Do What Makes You Happy

It has taken me several years of coming to terms with accepting what makes me happy and consciously choosing to do those things. It sounds easy—”do what makes you happy.” But what if people around you aren’t doing those same things? Part of growing up and growing into who you are is recognizing that you have the power to make those choices regardless of what surrounds you. For me, running is my happy place. I have run almost everyday for 5 years. But if I solely relied on running to give me my happy place, I would not be leading a holistic and integrated life. I have to read, meditate, do yoga, and eat nourishing and healing food to allow my body the ability to run and to nourish the mental and spiritual along with the physical.
However, the most essential component of my happy is being outside. Running allows me to do this by myself and I believe that is why it has become my happy place. My “aha!” moments, spiritual connectedness moments, crying moments, and just happy moments have all happened alone running in the woods. Sometimes when I feel so overtaken with my joy for life and thankfulness for the outdoors I find myself slowing to a walk. The awe of nature brings me to a halt and makes me realize that my happiness is part of such a greater web of life. The birds, the butterflies, the bees, and the deer—they all have a role to play. The best way to make myself happy is to contribute to making the world a more beautiful and loving place like them. Once you realize how you are connected, you find happiness. But! It is a never-ending journey. I am always finding my new “happy places” and new things that make me move. Right now it is an interest in essential oils, holistic medicine, and making smoothies! Next month it might be reading books on running or yoga. You never know. But the most important thing is to stay true to your heart and to what makes it tick regardless of what others are doing.

– Cate Hargrove, Urban Green Lab summer intern

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