Happiness 101 or Finding Bliss



Finding Bliss!!


My dear friends, the effervescent Jacqueline from 'Home' and the inspiring Ange of 'Signed by Ange' have kindly passed me the Happiness 101 award. I've also received this award from a sparkly new recently unwrapped blogging friend Rita from 'A Refocused Life'. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to share with you '10 Things That Make Me Happy'.


Now this is an interesting task for me. My happiness quota has been overshadowed by exhaustion lately. Over the past few years I have done very little but work, but last year blogging reminded me to take some time for the things that bring joy into my life, even if that time blogging was only a stolen hour in the middle of the night. I have also been lucky enough to have new constant companions who share their interests with me daily, remind and encourage me to yearn for more and bring me a good dose of laughter. Yes that would be YOU.

So now I have droned on about living in the land of lack lustre, here are some things that remind me to pursue the art of Happiness! Sure, some can't be experienced daily, but I can reminisce to keep those dreams active goals.

Travel will set you free. Maybe the truth will too, but definitely travel. The first time I took an extended trip to Europe, something amazing happened. I found I could be whoever I wanted to be. Not a daughter, nor a sister, neither an employee, just me. What utter delightful freedom to find that maybe we are more than we present to the world in our daily life. Removed from the shackles of expectation, one can develop facets of personality that have not been evident before. Confidence, courage, spontaneity. Those that knows us well tend to place us in their box of expectation. The problem is, we live up to that expectation even when it really is less than our inherent potential. Travel forces us to step outside of those limitation and discover not just what is new without, but also within.

Dreams can come true when one finds the Grand Canyon is more expansive and breathtaking than seen in images. Or the first glimpse of Venice which has you thinking you've stepped into some magical book of fairytales with turruted castles and moats. Straining your neck in the Sistine Chapel in order to take in the magnificence that adorns the ceiling. All these things, although hoped for, become miraculous when they exceed our expectations. Optimism soars. Then there are the pleasant surprises that come along the way. Generosity from strangers, the daily game of charades to make oneself understood, discovering the delight of new tastes in a small village eatery.
It is mind blowing and leaves one with the feeling that anything is possible. Months after returning home that gloss seems to vanish so one must use whatever is available to remember the joy of travel and the happy stranger found in the mirror. And that is where photography comes in...

Photography has always brought me joy, but over the last year it has become a creative outlet for me. It has the ability to capture both the truth and the imagined. A snapshot of a moment holds more than just the image on the paper. I can look at my travel photos for hours on end and recall certain people, places and events that happened at the time of the photo. A reminder of the beauty seen and also the emotions experienced within the scene. Most of the photos I post here are just scans of travel photos I have take years earlier. Scratchy old photos that have been lugged around from place to place. Although technically average, to me they hold memories of my happiest moments and my dreams of further travel. By manipulating the images I can capture the emotion I felt in relation to the event, or just simply make it into something new and appealing to my eye. For me photography represents unlimited creativity. Although I'd love to be able to paint, one advantage photography has is it can be altered over and over without losing the original proof. I can rewrite my memories and create new dreams. Remembered and imagined Bliss and the joy of being creative!

The Seaside
The image at the top of this post was taken in an small town in southern Italy. I happened on this photo again today looking for some beach shots. It was so orange before I altered it you could not really appreciate much beyond those fabulous silhouettes and that single person expressing joy in the moment, but it sums up the joys of a day at the beach. I've always liked this unknown figure. To me this image represents the gorgeous feeling of sitting on the beach at the end of the day, the sun setting on the horizon and the dusk cooling your body after a long day of swimming and sunning. Fresh salty air misting the view and the sound of waves crashing on the shore and the sea's invigorating nature encouraging childish expression. What could be happier than that!! My favourite time of day is to take walks at dusk along the bay [sounds like a singles add!! ha ha]. The sky changes colour quickly as the sun is fading and provides a display of muted colours reflected from the sun and sea. Lights begin to flicker from the homes along the shore and the day takes a deep sigh of relief. Oh what could be better than long warm days spent by the sea?


