ΕΥΔΑΙΜΟΝΙΑ - EUDAIMONIA

ΕΥΔΑΙΜΟΝΙΑ - EUDAIMONIA

Ευδαιμονία • Ancient Greek

eu·​dae·​mo·​nia | \ ˌyüdēˈmōnēə \

(n.) lit. "Human Flourishing"; a contented state of being happy, healthy and prosperous.

The ancient Greek word Eudaimonia in cannot be translated into one single English word. 

This charged word has a very rich and detailed philosophical explanation about how humans can experience a lifetime of sustained happiness. 

The word “happiness” in English describes a momentary and fleeting feeling of joy. 

While the word “Eudaimonia” describes a continuous and everlasting feeling of fulfillment throughout the span of your lifetime. 

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle questioned what the formula was for finding this experience of continuous happiness throughout the course of one’s life. 

Aristotle explained how eudaimonia encompasses what it means to live a life full of meaning that ultimately brings you sustained joy. A type of happiness that doesn’t go away. Eudaimonia is describing a feeling within your soul of being in a state of true peace and contemptment. 

Although society now, and back then didn't always make it easy for everyone to experience this sweetness of life. It is up to each individual to make a conscious decision to pursue a life of purpose that eudaimonia describes. Most people will not reach this level of happiness because it requires a lot of work, and most people will not take it upon themselves to do the work. You as an individual have to deeply look within yourself and make conscious efforts to improve the small things in your day to day life, that will eventually equate to a lifetime of sustained happiness. 

 

In my own life I've noticed that the more I struggle and push through doing the hard things, the happier I become overall. These past two years of living in my own house for the first time has forced me to establish consistent habits that are not easy, but overall make me happier. 

One of the main struggles I've had in maintaining a home, is to keep up with all of the cooking, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, folding, putting clothes away, vacuuming, mopping the floors. There are so many chores that need to get done in order for the home to be clean. I found that by establishing a routine to maintain a refreshing and comfortable home, has been critical to creating a happy and harmonious lifestyle. 

When my space is clean, fresh and cleared of clutter then my mind is also clear of clutter which allows me to focus more on doing other tasks that also make me happy like creating art, and writing. 

Even when I come home exhausted from a day of teaching, I don't even give myself the option to just lay on the couch. Right when I get home I start cooking dinner for the night, and take care of other chores that need to get done around the house.

Of course when I first started, cooking was a difficult chore. I almost dreaded getting in the kitchen. I didn't know what I was doing, and it was a lot of work. But I quickly stopped viewing cooking as a chore, because I do enjoy the process of making a meal from scratch.

Cooking a meal everyday has been such a refreshing and calming after work activity for me. I find pleasure in chopping up the veggies, and smelling the aromas of the sautéd onions. Nothing beats sitting down at the dining room table with the person you love, and enjoying a home cooked tasty meal with them.

 But now cooking is so engraved into my routine that I don't even need to think about it. I've come up with a system that on Mondays I will plan all 5 meals for the week, and then go grocery shopping for those five meals. I'll always buy a little extra so we can have leftovers for lunch the next day. 

When I tell my friends I do all this, they look at me like I've cracked some secret code, and they could never in a million years cook a meal every single day on a weeknight. But the reality is that I had to struggle a lot in the beginning to organize my recipe plans, to learn how to cook, experiment making a lot of different recipes, cry while cutting onions, slice my finger while chopping, and just continue to do it anyways. 

Another reason why I make cooking a priority in our home is because health and longevity is really important to me. I view cooking home cooked meals as an investment in my body. I am taking the time and effort to maintain a healthy body by eating foods that I know are healthy and nutritious. 

It's the consistent choices we make every day that add up to create a happier life overall. 

I hope I can inspire you to push through the struggle of setting a routine like this for yourself, even if it's as simple as tidying up the living room every night before bed. I promise that creating these small routines is the first step in self discipline that will eventually bleed into other areas of your life.

Start small, and see how much progress you can make in just one month of consistently trying to improve your life. 

True happiness is found through struggle. 

Using Prang watercolors, DiVinci watercolor Brushes, and textured watercolor paper
Behind the scenes of painting Eudaimonia no. 1

 

An insight into the creation of the Watercolor Series: 

This summer I had made a goal for myself to make and produce as much artwork as possible. I made a series of 7 Black and white drawings titled ANTHLIPSI and I began prepping 15 large canvases to begin painting a series of larger works. I was working non stop on creating, editing my website, writing a blog post, and posting reels and pictures on social media that I came to a point in the middle of the summer where I just felt burnt out. 

I was hustling so much, but I didn't allow myself time to rest, and I was feeling a little burnt out by trying to juggle everything. 

