We are not our stuff and having stuff does not make us happy.


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We are not our stuff and having stuff does not make us happy.

By Jeanette Saxby, Oxford, New Zealand.

While out walking today, I immediately had a new thought come into my mind. It was simple, out having a walk alleviated some of the problems I have been having lately.

“Lately I have had both low mood and energy as well as some pain in my body. I know that exercise is always a good way to create some energy but that equations does not work if even gentle exercise causes pain. I thought about how our health is perhaps our most undervalued source of happiness.”

When are fit and well we seldom think about illness. But recovering from an illness can be a long and slow process. As I walked, I pondered a little on gratitude and appreciation. I think we sometimes lose sight of what is important in life by getting caught up in valuing possessions. We are not our stuff and having lots of stuff just means you need lots of space to store your stuff.

Walking today, I decided to give some thanks to my body and appreciate the way it has served me. I wear good walking shoes to look after my feet. Once long ago, I regularly wore high heels to work and to go out and to be taller than my 5 foot 2 inches. Not so long ago I had severe foot problems, both the soles of my feet and my ankles were giving me pain. I needed to retrain my feet and stretch the foot again to ease the pain. Otherwise why foot would feel numb or too hot or just very painful. It started in my heel. Now over two years later I have healed my heel and every walk I take I am now grateful that my feet have recovered.

While on my walk, I took special notice of the warmth from the sun. We are ending summer and beginning autumn. Winter is hiding round the corner. But today seeing the clear blue sky and feeling the sun on my arms as I walked I gave thanks.

I am not a religious or even particularly spiritual person but I am aware. What I noticed was I wasn’t the only one enjoying this warm day. The birds were singing, the cicadas chirping and bees are buzzing. Instead of feeling lonely and sad, like I sometimes do as I walk around on my own I felt happy to be able to be free to do as I pleased and not be working today. The sun shone of the leaves and was it was clear and bright. Some leaves are starting to change colour announcing the new season.

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The things that I have today are the same things we all have . It is not the latest car, it is it the biggest screen TV or a trip away , we all share this planet and we all are part of it. We breathe the same air, look up at the same clouds and possibly wonder the same things. Many of us also wonder am I enough. Some of us wonder who they are?
All of us need to know we are ourselves. We are OK, we are good enough and we are just as we are meant to be.

I walked to a lovely domain in the town that I live in and sat down to eat my snack in the rugby stands wanting to enjoy the peace and quiet. On the rugby field was a solitary player who was running about without a care in the world. He was kicking the ball, running around and shouting out loud cheers to himself.
He is an intellectually impaired adult who also has ADD. But he was having the best time in the world. He felt like he was Richie MacCaw or Dan Carter. He had no hang ups only pure joy as he kicked the ball , rolled around doing try’s and having a good time. He had an adult care giver watching him from the stands. He told me this young chap in his rugby gear m a Chiefs Jersey and boots on was actually 53.

Whoops!! 53 years old. So despite his hardships in growing up, his ability to play and have fun has never diminished. I felt like I watched a real Peter Pan. We don’t need things to make us happy. I enjoyed talking to his caregiver and watching this person play.

What ever age you are, remember to have fun. Try and learn that fun comes from within and not from stuff.

The things I get lots of pleasure from but can’t buy is my friends.

Friends can last a whole lifetime if you treat them well. I don’t thing many items last more than a few years these days.

Feeling a bit Julie Andrews by naming a few of my favourite things I will always say; gardens are my first and favourite pleasure. Gardens with flowers, gardens with roses or other fragrant flowers top the list, but a very close second would be: water gardens, cool shady pools with ferns and deep pools, tropical plants and brightly coloured flowers and ornate flower beds all give me joy. I love spring flowers the most as the long winters can be dull and the barren trees can invoke feelings of sadness. But as soon as the blossoms appear and the spring bulbs push up their green leaves, I get happier again cos I love being outside.

All of nature is free. From the lovely rainbows, to crashing thunder storms. Each one is a sign that I am alive. I am pretty small and not very powerful but none the less on a day like to day I am bursting with joy and happiness.

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