"everything that can be done has been done, everything that can be seen has been seen,
everything that can be touched has been touched by many hands,
but not with your hands, not with your eyes,
not with your soul before you've tried it all yourself."
I like the message about: nothing's completely original, but every one of us has something new to offer, because we are all unique with our unique histories and experiences.
What is happiness?
I spend a lot of time thinking about happiness. Not just my own personal happiness, and how to stay happy, but other people's happiness and the concept of happiness in general. My PhD studies focus on the quality of life, everyday happiness and mindfulness. In particular, I'm interested in the connection of beauty and happiness: can beautiful things, surroundings and experiences make people happier? Or can the lack of beauty make people unhappy?
I'm not talking about make-up, clothes etc. (even thought they are one part of the idea, depending on what's everyone's personal preference in beauty), but noticing beauty around in the world, in the everyday.
This is a branch of philosophy called everyday aesthetics. Mindfulness, a trendy concept, draws from everyday aesthetics in my opinion. Mindfulness simply means: be aware of every moment, stay focused on the now instead of drifting to the future or past, worries, regrets or anticipations.
Being mindful can mean enjoying your cup of coffee in peace, tasting every sip. The key concept in everyday aesthetics is similar: pause, enjoy and appreciate what you have around, what your senses capture. The sun dancing on the pot plant's leaves. The aroma and scent of morning coffee. The calming, rhythmic beat of the dishwasher. The vibrant colours of the fruit in a bowl. The shine and softness of your pet's fur.
I started practising tarot and "fortunetelling", because it was an intriguing concept and I wanted to know if it even can work.
I've come to a conclusion after five years of card-reading that yes it does seem to work, and even better it works for self-development and self-reflection. Tarot is an excellent tool to examine your own deep thoughts, emotions, motives, dreams, fears... every aspect of one's personality. I've grown much calmer, mature and dare I say wiser by using tarot regularly. And funnily enough, also more mindful, to stay in the present, noticing the beauty of the everyday.
Here's my spread to realise one's blessings:
- What is the best thing I have in my life right now?
- What do I have I take for granted?
- What should I discard from my life?
- What in life inspires me?
- Where or how to find that inspiration?
Below: some things that make me happy - beautiful places and sights from my hoods, equally nice to enjoy with loved ones or alone.