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Learning to want what we already have

From time to time I pick up one of my books on the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.  I find it very helpful when I feel unsettled or unmoored - when there is a lot of change happening.  There are many valuable teachings in Stociscm, this one teaches that we can free ourselves by wanting less.  "It is impossible that happiness and yearning for what is not present should ever be united." - Epictetus

 

I take this to mean that paying attention to what we already have and being grateful for it more than wishing we had something more will lead us to have a greater sense of wellbeing.  This is especially challenging if you are the driven or ambitious sort of person - that I am to some extent.  I believe in continuous improvement and growth as a person and artist.  This can lead to a feeling of never being satisfied, always striving.

"No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don't have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have." - Seneca  

So in that spirit, I am grateful for where my art journey is now, for the wonderful online students who have enjoyed my classes and for those who feel moved to purchase my art.   Of course,  I'm also grateful for my family and friends, for flowers that still bloom at the end of summer and for the existence of color.  What are you grateful for that you already have?



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