Sunday 31 January 2016

"The Power of Ordinary"

"Joy come to us in ordinary moments.":
Which moments in life are the ones that make you feel true happiness? Was it that day that you got a promotion at work? Was it the time that you went on a big shopping trip? How about the time that you met one of your sports heroes? Chances are that you enjoyed those moments, absolutely. But did they bring true happiness or real joy?

I recently spent nine days over the Christmas holidays with extended family in Hawaii. Extravagant? Perhaps, yes. It certainly wasn't inexpensive with the state of the Canadian dollar! My cousins and I planned this vacation for a year and a half and when it finally happened, it was pretty amazing. I would say that it was a once in a lifetime experience. It made me very happy, indeed. But it wasn't because of the monetary value or the exotic location (although, Hawaii is certainly my geographic happy place!)

My happiest, most joyful moments on the trip were the simple ones: enjoying a really good cup of hot Kona coffee; a simple picnic dinner spent with family on the beach; staring out to the ocean, watching and listening to the waves crash and just letting my mind wander; gazing at the stars at night; laughing with my loved ones over something ridiculous; and just talking one on one. 

When I came back from vacation and friends asked me about my time away and I recounted my favourite memories, I was reminded how easily one can take the wonderful moments from a vacation and transfer them to everyday life.  

When I returned home I bought myself a brand new mug for work that says Hello Sunshine - it just makes me smile (and it makes those who see it smile, too). Every morning as I check my email and start my day I do so while enjoying a hot cup of coffee. Because I love Hawaii, I often listen to instrumental Hawaiian music on my earphones while I work. I connect with loved ones whether it's via email, telephone, social media or in person; cultivating relationships with people who lift my energy and mood is vital to my true happiness and overall well-being.

Not that hard, right? And yet, it can be at times. Life gets hectic and we start moving faster and faster. Soon that vacation is only a memory and the benefits to our mental and physical well-being have either diminished or left us altogether. Experiencing mood disorders over the past two decades has taught me a few important lessons, one of which is that sometimes you just need to stop. Stop and take a few deep breaths. Stop and go for a walk around the block. Stop and reflect on what is working in your life and what is not.

Is going on an expensive or exotic vacation the end goal? Or is it to spend time slowing down and being in the moment, either alone or with people that you love? Is that big promotion - the next step on the career ladder - all about status and money? Is it about getting what you think you should because everyone else is doing it? Will it make you truly happy or do you need to shift how you view your career and aspirations?

My Hawaiian vacation? If I am being honest, it was just as wonderful as our extended family vacation spent in Medicine Hat, Alberta last summer. And the one that we spent in Maple Ridge, BC the year before. All the ingredients were there: people who love each other, enjoying each other's company and truly appreciating the little ordinary moments in life. 

KB xo

P.S. For some additional inspiration...

Get out of yourself. Think of others ✌:


  1. How can you not be happy in Medicine Hat? Tee hee. It's true though that it is the ordinary things that are the best. A couple of weeks ago I took my nephews to the playground in -12C weather. We were nice an bundled up and had an excellent time running around, climbing, swinging etc... especially since we were the only people in the park so they could do what they wanted. An afternoon at the playground right across the street from where I live and so much fun.
    Take care and try to keep that "vacation zen" as we call it at my workplace.


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