Life as Paradise

I read a quote by Leo Buscaglia today that said, “Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion.” It made me stop and think. Am I living in a paradise? Am I pursuing the things I love with a passion? I like this quote because it implies that we are in charge of how great our life can be. Of course bad news, bad days, and bad circumstances will come our way. But we can choose whether or not we view our life on the whole as boring and lackluster, or as a happy paradise of our own making, filled with things we are passionate about.

So how do I make my life a paradise? What are the things I love and am passionate about? And then, how can I pursue those things on a day-to-day scale? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking long term or big picture, but I really think that it is small moments that are the most important. Daily decisions and small acts make all the difference- and they are much more attainable!

Buscaglia’s quote really made me desire to live more passionately, so I’m starting by writing just five things I love most to help remind me to take pleasure in the small things and small decisions, and build my own paradise.

1. Books- I have to make time to read, even just one chapter, every day. I definitely feel it when it’s been a couple of days without this time.
2. Aesthetics- I love putting together images of beautiful things. Something about a cozy space, a flower in bloom in a jar, or a gorgeous Christmas party makes me so happy. Now that I have an apartment of my own (shared with my husband, of course), I love finding images and shops that help me express my aesthetic. Sometimes, it can make all the difference in one’s mood.
3. Small businesses- If given the option between a chain or an independent store, I’ll almost always head for the latter. There is so many beautiful, unique things to be found by the creative, passionate types who open their shops, and I love supporting their creativity.
4. Food- I do love cooking, but I love eating even more. Now that I have my evenings free, I’ve been meal planning and trying out new things almost weekly. It’s been a good exercise in learning, patience, and health.
5. Relationships- This reflects not only my desire to cultivate the beautiful friendships I already have, but my desire to truly see people. I think of all the people who work in customer service who often get mistreated or simply overlooked by people in a hurry or in a fluster. I do not want to miss all the beautiful people in the world because I was too busy thinking about myself. (I think what this really comes down to is being present in the moment, but that’s another post.)

What are your passions? How can you make your life a paradise? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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