Cherish Life’s Simple Pleasures

 

There’s a lot going on these days: social media, mobile devices, 24-hour news, email, gadgets, Facebook, Twitter and the list goes on!  We are constantly stimulated – not that that’s a bad thing!  But it’s in the midst of this excitement and animation that we can forget life’s most elementary joys and simple pleasures.

It is when we step back and take delight in the uncomplicated and effortless pleasures that our lives inevitably become richer.  I am always on the lookout for ways to create a simpler, richer and more influential life.  We live this life only once so why not cherish each moment and seek to create a lifetime of treasured memories?

Here’s a few simple ideas for cherishing life’s little pleasures…

{1. idea}
Keep a bound daily planner, even if you use an electronic calendar to manage your
day-to-day life.  By recording the special or even every-day moments you’ll have a lovely record of memorable moments from the past weeks and months.

{2. idea}
You don’t have to save candlelight for special occasions or when the power is on the blink!  Why not embrace its calming effect by lighting a few candles and enjoy the tranquility of the soft light?

{3. idea}
Without water very little would survive in this world.  Yet it is a convenience we take for granted every day.  When was the last time you…

  • took a long, hot bath
  • curled up in a cosy spot and listened to the sound of rain hitting the roof
  • stood at the edge of the ocean and gazed out to sea
  • stopped to breathe in the smell of rain

{4. idea}
A few days ago I took some time out of my usual routine to eat my breakfast and watch the sunrise…  From the usual breakfast-on-the-run this was a truly magical experience! When was the last time you watched a sunrise or sunset? 

What are some of the simple luxuries that you cherish?

Happiness – it’s Your Responsibility

If we were to take a poll of what made people happy in today’s society, the answers would be many and varied.  For some, it depends on a sought-after dream being fulfilled, wealth and popularity or finding the perfect soulmate.  For others happiness is drawn from more simplistic forms such as a giggle from a child they love or the dawn of a bright, new day.

It’s true that so many women today tie their happiness to things that are temporary.  As they meander their way through life they find they are continually let down.  Why?  Well, to be completely honest. . . Friends change.  Dreams sometimes crumble.  A lifestyle can be fleeting.  A relationship may ebb and flow.  A once successful career may collapse.  Even a pair of Louboutin shoes will eventually wear out.

“Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with man’s outward circumstance…A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.”
– William Barclay

But does this really mean that happiness too has to fade and vanish? Absolutely not!  There is no reason why your happiness can’t be elevated by uplifting relationships, achievements, and events for they are so often the greatest sources of joy.  But there must be a foundation stronger and more stable for your own contentment.

The Choice is Yours

“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
– Corrie Ten Boom

Ultimately, happiness is a choice.  You can choose to let things, people, emotions and feelings elate your joy or disturb it.  All the happiness that you can ever dream of belongs to you.  It’s in your hands.  You can choose to mold it, shape it, fashion it and multiply it.  Or on the other hand you can hide it, stow it, put it in a dark corner and blow it out.
Whatever your present situation you decide if the outcome is either positive or negative.

Cherish the Simple Pleasures

Life continually gives. Look around you – wherever you are and see how truly blessed you are!   At home?  You have a roof over your head that provides sufficient protection.  In a cafe?  You have a delicious selection of fresh food at your convenience.  At work?  You’re so lucky to have a regular paycheck coming through each week.

I know so many of us (including myself!) take the simple joys and pleasures in life for granted.  Things that come naturally everyday without invitation.

  • Waking up to a fresh, new day alive and breathing! No matter what happens in the hours ahead, you can come back to your breath for a sense of peace and presence
  • Freedom for faith, religion, beliefs and values of our own choice
  • Language to communicate, ideas, plans, dreams
  • Your future is completely open, ready to be seized and enjoyed
  • Wisdom to open opportunities for us to grow as a person and gain greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and world around us
  • A sense of safety that makes it possible to experience love, pleasure, and trust
  • Health.  Even if you don’t have perfect health right now be encouraged that our bodies are made to heal.  Learn to cherish your health, preserve it, and when you get sick feel blessed that you will get better.
  • You have a purpose!  When our true purpose is discovered we awake with renewed vigor and resolve

The list is endless. . . Really you don’t need much to realise just how blessed we really are from this statistic.

This week rests in your hands.  Yes, challenges will try to steal away your happiness and joy.  Take a hold of it and don’t let it go!  Share it and double the joy!

Have a beautiful week . . .

The Art of Inner Beauty

Gentleness provided out of patience.

Forgetfulness that follows forgiveness.

 Submissiveness as her spirit of cooperation.

Happiness that spreads infectiously.

Joyfulness that inspires greater hope.

Chasteness promised.

Generousness that smashes selfishness.

Delightfulness that makes them smile.

Unselfishness that spreads as example for all.

Neatness that inspires others.

Goodness that sets a shining example.

Faithfulness that inspires.

Have you ever met one of those women who just shine naturally.  Her smile, laugh, cheerful demeanor, love and care for others is known and felt by all who come in contact with her.

I’ve recently been able to meet one such of these incredible individuals at my workplace.  Everyday it was a real delight to work with her and she so inspired me. Oh, and by any stretch of the imagination, did this woman have a carefree, easy-going life?  She faithfully juggled a busy, full-time job, a handicapped school-aged child, a husband who directed and owned a successful business and was in the process of building their own home – yet every day she would waltz into work with a beaming smile and took her work’s commitments with just as much enthusiasm and devotion!

I learned so much from this quietly, powerful woman.  Day by day her glowing presence made me realize that there is a certain beauty that can been seen and positiveness revealed in each day – either good or bad.

Oh, and don’t be concerned if you feel like me and you’re way behind the eight-ball – maybe you’re having a hell of a day.  Well, firstly let me tell you,  if you’re reading this blog, then you’re one step ahead in actually desiring to change.  Secondly, I give an award to any woman out there who has a vision to grow and develop her capabilities and talents.  Start where you are today – whatever you’re doing.  Washing dishes?  Dealing with difficult clients?  Picking up the kids from school?

Capture this moment and shine! Perhaps even pick out a characteristic that you’d like to work on and start with that!  Why not give it a go!

Oh, and if you happen to have a bit of success in capturing this vision and shining – drop your thoughts in the comment box below!

Happy New Year!

happy-new-year-gp1
As we turn the page and enter a new chapter for Grace & Poise, in 2009, our readers can expect a few new additions!  We hope to bring a few new features to the blog, and also broaden the focus of Grace & Poise.  Over the past two years our main focus has been on the guidelines of etiquette and deportment, discussing what they are and the details thereof. So the new features we hope to include are personal Style File of the author, (details coming), I also expect to be hosting a Formal Dinner in 2009 which I am looking forward to documenting with details and photographs.

I wish to thank all my readers for their lovely comments, emails and encouragement to keep this blog going.  Without you this blog would not be possible! Blogging is not my full-time occupation (how I wish it was!) however, the tiny amounts of time I do have to spend researching and writing articles is certainly well worth it!  – Thank you!

To each one of my readers, I extend a warm “Happy New Year” to you all.  I hope this year brings much happiness and joy to your life.

Best Wishes,
Clare Duncan