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Happiness From A to Z September 16, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
29 comments

IMGP1472aThese sayings (and others like them) have helped me leap over the ubiquitous pot-holes in the path on more than a few occasions:

All things must pass.

Be who you want to be.

Claim what isn’t, as if it were, until it becomes.

Don’t worry.  Be happy.

Ego concerns (like anger) melt away when seen through the eyes of Spirit.

Forgive and forget.

Gratitude pulls us forward.  Resentment holds us back.

How you relate to the issue . . . is the issue.

If you want to sing out, sing out.  If you want to be free, be free.  ~ Cat Stevens

Just leap and the net appears.

Donald-Duck-BaseballKindly be honest.

Let go the shore ~ untether your essence.

Make your own kind of music.

Now is all there is.

Only you can hear the voice within.

Pause and reflect.

Question yourself.  Accept others.

_0001cRecognize the richness of your existence.

Simple pleasures are life treasures.

To thine own self be true. ~ Shakespeare

Unearth who you are . . . set your dreams in motion.

Value your uniqueness.  Conformity is over-rated.  Be the best “you” you can be.

What lies before us, and what lies behind us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

X marks the spot ~ the treasure you seek lies within.

You complete yourself ~ with or without a squad of cheerleaders bouncing around on the sidelines.

Zen wisdom abounds.

Related posts:  Spiritual Milestones * The Virtually Inevitable Backslide * Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Synthetic Happiness is REAL December 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, People.
39 comments

Donald-DirectorOne reason we are not as happy as we could be . . . we don’t manufacture enough synthetic happiness for ourselves.

We keep looking “out there” for something we can create from within.

Why?

Because many of us don’t believe that synthetic happiness is REAL.

It is.

We have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience.

For a fascinating look at the REALness of synthetic happiness, check out Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk, Why Are We Happy?

The path we choose to follow in life impacts our happiness far less than making one basic, underlying decision:

Do I want to be happy?

Once we make that choice, our path through life becomes totally clear.

For more from Dan Gilbert ~ Stumbling on Happiness.

Related posts:  Grow in the Direction of HappinessEmbrace All With Joy *  The ABC’s of Happiness * Zig-Zagging to the Zenith * Spiritual Milestones * The Scientific Method (Creating Reciprocity)

Don’t Believe Everything You Think November 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Meditation, Mindfulness.
40 comments

Donald-DuckaThoughts we think oft times arise of their own accord . . . creating white noise which whispers through the brain’s back corridors like an endless stream of stock prices on a ticker tape parade.

Thoughts appear, disappear, and reappear again . . . like the endless bubbles in a flute of champagne.

Negative thoughts, unbidden black clouds presaging a coming storm, exert insidious control over us ~ even if, and perhaps especially when, we are not fully cognizant of their presence.

Donald-Duck-MadAllowing thoughts to wander-at-will adds to daily stress levels, causing blood pressures to rise.  Our angry thoughts resemble steam rising in roiling bubbles in a pot about to boil over.

Believing our thoughts to be true, we are quick to anger and slow to forgive. We waste time and energy dwelling on past hurts and future fears.

We suffer under the illusion that thoughts bubbling to the surface of our consciousness are real.  They aren’t.

The best way to break the cycle is to stop believing everything we think.

Meditation raises our awareness. We become conscious of the thoughts circulating, percolating, and bubbling through our brains.  We learn to manipulate our thoughts, instead of allowing them to manipulate us.

Just as a “watched pot never boils,” thoughts slow to a simmer as soon as we shine our awareness and attention on the rapidly rising bubbles.

Donald-DirectorWhen we close our eyes and see the “monkey chatter” cluttering Control Central, our heightened awareness causes unbidden thoughts to drift away as easily as  bubbles blown by children on a summer’s day.

Delighting in the silence, we relax into the moment.

Awareness that WE remain aware in that state of silent awareness causes us to realize, “I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are not me.”

Donald-Duck-LaughingWe are the silent observer of thoughts echoing, bouncing, bumbling, and bubbling through our minds.

We need not believe everything we think.

