A Year in Review (Pt 2)

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Booking under: Nicole

Before writing this end-of-year review on The Happiness Project, I went back to all my posts in 2016 and did a mini evaluation on myself against each of the commitments undertaken. Of course, some were easier to follow and some required more effort than others. This is a good reflection of my priorities and gives me food for thought on personal growth and a wide array of life aspects.

In what follows, I will share my four most favorite takeaways in my happiness project this year. Does mine coincide with yours?

Give Proofs of Love

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Actions speak louder than words. Oh, pretty cute couple plaid shirts too!

February’s theme was Remember Love, a very important aspect in life to happiness. A healthy relationship takes time and effort, and it is a constant reminder for me to remember to nurture love in my life. One of the most straight-forward ways is to show love and have patience with my partner through thick and thin.

As Keith has revealed earlier, he was hospitalized last week. I was very worried about his health condition, so I translated “proofs of love” into actions and re-arranged my schedule so that I could go to the hospital to support and take care of him physically. During that time, I just wanted to go out of my way and be there for Keith so that I could keep him company quietly. Nothing’s more important than having good health, so here’s wishing both of us good physique to support each other and our journeys ahead!

Be Generous

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Ho ho ho…. Christmas is a time for giving.

When we read about Friendsgiving in June, one of my key takeaways is to be generous. For me, generosity is not limited to the giving of material things but also about time and kindness (and even words of praise). As much as “sharing is caring” sounds perfect, there are situations when sharing is hard and I believe we have all experienced that before. Yet, what I have learnt from this commitment is that joy is really experienced in the act of giving. It teaches me the importance of embracing gratitude, appreciating what I have, and learning to give and share my resources within my ability.

As some of you may know, I am the tutor of the daughter of a family friend. To be frank, sometimes I felt very exhausted after a long week of work and early worship session on Sunday, and would rather maximize my personal time to rest and relax. Yet, bearing “be generous” in mind, I am reminded that it is a blessing to devote my time in teaching and pass on my knowledge to needy individual.

Take Responsibility For Myself

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Okay, I will take full responsibility for these clams too. Just give me 2 minutes.

Back in October, I shared a couple of true rules that I live by to cultivate mindfulness. Here is a recap:

  • Take responsibility for myself
  • Put family first
  • You are what you eat
  • Pride comes before the fall
  • Save for a rainy day

First and foremost, take responsibility for myself. It has a lot to do with knowing the implications and consequences before making decisions so that I can take conscious control of my life and keep myself in line. My pastor from the States once said the following and it has struck me ever since –  life is not just about doing something right but also about having the freedom not to do something that is against our values. Accepting and shouldering responsibilities myself, I am committed to live my life responsibly and act with integrity.

Find An Area of Refuge

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It’s nice to find a place where you can just go for a get-away and relax.

My memory of how keeping a contented heart contributes to happiness is still fresh, as it was discussed most recently in November. Everyone has emotional turbulence, and it’s key that we recognize the need of propelling negativity out of ourselves. The essence of identifying emotional refuge is to actively manage our emotions through engaging in constructive activities. Doing so helps us acknowledge the emotion and feelings of ourselves and others’ too.

One important rationale of this is that we need to first understand how our own happiness system works. Running, going for a massage, and revisiting good old memories are my areas of refuge, albeit the root cause of happiness lies in one place – the mind. Practicing this commitment myself, my experiences have further reinforced a timeless thought that happiness really starts within.

From Last Month

In the midst of holiday season, laughing out loud becomes common during conversations with family and friends as we gather to catch up and celebrate a joyous year ahead. As for using good manners, I am always mindful to be polite in everyday life and consider the feelings of others as this is a sign of respecting others as well as myself. The past few weeks was busy and tiring because of work and personal matter. To relax and unwind, I went back to my usual physical refuge – running and massage. These activities are good for my soul and help me let go of negative feelings, and the best part is that they do good to my physical wellness too! Two birds, one stone 🙂

Summing Up

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Though we are closing the book, my happiness project and commitments don’t just end here. It is an on-going journey and constant reminder for me to apply wisdom in everyday life so that I can pursue happiness and live my life to the fullest. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have been following us on A Booking For Two and social media the whole year round! Very much appreciated for your support.

As we enter 2017 in less than 10 days, Keith and I will share a few words next week and introduce our new project in the new year. Stay tuned and hope you are as excited as we are! Last but not least, an early Merry Christmas and happy holiday to you all  xmas tree.png

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