Go to your happy place.
Be good to yourself.
Spend your time with those who deserve you, and you them.
Savour the simple things.
Do what you love.
Live your truth!
Hello everyone and happy 2013. It's been a while since my last post and now Christmas, New Years, and the holidays are all distant memories - 2012 is done and dusted and the new year is now well and truly underway!
This started off as typical early January post. I picked out a few snaps from my holiday for a bit of a new year, new start type message. But when I lined them up I realised that these images represented more than just my holiday; they summed up the simple things that I know make all the difference to my state of mind - perhaps a 'checklist' for happiness.
I thought that the serendipity of these things aligning was worth sharing with you - so here it is! Of course it's not exhaustive, is very light-hearted, and it goes without saying are other things to do and be in order to feel full, well-rounded contentment in life. Don't take me too seriously (I'm not taking myself that way either!) - but I figure that engaging in these little things, as often as you can, absolutely cannot hurt in setting you up for all the weird and wonderful challenges you've set for yourself in 2013. So here goes:
1. Go to your happy place
For me it is the beach (how did you guess!). We try and go once a week even if only for a quick swim and a coffee. If it's possible to get away for a whole weekend this is the dream - a weekend at Straddie leaves you feeling you've had a whole week off, and been a million miles away. Just about cures anything; so this year we're going to put the dates in the calendar and book the barge so that there are no excuses not to go.
2. Be good to yourself
Be good to your body - it's the only one you have! I am a terrible sleeper so for me, setting my body clock to get up early and exercise is the absolute key and everything flows on from there. Eat well and exercise. Know the things that make you tired and unhappy and stressed and avoid them - it's not selfish as it makes everyone around you happier in the end, too!
3. Spend your time with those who deserve you, and you them.
This is simple - and actually, recognising who those people are is often half the battle won. Don't be a sap of people's energy, and don't let people sap yours.
4. Take perspective.
A slight overlap with the first one as getting away is often the best way to do this. But whether it's time out, time away or just an open-minded conversation with a person of different opinions is a good way to put you outside of yourself (and for me, this often means a reality check!)
5. Savour the simple things
For Pip - this is reminding myself how lucky we are to live in this sunny, clean, safe and stunningly beautiful country called Australia. Wherever you are in the world there are always small joys to be had.
6. Do what you love
Surf, draw, paint, play with flowers, cook, re-arrange your linen cupboard..... get your kicks any which way you can, it's not indulgent to weave things you love into your daily life - it's healthy!
7. Live your truth
Since I started in this new direction with my art, people often say how great it is that I am 'living my dream'. Then in a recent conversation with a lovely & smart girl she instead referred to it as my 'truth'.... I decided that this I far preferred! At the risk of me losing you entirely with this wanky and cliched garb - I have to say that I've really started to believe that you can make your life what you want, you just have to recognise it then never let it linger far from your thoughts. Of course this doesn't mean you must to quit your job and buy a vineyard in the south of France - but I think if you can one by one, get rid of the routines, people and things in your life that 'jar' with you; then know, focus on and pick up those that 'mesh' with you, then surely you'll be heading in the right direction - right?
NB - the last picture - yes, that's a little Okanui motif which I painted and had framed for my parents place at the beach for Christmas. This will seem entirely daggy and kitsch to some but to anyone that knows my parents this is so 'them'.... in fact I'll confess that in days gone by, they have been known to stroll down the beach clad in matching Okanuis! But while this painting is a bit of fun for the beach, it's actually more about them doing their own thing and being true to who they are. They don't follow the crowd, they run their own race and are good, honest people. They (and the Okanuis!) remind me that I owe it to myself and to them to be the best and truest version of myself that I can possibly be!
Well. That was longer than I expected and I now feel very preachy and naive more than anything! But hopefully you'll forgive my ramblings and we can pass it off as new year enthusiasm.... and if even one tiny snippet is worth something to someone then that's made my day.
Have a great week. I look forward to seeing more of you all in the year ahead!
All images by Pip Boydell taken on my iPhone.