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Monday, April 11, 2011

Choices & the Courage to Fly


Today I am joining the Courage to Fly blog hop over at Stephey Baker's blog, Marked by the Muse. I am so honored to be joining this amazing group of women. So much wisdom and inspiration has been shared and I thank my lucky stars that I get to be a part of this. Be sure to check out past posts as well as future posts here.

What message is your heart eager to share?

Recently I have found myself on a journey of self discovery. I suppose in life we are always learning more about ourselves, but lately it's been different for me. It's been more than that. My discoveries have been more meaningful and powerful. My life has become clearer. Even though life itself has essentially remained the same, the way I look at it and the way I approach it has changed. And this is what my heart is eager to share......

I have a choice.

For too long I had focused on the aspects of my life that I wanted to change. The things that made me unhappy. The stuff that made me feel trapped. Things like not having enough time or money. I had spent nine years in college and beyond only to "find myself" after the fact. At that point real world responsibilities and student loans had already locked me into my "chosen" career path. It kept me from doing what my heart truly wanted, being home with my daughters and making art. Or at least that's how I felt.

"Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens." ~Andy Rooney

But then one afternoon I was sitting at a bookstore flipping through a book and I read the words "happiness is a choice." Hmmm? Is it really that simple? Everything suddenly became clear to me. All the information life had given me over the years--inspiring quotes, favorite books, wise words, etc--it all fell into place like a giant puzzle. I realized that I was in control. I had the pieces necessary to live a life I loved--right now! Why wait? I had always been waiting for the "perfect" time to start living a life I loved. I had been living my life focused on a "perfect" future. But now was the time. And it didn't require big changes like quitting my job. All it required was a shift in my thinking.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt

This shift in thought presented me with a cascade of choices. I can choose to enjoy life--right now! I can choose to appreciate my life--right now! I can choose to be the best me--right now! I can choose to live the life I want--right now! If I want to spend more time with my daughters, then spend more time with them. If I want to be an artist, then make art. If I want to be happy, then be happy.

I must admit that some days its not as easy to make these choices. I'm really not the cheerleader type that I've always associated with eternal bliss and optimism. Life can sometimes take it out out of me. I can get bogged down by the everyday stuff like laundry, dishes, the bills, etc.. But everyday I try my best to focus on being grateful for all that I have. And that makes my heart swell. I love my life. I have so much to be thankful for and I see that now. I may not be living my "perfect" life right now but I am enjoying and loving my life right now.

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." ~Ella Fitzgerald

And as much as I focus on living in the moment and loving right now, I do still dream. I realize dreaming is looking to the future. But I now focus on enjoying the act of reaching for my dreams. Life is just as much about enjoying the steps necessary to reach for your dreams, as it is about dreaming and achieving your dreams.

So join me as I choose happiness. Don't wait for the "right" time. Today is that time. It is time to live the life you want. Choose to dream. Choose to believe in yourself. Choose to be grateful for today. Choose to fly. Even if it's bit by tiny bit.

marked by the muse, stephey baker, creative living, art blog, artist

16 comments:

Bonita Rose said...

th is is a fabulous post! I agree.... we choose to be happy. we choose to surround ourselves with happiness instead of drama and hurt. xo hugs.. I am so with you on this journey! hugs bonitarose

Brandi said...

I love this! I believe there's always a choice, and the life you life is indicative of the choices you make. Thanks for the lovely reminder!

Wendy Brightbill said...

hi jen! great post. it is so true how we get caught up with living in the future that we forget about what we have in the right now. choosing to be happy in the moment is all part of the glorious journey. i did the same thing myself, i finally realized that if i wasn't happy right now, then i really never would be.

Kristen (kristenwalker.com) said...

Wonderful post! I try to remind myself the same thing, that happiness is a choice. And to add to that, the people who have studied happiness have found that a lot of the things we try hard to get in order to attain happiness, aren't really the things that make people happy. For instance, studies have shown that once your income hits $50-$70K, more money won't really make you all that happier. And bigger houses aren't really the ticket either. The height of happiness, studies suggest, was in the 1950's (I know, I kind of gagged when I read that), but in that time period, the average home was 1200 square feet. It has now balloooned to 2,349 sq. ft. but studies suggest we aren't all that happier.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in and say great post! I love this subject of happiness and what makes people happy, and choosing to be happy is oft-overlooked as we race to get the bigger paycheck/house/car/etc.

-Kristen

stephey said...

Thank you for creating such a valuable post for our hop! I couldn't agree more, small steps is where it's at and those steps do lead you right to where you need to be. I loved reading the following: "Life is just as much about enjoying the steps necessary to reach for your dreams, as it is about dreaming and achieving your dreams." YAHOO!

Sally said...

I'm in love with this post, Jen. It really resonates for me. I want to send it to everyone I know! So proud of you and the fact that you're sharing your journey with us. Your photos are rocking my world, too. :) Love you.

Alexis Yael said...

Love this!

sabrina said...

......BEAUTIFUL......

Sandy VanNocker said...

I can so related to your post, Jen! Trying to enjoy the here & now...and taking steps, even if small, towards my dreams!!

You are so right...it is a choice - you choose what you concentrate and focus on - whether I choose to see the good/bad, happy/sad is up to me!!!

Thanks for sharing your journey!

scrapwordsmom said...

Beautiful, Jen...really great. And happiness is truly a choice. I learned that years ago and am so grateful I did!!!

I don't always choose happiness...but I know when I don't and can adjust my attitude accordingly:)

Have a wonderful HAPPY filled day!!!

danasparkle said...

i haven't popped by for a while and i see you are flying. i am loving your +wednesdays, your photos and new developments are wonderful. i celebrate all your achievements. sparkling...
*

sonyamacdesigns said...

Yes ... every moment a choice ... I love this post and the rhythm of your words ... thank you

Amanda said...

I choose happiness. Don't wait for the "right" time. Today is that time.

You are so right! We shouldn't wait for the right time to be happy. We should want to be happy starting now and for the rest of our life.

Creatissimo said...

Great post! I esp. liked when you said that you had to do 'the shift in the thinking', not to do huge changes. Although shifting the thoughts might not be easy at all! :/
PS: I like your blog and other posts too.

kelly@thebluemuse said...

I so completely agree, it is a choice. And not always the easiest one, but sometimes we forget that we can choose to enjoy life, in this moment, wherever we are. Loved your post!

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

Yes! Just catching up on the blog hop and I love your post, Jen! I think it's such a HUGE realization that no one else and nothing else can make us happy. It's up to us. Thanks for sharing this message and how you got to it.