How does The Happiness Club help?
Posted on 20th April 2018 at 18:57
Recently I conducted a live interview with one of the members of my online Happiness Club, to find out what kind of effect being a member has. This week’s blog is a transcript of that conversation, I do hope you enjoy it:
Jo: What we thought we’d do is have a chat about The Happiness Club because I keep getting asked questions at the moment by lots of people about what it’s actually like and what it actually is. A lot of people think that it’s an in-person club so they think that we meet every week or we meet once a month so if they don’t live near me then they can’t be a member because we meet. But we don’t.
That’s the first myth I wanted to dispel; that the club is a flesh and blood in-person-we-meet-face-to-face club. It isn’t at all. It’s all online, mostly through Facebook, some through email and also using my brilliant The Happiness Club app.
But you do get direct access to me any time you like, either through message, through Facebook, through email, by the phone, any way that works best for you, really. So if you have a particular issue or situation that you want some advice or help or support with, then you can get directly in touch with me and I’ll have a chat with you on the phone or on Messenger for as long as you like as a member of my club. For me that’s part and parcel for the reasoning behind the club – I am there to look after you, I am there to put my arms round you and say, “D’you know what, it’s all right. It’s fine. Everything is fine and you are going to come out the other side.” So James Chisholm, you’re quite a long-term member of the club aren’t you? You’ve been a member for a while now.
James : Yeah, probably two and a bit years, nearly three years.
Jo : Which is quite a long time. So can you tell me, as a long-term member of the club what would you say is the one main benefit of being a member?
James : I think for me it’s the consistency there, the fact that there is something to do every day, the fact that it is there and I know I should be doing it which is a part of a step along the way for me.
Jo : Okay, the consistency; how would you say, because you have been a member for a long time, how has it helped over the course of that time?
James : I am a lot happier than I was when I first joined. I have got a history of mental illness and depression and anxiety and I probably dealt with a chunk of it before we met, but then there was latent underlying stuff that I was a private client with you to resolve, to find out what it was in some instances. Then since then it has just been a continual process. I am much more aware now of those moods which massively helps me, but then also just being ... it’s the self-awareness side of things, that’s big ...
Jo : You know I am really glad that you said that because I think that you probably already know because you have seen me talk at things quite often, bless you, but for me, that’s the absolute key to the whole thing, it’s awareness isn't it? We have probably said that in these lives as well. I think that for me is the absolute key: awareness, because if you go - and the very lovely Brad Burton talks about this too - but a lot of us go through life on auto-pilot, on automatic, just repeating the same stuff over and over and over and it is not until you become aware that that is what you are doing that you can do stuff about it.
James : Yeah, that’s the thing. I am quite open to the fact that there are lots of things that I should be doing, and I know I need to but that’s my awareness, I am very aware of the fact that I am choosing to do other things above those things…..
Jo : Instead of looking after yourself!
James : Yeah, but then you know me, my natural status is to look after everybody else first, literally everybody else. For me to even be part-way along that road towards putting myself first in some instances is a massive change from where I was. So it’s all progress.
Jo : So do you think that you, as a result of the club, do you think that you think differently and do things differently in any way?
James : I think I am definitely more aware than I ever was and I definitely do try and book time in for me with things. There are points where I probably wouldn’t have in the past actually gone and done something. There have been times when I have gone and done stuff on my own which I always would have done back when I was single, it’s not like I’m afraid to go and eat on my own or go to the cinema on my own or anything like that but it’s the fact that I have always put the fact that actually if they don’t want to do that I should do something with them rather than doing something for me so I am doing that more and that’s a definite change due to the club. But it’s nowhere near where I want it to be, so it’s little baby steps along that road.
Jo : Again, that’s the point of the club is that it’s baby steps, isn't it? It is a baby step every day. You read the stuff from the club and it’s just a little step today and then a little step tomorrow and then a little step ... I did a post yesterday on Facebook about the fact that I, in my past, experienced high levels of stress and anxiety. Anxiety was the thing for me rather than depression and it was my mindfulness practice that largely brought me out the other side. There was some hypnotherapy in there too but largely it was my mindfulness practice that brought me out the other side of that and keeps me out the other side of that and that is why is set the club up because I wanted to be able to teach other people how to take just those little steps. And I think a lot of people join things like this or enter into personal development things expecting it to go, “Ta-daaa! You’ve changed!” And I made that clear on my post yesterday, my mindfulness, and I started practicing mindfulness six years ago and it takes a while, man!
