I am happy with my life. I am the stimulus. I have created a new life style for myself since 2017 when I interviewed an alert British octogenarian in Spain. I was happy to do this and so was he. I had accidentally opened a door to a new discovered passion - that of interviewing people about their lives past and present, their ambitions, their journey, their hopes and dreams. Yesterday I interviewed a holistic therapist and heard how a car accident changed her life forever leading to happiness.

You have to search for happiness. It does not come easily. It comes from within. A warm glow, a rush of energy, even a shudder or a shiver surging through your body.

One of my happiest moments was a decade ago in Havana in the company of my loved one. An impromptu singing in our host’s ‘hovel’. The moment was thankfully captured on video by a film maker of a radiant, laughing Jilliana looking happy. I can always look at this video clip should my dark moments return.

I am a member of the group ‘Action for Happiness’ in Brighton however these days I rarely take part as some of the key figures are quite miserable, non smiling neurotic beings and certainly not a blueprint for inspiration.

I feel humour and laughter is the key. You can’t feel pain when you laugh. I advise watching American comedy TV shows or uplifting chat shows with positive guests to inspire you. Listen perhaps to a TED talk on You Tube.

Happiness crosses borders, creeds and beliefs. A genuine smile says it all. Happiness is the key to a successful and meaningful life.

We are all on a journey. Make it a good one!

Written in Barbara’s Narrative workshop at The Friends Centre, Brighton on 8.5.18.