When I first met Naomi she was living in India. Then she and her family moved to Singapore, she and her kids and their beloved street dog happily following her husband’s career around the world. Now, she’s settling into what she calls her Forever Home in the countryside outside of D.C. – and she is just as happy and adventurous as ever.
Naomi inspires me because she is the type of woman who sends friends from the Internet thank you cards, inspirational tea bags, and earrings from India. She goes the extra mile with her relationships.
She’s also one of the most positive, generous, and caring people you could ever hope to bump into – online or off.
Here’s what she has to say about happiness.
How do you define happiness?
That’s such a hard question for me to answer succinctly. I used to think happiness mirrored the feeling of elation or joy. It used to be only defined by the giddy, butterflies in my stomach, full on laughter kind of emotion. As I get older, move around and continue to raise kiddos through adulthood (how did that happen so fast?) I think that happiness is a series of moments during which I am aware. That sounds so foo-foo, doesn’t it?
I am happiest when I can be present in the fact that I have enough, I am enough, I can create, I can change the world I live in. I am happiest when I am grateful for what is in my life. I am happiest when I am on a path towards a project, journey or challenge.
What “shoulds” have you let go of in order to pursue your happiness?
The “shoulds” I’ve had to let go of in order to pursue my happiness are three big and easy ones to share with you.
- I should have never had a child at age 18, unmarried and broke.
- I should finish what I start.
- I shouldn’t have said that.
What do you do when you’re feeling UNhappy?
When I’m feeling unhappy, the FIRST thing I do is turn on music. I go to several places for this. Best one for productivity is Focus@Will. Best one for kicking my bad attitude to the curb is my running playlist. I’ve created several grooveshark playlists that are perfect to get me up and focused on something else.
SECOND thing is to create a quick mental gratitude list. It can be as simple as: I am grateful to be sitting under a bright blue, expansive sky. I am grateful and aware of my amazing family. I am grateful for my husband who always remembers to ask if I need anything from the store on his way home from work. I am grateful for … (the list gets REALLY long, rather quickly!).
Typically, those two things jumpstart my happiness continuum. If I need an extra boost, I typically reach for my camera or take a gander through my photo archives. I recently started an online collaboration of photography with a friend. We invite others to contribute the color they see in their world. It has an AMAZING way of bringing in a happiness injection!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
The best advice I have ever received about happiness actually came from you, Britt!
Enough of spending my days daydreaming about an upcoming vacation (surely, that will make me happy) or the next date night. Ridding myself of the notion that tomorrow will be better or that reaching my goals would equate to finally achieving the happiness grail did wonders for my sanity and overall mental state.
Today is the day I choose to be happy and spread that contagious energy and way of life to others!
That’s pretty much exactly how I think of Naomi: spreading contagious energy. Check out her website for more of that energy.