• A Simple Kind Of Happy
  • Jean Burman
  • australian artistfrancehow to be happyjean burmannatural worldparisparis sojournpeacerobin williamstravel
A Simple Kind Of Happy

I'm plonking this here in the middle of my Paris sojourn… not because I necessarily want to but because I feel that I need to. I penned these words earlier this week and then thought twice about posting them because it seemed to be on such a low note.  

But it's important I think to observe our feelings as they occur and these are the words that came to me. So here they are for better or for worse guessing that most people won't read them anyway [let's face it who has the time] but trusting also that these thoughts will reach out and touch those for whom they are meant.  

This week’s sad news of Robin Williams’ untimely death brought sadness to many of us around the world and I couldn’t help but ponder the deeper aspects of the struggle for happiness contentedness and our reason for simply being.

Happiness is who you are

Not where you are or what you have

It’s a decision you make

To make of it what you will.

You set your mind to it and for the most part you choose.

I often have to remind myself how far I’ve come over recent years.

It wasn’t always like this.

But what is… this?

Are we ever really satisfied?

Or do we continue to align ourselves through doubt and fear to a way of thinking that has long since failed to serve us?

I’ve come so far and yet I am still in some ways standing still.

My circumstances may have altered over time with ups and downs just like everyone else but am I any happier?

Am I any further progressed?

Am I any more evolved?

“Each of us has our cross to bear” my mother used to say.

We smile for the world because that is what we are supposed to do. We don’t [afterall] want to burden others with our troubles the pain of which only we can know.

And let’s not kid ourselves here.

Nobody is immune.

Not you. Not me.

Not the famous… successful… or accomplished.

We are all in the very same struggle together… the struggle for self-realization and some degree of content. Free from the constraints that society and circumstance have placed upon us… wondering if we are doing enough… being enough… having enough… to be content with who we are… where we are… and what we have.

So are we enough?

Is this enough?

Can we be content with that?

I don't know about you… but I’d like to think so.

Because happy is a place in your heart that can’t be “gotten to” any other way.

It’s the decision you make in spite of yourself… your problems… the weather… world events… or the geographical place you are in.

It’s the choice you make when people you care about let you down.

It’s the decision you make when things look bleak and you don’t really have all the answers.

It’s in the tilt of your chin when life gets tough and you can’t find a way out of your fear… the real enemy of happiness.

More and more often… no matter where I go and what I do… I am being pointed back to the natural world. The natural world untainted by societal demands and constraints and the constancy of our own wanting.

I am wondering if Robin Williams had walked in a garden more often or camped out in the wilderness once in awhile or contemplated the greatness of simple things just a little bit more… would he have found a happier way to be?

Who knows? But these are lessons in wondering for us all.

I don't have the answers… I only have the questions.

So I thought I'd pose them here.

  • Jean Burman
  • australian artistfrancehow to be happyjean burmannatural worldparisparis sojournpeacerobin williamstravel

Comments on this post ( 8 )

  • Aug 18, 2014

    Beautiful words and video that are definitely not a down note as far as I’m concerned. Lots of these questions have been discussed in a way that reaches me by people like Daniel Dennett and Steven Weinberg. They have helped open my eyes to a path that celebrates the here and now, even though I often stray. Far.

    (btw, what all did you use to make this video?)

    — Nick

  • Aug 18, 2014

    Thanks Nick … I very much appreciate your thoughtful response. Glad you enjoyed the video. This was filmed on my old iPhone 4S [have the new 5S now which has a slightly better camera – like I said – they make doctors for this haha] Production was in iMovie 09 which is miles better and way more intuitive than iMovie 10 but all of them have inbuilt idiosyncrasies you have to work around. I made this over a year ago and looking back at it now I can see that I didn’t hold the camera as steady as I might have [didn’t notice that at the time] so I guess maybe my eye is getting better. Still without a tripod and just handheld standing in the stream it’s a wonder I captured anything at all! The music I put together in Garageband [quite proud of myself for figuring that one out haha] thanks again for stopping by to comment :)

    — Jean

  • Aug 18, 2014

    What s way to start my day. Both you thoughts and that video are just beautiful!!! As an outsider looking in -you Jean Burman have come a looong way in recent years and you’ve shared you inspiring writings, your art work, yourself and your video clips with us and for us to enjoy.

    — lynne

  • Aug 18, 2014

    Thank you for caring ,your patience and willingness to share

    — Helen Derrick

  • Aug 18, 2014

    Deep sigh! I sleep… I dream and I wake up healed of the hurts that surprise me with their intensity. Robin Williams the uplifter – who brought so much joy… the war that exists when I’d hoped for world peace… and so on… a longer than usual sleep made all the difference. Made space to go on and to notice the beauty in the world again… as your post did. x

    — Joh

  • Aug 19, 2014

    Thanks Lynne … so much x

    — Jean

  • Aug 19, 2014

    You’re welcome Helen [and welcome!] thank you for commenting here on the blog :)

    — Jean

  • Aug 19, 2014

    Thanks Joh :) so glad it made a difference x

    — Jean

Leave a comment