Showing posts with label Philosophical Thinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philosophical Thinking. Show all posts


Vintage Hankies

Looking at these handkerchiefs all freshly washed and crisply ironed I am reminded of their place throughout history.

There was a time when one would never leave the house without a freshly pressed hankie in one's pocket. A hankie was more than just a tissue, it was seen as an item of fashion and, particularly after the war, an extension of the self.

It is interesting to see the progression of beautiful vintage designs. Did you know that when dresses were somewhat plain and all one colour, a decorative hankie in a bright floral was thought to bring style and elegance ?

What about that hankie that was strategically dropped, only to be retried by an attractive suitor ?

What about the hankie that was handed to a teary lady which was lovingly hand embroidered with initials ?

I have accepted the mission of single handedly bringing the vintage hankie back into the world. LOL

You may remember that I am also on a mission to single handedly bring back the tea towel

and the air pot.

Phew, this world changing stuff is hard work...... any takers for continuing the crusade of bringing back the hankie, the tea-towel and air pot ?


Post Vacation Blues

We arrived back from our annual holiday and for the first few days I had what I coined 'post vacation blues'. Normally I am really happy to go away, but very happy to return home again.
We use our annual holiday as a time for renewal. We make our plan for the upcoming year, talk about our focus and and areas of improvement we will launch into for the upcoming year.

We also totally relax.

I enjoyed watching 'Chocolat' ( must be about the fifth time I have seen it and still love it!)

I enjoyed having lazy breakfasts like this.

and of course there was lots and lots of this.......

I think I got a little too used to having someone come in and change the towels. I even joked about employing some person who I never actually meet who will come in like the tooth fairy and do things while I am not looking. lol

But.... thank goodness that feeling has passed and I am now ready to face the year.
We had family come and stay last week, so it was nice to be home and to enjoy spending time with people you love.

Now it's time to put my 2010 plans into action.


Time For Reflection

Christmas is over for another year. It always seems to be such a big build up and then it is all over.... just like that!

Now, it is time for reflection. The days between Christmas and New Year are a time to examine the past year and look at the year to come.

What did you like about 2009 ? What worked well ? What were the challenges of 2009 and what lessons did you learn from them ?

What are you planning for 2010 ? What are you going to be working towards - in your home, your family, your career, your personal development, your relationships ?

We are not talking about new year's resolutions, we are talking about mapping your way for 2010. The best thing about following a map is that even if you end up on the wrong route, you often discover something fantastic!

As I move into a blogging break, I am wishing you and your family Peace, love and joy in your time of reflection. So.... relax and enjoy and remember...... Your Life Is Your Design - you can make it anything you want it to be!


Busy Bee

Ask anyone how they are at this time of year and the answer will, without a doubt include some reference to how ‘busy’ they are.

Why are we so busy ? Is it because our to-do lists have a deadline? We HAVE to have things organized by December 25th?

I find that my days are busy because I have so many things that I would like to achieve, but many of them are attached to specific time frames so I actually feel a lot busier.
I wouldn’t normally group my whole to do list together, but every time November falls from the calendar I find myself looking at everything that needs to be achieved between then and Christmas.

Sometimes I have things playing on my mind that I can’t physically do anything about until they arrive, like attend end of school functions and Christmas parties – but they are on the ‘thinking of them at 3am’ mental list I tend to keep.

Add to the mental and physical list making the constant input from television, newspapers, radio reminding us of how to have our ‘best Christmas ever’ and how to ‘show someone you REALLY love them’ and ‘buy now’ ‘pay nothing’ ‘buy, buy, BUY, BUY’. AHHHHHH

No wonder they call it the silly season.

Please remind me, when I start down the path that society says I should be on, that I can chose to think differently. I can choose to participate in the frenzy or to step aside.

I choose to cultivate the spirit of Christmas. To think deeply about how I will bring PEACE to my house. How being prepared, planning ahead and thinking about things slowly will let me feel peace and let my family experience my peace.

