Friends, in whatever we do, seeking happiness is the essence of our endeavours. Often, we may forget that purpose and may give undue importance to success and material possession and adulation and accolades. Well, that's fine too, as long as we know that we are truly, genuinely happy in those pursuits.
But then, happiness is a very vague and elusive term.
It's not easy to understand, difficult to sustain and formidable to be aware of. To understand what makes you genuinely happy, you have to let go of many temptations and traps that keep you away from it.
I have gone through a long and winding journey… of interpreting and perceiving what makes me happy – in work, in relationships, in personal development. It's easy to jump on a bandwagon and declare that this is for me but it's something else to un-complicate and figure out what really clicks with you and makes your heart glow with happiness.
From studying Economics and dumping it……to taking up Advertising and Journalism and being a brand and marketing manager; from doing nothing (in terms of a career) for a while after having a baby to pursuing jewelry designing and owning an online jewelry shop only to bid good and finally creating two blogs and taking up photography in a passionate way – I have gone through the full learning curve trying to figure out where lies my undeniable, indisputable happiness.
And, finally – in my early thirties…
It's becoming more and more clear to me that I am deeply connected with my inner self when I am in the middle of nature – admiring it, gazing at it, photographing it, experiencing it. That nature could be some trees within my neighbourhood, indoor plants in my house, trees lining the streets of my city offering much respite to the eyes and lungs and to the aesthetic beauty of the city or that nature could be something I experienced in Coorg – all-consuming, therapeutic and reminding mankind where they belong and what they would be without it.
Nature, natural, naturopathy, organic – all these are the buzzwords in this era of green economy, green marketing and green businesses. We don't know if people who coined these words, had genuine intention to implement the thought or was it just an innovative 'positioning'. Whatever the trend may be, the truth is that nature, in its heart, has the answers to our misery, illnesses and stress. Living in the concrete jungles, we have lost touch with it and consequently have lost touch with our soul's desires. When the soul feels out of place in our body, the body will suffer and so will the mind .
My past and recent experiences with nature…steeped in peace, silence, and serenity and away from the world of internet and the maddening crowd of a metro city showed me a reflection of my true self.
I connected with my self that craves to…live near the mountains and beside a lake, the self that desires to grow vegetables organically on a farm, the self that dreams of shots every waking moment, the self that dreams to have her kid learn not in the four walls of a classroom but from life – by watching the rain pelting on the leaves, mud splattering under her feet, butterfly perched on her finger, birds singing over her head, feet rustling up fallen leaves
I am glad I am finally AWARE that nature is my overpowering passion. And, I will attain my nirvana when I live a life that I have described above.
This connection that I felt with my inner self in Coorg, inspired me to give a creative expression to my dreams – through photography – another deep and undying passion.
I captured the hundreds of treasures from our nature walk in a series that I like to call – The Nature Platter.
The 'Nature Platter' series of photos reveal my desire to bring nature so close into my life.
So close – that it becomes my 'staple' – for my body, mind, heart and soul and for my little daughter, my family and their healing.
So here is my 'Nature Platter'. Wishing you happiness, healing, light and peace!
Some beautiful quotes and thoughts:
- Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Khalil Gibran
- Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
- We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~ Mother Teresa
- A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~ Lou Holtz
I'm linking this post to 'Forest Fiesta' – a nature-inspired art exhibition by kids from across the world. This link enables to pull up all the gorgeous entries of 20 mommy bloggers who participated in this event with their Kids' creations. I am hosting Forest Fiesta on Mommy Labs (my blog on artful parenting) to celebrate World Environment Day. Enjoy the gallery walk.
I need help sustaining this blog…
Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.
I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.
The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.
Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.
If you find my articles and stories useful or inspiring at some level, please help me sustain. Starting from 1 dollar or 100 rupees to whatever you can, do consider donating for the content I share; for my intention and the time and effort I put. Your support will go a long way in keeping this blog (of 8+ years) sparkling with stories for many more years to come. Thank you, dear ones. I’ll value what you’ll gift with love and kindness. :-)
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