Freed of the insidious control of unwanted, unbidden, unwelcome, and untruthful thoughts, joy bubbles up and bliss fills our being.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts: Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Bubbles! * Spiritual MilestonesMaintaining Perspective * Attack of the Killer ANTs * The Serenity Principle * Meditation 101 * The Path to Enlightenment * A Warm Hug for a Sad Child

Texture and Contrast November 15, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Poetry.
45 comments

We have to know hunger
To appreciate food
We have to see the bad
To appreciate the good

We have to feel thirst
To appreciate drink
Muddled thoughts help us
Value the ability to think

Opposites exist for a simple reason
Everything has a time, place and season
Contrast provides our days with texture
Nothing in life is a permanent fixture

We have to experience despair
To appreciate hope
We have to experience problems
To value the ability to cope

We have to have had doubts
Before we can appreciate trust
We have to have known injustice
To appreciate what’s just

Opposites exist for a simple reason
Everything has a time, place and season
Contrast provides our days with texture
Nothing in life is a permanent fixture

* * * * *

Acceptance turns boulders into pebbles, allowing us to go with the flow instead of exhausting ourself by struggling against the current.

Embrace all with joy.  Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

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

Related posts:  Grow in the Direction of HappinessEmbrace All With Joy *  The ABC’s of Happiness * Zig-Zagging to the Zenith * Spiritual Milestones

If You Want To Be Free, Be Free August 6, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Music & Dance, People, Spirit & Ego.
35 comments

Donald-Duck-BaseballThe masks we wear belong to our glorious Ego.

Ego wants to protect “us” from scorn and ridicule and have others admire and praise our accomplishments, no matter how modest.

As a result of its inherent insecurity, Ego is easily influenced by the opinions of others.

It wants attention and recognition.  It wants to be admired.  It wants to be in control.  It wants to be right.  If we use the Ego (and its fear of ridicule) as a reference point, its desires cause us to become self-conscious.

In addition, Ego’s desire for approval, power, control, and certainty may cause thoughts to spiral out of control, destroying our happiness and peace of mind.

Spirit waits patiently in the wings to restore our peace of mind, encouraging us to go with the flow.

Spirit’s willingness to accept the “what is” allows us to remain calm and serene in the midst of conflict and strife.

When we become less concerned with what others think about us, and focus more on what we want out of life, we begin to discard our masks, or don them less frequently.

Mickey-DiverIf we feel like singing, we sing.

If we feel like dancing, we dance.

We allow others to see our essence, our core, and our Spirit.

We begin to let our true light shine!

If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free. There’s a million ways to be . . . you know that there are. ~ Cat Stevens

Related posts: Actors on the Stage of LifeMaintaining Perspective * Zig-Zagging to the Zenith * Spiritual Milestones * The Choice is Ours

The Path of Least Resistance March 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
62 comments

220px-Lightning_striking_the_Eiffel_Tower_-_NOAAH.G. Wells said, “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.”

Many who buy into the antiquated Puritan Work Ethic agree with Wells.

I do not.

When we follow our heart, we follow the path of least resistance.  We enjoy what we do and do it joyously.

Our enthusiasm spurs us forward and we accomplish more than when we take a more resistant path and “burn out” while beating our head against the brick walls we encounter.

When we take the path of least resistance, we walk around boulders, rather than trying to chisel away at them.

Instead of wasting time and energy to accomplish impossible feats, we skip down the path of least resistance, kicking the pebbles we encounter to the side of the road.

Life should be more than a series of stressful moments strung together ad infinitum.  Life should be a joyous journey of adventure and discovery.

Here’s to enjoying the journey . . . along the path of least resistance.

Quotes to Ponder: 

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. ~ William Feather

I would rather be a failure at something I love to do, than a success at something I don’t. ~ George Burns

Success comes not from what we do, it comes from who we are.

I’ve never liked the quote, “Good guys finish last,” because it implies that greed, and power, and arrogance will get you to the finish line first . . . but that’s not the finish line that I’m aiming for.

When we stop clinging to ego attachments, we lighten our load and learn who we truly are. ~ Lama Surya Das

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Do you agree with Wells?

Have you accomplished more on the path of least resistance . . . or by battling windmills?

Related posts:  Spiritual Milestones *  Our Internal Compass * Our Field Of Dreams * A Beacon in the Dark * Meditation 101 * The Inner Path to Peace * You’re Getting Warmer * My GPS Has An Attitude (Jeanne’s Blog) * Thanks, God

25 Simple Ways To Enjoy The Journey March 6, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
45 comments

Broccoli-Mocking-Stewie1. Choose your focus. If you choose angry, judgmental thoughts, you will make yourself miserable. Choose peaceful, happy thoughts and you will be peaceful and happy.

