Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #22: Happiness is…

True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca


In March this year, we traveled to a long dreamed of country, Bhutan. I had read some books in advance, and knew the Bhutanese values and their use of GNH (Gross National Happiness) instead of GNP to measure prosperity. Values that went straight to my heart.

– But then, what Is Happiness?

Let’s start off with something really tangible – according to John Gunther, All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. And, I might agree…because what makes my mornings happy is a quiet room, a good newspaper (made of real paper…) and a cup of strong coffee with some warm scones.

So, this week’s Lens – Artists’ challenge is: Happiness is...and it is up to you to fill out that sentence! What is Happiness to you? It could be anything from a big ice-cream on a hot day to spending a glorious sunset with your loved one – or running barefoot in the rain.

If I try to pin down what Happiness really is to me –  what makes me warm inside and my eyes shine… it might look something like this:

Happiness is…photographing of course, but also…


…enjoying the little wonders in our world

…traveling with my family – meeting other cultures and exciting new people

….forest walks with my dogs

…playful (or mischievous…), smiling young faces – and the sound of their laughter!

…writing with my smooth fountain pen (I am a pen-freak…)

…the coming of spring


I am really looking forward to your interpretations of what Happiness is… to You!  The next challenge (#23) will be hosted by Amy – just returned from Peru – on Saturday, December 8.  Welcome to join us!

DID YOU SEE THESE? Here are some interesting posts you don’t want to miss from Patti’s Splash challenge :

  • Anvica’s Gallery, where she is playing with a single drop of water.
  • Visit Janet for some beautifully lit splashes!
  • Visit an interesting garden with some very colourful splashes, with Manja

For more information on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenges, click here. Most importantly, remember to TAG your post ” Lens-Artists ” so it appears in the Reader.

And finally, thank you for participating in the fun – and I wish you all an inspiring and happy week!



165 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #22: Happiness is…

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    • I am glad you liked the magnolias – and thank you for the reminder of four more months before they come back…
      A very beautiful contribution of waters!

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    • Thank you so much! I have found that such a breakfast is doing me really good – hopefully you as well then! After all those years with a stressful start before driving an hour to work, I finally can relax and enjoy my breakfast and get a good start for my chores of the day.

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    • I am glad it suited you so well! But I believe it is good having to choose…because then you have to think twice…at least, before picking your photos!

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  31. Thank you for offering this photo challenge as it invited me to ponder ”happiness” which I found to be a nice antidote to the political environment that is darkening our lives.

    • I cannot but agree about the political situation. I think about it every day – although I try not to let it destroy my positive thoughts. I hope your pondering will make you feel better – at least for a short moment!

  32. Pingback: lens-artists challenge: happiness is – meditative journey with saldage

    • Thank you – those young monks were so lovely! The eldest 14, and I felt he took some responsibility for the younger boys. I am glad you liked them!

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  37. I’m going to think about your question What is happiness? Over a leisurely breakfast. In just a few moments, I’m going to make my strong cup of coffee and it’s going to
    be a lovely brioche from the French bakery. Cool that you are a pen freak. Nothing like a smooth flowing line on a lovely paper. I enjoyed your gallery of happiness this morning.

    • I am glad you will ponder about the question over a leisurely breakfast! That flowing line over a beautiful paper…was always a pleasure in my younger years. Now I struggle to keep up my once lovely hand writing.

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  39. Your entire post fills me with happiness; such beautiful photos and words. Your morning ritual sounds blissful, and I love that you are a pen-freak. I used to use a pen such a lot but now my pen spends most of its time just sitting on my desk. 😦

    • Oh, how happy I am you liked it! I am sorry to admit that my pen too often sits on my desk nowadays. But occasionally I get a real letter, and then…I bring out my fountain pen! I have two persons who write to me (and I write back of course), where one is a lady in Australia, whom I had in my Swedish class eleven years ago. She went back to Australia, but we still write to each other.

  40. I think we share a lot in common, though I prefer reading that writing… 🙂

    Thanks for this wonderful post and for making us think in happy things!!!

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    • Thank you, Irene – personally I have never understood those who skip breakfast. My day is ruined if I miss out on it…Looking forward to your happiness-post!

  46. As I get older, I realise that happiness (for me anyway) is not an independent thing — and certainly not something I can pursue in its own right. Happiness is a consquence of being useful. I try to organise my life so that I am useful to those I care for, make useful (and beautiful) things, and have a positive impact on my environment. Happiness is a very pleasant side-effect of this.

    • So true – wise words. Being useful for our loved ones – and for people in need – gives happiness to all of us. A win-win.
      In my own life though, the last years have been a bit too heavy with both parents seriously ill and in need of help. But I try to be positive, even if it does not always work. Forest walks and my dogs are a great help.
      You should try not to forget yourself in the midst of being useful. ♥

  47. Pingback: Lens Artists Challenge #22 – Happiness Is… | AEKShots

  48. Humans were meant to be happy, and so often, for whatever circumstances, we are not. But often too we can do something about this. So many ways to be joyful as you’ve shown us here.

    • This is very true, Tish. I think one way of making us a bit happier is to get positive news in media, good news from happy endings of difficult stories. Media should always have at least one positive piece of news every day. I also believe the blogosphere is a positive ”space” for us to share both good and bad things. To support each other. Life is not easy, for anyone really.

      • You’re right about focusing on the positive. These days the news seems to focus always on the negative. Yet people around the world are doing magnificently wonderful things that make life better for masses of people.

      • True, Tish – and those wonderful things must be spread to us, the people living in the world. Do we really need to know all the negative things happening? I believe it brings people down instead. There are so many of us suffering from mental illness, and I don’t think they will get fewer with all negative news in media.

        I am happy with WP blogosphere, because most of us have a good mix of positive and less positive things.

  49. Gorgeous post and images, Ann-Christine. I couldn’t agree with you more on the definition of happiness. I love the concept of GNH (Gross National Happiness) to measure prosperity! Wonderful!

  50. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Happiness Is… | scillagrace

  51. This really is a splendid challenge theme, and your photos and words… a beautiful introduction to it! I could say I am a pen-freak too, loved that photo very much, as for the ”coming of spring” image… gorgeous magnolia sky! 🙂

    • So, I am glad you too are a pen-freak! I have to stop myself from buying more beautiful pens…because today they are not as used as they were when I was younger…Thank you for a lovely comment too!

  52. Pingback: Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #22 Happiness is… – chosenperspectives

  53. Always a thoughtful challenge. 🙂 🙂 I don’t seem to have time to settle into a blogging rhythm just yet but I can share with you verbally. Yesterday evening I was strolling on the beach at sunset on a beach at a Spanish resort, in the fabulous light of the Costa de la Luz. Alone, because I’d worn the other half out with our daytime rambles. It made me so very happy, Ann-Christine. Like much of life at present.

  54. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #22 Happiness Is… – P.A. Moed

  55. Ahhh, thank you for much for the mention, Leya! ❤ I'm so glad you loved my splashes. And this week's theme is just excellent again. I love happiness and I believe that we choose to be happy. Will be most glad to make a happy collection for you and the challenge.

  56. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Happiness is….. | HX Report

  57. I loved seeing what makes you happy Ann-Christine! Your photos really tell a story – but my favorite is those smiling young faces wrapped in red. WOW!! Thanks for the happy challenge 🙂

Halva verket är läsarens - så, vad säger Du? As the second half is the reader's - I'd love to have Your line!

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