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1. I don´t think we are masters of the universe, masters of the planet nor masters of our minds. I don´t think we can simply choose to be happy or sad. I don´t think happiness or sadness is a choice. I think Positive Psychology, glitter magazines and inspirational speeches accidentally promoted (the hell out of) a neoliberal idea: that we are the blacksmiths of our own happiness.
Only we´re not.
We are tied to circumstances, we are bound to other people, there is a real actual REALITY, objective facts like for instance a) Danish Politicians just passed a new law making forced adoption legal (they can take your children from you and give them new parents- without even asking for your perspective) b) 700 people, women, children, dying in the mediterranean waves while escaping war, desperate people trying to survive. People posting images of the Danish flag writing “700 fewer people to support, hooray!” c) massive surveillance (= self censorship)

It is a hardcore and very real fact: the collapse is not immanent, the collapse is happening right now. Really. Honestly. Look around.
And I didn´t even mention climate change.

What goes on in the geopolitical sphere goes on in the personal too. We are at war.
As above. So below.
(but see, the grass can still be green!)
DSCF2287

These are very real and very objective facts to lament, this is actual loss.
But due to the neoliberal thought control a lot of people close their eyes and decide to think happy thought. As if we can change the real actual reality by “choosing to be happy”.
We can´t choose to be happy. Happiness is not ours. We don´t own happiness. Happiness is not our bitch (nor is the universe, the planet or our own personal bodies)
Happiness is something that comes to us, a river that flows, happiness is tied to reality, bound to other people: we do not make ourselves happy. Happiness is grounded and rooted in: fluctuation.
Go with the flow. Live in the now. These things are not choices. These things happen when you live aware and pay attention, when you breathe and synchronise yourself, you cannot heal yourself without healing the universe, the planet, the body!
Can´t be done.
I don´t think it can be done.
It´s my opinion.

So the problem becomes: How the fuck can I heal the universe?
I can´t. Human megalomania. Shiny neoliberal ideology. I do not hold those powers.
(but see, sometimes the evening skies dance like a fat pink lady!)

DSCF2289

I can live.
I can let life flow through me. I can share my experience of living and thereby, maybe, help others feel less lonely.
I can grow my own food. I can take care of my child. I can commit myself to others. I can make the world a little less shitty- but I can´t CHOOSE to be happy and I cannot, never, close my eyes to what´s going on. I must witness this. I must acknowledge that it happens. And I must fight the empire, best as I can, like a vikingwarrior, braided, shield- because I can´t have this happening in my name. In history books to come they shouldn´t write than noone did anything to oppose this.
I wont have them say we just closed our eyes and thought happy thoughts, pretended we could fly.

Which leads me to 2.
I´m not a buddhist. I don´t think the ego is evil nor false, out to lure me. I don´t think the self is to be obliterated, I think one can go through the self.
We are born into these personalities (which we can work on, clearly) for a reason, this is our human experience, I believe I can dive into the MATTER.
Scrutiny. Self examination. Not narcisism- but deeply political work taking place in the private because, honestly, the general public is not really ours anymore.

THIS is why I have had a problem with happiness. In my minds eyes happiness have been infected (for me, in my life) by other people’s notions of happiness, I had no sense of my happiness myself.  This happened to me. Maybe it didn´t happen to you.
Furthermore happiness was DEMANDED of me- despite the obvious facts.

I have had to find my happiness and it´s been pretty damn hard work and it´s taken years but I think I found it and to end this post I´d like to tell you where.

I found it in the soil (and I gave it to my child)

foto 4

foto 2

Plowing the land was a hard decision. We didn´t want to disrupt anything but over the years we have realized that what humans do is to create space.
It´s just what we do.
We can create miserable space, we can create beautiful space, we can thrive, we can get trapped in it, we can create biotopes or hellholes. I noticed how the birds, the butterflies and the bumblebees came here to feed, I noticed how the fox and the raven and the elk keep an eye on us, interested. We hesitated to plow, we thought about making a field for a really long time. We arrived at the conclusion that due to my back problems (and our coming of age) we need the work in the garden to be less labor intensive. More organized. And also we need to be able to grow more quantities. We need to better at what we do. To be better one needs to always be flexible, alert and ready to experiment. Right?

We depend on this soil. What we´re trying to do out here is to make ourselves more independent on the structures we have grown to recent (not technology in itself- but the structures!), we need to be more resilient, the garden is our primary objective, we will feed ourselves, we will survive.

DSCF2273
DSCF2264
I think happiness is aligning one self to the universe, the planet, the body and others, I think happiness is tuning into the forces of life, I think happiness is to hear the tramp of boots very well but to NOT be caught like a hedgehog in the frontlights of a car, I think redemption is to be found in ACTION.
Whatever action, I don´t care, there´s a million truths but the very act of doing something, just something… is happiness. To me.

