Tag Archives: Happy

Do Your Best Anyway

12 Sep

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa

Clouds in a Cup

27 Mar

We have all been guilty of looking at an object a million times, but never noticing it. We walk past flowers on our way to work, but we are in a hurry, so we only glance over them. We hear a busker playing a moving song on the metro, but we have to finish reading our newspaper, so we block the sound out. We have windows facing west, but we don’t take a moment to look at the sunset, because there is a show to watch on T.V.

In this way, we miss the simple beauty that is constantly around us. We search for meaning in material or virtual things, when real meaning is right outside our doorstep. Trying to find meaning in anything other than our everyday lives is like going on a treasure hunt across the world, with the treasure already in our hands. To notice the preciousness of life simply means shifting our attention to the small things, the tiniest details.

A few days ago, I was drinking tea on the balcony. I do this every day, and this time did not seem to be different to any other time: the view was the same, the sounds were the same, the tea tasted the same. But one thing was different: as I raised the tea to my mouth, I noticed that there were clouds in my cup.

Clouds in a Cup

The sky was reflected in the water! I had never noticed this before, yet this small detail, this minute observation, made a huge difference. I was no longer just gulping my tea down and clearing my mind during my work pause; I was genuinely enjoying being on my balcony, drinking tea and looking at the sky.

Reflection of Clouds in Tea

The Clouds in the Sky

This change in perception transformed my ten-minute break and it transformed the rest of my day; I had seen something new and experienced something original, which put a smile on my face and lifted my mood. It doesn’t take a lot to be happy!

All around us there are things to inspire us, make us smile and fill us with energy. All we have to do is notice the small details and see them for the significant things that they are.

Happy International Women’s Day!

8 Mar

“I have worshipped woman as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice.”
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Today is International Women’s Day. It is a day to celebrate the feminine energy that gives us so much love in life. For men, it is a day to show how much the women in your lives mean to you; for women, it is a day to rejoice the goddess within.

Once, in a yoga/spirituality class, my teacher asked us to write down what it means for us to be a goddess. Here is what being a goddess means to me:

Kindness

Understanding

Care

Nature

Love

Laughter

Dance

Touch

Softness

Lightness

Wisdom

Flow

Water

Earth

Patience

Healing

Air

Song

Rhythm

Movement

Creation

Courage

Faith

Beauty

Humility

Breath

Energy

Life

Peace

Imagination

 

What does being a goddess mean to you?

The Extraordinary Ordinary

23 Jan

“If I died today, I’d be happy with the life I’ve had,” my friend said at the age of eighteen. “I’ve had everything I needed: a good education, a roof over my head and food in my belly”. Her words have stuck with me since. At that age I had never heard anyone be grateful for such ‘basic’ things; most of the young people around me measured their happiness in clothes, in popularity, in money, in parties, in status, in partners. In my school, students avoided being ‘average’ at all costs. Now, this trend is spreading like a disease across the continent.

In Western society, being ‘happy with what you’ve got’ is often interpreted negatively as ‘settling for less’. Leading a life of calm contentment and simple pleasure is considered as lack of ambition, laziness, cowardliness and generally being a bore. We have become obsessed with the idea of ‘a life worth living’, which has come to mean living fast, achieving lots, having wild adventures and ‘trying everything once’. With so many opportunities and options open to us, we have come to believe that the way to enrich our lives is to fill them up with as many things as possible. “Quantity, not quality” seems to be society’s current motto.

The American golfer Walter Hagen famously said: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”. He recognised that we should make the most of life, but his vision of the way in which this can be done is very different to what we witness today. His quote evokes a life of slow and calm movement. The pleasure he portrays of ‘smelling flowers’ is one that represents the simple pleasures of life. Hagen is encouraging us to appreciate the everyday things, and in doing so to turn something ‘average’ into something amazing.

Those who have tried this know that it takes effort, patience and courage to love the smaller things in life. Yet the rewards are much greater. When we realise that even plain objects are beautiful, that even ordinary events are meaningful and that even (so called)  ‘unexpeptional’ people are precious, we learn that everything we experience is a gift. Nothing and no-one is average – everything and everyone is exceptional. When we see the miracle in everything around us, we begin to love everything around us. Calm contentment and simple pleasure become our saviours; they are what give us energy, hope and happiness.

Most of our life is made up of what we call ‘everyday’, ‘mundane’ or ‘routine’ things. Therefore, we may as well make friends with these constant companions. When we stop taking things for granted, we realise that the ordinary is actually quite extraordinary.