Last week, my husband and I flew down to Miami for Art Basel, where we hit galleries upon galleries full of amazing art. And over the course of a few days, as we traveled from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to Key West, I found myself noticing just how much art was all about being positive. Whether in big galleries or scrawled on light poles on the street, I found happy words and positive messages in the art everywhere—like life, it’s just up to us to take it in. Here’s just a taste of what South Beach and beyond had to say about how to live a happy life.
Step 1: Whatever you’re going through now, remember, Life is beautiful.
This is part of the Mr. Brainwash show (if you’ve seen the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop or the streets in Downtown L.A., you’ve seen his work). It’s an oldie message, but a goodie. If you look for the junk, it’ll be there. If you look for the beautiful stuff, you’ll find that, too.
He also made this piece, another good message: Where there is love, there is life.
Step 2: Remind Yourself to Be Happy. Do the Best You Can. Be Good and Kind.
At the main Art Basel exhibit inside the Miami Convention Center was this piece called “My Mother’s Words” by Jonathan Borofsky. I think I would have liked her.
Step 3: Realize you have Everything You Want. Right Now!
At the Pulse Miami show, I came across this piece by Steve Lambert. It kind of makes me think of how I get happy every day. Instead of focusing on the things I wish I had, or the things I want and don’t have yet, I remind myself to look at what’s in front of me and see how dang great it really is. You have more of what you want than you realize. Light up the good parts of what’s right in front of you.
Step 4: Duh, Love Yourself.
On Collins Avenue, just outside of the W Hotel, I found this sticker. Which led me to the site LoveYourselfProject.net. And their message is this: “It’s time to start washing our brain with a positive message instead of being brainwashed with philosophies that keep us small and limited.” Oh, yeah.
Step 5: Even when all you see in front of you is trash, Bee Happy.
I found this on the street in Key West and it stopped me in my tracks. What a surprising fun place to find an inspiring message. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking at, happiness is a choice. As you’ll see in my next book Bright Side Up that comes out in February, I believe that we have the power to change how we feel by viewing what’s right in front of us from a new angle. What’s garbage to one person can be a saving grace to another. It’s all in how you see it.
Step 6: When things go wrong, find a way to say, Es Excelente!
This was another piece at the Art Basel show at the Convention Center with a pretty excellent message. Start your day thinking “Es excelente!” and you’ll find more than enough reasons to prove yourself right.
Step 7: Order the lobster roll.
Oh…right. So this isn’t officially “art,” but believe me when I tell you that the lobster roll from The Conch Shack on Duval Street in Key West was so delectable, it tasted like art. In fact, we had it three times in two days, which reminded me: There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. If it will make you happy and it won’t make a big dent in your wallet or isn’t a pain in someone else’s butt, order it. Eat it. Do it. Buy it. Wear it. Try it. Sing it.
Life is full of little pleasures and big signs. If you pay attention, you’ll see them all and remember to be them all.