Shan & Mands, co-directors of Holistic Hikes guiding a hike along the Great Ocean Walk.
I love this term. Shan presented the idea to me in reference to a gift he bought when we first got together 11 years ago. A single mother, I was staunch about my independence and paying my way, refusing to be wooed by gifts of grandeur.
I couldn’t afford a push bike and wanted to upgrade so that we could go on active adventures together. Shan bought me the bike, reluctantly I accepted as if I had been punished by some means to eat my ego. Seeing I was uncomfortable with being spoilt, he put it to me like this;
“We are a partnership and in wanting to experience the best of life’s adventures with you, I am simply investing in your happiness. Your happiness directly affects my happiness.”
It was never about the money but what the gift would provide in pleasure.
This is a concept that we still live with to this date. Our happiness as a team directly affects one another and our family. I quickly lost the non-serving staunchness (a protective mechanism) and conceded to the fact that Shan is mostly right. Our happiness is an investment.
As I touched on last week in the blog (5 Aspects of Holistic Health & How Hiking Ticks All The Boxes ), the holistic elements of our mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual elements are intertwined, one affects the other. Our state of contentment lies in the balance of these aspects.
What is happiness to you?
Happiness looks different to everyone. Have you ever thought about the things that truly make you happy? It can be the simple joys that are most impactful, particularly when repeated. How we show up for ourselves each day determines how happy we are.
Whilst a shopping spree can raise the dopamine levels for a quick happy fix, it’s the meaningful investments that provide long-lasting dividends.
For me, it’s the simple pleasure of walking by the sea or in the bush by myself, engrossed in a book in the sunshine or writing poetry – getting lost in time. The solitude and stillness, the quiet moments when I can switch off are the best investment that I can make for my own happiness.
Happiness is also our achievement. The challenging hike that you completed made you feel euphoric, accomplished, and confident.
It's why we thrive when we are outside of our comfort zone. It sounds counter-intuitive but considers a time when you pushed through, overcome barriers, and succeeded in a goal or task.
How did you feel? The bigger the obstacle overcome, the more meaning associated with the experience and the more happiness felt.
It’s like pack hiking. It’s hard, challenging you on many levels; mindset, physical,