Dear Daughter, When you were little, happiness for you was relatively simple. I found what it was that brought out your first enchanting smile and that first beautiful giggle. I would then continue to pull ridiculous faces if it meant that you’d continue to grace me with your captivating, gummy smile. Your happiness, at this stage of your life, was relatively simple for me to figure out. Early on, my main wish for you was that you’d forever be able to enjoy the simple pleasures and delights in life and that you’d be always happy. Yet as adults, we struggle to find the ever-elusive happiness ourselves, so really, it’s very optimistic that I would expect this of you too. The thing is though sweet girl, I want to at least do the very best I can to steer you in the direction of it. I know that happiness is often perceived to be accompanied by money. I mean, once you’ve got large amounts of money, you can pretty much buy anything right? Houses, cars, champagne, you name it, you can have it all. Here’s the thing though honey, the problem with money is that it can’t buy genuine friends and it certainly can’t purchase unconditional love. Money is helpful but it does not guarantee you fulfillment. So if I leave you with nothing else in this chaotic world, I want to leave you with this. My advice on how to find happiness.

how to be happy Tip One – Find a friend who is your best.

Find at least one friend who loves you for what and who you are, not for what you have or what you can give them. If you are extremely lucky, you will find this person early on in life. If not, you will know them when you meet them. It will feel like you are in love, but without the awkward first pash.

Tip Two – Don’t settle for second best.

Find someone to partner you in life who adores you and who you adore equally. This will happen when it happens. Don’t rush it, don’t push it and please don’t expect it. An open heart will allow the right person in when the time is right.

Tip Three – Work at what you love.

Find out what it is that interests you. Is it animals? People? Writing? Building Stuff? Knocking stuff down? Cooking? Cleaning, Drawing? Whatever it is, work towards getting yourself into that area as your job. I know it’s a total cliché, but if you are working at what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Tip Four – Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Compassionate.

Treat others as you would like to be treated and if people are horrible, remember it’s on them, not you. You can only do what you can do. Some people will be jealous, horrible, egotistical, vain or just plain mean, but this does not give you licence to return that kind of behaviour. Always be curious but not judgemental.

how to be happy Tip 5 – Love the skin you are in.

I know this sounds like a commercial, but oh man, it’s true. Having a firmer backside or a flatter stomach doesn’t make you a happier or better person. And believe me, the people who like you simply because of these traits are not people worth knowing. By all means, stay fit and healthy but please honey, NEVER value yourself based on the size of your jeans. Your beauty will always come from within.

Tip Six – Give in. Surrender.

I’m sorry, but actually, there is no magic bullet when it comes to happiness. Happiness is what makes you happy. Not the guy across the road, clipping his grass beyond an inch of its life or the ex-boyfriend traversing the world in search of the world’s best coffee because that’s THEIR happiness. You however, will need to find your own, and as long as it’s not illegal or dangerous, embrace it and also, more importantly, understand that when it comes, you are very lucky to have found it. Good luck little one, life is just beginning for you.

Original blog can be found here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/how-to-be-happy/

~The road…to travel~

Dear Lily,

There will be a time in your life where you will get the bug – the travel bug. This bug may last a year, two years or just several months. However long it will be, grab onto it and grab onto it with both hands. The earlier in your life you experience this travel bug, the better. My hope is that when you finish university, or maybe while you are fresh from finishing high school, you will get the chance to travel.

Just do it, pack your bags (just the necessities, no need to pack that tablet or extra phone), get your passport organized, and book that ticket, BOOK that ticket (or tickets).

You’re probably asking why mum is pushing the travel agenda.

It’s simple really; you find yourself when you travel. You spend many years of your life possibly looking at yourself through the eyes of others, and not see what they see; your magnificence. When you travel, especially on your own, you are not bound by your family’s idea of who you are. You don’t have to act a certain way with friends, or pretend to be someone else.

When you travel, you see yourself without limits. You find out what you love about yourself and what you need to improve on. You get to know the real you, because you are finally spending time with YOU. Embrace this person that you are getting to know, and love everything about her, even the craziness.

There will be moments when you travel where it is just you and your thoughts, listen to it, this is where you might find your passion, if you haven’t already found it. Your eyes will open to the endless possibilities of this world, hold on to this.

Explore the places you visit, talk with the locals, eat their food and dance to their tune. You will see how the other side lives, you will learn empathy. From this exploration you will be grateful with what you have at home, as you see a different part of the world that may be full of sorrow, sadness and poverty. An appreciation of the world will open the possibilities of you trying to change it and make it better, not just for your and for the people you care about, but for people you may never meet.

My hope is that when you travel, you will come home with a deeper appreciation of yourself, a deeper understanding of the world and how to put these two discoveries together and contribute something beautiful to the world.

Enjoy these moments of travel and take many photos, be in the present when you travel. Don’t look back into the past, which may be full of regret. Don’t plan too far into the future yet, you will have this chance when you get home, which will be the time to unravel what you have observed and what you have discovered from your travels.

I believe in you and I hope when you travel and see the world; that YOU start to believe in YOU  too. I hope you will take those moments and realise how wonderful your life and your world is, despite the poverty and hopelessness you may encounter.

Life is truly beautiful my darling, and I want you to experience as much of it as you can.

What are you waiting for, let’s go to Hawaii!

All my love,