When happiness happens!


Big Bear retreat

The other day we were hiking somewhere and gazing at the beauty that is nature. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is real life. Real people, real work, real issues but still, this. These experiences constantly amaze me. People always said that your attitude is the only thing you can change and that gratitude is the best attitude. These are things I used to say to my students along with choose positive and make positive decisions. Life is interesting. Those same things I once said to my students and strongly believed have become a focal point. Experience truly is the best teacher.

Nature smiles

As we wandered through the dirt and gravel paths catching glimpses of the water through the trees, I realized what was happening. Happiness was happening. Some years ago the term ‘staycation’ seemed to catch on. Whether it was the recession, inability to travel, or whatever, people floated it around offices and boardrooms sharing their ideas for their family ‘staycation’. I hate to admit it, but even I used the term once or twice. When planning for a larger scale holiday later in the year, we used a few days off to stay put and enjoy exactly where it is we lived. It’s always fun to play ‘tourist’ in your own town. Letting your guard down and being in the moment as you would if you went somewhere else changes your perspective of your surroundings. The thing is, we didn’t want a staycation for a short time. We wanted to find a way to grab that mindset and outlook and apply it to the every day. We didn’t want to call it a ‘staycation’, we wanted to call it ‘life’.

the world is filled with color!

It’s not always an easy feat. Sometimes it’s getting outside for a walk after a long day. Sometimes it’s making your own meals for awhile to relish the experience when you do go out. Sometimes it’s taking advantage of free events nearby or enjoying the benefits of nature at a beach, park, trail or mountain. Sometimes it’s taking that lesson or class to tackle something new. Sometimes it’s packing a lunch and snacks and heading out for picnic wherever you choose to stop.

checking out the sea

Being in a place where the weather agrees with me is definitely helpful, but, for all it’s not always necessary. Mostly, it’s a mindset that life is meant to be lived. It’s not about how much money something costs or who can do something best, it’s being in the moment and doing your best to enjoy it. That travel mindset where even on a rainy day of your holiday you’ll keep your ‘schedule’ or continue to explore no matter what. That can-do attitude is crucial. Go outside. Seize the day. Find your smile. Make happiness happen. I promise, you won’t regret it.

at the beach



3 responses »

  1. Agreed!

    The world is a fabulous, enormous, interesting place to visit but, there’s no place like home. “There’s no place like home.”

    It’s wonderful to visit the museums of Europe, to study the Masters, but this summer, I did it right here. I saw the “real” Woman in Gold,” after seeing the movie. She’s in the Neue Gallerie in NYC. Painted by Gustav Klimt, she’s a work of art that took my breath away! The gallery was an experience unto itself. I’ve never been there, so I investigated every nook and cranny. She kept drawing me back into her exhibition room — three times! I couldn’t help myself. The gold was applied so beautifully, so painstakingly. What a wonderful work of art. It was food for my soul that day, and the emotions that I felt while in that room have stayed with me.

    Another day called for a “local excursion,” so I hopped the Metro North to the NY Botanical Garden, in the Bronx, to see the Frida Khalo exhibit. This attempt to recreate parts of her studio, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), was incredible. The colors! The plants and flowers! It took my breath away — I felt as though I was in a sacred place. An artists studio is a place of creativity, so of course it’s sacred. This replica evoked the same feelings. It was another spectacular day — not all that far from home.

    So, of course Stacey, I agree with you. And on the days when I’m not up for a side trip, I just go to the ocean — God’s Greatest Work of Art!


    • Awh, Kathy. It sounds absolutely wonderful. Yes, either being a ‘tourist’ in your own city or looking at your own surroundings with new eyes is absolutely fantastic. It’s always the best when you can apply the principles of travel to life in the everyday. I agree. And yes, any day at the beach is a good day…you know how I feel about the sand, sea and surf! Thanks for reading and sharing. Keep adventuring…we both know just how good it is for the soul! xo

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