07 April 2011

The Art Of Living - Bluebird of Happiness

Happiness - it means something different to each of us but it's a state of mind desired by almost everyone. 

When my darling parents brought me (their firstborn child) into the world, I think that they must have been so filled with delight and joy that they decided to give me a name which means just that, happiness.
Of course I don't get called by my name very often (there are just too many syllables) and through my life I have had LOTS of nicknames - Flick, Fizz, Fel, Floss, Flicka, Fairy Floss, Fliss - you get the idea.

The thing about names though, is that they can be misleading.  Yes, I was a happy child and yes, I'm a happy adult but I have to work hard at it as I wage an ongoing battle with my dual nemeses anxiety & depression - or A&D as we'll refer to them from now on.
Some of you will be raising your eyebrows at this revelation because that's not how you would perceive me to be from reading my blog. Nor would you know it if you met me in real life - how I blog is how I am.  

Well except for when I trip into 'my cave', this is a dark space where the blackbirds A&D hold sway. 
It can take A LOT to draw me out and away from their negative, fearful lyrics.  
The times that I spend in this dismal space aren't pleasant but with the love and support of Captain V, my family, understanding & non-judgmental friends I'm finding myself there less and less often.
That's the thing about those blackbirds A&D, everyone lets them fly in different ways and like all afflictions they have to be managed by each person in the best way that they can.  
As I get older [and hopefully wiser] my desire is that the bluebird of happiness is singing the louder and sweeter tune in my life and the blackbirds find another place to roost.

One way that I do allow the bluebird to have its voice is through this blog.  
It's here that I want to celebrate the unexpected and lovely things that this great big wonderful world has to offer. I want to remind myself and you that there is much to be happy about.  

That's why I always try to start the week with something truly beautiful and then continue adding another special 'gift' for each day that follows. Whether it be sharing gorgeous art, interesting words or amazing places and people with you, my aim is to bring some fun, beauty and happiness for all of us to enjoy. 
And that is why I call you 'Gifters', because you bring me the gifts of insight, joy, giggles and delight whenever you leave a comment, send me an email or share your own moments of serendipity - thank you!

Speaking of which, if you missed the post where I shared my creative space you may not have seen my serendipitous 'Home of Happiness'
Those of you who may be unfamiliar with this terrific project will love it I'm sure. The inspirational Kellie creates little origami homes and sends them out in the mail. You then 'drop' them in a suitable spot, take a photo and blog about it. Hopefully you give someone an unexpected and lovely surprise in the process.  
I was lucky to be allowed to keep this one for myself but I have a couple more to send out into the world, so keep your peepers open for the posts that will follow. To the sweet Gifters who did visit Kellie last week and left such beautiful notes, thank you! You really made my bluebird sing loud and clear! 

Another friend who is actively seeking to recognise and celebrate happiness in her daily life is the dazzlingly gorgeous Naomi of 'Seven Cherubs' fame.
I know that many of you are fans of Naomi's blog and would have already seen her latest wonderful project but for those who haven't, here's the scoop.
Starting on April 10 and finishing May 10 a group of us are going to write one sentence [just one] to record what made us happy or that we're grateful for on that day.
After May 10, we're going to publish our lists and link in with Naomi to share the happiness.
How easy is that? What a great way to help each bluebird sing and keep those pesky black birds at bay!
Hey, I've just noticed that Naomi has a little bluebird singing on her family tree, give it a click to join the fun!

Another way that I'm giving my bluebird a voice is by participating in the Glimmer Project.
It has been created by a stunning dynamo by the name of Susan and the point of the project is simple: 
Do one nice thing everyday for someone.
Your recipients could be a family member, a friend or even a complete stranger.
The 'thing' that you do can may be tiny and almost insignificant or it could be huge and life changing.
There are no rules other than I have to do nice things, random acts of kindness - how wonderful is that!?!

If this is something that you think you could do, Susan sends you out 'Glimmer Cards' and you use these to share the project and hopefully encourage others to 'Pay It Forward'.  
As you can see from the card above, she has a website and blog and it's here that you can read ways that others have been allowing their bluebirds to sing.  I'd really encourage you to give it a go.

