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!).
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,