The young man taking the Mindfulness class tells us to imagine a happy place. To imagine ourselves in a special, happy place; somewhere we feel relaxed and content.
In an instant I’m there. In my happy place. It is evening, dark with the curtains drawn. There is the hint of wind and rain behind the curtains but that could be a trick of my imagination.
In the kitchen the dishwasher hums gently as it cleans away the remains of a splendid supper. Warm yellow light pools around the room from side lamps, illuminating an ornament, a picture, some books. On a side table are a plate of chocolate biscuits (Hobnobs for preference), a mug of hot chocolate (cream whipped to a froth on top) and a book (embossed leather cover, gold lettering).
I am wearing cosy pyjamas, a snuggly sweater and fluffy slippers. Curled up next to me is a cat – sometimes black, sometimes marmalade, usually fluffy and grey. I stroke his belly and he rewards me with deep, throaty purrs. I slowly sip my chocolate, nibble a biscuit and sink deeper into my chair.
There is a fire – not roaring, gently crackling and glowing. The warmth makes me and the cat sleepy so I put my book down, close my eyes and surrender to the warmth and cosiness.
Somewhere in the distance I can hear voices. My boys are chatting in another room, sorting out some tech problem, putting the world to rights over a motherboard. Soon they will come into the room and change the atmosphere – the cat will jump off the chair to greet them, they will steal a biscuit and turn the main light on. So I must treasure this brief moment of tranquillity and hold it within my imagination ready to appear again when it is needed.
If the Mindfulness bloke is speaking I don’t hear him. I am in my happy place, relaxed and content and in no hurry to leave. I can conjure it up at will, to escape from the world and indulge in this part fantasy, part fact confection. My special happy place.