I am becoming more and more unsatisfied with pursuing happiness one activity or moment at a time. Yes, I enjoy being outside; I love hanging clothes on the line; I love talking to my husband; I love working out with my friends; I love reading to my kids. All of those things make me happy in the moment – even bring me some momentary joy. But, there is a fatal flaw in relying on activities and experiences to deliver all my happiness: there is so much of life in between.
I have this deep longing to find joy and satisfaction in a place that is sheltered from outside experiences. I want to know that when setbacks crop up, and disappointments arise, and fatigue lowers my defenses, that my joyful center can carry me through in good spirits and in gratitude.
I recently came across a book called “Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy” by Mo Gawdat, who works for X, the top-secret product development arm of Google. Through his mathematical/engineering expertise, and some very painful personal experiences, he came up with an algorithm for happiness. It is very simple: The way you view the events in your life minus how you expected your life to go is equal to or greater than Happiness. I find that fascinating. There is nothing in that equation that has anything to do with external circumstances – it has everything to do with how you view the events in your life.
My personal faith life also speaks to this. Joy is not found in an experience or possession, or a collection of experiences or possessions, but in a personal relationship. Both the Happiness equation and my spiritual understanding are in agreement: happiness is an internal reality – not an external one.
When women come in for shoots with us, they have almost always made a choice to be internally happy with themselves. They have realized that waiting for the perfect body is a fruitless exercise. Instead, they make a decision to be content with the people they are. They choose kindness over self-criticism, and courage over fear. A boudoir shoot will not make you happy, but it definitely helps you test the happiness equation in a small way.
Thanks so much to J for choosing kindness, and for allowing us to share some of her personal joy with you.
Interested in a shoot with us? We are interested in doing one with you!