As I climbed out of the taxi my head ached, my chest hurt and my mind was spiralling out of control like a washing machine stuck on high spin unable to stop. I couldn’t get that horrid work email out of my thoughts and I could feel the obsessive thinking kicking in.
As I walked into the reception of the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall, the sea view hit me. Through the great glass windows the stunning coastal vista, the beautiful grounds, the sensational eco-designed space, quite literally took my breath away. I felt my whole being soften and relax. And I knew I was going to be fine. I was then greeted by the warmest of smiles, the friendliest of welcomes, and my heart felt happy.
Ninety minutes later I found myself reclined in the most calming, sweet-smelling and peaceful of places as the special Stella gave me my first of several Ayurvedic treatments: a personalised combination of healing, massage and relaxation. An hour on, everything had shifted. The email mattered not. My problems were left behind. And my future felt hopeful. Yes, I was still coughing. Yes, I still felt weak. As always with me, I could feel my emotional healing would precede my full physical.
The next 2 days the wonderfulness continued. Each and every member of staff gave of themselves – there was genuine connection, and conversations were real, authentic, and open hearted. Never have I come across such a happy and hospitable body of people, where nothing was ever too much trouble.
As the hours passed I felt the stress dissipate. I was returning ‘home’. The sea, the nature, the sunsets, the walks; the food, the friendship, the friendliness. Not to mention another very special treatment from the fabulous Natalie, as I sat absorbed the waves breaking on the shore. Time and space to simply be. How lucky am I, I repeatedly thought.
But what if you are not so lucky as to be treated to such a special place? How do you kick-start that return to wellness, peace and happiness? Well, let me pull out the three things that have resonated with me these past rejuvenating days:
Happy place: for me it’s definitely the sea, open space, being at one with nature. How about an awe walk (Day 20 of the 21 Days to Happiness), taking an amble in a place that makes you feel connected, and is bigger and vaster than the individual you. And if you’re in a city or town, do not fear. You can still look up at the sky, the architecture or take a look at the stars. Or if not, my happy place is a local coffee bar where as I walk in I just feel at home. Yours may be a museum, a friend’s house, a certain park bench, or piece of grass. Wherever your happy places are, go visit.
Happy people: I was lucky enough to go on my trip with my great friend Karen. This brought me joy. As did the lovely folk I met and chatted with in my Cornish place of paradise. Who are your happy people? Who energises you, makes you feel connected? Who can you grab a cuppa with, give a call to, spend some time with? Evidence shows that connecting with others can increase our happiness levels; even interactions with people we don’t know well help us to feel part of a community and can be beneficial. So, go be with those you like, love and laugh with.
Happy things: what is it that you do that you love; makes you happy, at peace or filled with joy? For me, it may be as simple as reading a book, listening to a piece of music or feeling my feet on moist sand. However big or small, do more of your happy things.
“Focus on what makes you happy, and do what gives meaning to your life”
So, as the plane departs from Newquay, and the madness of London life beckons, my heart is full of gratitude. Thank you Karen. Thank you Stella and Natalie. And thank you to all at the very special Scarlet. I’m off home to lie in my bath (happy place), light candles and listen to music (happy things) and call my mum (happy person). Note to self: don’t drop your mobile in the bath again.