Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Art of Happiness


" I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…" the Dalai Lama

One of the things I do each day, and often several times, is to give gratitude for the things in my life that bring me happiness. Sometimes those are large things but quite often they are small things. Little things that might go unnoticed if I let them pass me by.

I finished this necklace as part of the LMAJ Art Spark this month. I started it quite a while ago. The challenge this month is to create something that expresses what makes you happy. As I thought about it, I realized that at the core of my happiness are these small pauses I take in my day to acknowledge those things around that I am grateful to have in my life.




This bead has been sitting on my work table for months. I've always loved this bead and just could never commit to putting in any one piece. It was a gift from Kelley several years ago.  I've never met Kelley except through our blogs but I've shared friendship with Kelley through our blogs just as I've shared friendship with you. This bead has found a home as a reminder of the gratitude I feel for friendship and its place in my own happiness.



I'm not sure why, but lately the small details in life are the things that give me the most happiness. Itty bitty things like noticing a finch at my feeder or the look on my old dog Bob's face when I give him a deep rub on his stiff neck, the song of the cicada, the taste of fresh figs. All small things that might pass me by.


The focal for this necklace is a bronze medalion with the mantra "om mani padme hum." I often chant this mantra as it centers me. Lord, knows, there are lots of times when I need to center myself. I don't actually do a formal meditation each day. The truth is that I'm actually rather bad at that. I do sort of spread my meditation out through the day in small pauses. I'm not sure that it matters if you call it prayer, meditation, or sauntering through the woods like Thoreau, but pausing to give gratitude has been the greatest source of happiness in my life.

This necklace is a gift to myself, it' a reminder to pause, to experience, to feel the source of my own happiness.

And speaking of happiness, we are making some progress on resolving the kiln issue.  In fact that makes me enourmously happy. Thank you all for the support you've given me when I had my little rant the other day. I've heard from lots of you and I'll give you an update soon. I've also had quite a few inquiries about selecting a kiln and avoiding this problem. I'll write something up soon, promise. Meanwhile feel free to contact me.

17 comments:

Therese's Treasures said...

It's a beautiful necklace and the meaning behind the necklace makes it even more beautiful.
Therese

TesoriTrovati said...

This is just perfect, Miss LeAnn. I was intrigued by your title "The Art of Happiness." I think that happiness is a choice but it never occurred that to revel in true happiness would indeed be an art. Something that can get messy and is filled with potential but also something that can be so beautiful to work on and develop. Thank you for that. Love the necklace too!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Judy said...

I use to keep a gratitude journal, it kept me focused on what was really important in my life. Those little things are really not so little when we pay attention to them.
I love your new piece and I am glad you made yourself something so special.

Gardanne said...

I liked what you said about kelly's bead. I have a group of "bead" friends that I met when I started making glass beads. We only see each other a few times a year but when we do we usually exchange beads or something we made. It's refreshing at a time when presents are big, and most kids expect birthday parties every year, that small tokens can be special. I hope we are going back to those times.

Izzy said...

LeAnn, what a beautiful necklace to accompany such a beautiful sentiment. I become more grateful for my life and all that it contains every day. Thanks for sharing and for the chant. May have to try it myself...

Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

Your necklace is beautiful and so uniquely you!

sharon said...

This is a gorgeous beautiful personal statement LeAnn. Thank you for sharing this.

stregata said...

This is a wonderful post, LeAnn! I wonder how it would change the world, if everyone was more focused on what gives them happiness, instead of the opposite?
Your necklace is beautiful and a gorgeous expression of your focus.

steufel said...

Oh LeAnn, what a beautiful post and what an awesome necklace! Thanks for sharing both with us!

Laura Twiford said...

This is exactly what the prompt I heart macro sundays with Lori plyler has done for me. No matter how much is going on, it makes me pause and look closely and reflect and appreciate all things of beauty and peace. It stills and centers me too, that's why even with everything going on these past few months I have made sure to take that time for myself. You are obviously happy in your move and finding contentment in your days. An attitude of gratitude is the best!

kelleysbeads said...

I love that you took the time to make a necklace for yourself! As artists, it seems we rarely make things for ourselves. I also take the time throughout the day to give thanks and find that it is normally the smaller things that make me happiest.

windrock studio said...

Hey LeAnn, what a joy to read your words here this evening, beautifully said! And I fell in love with your necklace right away ... what a lovely, peaceful work of art.

barbarasfernald.com said...

The necklace is beautiful, and the sentiment very special. Gratitude is so important. It's always nice to see someone write about it. It's a big part of my life, too.
xo

anna maria said...

Lovely words to go with a lovely necklace. Isn't it odd how difficult it is sometimes to use a bead we like in a piece, because then we won't have it to use again? Sometimes it takes me years or forever.

Pretty Things said...

I SOOO love this!

My Life Under the Bus said...

This is beautiful! I too NEED to pause during the craziness of the day - to find a moment - even if I am in the car in a parking lot - to breathe and focus myself and find a moment of peace. I love this post! XO

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Lovely story, thank you for sharing and reminding!