James : Yeah, and the things is, now, it’s the awareness thing. I am very aware when something hits me that I am going to have a day of feeling crap. I know the next day I am going to wake up and I am going to have figured something out or be in a better place but I know I am going to have a day of crap. And knowing that is someway a lot better because it’s like actually I am going to feel crap today and I am going to just have to roll with it and then I will come out the other side and it will be all right tomorrow.
Jo : And I think that is one of the problems with when you feel crap is if you're on the autopilot you just think, “Oh this is how it’s going to be forever,” and it isn’t at all because everything changes all the time.
James : Yeah, yeah absolutely and just knowing that and some of the tips that you put out there about what you can do and stuff like that, they won’t all work for everybody. Some will work for some people and some won’t work for other people but the thing about the club is that you find each day there is a little thing to do and it might be the thing that actually really really helps but you’ll never know that until you have actually done it
Jo : So how long do you think ... roughly how long were you a member before you noticed the change? Again sometimes change creeps up on you and you realise weeks or months afterwards that you have stopped responding in that certain way.
James : Yeah, I am trying to think now. When we met I was going through a heck of a lot of stuff. I think it was probably for me, a year, a year and a half in before I consciously noticed that things had changed. It was probably months actually helping but not actually physically or mentally me noticing that I was doing that and the last 12-18 months or so I now notice the fact that when something happens I take a step back, which I always do in everything else apart from when it is impacting me and I am stuck in it and I can’t get out.
Jo : Which is what most people do.
James : I am aware that I do that and I am also now aware of that one day thing - I am going to feel crap for that one day but that’s okay, it’s the next day I have got to make sure that I don’t let it continue and it doesn’t now, which is good.
Jo : Hurrah. I asked you that question because of the point I made a bit ago which is sometimes I do get people that join the club and after a month or two months they say they have got stuff out of it but not, like I say, the magic wand has not gone “Ta-daaa!”
James : I suppose it is like going to a gym, isn’t it? If you go to a gym and you get on a treadmill for five minutes every day it makes a little bit of difference, but actually within two months it’s not going to make that much difference, whereas, okay five minutes isn’t going to make that much difference but over maybe a couple of years it will probably make quite a bit of difference and that is the thing isn't it? It’s like with anything you can’t just expect it to happen just like that.
Jo : No and that’s one of the things that I say in the club, isn't it? The more you do it, the more you do it. If you start practicing something like the glads, the more you do them, the more you do them and the more impact ... I think that for me, I think that is because a lot of the stuff in the club is obviously mindfulness-based. Some of it is Law of Attraction, some of it is more hypno stuff but a lot of it, most of it is mindfulness-based and I think that for me is the magic of mindfulness. It has the almost immediate impact but it also has this massive cumulative effect. So the more you do it the more you do it and the more impact it has, which is why I still practice it after six years. It is part and parcel of who I am now so it is not something that I will ever stop.
James : It is that routine thing and the reason why it broke for me probably so easily, because I wasn’t in that routine. Something big happened in a relatively short amount of time after I started doing them consistently and that is why it didn’t stick and I know it will, it’s just I have got to keep doing them and keep doing them.
Jo : Oh I am so nagging you! He has just opened himself up to the constant Jo Howarth nagging, bless him. I already feel sorry for him. I wonder if any of you do too! Do tell us! So anyway I think that’s us for today. Thank you very much for being so honest and open about your experience of the club and I am very glad that it helps you even when you don’t join in properly. If you would like to know any more about the club or you’d like just to have a chat with me about anything because I quite like chatting then comment below or message me or phone me or email me there are a billion ways to get hold of me. James Chisholm and I shall return. Thank you so much for joining us, if you have any questions about the club, please get in touch. Thank you very much, bye!
To find out more about The Happiness Club and to join please go to www.thehappinessclub.co.uk/the-happiness-club/
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