I will think about how I will bring JOY to my home. Joy comes from a lack of stress. Joy comes from having the time to sit and play card games with your children, a family game of tennis in the front yard or watching a dance concert performed in your lounge room.

I choose to cultivate LOVE. What my family members want from me is not the latest and greatest catalogue item, they want my time and my efforts and my appreciation for what they do and who they are.

So….. the challenge now is working through the “must do” list so that I don’t sabotage my own Christmas Spirit.




At this busy time of the year, I am reminded of sections of the poem 'Desiderata'.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.


Yesterday We Owned The River

When we are cruising around our beautiful river and there is no one else about I always think that the river belongs to us - that {we} own the river. Of course I know it is exactly the opposite, we don't own the river - the river owns us!

I had the camera with me yesterday so I snapped some shots of the old buildings around the banks.

There are lots of old dairy farms on this island. There is also a lot of history around the area, with the river being used as the main transportation link for freight and milk. The whole area was once a bustling hive of activity. Now days, the river winds its way through the valley with most people too busy to even stop and look.

But I look....... and dream of days gone by. Days when being 10 kilometres from town was a long way and could only justify a trip there once a week at most. Days when the river was the centre of life - providing goods from afar and fish, prawns and crabs from it's depths.

You can see that cruising up the river, turning off the motor and drifting in the silence for a while, taking in the sounds of the birds, the lapping of the water on the bank, the friendly dolphins.... would make anyone realise after a while that {we} don't own the river, the {river} owns us!


A Simple Reminder

On Wednesday I spent the day with my youngest son on his school excursion to Timbertown. We have been there before, so it was nice to go with his class group.

Apart from spending the day with my son, it was a very healthy day for me. I felt a reconnection.

I walk into the little cottages and there is something spooky about it. I see the small rooms with perfectly laid out furnishings and hand made quilts on beds and hand stitched lacework on vintage wooden chests of drawers. It is spooky yet it really speaks to me. It is spooky because I can sense the pain of a woman who probably had 10 children with no electricity or running water and worse still... no lap top to record her frustrations and joys!

After the spookiness clears I am drawn to the simpleness. I am drawn to the fact that there are limited personal possessions, which meant that what they had was truly treasured. I am drawn to the idea that their life was made up of the ‘job’ of living in itself.

Every day was about living. It was about preparing meals , growing food, washing clothes, making belongings, educating children. These tasks took all day. I see our lives in contrast where we do the ‘business of living’ in a short period of time. We wash our clothes automatically, have our food delivered and outsource the majority of the other tasks. Then we are left with the rest of the day and week wondering what we should do. We have so much time left over that we introduce jobs, hobbies, socialising, children’s activities and recreational shopping.

As I look around the old style room I imagine that life was so busy through the week from sun up to sun down that by the time Sunday came around it was a well earned ‘day of rest’. How lovely it must have been to know that you worked hard and accomplishment so much all week that you were due for a day of relaxation and socialising. I guess the flip side of that is that it all started again with wash day on Monday.

Of course I know that I am totally romanticising the whole thing and the reality would have been quite harsh ( especially the no lap top bit) but isn’t that was nostalgia is all about ? You take the good and leave the bad.

Back to my home in the 21st century where I have my own version of the pioneer cottage. My focus turns to preparing meals, tending to the garden, baking some treats, composting the food scraps, collecting the eggs, washing the clothes, tidying and caring for my home, making some handmade cards and helping the children.

I am just lucky that I have a digital camera and lap top computer so that we can all share the journey.


A New Space

I have found myself a new space.

I used to have a creative space in the small office that we have. It used to be one of the boys' bedrooms a few years ago and I loved the bright blue walls.

Since being so sick, I found it really difficult to go and work in that space. It only has a small window and I was having trouble seeing the true colours of papers I was working with. I could match two pieces of paper and then view them in different light and see that they were two completely different shades of the one colour.