Because that´s what humans do. Too.
We act, we react, we invent and destroy, we bury ourselves deep in the matter, we swim around in the soil! We TRY.

So in my quest to be better at describing my happiness I have now found a central word and blown that word into the air like a seed of dandelion.

ACTION.

Now off to sleep. My body aches but it´s the good kind of pain.

24 comments on “A word of happiness

  1. Tiffany says:

    Garden… I wish I had the ability to make my mind grasp permaculture. Maybe someday, when I’m more experienced. This year I too needed an easier way to see the growth and maintenance in the growing of our food. Honestly, I felt better to not be alone in the decision, so thanks for that, and for the warning about ants being so attracted to hugelculture beds. There are so many ants in our forest.
    And, I’m not ready to personally deal with the greater problems, yet. Maybe I never will be. Still looking away from it, with my focus being on doing the best I possibly can.

    Like

    1. I hope you don´t feel as if I judge you because I certainly don´t. I understand the not being able to deal with the greater problems, I know that feeling by heart! And I feel the same about permaculture. It´s kind of like a non-word, it can almost mean anything 😉
      The hugelkulturs did yield a lot of (squash 😉 and I defintely think they´re a great method for growing especially if you live cold like we do (the snow on the hugelkulturs always melted way before the snow in the rest of the garden due to the composting taking place.. it´s brilliant) but yes, the ants became a problem and weeding too. Best of luck!

      Like

  2. BeeHappee says:

    What is ACTION, Andrea, how do you define action?

    Like

  3. Action is moving your body, moving objects, moving minds or words, I think. The FEELING of action is very tangible I think. I know that feeling, THAT feeling makes me happy- and I think different people obtain that feeling in an array of ways, there is no “right” action, it´s your own personal feeling of “doing something” that matters.
    Thats how I see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BeeHappee says:

    Moving furniture? 🙂 Ok, just messing with you.
    Yes, absolutely, we are in agreement. You have a nice way to express it. And it does not have to be moving a mountain – moving a pebble will work too. Some believe they can move mountains and the avalanche crushes them.

    Like

    1. David says:

      Yes, Bee, moving furniture too! 🙂

      Seriously. When I was a college student, living in the same very small room for three years, I would move the furniture to a new arrangement several times each year, just to overcome the stagnation of the space. This movement of my physical environment would typically translate into other kinds of movement: of my thoughts, my energies, the ways in which I interacted with those around me. It helped me to get un-stuck.

      Wherever we are, however we move, it’s just important not to get stuck.

      Like

      1. BeeHappee says:

        Thanks, David, I always like your thoughts. Yes, true, no doubt, moving things around, moving yourself around may help you get “unstuck”. I feel like I had been there, where moving felt so needed, and yet it was futile. Sometimes not moving can help just the same or more. Maybe if you are like a closed box, you can move the box as much as you want, nothing can get in and nothing can get out. You can get the box open without moving. Or, you can move it around and bump it on the roads in hopes it will open.
        Whatever works, I am all for trying. 🙂

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    2. I was thinking about it. I think a better way to put it would be something like this (happiness is to ME) “the ability to meaningfully act upon a situation as you percieve it” Thus unhappines being being stuck in state of mind where you can either act nor not-act.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ncfarmchick says:

        I love this definition! Kind of what I was saying about felling hopeless. Acting, in even a small way, helps to combat that feeling, I think. Reading your words helps, too! Peace…

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        1. ncfarmchick says:

          That would be “feeling.” Too tired to spell correctly!

          Like

      2. YES! That is exactly the way to describe it. Unhappiness is being stuck in a state of mind where you can’t or don’t know how to act. That is what is going on when I am unhappy.

        Like

  5. Eumaeus says:

    Only the ego has a problem with the ego.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ncfarmchick says:

    The picture of Sigurd in the garden is just like so many I take of my boys. Nothing says action like a little boy running around wild in his birthday suit. We had friends over today (who live in town and whom we haven’t seen in a log time) and their 4 year old son asked why my boys weren’t wearing shirts or shoes. I told him it was because they dressed up for his visit! They were wearing pants, after all.
    Action works for me, too, and makes me feel less hopeless. Introspection is worthwhile but too much navel-gazing can be troublesome (for me, anyway.)
    I LOVE your fat pink lady. I think she was smiling down on you and your garden will benefit greatly as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BeeHappee says:

    Someone posted this for earth day. It is kind of fitting here

    When I look at your boy, at my kids, I never doubt their goodness, their capabilities to achieve just about anything. We don;t look at our children and say: they are already so messed up, they will die anyway, no way to save them (yet we say that about humanity). Happiness I think is exactly that, seeing the good, investing in good, cultivating the good, growing the good. Wouldn’t it be great if we had such belief in everyone? I see so much goodness in you, Andrea, and how many people’s lives you changed in Denmark, Sweden and all over the world. What else is happiness? That is happiness!! You are happier than you think you are, someone said once.

