Snapping photos of the world around me, the things that capture my imagination, moments of joy that I want to remember, things of beauty that I want to be able to gaze back over, has become a core passion of mine over the years and a daily ritual.
It’s a real practice of bringing myself into the moment, being present to the things around me, finding beauty in the day to day. I’m a huge fun of iphonography. I’m sorry to the traditionalists out there, but I love the made in the moment style of it. I always have my phone to hand – I snap, quick edit with Instagram and I’m sharing it with friends in seconds. I love the creativity of it, the way it is a little act of deep recognition of something in the world around me that has pulled at my heart and senses in some way – whether it’s a grinning friend about to leap into a lake or spring blossom on a blue sky day.
I love the sharing aspect of it too. I have friends dotted all over the world and there is a growing crowd of us all sharing our photos on Instagram, so friends that I only get to see once a year, I get to feel connected to through the images they are sharing of their world and the way they are seeing it. Because the way we each see the world is unique – what you focus in on will be different to what I focus in on.
What we capture on camera tells us a lot about our lives, our loves, our focus, our worlds. And so looking at the photos we take can offer us valuable insights into what our happiness ingredients are.
It can be a powerful place to start when you are looking to make a change in life or create something new, whether it’s a career you love, a partner in life or a place to build a life and call home (my current journey).
So this week I had a go at it – I used my photos to gain deeper insight into what my core ingredients are when it comes to being fulfilled in my day to day life. Where does my energy go up and where does it come down? What are the places I thrive in most? Where do I come alive? What are the activities that make me shine? Who are the kind of people I have fun creating life with?
Below I’ll share with you what I found and my Juicy Tuesday challenge to you is for you to do the same. Take 20 minutes today to scroll or flick through your photos over the past few years, as far back as you like, and see what themes you see emerging about what your core happiness ingredients are. What do you see about yourself, about where you appear to be happiest, most engaged and in love with life? What are the key themes that seem to be coming up?
Here is what came up for me as some core ingredients that are going into my mixing bowl as I scope out a place to build a life and call home for the foreseeable future.
Out in nature is where I’m in love with life – cities make me depressed
It’s out in nature that I capture beauty, harmony and joy. Put me in a city and the themes are solitude, decay, disconnect and graffiti. This one I knew already but boy do my photos over the past few years say it loud and clear.
Outdoor activities make my soul soar
My body just springs to life, my soul soars and my heart is happy when I am out on the water kayaking, in the mountains hiking or driving a long road trip (preferably in a camper van and with adventure as my destination)
Peaceful and inspiring spaces to write, reflect, connect online and work from.
My work is my passion, it’s a labour of love. Me, my laptop and I. And fully functioning wifi. And where I work from is key because I need to feel inspired, calm, safe and relaxed when I’m connecting with all of you out there and writing from the core. So whether it’s a cafe that has a home-made, warm creative vibe to it or a hilltop where I have my campervan parked, it’s important that where I live I can find a space like that.
I love being part of a team
This has been the biggest eye-opener – perhaps more than anything it’s the fact that it wasn’t more obvious to me already. It’s so obvious! I LOVE team work. And I am craving it. Be it collaborating on a work project, going on a kayaking holiday. Hell, just getting in a car with four of my favourite friends to road trip an hour up the road gives me a full on pleasure peak. It used to be the orchestra and netball team that gave me that experience as a kid. I LOVED it. Nowadays the teams I love being part of happen around projects, road trips and outdoor adventures. So the kind of people I love to have in my life day to day in the place I’m building a home are the kind that love outdoor living – that relish it, cherish it, love it, embrace it. People that push me further to go on new adventures. People that have ideas…and make them happen. People that love community and teamwork.
Having animals around makes such a difference. Dogs are my thing. Yep, having a dog in my life makes it that much more full of daily joy and love.
So have a look through your photos and see what core happiness ingredients start to emerge that perhaps you hadn’t been fully aware of before and come and share what you discovered. It really is a great exercise – try it!
Much love from Canada – a land of mountains, kayaking and outdoor activities (just have to get that wifi sorted where I am)!