Happiness is a State of Perception

Recently I finished a piece called “Contemplation.” It is a painting of a woman who is deep in thought and the magic of her intention is floating around her. As with most of my pieces, I stared at it for a very long time after it was finished and wondered what people would think of her.

This got me thinking about the different perceptions people have about art. Some people would think she was absolutely beautiful, others would just scoff at her and walk away. I wondered what kind of person would scoff at something beautiful and whether or not they were happy people.

It was then that I remembered that I was a very different person in the past. As much as I love art and am excited to see the uniquely awesome creations that people create, back then I was cynical and would scoff too. I can honestly say I wasn’t very happy, I pretty much complained and criticized everything.

This got me thinking about the weather. Yep, the weather. It’s been infuriatingly hot here in Pensacola and as much as I would love to stay inside and hibernate in air-conditioning, I have things I have to do outside.

I thought about people I know who don’t seem to be bothered by the heat and how much happier they seem during the summer months. I thought about hot days at the beach and how the weather isn’t really that big of a deal.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez… and it is hot.

Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. So I played around with the idea of deleting the heat and focusing on the things I enjoyed. I focused intensely on the small breeze, the cold refreshing water, the sound of the fan running in the background, the birds tweeting and how good it felt to wipe the sweat from my skin. Slowly, I started to shift my perception to other awesome things, such as the feeling of walking into air-conditioning after being out in the heat or how the shade feels so good.

I realized that the things I perceive are not good or bad, that judgement comes a split second after I’ve experienced what ever it is. If I spend my entire time bitching about the heat, then all I’m doing is making myself miserable. Instead, I’ll delete the bitching, focus on the beauty and milk that as much as I can. It works wonders for me.

In the past I criticized everything and made myself miserable, guess it’s better to just focus on what you want to see. To see the beauty in a flower on a hot day, listen to the sound of birds chirping, the sound of thunder in the distance or admiring a unique piece of art and taking it all in with a smile. Sounds way more fun.

 

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