When I was so sick I was drawn to the light. Wherever the sun was shining, I had to be - curled up under a blanket. As the sun moved around the house I followed it, starting for a couple of hours in my bedroom and then slowly moving around the house until it started to shine through the lounge room window and I could curl up on the lounge.

I decided that I would take over the front bedroom. It used to be my youngest son's room, but he decided to move in with his big brother a few months ago. They had been using this room as a 'games' room. It had lego and toys and their play station and piano keyboard.

On one of the days when I was feeling better I worked like a little ant to swap the rooms over. I would pick up four or five books from one room and shuffle them into the other room and bring four or five books from there back to this room. It was a very slow process, but like a little ant I just kept shuffling along moving things from one room to the other. It took a long time.

Now I have this fabulous spot to work. It is right at the front of the house. I can look out and see the chooks pecking around in the front yard. I see people walking past with their dogs and kids riding their bikes. If you look at the photo you will notice a little rose - that is where the sun peaks over the horizon every morning. I love to sit here and greet it.

I haven't got the room set up exactly the way I want it yet. I have to sit around in here for a while and do a few projects and get the feel for it. Then I will reorganise it to suit me better. It's all about feeling glorious in your space and not feeling cluttered and overwhelmed. I need it to be functional, yet highly motivating and inspiring.

For now, I am loving sitting here with a hot cup of tea and looking out at the world. I love the light. I am so glad that I found this space. I can't believe it has been here all along.

It just goes to show that changes come from within. Sometimes, the things that we are looking for have been here all along.


Slowly.... Methodically.....

Well. It's over. The end of an era. I have been imagining the day for at least the last 25 years.

We sat in the church and I did not look at the coffin. It was nothing to do with the Nanna that I knew and loved. It was somehow foreign. I sat and listened and laughed at the eulogy. It was quite funny. It was beautifully written. The only place I thought I was really going to lose it was when they read My Grandmother's Hands. A simple poem I had penned years before to go in one of my scrapbook albums. But, I held it together. I reminded myself that this is not her....... I have many wonderful memories that are her.... not this...... not this freezing cold church.

::It was strange::

Outside the church we all stood around. We had been told that there would be a private cremation. I was talking to a cousin when suddenly we noticed that processing out of the long driveway was the three clergy, two dressed in white and one dressed in black stepping slowly in front of the hearse as it crept along the long driveway out into the street.

Did anyone even notice that she was sneaking away silently ? We stood there and watched, but didn't say anything to each other. That is the way she wanted it. She would step away slowly, privately, unnoticed and without any fuss.

Driving the seven hours back home I was surprised that I wasn't sadder. Truth is we were all so sick, too sick really to even have ventured so far.

All the way home I thought that when I knew she had decided to go, I would never be able to write another word on A Vision Splendid, nothing more about my Grandmother's ways. But when she died I felt stronger than ever that I had a duty to capture all the good things about her and craft them into my own life to make me a better person and to empower the lives of others.

But..... all in good time.

At present I am sick...... we are all sick. We are slow and steady. Even though i am not 'sad' as such, I think it is part of the realisation and the mourning.

I go about my tasks very slowly...... methodically....... I haven't been anywhere, or spoken to anyone. I am practicing a little self preservation because, as my sister told me... the cogs of life have turned. I feel as thought we have all stepped up one place in the generations. My children have become who I was, I am now my mother and my mother steps fully into her role as Grandmother. The wheels of life turn.

So, for as long as required, I am going slow. I am surrounding my self in nurture - wherever I may find it. So far I have found comfort in lovely meals, hot baths and of course...... coloured paper. I have been making some beautiful cards.... there is something very healing about cutting out a perfectly stamped pink flower.

So...... for now......... I take things as slowly as required.


To Everything There Is A Season

My Nanna
15th July 1907 - 1st July 2009

To everything..............there is a season

A time for every purpose under the sun.

A time to be born and a time to die

A time to sow and a time to reap

A time to kill and a time to heal

A time to weep and a time to laugh

A time to mourn and a time to dance

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing

A Time to lose and a time to seek

A time to rend and a time to sew

A time to keep silent and a time to speak

A time to love and a time to hate

A time for war and a time for peace

Now.... it is my time to mourn..............I hope that soon it will be my time for peace.