In that moment I decided that I was going to allowed myself time to rest, to work on projects around the house, to focus on other things that bring me joy like being with my family, hosting and cooking. 

I went about two weeks without creating anything. But as an artist two weeks without creating was about all I can handle. I started to get the itch to create something. For me creating art is an outlet for my mental stability. I need that time to sit in silence with only the pen and paper in order to relax my mind and refocus my energy into something else outside of my worldy problems. 

One afternoon I got a strong urge to paint. I brought all my materials outside on the patio table and just simply painted. 

I just allowed myself to paint with no end goal in mind.

Now that I have established a very strong visual language using lines to portray the flowing ocean waters, I simply just trusted my intuition to paint.  

I visualize the water, the lines and shapes the waves create. 

I let myself loose, and did not look at an actual photograph of water at that moment. 

At that moment I let my hand flow into creating those lines that are ingrained into my memory. 

That memory of the water, and the feeling of peace while in the water, is what rushed through my body while painting. 

Those seemingly simple lines are years worth of repetitive practice. 

The random curves and turns in the lines are actually not random at all. 

They are my subconscious mind floating through memories of past artwork, and the memory of the ocean. 

In creating these works and contemplating the meaning of eudaimonia, I started to reflect on my own life and what compiles to my happiness. 

After heavily researching what various philosophers have written about eudaimonia, and the ingredients for a meaningful life, I realized I’m not doing too bad over all. 

The first ingredient in creating sustained happiness over your lifetime is to have a purpose in life. 

I feel like my purpose right now is to create meaningful artwork, and share my experiences in order to help others open their minds to the beauty of God’s creation. 

 

Blue abstract watercolor painting
Eudaimonia no. 4

 

Each painting in the Eudaimonia series has a corresponding message explaining the true philosophical meaning of Eudaimonia. 

 

Below are each of the explanations as to how to achieve a meaningful life full of happiness. 

 

No 1. Eudaimonia is a feeling of sustained happiness over the course of your life time that takes constant work to maintain. Eudaimonia is acknowledging that happiness cannot exist without sadness, and doing great things in life do not come without struggle and consistency.

 

No. 2. Eudaimonia is creating a lifestyle filled with purpose and meaning, while staying true to your morals.

When you find your passion in life and work everyday to pursue your dreams, your soul finds continued happiness.

When you stand for what is right, and do honest work, you gain a sustained feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment.

If you don’t have any goals or dreams to work towards, your soul has nothing to rejoice in.

In order to flourish as an individual, you must first discover what your purpose in life is.

Maybe your purpose is helping heal people who are sick or teaching students how to read or making others happy through a service you provide.

Whatever your purpose in life is, make sure you are putting in your whole heart and soul into what you do, and always stay true to what you believe in.

 

No 3. Eudaimonia is knowing your creator and being thankful for your existence everyday. 

I will give you a little secret, in order to truly achieve this feeling and to really know what I’m talking about, you first need to discover your creator. 

If you have nothing to believe in, this ultimate feeling of continuous contemptment will never be found in your soul. 

Eudaimonia is a continuous feeling of calmness in your soul.  

God is what gives our soul a sustained feeling of comfort. When you believe in God and appreciate His creation, you can experience true everlasting happiness. 

Too many people in today's society live with no moral standing. 

They personally believe in nothing, and ultimately fall for anything. They feel a void in their soul that can’t be filled with any worldly pleasures. 

Eudaimonia is finding joy in your mundane day to day routine.

Eudaimonia is feeling at peace when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed.

 

No. 4 Eudaimonia is a mindset of craving continual growth and learning every single day.

Craving knowledge and loving to learn will enhance your long term happiness in life.

If you live everyday thinking you know everything, you can easily grow bitter and miserable.

But if you keep an open mind, and continue to teach yourself new interests everyday, you will never get bored.

Your soul will flourish when you continue to explore your interests and invest the time to educate yourself on what’s important to you. 

 

No 5. Eudaimonia is perceiving your life as an ongoing journey, and enjoying the ups and downs that each day brings.

Eudaimonia means being able to embrace all emotions.

Happiness, sadness, nervousness, indifference, grief, joy, pain, excitement, anger are all emotions that all humans experience.

Acknowledging all emotions as they come and go, will in turn take the pressure off to always feel “happy” at every moment of everyday.

Eudaimonia is far greater than a fleeting moment of happiness.

Eudaimonia is an overall feeling of peace in your soul, knowing that you love the lifestyle you are living.

Eudaimonia is embracing where you are now, and acknowledging how special life is. 

 

Blue, white and black abstract line watercolor painting inspired by the ocean in Greece
Eudaimonia no. 2