I made myself a promise – I need to get back to a space of mindfulness. The aim? To honour myself, to treat myself with kindness and to gift myself with the acknowledgement of simple pleasures at least once a day. I need to do things that make me happy.
Being so tired, I forgot to look after myself. This has been a recurring pattern for me. I become so caught up in busyness I simply do not prioritise me or the things that make me happy.
Last Sunday, on my Peacock Dreaming Facebook page, I asked readers to tell me about what makes them happy. I asked them to share five things they were going to do for for themselves this week to make them smile and feel special?” Some people were able easily list out five simple but indulgent treats whilst others did not know where to start. This surprised me a little. So, I thought, why not dedicate this week’s blog to simple pleasures in the hope that it inspires others.
My week started out well with many moments of joy and gratitude. The act of photographing and acknowledging the deliciousness of the moment helped me to appreciate it more.
The act of writing about a bliss moment in my journal makes it more difficult for me to gloss over the moment. I am forced to really take in and appreciate the pleasure.
Each time I focus on a moment of pleasure, I remember to inhale deeply – slowing my breathing down. I watch the sunrise or savour the flavours of a meal I cooked, or the feeling of the breeze against my skin, and I think to myself, “how lucky am I”. With every simple pleasure that comes my way, I find myself increasingly feeling like the luckiest human being alive. I am a happy person.
Plan Little Happy Surprises & Celebrations For Yourself
By Wednesday I received the reminder that whilst I can plan life treasures, sometimes the busyness gets in the way. Inevitably some treats end up on the ‘back burner’. However, whilst I may not always get a chance to take that lunchtime walk in the sunshine, or curl up with that book, I always have the opportunity and the choice to acknowledge the pleasure in the given moment. I can appreciate the clouds in the sky, the sun, the aroma of freshly mown grass. Within those moments of my day that I can take a micro-break from day-to-day stress. I wrote about this in my first book, Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind. It is my mini holiday from my head!
Below is a snap shot of some of the simple pleasures that my week gifted me. What are you going to do for yourself this week that makes you shine? What makes you happy?
There is nothing more tranquil than a boat on calm water, reflections and dreamy skies. Last Sunday I hauled my arse out of bed at 5am. Pulling on thermals and gumboots and grabbing a coffee, I jumped in the car with the camera and went out to see the sunrise at Mapua Wharf. The tranquility was amazing. The only people awake in the world – just me and a lovely young father taking his little one for a stroll because she would not sleep. We stood there in silence. It was bliss.
Last weekend, I set myself the target of completing some chores within a two hour timeframe with the promise of a reward – a bike ride down to a favourite cafe where I would write in my journal and be served with care.
Melrose House in Nelson always garnishes their plates with freshly cut flowers so I am always sure to be treated with gifts of perfumed roses, camelias, and sprigs of lavender – olfactory heaven.
Pleasure + Pain = Happy
It wasn’t all pretty. The ride home was pretty much uphill and I was shattered when I got home. Despite being utterly exhausted and feeling really old, I tingled all over. I felt alive, happy and energised (which this photo doesn’t really convey!). Sometimes there are pleasures in experiences that initially do not present as being pleasant. Life can be a bit strange like that!
Finding The Motivation In The Mundane
During the week, at work every time I experienced frustration and anger over a situation I had no control over, I thanked the Universe for inspiring me to make a choice that serves me and inspires me. Every time one of these moments occurs, I am one step closer to making a choice that serves me better. Once again, like the exhaustion and physical discomfort from the bike ride, these unpleasant occurrences have a positive side to them. Isn’t that what motivation is about sometimes?
Revelling In Nature
After a particularly hectic day at work, I gifted myself the sunset. I stood there taking in the evening light playing on the clouds.
On another evening, I treated myself to scented candles and a face mask… with a side order of silliness as the clay mask hardened.
With the fire on all day, the hot water cylinder boiled and bubbled over on the roof. I had an aromatherapy bath as a solution to the problem (to avoid further wastage of hot water) *sigh*. As I languished in the scented water, I visualised pale blue healing butterflies of light taking flight to people I know. I imagined the light giving them joy and comfort as the butterfly landed within their hearts. The feeling of contentedness filled my soul.
I luxuriated in puppy cuddles most nights this week with this affectionate boy.
To top my week off, this morning I got up again in the dark and set off on a photographic adventure. I ventured out to a shipwreck in Motueka (not that I initially saw it when I arrived in before sunrise!).
These gems did not stop discomfort or unpleasantness coming through. However, I focussed more on the wonderful moments rather than on the things that troubled me. It took me away from a victim mindset. What more could a girl ask for, ey?
This week, join me in writing about and photographing the joys in your life. Savour them. This ability to take in the simple pleasures within your life – it has transformative powers! It really has. Some really cool opportunities have surfaced this week – but that is a story for another time!
Go make magic happen!
Anne McCormack is a New Zealand-based Photographer, and Spiritual Healing Facilitator and author of Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind. Anne is also the author of the award-winning book, Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Of Flowers (recently awarded the B.R.A.G.Medallion).
Peacock Dreaming: The Wisdom Flowers is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and selected bookstores.
Lovitude: Trying To Calm The Monkey Mind is available from Anne at www.thepeacockdreamingblog.com.
Feature photo (the one at the top of the page) is courtesy of Meditations via Pixabay.