Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happiness is Smaller Than You Think

9" x 12" x 1.5"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

I'm currently reading "Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy" by Richard O'Connor, Ph.D. Slowly but surely, I make it through a few pages every night before my eyes close from the sheer exhaustion of moving our household and raising three children under four. This book's philosophical approach to happiness and its message of being mindful is so simple, yet so easily forgotten. The author offers hope that we can somehow rewire our brains to be mindful, and by doing so experience a heightened state of happiness.

Although I feel so blessed to have the life and the family that I do, I am always restless, always searching for something. Does this mean I am unhappy? I don't think so, but I long for an inner peace that I feel often eludes me. Maybe it's just the chaotic state of life my right now, a season that will pass. I feel glimpses of the calm when I practice yoga, so I know it's there within reach. As an artist, I feel some of my most significant work has come out of painful or difficult experiences. Is it harder for me to be "happy" because I am genetically wired to find the difficulty in each situation that leads me to create, to process turmoil into my art? As I try to be more mindful and more present, I look at all the beauty in life, especially my children, and I can't help but smile as I watch them every day. To them, life is so simple, so full of wonder. I think they're onto something...

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