The happiness of Joy

Happiness. It is (almost) everyone’s ultimate goal in life. I find this is true in my own life also. But to be more specific, what I desire most is an undercurrent of joy flowing throughout my life and body in every moment. Joy is my name after all.

I, along with many millions of people, spend countless hours reading, learning and testing about what brings the most joy into my life. In life, it is easy to be happy when the sun is shinning and life is swell, but what about on those dark days when life doesn’t go so according to plan and the Dementors are out in force?

Grumy Cat Dementor

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Born a Miracle Baby with a Happy Heart I’m Thankful to Turn 25

25 years ago to the date, my Mum was pushing hard to squeeze out a chubby bubby who had decided to hibernate in her belly for an extra week. At exactly 6:55am on this day, a cheeky 9lb 6oz baby entered the world; me! Since then, though I see myself as perfectly normal, many people have called me a miracle baby. Whilst we should be thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving, on my 25th birthday today I am especially thankful that I am alive, healthy and loving living life to the max. This is the story of my “miracle” life.

Not long after I was born, my Mum who was a nurse, noticed there was something not quite right with me (other than my killer good looks at only 2 hours old). Continue reading

Far from home, all alone, but we’re so happy

Music makes me happy; live music makes me even happier still. On my 24th birthday this year I promised myself I would have a year rich in experiences. Many of the experiences that I have enjoyed the most were being able to see some amazing live music so when I heard one of my favourite bands were doing their first US tour, I was on it.

Of Monsters and Men are an Icelandic folk band, whom I’m addicted too. They recently played two concerts at the Troubadour, a great intimate venue in Los Angeles. Apparently I wasn’t as “on it” as I had thought. When I went online to get tickets – they were sold out. Spewing. However some of the best concerts I have been too I went even though I had no ticket and they were sold out.

Their first night I was working so wasn’t able to go regardless, but come hell or high water I was going to make it to the second night. The stars aligned and, by chance, I met Nanna and Kristján, the singer and bassist before the first concert. They were so lovely! I discussed with them how bummed I was that their shows were all sold out… Then my mate gave me a kick up the bum.

“I thought this was your year of reckless abandon?!”

He made me go back to them and ask if we could be put on the guest list. As my Mum has always said “you don’t ask, you don’t get”. And what do you know, they put me and a +1 on the guest list for the next night. Absolute win!

Night two of their shows rolls around and my mate who egged me on came with me. We were given free VIP passes to the deck. Pretty amazing. I was a little ill and delirious at this point but none the less the band were insane. If you like Mumford and Sons or Arcade Fire you should take a listen to these guys, they have a great organic folk eccentricity. You may have heard one of their songs which has already got a fair amount of air time in the US, Little Talks. On April 3 they released an album in the US called My Head Is An Animal and it is available on Itunes for your listening pleasure. This is one of those great bands who sing and play for the love of it. They feel gritty and real. Listening to them live sounds exactly the same, if not better than their recordings. In today’s world of music, that is something I tip my hat to.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

The last few days have been epically amazing. Life really does just keep getting better and better!

On Saturday I had a small bout of reckless abandon. After waking up at 6:30am, I had a whole free day ahead of me. Waking up at 6:30am, in itself, is a major challenge for me. I’m slowly working towards getting an earlier bedtime to match the early wake up, see #16.  Realising that I had a world of opportunity in front of me, I decided to go on a hike that I’d never explored before, Franklin Canyon.

It’s hard to think of something that feels as good as going completely MIA, turning off your mobile, and wandering through the bush for a few hours. Going “walkabout”, if you will.

I parked at the Sooky Goldman Nature Centre, where I found a map of the area.

After noticing a snake warning in the top corner (though not on this picture), I put the map and warning back where it came from, ignorance is bliss.

The hike at Franklin Canyon is not a strenuous one, but absolutely refreshing. All the people who I met along my journey were not the typical Hollywood types that frequent Runyon Canyon with their pathetic excuse for dogs. Have you ever noticed exactly how much dogs look like their owners? Its uncanny; check it out next time you see someone walking their dog, I guarantee if the dog has big poofy hair, so does it’s owner. It was so invigorating to go on a hike and not feel like I was running on a catwalk with the beautiful people (à la Runyon Canyon). It almost felt like I was back home in Australia.

Franklin Canyon is made up of many little trails that allow you to walk from one to the next and get lost if you so please. It was so beautifully lush and green, almost all the trails were barely worn down at all (in comparison to Runyon).

The trails are far enough from the road it allows you to lose track of space and time, in the blink of an eye

three hours had passed. Although not necessarily the safest option, I usually prefer to hike alone. The fresh air and sounds of nature has a delicious way of clearing my head. I brought my trusty Canon with me to capture the days serenity, and came across a sweet little hummingbird that was just asking to have its picture taken.

Taking photo’s like this makes me want a DSLR so bad!

Hastain trail, other than being the only trail name I remembered, was amazing. You could hear a stream running through part of it, I found some bees lunching further along, then came the sensational lookouts. I could only imagine how beautiful the views are on a clear day.

Every time I take a step back and see Los Angeles like this it reminds me how  grateful I am to be here and how much I do love this city. Is there a better way to start a weekend than with fresh air, a clear head, and a bit of sweat? I think not.