Abby-Jo is thirteen years old and has a pretty vicious form of cancer which is waging war on her body. She is currently on a drug trial which brings with it some hope but also brings hideous side affects which make the poor kid feel like she's in some sort of washing machine of doom.
The eternal quest for happiness has been something that has thwarted even the greatest minds and scholars over the last couple of thousand years. Happiness is something that ebbs and flows daily, hour by hour and minute by minute.
Both our past and our future are constructions in our own mind. They are not reality, they either haven't happened yet or they are flawed re-creations of what has been. We worry when there is resistance and comparison between the past or the future and the NOW.
Society reinforces this tendency to strive for a constant state of happiness: Hollywood and fairy tales lead us to believe that happy endings are the ultimate goal, and advertisements tell us that if we only buy this specific product it will make us feel good.
How therefore can the process of finding happiness be termed as 'simple'? Once we get over the first step of taking responsibility for our lives on our terms - which is the hardest part of self-discovery and which takes real courage- the rest is easy.
How much do we really know about happiness? From a Buddhist perspective, all sentient beings, including animals, seek happiness. We have a subconscious instinct to seek happiness - even though many of us don't have a clear idea what it is, or how to achieve it...
The eyes of the spiritual heart see the necessity of life's vicissitudes to develop inner strength and transformation. It is this heart that unravels the tensions of the mind, and frees us from the entrapments of fear. It is in this heart, that we can find rest and comfort amidst the thunderstorms around us.
Whether it be a diet or a health kick, improving your personal best at running or walking or simply identifying how you would like your life to be in a years time these hopes and dreams are the stuff that life is made of otherwise we just stagnate.
What was there to do on these two paradise islands? Other than swim, snorkel, walk their perimeter and relax on the beach... not very much! What a beautifully unfussy life! No one was in a hurry or clutching a mobile phone. There was no TV or radio blaring.
Happiness isn't a condition that occurs when circumstances are perfect or nearly so. Sooner or later you need to make a deliberate choice to be happy in spite of the challenges and difficulties.
Often, I hear people say, I'm doing my best, or, That's it, I've given it all I can give. I can identify with these comments, can't you? Sometimes, we tend to beat ourselves up, for not doing more. In fact, we often do that when we've done more than enough.
If you buy a car, it has usually been serviced so it runs wonderfully smoothly for a while. And we so enjoy it when our car drives effortlessly. When it develops a problem, a fault, which the things we use do, we take it to the garage where an expert fixes it
Coming from a place where my default state was ruled by fear, I'll show you how I managed to turn things around for myself by offering you 10 powerful tips. Remember our birthright is to be happy, so allow yourself to be!
With one week to go before the due date of our first child, my husband and I have been walking round in a haze of fear and exhilaration. We regularly turn and gaze at each other with slightly frightened, portentous expressions, before one of us breaks the spell by saying: "Thank God we went to Thailand."
I read two or three books per week and have created a system of notation and filing that I want to share. It enables me to use what I've read, search what I've read and come back to it many years on.
All you have to do, is send your thoughts, and feelings out into the universe, and watch and see what happens. And not let fear of the unknown hold you in a place where you are afraid of every new thing that crosses your path.