the secret to happiness

 

IMG_0255after my father died, i sought out ways to bring some happiness into my life.  one of the ways that i did this was to remind myself of all the things i was grateful for, big and small.  overall, i found this to be incredibly helpful.  it’s really amazing, the power of the mind, to shift gears and focus on things that one could easily miss if it focuses on the negative.  and getting lost in all the crap going on, it’s so easy to do, isn’t it?  and yet, i realized, if i can pull out of that place, and try and concentrate on the good, my perspective on everything changes.

this “secret to happiness” is certainly something i want to teach my daughter.  and i try.  she has had a gratitude journal for a long time now, and we regularly document in her journal all the things she is grateful for.  lately, i have been feeling like i’m the one who needs to practice this in a strong way.  and tonight, i mentally went through my list of gratitude.  and since i often envision my world through the lens of a camera, i thought i’d share my list here, in images. . .

my job.  it provides health care for me and my daughter, and i am so fortunate to share my love of the outdoors with others.
my job. it provides health care for me and my daughter, and i am so fortunate to share my love of the outdoors with others.
our home.  it's way hot in the summer and it's a fortune to heat in the winter.  but we are so lucky to have such a beautiful place to call home.
our home. it’s way hot in the summer and it’s a fortune to heat in the winter. but we are so lucky to have such an amazing place to call home.
my fellowship.  my recent time in vermont not only challenged me in indescribable ways, but i met so many wonderful people, on a beautiful farm.
my fellowship. my recent time in vermont not only challenged me in indescribable ways, but i met so many wonderful people, on a beautiful farm.
my friends.  near and far, i feel. . .
my friends, near and far.  i feel. . .
. . . beyond blessed to have the strongest support in the world in my friends.
. . . beyond blessed to have the strongest support in the world in my friends.
dogs.  these two have showed me
dogs. these two have showed me
what unconditional love truly is.
what unconditional love truly is.
my godson.  i don't see this perfect child nearly enough, but just thinking of him warms my heart.
my godson. i don’t see this perfect child nearly enough, but just thinking of him warms my heart.
my family's love for my daughter.  even when she is a pain in the ass.
my family’s love for my daughter. even when she is a pain in the ass.
the bond between my child and my friend's children.  it is somewhat mind blowing to see my daughter becoming friends with the children of people that have been close to me for decades.
the bond between my child and my friend’s children. it is somewhat mind blowing to see my daughter becoming friends with the children of people that i have been close to for decades.
the women in my family.
the women in my family.
the men in my family.
the men in my family.
my siblings' significant others.  both my brother and sister are loved and supported by people who are perfect for them
my siblings’ significant others. both my brother and sister are loved and supported by people who are perfect for them
and they have always shown the greatest care and respect for our family.
and they have always shown the greatest care and respect for my little lady.
billy.  even in death, his influence on me and my daughter is a source of strength.
billy. even in death, his influence on me and my daughter is a source of strength.
live music.  i find it so renewing.  and this guy!  he finally sang me my song this weekend.
live music. i find it so renewing. and this guy! he finally sang me my song this weekend.
newfound lake.  heaven on earth.
newfound lake. heaven on earth.

“gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. it turns what we have into enough, and more. it turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. . . it turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ melody beattie

12 Comments on “the secret to happiness

  1. Perspective is everything. Excellent post. Thanks for the reminder : )
    Thinking of Jamaica today! Thanks for that reminder too!!

    • thank you, t. my gratitude practice makes me happy too. now, if i can just maintain it. . . : )

  2. blown away by this post, collen. your words, our images, that quote. love everything and love you for knocking some sense into me today, when i was having a pity-party for myself. xx

    • you are the sweetest, thank you! i can relate to the pity-party, and i’m tired of being there. this is definitely something that makes me feel better, even for a little while. . .

  3. You’ve inspired me to infuse more deliberate gratefulness into my daily life and my parenting. Thank you. I’ll carry your love and goodness of spirit with me as I head back to the other side of the pond.

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