Monday, January 28

on happiness*

samantha & rochelle...happy girlies, canon digital rebel xti

When I was on the plane last week, flying across the country, I decided to find some comfort in the book Eat Pray Love. It seems whenever I need a good kick in the arse (gently, of course), the pages of this book always does the job. All I have to do is flip through, close my eyes and land my finger on a spot and there pours out wisdom from the pages.

This particular flip through brought me to the subject of Happiness. I doggie-eared it on the bottom, so I could share it on my blog when I felt the need.

This excerpt reminded me how much I need to participate in my own happiness and not lazily expect it come to me...

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

No one else is responsible to do this in our lives but us. Sometimes its easier to blame others and make our unhappiness their fault but I know that is a diversion from taking it into our own hands.

This can also be in the simple things. It doesn't have to be so huge and overwhelming. This morning I started to feel a bit sad. The choice to adopt is so beautiful and awesome but I still grieve over the path that I've been focused on for the past three years. I picked up the phone to talk to my husband about it. Perhaps he could make me feel better. Then I put the phone down before it started ringing. No...only I can make me feel better. So, I opened my window to listen to the rain and began to think about all the friendships in my life that I am grateful for. My mood lifted and I felt more clarity. Sometimes it can be this simple.

Tomorrow I leave to spend a few days with three beauties that have always given me permission to be exactly where I am. Three women that are rock stars at creating happiness in their life and inspire me to do the same. I am grateful for this timing.


Blogger lizzie said...

A wise friend once told me, "Happiness is a decision." I've never forgotten it, though I've often forgotten to make the actual choice to be happy.

I appreciate all that you are going through and celebrate your choices.

Perhaps someday our paths will cross (I live in SD, too), but even if they don't know, trust in the knowledge that I'm reading (along with so many others) and wishing you well.


January 28, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM PST  
Blogger Stacy said...

this is all so true, happiness is a decision and a state of mind.


January 28, 2008 at 12:27:00 PM PST  
Blogger BrianC said...

Check out Eric Weiner's new book: "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World."

January 28, 2008 at 12:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Lianne said...

Happiness comes when we focus on the "do want" and not the "don't want." It comes when we center on the "do have" and not on the "don't have".

It really is that simple.

Have a wonderful time with your girls. I'm loving you!

January 28, 2008 at 12:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger Silvia said...

so true.

i find listening to the rain always very soothing too.

have fun with your tribe!


January 28, 2008 at 2:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger britt said...

sweetie just because you decide to adopt does not mean you will never conceive a child in your womb...the future is wide open. whatever happens just follow your heart. you are a big warm loving mama to all of us in different ways! i have witnessed your journey for so long it seems and i am so proud that you are moving forward.

January 28, 2008 at 7:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

I always get goose pimples imagining you girls together. It makes me overflow with happiness with a tiny laying of jealous frosting. hee hee.

I just started reading this book again for my book club. I am going slow and absorbing it bit by bit.

I am also reading the Momma Zen book-thank you love-it is also full of wisdom.

I understand the bit of mourning that comes along when the course of our paths change direction a bit. It is healthy, as is your mastery of taking care of yourself.

What a beautiful balance you are reaching between self reliance and allowing a tribe to cradle you.

you continue to teach me


January 28, 2008 at 7:53:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought the book today.

January 28, 2008 at 8:56:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ames and Mick said...

That is so true and so easily forgotten.
A wise firend of mine once helped me when I was lost and confused in my relationship. She asked me to teach my partner how to read me, tell him what each sign and signal means. It's really unfair to expect him to read my mind sometimes.
Ever since that conversation, our relationship has grown so much stronger in love and life, I'm so grateful for her wise words, and as always, for yours.


January 28, 2008 at 9:14:00 PM PST  
Blogger Cali said...

Hi sweet girl,
I haven't commented in a while, but have been reading faithfully. :)

Right after reading your last post, I fell asleep for a nap before work. I totally dreamed (very vividly) that I ran into you in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Fran and you took me to that Community Corner. And it was so fun to meet you, but it was weird, it was like we knew each other but we didn't. Strange and VERY real.

And of course you know I'm SO excited about the adoption possibility.... I think it's just an amazing thing. I know your emotions must be all over the place and I'm wishing you peace as you feel them.

Much love to you,

January 28, 2008 at 10:16:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog.

Someone once said, that people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. I think it's true, but sometimes we need to be reminded.

I just wanted to tell you that we adopted our daughter 23 years, ago, and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. It worked out so perfectly and seemed so meant to be. I got to a point where I was so tired of going to doctors, taking temps,etc. that finally, one day, I told my husband that I felt like I was wasting time and that what I ultimately wanted was to get on with the joys of being a mother and raising a child.

Once, we focused our attention on adopting, life moved forward in wonderous ways.

God Bless You Both,


January 28, 2008 at 10:30:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and so true quote, thanks for sharing it. I so want to read that book since I keep seeing it everywhere on blogs but can't find it where I live.

I just came here from mrs super hero and wanted to comment on this since happiness is one of my commitments in life right now. and craft! :-)

January 29, 2008 at 12:35:00 AM PST  
Blogger shinyyoga said...

i always share this quote in my yoga class - it is so wonderful, true and simple.

thanks for sharing it to so many others, including yrself. x

January 29, 2008 at 3:30:00 AM PST  
Blogger nina beana said...

have a blast boho!

you are so right, btw. i love how you can process it so eloquently, and then get it down in words.

January 29, 2008 at 6:41:00 AM PST  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...


January 29, 2008 at 8:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger tracey clark said...

sigh. sometimes we really need that reminder. so glad you shared that today. jen lemen urged me to pop over for the message. : )

now, can i come crash your girlie party? dang. that sounds like a little bit of heaven.

January 29, 2008 at 10:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Kirsten Michelle said...

"I am grateful for this timing."

...and i, my friend, am grateful for yours.

thank you for sharing this beautiful passage and your eloquent thoughts.
enjoy your time away, wrapped up in the gentle acceptance and inspiring wisdom of your tribe.

love to you.

January 29, 2008 at 10:38:00 AM PST  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

i remember marking this passage in my own copy of EPL...that book is stuffed with powerful, powerful stuff...

January 29, 2008 at 11:30:00 AM PST  
Blogger kelly barton art + design said...

could you give miss christine a squeeze for me? enjoy each moment, i know you all will. so graceful souls you are.

and i love! love! love! this shot.
it is filled with love and happyness

January 29, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger Marianne said...

amen (on happiness), amen (on having amazing friendships) and amen (to you spending time with those three stars).

love you babe. xx

January 29, 2008 at 1:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kel said...

Hi Boho Girl,
I don't know if I've commented before, but your tales of your journey is helping me with mine, which I thought you should now. And today you picked out my absolute favourite quote from that book. It's a small and magic world: http://kelspace.typepad.com/kels_space/2007/11/look-pretty.html
Kel x

January 29, 2008 at 8:16:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jamie said...

So literally everytime I've been feeling lost & I've bumped into your blog you have written something that makes me feel better.
I use Eat Pray Love in the same way. I call it my "bible", kiddingly of course. But the passage you wrote about today is what I needed to hear.
Your journey is in a total different direction than mine, but it's comforting to find friendly travelers:)
Thank you.

January 30, 2008 at 12:11:00 PM PST  
Blogger Just Me said...

Thanks for sharing those wise words…

I think I will buy this book also, there is a translation of it in Dutch but I will choose for the original version.

Have a nice time with your 'three beauties'!

February 1, 2008 at 1:01:00 AM PST  

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