A Woman's Work

These are some shots I took from a display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. I have been there a couple of times before and was glad to see that this display was still there. I love this display because it reminds me so much of my other Nanna's house. Looking at it is almost a step back in time for me. It reminds me of a time when things were so simple. I look at these photos and think about the women who spent many hours in these types of kitchens.

Meal preparation and cleaning was a big part of their day. There were no microwave ovens or online pizza ordering.

Depending on which source you read, some women fought to escape from the prison of the home. They longed for a life that recognised them as individuals and beings that were capable of so much more than being "just" a mother and housekeeper.

I love that here I am in the 21st century at the age of 36 and already have had two professional careers ( lawyer and school teacher). I love that the above picture of me captures the present and the past. I love that I here I am with the world as my oyster knowing that I can do and be anything I want to be .... and yet, I write a blog justifying my choice to be "just" a mother and "just" a housekeeper.
...... I wonder what the 1940s woman would have thought of me................


More Radio

Yesterday I was contact by the lovely Fiona from ABC Mid North Coast to do another radio interview.

This time the topic was mobiles, computer and TVs in bedrooms of very young children. Recent statistics show children as young as four having their own phones, texting friends and interrupting sleep patterns because of the need to stay connected. ( What the....? ) We also spoke about the difficulties and dangers of kids having unsupervised access to computers and televisions.

I believe that there are no rules when it comes to parenting. What may seem right for one family may be unsuitable for another. Does an eight year old need a mobile phone ? My first thought was "of course not", but I am sure that if my child was in a shared parenting arrangement, for example, then further consideration would be given.

I guess the issue is not so much the phones or the computers/televisions in bedrooms it is the parenting that goes with. Using television/computer games as a babysitter or buying a mobile phone because of a nagging child, or an attempt to keep up with a peer group seems to say more about parenting than about the phone or computer to me.

Personally, I limit access to particular things because I think childhood is sacred! There is plenty of time to grow up and I certainly don't want to hurry the process. I don't want a tv programme (that airs in a 'family' time slot of 7pm) highlighting issues of divorce, drug taking, teen pregnancy, suicide, domestic violence to be seen by my children at this stage. There will be so much exposure to those themes in 'real' life before too much longer for them, that I don't think they need to experience a 'simulated' version of the issues just yet! I will try and hold out a little longer.

Having said that, my strategy is more 'distraction' than anything else. I don't 'ban' things, I just subtly offer alternatives or make other things seem more attractive.

I am sure as my boys get older this will become harder and harder, but for now, I will extend the joys of childhood for as long as possible.


Earth Hour - A Step Back In Time

Last night we had dinner with some friends to celebrate a birthday. It co-incided with Earth Hour, a now annual event where participants are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour from 8.30pm as in indication of support and to raise awareness of global climatic concerns.

Our boys knew all about Earth Hour because they had been discussing it at school. They packed torches to take with them and I packed a few extra candles, not sure what our hosts would have.
The kids ( there were nine of them) were watching a movie, playing the playstation and generally doing modern day kid things! When it was time to turn the lights out, however, out came the torches and games of spotlight and spooks started, as well as going out to look for flying foxes ( bats) and jumping on the trampoline with torches ( to the tune of squeals of delight). After that they came in and played the piano and we all commented on how lovely it was. Two of the boys in particular play really well and we enjoyed their Pachobel's Canon duet.

The grown ups continued their dinner party by candlelight and it was all very lovely. When the birthday cake came out we joked about not blowing the candles out because we needed the extra light until 9.30pm.

It always surprises me that as soon as our modern convenience is removed it doesn't take long before we revert back to our natural ways. We adjust very quickly to the inconvenience. The kids suddenly rely on their imaginations and have the greatest fun, the grown ups have a lovely night because of the change in mood or ambiance brought about by the softer lighting.

