Chasing happiness, catching stars

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Photo by Forest Wander, Creative Commons

For Sandy, The person who inspired me to live differently every day, without apologies.

I was inspired yesterday by Madisyn Taylor’s message in a meditation called, Floating admist the Stars, in which she says,

Since the beginning of time, humans have gazed at the stars in the night sky with awe, seeking in their luminosity everything from answers to inspiration to guidance. We have emerged from our contemplations with stories of gods and goddesses, maps of the universe, astrology, astronomy, math, and art. We have worshiped, wondered, and even projected ourselves out into space in an attempt to understand their magical essence.  -Excerpted from DailyOm article by Madisyn Taylor, 2016.

Our ancestors looked up at the night sky, contemplated how the world came to be, and reveled in the magic of creation. We are connected to them through that very same sky.  We have the same questions. Yet today, our world is connected in more ways ever before, but somehow we have lost a true sense of what real connection means.  We seem to chase happiness, but it eludes us.

The chase has left us exhausted. We blankly look at our phones instead of at the people around us. We are tired. Tired of being told what to want, tired of pursuing the unending rat race for more and more, tired of striving for the impossibility of perfection in touched-up magazines. Computers and TV bombard us with incessant information. Computers have a noble purpose of connecting us, and TV entertains. Yet it is when these things become a focal point, that we have to stop to reset our lives and refocus our intentions.  We have to take the time to look at the stars in the night sky to feel the expansiveness of the universe and experience true beauty.  My sister used to do this with my kids when she’d visit, instead of buying them toys; she would sit outside with a blanket to look at the sky or find a secret garden, and in doing so, she gave them a beautiful gift. We all need this gift: to feel like a joyful child again and find stillness.  I find that peace every time I see the ocean or look at the night sky.

I named this blog the journey to minimalism, because for me, the important thing is the journey and what it is teaching me.  I think sometimes about adapting the term, minimalist, and what that really entails .I come to a conclusion that I embrace living with less, as my husband and I began calling it before we knew minimalism, because it improves the quality of the life we live each day and changes our way of seeing things.  It matters less on the label and more on what it does for my life. I hope more people see that you can be minimalist in many different ways.

To me, minimalism is just living simply. Focusing less on the outward world. Taking time for what matters. It is loving what I have, and being grateful for it. It is offering a helping hand and being generous.  It is appreciating simple beauty.  It is quieting the world, to truly listen to our heart.

My mom always repeated one lesson to me whatever we talked about anything important.  She would always conclude, “No matter what, always follow your heart.”  Now that I am a mother I understand what she meant.  In the end, your heart always has the answers, it knows the way to happiness, if we listen.  In quieting the world, we can begin to appreciate the beauty all around us.  We slow down the pace of a world that has become so loud we can barely hear. Maybe that is why happiness can not be chased; it is not a thing to be achieved or purchased, but a state in our life where we see clearly what truly matters to us.  It is gazing at the stars, and not catching them, and remembering how small we really are.

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