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Why I don’t care about being happy

it just doesn’t matter to me. being happy.

i mean, there are happy moments. and i love happy moments. but, that is not what i am really after. that’s too shallow of a goal. what i am after is much deeper. what i want is lifelong.

what i am after is peace.

and, for me, peace is something that comes from within.

of course, we mean peace when we talk about the absence of war or conflict. and, of course, this is highly important to me, as a self-avowed pacifist. but, we cannot have peace among people, nations, governments, societies… without first creating peace within. we can try, and we can work hard to make peace happen, but true peace begins in our souls. it begins in the deepest part of ourselves. and it is there already, inside of you. i promise. within that inner peaceful place inside us, there is the spirit that unites us all. that’s why i know that, if and when, we tap into our own inner peace, then we will automatically create peace in the world.

so, our jobs first and foremost as human beings sharing this earth together? to discover and live from our own inner peace. that’s where we begin.

and when we are aligned with our inner peace, then happiness just doesn’t matter.

why, you wonder? because happiness comes and goes, and is dependent on things that are outside of us, external factors.

are we happy because of what we have or where we live? do we wish for more, thinking that it will make us happy? what if it’s raining for a week, does that make us sad? what if we feel trapped where we live, or stuck in a rut? are we then completely unhappy? will owning more clothes make us happy? will moving to another city finally make us happy? does travel fill us up and make us feel happy? what if we can’t travel?  what if everything disappeared?  would we then be completely depressed and give up?

of course all of these things affect our moods. having things is fun. being happy is fun. losing things, disappointment, and suffering are not fun.  some things in life are devastating, and some things make us feel like the king of the world. but, if we base our happiness on what happens to us, then we will surely be disappointed. we will be be bouncing back and forth between good days and bad days. because life sucks. it’s tough. there is suffering, and injustice, and violence. and it’s all overwhelming. and we feel helpless.

so, if i am basing my happiness in life on my job, other people, experiences, travel, money, success, my family, health, then i am not going to be happy all of the time. period. fact of life.

when things are not going my way, then i am going to feel like i am out of control. or i am going to pretend that i am happy. that’s even worse. lying to myself and everyone else. living a life that looks good, but feels empty. all because i don’t want to feel the pain or face the truth.

but, what i am saying, and it is something that is hard to grasp onto, is that peace is way deeper than our circumstances. peace cares what is happening around us, but stays calm. because the main thing is happening within us. and, when we can sit quietly in the presence of our souls, then life may be swirling and tossing us about like a ship on the sea, but we remain faithful, steadfast, hopeful. because, ultimately, we know that we are ok. because we are not all of those things happening to us. because we are more than all of the things that define us or make us happy or unhappy. we are the spirit that lies deep within us. we are strong, unmovable, attached, grounded, yet flexible and able to go with the flow.

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the bottom line, in my opinion (and experience), is that inner peace is living a life in balance. it is not all puppies and rainbows and sunny days. but it is maturity and wisdom, acknowledging, feeling, and choosing to keep on keeping on, to move onwards and upwards.

and inner peace brings the empowerment needed to do just that. 

but, inner peace only comes when we take the time to be still and silent. it begins with simply being. with getting in touch with our selves, discovering who we are, listening to our heart, letting our passions come to light, breathing, being mindful and aware.

and as we begin to live a life of awareness, then we feel the balance occurring. we feel connected. grounded. we feel… at peace.

the longer and more often that we take the time to just be, the more peace that we feel. the more that we feel that we will be ok no matter what comes our way, then the more empowered we feel to follow those dreams, whatever crazy risks they may involve.

so, ultimately, the more time spent being, creating more and more space for peace in our lives, then the more we actually end up doing. and, everything that we do is then infused with deep meaning + purpose. here is where we live out our dreams and make our unique mark in this world. here is where we take all that we are and let our lives be used for the greater good. but, we don’t lose ourselves, because we stay grounded. we always return, again and again, day after day, to the simple task of being. and, we let life and work and dreams unfold.

inner peace is powerful. it is trust. it is action. it is simplicity. it is living life fully and authentically as we are. and, most importantly, it is a lifelong journey. a constant balancing, aligning, adjusting, and growing. but, once we tap into a life lived with inner peace as the highest value, then the journey, no matter where it takes us, is one that we accept, not passively, but in a more go-with-the-flow-ish way. in the middle of our acceptance, we know that we have control over our lives. our decisions.

we have this one life. and it is up to us how we decide to live it. inner peace provides us the inspiration to live life the way that we wish.

so, do we chase happiness? or do we seek something deeper. do we want to live from moment to moment trying to feel good? always waiting for the next destination? or do we want to go on a journey, knowing that the process, the whole way, every single minute, is all part of finding our bliss?

nope. i don’t care about happiness. i choose peace.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

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40 | may 2015: the sky is smiling (a playlist!)

