The Place To Be is Now
Do you find yourself living in the future in your head a lot? I know I do... it's easy to dream about a time or place when you have 'that thing' or visit 'that place', hit that life goal or finish that project. I recently created an artwork that I realise stands for leaving that "I'll be happy when" mindset behind and embracing that the place to be is right here, right now.
On first glance you might think that Hound Town, a location, is 'The Place To Be' but for me it stands more for a state of mind than an actual place. Hound Town is about focusing on the good times... not just those of the future or the past but moments we experience every day and the good times as they're being lived in the moment.
Beginner's Bay, Popoyo, Nicaragua - I love how a photo can take you back to a moment in time, but I try to be mindful to really take in moments as they unfold in front of me.
I thought I'd highlight a simple strategy for how we can refocus on what we already have, rather than ruminating on what we don't. This strategy helps cultivate more happiness and satisfaction in our daily lives so we can live a more fulfilling life in all its ups and downs.
How to Break Free from the Anticipation Trap
It's great to be working toward goals but often we want a lot of things and general progress is slow so it's easy to feel stuck and as though we'll never get there. Then often when we do get there the goalpost seems to have moved further away and we have new goals, we rarely sit back and look at how far we've come.
It can feel like the pursuit of happiness becomes a perpetual chase, that we're never really satisfied and always in anticipation of what comes next (or often in my case, feeling as though I never quite make enough progress in any area to feel I've achieved any of my numerous goals and dreams). During my journey doing house sitting and finding my way as an artist, I've learned that happiness isn't confined to a specific location nor to a future event; it's a state of mind that can be cultivated in the present moment.
Take a moment at the end of each day to reflect on three things.
- One thing you're grateful for - this can be the simplest thing through to something greater (eg. my pot plants, my health, my dog)
- One thing you have accomplished up until this point - again this could be something small and simple (like a load of washing you did today) to something bigger (like training for and completing a running event). It doesn't matter when you accomplished this, all that matters is you recognise and celebrate it for a moment.
- One positive experience from the day - this is an interesting one, what is one thing you can pick from the day that felt good? It might have been an interaction with a stranger, a cuddle with your dog, a really good coffee, or something that made you laugh.
I challenge you to find a little notebook and keep it by your bedside, see if you can pop 3 things in there as often as you can (ideally every night!) and you'll find that you start to look for these throughout your day - in fact, it's proven to increase happiness overall. Keep them fresh, try to always think of new things to be thankful for, celebrate and remember. Thank me later ;)
I truly believe that the place to be is the one we're in right now. It's about finding peace in the present moment and appreciating the beauty that exists in every experience. Whether I'm in a brand new house tucked in the bush, a quirky home by the beach or a tiny studio nestled in the suburbs, my "Place To Be" is not a fixed location but a mindset that allows me to embrace the richness of each experience.
Meet Pudding, one of two very friendly black labs and an inspiration for a manuscript I'm working on for a children's book for Hound Town.
A house sit I had in Bangalow with Universe and Pistachio, this was a time of transformation for me. All of the places I stay seem to offer learnings to me.. almost as though the universe heard when I said "I want a life full of experiences..."
My "Place To Be" Tee has taken on so much more meaning for me. It can be a conversation starter but also a symbol of my little philosophy that I like to wear on my sleeve whether people 'get it' or not.
If this resonates and you'd love a comfy versatile tee that you can wear any day (or any night - it's definitely a staple under my pillow hehe) order yours today. I only print very limited runs of these locally in Byron Bay so be sure to get your paws on your very own exclusive Hound Town artist tee right here.
Whether you're a fellow nomad, someone caught in the "I'll be happy when" loop, or simply seeking a deeper connection with the present, this tee invites you to step outside the mindset of future happiness and find your "Place To Be" right here, right now, with all you have in this moment, all you have achieved to this point and simple sparks of joy you can find every single day. Get yours here.