maandag 27 juli 2015

Every day is a gift

Dear Monday,
It's okay.
Even though you are blue,
we are still grateful for you.

donderdag 16 juli 2015

Outdoor activities are a happiness booster

Weather circumstances force Dutch people to be indoorsy most of the year. Personally I am an all season girl, but weather complains are not unfamiliar to a lot of us. I do not blame people for complaining. For at least 6 months out of every year our beautiful country looks like a grey painting, where the painter forgot to add a little bit of color. By the time spring arrives, we literally go all out. There is no stopping us. Spring flowers, fresh air, blue skies and a sun that is finally smiling upon us, is a happiness cocktail I get addicted to every year. The taste is so good it keeps me craving for more. On top of that, the cocktail is served with so many outside activities I sometimes need a reminder I have a home. Since happiness is contagious and to give you some ideas I made a list of all the fun outdoor activities that are a must do this summer.
1. Festivals

2. Every type of food event

3. Outdoor/ rooftop movie nights

4. Floating parties

5. Sunset picnics

6. Beach days

7. Nothing beats a bike ride

8. Jump in every pool you can find

9. Roadtrip!

10. Go cultural

maandag 6 juli 2015

Ten Dalai Lama quotes

Today His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is celebrating his 80th birthday and we would like to congratulate him by posting ten of his quotes that we find most inspiring.

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

"When you generate a reasoned desire for others to be happy, your humanity increases in strength."

"Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."

"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves."

"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend, or a meaningful day."

"I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe."

"The more motivated you are by love, the more fearless and free your action will be."

"The seed of goodness is found in the soil of appreciation."

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of love."

"The mind is like a parachute. It works best when it's open."

donderdag 2 juli 2015

Making memories

"The mind replays what the heart can't delete." - unknown

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say summer? Beaches, sun, parties, flip flops? The first thing I think of is crickets. I just love to hear them chirp. Do crickets chirp? They might, but that's not the point. My point is that ever since I was a child I have had a wonderful association with the sound of crickets. During summer vacations I would always walk back to our vacation house after a day of fun and I would hear the sound of crickets. So if I hear crickets today, I smile and feel warm and fuzzy inside. It brings back so many memories. 

Sounds and smells are powerful memory triggers. We all have them. It can be a song making us remember how we danced the night away or the smell of burning wood reminding us of summer campfires and so on. These pleasant memories are intensified by our senses.
Our busy schedules often push us to live our lives in haste. We multitask even when we are relaxing, unconsciously blocking our other senses. At a concert we are taking pictures instead of really enjoying the music. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for taking pictures, but don't let that be your only reminder of that moment. Listen, feel and really live in the moment, otherwise life will pass you by in a blur and you lose the opportunity to really enjoy it.

My summer challenge for you is to fully live happily in the now and reactivate all your senses to create new blissful memories. You can do that by following these simple stepz:

- Let's start with a little reminiscing. Reconnect with the happy memories you have when you think of summer. Is it collecting seashells at the beach, bubble gum wrappers or eating ice cream? What song makes you jump up en down of joy when you hear it?  What perfume reminds you of your summer love? If these memories give you the nostalgic and joyous feelings we are aiming for it's time to move on to the next step.

- Let go of your plans for a while and let life surprise you. An unexpected moment of joy is just around the corner if you let it happen. Don't compromise on happiness because you are too busy.

 - Simply take the time to enjoy the moments you have this summer. Let all other thoughts go and take pictures but don't spend all your time behind the camera or on your phone. Take all the goodness in life in and really feel the moment with all your senses.

Now go and make new memories that will last you a lifetime.

With love, Ana