small things list

They say it is the small things that really matter.  These tiny joys in life that make it all the worthwhile. They also say that appreciation is a gift and that happiness lies more in one’s attitude than in one’s present circumstance.

In need of a dose of happiness myself I have decided to compose a list. A list of small things that make me happy. (I am happier already, just thinking about it) I’d like to share this list with you because I believe happiness is contagious and I like to spread it around.

Of course, this is my list.  Your list, if you decided to make one (which I wholeheartedly suggest) would be quite different I’m sure, but I set this as an example.

Small Things List

*Birdsong in the morning*love in the afternoon*dark chocolate*green*slack key guitar*ocean waves*sunshine*jasmine tea*the impressionists*dancing in the kitchen*singing in the shower*painting my toenails*bee admiring*squirrel watching*beach combing*word puzzles*cats*gardening*blog writing*walking in the rain*taking that perfect shot*reading a book*geekdom*digging in the dirt*playing pool*laughing at myself*the tiny little daisies in the front lawn*running up the stairs*the birds and the bees*the forests with the trees*vivid sunsets*funny movies*bacon*dressing up for halloween*butterflies*ylang ylang*long chats over coffee*watching the clouds roll by**purple shoelaces*the yellow teapot*the blues*chai lattes with extra whipped milk*laughing*looking up at the sky*poetry*music*Dr. Suess*oregon strawberries*star-gazing*autumn leaves* spring trees*going barefoot in the summertime*silence*reading good blogs*stopping and smelling the roses*the perfect kiss*romance*ice cream*rainbows*science*wordplay*humorous banter*intelligent conversation*the eyes of a child*the innocence of youth*the wisdom of age*irony*sleeping in late*dinner parties*picnics*late night talks over candlelight*learning something new*warm summer evenings*A job well done*splashing in puddles*holding hands*talking to the animals*hiking in the forest*walking in the park*ladybugs*pygmy marmosets*cherry pie*sweet peas*rosemary*springtime*moonlight*music*fuzzy socks*driveway moments with NPR*naps*big red balloons*popcorn with lots of butter*blue skies*a wink and a smile*dewdrops*dragonflies*coloring outside the lines*3 little birds*blowing bubbles*the sound of crickets in my backyard*glitter*long lists of happy things*

Just writing this made me happy!

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Strawberryindigo.

“Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a breeze, a moment’s glance– it is little that makes the best happiness”

**Friedrich Nietzsche**

Naturalness

I dug in the dirt today. It was nice to get back into the soil after a long winter. I feel a profound connectedness to the natural world and it is in this sort of work that emphasizes that to me. I feel the pulsating energy of life bursting out in all directions. It is a comforting presence this wild sentience of the natural world.

It is an ancient wisdom this knowledge of the land. Our ancestor’s once relied on this essential knowledge of the earth.  Progress of modern civilization has left most people especially city dwellers unnaturally detached from the natural world.

Exposure to the nature was once so commonplace, but times have changed and we’ve changed with them.

Are we losing our naturalness?

In his book “The Nature Principle’  Richard Louv calls it Nature Deficit Disorder. Louv defines nature deficit disorder as an atrophied awareness and a diminished ability to find meaning in the life that surrounds us.

The author explains and quite passionately that “The traditional ways that humans have experienced nature are vanishing.” which greatly affects our health and well-being. He evokes The Nature Principle which states “that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being and survival.”

Louv sites example after example of scientific studies backing up his well thought out claim.  He brings up the validity of green exercise and it’s proven enhancement of mood and self-esteem while reducing feelings of anger and depression.

Louv refers to a study which found that humans living in landscapes that lack trees or other natural features undergo patterns of social, psychological and physical breakdowns that are similar to those observed in animals that have been deprived of their natural habitat.

This should be of no surprise to any animal of the human variety reading this.

I remember growing up in the Seventies and Eighties.  I remember being outside, if the weather was nice, we’d be outside all day. The streets and yards and parks were full of kids running and playing.  These days it seems that all the kids are inside, tapping on one screen or another. With all the good that the digital age has brought, we have paid for it; this pixel existence we call progress.

We are losing our natural intelligence; knowing the signs of nature.  Nature is becoming quite unnatural for many of us, myself included.

Where once our ancestors roamed the wild land, living as one with the planet in an equitable balance with natural world, modern humans set out to conquer and conquer we have.   We control our physical surroundings to the point to where we can bring day to night and water and life to where none exists.

Humans have progressed out beyond the Earth. We can harness the power of the microscopic and the macroscopic.  We have cured diseases and built bridges and dams and power plants….We are a powerful race with much to accomplish, and much to lose.

We have polluted ourselves and our world, always in a constant battle of who will control: humankind or nature.  Now nature is fighting back and I can only wonder and hope for the best.

And I do hope for the best and I do have hope for the future.  I see it in the eyes of a child fascinated with a ladybug in the backyard, a teenager taking water samples at a local restoration project. I see it in the experienced hands of the citizen gardener, the urban naturalist and the amateur botanist. There are success stories, more and more everyday.

We all share this love for nature and it’s up to us, each one of us to get back what we have lost, restore our naturalness and teach our children how to coexist with technology and nature together.  These concepts do not have to be mutually exclusive.

I recommend reading this excellent book “the Nature Principle” by Richard Louv and  then get moving, even if it’s a five-minute walk in the neighborhood, it’s a start and all it takes is that first step to get going…. better yet bring a friend and save our naturalness one step and one friend at a time.

Have a wild day!

Strawberryindigo.

 

life’s little pleasures

 Right now

This very moment. This is just one out of a seemingly endless round of moments that make up your life.  How you fill these segments in time becomes your story.

It can be difficult sometimes to weed out the minutiae and  it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day trivialities and miss what is truly important.  This often happens with me.  Life in this modern world can get stressful especially during “interesting” times like these.

During my recent “bout of wicked overdoneness” I was forced to slow down.  This allowed me to catch my breath and really see what was truly going on.  I realised that little by little I was missing the small things.  Life’s little pleasures that I enjoyed so much.   I  didn’t notice they were disappearing until they were gone.

 I have been trying to appreciate the small things whenever and wherever I can find them. Sometimes it’s not easy, I’m a sensitive person and I have my share of bad news and bad days.   I find that it is after one of these bad days that I need  life’s little pleasures all the more.

About three weeks ago I made a plan of action. A basic outline of activities that I would try to incorporate into my daily life. These are very simple things.  They appeal to me personally. I have taken on each one of them.  Some are obviously easier than others. I am still working on the last one.

Life’s little pleasures plan of action master list.

Greet the day: Soon after waking I will greet the day by going out to the back porch for a breath of fresh morning air and a much-needed intake of some urban  nature in the backyard. 

Stretch:  I will stretch my body and my mind. I will explore new horizons and grow.

Walk:  I will walk, to move my body,no matter the weather. To get out into the community and out into the world. I will seek out natural areas.  I will go off the beaten path. I will explore.

Stop:  I will stop and notice the simple beauty that surrounds me everyday.  A bird, the sky. A smile from a child, the laugh of a loved one.  I will take it all in and try to find the goodness in everything I see.

Dance:  And sing and let it all out. I will embrace my inner child and go with those eccentric urges and just have fun.

Let go I will learn to let go of that which I cannot control and just simply Enjoy Life as it comes.

Wishing You an Amazing Day! 

Strawberryindigo.