Well, this has been a long post so I'll stop now but it has made me think that I might have to change the name of this segment from 'The Art Of Living' to 'Letting My Bluebird Sing' what do you think?
I would love to hear how you let your own bluebird of happiness sing and any projects that you might be doing.

If you love the art at the start of the post as much as I do then you must visit 'The Legend of Now" to see more. The pieces featured here are titled 'Fly Blue Bird Fly' [how perfect is that?] and Return
Thank you to my dear friend Jane for introducing me to this gorgeous artist.

Before I scoot off, there will be some of you wanting to know the meaning of yesterday's 'Word of the Week' which was the mysterious Quidnunc. It means a 'busybody', 'nosey-parker', 'meddler' or 'gossip'.
Definitely a black bird squawking wouldn't you say, the kind that I avoid like the plague.

Let your own bluebirds sing loud and clear today dear friend, its voice is a special gift!


  1. What a lovely post, Felicity. I think there is a dark hole many of us sometimes fall into, hopefully not often with the support of friends and family. Like you, blogging has brought me a lot of happiness, I'm constantly amazed at what people do or how they get together to do good. Something that makes me happy today is being able to spread the word about an amazing project #Quakebook, a crowdsourced ebook on people's experiences in the Japan quake/tsunami that was done in one week by 300 strangers who got together on Twitter. It's an amazing story, I have a post if anyone wants to know more. 2:46 #Quakebook interview and Operation Yashima. Please also consider putting up a Quakebook button, you can get it at the Quakebook blog. The book will be out soon. 100% proceeds go to Japan Red Cross!

  2. Aaah, gossipy. Yep, should have guessed that!! That bluebird is within your reach! I teach re depression and find the very best way is to talk, talk, talk about it as it takes away the power and the secrecy and helps you and your loved ones identify it a lot quicker before it has time to get a good grip. What do you think dear Fellicity? It really helps talking about it?

  3. Crumbs, where do I begin? Ok, first of all, I really like the 'Let My Bluebird Sing' name for this segment. It's the perfect name.
    Next, I really like those paintings! The colours are divine. The texture. The feelings they evoke. Just beautiful. Are they yours? Are they in your home?
    And, I know you struggle with your blackbirds. I've picked that up by reading your blog. I've struggled with mine for over 20 years now. I 'tripped into the cave' for a few days last week. First time in awhile. I've been trying to put my finger on why, but I can't. Fortunately, I'm back in the sunshine this week. The meds certainly help me. I can't cope without them.
    Well, better go make a school lunch.
    Thanks for sharing your happiness, Fel. Yes, I'm shortening your name. I'm not a full name kinda gal. I shorten everyone's name if I can get away with it.
    Have a glorious day. Love Ky xx

  4. Love this post.
    1. I so love that artwork - want it, love it, adore it.
    2. How brave and sweet of you to share your own struggles and challenges finding happiness and light in your life. Anyone who drops by here would have no idea of these challenges - your site is uplifting and peaceful. I always say that in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that they eye cannot see.
    3. Love the additional links you have shared and will have to check them out when my cherubs get better. Thanks so much for the shout out xx
    4. Love the bluebird sing name - so much nicer and so YOU!
    5. I think it is so much easier to say the work gossip instead of the word you shared but will keep it in mind to use on the kids :)
    Have a great day my friend. N x

  5. These are lovely! Have a wonderful day, Kellie xx

  6. What a beautiful, honest and brave post!
    I'm glad you have such wonderful, supportive friends and family in your life, it really does make such a big difference!
    I love the name change to Letting My Bluebird Sing, I think it suits it perfectly!
    Really looking forward to reading your Happiness post in May.

  7. oh my Felicity this is such a beautiful post. Your honesty is heartwarming as is the imagery of your bluebirds. Thankyou for reminding me why 1000 homes of happiness, we are so very touched that it is able to bring some happiness to your little home...this lovely house of serendipity. xoxo

  8. Yes the art work is soulful and calming and the new name really suits. Think would like to link in with those projects maybe.

    Anxiety and depression are suprisingly common and our hectic lifestyles don't help. Myself and my family have many blackbirds in the closet.

    Being connected to others is so important but sadly there are so many people that feel alone and struggle.

    My spirit is lifted being in yours and other wonderful bloggers spaces.