....and of course, as Pachabel's Cannon was playing in the background, it was a moment of joy when someone said ' you know, this is what it would have been like in the olden days'......... joy of joys!


Time To Evaluate

It has been 9 months since I threw in my job as a solicitor and started living a more simple and deliberate life. Today I was re-reading the entry from June last year that I wrote regarding the decision.

I guess this means it is time to put my money ( or lack of it) where my mouth is and commence the experiment. Can a thoroughly modern mum live freely in a modern world. Can she produce food? Can she cook from scratch? Can she knit socks(gulp!)? Can she raise chooks for eggs? Can she learn to sew properly (gulp!) and........ can she still afford to buy the occasional vanilla latte on skim milk that has become her signature coffee ?
I believe that my user name "BusyWoman" is about to become an extremely accurate assessment of the days to come. I look forward to it with a sick sense of excitement. I hope you will stick around for the journey.

Time for an evaluation.......

I haven't been blogging as much lately about the usual topics because it seems that I have those things under control and blogging about them again seems somewhat repetitive. I haven't even been reading many simple living blogs because I have found them to be following the same themes all the time. Is there only so much one can write about the topic before there is nothing new to say and day in day out it is just the same ? I hope not!! I am always looking for a new challenge.

You see, in June last year I was worried about whether or not we could produce our own food, whereas today I am in the habit of going and grabbing things out of the garden as required, especially things like herbs and shallots which are generally an after thought on the shopping list. The thing we need to improve on is succession or staggering the planting so we don't have thousands of vegies harvest then nothing for the next two months.

Cooking From Scratch..... another thing that we have under control. It seems so natural now to bake bread, make pasta or try new things like the challah loaf.

Chooks...... another normal part of the day now to get up and feed them and talk to them and in return they fill the fridge to overflowing with their beautiful eggs. We certainly need to give away or sell some more because one fell out when I opened the fridge door yesterday! lol

On the knitting front..... well........ my excuse is that knitting is a winter thing and I don't sit down long enough in the summer months to be able to do it! ( are you convinced?) Ask me again in the winter months how I am going.

Even our house seems to be slowly falling in to line. I like a clean crisp and clutter free environment, it's just that it usually only stays that way for about 35 minutes! Over the months we have thrown out more and more "stuff" which makes things a lot easier to keep clean. Once I started doing yoga I became very conscious of our living environment. It's hard to relax and do yoga poses with a clear mind when you are staring at a basket of ironing! lol I believe that your home environment has a HUGE impact on your mental well being. It is much easier to relax and feel at peace in an uncluttered space.

There are still a couple of projects I want to do in this department. Tackling the filing cabinet is one of these jobs. time to clean out some old paperwork and revamp the file headings. Can you out your hand on any piece of paper or financial record in less than thirty seconds or do you have to go digging? My aim is to be the thirty second girl!

So.... with the food gardening, cooking, home management and even the cash budget under control is time now to move towards looking after myself personally. Time to work on regaining my personal health and becoming more active and fit. I don't mean a " lose 30kg in 3 weeks" type of thing, I mean adopting a more healthy approach to eating, drinking and exercise for no other reason than to feel great! That includes looking after my skin, hair, nails etc and doing the best with my god given self, in a way that still reflects my values for an old fashioned approach ( meaning I won't be getting botox injections for a wrinkle free face lol! )

I have been really inspired recently by Libby ( ) who blogs in her fitness section with tremendous honesty about her weight loss journey. I love the way she shares her ups and downs, good days and bad days. She gives me so much motivation !

So, my question to you all is this........ If you're reading this blog you obviously have an interest in simple living. How would you rate your health? Do you nurture your body the way you nurture your garden? Do you feel healthy and happy and energised? Are there changes you would like to make about the way you look after yourself ?

Are you interested in following a journey to health, the simple, frugal way ? No group programmes, no personal trainers, no membership fees and no hype? I wonder if it can be done. let me know if you would like to join me on the journey.


