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  • Kamilla Pinel

What is happiness and where do we look for it?

🗽I just returned from a work trip to NYC. After living there for 7 years before moving to the West Coast, I can honestly say that there is no other city for me in the world (and I’ve traveled a bit) that compares with NYC’s energy and grandness. I truly enjoyed my time being back: walking those beautiful streets and parks, watching NYC people, eating its amazing food. I met with some of my closest people; so yes, it felt like 5 days of euphoria.

New York City skyline

💡AND, I also had a realization that NYC for me is sort of a drug - it gives me everything I seem to need to be happy. While living there, of course I had my bad days, but I was so good at silencing those up with social outings, shows and shopping, that things seemed to get better almost immediately and I felt “happy” again. After all, I lived in the very center of one of the most renowned cities in the world- that had to mean I made it, right?… and the rest of the things… ugh, I just had to get over them.

❔Does this sound familiar to you at all? Replace NYC with anything that makes you “happy”: money, status, career, family, shopping, food, travel, other.

✌🏼So...what is happiness, and where do we look for it? There are 2 sources of so-called happiness: internal and external. When we cried as kids, some parents tried to understand what caused that particular emotion and helped us get through it (internal work), while others gave us a candy, turned on a cartoon, switched our attention to something else (external influencers). In the event of the latter, we learn that it’s much easier to lean on external factors to to override unwelcome emotion, rather than trying to deal with them. Another much welcomed side effect of this is that people like us more when we are “easy” and “happy”. And WHO DOESN'T LIKE BEING LIKED, right?!

🙅🏻‍♀️Now, it’s important to note that “painful stuff” we manage to hide doesn’t actually go anywhere. It accumulates in us and tries to get our attention in different ways, which pushes us to do more of the “happy” silencing things (hence comparison to drugs). Until one day it all just stops working and we catch ourselves feeling broken, sick, sad or, just completely numb.

(continuation in the comments 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼)

✨When I moved to the West Coast, I had more time to think and find resources to help me look within. There, I found old convictions, regrets, limiting beliefs, disappointment and, more than anything, self criticism. I started unpeeling those layers one by one, and two years later, I am still working on it. However, now, I can honestly say that I know who I am and I don’t need external influences to be happy. I am happy just to be and that helps me receive the same gifts of life I enjoy so much not from the position of need, but from the standpoint of abundance.

💫So, if I ever move back to my favorite city, which I might, I will be mindful of the risk I carry to get lost in it. I made a promise to myself to always have time for ME, to check in with the source of my true happiness at each moment and honor ways to “fill my cup” internally before giving into all the fun things that life has to offer.



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