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  8. Dear andrea
    Your form of action is right for you, and seems to be a way of self-healing. You are being productive and it helps you to tune in to greater rhythms.
    The trouble for me is seeing that others too have the urge to take action: let’s call it action-drug.
    Like–acquire a pristine piece of land, scrape it bare of everything that lived there before, and “develop” say, a shopping plaza. Then they feel cash-euphoria and stop abusive behavior to wife, or dog, or society for a short while. Until needing next hit of action-drug.

    Yesterday was Earth Day. A young woman–we were working in one of the gardens we maintain–quoted something that I had not heard put so succinctly: “men think in boxes, women think in webs.” it does explain much.
    All best from my little web to your large one,
    ~ Abigail

    Like

  9. Dear Abigail, that´s true, it shouldn´t be an action-drug, a constant need for productivity, it´s just that I think that there is (for me) happiness buried in the very act of DOING (instead of thinking, contemplating, analysing, dissecting) but that´s probably because I have too much of the latter in my life and thus the action becomes so important. It´s not like I suggest this might work for everyone since we´re all different 🙂
    All the best to you too!

    Like

    1. syberpunk says:

      Not to forget that the world is distroid by doers not thikers .
      But hell yah – i like action .
      The question is -is it good for me / us /the world .
      Happyness can be a biochemical reation ….
      Good happy action and reaction with the garden .
      Try jordärtskocka / they grow forever and get more and more .

      Like

  10. Mary says:

    Hello Andrea,
    Very moved by your words. They resonate deeply. They capture the essence of this journey for me…out of the rawness emerges beauty and grace…yet we never know, as we stand on that threshold facing the terror of the unknown, what awaits us on the other side. There is only one way to find out…to take that leap to freedom! This process….where we make a decision to stand still and listen to our own voice, speaking to us out of the darkness…is everything, the beginning, the middle, and most likely the end…maybe never ever getting where we aim to get, but working hard, deeply, freely, joyfully to get there nevertheless, with willingness and courage to always explore discover scramble all over the edge.

    For you…

    Autobiography of Eve, by Ansel Elkins
    Wearing nothing but snakeskin
    boots, I blazed a footpath, the first
    radical road out of that old kingdom
    toward a new unknown.
    When I came to those great flaming gates
    of burning gold,
    I stood alone in terror at the threshold
    between Paradise and Earth.
    There I heard a mysterious echo:
    my own voice
    singing to me from across the forbidden
    side. I shook awake—
    at once alive in a blaze of green fire.

    Let it be known: I did not fall from grace.

    I leapt
    to freedom.

    and by Alice Walker:
    “Expect nothing. Live frugally
    On surprise.
    become a stranger
    To need of pity
    Or, if compassion be freely
    Given out
    Take only enough
    Stop short of urge to plead
    Then purge away the need.

    Wish for nothing larger
    Than your own small heart
    Or greater than a star;
    Tame wild disappointment
    With caress unmoved and cold
    Make of it a parka
    For your soul.

    Discover the reason why
    So tiny human midget
    Exists at all
    So scared unwise
    But expect nothing. Live frugally
    On surprise.”

    Peace.

    Like

    1. Such wonderful poems, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

      Like

  11. Bill says:

    “I think happiness is aligning one self to the universe, the planet, the body and others, I think happiness is tuning into the forces of life…”

    That’s what I think too. As for healing the universe, I choose to believe that living in the way you describe (seeking to bring ourselves into alignment with the good) does contribute to the healing of the universe (insofar as it needs any healing).

    At the very least it contributes to healing (or maintaining the health of) ourselves, our families and our communities and ripples out from there. Or at least I prefer to think that it does.

    Like

    1. The forest is made of green trees. If each tree lives life in health and fulfillment the whole forest is healthy. So I agree that living life as best we can contributes to world peace and health. This not to say that unhappiness would cease to exist. No. But when health is prevalent then our reactions are not so exaggerated. Unhappiness can result in detente or therapy instead of war.

      Like

  12. Bilal Haider Awan says:

    Every opposition is important sorrow to happiness, light to dark, warm to cold ………….if contrast doesn’t exist ….there would not be any meaning of happiness….light…..

    Like

  13. Søren says:

    The less I know!
    The more I see!

    I do not know what a society is, I know not of the term politician and I do not know how you can own something that is not yours. I see Fear and need of Control

    I see people hating them selves so much that they make other people pay!
    I see cowards directing their self loathing through the manipulation and exploitation of others!
    We are the problem, but we can’t survive such a realization, so we fix our selfs through the faults of others ….. If there is a problem in my life, it can Only Be ME! I am the only One here ….

    Judge not!
    There is nothing wrong
    How could the Universe ever be wrong!

    Have you seen everything yet? – well …
    How else can you claim to know anything – so
    Know less and see more – cos?
    School is not quite out yet – Yes! School
    We are all in School

    Like

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