitting in my back yard, looking at my garden.’

I pressed on.

‘I’m just wondering’, I started, ‘I’ve heard you say that the garden is the source of your happiness, and I can’t help noticing that it’s in need of some work.’

Happiness garden with pink flowering gumI touched the brown-edged leaves. ‘If it’s the source of your happiness, wouldn’t you be feeding it, aerating the soil, weeding and giving it some love and attention? Is there any reason that you’re not tending to the source of your happiness?’

I smiled wryly.

‘I can’t be bothered. And anyway …’, he waved his hand, ‘it’s fine as it is’.

He exhaled and looked at me with that familiar ‘ugh!’ expression we give each other when we are in territory that only close friends can venture into.

I smiled and drank my coffee but the topic played on my mind during my drive home. I wondered how many people knew the source of their real happiness yet ignored or neglected it.

For me, drawing and painting puts me in the state of mind where what is good with the world shines through.

Yet, like my friend, I often neglect to nurture and tend to the source of my happiness and assume it can look after itself and be ‘fine’.

Are you happy with ‘being fine’? Do you have time to tend to and nurture the things that make you happy?

Or, more importantly, do you make the time?

Tina Pitsiavas is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice in Wollongong and Sydney.

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  1. Mezza Dee says:

    Often we are too distracted by situations that sap our energy rather than partaking in enjoyable activities that invigorate us. Tipping the balance is a matter of prioritsing the self, amongst other things, but a good place to start. Having an “other” who can help carry some motivation for us till we can pick it up again is also an advantage

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