The Moon
Arhhh, the Moon. Really, need I say more? [I can hear you all saying NO! but she will!! ha ha.. you're right!!]. I'm not sure why I feel such an attachment to the moon but I do. Astrologically speaking the moon represents water and emotions and for some this ebb and flow of the lunar phases has an emotional impact. I am one of those people. The moon is also said to represent female nurturing qualities, so I must be a child of La Mamma Luna. Always there to say goodnight and remind me of the rhythm of life with her daily routine. Then once a month, as if in reward for a month of daily duties, she shows her face, full and glowing, smiling down upon us. Yes the moon always makes me happy.

Being on Vacation
Well this is a given, but the happiness I feel at present not having to worry about weekday routines, is a thing of beauty!! No longer is Sunday night marred with the thought of Monday morning drudgery. My days can be spent in absolute laziness or whatever activity I choose. I have the luxury of knowing I can enjoy this respite for some time more and for me that spells ..

Well I have only shared five things with you today. Since I was sooo long winded with those I'll sign this off for now, so those of you who did make it to the end of this post will still be young enough to pursue your own path of happiness. I'll bring you five more later, but I still have some other awards to share and pass this one on to others..

Julie b



Footnote: I have no idea what the second sphere is to the right of the sun, some weird glitch in the film, I hadn't noticed it till today, but I like it's weirdness

Image Source: All photography and editing by me [Being Ruby]
#1 Scalea - Italy 1996, #2 Venice - Italy 1996, #3 Tom Ugly's Bridge - Sydney [taken yesterday in the late afternoon], #4 Sans Souci - Sydney 2009, #5 The Moon - Sydney 2009, #6 Scalea- Italy 1996.



Exquisite Accessories said...

Hi Julie, wow I felt all the years coming back with my memories after reading your post, loved it & looking forward to the next 5, photoe's are gorgeous again! Interesting sphere?

desde my ventana said...

Undoubtedly photography makes you happy .... one sees.And you share with us this happiness permitting to enjoy these extraordinarily beautiful images.
Thank you for it.


count it all joy said...

Congratulations on your awards Miss JulieRuby, your comments about travel reminded me to ask whether you've ever read any of Alice Steinbach's books. Jeanne at Collage of Life put me on to her writing and I have since read, (and because I loved them so, given as gifts) her books. Meredy xo.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oh Julie,
It makes me happy, knowing what makes you happy !! What wonderful examples you have given us, accompanied by some mesmerising images and beautiful amd inspiring text. I now feel like booking a holiday, grabbing my camera and taking barefoot walks along the beach in the moonlight !!!! I can't wait for the next five.
I am fasinated by the second sphere in the last photograph. Can we dare to hope that it's a spaceship although, I think it could be a reflection of some sort !! XXXX

Samy said...

Congrats on the award dear.
Theres nothing average about your photographs and you know how much we all enjoy them.
You are so right about travel and the freedom it gives you!

Unknown said...

You are such a good writer Julie, I really enjoyed reading this, you truly have a way with words......YOU SHOULD BE A TRAVEL WRITER.....someone sign her up now please!!!

And that first image is especially beautiful.

Any more travels planned....I hear Europe calling? :)

Happy Monday my friend,

Simone :)

Southern Aspirations said...

YAY for the happy award posting and I LOVE your photography. Definitely inspirational.

Ange said...

Can't wait to hear the other five dearest Julie!! It is infact, wonderful to get to know you even more...

Blue Muse said...

I swoon. Your blog is always a shot of soul for me and I share your happy menu! Travel is so important - living your dreams is so different than flipping through the glossy pages of beautiful books and magazines - which is nice, too, but it's a whole different world.
Your photography is amazing, as are you.
Here's to the happy things and I love how they are blue and mysterious.
xo Isa

Shellbelle said...

Well, I just found bliss reading this post. Isn't it lovely that we find others in the world who share the same joys as we do? Blogging just opens up a whole new avenue to find new friends and discover new places through their eyes. Is is a small world after all.

Sahildeki Ev said...

As long as I have your list with health and loved ones, I have nothing to complain :))

A Refocused Life said...


I am so glad that you accepted the award, because I knew you would put your happiness into images and words that would be beyond wonderful and unique. I was not disappointed. Your first five were perfect..I'll be waiting.

Animal Print Gal said...

