Inspired. Again.

There are those days where things just don’t seem to fall into place from the moment you step out of bed. You woke up late, stubbed your toe, the coffee machine breaks, you can’t find your favorite shirt, every other car on the road feels the need to cut you off for some reason (and then give you “the bird”), your computer greets you with tons of emails (some less than pleasant in tone), and when lunchtime rolls around – only then do you realize that you forgot your wallet at home. “Ugh. It’s going to be one of those days,” you think.

Then are those days where everything is just fine on the surface, you can’t complain – you have a roof over your head and food in the fridge. You’re working toward something, dreaming, and believing in whatever aspirations are important to you. And yet somehow you still feel like you’re going in one big circle in life, while others seemingly run laps around you, moving faster, sweating less (those bastards!). 🙂

I’ve come to learn that there are all kinds of days. Some good, some not so good, some life altering, but many in the middle. What has always helped guide my perspective, despite the type of day that I’m having, is collecting quotes. For half my life now I’ve always kept a collection containing advice that I’ve heard or read and written down; but in more recent times, an image with just the right words that I came across that resonated with me and started collecting them online. (Thank god for Pinterest.)

I wrote a post like this last summer and thought today is a good day to share more of my favorite quotes with you, perhaps turning “Inspired” into a new series for the blog. What I always (ALWAYS) appreciate no matter what mood I’m in: is good life advice, words of encouragement, and wisdom from others that uplift and motivate you to live better and be better.

Considering these words even exist to share, is a gentle reminder that we’re all in the same battle if you think about it – perhaps at different rankings, fighting on different fronts for different causes, but ultimately for the same end-goal. I think that goal is to have lived life to the fullest in whatever capacity that means to the individual.

So if any, or all, of these bring a smile to your face, or give you an ounce of encouragement and motivation to see the beauty in whatever is going on in your world – no matter how you started or ended the day  – then I’ve used my blog and done good.

Here’s to inspiration…

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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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I make every effort to indulge in a lifestyle that celebrates “artful living.” This means, I try to see the beauty in everything and surround myself in it as much as possible, with the aim of also radiating beauty back into the world. More specifically, the goal is to always be engaging with creativity, exploration, passion, knowledge, and love. This ideology is rooted in all areas of my life: from resolving to only be around people who are uplifting and positive; to the simplicity of enjoying a well-presented tasty meal; to something as surface as treating myself to the best in life (within my not-so-rich means, of course); to fulfilling the need I have to always be exploring something and someplace new (and then blog about it!).

I’d say that I equate artful living as a key part, though certainly not whole, to some level of happiness for me.

When I came across this profound quote from Buddha, I began to think about my take on artful living and realized, I, like most people have made the mistake of focusing on what I have and who I am as a reference point toward thinking that I’m getting it right (or somehow close to right). Then I think about the people you hear about that have it all, are the epitome of success and high society – yet it’s not enough. Is this solely because their mind’s perception has not caught up with their success that they cannot find true happiness? If so, I can certainly understand Buddha’s logic. Essentially, if your mind isn’t streamlined to your actions it won’t matter anyway.

Though we’ve all heard this sentiment in some form or another many times throughout our lives, it seems this bears repeating in case we get so caught up in the details that we forget the big picture.

There’s nothing else I’m lovin’ more right now that these 19 words that seemingly share the key to happiness – our thoughts. While I do think that focusing on what makes life beautiful by living intentionally and artfully equates to some level of happiness perhaps this simply is a surface version of it. It seems we must master our connection with our mind, our thinking, before it truly manifests anyway.