happiness: what we can learn from the danes
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2012 in The Conscious Living Blog by Heather Hamilton
Over the past few weeks, something has been stirring in me. I have been restless with discontentment. I am a work at home mom, which means my days are filled with caring for two toddlers, managing our household and trying to contribute to our family’s income.
My home generally looks like something exploded in it, thanks to two very active boys, a dog, and my inability to keep up with the never-ending cycle of dishes, laundry, and other housework. Not only that, but my boys have acquired a small toy store, which has spilled out from their bedroom into the rest of the house.
I won’t go on with the details of our schedules, finances, or priorities, but I will say that I let the stress get the best of me and last week I hit bottom. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom and feel its a privilege to stay home with my kids. I love my work too! But the problem lies in the fact that I take on too much at a time, some of it unnecessarily, and in our culture of having a lot of “stuff” and always aspiring to greater heights, I lost touch with the beauty and value of simplicity.
I don’t feel like it was coincidence that while talking to a friend last week, she told me about an Oprah segment she had just watched. After watching it myself, I was convinced that it was time to take some notes from the Danes.
Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the world’s most environmentally conscious cities. One-third of the population rides bicycles. Most importantly, they top the list as the happiest people in the world.
You have to see this for yourself. Here are the videos:
Among the things that made the biggest impression on me are:
Less space, less things, more life.
I was amazed at the small homes the Danes have, yet they are so clean and simple! How refreshing! Our U.S. culture is so warped in this area. Our lives are cluttered. I absolutely love the implication that if you have less of the material things, you have more room to live and enjoy what matters.
Happiness is considered success.
Wow. It is not what you have or acquire, or your profession or status. Success is measured by how happy or content you are; by doing what you love, prioritizing your family and living a balanced, fulfilling life.
It is an understatement to say I am inspired. I’m ecstatic! I am committed to make some big changes in my home and personal life. I am committed to carrying these principles over into Zoe Organics and sharing with you the steps I take to finding more happiness by simplifying, respecting the environment, being more true to my own passions and by keeping my priorities straight.
I hope you too are inspired to come along!