There is an Irish saying, Contentment is Wealth, and teachers from Ancient Greek philosophers to many of our contemporary spiritual leaders of today have postulated the idea of happiness as our ultimate goal.
Although it may seem to some that "happiness" is perhaps a lofty ideal or even trivial goal when it comes to our health, it is the natural state that resides in all of us from a homeostatic perspective and how we define and achieve a sense of happiness is, of course, up to us.
The thing about happiness is that it is an ephemeral being/feeling state and it is something that waxes and wanes. We can use mindfulness to acknowledge our feeling states and recognize the ephemeral nature of each feeling state in the moment without those sates defining who we are.
As a trauma-informed psychotherapist, I use EMDR and MBSR to help my clients alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression and physical pain from trauma by recognizing our inherent healthy selves through body-mind awareness and creative expression. Using the tools and techniques found in Mindfulness, we can begin to identify and accept our patterns while at the same time make conscious decisions for creating new patterns towards optimal health through creative techniques in stress reduction. Mindfulness helps us to connect to the part of ourselves that holds the knowledge and wisdom of the body and the mind already inherent within each of us.
Creative Arts Therapies in conjunction with Mindfulness allow us to connect to our higher selves and each other through Creativity, Curiosity and Compassion. Creativity is what helps us to re-frame situations and see things through a new perspective using art, music, movement, meditation, creative writing, visualization and mindfulness meditation. Curiosity allows us to discover and use new tools to work with the underlying causes of current or past difficulties, helping us to discover new possibilities of a healthy and happy life. Compassion is what drives the therapeutic rapport in each session and allows us the opportunity to safely express ourselves, release held emotions, and provide a sense of safety in order to move in new and healthy directions.
When we are truly feeling well, we are in flow, feeling connected in all aspects of our lives. Healing is a continual process and we must sometimes ask ourselves difficult questions, opening ourselves to vulnerability in order to understand contentment and live our most authentic life.