2. Realize that you are in control and can let go of any mental baggage that is not adding to your happiness.

3. Choose to have a great day, every day.

4. Start each morning by affirming that it will be a Marvelous Monday . . . Tiggerrific Tuesday . . . Wonderful Wednesday . . . Tremendous Thursday . . . Fabulous Friday . . . Super Saturday . . . Spectacular Sunday.

Eeyore-Sitting5. Get rid of anything in your life that is not adding to your happiness ~ especially your negative thoughts.

6. Let go of past hurts and frustrations. They only have the meaning that you choose to assign to them.

7. Let go of the ego, fear-based orientation that has made you miserable.

8. Choose happiness ~ right here, right now.

9. Chances are that nothing is getting in the way of your happiness . . . except your own ego-oriented thoughts.

10. Joy is never in things (or other people), it is in us!

11. Find something to be happy about. Positive thoughts neutralize negative thoughts and allow us to heal.

Donald-Duck-Baseball12. Prefer peace and happiness to being right.

13. Accept the “what is.” If there is no darkness, you cannot be the light.

14. Infuse your thoughts with gratitude. Remind yourself of all the wondrous and wonderful things in life.

15. Use affirmations to acknowledge the direction you are heading ~ “claim what isn’t, as if it were, until it becomes.” A few examples: Money comes easily and frequently into my life. I love where I live. Life flows easily. I am no longer stressed with imaginings. I have all the time that I need.

16. Make room for stuff that you LOVE . . . stuff that makes you feel GREAT.

17. If you have something lying around that brings you down every time you look at, because it is infused with sad, stale memories ~ give it away.

Tiggers-R-Us18. Share what you’ve learned. We are ALL here to be happy. As you find your own happiness increasing, teach others what you’ve learned so that they can grow in happiness as well.

19. Share your inner joy with the world.

20. Choose to be the “best you” that you can be.

21. Every day, make an effort to choose the high road and, eventually, if you are lucky, the low road will disappear from view.

Tigger-Pogo22. Let your Spirit Shine! Feel your inner radiance. Stop lurking in the shadows. Stop holding yourself back. Be the who you really are, the who you are meant to be.

23. Do everything with Joy. Cook dinner with Joy. Bathe the kids with Joy. Exercise with Joy. Eat with Joy. Write letters with Joy. Pay the bills with Joy.

24. Feed your spirit daily, and let your ego’s control fade away. Listen to classical music, or paint, or play an instrument, or sing, or dance ~ creative endeavors fuel the spirit.

Mickey-In-Hammock25. Meditate. As you go within, and listen to the still silent spaces, you are in the here and now. And you find eternity in every moment.

You are on a great journey. The journey is in the Here and Now. Keep coming back to it. Dance and sing and play. Pretend, imagine and create.

Have fun with your life. You are more powerful than you imagined.

No rules. Just write!

What about you?  What Simple Ways do you use to promote Inner Peace?

Related Posts:  You’re Better Off Than You Know (Parchment & Ink) * Divine Knowledge (Mirth & Motivation) * Way of the Peaceful Warrior * Spiritual Milestones * Simplify Your Life * Live Your Life * Attack of the Killer ANTS * Let It Out . . . Then Let It GoAwakening To The Sacred

You Know You’ve . . . January 16, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Word Play.
19 comments

Mickey-In-Hammock(1) You know you’ve . . .

Reached middle-age when you go to bed on Friday night earlier than you used to head out to the clubs, and you’re up Saturday morning about the time you used to get home.

“We should be dancin’ ~ yeah!”

(2) You know you’ve . . .

Stepped on toes when ruffled feathers fill the air.

Pillow fight, anyone?

(3) You know you’ve . . .

Grown in patience when you no longer take “de bait.”

Mickey-Surfer(4) You know you’ve . . .

Become more mindful when you see obstacles as opportunities, rather than as permanent impediments to happiness.

(5) You know you’ve . . .

Grown in acceptance when boulders become pebbles, easily tossed to the side of the path.

How about you?  What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Spiritual Milestones * Our Internal Compass * A Beacon in the Dark * Walking Meditation * Zen & the Art of Diffusing Conflict * Way of the Peaceful Warrior * Awakening To The Sacred

Zen & The Art of Diffusing Conflict January 14, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
19 comments

Winning arguments is like playing chess.  Often, the best defense is a good offense.

However, life is not a chess game and we are not just players on a board.

We are living, breathing beings who need strong relationships with each other to thrive.

Practicing the art of diffusing conflict allows us to end an argument before it begins, or at least before it develops the momentum of a speeding locomotive racing down a steep incline.

