January 06, 2005

look where you want to go

birds_siestkey.jpg
birds, Sarasota, Florida Canon Digital Rebel

As I enter the new year, I see that I have so many desires! and I have been noticing how my wishing and wanting can really get in the way of me appreciating the now. It is tempting to believe that when we make more money or find our soulmate or have child or a bigger house, we will finally be happy. But I am continually reminded {by wise, wonderful people I know} that the only place to find happiness is in the moment. It's never based on exterior forces.

In this culture, we are taught to desire more and more, to want to succeed in bigger and better and sexier ways. We call it ambition and drive and working hard, but we never learn to fully embrace and celebrate what we have now. Don't we need both to be happy?

So how do we do it? How do we hold onto our dreams and recognize that everything is perfect as it is? I think I've mentioned this quote before, but someone once told me, "If you're bored, you're not paying attention." So maybe if we're not in touch with the beauty in our lives, the same goes for that. We're not paying attention. Or we're only paying attention to what's not working!

My dear friend learned how to ride a bike as a 28 year old and I had the pleasure of helping her on her maiden voyage. She did really well and rolled back all flushed and excited. She said something I love, "The trick is just to look where you want to go. Then the bike follows."

In 2005, I vow to look where I want to go. I vow to look at the abundance of friends and joys and beauty as much as what I want to create. Instead of focusing on what I don't have, what's not working and what could be better, I'm going to focus on where I want to go. And if the theory holds up, the bike will follow.

...

These are incredibly powerful images from the NY Times. Nothing like a great tsunami to get you in touch with what's important.

Posted on January 6, 2005 05:05 PM
Comments

My family is in Bradenton/Sarasota..and I flew back home from there on the 29th with seagull photos, too. Just missed each other!

Posted by: Julia S at January 12, 2005 02:24 AM

I found you on a surfing journey, from someone in my blogroll, to someone in hers, to you...I fell in love with your Mondo Beyondo entry, so much so, that I've quoted it (with credit, of course).
I'm delighted to have 'met' you.

Posted by: Melissa at January 10, 2005 07:27 PM

I came across your blog. So cool! I absolutely love your jewels too!

I noticed that you are pretty "creative". I wanted to start out on a new venture...making those ordinary flax packs..but with really cool different textiles. Anyways, I was wondering if you could hook me up with any neat websites or if you know anyone that could give me some ideas.
Thanks.
Anna

Posted by: Anna at January 10, 2005 07:40 AM

Seems like I'm not the only one addicted to your inspiring words each day. Thanks so much for (once again) writing things to inspire us.

Posted by: Julie at January 10, 2005 05:10 AM

You said that so well! As always. On this particularly hard Monday morning this is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks!

Posted by: austingurl at January 10, 2005 01:34 AM

i am so appreciative of this post. it was what i needed to read. i have been so focused on what i thought my relationship lacked (mainly because of comparing it to other ones) that i forgot the beauty of what it is. thank you andrea for reminding me.

Posted by: celisa at January 9, 2005 07:19 PM

Glad you are back, Andrea! Missed you while you were gone. Thank you for the lovely message.

Posted by: Carrie at January 9, 2005 06:49 PM

I believe that the absolute key to happiness is gratitude. The best way for me to be fully aware of all the big and small ways in which my life is rich is to write it down. It was through Sarah ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance, that I discovered the value of keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of the day, I write down five things that I'm grateful for. A lot of times, the things I write would seem insignificant to someone else. But it helps me see how abundant my life is. When you do this, you begin looking for gratitude-list fodder throughout your day; you become more aware. I highly recommend it!

Posted by: Darcie at January 9, 2005 06:28 AM

"...Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."
(Mary Oliver, "Wild Geese")

I love this image of birds and all that you brought to this post... thank you.

Posted by: Grace at January 8, 2005 10:03 AM

Well said!! My grandmother used to tell me this old saying in Yiddish, but I think it holds true now more than ever, "Yesterday is history...Tomorrow is mystery...But today is a gift...That's why it's called the "Present". A bit corny, perhaps, but so true!! Here's to finding our happiness by embracing the here and now.... :)

Posted by: Julia at January 8, 2005 09:30 AM

Just beautiful Andrea!

