My Bag of Serenity Tricks

I believe there are certain people who were born with the gift of natural calm and light-heartedness, people who can laugh at any given second, in much the same way as they can probably breathe.  There are also those born to never seem to get all frazzled.

And then there are people who were born like me.  For people like me, it takes resolve — and real effort— to not be brooding over stuff, analyzing their potential tragedies, and sweating over how to solve problems ominously waiting behind the clouds of Far Far Away Land.  Believe me, I was not trained to be this way.  I have been like this for as long as I can remember.  (Well, I’d admit it does help a bit in my career and business to look for more than rainbows and unicorns. )

Don’t get me wrong.  There is  absolutely nothing about my life so far that is painfully bitter or outrageously painful.  In fact, I’ve been living an unbelievably great life with great benefits.  I am just a natural.  Like a stormy day.

It’s not that hard to remember those little things that give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  What’s actually hard is how to summon the same feeling every single time anxiety or mind-blowing rage creeps into my heart.  Constant practice makes it exceedingly easier, though.  And by practice is meant a conscious, deliberate act of repetition.  For as many times in a single day as is necessary for it to metamorphose from a deliberated action to a kind of reflex.

So, these are at the moment, the stuff that my serenity bag contains:

1.  A doodling notebook.  Yes, it’s a notebook just for doodling.  Lover, my 6-year-old girl, happens to be my personal favorite (aren’t they all?) sketcher, and I ask her to draw bunnies and bears.  I look at this notebook every time I’m furious and all of that garbage just melts away.

2.  Photos.  Sure, I have tons of those cookie-cutter family vacation photos and cheesy couple photos saved in my iPad which I almost never show my friends for fear of becoming that boring person.  I also have tons of photos that I’d saved from websites and blogs that show pictures of character, like women wearing clothes in ways that I consider to be a stroke of genius, dreamy pictures of  places to which I’ve never traveled, and pictures of miscellaneous retro stuff.

3. My collection of  curios and knick knacks.  I suffer from the habit of picking up souvenirs everywhere I go, particularly tiny ones I sometimes carry around with me in my bag but most of the time just collecting dust on my office desk on where I could just fix my gaze and remember that place and time when nothing but it mattered.  I also collect small vintage curios like smiling elephants and of course, bunnies which I’d picked up from flea markets and dank, dingy old places like Uniwide (oh, that treasure hunt of a place deserves a post devoted to it, so that’s for next time!).

So, there.

I don’t have anything as esoteric as an Indian yoga routine or summoning up the favors of saints, but  in many ways I can find some sense of calm in little objects that make for perceptible happy memories.

How about you?

Do you have stuff in your bag or pocket or room that you can count on for those little itsy bits of happiness just when you need them?

Thanks for stopping by! 😉

See you again,



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  1. So glad you came by my blog … it helped me find you. This was an awesome post especially because I felt like you were writing about me. I liked your ideas for “taming the shrew” inside. I may need to use a couple of these. I’ve never even considered doing something like this to help in those situations. I was stumped by your question sad to say. But, I think I’m going to try and implement a couple of things you do. Thanks … this was actually very helpful. 😀


    • Hi there, fiztrainer. 😉 I found your photos quite inspiring; exactly the kind I would want to see when I’m not exactly feeling like a party girl, and just the right kind of things to look at when one decides for a full day ahead to be an overall great day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It’s really awesome to hear these ideas help somewhat.


  2. love the photos! 🙂


  3. What a good idea! I could definitely take a note from this.


  4. I love how you described finding serenity in meaningful objects. It’s a great way to reminisce and keep a little piece of those happy moments with you. 🙂


    • Hello! Lovely to hear from you! I’m sure if I get lucky enough to snag something like that vintage suitcase of yours, I’d be staring at it as another way to be inspired. 😉


  5. Thank you for this reminder. I have a practice that I try to do daily to have a calm place to return to, but it’s so difficult with mothering, wifing, working, etc. And that crazy little monkey in our brains that just won’t stop chattering… we need all the serenity tricks we can get!

    My calmest extended period of time ever was in late 2011, when I found myself alone, without husband or children, in Paris. Ten days in my own apartment, where the biggest decision to make was Red or White wine with my dinner. Too bad I can’t put solo travel for a minimum of a week in my arsenal of tools! *smile*


  6. Hi, this is an exceptional and important blog! I rarely get angry and never yell, as I use sense memories from moments when I really laughed hard to counteract negative emotion! I also like the idea of 30 seconds of no thoughts at all, as it allows your mind to reset! You can also try reacting differently every time you get angry, as it trains the brain to know your emotions are your choice! Thank you for the follow! Butterfly’s take on their final shape, when they bring the first sense of wonder to a Child’s face! Nice to meet you! Write a miracle today!


    • The pleasure is mine. 😉 Thank you for your very kind and inspiring comment, and for the reminder that the brain can be taught to know that emotions can be one’s choice. I’ll keep visiting your wonderful blog as well.


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