Bohemian Abundance & Peace at Home

We each have a formula of things that bring us happiness. For me, it is purpose in my work, expressing myself through writing, yoga, my dogs, travel, and most importantly, the people I love. This month has been a lesson in the reality that more money is not on that list. I can have all those things without ever being materially rich. Abundance exists in how we live, not what we have.

Sometimes the answers are so simple.

Sometimes the answers are so simple.

Everyone knows people who choose to live minimally but have incredibly rich life experiences. The vagabond, the bohemian yogi, the teacher who lives on little during the year to spend his summer backpacking. For most of us reading this blog, our dreams are achievable within the means of what we already have. I’m not saying poverty is not real, but rather our dreams are closer than we think.

Rick Steves says it well. He argues that driving an older car, living in a more modest home, eating out a bit less during the year can open up a world of travel we never thought possible. I have read incredible stories of people who live in tiny studios and then put their stuff in storage to allow themselves the freedom to travel. It all comes down to priorities. Maybe travel isn’t your thing, but something is, and whatever that thing may be, you have to find a way to give it space in your life, even if this means rearranging your priorities.

Likewise, we must give space to the people in our lives to do the same thing– our partners must create their own list of happiness ingredients and we must work together to honor how our priorities can coexist within the same home. After all, peace at home is not just about ourselves. It is a give and take, an acceptance of others for their true nature, not our selfishly-imposed vision of how the other should be.

Happiness is complicated. We expect this space of bliss to exist where all the hard parts melt away. This recent article on Offbeat FamiliesΒ says it well:

New love is beautiful, but it isn’t the point of life. Honoring it and allowing it to be, to flare and flourish and light up the sky and then to fade in its own time, like everything does… and staying with it, consuming it, taking it into ourselves, letting it become us, to become as vital to us as our lungs and heart and tongue, might be the point of life. Finding the deeper meaning and beauty beyond the flashier, temporary kind that comes with newness, might be the point.

-Amanda King

I am coming to realize that happiness is layered in challenge and perseverance. It is not easy and it is not constant, but when you are living a life aligned with that list of ingredients that rings true for you, it is there, just beneath the surface, helping you find peace in the chaos, giving your life meaning beyond any sort of obsession with needing more. We are already whole, we just need to figure out what this means and how to honor it.

Peace, too, is a state of mind. Some people are able to find peace in chaos, while others create chaos in peace. I am working to be the person who finds peace without hiding from the world or avoiding conflict. My work as a teacher helps me practice this every day, but it is still work and I am still learning.

It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed.

-Abigail Adams

As I sat over a greasy spoon breakfast of eggs and country potatoes with my dad early yesterday morning, I was reminded that we do not face this journey alone. We are part of a network of people who can hold us up closer to our dreams, if only we figure out what they are and let go of our stubborn desire to do everything on our own. We are more powerful together, both at home with our partners and in our larger communities of families, friends, and neighbors. A bohemian sort of abundance already surrounds us, we just have to figure out how to embrace it.

Join me in the Bloggers for Peace June challenge, what brings you peace at home and in your relationships?Β 

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17 thoughts on “Bohemian Abundance & Peace at Home

  1. Olivia, this is gorgeous writing here. We can partner with the world in our search for peace. If we find that someone to join us, all the better. But, we are all in this together. I am glad you are on my team too!

  2. I find my peace in family, my pets, music…and sometimes in silence (especially when combined with scenic nature). Great post. You’re right. We’re stronger together as a community than we ever are alone.

  3. kingmidget says:

    I wish I had an answer to your question.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Bicycle rides, perhaps? πŸ˜‰

      • kingmidget says:

        That’s peace for me and me alone. And it doesn’t happen frequently enough it’s the thing about relationships that is impossible to answer. I know what the answer is for me it just seems like most around me don’t have the same answer.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Yes, but when you’re more peaceful, isn’t everyone else as well? I guess that’s not always the case.

      • kingmidget says:

        There’s so much I can unpack and unload on this, better that I leave it alone for now. πŸ˜‰

  4. melanie says:

    This post is very much where I am finding myself right now….searching for and making my peace by doing what I love. My peace is laughter. I swear, I haven’t laughed like I laughed yesterday in forever. And as I went to sleep last night, I felt a peace that hasn’t been there for a long time.

  5. Kozo Hattori says:

    I love this post, Olivia. I needed to hear this today. I was fretting about money. Thanks for reminding me about Bohemian abundance. πŸ™‚ I read another post that said “sometimes lucky and loved are the same thing.” Sounds like you are lucky in love. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  6. jadereyner says:

    What a lovely article and something to which we can all relate. You are right that happiness and peace is within us, we just have to recognise it and move it forwards. I have followed the link to the Bloggers for Peace as well and I may well take up that challenge. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog as well – I love your header photo. πŸ™‚

  7. […] you for “sometimes lucky and loved are the same exact thing“; “bohemian abundance“; free kid’s meals at Ikea;Β  mid-day visits with my wife at her work; rejection to […]

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