because the big, grand, happy things aren't my paradise

There is this moment in the morning when I feel a teeny, little nuzzle in the bend of my knees.

I register the heat and the weight of my BFF Charlie (who happens to be a 12 pound white fluffball) and welcome the comfort of knowing a friend is near.

I do everything in my power to stay present.

I am reminded to bask here, in the little things. I start taking in the stream of sun that peeks through the curtains and into my face, become familiar with the little chirps outside the window, and take five deep, slow breaths. This moment of sunshine and kitty love is quite possibly my favorite consistent thing that I experience day in and day out. 

It's the one moment that I find to be the easiest to appreciate. No distractions. 

Nothing is more powerful to me than being mindful of the moment I am in. No matter what’s going on in my life, or what I am surrounded with, my bliss is found in my consciousness. Awareness of breath, light, and background sounds are the simplest and most raw forms of beauty, and I can’t help but to be completely taken aback by them.

So I try to stop. I put my phone aside, and take in my moments. I really look around and enjoy the little things. Like the shape of the sunshine on my pillow.

Finding joy may not be, after all, about doing big grand “happy” things.

Maybe it’s really about training our brains to be joyous. If we can see how joy resonates in even the tiniest, most uninteresting things that we do on a regular basis, and start making a habit of seeing our standard routines as special, then wouldn’t our lives be filled to the brim with things that bring us joy? 

We already do all of these things. For me, it simply takes the act of appreciating them to make them special. Soaking it in. And allowing it to consume me. It is the gesture of looking at a moment and accepting it as beautiful no matter what it looks like. Those moments call out to me to be noticed. And the moment I hear that voice I want nothing more than to sit, silently present, taking in every ounce of love the world is sending my way. That is my paradise.