Are you happy?: Victoria Leith, body percussionist

Your body is a percussive instrument, and body percussion is about hitting and slapping yourself in a rhythmic way. It's rooted in South African culture and was a means of communicating when miners were not allowed to speak to each other. Bodies are like a drum kit. I use my hands, legs and feet, which become the bass drum.

Hitting a drum can raise endorphin levels; using your body as percussion does the same, yet it's a different feeling, because you're more in-tune with the material of your body.

I am happy, truly happy. It doesn't mean I have to go round smiling all day - I still cry, get upset - but there is a balance within that enables me to be happy when the world is spinning off its axis. Detachment and forgiveness are key: a person's unhappiness is often linked to something they choose not to let go of, be it a memory, a fear of the future, an addiction or a daily worry. Be grateful. Let go.

Every day I pray with my husband and 18-month toddler - I ground myself when I say prayers. I eat good food, and I don't drink alcohol - it never brought me happiness. I avoid things that make me feel burdened, accept tests and deal with them with logic and prayer. I watch films that make me feel good. I listen to music that feeds my soul.

There's body percussion, but there's also raw chocolate, the sound of rain, being still, dancing ...

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