Many of us see January as a new beginning, a time to change the things we don’t like. As you reflect, how hard do you have to search to really know what makes you feel fulfilled or happy? As Robert Louis Stevenson said “There is no duty we so much underrate as the joy of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits on the world.” Maybe one of the keys to happiness, is understanding what brings you joy. How often do you take the time to savour the small moments that warm your heart and make you smile? They may seem insignificant on their own, sipping a warm cup of tea, arranging a bunch of daffodils, patting your dog’s head, talking with a dear friend, preparing a new recipe, simple pleasures that fill your heart. Take a minute to pause, think about what stirs your soul. As the days unfold be gentle with yourself but try to embrace each one of these precious moments and treasure them, for these are the things that cannot be bought. Happiness is not a possession but a living emotion, a state of mind, seeing the world with ‘a cup’s half full mentality’. No one can do it for us, it has to come from within. If you think optimistically and reflect your own joy out, it will shine back on you. Smile at those you meet in the world and they might smile back at you. The past can only hurt you if hold on to it, let it go. Expect something good to happen each day, it very well might. Strive to be the leading person in your own life and remember,“no pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” Helen Keller

There are many ‘little’ things that make me happy, such as seeing a bank of Snowdrops on an English country lane and…

Early morning dew
early morning dew
The song of a humming bird
humming bird song
Spring blossoms
spring blossoms
A glass of the palest rosé
 a glass of rose wine
Cooking for othersHomemade chocolate yule log
Buying fresh produce at the market
produce from the Danville Farmer's market
Sunflowers, they seem to smile just by ‘being’
Sunflowers of Provence
Visiting a favourite food shop
Market Hall, Rockridge, California
Arranging flowers
flower arrangement
and of course in addition to my wonderful husband, my lovely children!
my children, Kate and James