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Pretty much my exact reaction to being made to wait. πŸ’ #veryreasonable #nolongting #impatienceisavirtue #sideeye #lol #instafunny

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Gaudium | Happiness

I haven’t done a written blog for quite some time as, to be honest with you, I haven’t really been in that ‘place’, however today is a day unlike the rest. Unexpectedly and truly organically I found myself filled with gratitude and peace at the state of my life. While I am far from the ideal ‘life picture’ that I permanently engraved into my mind as a child, this evening I felt a true sense of calming happiness at the momentary evaluation of my feelings, life and state. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but for the first time in my life, I think I may have just experienced contentment… Yikes.Β 

The above image (which, by the way, I completely came across by chance!) is symbolic of an idea that I think is completely misleading. I can vividly remember my Mother once asking me what I want in life, to which I naively replied, “I just want to be happy!”. Clearly I was in an immature and rather emotionally-fuelled phase of my life, so this seemed like a totally rational, legitimate and realistic desire! To find happiness duhhhh!? The wiser, older version of myself (aka. my Mother), stopped me on my pursuit of the impossible, by informing me - with slight disbelief at the genuineness of my previous statement - that happiness is not a place. It’s not a thing. You can’t reach it. It cannot be obtained that you might own it, but you can, however, experience it. This was a complete eye-opener for me… As I do with all new information, I had to question what she said by running it through my slightly pedantic mental filter, to ensure that I could comprehend that what she was saying was possible and potentially true. All that time I had been chasing after something that was never designed to be caught! A unwinnable race! It was as if someone said to me “Natalie - you were on the wrong path love! Here’s the map - now off you go.” Just like that, I began a new journey… one that was nowhere near finished.

A couple of weeks ago I was in New York. One of my favourite things to do (some may label it a ‘hobby’) is to take photos. I absolutely love taking pictures. Ever since I can remember, I have always noticed things; from the sumptuous texture of the velvet black dress I remember seeing my Mum dressing up in one evening when she was going out to a dinner party, to the endless fields and animals I could half see whilst trying to peer out the window of the backseat of my parent’s car aged about 4. I like to look at things. Colours, tones, shadows, light, textures, grains, I notice it all. (This is related I promise!)

As I sat on a concrete seat in the blazing sunshine, clutching a pizza that I had picked up from a random restaurant I stumbled upon somewhere near 47th and 5th, I remember feeling frustrated at not having taken any worthwhile photos that excited me. I was yearning for something new and unfamiliar. I was trying, and that was the problem. Almost instantaneously in that moment, as I noticed a plant , I felt something say to me “Life isn’t about trying to create moments of beauty, the beauty is already around you. It’s about opening your eyes to notice it.” Again, for a second time, I was hit with what, for me, was a defining revelation. If you really get what I mean, you will probably have had to read that sentence again to absorb every beautiful syllable. I had noticed a plant that was growing in a concrete plant pot; one of several lining the path along the street. It was not somewhere that I would naturally have looked for beauty, but that was the point. The beauty was everywhere, not just where I thought it should be. Once again I was filled with the energy I desire that makes me feel alive… purposeful. It’s like I had been sent out on a mission of ‘noticing and appreciating’. Β 

I am learning that while happiness is not something I can acquire and shelve for a rainy day, I can most certainly have free access to it. It’s always there…around you. As I said at the start, today I found myself simultaneously feeling grateful and happy. So to conclude my organic realisation from this moment of contentment is that; Where gratitude lies, true happiness is also. (Natalie Murden 2014) Thanks for reading x

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