Happy New Year! I've been away, but I'm back in the virtual saddle today.
Last week we rented a little apartment on the River Liffey in the Temple Bar District in Dublin, Ireland. Right next to our apartment entrance was a place called Ink Factory, a tattoo and piercing parlor, barber shop, and coffee purveyor. I decided to finally take the plunge and get a tattoo after many years of contemplating. As I'm a writer, and I love words, I decided to get a favorite phrase tattooed on the inside of my left wrist in a vintage style typewriter font. As I am 53, my skin is not perfectly smooth therefore neither is my tattoo. I'm okay with a little wabi-sabi.
This is my guiding thought for the coming year, and it's in permanent ink on my skin.
I guess this is what you might call commitment to an idea.
My new tattoo says "carpe gaudium."
This is a message from me to me, not a mandate or a statement that demands that other people comply. I'm not in charge of other people or their choices. You do you, I'll do me. This is my perspective. If it resonates for you, feel free to resonate. If not, you are free to opt out of the message.
I'm not a believer in luck or fate or destiny. I think life is a series of choices, consequences, and reactions. I think our hard wiring can be changed through different programming, and there is scientific evidence to support this thought. I think we are the programmers. I also think there are things we can not control. We can control how we respond to these things and how or if these things impact our programming. I think our experience of life is guided by our perspective and focus and these things are constantly shifting.
carpe (verb) seize
gaudium from gaudio, rejoice (noun) joy, delight
The Latin word 'carpe' literally means pick, pluck, pluck off, cull, crop, gather, serve. The word gaudium means joy. Okay so work with me here, people. 'Carpe' means seize and serve and 'gaudium' means joy. When we 'seize joy' we can also 'serve joy,' meaning the act of embracing it for ourselves offers us the opportunity to serve it to others.
What if we seized as much joy as we could carry, as often as possible, and then let it spill out and over and around us to others? How would that inform our experience? How would that shift our perspective?
Seize joy. Share joy. Become happy.
Watch the world shift.
My new tattoo is a reminder, especially at those moments when I lose perspective, that I'm in charge of the journey, the destination, the perspective, and the message I share with others. I choose.
I choose to seize joy as often as possible and to share that with those I meet along the way.