I love candles. Growing up we weren’t allowed to burn them as my mother feared we’d burn the house down – fair call – but as an adult I can’t get enough of them. I burn candles all the time and at night I have at least eight tea light candles burning in different rooms of the house. Not to mention the incense I always have burning away beside Ganesha.
Last night I had one of those moments. A moment I cannot keep and can only be present to. As Owen was preparing dinner, the dogs were at our feet waiting for extra food and I was lighting my candles, there was a moment of absolute joy. A stark realization that - if ever anything were to happen to one of us, or if I’m away in India - these are the moments I would crave for. That I would give anything to do again. As you can see we weren’t doing anything extraordinary. It was a Saturday night, we’d ordered take out and we were planning on watching a movie, which is a weekly treat. But this was and is perfect for me. Spending time with my family, in our home, which is full of love, is simply - perfect.
I tend to have existential crises often. I think that’s what keeps me as focused on the here and now as I am. I never allow myself to forget about the finite life I, and everyone around me, leads. That it doesn’t matter how much money I have, how big my house is or how many new pairs of the latest yoga pants I have, it means nothing at the end of the day. Because these things, these material things, do not bring happiness. They can facilitate a temporary happiness and make life more comfortable – sure – but they do not create genuine happiness.
We spend so much of our lives looking for things out there to make us happy. We read books and go to seminars. And whilst it is fantastic people are searching for what brings them joy, the reality is, true happiness cannot be bought. It cannot be taught. It cannot be handed down. True happiness is something that comes from within. Nowhere else.
I’ve bought new clothes, travelled the world, and sat among inspirational people. But to merely do these things is not enough. It does not bring me joy to achieve such things. Rather, it is in the presence of these experiences. The noticing of how I felt in those moments of walking through a temple, talking with my teachers or even trying on a new pair of pants I’ve worked hard to purchase. It is when I am truly present, just as I was last night as I lit my candles, that I feel absolute bliss. Happiness is in presence. And it is a choice. I choose to notice the little things. This is where my joy is and if you were to ask me, it is the little things that make life great.
Much love, Jessica xx