Tag Archives: gratitude

Rejuvenate | When city voids me, I flee to garden refuge ~ Hummingbird dances. | HartHaiku.com

Rejuvenate | With nature

As I take my daily walks along the river, framed by fragrant eucalyptus trees, I wonder what I would do without this escape hatch, my decompression chamber from the stresses of daily life. I feel in better balance when I return from my walks.

F. Scott Fitzgerald apparently said, “And after reading [Henry David] Thoreau, I felt how much I have lost by leaving nature out of my life.”

Yes, the famous essayist, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau not only loved nature; he also believed it is an important part of our human experience here on Earth. Thoreau left us a rich legacy of works about life, freedom, and nature.

Here are just a few of my favorite Thoreau quotes about nature:

“I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst I can be glad with an entire gladness. If this world were all man, I could not stretch myself, I should lose all hope. He is constraint, she is freedom to me. He makes me wish for another world. She makes me content with this.”

“If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

“He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair.”

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

“Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”

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Photos courtesy Frank Cone, Pexels (Thank you Frank, for this spectacular beauty!)

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Rejuvenate | With nature © Susan L Hart 2019

Seeing | Beauty beholder, open your eyes wide, look deep. It's everywhere. | HartHaiku.com

Seeing | Beauty everywhere

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” These words from Plato may be one of the most quoted phrases ever. It has morphed more commonly into, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Either way, we all know its meaning. One person’s idea of beauty may differ widely from another person. We look, judge, categorize and label everything around us.

Perhaps we all see everything through a pinhole lens. My Hart Haiku post Beauty Defined | How We See delves into the attributes we immediately assign to that which we find beautiful or ugly. One of our challenges is to broaden our perspective; it makes for a richer life experience.

Startlingly, I realized during my travels that I DO have an unconscious rating system for landscapes. That’s right, the scenery I see around me. You see, I’m an artist of landscapes. A certain picture of “beautiful” has evolved in me for many years.

How did that change? I began to travel. I removed myself from seeing the same old view, over and over again. Particularly a little dirt road in Australia taught me about seeing beauty in a broader way. The full story at my HartQuill post: Seeing Beauty in Australia

Beauty beholder,
open your eyes wide, look deep.
It’s everywhere.

Inspirational Quotes:

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Each person is worth the value put on them by the affection of others, and that is where popular wisdom has found that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” ~ Machado de Assis

“Beauty begins in the eyes of the beholder; Reality ends in the mind of the observer.” ~ Joey Lawsin

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Most of my beholders are blind.” ~ Basith

“The beauty of life is in the eye of the beholder. Open your minds eye and see the true beauty of life. Rid yourself of the negative, and rejoice in love and consciousness.” ~ Kenneth G. Ortiz

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Seeing | Beauty everywhere © Susan L Hart 2019

Breathe | Din, smog, concrete, grit, my soul despairs of respite. Park waits patiently. | HartHaiku.com

Breathe | Take a break

Big cities are high energy and fast-paced. Sometimes nothing can beat the excitement of adventuring a new one. I’ve been fortunate to visit some of the biggest in the world, and there are many I’d still love to experience. Paris and Rome are two on my wish list!

Then comes the drain

However, the downside of cities is that it can be extremely depleting to live in one full-time. The subway system in Hong Kong is one of the best in the world, and fun to ride as a tourist. But, I observed the residents carefully in the time I visited. People constantly sandwiched into crowded places, faces planted in their cell phones. There was little connecting with other people, smiling or even making eye contact. Everyone just seemed to be enduring their own personal grind, surrounded by soulless cement.

Be in tune with body messages

It is very important to be cognizant of the drain on our energy in cities. Sometimes it can be difficult or even impossible for city dwellers to escape to green space for a reprieve from the pollution, noise, and crowds. I realized about a year ago that the traffic noise near my house was constantly making me feel on edge. It was a low grade, incessant drain that at first was easy to block out. But there came a time when I realized it was slowly sucking the life energy out of me.

Find your piece of green, today

So as much as I hate moving (who doesn’t?), I bit the bullet and did it for my physical and mental health. My partner and I are now installed in a new neighborhood, which is a short 5-minute walk to green space with a large park and river. I head there frequently for my “nature medicine”, and I’m feeling in better balance these days. And never underestimate the power of even a little patch of nature to energize. If outdoor green just isn’t easily attainable, how about a mini-garden on your windowsill?

Breathe

Such simple medicine, but so potent. There’s a great Time article about embracing nature as a mood booster. What Green Spaces Can Do to Your Mood is well worth the short read.

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Breathe © Susan L Hart

Happy | Are you?

The ever-elusive quest for happiness. Western society programs us to yearn for external stuff to be happy. When we have approval from others, that new computer game, the bigger house,… then we’ll be happy. Or so we think.

I grew up in a generation where moms actually did say, “Eat your broccoli, there are kids starving in Biafra”. Guilt management of children and eating their vegetables aside, they had a point. In a backhanded, control freak sort of way, they were also trying to teach us about gratitude.

If traveling the world (particularly Asia and South America) has shown me anything, it is that poverty exists on a scale that I could not have imagined at age 25, let alone age 7. There are multitudes in the world who yearn for the simple basics: Food, potable water, adequate shelter.

Always striving for “bigger, better, faster” on which to build our house of happiness, in fact dooms us to eternal unhappiness. We build on shifting sand. When we reach a solid place of feeling internal wholeness and peace without any of the “add-ons” (Would you like to upgrade your fast food today?), then true, sustainable happiness is possible.

Happiness is a state of mind, and a choice, at any given moment. It’s not a destination.

Inspirational Quotes:

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

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Happy © Susan L Hart