A Flash of Inspiration

Sitting in the library last week I was reading through some magazines. The 'special' magazines that you can't borrow. You have to sit there, in the quiet air conditioned comfort and read them. Pure luxury.

I came across an article in a Yoga magazine. It was the story of a man who was stressed to the eyeballs and suffered a nervous breakdown. With encouragement from his wife he enrolled in a yoga class to learn to breath and relax.

He had a list of things that he believes reduce stress and create energy in our lives. The list was so wonderful that I had to pull out a little notebook and scribble it down.

The things I liked from the list were as follows:


- moderation



- calmness

- composure

- equanimity

- honesty

- discipline

- non-violence

- joy

- integrity

- fairness

- simplicity

- gratitude

- patience

- generosity

* Monitor your sensory input - it impacts on you mentally and emotionally. Turn off noise, turn on music that is calming, soothing and uplifting.

*get outside and soak up the benefits of fresh air, nature, sunsets, breezes

*practice yoga and meditation

* set goals for health and life

* know yourself - consider your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and character traits before agreeing to do anything.

* increase your joy - do things that bring you enjoyment because it increases your serotonin levels.

*Cultivate gratitude - compared to others in this world we live a life full of abundance

* Use incense and aromatherapy to stimulate the senses

* Balance is the key: have interests in many areas - sport, leisure, family, community. Take up hobbies and external interests that prevent dwelling on the self.



On Monday I was down in Sydney again and had the opportunity to visit the Maritime Museum. We were lucky enough to be able to board a replica of The Endeavour, the ship of Captain James Cook who is credited with mapping much of the southern hemisphere around the 1770s.

As children in Australia we were taught for many years that Captain Cook "discovered" Australia in January of 1770. Our history books completely missed the fact that the land was already inhabited by people who had lived here for thousands of years and has seen many explorers, be they Dutch or Portuguese, traveling in the area. I was interested to read in Cook's journal that he regarded the native people as living a better way of life in the natural surroundings than the Europeans of the time. Unfortunately his respectful view was not to be followed as history progressed.

Even though the ship was a replica, it was a totally moving experience. The cabins of Cook and Joseph Banks ( a botanist travelling with him) were so small yet they had all of life's necessaries. A bed, a small writing desk, a shelf, hooks for clothing, and a chest into which all their belongings fit.

The feeling I had when I was on the ship reminded me of the sense of simple satisfaction that I often get when visiting historic houses and museums. They had so little, yet they had everything that was needed for life. One plate, one bowl, one pair of boots. To read more about it you can visit here and look at the self guided tour.

Then, of course, my mind starts racing..... what if everything that I personally owned was to fit into a beautiful sea chest ? How would it change what I brought into my life ? I would only be able to keep things that were sturdy, long lasting or extremely precious! How many 'things' have I brought into my life and house which do not fit into these categories?
There is such a sense of peace inside me when I think of having less.....maybe John Lennon was right......Imagine no possessions................


Turning The Page...

Time to hang up my antlers for another year.

BlinkBlink... that was Christmas and New Year. Gone so quickly. Full of fun and family!

Now it's time to turn the page, crease down the margin on a beautiful new notepad and think about today forward. Isn't it funny that we have to wait for some externally imposed date to be able to start afresh. Truth is, every day is a new beginning!

We arrived home yesterday from our holiday up north. Every week throughout the year we save our pennies in order to go and have a lovely relaxing holiday after the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. It is so nice to just do nothing! ( except swim, play tennis, drink chardonnay on the balcony at night!)

I return, refreshed and ready to continue on this journey of simplicity. I realised how much we actually love what we are doing when within an hour of arriving home we were mowing lawns and digging half a bucket of potatoes out of the ground. In just 9 days of being away we have cucumbers the size of drain pipes!

I have so much to write about. All that time lazing around, reading greats books filled my head with so many thoughts that I had to start a notepad. I will work through it with some posts over the next few weeks.
But for now.... just logging on to say welcome to new subscribers and welcome back to regular readers. I look forward to chatting with you throughout 2009!