Blissful image indeed! I think the round light is just an angel, making its appearance to a blissful experience...That's all!

Luiza said...

Oh, Julie...
What can I say... I´m touched.
Touched over your words, and touched over the fact, you had a plan to give me this award...
Thank you!

Thank you for sharing 5 of the things that makes you happy.
I agree, that most of the things you list, are simular to the ones I list ... isn´t that nice?
I also agree, that a photograph can tell the truth, but it can also be what you want it to be, imagination...

I hope you´ll have a wonderful monday!
See you soon, Julie!
Take care!

Carole said...

My dear Julie....you are too cool!!! your photography and your words make ME happy. I love reading every single word because I know it comes from your heart. I think your love of all these things has given me a better appreciation of them too. The traveling part I unfortunately don't get to do as much as I'd like but I can dream along side you! and sans jetlag! haha...
i will look forward to the next 5!!!

simon said...

I could not agree more. When I was diagnosed I felt the world "colapse". Then I travelled, and I found it gave me inspiration and a new bunch of friends, then i discovered birding.. ( now for some who know me this was a bit odd, as I am a mad mountain bike rideer , bushwalker etc..) and photography. These gave me the excuse the stop and really look around.. instead of being so fixated on my work, fitness etc...and then I blogged- and it made me go and ride, walk, photgraph and travel..even whan I felt "less"..

Brilliant! :o)

erin's art and gardens said...

oh julie...so beautifully expressed, both your images and poetic voice!!! coming to your blog home is like going on a vacation! and i do love vacations! such a beautiful place to visit, indeed! a place i keep wanting to travel to, over and over... i am so lucky to have found julie's place and to call you a friend........

Jane said...

Wow. That second sphere - maybe its a second moon or a second sun even. Very sci fi. Loved your list and agree with you about all things except this - if you work hard you MUST love what you do. If you don't love it, why not find something else? You work in IT so you are Eminently Employable, as they say. There you go, I am only just back from holidays and bossy already (about other peoples lives only of course)> ! xoxo

Courtney said...

What gorgeous photos, Julie, and such inspiring words! I think I need to bookmark this post and come back to it whenever I'm feeling stressed or down. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!!

Brabourne Farm said...

I feel so relaxed after reading your gorgeous list - your words and photos are so beautiful! It's amazing how little things like a walk on the beach can fill you with such peace and happiness - just a shame we spend our lives rushing around and miss so many of these perfect moments. Enjoy the rest of your break. Leigh

Unknown said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if your blog doesn't eventually lead you down a new career path, Julie. I always look forward to reading each and every one of your beautiful postings.

Berta F said...

Dear Julie...how appears the new year ?....there will bea trip to Italy this year?.....I am charmed with your photos of Italy.... I will pass the first week of April in Venice...one week...and I count the days....¡¡¡¡ Un abrazo Berta

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

A girl after my own heart...I think I will just adopt your happy list as my own since it is so perfectly written with gorgeous images! Divine!

Viera said...

Wonderful post Julie, you are very special.

Styling by Coty Farquhar said...

Dearest Julie,

When ever I come to your blog I feel so grounded. Thank goodness your here. I really want to see what your next five things that make you happy are.

Your a true "Angel" up there in Sydney and don't worry about being a moon lover, I'm one too, I have been forever.

I hope your relaxing each day and spoiling yourself.

xx Coty

nevin said...

Ahhhh.. What inspiring words!

And so beautiful photos.. Thank you dear Julie


Anonymous said...

I share this same love for travel and the moon. I know nothing about photography except once in a while I get lucky. :) And I'm 80% seawater from swallowing Pacific ocean while playing in it.
Lovely post, Julie - I'm looking forward to reading the other 5!

Giulia said...

Smooches from GG & me. I'll be back when I can...it's complicated:)

Lovely post as usual....


Tamerie Shriver Halliday said...

I love how you have a photo for each of your happiness generators! And congratulations on the award! I think you deserve it.


Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

As always, gorgeous, gorgeous photos! And thanks for sharing this. I wasn't open to explore (like you) when I did travel, I was trying to find "something", a place of perfection (to feel safe, I know now), and I had a clear idea what that would look like, pristine, clean and perfect; in other words, impossible to find (in this world).