Happiness: look down to find this elusive feeling

I had a very contented day yesterday, in fact I would say I was very happy. I noticed this when I was walking with my three wildly happy dogs through the aching beauty of an autumn bronzed beech wood.

Beechwood path

I think on reflection that my happiness was a result of me being fully present and engaged with the beautiful colours and sounds which surrounded me. I had walked here in these same woods only 2 days before, but had been wrapped up in thoughts about a problem at work, and so had barely noticed the breath-taking autumn scene around me. Yesterday however I wasn’t distracted by my thinking mind, instead I was walking fully engaged with my senses, drinking in my surroundings. I found a peaceful and contented joy, which I might easily have missed, had I been focused on getting from start to finish in a set time, or had I been lost in my thoughts.

Beech tunnel

So it seems that happiness is something which we can find if we stop searching and yearning, and just let ourselves be emerged, with all our senses, in the beautiful process of living. Kicking my way through this thick crisp carpet of leaves took me back to being about 4 years old, and full of wonder. Happiness was literally right under my feet.

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
James Oppenheim

I love this quote which speaks to me of living mindfully, of living in the moment. If I can be absorbed with the joy and beauty of what’s actually happening right now, my mind has no space to drift back to the past, or to yearn forwards for some imaginary point in time when everything will be aligned perfectly to bring me happiness. Happiness is already with me, if I will just give myself space to notice, and time to breathe.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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6 Responses to Happiness: look down to find this elusive feeling

  1. To Know Beauty says:

    Ah! If I could dream my life and my blog, I would live with family and lots of pets near a paradise like this and I would fill my blog with beautiful writings and even more beautiful pictures such as you make. 🙂

    • You are very kind. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy my photos and my writing. I am grateful everyday for living in such a beautiful part of Scotland. It helps, even when life is being trying 🙂

  2. Words so true — yet we need to repeatedly remind ourselves. Surreal photos, I can understand the achingly beautiful. ~ Kat

  3. My goodness these photos take my breath away. Simply fantastic that you have that kind of nature at your doorstep. Such vibrant colour. So different to my sphere of the world where sandy browns and greens predominate.

    • I love the intensity of colour in an autumn beech wood…..the light is infused with orange and it lifts the spirit wonderfully 🙂 We are lucky to be surrounded by nature, and its good to be reminded so I dont take it for granted! Where in the world are you?

      • Australia, ( sub tropical north), but my heritage is from Scandinavia. So i think the Autumnal scenes resonate well with me. And I can well imagine how the infused light would lift the spirits. Simply looking at your photo and thinking of being there at that moment, makes me smile too.

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