Wild w/ Reese Witherspoon based on a true story which was also previously made into a book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I found the movie so incredibly inspiring and served as a reminder that if you set your mind to something you can achieve the most unimaginable! Having experienced grief after losing my older brother in December of 2013, I realize how grieving someone you love can have such an impact on your future. Some people go down a spiraling self-destructive path leaving them totally stuck and lost in life and others can end up going down a road numbing themselves, trying to fill the void often leading to addiction and depression. Grief comes out in so many different ways and affects everyone differently. I love this movie for showing a compelling story of love, loss, and taking chances to experience happiness again.
Hector and the Search For Happiness is a movie I stumbled upon by accident but was so glad I did. If you let yourself, you can take away a few great lessons to apply to your own life. The movie reminded me a lot of one of my favorite quotes…
Focusing too hard on the pursuit of happiness can make it difficult to be fully present in the moment and engaged in life. What if finding happiness is simply allowing yourself to experience it? I mean going back to the basics and creating happy moments to experience everyday. Stopping yourself from living in the waiting game, where happiness will come when “x”, “y”, or “z” happens. Is happiness always just out of your reach? In creating happy moments everyday, something really amazing happens, your overall outlook and way you define happiness changes. Shifting your focus throughout the day can make all the difference girls, trust me on this!
Aside from social pressure, now more than ever we are bombarded with images and messages of what happiness looks like. Have you ever come across a person who seems so happy and positive and wonder what their secret is? Do you suppose that they have never experienced hardship or loss? What if happiness is a choice and not something that just happens? Often times we define happiness in a list of important aspects of life; love, family, friends, a good job, a nice home . While those are all amazing things that can make up a happy life, I think it is more important to dig deeper and break those things down into what we can experience on a daily basis.
Let’s face it, you can have everything you define as what happiness is and still feel unhappy in life. If we break happiness down into moments rather than generalized things to have in life, you allow yourself to experience it and not just desire it. Can happiness be experienced by a hug from someone, a text from someone who is thinking of you, having a productive day at work and accomplishing tasks, having a warm bed to lay your head down at night, a friend to wish a Happy Birthday to, a family member to call and catch up with? Did you laugh today? Did you smell your favorite perfume or wear your favorite color? Did you make someone smile today?
When we were growing up didn’t life seem simple and full of surprises to get excited about? One of the best coping skills to learn in life is how to refocus your attention to the present moment to stop negativity. Next time you walk your dog or are driving to work, instead of going on autopilot and muscling through your day, make an effort to be fully present in what you are doing. Feel the breeze, feel the sun on your skin, smell the fresh air, hear the birds chirp, look at the clouds, sing the song playing on the radio, take some deep breaths, affirm that it’s going to be a great day, and most importantly remind yourself that there is great freedom in these moments to experience happiness.
Giving yourself moments throughout the day to really enjoy your coffee,a hot shower, or putting your favorite lotion on your hands before bed. Reading a funny story or getting a text from someone who is thinking about you allows you to learn to pay attention to the gifts that are given to us each and every day. If you shift your focus to these special moments throughout the day and not the long list of “to dos” and what you lack in your life, you begin to open yourself to experiencing happiness and you stop chasing it.
To see the list of lessons the movie presents, check out this great feature post from Authentic Woman so you can remember all that you’ve learned!