What is the secret to happiness?
 Can you really chase away your blues, and run down a dream instead?

I think we are doing a lot of running and hecka bunch of chasing in this world; and I wonder that the world seems to be groaning; instead of smiling.

Why isn't the Pursuit of Happiness -- making us Happy?
We all think we deserve to be happy.  In fact, I would wager that for most of the world, it's the entire Purpose for Living.
Yes, many of us do not actually know how to make it happen.
We think we know...

..but then... unhappy.

Well I am going to share with you the big secret....  ready?

You are responsible for your own happiness.

Did you know that?
It's there with you in every single moment, you just have to choose to see it.  Breathe it.  Live it.

But, how?

Well, if you've been following my recent journey, you would know that I have become a firm believer in the power of Being Still.

Try it.   And while you are there, actually being still, think back.   Way back.   You're 10, 8, 5 years old.
What are you doing?

Did you just smile?
I am hoping that like me, you just smiled.

You see, we never really forget our first loves.
They just get buried down deep sometimes in the daily grind and the Glorification of Busy.

 I used to sit  with my grandma and help her make bread.  Or bake. Or tend her garden.  Help clean the house and take care of my younger cousins.  Then I would go out and help grandpa with the horses. Finally, when the work was done, us cousins ran off into Nature.  And at the end of the day, we'd sit and have tea on the porch swing with grandparents and watch the sunset, and the horses run in the paddock, and deer graze further back in the fields.  Just the sounds of birds and crickets and the scent of woodsmoke in the air.

I remember my grandma sketching and writing in a notebook.  So I started too.
We made a poetry book together.   She still had it in her box of "treasures" when she passed away.
No one will ever pay me a higher compliment.  

Then I got bigger, and so did Life.    I stopped watching sunsets.  Stopped pausing to hear the song of a bird, and instead slammed the window shut when they woke me too early weekend mornings.   I was a grown up now.  A working woman!!    I'd come home and check my messages.  Check my email.   Do a workout, cook dinner for one, and then either do more studying/work, or maybe watch some TV.    In the world's eyes, with my combined degree and government job: I was a success!!!

And I suppose I was pretty happy about that.    Yet, not quite "filled up" happy.
And I still emptied my heart and soul into little spiral notebooks whenever I could.

However, I never could quite capture that same feeling at the end of the day, when I returned home from a day of answering phones, or filing papers.   Wonder bread is pretty darn good, but half the fun really was poking the dough to see if it had risen yet.   And that just from the oven smell, while the bread is still warm?  Slice. Of. Heaven.
Dinner, prepared and consumed alone while watching the latest crime drama unfold?    While not always a bad way to unwind;  is jut not the same satisfaction and deep content, as sitting on the porch swing with people you love, and watching the day sink to it's rest.
And the pourings into notebooks became less and less, until children arrived, and with them a word drought.

Why did I stop?
Why did I forget all my first loves?
The truth is, I let the pressures of LIFE rain down on the fires that had been ignited in my childhood.
And the rain came down, year after year, until nary a spark of those first passions remained.

Thankfully, you can always go home again.  Or, to the family farm at least.
And there is nothing like watching your own children run wild and sweat; scattering birds, and sheep, and horses alike:   to Bring You Back to Fine.
You see, the fires had not completely died.   An ember still remained.   It just need the spark of life reflected in my children's eyes, to bring it to life again.

I remembered.
This used to be my playground.

Now, here I am years later, after leaving the great job:  just serving my family.  I even made my own bread folks.   Yep, still got chores.   Lots of them.    But on really special nights, I forget the dishes and go watch the sunset.  Maybe even get a few shots with my camera.   Here I am, not amounting to much in the world's eyes.   Maybe even seen a failure.  Just. A. Housewife.  
But, Present.  Content. 

I still feel a thrill when I spy a deer grazing in the field.
I still think there is few sights more incredible and terrifying, than watching a horse gallop towards you at full clip.   The curious poke of a velvet soft nose into your chest a gentle greeting.   To stroke such a magnificent creature while it stands still for you -- it never gets old.

Sometimes I still think there might just be fairies and leprechauns in those woods.
So I look for dance rings during our Nature walks.   Just because.

Once upon a time my imagination felt as boundless and free as the fields and pastures we once roamed as children.    Soaring through hay fields and rows of corn that were just maps to magical places.   Yes, Freedom and Happiness were strongly linked in the carefree summer days of youth.
Waking up each day to live out your dreams with unbridled enthusiasm.  
Why does Passion have to leave, when adulthood arrives?

We should hold on to those things we first loved.   Whatever it was that first ignited passion in our hearts, and wanderlust in our feet.    

Do you remember?

If you do, you can still grab it!!
That life that you thought was only built once upon a dream; maybe it's just sleeping.   Waiting for that first gentle summer wind to blow out all the stuff we plugged into our empty spaces.    All those gaps left in between; wanting, waiting, yearning for something to come and fill you up to Whole again.

The gentle breath of Remember to light the ember once more.

“As for you girls, you must risk everything for Freedom, and give everything for Passion, loving everything that your hearts and your bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.”

~  Roman Payne