words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

Archive for the tag “instant smile”

Find your bliss

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My daughter made this for me last year.

As I sit here and write this, I am surrounded by a myriad of things.

There are reminders of my children — photos of them when they were younger, their first drawings, paintings they did for Mother’s Days past, handmade coasters and little notes they leave on my desk from time to time.

There are also books. Lots and lots of books on my desk. Some I have read, some are in the ‘to-read’ category. Some of them are related to my work, and some of them are for pleasure. Books give me a lot of pleasure.

I also have calendars, a diary, planners, paper, journals and lots of pens.  I love to plan and be organised. And being an old-fashioned girl, I like to do it the old-fashioned way — using pen and paper.

My favourite coffee cup sits on my desk, next to my hand cream, a candle and my ipod — things that I use on a daily basis.

Also sitting on my desk is my training program for the next 12 weeks, along with the goals I have set myself.

QUESTION: What do they all have in common?

ANSWER: They all make me happy.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

Each day, we have choices to make. Very few of us are free to do whatever we like, whenever we like. We all have responsibilities and things we have to attend to on a daily basis — whether that means going to work to earn our living, raising a family, caring for loved ones, ferrying kids back and forth.

However, there is something that ALL of us can do to bring a little happiness to our days. Even if it is only having a coffee in your favourite cup, or listening to your ipod while you clean toothpaste off every surface in the children’s bathroom.

We all have different things that we love. Things we use, things we do, life choices we make that keep us happy.

We may not always understand why something makes someone else happy, but that’s okay.

For example, I don’t understand what part of bike riding is enjoyable. All I seem to get from it is a very sore backside. However, friends of mine are avid bike riders. They just about live in lycra. It’s their thing, their passion. One of my friends rides “Around the Bay in a Day” every year. That’s 250km in a day ‘for fun’. And he rides his bike from home to the start line, and then home from the finish line. So that’s more like 300km. I don’t get it. I admire him, but I don’t get it.

Just like some people don’t get why I love to lift weights. In some ways I don’t get it either. In my younger days I hated weight training. I would start a program but I would perform it half-heartedly, always having an ‘excuse’ not to do it. As I got older I knew I really should incorporate it into my exercise routine, if I wanted to stay healthy but I kept putting it off. When I was ready to tackle it, I told my trainer that I hated weights and that she would have to make it interesting if I was to stick at it.

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I had to include my son’s art work.

More than two years later, I now lift three times a week (soon to be four – WHOO HOO!) and I love it. In fact, I live for it. I love getting strong. I love feeling my muscles working. I love setting goals and working towards them. I love the place I have to go to in my mind before I lift something heavy. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from lifting something that I thought was too heavy. And the masochist in me loves the sore muscles over the next two days.

(Some of you won’t get it. That’s okay.)

It’s part of my bliss. It’s also something new that I have found that I love.

But it’s not all of my bliss.

There are lots of other things that make me happy, some of which have made me happy for years.

Bliss for me is reading a book while enjoying a good red wine.

It’s a good coffee and some dark chocolate.

It’s planning and making lists and writing with pens and paper.

It’s a day on my own, just for me.

It’s a relaxing massage. Total bliss!

It’s cuddles in the bed with my kids.

It’s a great conversation with a good friend.

It’s sitting at my computer, free to write what I feel like.

My favourite beach.

My favourite beach – Caloundra.

It’s watching the ocean crash on the rocks.

It’s sitting in front of a campfire and laughing with friends.

It’s a warm bath at the end of a busy day.

It’s sitting on the couch, watching a great movie with my husband.

And it’s definitely all the reminders of the two little people in my life.

Bliss can be different things for different people. It’s not our job to judge whether the things that make others happy are good or bad, right or wrong. We just need to accept that sometimes other people do ‘crazy’ things because it makes them happy.

We all have a chance to have bliss in our days, even if it is only for 10 minutes.

The trick is working out what makes you happy, and working it into each day.

Where do you find your bliss?

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cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

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Instant smile

Ok, I’ll admit it. I play Song Pop.

For those of you who are closet Song Pop fans, there is no need to explain the game. Just skip down to paragraph 7.smile

But for you who have not yet discovered the delights of Song Pop, it can also be titled “Guess that Song” or “Title and Artist”. Basically, you get a snippet of a song and you have four options to choose from. The options could be the title of the song or the artist (or the TV show or musical that the song is from). And there are different playlists to choose from — all centring around a theme.

One of the playlists is called “Instant Smile”. I can only assume it’s because when you hear the snippet of music, most of the songs bring a smile to your face. For example, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Mamma Mia” by Abba and “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees.

However, I do question songs such as “Kung Foo Fighting” by Carl Douglas and “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon being on the list. Who smiles at those?

But I digress.

The very title “Instant Smile” seems to be, for the most part, a good description of the songs. Which led me to wonder….

What else gives me an instant smile?

You know, those smiles that just come out, without effort. I’m not talking laughs. I’m talking genuine, eye-crinkling smiles.

So here are some of the random things that bring an instant smile to my face:

  • A warm, sunny spot on a cold winter’s day
  • The smell of freshly mown grass
  • Getting into bed at the end of a long day
  • Little notes and drawings from my two children
  • That first cup of coffee for the day
  • Improving on my PB at the gym
  • Showering after being at the gym!
  • Rainbows
  • Glorious multi-coloured sunsets
  • My son telling me he loves me
  • Dark, foreboding clouds of an incoming storm
  • The sound of waves crashing on the rocks
  • A cup of tea and my current book
  • Watching my daughter dance
  • Listening to my daughter sing
  • The thought of spending time with good friends
  • A bunch of roses
  • Going to sleep when it’s pouring with rain outside
  • My husband offering to rub my feet
  • A beautiful piece of music
  • Cuddles with my kids
  • The knowledge of a job well-done
  • Birthdays
  • The promise of a sleep-in.

Oh, and beating my Champion Friend on Song Pop! (You know who you are!!!)

What gives you an instant smile?

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words by nerissa

...observations, thoughts and questions