My husband and I have just returned from our annual camping trip – a longstanding family tradition. Our locale is just outside the town of Fort Bragg, CA at MacKerricher State Park. This tradition, started long before I ever married, began with my mother when I was in my early twenties and has continued for over 35 years. Variables like the camp site, time of year, and even location, have changed. When my mother was ill we didn’t go camping at all but rather stayed in a nearby inn. The constant is one particular spot of sand and ocean on the California coast; it’s like no other for me. It truly is my happy place.

Happy here is a relative term. It’s doesn’t imply the giddy, fun, silly type of happy. Instead, it’s that peace-filled contentment that envelopes your body when you are there. There may be memories associated with it, such as the spot on the beach where I stood and flung my mother’s ashes to the wind or the rock where I draped seaweed around my neck and pretended I was a mermaid. Every spot I look at gives me an infusion of joy and peace, and a sense that my world is going to be okay.

My question for you – do you know where your happy place is?

For some it is a state of mind. People describe achieving this through yoga or meditation, finding it through specific actions and states of being.

For others, it is not necessarily a specific place, but general locales. As an example, someone might share that when they are in nature hiking, walking on a beach, or in a particularly beautiful building they are in their happy place.

And finally, for still others, it involves being with another person. Whenever they get together with that person they are truly content.

So, what constitutes your happy place?

It has everything to do with you and what you require. There are no pre-conceived notions here. To help you, I’ve identified the following when I contemplate my special place:
• It’s a place where I can step out of the craziness of the world around me and put life into perspective. It offers an opportunity for contemplation and rediscovery of what’s important to me in all areas of my life.
• There are memories associated with this place, space or time. These memories are not always joy-filled; there can be sadness. But the memories are vivid and impactful. Thoughts of times gone by and times yet to be can come together in this oasis of peace.
• There’s a feeling of inner calm and serenity that is achieved immediately when you reach your happy place. Regardless of how many times I have tromped through inclement weather, crossed sand and tall grass, the thrill of reaching this place is always there. It never varies, regardless of my original state of being.

If you can immediately pinpoint your happy place, congratulations! But if, as you read you think, I wish I had such a place, then perhaps you have yet to find yours. Now is the time to engage your senses and discern where your happy place lies. As one of those who can identify that place, time or space, the quest is worth the effort.

ACTION: Start the quest to identify your happy place. If your quest has been achieved, take a few minutes to close your eyes and picture yourself there. When you decide to open your eyes, recognize your sense of peace and contentment.

Kathy Hart’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife (ages 40 – 65) with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:
• 1:1 coaching to support the next journey into your midlife transition
• Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
• Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
• Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance