Wednesday, June 18, 2014


A little while ago, I wrote about my intention for my Bali trip. My intent was to pursue happiness. To find it, immerse myself in it, and share it with all of you.

I found that happiness is everywhere. I like to believe I always knew that in the depths of my heart, but Bali uncovered it for me. There is happiness hiding in places that we sometimes don't take the time to look in. In Bali, I saw it in dirty, crowded, market places. I saw it running with the children that played in then streets. I saw happiness dance across the faces of the women who do repetitive, menial labor. It's truly breathtaking to see it. It made me believe that there is even some happiness in sadness. Maybe an appreciation for happiness in sadness, just like how warm the sun feels when you've been in the cold for too long. We get to choose to be happy, regardless of our situations.

Happiness is a mission, a state of mind, a dedicated practice. Happiness is tied to gratitude, love, and faith. That is what Bali taught me. There were people I met that represented each part of happiness, but most of them embodied every aspect.

The thing about Bali that I never thought about, was that no one would really speak English. So my original plan of having these deep, intellectual conversation with the locals there was quickly dissolved when I asked someone if they were happy, and they just put there hands on my cheeks and said "need taxi?" This was at first a let down, and then a huge blessing. Because instead of them telling me with sweet, neatly chosen words what happiness is, they all displayed it.

So back to the parts of happiness: gratitude, love, and faith.

This is gratitude. She had the biggest, brightest smile the entire time my tour group saw her. She sat on the floor weaving a scarf. The women will does this for a work day, 9 hours. It's repitive, it's sitting on the floor and outside. (Did I mention it is super hot and humid there?!) But she was just happy. To have us around here, to be admired, to have a job. Her smile is one I will forever remember.

This is love. This mother stared at her new baby girl so dearly. When I took the picture she asked, "May I see it? I have not seen a picture of my baby." When I showed her, happiness beamed from her, "She's so beautiful!" This is love, essential to happiness.

This is faith. These school boys kept their uniforms so clean. They waved the biggest hellos. And I mean this picture... after I snapped it, I got so emotional. You have to have faith. That despite where you live, whether or not you will receive an education, whether or not you will grow up in a village of poverty, every day is a new chance. Every blind step forward is done in faith. Every night that these boys scrubbed their clothes in the hopes of looking neat for school, they were deciding to have faith in the tomorrows, and most importantly, themselves.

On the flight home, I listened to Florence and the Machines. Dog Days came on my shuffle. "Happiness hit her, like a train on a track..." How fitting are those lyrics? It is so true. One you find your own happiness, it's not a slow embrace, it's a wave of emotions, a swelling of your heart.

My Wednesday wish is for safety and blessings to be poured upon those sweet people of Bali. My wish is that they continue to be happy and that even though they never knew what I was saying, they knew what I felt.


1 comment:

  1. What an amazing journey you have been on! This is so true...happiness often is a choice. One that we don't always make because circumstances aren't ideal. Yet these photos and tales that you share show that people with far less seem far happier. Thank you for the reminder. And thank you for linking up!


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