The Future's So Bright.........

Yesterday I was chatting to a lady who I haven't seen for a while. She asked me what I had been doing since I left my paid job.

I started to tell her that the time had actually flown by really quickly and I had this real sense of not achieving as much as I had hoped to with all my suddenly found extra time.

I had hoped that I was going to make some 'real headway' in my life! I told her that I guess I had done 'a few things', like built garden beds and started growing all sorts of different vegetables and herbs which has now paid off in that we have lots of things to eat in the garden.

 I had also began making lots of things from scratch including bread, water crackers, dips, cakes, biscuits and then other things like soap, cordial and cleaning products.

I said we were getting closer to finishing off the chook house and I had been able to do extra activities with the boys which I really enjoy.

I have been writing on my website, talking on local radio about the stop food waste campaign and doing interviews with journalists. I had got all the washing/ironing under control and was enjoying going to aqua aerobics , I had also started teaching album making classes from my home and had been doing some photo restorations. I told her that I had also just about finished a book about my Grandmothers wisdom applied to my modern life.

WoW! then I said, ' well, when I put it in a list like that it certainly does sound as though I am getting somewhere'.

Then I stopped. and I thought. and thought. Yes, it has been a while now since I left 'work' and when I look back at the wake behind me, there has been a lot happening.

It's just that most of the tasks I do on a day to day basis are quite repetitive and are sometimes taken for granted. When I look, however, at the beautiful tomatoes that are growing on the bush and know that we started them from a tiny seed, I can see how far we have come..... and how bright our future really is.


Practice Gratitude.....

Gratitude: A sense or feeling of thankfulness.

I have been thinking of things to put on my gratitude list so I can remind myself every day how truly wonderful my life is. (especially when I think it is not!)

What are you thankful for ?

 I love this photo I took. Isn't nature just a miracle in itself ?


You are Already Happy !

Advertisers would like us to believe that happiness is 'out there' somewhere and that if you buy products, happiness will come with them.

Sure, there is a certain degree of happiness when you buy something new. As you know, I have a stationery obsession, so nothing excites me more than a new notepad with matching pen! The sad thing, however, is that like any drug, the happiness wears off and needs to be topped up by another purchase. I call this 'synthetic happiness'.

I call true happiness JOY. I often say I find joy, I chase joy. It is a difficult concept to define. It is a little buzz that I get. Joy is in the weirdest places. Sometimes I feel it when I cup a little tomato growing on a bush. Sometimes I feel it when my corn seeds poke their heads up out of the dirt. Other times I feel it when I watch my sons play outside. Sometimes I feel it when I produce a hand crocheted dishcloth that is, let's say, a little wonky!
This sort of happiness comes from inside. It is far richer and far deeper than synthetic happiness.
The trick to finding this sort of joy is firstly to go looking for it. Ponder the question - what gives me joy ? It could be something so trivial, it doesn't matter. When you find something, take note of the little buzz feeling that happens when you experience that joy. Now seek out other things that bring you joy. I call this chasing my joy. Once you know the buzz feeling you will chase more and more of it.
Before you know it, you will be finding joy in the most unusual places! You will soon learn that synthetic joy just won't cut it anymore!
You will find that this kind of happiness is inside you. It has always been there. It is just that we pile so many 'things' on top of it that we can't hear it's little buzz. We pile on television blaring in the background, kids fighting, deadlines to meet, eating on the run, bills to pay, places to be,blood pressure problems, running here, running there, running late!
As we simplify our lives we peel off all those things that are piling up on us. We plan our meals to bring peace to meal times, we plan ahead so we don't race around and run late, we turn the TV off and talk to each other. We budget well to take the financial pressure off. We take the time out to walk with our partner for our health and the health of our relationship.
Little by little we peel off the layers, and there, underneath in a very quiet voice is JOY - buzzing away.
What brings you joy ? Please do share !
PS - the photo above is number one son laying in the grass in Bathurst NSW - now that brings me joy !

April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

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