Today I’d like to share with you my very first e-book. Calling it an e-book might be a little generous, because it’s less than 20 pages long, but it’s a mini book I’m distributing electronically, so e-book it is!
This mini book/manifesto is a collection of my favourite quotes, thoughts, and ruminations on happiness. I (obviously) still have a lot to learn about being happy, so this is not meant to be a “step-by-step guide” from an expert’s perspective. I’m nowhere near an expert! I simply wanted to share the lessons I’ve learned and epiphanies I’ve had that have slowly taken me from sad to glad. Think of this book like a conversation with someone who cares: I’m trying to share in the hopes that what has helped me on my journey may be able to help you in some small way.
You can get a free copy of The Happy Life Manifesto by joining my monthly newsletter here! The download link will be sent your way as soon as you enter your email. Thanks, as always, for your support!
I mention a few people/ideas in my little bibliography. I want to give them their due here.
As always, thanks for your support. I am really proud of this project, as well as the podcast that I recently started. But I’m not sure I would have been confident enough to pursue either one if not for the love and support of my family, friends, and all the wonderful readers that stop by here and leave great comments. Thank you!
Please leave comments on the book here, or email me! I’d love to hear your feedback. Thanks for reading.
The past few days have felt blissfully like summer. And if that weren’t enough, I got some absolutely thrilling news yesterday and I feel like I’m jumping on a trampoline next to the ocean while eating ice cream and pizza simultaneously. I’ll share the news asap, but just rest assured that I am furiously happy.
I’ve been celebrating the summer weather by wearing skirts, drinking fruit smoothies in the morning, incorporating Spring veggies into my diet, going for runs, having brunch with friends with the doors and windows wide open, drinking beer in the park at dusk, listening to great music, hanging out on busy patios, and soaking up the sun whenever possible.
It’s been a totally incredible weekend, and more great things just keep happening. I love Spring.
Earlier this year, I read the Happiness Project. Its juicy nuggets of wisdom and delicious truths inspired and calmed me, reminded me what’s important, and motivated me to try new things. Unfortunately, my commitment to this new-found guidance fell apart around week 2. Are you that way too? I guess it’s a bit like New Years Resolutions (which I’ll be revisiting in an effort to not let them fall by the wayside!) – despite our good intentions, they’re so easily forgotten in our day-to-day chaos.
However, I have found that bits and pieces from the book have stayed with me in strange ways. Every so often, I’ll be reminded to take care of myself before I get cranky, to leave something unsaid, to do a task immediately, to smile more. Today, as I was feeling a bit embarrassed by my choice of pastime, I was reminded of one of my very favourite Gretchen Rubin Secrets of Adulthood:
You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.
One of my favourite comments recently was from the Stir-Fried Dinosaur, who said that my blog was cozy. Isn’t that just the nicest? Thank you! This made me particularly happy because I try very hard to keep my life as cozy as possible. Today I’m going to share with you how I achieve coziness, and how you can too!
My Definition of Cozy:
1. Making your life work for you, so that your personal spaces always feel like home
2. Knowing what you love, and doing it
3. Feeling luxurious in your own way
How To Cozi-fy Your Life
1. Making your life work for you.
This means making the most of what you have. You may not have an unlimited budget, or you may not have unlimited space, or you may not have unlimited time to make your spaces perfect. What’s important is that you prioritize. What means the most to you? What will make you feel the most at home when you get home? Is it a big library? A doggie? Big windows and an easy chair? Photos of family and friends? Lots of delicious food? Zero in on what is most important, and make your lifestyle work around that. Budget your time, energy and money carefully in order to get the most out of your life, and the spaces you spend it in.
Marjorie Hillis’s book, Live Alone and Like It, was a bible written for the modern 1930’s woman, but still manages to be remarkably current. It’s one of my favourite books, and I always read it whenever I want to amp up the luxury/cozy in my life. She speaks about the importance of having a home that you really feel at home in, and how just because nobody will necessarily see your home, doesn’t mean you don’t need to make it fabulous! The time you spend nestled up in your rooms should give you lots of happiness – nobody will be happy and inspired if they don’t bother to make an effort in their living spaces!
2. Knowing what you love.
For many people, this is very intuitive. When we walk into a store, we can immediately say exactly what we love and what we hate. But I’m not talking so much about material possessions so much as routines and habits. Chances are there are many little things that make you very happy, but maybe you’re not doing them every day. And why not? What should stop you from incorporating as much happiness and coziness into your daily routines? Maybe for you your favourite thing is:
a quiet half hour reading with some tea
a long walk outdoors
a bubble bath
people-watching in a café
spending rainy days in a record store
spending Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market
drinking your orange juice out of a huge glass
wrestling with your dog
taking extra-long showers
listening to music without lyrics
The point is to make your life cozy you need to make time for the things that you love. I know, you’re busy, burnt out and have no time for such frivolous things, right?. To that I say two things:
You will continue to be perpetually burnt out and unproductive if you never take any time to relax or make yourself happy.
Frivolous things? This is your life! If you keep your nose to the grindstone day in and day out, you’re going to wake up in fifty years and realize you haven’t really lived or been happy.
So take the time. Don’t deny yourself time to do exactly what makes you happy. You probably already spend a few hours a day mindlessly watching television or surfing the internet, so you likely do have the time! And of course t.v and internet make people happy as well, but once in a while it’s refreshing to spend some quality time, creating memories and happiness. And coziness, of course!
3. Feeling luxurious in your own way.
In addition to ‘daily happiness upkeep’, you should also treat yourself every so often. And don’t worry if your idea of a special treat differs from someone else’s, you’re you and they’re them. Don’t ever let other people dictate how you should live your life or spend your money. They’re probably just jealous anyhow, that you have such a cozy life! Some extra-luxe ideas for ultimate coziness:
Get a milkshake
Spend extra for something you really love: a type of tea, notebook, bed sheets, perfume/cologne, a mug
Breakfast in bed
Keep your house stocked with cookies, homemade if possible
Spray eucalyptus/lavender spray on your pillows
Invest in a bed tray – it will change your life
Get fresh flowers weekly, if you like them
So there you have it! Three simple ways to squeeze every drop of coziness out of your life. I’m not advocating frivolity, neglect of your daily duties or blowing all your money on expensive things to make your space better for you. It’s all about moderation, simple luxuries and getting the most out of your life. Take the time to think about what parts of your day you love best, and see if you can find a way to amplify that positivity throughout your day. Surround yourself with things you find beautiful and cheerful, and I bet you’ll find yourself more cheerful too :).
What sorts of cozy things do you try to incorporate into your life? What do you spend extra money on? What are your personal luxuries? What makes you happy!?