“And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” —Mary Oliver
Looking deeper into the chaotic pandemic, we see we are living in pretty dark times right now with no apparent bright future. We’re politically, socially and for many, even personally stunted. It’s a perfect time to hunt through American poet Mary Oliver’s quotes on hope that inspire and bring delight. Her works remind us that joy can be found all around us.
After many hours of therapy, I have come to realize that mindset is everything. To live a happy, successful and prosperous life, we need to have a mindset that is in alignment with success, joy and abundance.
Most people associate me with joy and happiness. As I go through life, whether here or abroad, complete strangers approach me to take my photo or have a selfie with me. I guess my colorful and quirky outfits make people assume I am a happy person, therefore approachable.
They are not wrong about me. I am truly, by nature, a happy person. Maybe luckily it’s in my genes, or maybe it’s the way I was raised. But the most recent revelation I have learned about myself is that how I have chosen to live my life has indeed cultivated happiness. It’s really amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you take the time to get to know yourself all over again.
I sum up my happiness quotient this way: pleasure, meaning and engagement.
Pleasure, meaning, engagement
Pleasure is doing what feels good to me, such as traveling, partying, dancing, swimming, diving, trying to sing, exercising and, of course, it is well known that shopping is high on my pleasure list.
Recently, I have added hiking, reading and journaling to my pleasurable activities. Even card games and mahjong bring me so much joy. All these add to my happiness quotient.
Meaning is derived from having a purpose in life. What gives me purpose? Being a part of my family grounds me and gives me a value-filled life. From being a wife and a mother, a daughter, a sister—I cherish these roles and lovingly take my responsibilities toward my family quite seriously. I like to think that I am the positive glue that keeps my family endearing to each other.
I also have extended families who are comprised of my closest friends, the like-hearted who work with me on my philanthropic activities, the prayer warriors who help me strengthen my spirituality, my colleagues in the business world who hire me for my expertise in interior design, and my talents in emceeing/hosting and other creative endeavors. Because of all these groupings in life, I have grown personally and professionally. Having pride in oneself and really liking yourself as a person helps build your sense of purpose and value in life.
Engagement to me simply means being present and participating in life. It is about being proactive instead of being just reactive. I make life happen instead of allowing life to happen to me. Do you see the difference?
I look for opportunities that will provide pleasure and meaning. This is one reason that I like to throw parties for all kinds of reasons. Relating to people regularly is important to me. Being on social media is another form of engagement for me, as it allows me to reach out and keep in touch with people. Sometimes just letting another person know that “I see you” could mean a lot both ways.
Depending on timing and the circumstances in one’s life, one category may carry more weight than the others, so the key is balance—making sure that all three are generally present in your life so that overall, you feel a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. That overall balance will help carry you through tough times.
Keep your happiness quotient high, replenish your cup when it gets knocked over, and don’t be so hard on yourself on bad days. Happiness is not an end goal—happiness is made up of a multitude of big and small moments in your life with no timeline nor deadline. Happiness builds on itself cumulatively!
Spend time on finding true happiness and, sometimes, retail therapy is all we need to give us that little happy boast. My fave watch brand Swatch recently held an intimately safe affair at the Swatch Building to celebrate the launch of their newest offering. It was also a “Proud to be Filipino” event.
Swatch presented a brand-new Art Special created in collaboration with brilliant Filipino artist José Santos III titled “Crossing Over Yellow and Black Lines.” It is designed to make us take a different perspective on time—and on our everyday lives.
Born and educated in Manila where he still works today, José is an artist whose themes are truly global, and whose works have been on display around the world. He takes mundane objects and uses them to show the modern world we live in. The limited-edition collaboration between José and Swatch is the first ever to feature the company’s innovative bioceramic material, a unique mix of ceramic and biosourced plastic.
There’s a beautiful video of José with known actor, watch and art collector, and good friend Aga Muhlach where he tells Aga that the inspiration of his Swatch Art Special is the piece titled “Crossing Over Yellow and Black Stripes.”
Here are insights from José: “The same way that we were taught about the alphabet A, B, C, D, that’s the sequence, we go through life, and we want that predictability. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. Sometimes it’s fast. Sometimes there are stops.”
And, not too often, but just this once, after waiting 97 years for an Olympic gold for our country, hero Hidilyn Diaz gives us a gold! I am excited to meet you at the next Swatch lunch. Hello Hidilyn and welcome to our Swatch family!
Let me end my column with insights about time from Julius Sevilla, a personal development strategist, a mindset shifter and a self-development mentor.
“Your excuses will not slow down time. Your indecision will not delay time. Your regret will not turn back time. So, don’t waste your time on anger, regrets, worries and hate. Because you can’t turn it back, it’s time to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. Your only time is NOW. So, make sure you spend your time with the right purpose, the right thoughts and with the right people. Time. Do what it does … Keep moving!” INQ
Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram; visit MindAmazing.com