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Coaxing the Statue from the Stone February 4, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Wikipedia ~ Aristotle (in Public Domain)

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” ~ Aristotle

I agree with Aristotle . . . and with the Dalai Lama.

“I believe that every human being has an innate desire for happiness and does not want to suffer.  I also believe that the very purpose of life is to experience this happiness.” ~ The Dalai Lama

We are here to be happy and to make others happy.  What we attain in life is largely irrelevant to this quest for happiness.  Instead, how we view the world determines our happiness.

“Through training our minds, with constant effort, we can change our mental perceptions or mental attitudes.  This can make a real difference in our lives.” ~ The Dalai Lama

Like learning to play the piano or speak a foreign language, training the mind takes time and effort.

Wikipedia ~ David (in Public Domain)

But it’s worth it . . .

“If we have a positive mental attitude, then even when surrounded by hostility, we shall not lack inner peace.  If our mental attitude is more negative, influenced by fear, suspicion, helplessness, or self-loathing, then even when surrounded by our best friends, in a nice atmosphere and comfortable surroundings, we shall not be happy.”  ~ The Dalai Lama

With patience and perseverance, we learn to coax the statue from the stone.

Barn’s burnt down ~ now I can see the moon. ~ Masahide (1657-1723)

To read more:  An Open Heart ~ Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life


1. aawwa - February 4, 2012

A lovely blog. Sometimes I forget that the world is how I choose to perceive it. It is easy to get into negative thinking. What you wrote is so true – I enjoyed the quotes as well.


nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Lorraine. When we are happy, we don’t get tangled up in habitual negative feelings (Envy, Pettiness, Jealousy, Anger, Greed). When others are happy, we are happy for them and their successes.

Inner peace allows compassion and kindness to surface.

2. Carl D'Agostino - February 4, 2012

But the Buddhists and Taoists say all life is suffering and an alternative understanding of the Cross is that Gods knows it. God and I will have a very “spirited” discussion about this matter of suffering at the appointed time.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Much of that suffering is self-created by the thoughts we think. When we change our thoughts . . . we change our life.

Aah . . . that’s better. 😉

3. suzicate - February 4, 2012

how we view the world determines our happiness – that’s the key in a nutshell, yet it takes many a lifetime to figure it out.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Learning that “musical notes run from C to C” gives us a framework for basic composition, but we’re not ready to play in Carnegie Hall. Once the idea “clicks” . . . the practice is much easier. We just keep bringing ourselves back to the task.

“Every artist was first an amateur.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Life in the Boomer Lane - February 4, 2012

Well said!

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Renee.

It’s sad to be around unhappy people who refuse to believe they hold the key to the prison they’ve created around themselves.

5. sweetdaysundertheoaks - February 4, 2012

Absolutely believe that we should be happy as we move through our life. Why would we want to go through life any other way? With worry, anxiety and stress~nope. Happy in our heart and in our mind. Happiness gives me a sense of peace and leaves little room for crazy making anxiety. I want more periods of peacefulness and inner quiet. It’s more difficult for some of us Nancy, it is work and a huge amount of effort but that happiness thing is there when you see it starting to work 🙂 My goal is to spend the rest of my life free from concentrating on worry and fear. Sometimes it is the smallest most ridiculous of things that create my anxiety~push them out of the way. Also time to choose to spend time with people that believe happiness is the way to inner peace. It’s OK to be happy!

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Good thoughts, Pix! It IS okay to be happy . . .

And once we realize that we should NOT feel guilty about the happiness we feel, we grow happier still.

Love crowds out Fear.
Peace crowds out Worry and Anxiety.
Happiness trumps Stress.

And it all happens in the NOW. 😎

6. Tammy - February 4, 2012

Yes, I’m all about casting out the negativity and about helping others be happy.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Yay! Once we realize how much control we have over our happiness, being mindful of our thoughts becomes “second nature” . . . we regularly ask ourselves:

Will this thought bring me happiness? If not, we change channels. 😉

7. granny1947 - February 4, 2012

Beautiful post…much of what they were saying in the lecture yesterday.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Ooh . . . that’s right. You attended a lecture yesterday. Hope you’ll share some nuggets with us in today’s post. 😀

8. Jackie L. Robinson - February 4, 2012

Lovely. Creativity and intuition shared together. xoxo

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Jackie! Creativity and intuition do surface from similar synapses, I expect.

9. Joanne - February 4, 2012

Great post, Nancy! Great reminder of where our Happiness Control Center is located. As soon as I started reading this, I thought of the movie “Groundhog Day.” It was just on two nights ago. Learning to play piano, to speak foreign languages and to sculpt ~ in this case, coaxing the sculpture from the ice. In real life, there’s too much to learn in just one lifetime, and the movie was a metaphor for seeking happiness through eternity, but mainly through finding love. 😉

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Some people may learn all they need to know in a single lifetime . . . but that’s probably the exception, not the rule.

