Let me paint the picture for you. It’s 7:20 am on a Saturday morning. I have crazy hair from showering MOMENTS before going unconscious last night at 9:00- part of me wants to assure you that I don’t always go to bed that early, but who am I kidding! Anyway, I’m sitting in my bed, with it’s soft, marigold comforter. Marigold has won my heart this year. Shoes, sweaters, jewelry- I can’t get enough. If my soul were a color on its happiest days, it would be marigold yellow.
The lamp to my left is giving a soft, comforting light to the room. I pinned a card one of my dearest friends, Tovah, mailed me last year with a Georgia O’keefe quote on it to the lamp. It’s the first thing I see every morning, like a mantra. I can smell the warm and familiar burn of the candles Lydia made me this year. I always burn them when I write.
I look up and the painting of Winston (my dog) that I commissioned for my fiance for Christmas last year. His goofy face is reflected back at me in the mirror, reminding me that I need to phone Leslie, who is not only a talented dog portrait painter, but also the person officiating my wedding. I’ve read that beds should only be for sleeping… sorry not sorry. I do my best thinking from here.
Here, surrounded by the artwork that my friends have created for me, the plants and little tchotchkes (my fiance and I just had a moment trying to spell the word tchotchke… he wants you to know he was pretty close!) we’ve collected over the years from traveling, collecting and gifting. Here, in my marigold bed, surrounded by the evidence of a life lived, and lived with love, is where I will write to you each week.
If it sounds like I’ve put a ridiculous amount of thought into this place, it’s because I have. And I set the picture for you because the first thing I want to invite you to think about is where your happy place is. Now, if the little voice in your head that tends to be nasty (we’ll get to you later, voice!) just rolled its eyes (yes the voice has eyes) you just tell that voice to stuff it and lean in closer to my invitation, not away. Where is your happy place? Close your eyes, and ask yourself. Don’t let the Censor* correct you, shame your or silence you. When you asked yourself where the place was, what did you say? There is no right or wrong answer.
Maybe, like me, it’s in a room where you are enveloped by the cherished artifacts of life. Maybe it’s outside on your back porch where you can sip your tea and hear the birds and the wind and be closer to the Universe. Maybe your happy place is in your office (if that’s true, is your job hiring?) or in your baby’s nursery or even on your couch in your living room. WHEREVER it is, I want you to be incredibly intentional about naming your happy place and committing to spending time there, at least once a week, while you join me for these posts.
If you are having trouble deciding where your happy place is, or your place just doesn’t feel quite happy enough, that is awesome news! Because this is your first task. You deserve a happy place. A happy place feels like going home. Spend some time with yourself, intentionally cultivating a space that makes you feel all the feelings. That you can turn to in the best and most painful of times. A place that can hold things for you. Ask yourself exactly what you need in a space, and within your means, create it.
Yes, there is space somewhere in your life for you to carve out a happy place. Yes, you have the time to give yourself this gift. YES, you know exactly what you need. You don’t need pinterest or West Elm and least of all me, to tell you what your happy place should look or feel like. You don’t need money, or the perfect mid-mod plant holder and you certainly don’t need an entire room! The more you slow down and tune in, the closer you will get to your happy place. The closer you get to your happy place, the closer you will get to yourself.
Don’t think. Just do.
Okay, once you have your happy place in mind and you’ve spent some time making it extra special and meaningful… go there! Yeah, right now! I’ll wait here in my marigold bed and re-read my Georgia O’keeffe while you get there.
Task 1– Manifest your happy place. Spend time with this, don’t rush it. The more intentional you are about creating a space for yourself, the more special and loving it will feel when you return to it.
Task 2– Write about it. You may find it meaningful to keep all your writing in one place as we continue our work together. Yes, a journal. But this is no ordinary journaling. These pages will be your map to yourself. Don’t think. Just do.
What did this feel like for you? Was it easy, hard, somewhere in the middle? Describe your happy place, what can you see? Hear? Smell? What did you bring to the space to make it special?
What did the little voice say about what you were doing? Did it try and make you feel silly? Did it say this was pointless? Don’t worry about silencing the voice, in time we will just learn to soften its edges. Write about creating your happy place and write about how it feels. These pages are for you, so don’t worry about how you sound. Just write.
*I am heavily influenced by Julia Cameron, the writer/creator of the Artist’s Way. Her work has changed my life. She calls the little voice, “the Censor” and I just find that language works for me.
Written by Devon Cozens