DELIA MONK: Bringing the sunshine factor to home and work
When I first met my husband I had this overwhelming sensation of yellow and blue. When he proposed I had to answer all these questions. One of the questions was, ‘what colour is our relationship?’ I wrote yellow and blue because we connected with the sky and the ocean. He also had to answer the same questions.
Read on to find out what Delia’s husband wrote, how colour impacts her life on the Maresme coast, and what happiness looks like for her.
What is happiness for you?
For me, I think happiness is when I am completely consumed in a moment. It's when I’m not worrying about what's happening next, what's going to happen, or what might happen. Just being totally present in a moment. That moment can simply be having a cuddle with my daughter. This morning I was trying to do some workouts and she climbed on top of me, gave me the most amazing cuddle and, in that single moment, that was complete happiness for me.
Sheer happiness is when my entire soul just sings with whatever is going on in that moment. It can be a picnic on the beach with somebody I love. It can be when I get a new contract come through that reassures me that my career’s going in the right direction. It can be laughing so hard that I want to cry. It’s simply when I'm completely consumed by the present moment.
Do you have a quick fix to feeling happier in a low moment?
Sometimes I think you need to embrace the low moments to have the high moments. I always remember somebody saying to me that life is like a roller coaster and if you don't have the lows, you can't have the highs. I think I am lucky as I'm a fairly positive and happy person. But when I do have a low moment, I'm actually okay sinking into it, just feeling a bit down and maybe having a little cry. I mean, can you really feel happiness if you can never feel sadness?
Thinking about those moments of just feeling a bit low, knowing that nothing major is going on in your life but you’re just feeling a bit down in the dumps for some reason; this is when I turn to exercise. I do find this helps me. Just putting on my trainers and going for a run, or being in nature and going horseriding, or a walk by the ocean. This helps me be more reflective, which definitely cheers me up. And if all that fails, is actually is there anything that a bottle of wine with good friends can't fix?
What is missing from your life that you believe would make you happier?
I feel really lucky and can put my hand on my heart and say that there's nothing missing in my life at the moment that would make me happier. I'm a really big believer in not constantly striving for something else to make you happier, but trying to find happiness with your lot. If you'd have asked me this years ago, I would have perhaps said that having a child would make me happier. Or, knowing I wanted to have a child but didn't know if I could, I might have said my friends and family in the UK because when I first moved here to Barcelona I didn't have a lot of really good friends. It took time to make good friends but now I feel like I've got such a wicked network of people here I'm okay with the fact that I live away. I feel very lucky that we've got technology on WhatsApp and online that makes them feel down the road when they're not.
And I feel that if I truly want something then I’m not afraid to go after it. I think that is probably a big part of my happiness; knowing that I have tried. Thinking about wanting to move to Barcelona. I thought, ‘okay, well, I'm gonna do it.’ I don't really have any regrets. I’ve basically tried to make myself happy by going after the things that I really want in life.
What would you single out as the happiest time of your life?
Oh, an emotional one, but I think the happiest time of my life would be the birth of my daughter. I had a really positive birth experience. Carrying this little basketball around for nine months and then finally getting to meet her… it was magical. And probably more magical on reflection than in the moment, because in the moment I was transported to another world. And I remember the days afterwards, when we were in the hospital, it felt like being in a cocoon. Only the three of us in the world. It was just this really raw happiness and such hope for this small, tiny little baby. Nothing but good. Babies are 100% good, aren’t they?! There's this idea of a fresh start, of hope and aspiration, and of the future and the joy that could bring. It is definitely the most magical, magical, magical moment and happiest moment of my life. Plus, I felt like a trojan or gladiator after giving birth. I think those natural endorphins after giving birth put me right up on a natural love high. I was completely drunk on oxytocin!
Does colour have an impact on you?
Colour has a massive impact on my life. I feel that I think in colours. When I first met my husband I had this overwhelming sensation of yellow and blue. When he proposed to me, well in the year leading up to the proposal, I had to answer all these questions. One of the questions was, ‘what colour is our relationship?’ I had to write the answers on a piece of paper and put them in an envelope. I wrote yellow and blue because we connected with the sky and the ocean. In fact, our third date was on paddleboards in the ocean. We live by the beach so when we look out the window you can just see the sky and the ocean. But also yellow, because yellow for me is sunshine, positivity, energy, and happiness. And that was how I felt when I was with him. He also had to answer the same questions. When we finally opened and read our answers his answer was green, because it's the colour you get when you mix yellow and blue. Amazing, heh! So colour does have an impact on my life. Even a grey sky sometimes fills me with anxiety but a blue sky and vibrant greens will make me feel happy. And that's basically why I moved to Spain; Spain's more colourful than the UK.
How do you use colour in your life?
I use splashes of colour all over my house. We live in a beach house and it's a light and breezy duplex with white walls and white linen curtains. But then I have splashes of colour absolutely everywhere. A mustard armchair, a blue velvet blanket. I simply try to inject splashes of colour everywhere because it makes me feel really happy. Also when talking about my branding as a copywriter, colour was such an important part of my visual branding. It was really important for me to portray not just my business but me as well. I also wanted it to talk to the clients that I hope to attract, and I believed that colour could do that. Yellow and blue as my colours. Partly because of the story I told you earlier but also I feel very connected to those colours for other reasons. They reflect me and how I want to be seen in the online business world. So everything, from my house to my visual branding, it’s all about colour.
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