We See The World Behind Our Eyes.

Your best friend has just accused you of not understanding him.

Surprised, you look up from the TV, blink in confusion, and think, “where did that come from?”

Don’t worry too much about why he threw down the gauntlet, it’s there.  The “what is, is.”  Don’t ask him to defend his position, unless you want to spend the next few hours engaged in battle, a lose-lose proposition at best.

Don’t go on the offensive:  “No one  understands you.  You’re insane!”

Accept his point of view.  He’s expressing an opinion.  Acknowledge it.

“You know, from your perspective, I can see why you would say that.”

Each of us experiences life uniquely.  Your efforts to understand his truth, no matter how sincere, are only that ~ they are not the truth.

Once his concerns have been heard, he may realize you understand him better than he thought.

Conflict Is Inevitable, Arguments Are Optional.

170px-PuckCoverYour wife has just stormed out of the bathroom holding an empty roll of toilet paper in her hands, screaming obscenities that would make a drunken sailor blush.

Hands on hips, she stands defiantly between you and the television screen, and slowly, with emphasis, demands that you explain, once and for all, why you have such a hard time remembering to change the roll of toilet paper when you are  ALWAYS the last one to finish the roll due to your proclivity for eating Ass-Bangin’ Chili every GD night of the week!

Before you reach for the volume control in a futile (and perhaps fatal) effort to drown her out, try the following:

Don’t worry about why she is so enraged ~ after a day full of frustrations, you are just the proverbial straw on an already overloaded camel.

Don’t ask her to substantiate her claims (unless you can prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you are innocent of the alleged offense).

If  you have a surveillance video that shows that one of the kids finished the roll, and (better still) left the bathroom without washing his or her hands, by all means, share it (and some much needed laughter) with  your spouse.

Humor is a great tool for diffusing conflict.

Absent evidence of malfeasance by the kids, or that the cat dragged off the end of the roll to use in the litter box, don’t attempt to defend your position.

Now is not the time to point out the one time, six months ago, when your wife was late for a meeting with her supervisor’s supervisor, and she forgot to change the roll before rushing out of the apartment to hail a cab.

Instead, accept her point of view, “You’re got a point.  Not replacing the roll is  inconsiderate.  I’ll do better next time.”

Your calm acceptance of her concerns will prompt her to realize that finding an empty toilet paper roll is not really what’s upsetting her.

If she doesn’t reach that conclusion herself, you might gently steer her in that direction.  Gently is the key word here.  Try asking her about her day, her family,  or anything else that’s weighing her down.

As her perspective shifts, she’ll remember that you are not the enemy, you are her ally against the maddening crowd.

In many cases, the best way to avoid an argument is to listen.

Quote:  Prefer peace and happiness to being right.

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Way of the Peaceful Warrior * Spiritual Milestones * Awakening To The Sacred

Embrace All With Joy January 12, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Magick & Mystery.
20 comments

170px-alice_par_john_tenniel_30Our vision is limited, grounded as it is in the present. When something  seems negative, we want it to go away.  We don’t want to deal with suffering or hardship.  We recoil from pain and resist the “what is.”

But things are not always as they first appear.

The lessons we learn from life’s less pleasant moments often pave the way for a better future for ourselves and those we love.

Experiences seem negative because our vantage point is limited.

We are lost in the trees.

Once we move farther along the path, we see more of the forest.  Our changed vantage point provides clarity.

Calvin-gots-an-IdeaWhen we look over our shoulder, and take a retrospective glance at the negatives (e.g., being diagnosed with a tumor, having to undergo surgery, dealing with a flooded basement), our perspective has shifted.

With expanded cognition, we find that the “negative events” we resisted resulted in valuable lessons and navigational aids for our journey.

We learned something we needed to know.  We received a nudge in the right direction ~ a shortcut to becoming who we were always intended to be.

We ended up exactly where we needed to be, when we needed to be there.

From the zenith, our perspective will be broader still, allowing us to see everything as the gift of gold it is.

Acceptance turns boulders into pebbles, allowing us to go with the flow instead of exhausting ourselves by struggling against the current.

Embrace all with joy.  Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

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

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Zig-Zagging to the Zenith * Spiritual Milestones Connecting The Dots (Arriving At Your Door) * Inventing a New Year (Agrigirl) * ABC’s of Happiness * Does Everything Happen for a Reason? (WP Prompt) * Not Fair, No Reason (The Only Cin)