Donnerstag, 14. Mai 2015

Why California doesn’t make me happy.

I have lived for about a month and a half in California now: 
I live in a beautiful house a couple yards from the beach, enjoy breathtaking landscapes, the kids go surfing every day, every morning the sun is up in the sky, I walk around in shorts and flip flops, and whatever I wear – everything looks better with a tan.  

I am living the dream, right? 

This, at least, is the prevalent opinion – and I cannot hold it against anyone, as judging by the photographs this must be paradise. 
And it is, too, at least if you look at it from the outside. 

I am swamped with comments full of admiration and praise every day, “I look so happy”, “California is good for me”, “I look relaxed”, “I am realizing my dream”, “I have the time of my life in Santa Cruz”, “I am to enjoy every moment of it, since a time like this will never come again”, etc. etc..

So do I actually have the time of my life in California? 
Truth is: 
California doesn’t make me happy. 

At the risk of nobody understanding this post (which I wouldn’t care about either), I am telling you straight up: 
If one of you believes that a change of location changes something inside of someone, I will have to disappoint you.
I know that many of you dream of living somewhere else. 
They would love to live in Paris. 
Or in New York, because: if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
Or on Mallorca – at least during the whole summer.
Norway has lots of untouched nature and there are also lots of blonde guys. 
The South of France would be great, too, you can always buy fresh fish and the weather is warm. 
The Alps are fantastic, you feel free and unlimited. 
In Berlin you have cool coffee shops, cool projects and cool flea markets; if you lived there, then you’d truly be happy. 

As if moving could accomplish this! 
To live somewhere else does not make you one. bit. happier.

Of course a move offers new chances, new possibilities, new inspiration – no doubt! 

But the only place that will give you lasting happiness is: 
The one between your ears. 
Here – and only here (not on Hawaii, unbelievable, I know!) the decision as to how happy you are is made.

Only, if you are free and happy here, you will be free and happy anywhere in the world. 

Up to now I have lived in a truly ugly Suabian village in a run-of-the-mill terraced house for years; I sat on a cheap IKEA couch, stared at the wall in front of me and was so happy that I sometimes thought: 
"Now I could just burst with happiness.”

Maybe the weather was crappy, maybe my kids were in a bad mood (or not even there), maybe my husband was grumpy (or not even there), maybe I hadn’t been out for weeks or hadn’t done anything spectacular, but that was not relevant at all.

I ALWAYS have the best time of my life. 
I don’t need an added beach or nice weather for this. How pathetic, if I could have the "time of my life" only with these?

Of course, a beautiful house is better than an ugly one (or none at all – I’ve been there. It’s bad.)
Of course, a sunset by the ocean is breathtakingly beautiful. 
Of course it is better, if outer circumstances fall into place. 

But these things do not make me happy! 
I am already happy beforehand, simply from the inside out. 

Heaven on earth is inside of me, whether in a Suabian village or in New York – I carry it with me at all times. 
In face of this inner beauty and happiness everything is also…well, somewhat beautiful, but it does not really impress me. 

"What…you cannot enjoy California?” 

I did not say that.

Of course I enjoy every second of it. 
I do like traveling and am happy to discover new things, obviously! 
And how nice for the kids to be able to go surfing every day, and effortlessly learn English at the same time. 
I am truly grateful for this possibility and I am happy that we made this move. 

But I ALWAYS enjoy things, wherever I am, because: 
I always travel with MYSELF. 
And I just like my own company so much. 
And I like the inside of myself.
So sooo beautiful ;).
This love turns everything inside of me so beautiful. 

I decided: nothing can stop me from ALWAYS having the time of my life.
No matter the current circumstances or the location, I want to enjoy every moment with the utmost intensity I am able to muster! 
How sad would it be, if I were waiting for something for months or even years? 

"When I’ll finally... move to California."
"When I’ll finally... live in my new house.” 
"When I’ll finally... work at my dream job, finish college, be pregnant, have reached my goal, have more money, when the kids are older, etc., etc.” 

Waiting in line for years and what happens in the mean time? 
You don’t have the time of your life, or what? 
And what if it is a long time until that day X? 
Then you won’t have the time of your life for the most part of your life? 

"Do you mean I shouldn’t dream about moving somewhere else? Or have no goals?” 

I did not say that.

On the contrary: you can and are supposed to experience EVERYTHING you wish for! 
You are supposed to have a go at everything your heart burns for and nothing can stop you!  
And if you’ve always wanted to live in California Bottrop-Kirchhellen, then: “Can we move there?” – yes.  

I just want to take away your illusion that a move will be your dream come true. 
In order to help you not to “long for” something, hoping that “everything will change” and “be better”. 

"But Joanna, every time I am in Paris, I really feel better!” 

Oh whatever, in most cases this is simply shifting the scenes or a distraction at best. 
You are distracted by the new impressions and are usually on vacation, and therefore do not have to care about every day stuff – of course you feel better.   

However, if you move for good, sooner or later you will find yourself back with yourself in the most beautiful spot in the world. 

And then the question comes up again: how beautiful is it inside of yourself? 

If you have not learned…
... to decide in favor of joy instead of sadness in the midst of the most difficult circumstances,  
... to control your thoughts and allow anything that happens to be on offer to walk in and out of your brain without asking, 
... to dare to think and act DIFFERENTLY than most people,  
... to leave your little "Child-husband-terraced house-little house on the prairie” circle in your thoughts and to think big, 
... to trust in God in all things, no matter how crappy the situation might look like in the moment, 
- then neither Paris nor New York nor California will change your life in the slightest at all. 

I DID NOT SAY, you’re not supposed to move. 
Or just dare to do something unusual and escape your comfort zone – I know that many of you truly need to get off that couch, because they won’t manage to accomplish anything otherwise and spend hours on Instagram or Pinterest lost in daydreams, which won’t move them forward one bit. 
(reading Liebesbotschaft is exempt, of course! Honestly, I would read it, too, if I didn’t happen to write it myself! Hahaha….) 

I want to guide you to something EVEN bigger than just living your dream. 
I want to show you what it is like to have the most beautiful and fulfilled life – INDEPENDENT AND FREE OF YOUR DREAM. 
And always and everywhere to boot!
Simply free, free, free from outward things, no matter how attractive or how awful they are, and all without being a weird freak, but simply the most beautiful, strongest and most attractive in the world. 

And the thing with your “dream” will also happen, don’t worry. 
But between you and me I tell you one thing: it will not impress or fulfill you all that much then, but it will be the logical consequence of your life style. 
For want of alternative options, so to speak ;).

"Okay, Joanna – and how can I learn to do this?"

I have written a lot, a lot about this already (just click on the label "Inspiration").

But in a nutshell: 
There is nothing to learn.
At least not in terms of “bettering yourself”. 
It’s not the ones who have the most self-discipline, or the ones who “do everything right” – whatever that means “doing it right”. As if it mattered! – who are the happiest. 

It is the ones who trust the power of love like a little kid, who trust that it will accomplish everything and will change everything for the better. 
The ones who live in love. 
And you happen to be in exactly the right place, because I have these traits truly in abundance and give them away to anyone who wants them. 

The most beautiful place in the world, the absolute heaven on earth is inside of me. 

Truth is: California does NOTHING to me. 
I do something to California :).



Translated by Ginnell Studio.

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