A last-minute ticket to the 2024 WOHASU event in London turned into an unexpected experience for me, one which I will treasure and reflect upon for many years to come. It’s hard to name a favourite speaker of the day, but the one who profoundly struck me was Alla Klymenko, a psychologist and happiness educator.

Here was a woman whose words of encouragement about ‘feeling lost’ I could take seriously since Alla, being a Ukranian woman, understands first-hand, what it is to have her whole world, home, and foundation, entirely changed overnight. And here was a woman whose happiness was not only genuine but also infectious.

Throughout her presentation, I typed furiously into my notes app, all the gems of wisdom she shared with the audience, not wanting to miss a single one. Alla reframed the sense of feeling lost and a lack of purpose into recognising that being lost means you are still moving, that you may be in the right place despite feeling lost, and that you can relearn what is right to trust in your life. Being lost is like losing a connection, but there is joy to be found in gaining new connections. Being lost can be freeing. You get to re-write, to start again, to rediscover (or discover) parts of you, and the world, that were not previously accessible.

While absorbing these soul-quenching words, Alla asked the audience to participate in an exercise. She requested us to form groups of three people, causing the introvert in me to internally groan. Conversing with a stranger?! Please don’t make me! However, despite my typical knee-jerk reaction to these types of scenarios, I found two lovely people to do the exercise with. And, to my surprise (I’m nearly always pleasantly surprised by these exercises) I found the exercise to be enjoyable and incredibly valuable.

The exercise involved acting out a scenario of imagining yourself in five years’ time, and listening to people having a conversation about you. It was a great, practical way to utilise visualisation skills, one which, through speaking it and acting it out, has really cemented that scenario in my mind.

Allas’ presentation left me with a sense of knowing that it’s ok to feel lost at times and that it’s also necessary, but it can also be exciting. I left the event with excitement and energy for not only further exploring my sense of purpose, but also with a feeling of hope that finding purpose isn’t as hard as I’ve always believed it to be.

Find out more about The World Happiness Summit (WOHASU) and add your name to the waiting list for WOHASU 2025
@wohasu #wohasu2024 @karenguggenheim

Hayley Clark is a psychology graduate and current MA student of Spirituality, Ecology, and Mental Health at Buckinghamshire New University.

Share This