Sunday, January 26, 2014

10 More Reasons To Be Happy!

 End of day at the prettiest house
Work in progress
Acrylic on birch panel
5 x 7 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
(There are many pretty houses in my
neighbourhood, but this one
is certainly one of the prettiest,
and it always cheers me up to see it.)

I've used the exercise 10 Reasons to be Happy which
I made up, but it may not be original, to great effect
with students.  At the start of a class I pick 10 people to
go the front and start a sentence with, "I'm happy
because", and then say why.  I explain that the
reason could be very small -- as in, "I'm happy
because there was enough salt for my eggs this
morning."  Invariably people who came to the front
said their reasons, and let the class clap for them,
got happier. It sounds like psychobabble magic,
but in fact it's the same principle as blogging and
showing work for artists, and as writing in a journal
and then reading it aloud to friends or people
a writing group.  It gives people a voice.

Voice in art and in the world matters.  Getting a
chance to think about what makes you happy,
shifts your focus to the positive, and as I've told
you before the former happiness teacher at Harvard
University, Shawn Achor, says that when we are
happy we think not only more creatively, but
better.  Hmmm.  So... Here goes.

My husband Steven, seen here preparing
the plum pudding and espresso for Christmas
dinner dessert, (with great élan I might add
 because the heat and hydro had just come on in
the house 24 hours before after the ice storm.)

Our children (left to right, Sam, Christopher and Megan 
Christopher's wife).
These three make me so happy.  They are funny,
kind, and generous -- wonderful people. 


Our animals, Timbah, Fiona and Sally

Our extended family, who are far too many 
to show here, and who insisted no pictures.

5. Our friends who also insisted no pictures!

Nova Scotia, and our time, our friends and collectors there.

7. Good Health -- an incredible boon.


Crocuses and Hyacinth (or a mystery plant)
in January -- not out yet, a taste of spring
Cherries in January -- one of my 
favorite things to eat!
Shown here still in the bag and
asking -- where is a bowl please?


You! Thank you 

for everything!!!

Have a thinking-of-ten-reasons-to-be-happy day!


laura said...

Those are 10 great reasons, Barbara. I'm going to get busy working on my list ... Boosted creativity is a great byproduct of happiness.
Love the painting too--dappled shadows make me happy!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

I count you in the friend camp, and can I add 11, the people who inspire me. You are definitely one of them.

XOXOXO Barbara

Terri Buchholz said...

Barbara when I saw the sampling of your beautiful house painting I actually thought these words, "Her paintings always make me feel happy", and then I read your blog. You just bless people. Thank you for this reminder to be mindful of our happiness.

Flora Doehler said...

Barbara, your post made me smile. You are such a positive person...I love that about you and that you are so good at sharing your 'tude.
You know, I never thought about painting as giving a person (me!) a voice. I've never thought of it that way and this 'ah-haaa' is going to roll around in my head for a while. Thank you.
I know for sure that blogging has been about voice for me and I've loved to be able to finally hear my own thoughts.
Long may you and I and your readers blog and paint and see the beauty everywhere.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Terri,

Thank you so much. I'm glad you feel that way. Stay Happy.

XOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Right on. Well your work has a heck of a voice for me, and has since I first spied one of your watercolours. I loved your bold, experimental and joyful way with paint from the moment I saw it. Love it even more now.

XOXOXO Barbara

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

this post makes me happy!
Our mamas are proud to see us doing our work and yes, it gets a bit easier each day. I feel her presence and she was my biggest fan.
I've been painting Cardinals, her favorite birds.
Each morning when I see the pair at the feeder, I know that she is visiting.
Thanks Barbara.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

I'm so glad this made you happy. At first I thought my mother was sending birds too. Seagulls. It's been so cold that I haven't been out walking, but just after she died I saw a bluebird here -- a very uncommon sight. I'm glad you are feeling a bit happier.

XOXOXO Barbara

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!