 

oh, may! it is the prettiest month of the year in sweden, i do believe. blue skies. sunshine. flowers. warm weather. it is the perfect month to be outside as much as possible. and that’s pretty easy to do, considering that the sun sets later and later. by the end of the month, it’ll still be light at 11pm.

it’s a month that makes me feel alive. and in love – even if june is usually the month reserved for lovers. for me, may has not always been an easy month, but i think that is what makes it all the more sweeter. my love was very, life-threateningly sick for 2 mays in the past. and, so, now, we celebrate life + love + health every may. all month long, we focus on living life to the fullest. being in love with each other. soaking up the simple moments. and enjoying the beauty of the earth during the late spring.

so, all of that was my inspiration for this month’s playlist. it’s a playlist made for lovers + gardens. sunshine + blue skies. it’s all about laughing + being together. taking it easy, dancing, rejoicing. and squeezing every ounce of beauty + happiness out of every single moment.

so, go ahead. click on the photo below and follow the link to the playlist on spotify.

go outside, twirl in the sunshine, smile, give away free hugs, hava a picnic, gaze at the clouds, and remember that life is precious. let’s make the most of every single minute. there’s no time to waste!

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happy may!

onwards + upwards! xx

you can also click here to get the playlist! 

within

i’ve got a little secret. or, it’s not so much that i have this secret that no one else has. it’s more like i have discovered something – but not for the first time. i am rediscovering it. or rediscovering it on a deeper level. that’s more what it is.

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you see, i just completed a 21 day meditation series. and by completed, i mean, i did every single day. no joke. i did not skip one day. i just committed and followed through. 21 days in a row.

and it was amazing.

the series was about happiness, our search for it and how we find it. i thought that it might be a bit cheesy, or i wondered how it would be possible to meditate on happiness for 3 weeks. but, i was so wrong. you see, the focus was not at all on happiness in the sense of some surface, emotional feeling. it was much deeper than that – think bliss. yes, bliss. and if you know me, or have read my blog over a long period of time, you know that bliss is one of my favorite words.

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so, it was a three week journey within that led me even deeper into bliss, peace, contentment, wisdom, and so much more. but, the main thing that i came away with was this deep sense of being – of connecting with my true self. of letting whatever vision, dream, thought, inspiration come to me during these mediations times as i simply listened to my soul. and i kept coming back to the knowledge – and i’m not talking cognitive knowledge – that everything lies within.

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what i mean, is that all we need, all we are, the ways that we are all connected, the spirit/light/love that flows through us, the entire universe, even, is within us. right now. exactly as we are. wherever we are. no matter what situations or circumstances we are facing. everything is there. in you and in me.

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what that means to our daily lives is monumental i believe. it means that we carry a rich treasure of love, peace, wisdom within us at every moment of every day. it means that our happiness most definitely does not lie anywhere but within us.all we need to do is just be. just relax into our being. breathe deeply. slow down. and listen.

for me, making that time a special time every single morning for the past 23 days (i have still done it even though the series is over) has been transformative.

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you see, i’m tired. and there are a lot of changes happening in my life and my family’s life right now – vague, i know. but i will explain in another post later on. anyway, i haven’t recovered from my amazing travels and visitors and everything incredible that took place this summer. lina and i have not found that regular life groove yet. and it’s wearing me down, along with the changes and such. i have had some moments when i just want to buy a plane ticket and get the hell out of dodge – like heading to some island to sit on my ass and drink fruity drinks for a week. but, that’s not realistic.

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at the same time, i have been meditating and sticking with it. and, though i have had those dreams of escape every now and then, i remember how grounded i feel at the same time. how connected i am to my self and my soul. meditation has really, really paid off. i stay balanced and focused and optimistic.

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how? because when i stop and listen to my soul, i know that my peace lies within. that all of the secrets of the universe, and the secret to happiness, is within me. calm and peace are mine for the taking. and, when i remind myself of that, when i let myself take that time to connect with the universe and all of the love in it and within me, then i just know that…

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
― Julian of Norwich

peace and love. xx

the photos are from my last day of the meditation series. i went to the biltmore estate and just let nature wrap her arms around me. it was amazing. and a dragonfly danced all around me the whole time (“Dragonflies symbolize the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.”) after i got home, i saw dragonflies three more times that day – a little animal i almost never see