am I allowed to say.....

The other day, while driving to pick up my friend, a thought crossed through my mind (I often have wonderful thinking and singing sessions while driving on my own).
I realised - with no vanity or ego - that I'm really happy with who I'm becoming. Not to say that I'm perfect, or have reached any higher level. I just felt that in myself - how I think of myself, and perceive myself, and present myself - I'm a person I'd like to know, and be friends with. 

Am I allowed to say that....!!?

{I always believe that if you can't love yourself how can you expect other people to love you. If you don't stand tall feeling and believing you look good, are interesting, or beautiful or special, or wonderful or unique; how can you really expect anyone else to think the same!}. 

Anyway. I don't want to gloat. Or pretend that life is always peachy. 

But it's how you look at life isn't it. Yes - we still live in a teeny shack. A shack that leaks when it rains heavily, the sun doesn't shine on it until almost mid-day, the outside creatures can get in (think native mice, rats and snakes), there's no space for thinking or being away from anyone else. Yes - I haven't done one single tiny bit of screen printing all year (yep ALL YEAR). And barely any sewing. And my crochet projects seem to have fallen by the way side. And I don't have a bathroom, or a wardrobe or a chest of draws even for my clothes (those that aren't packed in boxes in our shipping container are stored in plastic tubs under our bed). I don't have a bank balance to zip off overseas, or let alone to go justify going away for a weekend for our upcoming anniversary {house building does that to you - takes everything!!}. I don't have the perfect studio for making or creating any time I feel like it. 

And those things all affect me. And get me down. But then - is it worth being down, and dismal and upset and bitter about these things? Not for me. 

Stop and smell the roses is as old as sayings go. But it's true. It's the stopping, and taking notice of one thing that matters. Of enjoying and appreciating tiny moments and everyday happenings. Those for me make me more than happy. They make me content. 

I think happiness is wonderful. Pure joy and bliss and all that. But high happiness can be fleeting - at least it doesn't last forever. For me, contentment lasts longer, is steady and real and brings about joy and happiness more often. 

Again with the roses :: I brought some home the other day from a local road side stall. And being real roses (rather than grown across the globe to specific commercial conditions) they had lots of big spiky thorns. While snipping the leaves and thorns to put them in water, I pricked myself. My little ones asked my why roses have thorns. Of course it really is so that animals can't climb up and eat them. But it's a reminder that the beautiful and the difficult (ugly) exist side-by-side. Can so-exist. Or that out of hardship can bloom beauty. 

The same as the lotus. That beautiful spectacular flower that blooms from dirty mud. 

{oh, I'm full of the quotes today aren't I?}. 

So - this whole long wordy post is to say this. That it's ok to be happy. It's ok to be content. To say yes I am good and things are good. And that if you're not feeling that way - then maybe take a moment (a long moment) to stop and enjoy those tiny moments of beauty you DO have around you. Sometimes you have to invent or exaggerate that beauty, but it will be there if you look.

The Dalai Lama says: "Choose to be optimistic, it feels better".

** This post was written a few weeks ago, and has sat in drafts until now. Now when I needed to read and remember and say these things. I posted on Instagram today about feeling moody - and what I meant was low and lacklustre and joyless.

Every day is an endless journey to finding my peace, contentment, calm and balance.