Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Focus on the Good!

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." - Denis Waitley

I found this quote online somewhere, and it really stuck with me. It's quite fitting since I'm always thinking about happiness and the amount of times it fluctuates in my life. Throughout the month. Throughout the week. Throughout the day. I have come to realize that just because one can feel a whole lot of other emotions that are a far cry from anything remotely close to being called happy, that doesn't mean that the pursuit of happiness has to be put on the back burner. Society has molded us into a type of people that far too easily allows the negative in our lives to overwhelm and hinder our overall wellbeing. The news. Expectations from our parents and our career goals. We allow stress and anxiety to conquer us in a swift second. Our jobs. Our rent. Our commutes. Our relationships that have gone sour. New relationships that make us walk on eggshells. Just choosing a damn place for dinner. Yes, all these things get the best of me sometimes, but not as often as they used to. And it wasn't a mindset that changed overnight. It was actually something I worked towards. I worked to regularly remind myself to stay conscious of my feelings, and I forced myself to keep tabs on the positive side of things for a change instead. Slowly over time, it got easier to see things on the brighter side. And I always try to remind my friends and family the same thing. I want to enjoy and experience the best parts of the people in my life, as I hope they are able to enjoy and experience the best parts of me. It just makes sense. But it isn't always an easy task. So now allow me to make some lists.

Things that make me unhappy:

Crowded subways
Unkind actions
Hurtful words
Children crying
Shoes that make my feet hurt
Horrible bosses
Stray animals
Douchebag guys
Single-minded people
People who never smile
War and death
Paper cuts
Low self-confidence

Things that make my happy:

My family and friends
A really spectacular hamburger
The Manhattan skyline
Live music
Dance parties on rooftops
Skype sessions with Mom and Dad
Peach nail polish
Choker necklaces
Cheap Chinatown massages
Belgian beer
Colorful flowers
Pictures of Cuba
Sheer cotton peasant blouses
Music Festivals
Bike riding
The feeling of sand beneath my feet

Now that I look back on this list, I can see that a lot of these things on the lists are tangible and material. This quote is a reminder that despite the things we literally have in our hands (or don't), it can never measure up to the experiences that are impressionable on us for far longer than a quick moment, or a trip to the shopping mall for that matter. I have a place to live. I have pretty clothes to put on my body. I have money to fill my belly with wonderful things. I have access to a lot of THINGS. Which is nice, but it's not what is the source of my happiness and inspirations. Especially since I didn't always have some of these things. The true source of happiness I have come to find, comes from the people who have made an impression on my soul and life decisions. The people I love unconditionally and have gotten to know personally. Who have gone through the ups and downs with me, and have reflected on them with me. Those who I will be paving my future with and looking back on where we came from with fond feelings of both heartache and joy. Those who have joined me on travels to wonderful places and have made memories to laugh and cry about forever and ever. Those who make me want to smile more, follow my heart, do better and go above and beyond the ordinary. 

When something has me feeling down, irritated, annoyed, unhappy, nervous, lacking in confidence, bored, like I'm missing out or just completely off balance, I just think of these people and these experiences and the feeling of love that I get from them on a daily basis, and everything else fades. Even on my shittiest days full of long subway rides and obnoxious people and heavy air. Only the good remains, and the good is what keeps me going. The literal things don't matter. It's spiritual connections and the gratefulness for the strength if these connections. I hope these are the types of good things that keep you going, too. 

In the words of my favorite girl band, First Aid Kit, "And it's one life, and it's this life, and it's beautiful." 


Randi Zimman said...

I really love this post. I used to reflect on things like this a lot. This was a great reminder to me to keep it up. and LOL to Boy Meets World. That put a huge smile on my face! Haha Thank you for brightening my day and inspiring me!
Xo, Randi

Liz Lauren said...

it's so easy to get wrapped up in the things that make you unhappy or have hurt you -- but focusing on the good will get you so much further


Juliette Laura said...

This is just what I needed today! I am going to make myself some lists and get all the perspective I need. Also... First Aid Kit... my fave! LITERALLY no word of a lie, listening to them now. So good!


Rach Dulay said...

This is very inspirational! Sometimes reflecting on things can get you mind straight and helps to think positive!


aurora said...

Keep it up my beloved writer you are amazing.

AVY said...

I have yet to find those people but when I do it will be wonderful.

/ Avy

Stephanie said...

Great inspo post, love the pics!



Rachel said...

Girl, the way you see life is super inspiring. ALWAYS! Please don't stop doing posts like this :)



Rachel Ang said...

Another perfect and inspiring post!!!

Rachel x

Thania Peck said...

Wow D, this was really beautiful. Evoked so many emotions in my minds eyes. You are such an inspiration and I love you so much! <3

Rasmus Korra said...

I am an event photographer, I love halls in Los Angeles, and I will revisit this venue in a heartbeat. They have really great staff and pretty decent drinks. Their halls and rooms are absolutely gorgeous.

FashionablySparkly said...

I found this very inspiring especially the quote! :) by the way, I love the photo of Boy Meets World it brings me back good memories :)

Fashionably Sparkly