to paint my present beautiful

“do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” -buddha

this made me stop and think for a minute when i read it. i understand not dwelling in the past, and making sure to live in the present moment, but not dreaming of the future? um, i pretty much exist to dream of the future. romance, marriage, kids, nyc…you name it.

but in a way, i do see the truthfulness of this quote. it’s important to be happy in the now. happiness comes in loving this journey, every inch of it, no matter how disgusting and discouraging life may seem.

i’ve found that there is a sense of peace, unlike any other, that comes from taking a moment to just sit, and be. to live for even just thirty seconds, perfectly in the present, perfectly grateful for all of the blessings around you, perfectly whole, and content, and full of compliance with the world…that’s a beautiful moment right there.

i’ve been trying to take more of those moments for myself lately. just snatches in the middle of each crazy day where i stop worrying about what’s going to come next and what else needs to be done and instead take a moment to recognize the bounty around me.

i’ve found that life becomes a little bit like a prison when all you can ever see is the future, and how the present is just clearly not good enough, since there’s this amazing future right off in the distance. happiness is so easy to just toss of to the hands of the future for safekeeping.

but the thing is, if you haven’t learned how to be happy in the gorgeous, rich present you’re living now, how is anything going to be any different when you finally reach that day, or event, or milestone that you tossed your happiness to so long ago? happiness is a choice, and it can most certainly be a hard choice, but it’s something you have to train yourself to choose. and as nice as those pity-parties sometimes feel, and although i’m far from happy all of the time, i’ve realized that the world is so, so much brighter when i choose happiness in the current moment.

yet i don’t think dreaming is altogether bad either. when you have those dreams and aspirations continually in your sights, you’re able to live your “now” in a way that will allow those future hopes to eventually become a part of your present. expectations for a better future are what keep me moving – what keep me taking steps and making the choice to keep going, every time that lovely sun comes up.

so i guess there’s an extent. when you pile up all of your stock and save it for the future, that’s a recipe for dissatisfaction and unrest. but letting the future be a guide, a beacon of hope in the distance makes for special, precious, full moments in the present.

i want more of those full moments – those moments where time seems to smile, imperfection seems perfect, and the goodness and rightness of life seems about to overflow. and i have a sneaking belief that those moments aren’t fleeting or rare. my sneaking belief is that every moment can be a full moment, if i only expend the littlest bit of effort to recognize it.

my goal at present is to hunt out those full moments, to open my eyes, and pull down the discouragement and the pride and the haze of expectation that i’ve allowed myself to let hover in the way of present contentment. i’m going to do my best to usher the beauty and the gratitude to the forefront, and help keep it there.

and while accomplishing my goals and living out my dreams may still be something a little ways off in time, ushering in the beauty is something i can do now, this very minute. i’m going to throw back the curtains and let beauty into my present – i’m going to paint my present beautiful.


my favorite things // 02-01-2014

– kid president. oh my goodness, this kid is just so cute and happy and his videos just brighten my day! i saw some of his videos a few months ago, but i forgot about him until yesterday when i came across one online. he’s just the best!

– oatmeal. i think i could eat oatmeal for every meal of the day. plain oatmeal isn’t all that great, but when you add a little brown sugar, and some peanut butter, or some chocolate chips, or some coconut (or all three)…mmm that’s good.

– snowflakes. especially those big, thick ones that come in all at once and take the world by surprise, until pretty soon everything is all white and fluffy and gorgeous.

what were your favorite things this week?

p.s. in other news, i’m going to try to blog every day in february! i have my fingers crossed that i can get through the month, but i’m quite excited! so check back here every day for some sort of lovely something! 


let it go

let it go, let it go, let it go.

it seems like lately i’ve been saying this to myself over and over again. sometimes with clenched fists and deep breaths and little tiny tears trying to sneak their way out of my scrunched up eyes.

this is something i struggle with, this action of letting it go. letting go of hurt, of grudges, of feelings of being wronged. but this struggle is only human, right?

it hurts to be the second. the second priority. the second option. the second person to be called for comfort. sometimes i feel like i’m just halfway reliving about fifty sappy, passionate quotes on pinterest, and then it seems silly, but it’s the truth. no matter what form of relationship it occurs in, it hurts to be the second.

i keep struggling to find the line – really, really wanting to find the line – the line where i can say to myself, “it’s okay, you’re done now – it’s okay for you to leave these people behind. they’ve done too much. they don’t deserve your help or your friendship anymore.”

but yet, despite the hurt, i can’t get rid of the little voice of goodness whispering to me to let it go. just. let. it. go. 

i do need to be better at remembering. remembering is what will keep the cracks and tears from going deep. remembering that i can only control my own actions. i am in control of how i react. the other person involved may go and act in a way that i deem hurtful, but that’s their choice. and i really don’t think that most people act with malicious intent on a regular basis, so whatever they choose to do is whatever they feel is right.

so no matter how badly i want to want to punch some people in the face and break down in tears in front of them because of how they’ve treated me, or sometimes how they haven’t treated me, i need to remember to choose to just let it go. 

i need to put first in my mind the moments of kindness, and the words of encouragement, and the goodness that’s deeply rooted inside of people. that doesn’t mean that i’ll make the choice to put 100% of my emotional stock in certain people again, since there is a point where you need to make sure you’re safe and not continually throwing yourself into a toxic situation. but it does mean that i need to remember that life always sits better when you’re on good terms, when there is peace, and when you’re searching for the beauty in people instead of the faults.

i don’t want to blow this out of proportion, because these bothersome happenings don’t occur every day, and it’s not abusive, or anything scary. it’s just the accumulation of one little thing and then another, one week here and there, that adds up over time. but the fact that it’s only little things is all the more reason for me to let it go. these people aren’t bad people. at all. again, all the more reason for moving beyond the hurt.

these little things don’t really matter in the grand scheme of the world. let it go, let it go, let it go.

and at the end of the day, i want to be known for being the friend who forgave, the one who stuck through to the end and lasted beyond the stupid boyfriends and the icky spots and the times of being put second. i want to be known for being reliable, for being a constant, despite how the other party may act.

this whole let-it-go-thought-train reminded me the other day of part of the song “little wonders” by rob thomas. (to hear the whole song, which i highly recommend, since it’s a beauty, click this link >>>

Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know the hardest part is over?
Let it in, let your clarity define you
In the end we will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours still remain.

i need to let the “clarity define [me].” i need to find the peace in the situation, even if that means removing myself for a time. life will go on, and i’ll look back on past events without remembering specifics, but instead remembering how i felt. i want to remember feeling happy, and content, and joyful.

and though it’s a struggle, at the end of the day i’ve formed this determination to rise above and shake off the hurt. no matter how badly a part of me may want this to be the last time, i have a determination to forgive. i have a determination to allow those let-it-go whisperings to win over, leaving me free.