Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happiness is Addictive and Contagious

As I sipped my coffee this morning and read through my friends status updates on a networking site I came to the conclusion that happiness is contagious. By pursuing my own happiness and dreams I have in one way or another encouraged others to pursue their own bliss. Be that by trying their hand in a hobby they have long admired or being brave enough to put their written words to paper or screen and releasing it to the world at large.  

I began this journey as a self exploration, to finally after all these years get to know myself like I know others who share my life. For the first time in my long existence to put myself first and foremost in my thoughts and actions, if only for a few brief moments a day or one day a week.  I have explored many different paths during this journey and have many more I plan on trying to see if perhaps they too may be a good fit for my growing awareness of not only myself but as my universe as a whole.

I am still on occasion getting the negative Nilly who swears my interest and passions are in some way taking away from my quality of life.  Those who feel my time would be better spent doing something for them instead of myself. But I have also learned how to turn off those voices in my head that have been a constant reminder that I am not good enough, smart enough or pretty enough to accomplish the goals I have set for myself.

I have learned to step outside my own safety bubble and take risk that before this journey began I never would have been brave enough to pursue. Because I have learned that failure is part of the journey and without it we cannot learn nor can we evolve into better people.

I have also learned that happiness is addictive. I try very hard to work within a set budget or use materials that are readily at hand. But even with using the things I already have to follow my bliss I still find myself daydreaming about the day I can afford bigger and better toys for my passions. Be that photography equipment or kiln for glass bead making.  I have become addicted to that adrenaline rush that often accompanies trying a new thing for the first time and the endorphin rush from completing a project and being proud of that labor and creativity invested.

A bead created by my darling husband during our first attempt at glass bead making and 
chain maille necklace made by me.

 A tree of life made from sterling silver wire with fresh water pearls.

A glass cabochon made during the latest journey of my jewelry passion

Not all things I have tried I have discovered I am suited for. Some things have fallen by the wayside never to be tried again simply because although the experience was fun it wasn't something that peaked my interest or made my heart soar with joy.  I have also evolved within the blissful experience. One often leading to another or morphing into something completely different than the original experience was leading to.

Along my journey's path I have also been blessed to meet some of the most amazing, intelligent, supportive, loving people on the planet who have often stepped forward out of the blue and helped me learn and evolve. And regardless if the passion took or was passing I will always treasure those people and their giving nature to advice and guide me towards more information, advice from others within that sacred circle of knowledge.  I have not only learned about myself I have also learned quiet a bit about humans and their capacity to help another that they are in no way connected with.

I have seen the better side of humanity. Something most of us are never able to see because of the constant flow of negative people and onslaught of negative things in our direct line of vision.  I have been able to see people in a whole new way and vastly improve my original thinking regarding human kind as a species.

I have played with fire ranging from shooting off fireworks, which I have been afraid of in the past, through setting steel wool on fire to capture some amazing photographs.  I have fitted a rifle to my shoulder and shot through the center of a target at a decent distance and learned that you are the master of your own destiny.  I have gone places and experienced things that had I not taken this journey I would have missed out on.  I have learned what is making me happy and what steps I need to make in order to further my journey of self exploration and self discovery.

 A shot done with a long exposure and a dogs laser light.

Fireworks shot taken on the 4rth of July in Nashville, TN

Shot taken with long exposure and single tea light candle

I have eaten foods that I have in the past said I tried it once and it was nasty with a new appreciation and a new outlook.  I have also learned that we are all alike as some core center and regardless of the color of your skin, your country of origin or your upbringing we all have the same basic needs. To love to be needed and to be heard.  I have learned that not everything is as simple as it may first appear and that many skills and talents may go untapped if you do not try and practice and succeed through failure. I have grown a true appreciation for artist and their skills and their knowledge.
I have taken a walk on the wild side and been rewarded with a growing sense of accomplishment and happiness.  I do not regret my experiences even the miserably failed ones simple because they have helped me grow and evolve into the person I am becoming and given me a sense of self respect that no amount of money could have bought.  They have given me something to write about, something to explore and something to think about long after the experience is gone and past.  They have filled an empty vessel with happy memories, exciting moments and ideas of things I would like to try.

My journey has not always been an easy one, at times it has felt like walking through molasses in the dead of winter. My steps slow and calculated and my headway non existent to the untrained eye.  I have had my pitfalls and missteps but in the end I can look back and honestly say I have done that been there and truly lived.

I have found myself growing closer with many in life and using my new talents to enhance their quality of life and their own happiness.  And I have found that I am far more positive person for having taken the chance and tried something new.  I just wanted to share those insights today and hopefully encourage others to begin their own journeys and to step outside that comfortable bubble we all form around us to protect ourselves from outside world. 

As children we come into this world filled with amazement and awe at the simple things in life.  We are open to new ideas and new experiences but with time we shut down. Be that because we are told that we cannot do that or that it is impossible.  I say never lose that sense of wonder that we are all born with. That spark of curiosity that helps us grow and evolve and learn.  A day in your life that you don't learn something new, be that about yourself or your world is a wasted day of your life.  If you cannot afford a traditional education there are always options available to you via independent study, exploration and experimenting.

I hope my words inspire and make all those who read them take a closer look at their own lives.  That they put those safe predictable and ordinary lives under a microscope and look at the things we do that make us happy and the things that don't.  That they decide that life is entirely to short to be miserable and that being asleep at the wheel of their own destiny is no way to live a remarkable life.

I often tell people I have no intention on arriving at my grave in a well preserved body. I plan on sliding in sideways worn out and exhausted and screaming "what a ride". Simply because we are not guaranteed an additional 5 or 10 or 20 years to pursue our dreams. We are only guaranteed right here and right now and it is never to soon to follow your bliss.

Until next time blog buddies, stay safe, stay sane, and be happy.

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