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!