Happy new year ~ I love your photo for this post ~ so free, so filled with joy and promise and opportunity.

And yet, all the promise and opportunity lies in the moment itself ~ there is pure joy, just there, graspable, ready to be held.

Thank you for writing those words which define what I am have been feeling.

Love and laughter,
Leonie

Posted by: Leonie at January 7, 2005 10:31 PM

your reading my mail woman!
i am right with this thought at the moment
thanks for the reminders
and that ny times photo set
mindblowing.. i can't imagine

Posted by: paisley at January 7, 2005 08:26 PM

Andrea -

You've totally summed it up - living in the moments and enjoying the right now. Appreciating what we have and loving it.

thank you for the reminder...

Posted by: stef at January 7, 2005 05:59 PM

Wonderful perspective and completely in synergy with what my husband & I have been thinking about 2005.

We had a little girl this year -- she's incredible. I share this because we decided when learned about her that we wanted to have a single family name for her. Paul & I have been married 11 years - but we each had our own last names. We both didn't want the others last name and we didn't like the idea of hypenation (too long in our case). So, we decided to meld our names. The name we found has lit us up - for the very reason you mention in your post. My last name is Clement and Paul's is Mossbarger. Early this year, we are legally changing our name to Moment. Amira's surname is already Moment - Amira Lucia Moment. She is our founding member. ;)

"...the only place to find happiness is in the moment." :)

Posted by: Janece at January 7, 2005 05:43 PM

Welcome home A ~
I love that you and the lovely Jen Gray have complementary photographs posted right now - that's so synchronistic! Or serendipitous?! Beautiful images...
x

Posted by: jin at January 7, 2005 02:49 PM

Had tears in my eyes by the end of this. (And then again after the NY times photos.)

Thank you - you have such a great way of getting to the heart of things!

Posted by: Laura at January 7, 2005 01:23 PM

I love those birds! My 6-year-old was home from school today because of a yucky cold and he saw your sky photo and asked me to leave it on the screen all day -- it has been like a get well card for him.

One of the items on my lengthy mondo beyondo list was to take a minute to look at the sky, really look at it, every day. Just taking one minute out of my entire day to do that has made a huge difference in my life. The only way I can think of to describe what it's done is that it forces me to stay in the moment and away from all the other big future stuff on my list of desires, and it makes ANYTHING seem attainable.

Thanks for helping me see those possibilities. I wish for you a fabulous year of watching all your dreams come true.

Posted by: nina at January 7, 2005 11:00 AM

Hi Andy,

Your seagulls remind me of one of my favorite books, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", which was about a boy seagull who wanted to fly faster and freer than any seagull ever flew. He chose to spend his moments tweaking his wings, tilting his beak, so that he could be the fastest seagull in the sky. They told him he was reckless, that he should be planning where to get his next meal, but he refused. It is about the choices we make. It is about making choices and not letting them "make" us. It is about making a pilgrimage to find out who we are, without "following the flock". Jonathan fell many times before he got it right.
Jonathan might have said (like John Lennon),
"Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans".

Posted by: James at January 7, 2005 10:50 AM

Hi Andrea, I love that picture itself and also how it ties so well into what you want to say. Thank you so much for reminding me of one of my favorite quotes which I haven't thought of in a while:
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

Posted by: rachel at January 7, 2005 09:57 AM

amen sister! happiness is the puzzle you already possess as you search for it (they should teach that in school).
here's to a beautiful year.

Posted by: mr andrea lewis at January 7, 2005 08:45 AM

a,

welcome home and happe new year. such incredible images on your link, thank you for sharing.

i have found when I am focused on my wants and needs i am often led in the direction that isn't best for my life. i let the instant gratifications, the now now now wants get in the way of long term goals. what i have found is when i trust and i am present to my life, my life always ends up being a million times better than i ever could have imagined it. it's something i have to practice daily, but it's really worked for me.

such incredible images on your link, thank you for sharing.

Posted by: jenn at January 7, 2005 08:39 AM

Andrea,

"Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it."

I wish you every courage to follow your heart!! I wish you a very happy New Year 2005! May all your hopes, dreams and wishes come true and fill your soul with peace!!

~tine.

Posted by: tine at January 7, 2005 08:33 AM