For example, I expect that “professional politicians” will be back over and over and over again before they manage to get it “right.” 😉

Joanne - February 4, 2012

Agreed 😉 Unless they enjoy playing that part so much that they just don’t care about ever getting it “right” ~ maybe it’s always going to be the right role for them ~ who knows…? You would think that it would eventually get old, though ~ right…?

nrhatch - February 4, 2012


BTW: Three “rights” don’t make a “wrong.” 😉

10. Andra Watkins - February 4, 2012

Nancy, your reminders about happiness always come at the perfect times for me. Thank you.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Yay! It’s wonderful when we bump into the message we need to hear when we need to hear it. 🙂

11. sufilight - February 4, 2012

This wrapped everything said about happiness very nicely: Gave me good visuals.

“With patience and perseverance, we learn to coax the statue from the stone.”

A good way to start off my day!

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Marie. The process of “becoming” takes time and patience . . . but it’s well worth it. Glad you enjoyed.

12. Pocket Perspectives - February 4, 2012

Thank you Nancy for the insightful and nurturing reminders…so special. I just read “An Open Heart” last week…it’s full of such positive, loving and encouraging ideas.
( I also read A Profound Mind, Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life, also by the DalaiLama…and bought my own copy after reading it…it’s remarkable too…for me, it will take much reflection and thought)
I’ve just been creating a post/a whole bunch of pages that tie in with your ideas in this post…and how we create complications/roadblocks for ourselves in resting in happiness, love,kindness and compassion)

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

I enjoy the writings of the Dalai Lama. His compassion, love, and kindness is evident on every page. Reflection allows the lessons to sink in and become part of the foundation and fabric of our lives.

Enjoy creating the pages.

13. creatingreciprocity - February 4, 2012

Well put, Nancy.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Patricia. Your comment landed in my SPAM filter. Not sure why. I rescued it. 😉

14. thirdhandart - February 4, 2012

“If we have a positive mental attitude, then even when surrounded by hostility, we shall not lack inner peace….” ~ The Dalai Lama
Love this quote Nancy! Thank you.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Once we’ve learned to access that bottomless well of inner peace, it becomes more difficult for others to “rock our boat.”

Glad you enjoyed, Theresa!

15. kateshrewsday - February 4, 2012

I love this, Nancy. Happiness is so often a choice. And you’re right: it’s about acquiring new ways of thinking. The other day you left that beautiful Milton quote on my site: a heaven of hell…. a very important concept.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Aah, yes . . . Milton hit the nail firmly on the head. Much of our “reality” is born between our ears.

16. souldipper - February 4, 2012

Love your title, Nancy – great way to introduce the great quotes and context.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Kate’s post yesterday (about hairdressers) coaxed the title of this post from me. I knew that I had to put it to good use. 😉

17. Maggie - February 4, 2012

I try to be happy wherever I am, no matter what’s going on or what I’m doing. It’s amazing how much of life is based on the way you perceive things and the way you choose to react to things.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

You are wise, Maggie. Our perceptions and projections shape our “reality.” Be HAPPY Now. 😀

18. Crowing Crone Joss - February 4, 2012

love that quote from Masahide. Even in the midst of chaos and turmoil, there is beauty to be found. Thank you for your words here.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Thanks, Joss. That quote always reminds me to “look for the good” . . . the silver lining in the clouds.

19. Perfecting Motherhood - February 4, 2012

I witness my kids every day smiling, laughing, playing, without a care in the world. When do we get to lose touch with ourselves and enjoy the simplest moments? We always want more, more, more and we’re never satisfied.

nrhatch - February 4, 2012

Kids have the right idea ~ they embrace the present moment and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. And they laugh! We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.

20. eof737 - February 5, 2012

I’m with you all the way on the power of positive thinking. What we believe, we become. 🙂

nrhatch - February 5, 2012

And the happier we are, the less “stuff” we need to assert our status to the world.

We are here and it is NOW. That’s enough. _/!\_

21. Team Oyeniyi - February 5, 2012

Lovely thoughts, Nancy!

nrhatch - February 5, 2012

Thanks, Robyn!

22. spilledinkguy - February 6, 2012

That statue looks vaguely familiar! I feel like I’ve spent quite a bit of time staring at it!

nrhatch - February 6, 2012

Can you imagine how nervous Michaelangelo must have gotten as he chiseled and chipped around David’s . . . um . . . private parts? One twist of the wrist and UH-OH! @$#%

Team Oyeniyi - February 6, 2012

Sometimes you are just a bad girl! 😆

nrhatch - February 6, 2012

Mais non! 😉

23. bluebee - February 7, 2012

I love that Masahide quote – it epitomizes my husband’s attitude to life 🙂

nrhatch - February 7, 2012

Lucky you, bluebee!

It is great to be around people who accept what they cannot change . . . and look for the good that accompanies any “setback.”

24. CMSmith - February 14, 2012

You’re going to hate the post I wrote about happiness, if I ever decide to post it. . .

I’m really struggling with and working on this one.

nrhatch - February 14, 2012

I am sure that I won’t “hate” it . . . but I expect (with that as your intro) that I will not be inclined to agree with it. 😉

25. Happiness as a Hymn | Spirit Lights The Way - March 20, 2014

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