Friday, August 24, 2012

Just Another Morning...

...but every morning, doing even my most routine tasks, is beautiful here simply because the buildings are gorgeous.  I never realized how starved I was for architectural beauty until I came here.  I love San Diego, but it's beautiful for different reasons, and while some of the homes there are astonishing and maybe architecturally interesting, Southern California is dominated by tract homes and strip malls.  Even multi-million dollar mansions are tract homes.  

I have a habit, routine if you will, of heading to the nearest Starbucks in the morning.  Wherever I am, whomever I'm with, even if I have coffee in the morning where I am staying (which I usually do), I center myself by tracking down a Starbucks and having tea or coffee as well.  It prepares me for the day.  It makes me happy.  I may stay or I may take it with me, but the Starbucks near where I'm staying in Paris, right next to the Opera is...well...okay, let me give you a photo journal of my morning walk to Starbucks, then you will understand why I am blissed out even before my caffeine jolt.  

Opera, Paris, France

This is my view as I am walking across the street to the Starbucks. Every time I look at the famed Opera house, I want to be in a ballet dress and inspires me to want to be beautifully accoutred, just like the building itself.  And while you can't see it in the picture, all the flanking buildings leading up to the Opera are beautiful too, the ornate balconeys, the sculptured faces, the chimney tops, even the gargoyles...I know there is official terminology for all these aspects but I don't know it and so am reduced to using mundane words. :(  But I can still savor the beauty!  :)

Starbucks, paris, France

So here is the Starbucks.  Looks conventional, until you walk inside, get your drink and then walk upstairs to the seating area.  

Paris, Starbucks, France

This is the view as you walk up the short flight of stairs.  I am not even kidding you. I swear I hear chamber music as I walk inside.  It has got to be the fanciest Starbucks on this planet.  

My view as I'm sipping my cafe au lait.  I can't even begin to tell you how much serotonin flows through me as I absorb these sensory delights.  

We should do everything we can in life to make ourselves happy.  Because only happy people can spread happiness to others.  So, to make this world a better place, do others a favor, and make yourself happy first.
The battle then is figuring out what really makes you happy.  For the day to day living, it doesn't have to be big things, but one tip is to fill your life with whatever sensory delights that suffuse you with a happy feeling (and this does not include junk food because after you are done eating it, it is bad for you and makes you feel bad as well).  It sounds basic, but when I first tracked how many "treats" I let myself indulge in one day,  I was surprised at how much I would brush off treating myself for reasons such as:  I'm too busy; I don't deserve it (because I didn't work out, or because I didn't get that project done, or because I didn't call mom).  For no reason at all but because you deserve to make yourself happy, make it a goal to intentionally fill your life with as much of these as you can without any censorship - like delicious fragrances, music that makes you feel alive, cashmere blankets that make you want to rub them on your cheek, interacting with animals such as playing with pets.  

I've come to realize that one thing that makes me happy is surrounding myself with beautiful buildings.  When I live amongst and walk past them everyday as part of my routine, it makes me feel so happy.  I don't know why I'm wired that way, but I am.  I can also be happy on a white beach in the middle of nowhere and in numerous other places, but for right now, this type of beauty works for me, most likely because it is such a contrast to the place where I am from and where I had grown stagnant (Southern California).  

Look at where I went shopping after my Starbucks, at the Galeries Lafayette, right next door:

This department store opened in 1895 and consistent with the Parisian obsession with beautifying everything, features a gorgeous huge Art Nouveau stain-glass and steel dome.  

This was my morning...just coffee and a department store run. And, I'm happy. 

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