The Happiness Explorer

How up the path of self-discovery

Reading time: 3 minutes

In the quest for a flawless life, one often grapples with the concept of creating an ideal existence. However, as we explore this thought-provoking journey together, we must ponder whether perfection is achievable or if the true essence lies in embracing the beautiful chaos and mastering the art of tidying up our own mess.

For those familiar with my authentic approach, I am not here to sell you a dream life. Today, I am delving into a raw, personal story: a narrative of my struggles from the past winter, whilst holidaying in Bali for Christmas, a tale that revolves around the transformative process of turning loneliness into deep satisfaction.

The intention behind my getaway was to escape the anticipated pain of the season, particularly after the disastrous Christmas experience of the previous year. Solo parenting and grief had thrust me deep into the trenches, and facing the first Christmas without my son, I sought distraction from the impending pain.

However, life, as unpredictable as ever, had other plans for me, and my attempt to escape reality became a futile endeavour. Life, I realised, is messy, and unless we learn to tidy up our inner world, running away or distracting ourselves becomes an endless cycle.

Arriving in Bali on December 23rd, jet lagged and battling a winter virus, I was engulfed by a wave of loneliness just in time for the 25th. This created a cocktail of self-loathing that persisted for six long days (half the time of my holiday). Despite trying various strategies, I found myself unable to engage in activities as simple as journaling; a single sentence was the extent of my output for the entire week — until a profound conversation with my friend altered the course of my experience.


My friend and I shared our vulnerabilities, acknowledging the parts of ourselves that sometimes feel a bit crazy. The key, I discovered, lies in not resisting what we feel. Fearful of the darkness within, I initially struggled to accept the untamed, beastly emotions that threatened to consume me.

However, this challenging experience brought forth a profound realisation — the depths of self-discovery lie within moments of intense emotion and vulnerability. We all feel a little crazy and out of control at times, and the moment we release the need for perfection, embracing life despite its deviations, we rediscover ourselves.

Tracing the familiarity of my loneliness back to childhood, I recognised its roots in a young girl who would steal food to distract herself from loneliness. It wasn't about physical solitude; I was surrounded by amazing friends. It was about a deeper level of self-acceptance.

The journey of self-discovery posed questions: Could I accept myself even when feeling crazy? Could I embrace the chaos within? Could I love myself when my inner world seemed daunting? The resounding answer was a triumphant "Hell Yes!” This level of acceptance, I realised, is where bliss finds you, and where you find God.

Holding oneself in the darkest spaces, showering them with love and acceptance, transforms a cocktail of self-loathing into a tsunami of inner power. So, if past struggles have left you feeling a bit crazy or in a mess, know that there's a wealth of self-discovery waiting for you in these moments.

If you want to activate your highest success, happiness and love, come say hi to Lydia Kimmerling aka The Happiness Explorer ( on Instagram @lydiakimmerling where she shares daily wisdom to help you live a deeply fulfilling life.



Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.