  9. Felicity, what a beautiful and honest post. You write so well too. I have had the "black dog" sitting at my feet many times. I have lived with cyclothymia for a number of years and actually posted a blot about it last year. Please have a read: http://megandmums.blogspot.com/2010/12/little-more-about-me.html
    Thanks so much for posting this. It's so good to read other bloggers' experiences with depression and the like. One should never live with it in silence. At home we have something we do around the dinner table with my four and six year old. I ask everyone what the worst part of their day was. After they've described it, I ask what the very best part of their day was. Then it stays fresh in their minds. It's a good way to shake the day off too.
    I love the artwork by the way - gorgeous. Stay well my friend.
    Megs xx

  10. Oh, Sweetheart. I am so proud of you for writing this brave, thought-provoking and honest post. I hope you feel stronger for taking the plunge and publishing it. I found writing mine about PND a bit cathartic.

    You are such an inspiration, the way you have created this serene, calm and welcoming little oasis in Blogland, notwithstanding the challenges you face.

    Yes, do change the post title as it's so much more 'you', uplifting and hopeful.

    Thanks for the sweet mention - I'm thrilled to have helped you find pleasure in these gorgeous creations.

    J x

  11. Felicity I would never have guessed!! I am so so glad doing your blog is making your blue bird sing & keeping that blackness away, you have to be that blue bird please as I so look forward in seeing your posts & reading all your gorgeous words!! x

  12. This is a beautiful post, and one I will return to read again in the coming days I'm sure. For once, I don't have words to express how reading this has impacted on me, except to say that I feel so blessed to have found you through the blogging world. Sending you much love...xx

  13. Oh my dear, this is such a heartfelt post and you are such an inspiration to me. Have a lovely day, my dear

  14. What a lovely, lovely post, Fairy Floss;) I love all of your nick names, so much better than mine {one of which was Dog Breath...beautiful and so endearing...NOT!}.
    Thank you for sharing about your A & D troubles, at times. It's so lovely to know the whole of a person. No life is perfect, that's for sure. It makes youe ven the more real to be sharing both the good and the not so good in life. So thanks again for that, Felicity.
    Love your new bluebird title idea. Really lovely! x
    PS I popped on over to Kelly's place and can't wait to get my little Happy Home in the mail. Such fun!

  15. I loved reading your post. And I'm so glad that the world of blogging has introduced us to each other! Thank you for being so "real" in your posts. And thank you for sharing The Project Glimmer! :) Your cards should be arriving in a few days! I can't wait to hear what you do with them!

  16. how I love your blog!!! you never fail to inspire and make me feel all tranquil and peaceful...I have certain songs that I put on, they always get me feeling great and help my bluebird to sing!

    As for a segment name change - i was JUST thinking how much i liked the name Art of Living when you mentioned you might change it....Both are pretty titles, but I love The Art of Living

    Gill xo

  17. I truly enjoyed your honesty and vision on the blackbird and making sure that the blue bird sing...it is such a great visual trigger.
    I think when we are born we should be warn that life is not going to be easy and sometimes we need to learn to be our best friend...but in the same time, so much worth the journey!Sometimes, I think that "happiness creating" should be a subject in schools, such a life skills!
    I love that smile on your profile picture, may it never fly away my lovely.
    Sandrine xo

  18. PS: In french we say Felicitation when we congratulate someone...Now I understand...it means we wish for happiness!

  19. I always enjoy the artwork on your blog, and if I lived even kind of close to you I think I'd pack up this babe & go on a little house hunt. Those little houses are so cute. It's such a clever idea!

  20. Yes, yes, yes! Change the name, it fits perfectly with your blog :-)
    I found 1000 homes of happiness via another blog and was so excited when a little house arrived in the post a couple of days ago. I know roughly where I want to put it, but have not decided on the exact location. Such a great projects putting smiles on so many faces!
    A quick glance over the other sites that you have mentioned has me all excited to. Thank you for sharing these uplifting blogs!

  21. Felicity, you have a great attitude, and I like your image of bluebird of happiness.

  22. I've been reading back on a few (not many!!) posts I missed and this was one of them. How eloquently you write about your blackbirds, Flick. I'm sorry they harass you but I'm so glad you have such incredible support to help you clip their wings. You are a true bird of inspiration. x


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x