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Posts tagged ‘Happiness’

Kindness Spreader

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

May you carry kindness, spreading it frivolously everywhere.
Without account or delay.
May you know kindness.
Without measure or limit.
May you empty your kindness bucket daily, filled in the process.
Without prompting or hesitation.
Rooted, budding, blooming, fragrant and beautiful.
From roots to shoots.
Like a shadow or friend.
A super-spreader that heals, binds, connects.

KINDNESS

By Naomi Shihab Nye

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

L’Chaim – a toast “to life”

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”― Pema Chodron

Today I share my birthday with Abby, my golden retriever, chaser of squeeky tennis balls, boss of fun, best friend of Sasha and queen of joy. She’s 5 today and I have 5 in my year as well. The other number is irrelevant.

I have no advice for my younger self since there are no do-overs. Maybe that’s the advice. There are no do-overs so be present in your life today. Stop asking permission from others. Don’t bother with approval either. Both waste a lot of time and energy.

Each of us are here for purposes, not just one. You find them in different parts of life, through time, through trial and error. Contemplation and reflection are good but action is required to move into your unfolding, evolving and fruition.

Get outside of yourself to connect and be kind to others, discovering the threads that tie humanity together. Laughter is a must because there are plenty of things in life that will require a sense of humor. Travel lightly. Put down the unnecessary and pick up what brings you joy and peace.

Stop comparing, complaining and criticizing. Do your best and assume the best in others. Forgive and forget – the most important gift that you give yourself. Let it go and dive head first into today.

Gratitude and pain co-exist. Gratitude lightens the burden and feeds hope. Faith is the foundation that explains the unexplainable, carries you when another step is impossible and gives meaning to this very short time here walking the earth.

Do not wait for a birthday for lessons. Learn and apply them daily. Be fully alive, thrown out of the nest to open your wings and fully spent at the end of a good and generous life using all that God gave you.

To another year full of twists, turns, adventures, struggles, joy, laughter, poetry, change, growth. L’Chaim – “to life”

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” – Erma Bombeck

Quench

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” – Kristin Armstrong

Take a field trip today.
No permission slip needed.
Go somewhere close, a place you pass each day but don’t notice.
A path into the woods, a bench by water, your back yard.
Look at the same and familiar with fresh eyes, open arms and listening ears.
This place, this timeout, this detour is where gratitude waits to be found.
Where the present moment resides.
Listen, look and receive.
Life is happening now amidst imperfections, distractions and delays.
Pause long enough to be in it and be quenched by enough.
Weave awe into the fabric of your life in the place you are right now.

“Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God.” – Arvo Part

Smile :)

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon

A simple act.
Easy to do.
Smile.
Carry yourself lightly.
Lay down work at day’s end.
Weave play throughout.
Mark progress and growth.
Celebrate effort.
Create joy, swim in it.
Greet each day and person with new eyes and fresh smiles.
Gratitude in extracting happiness from common things found in this very moment.
🙂

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” – Lord Byron

Kaleidoscope

“Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope – a slight change, and all patterns alter.” – Sharon Salzberg

“With an undefended heart, we can fall in love with life over and over every day. We can become children of wonder, grateful to be walking on earth, grateful to belong with each other and to all of creation. We can find our true refuge in every moment, in every breath.” – Tara Brach

May your only armor be that which guards your joy
Open your heart and arms
Unlock the chains of judgment and opinion
Lay down the past and unforgiveness
Walk lightly on the path, seeing the beauty in the detail and ordinary
One step at a time, not looking back or too far ahead
Present in the moment to recognize patterns and connections
Peace and ease
Ever-shifting, wonder-filled, grateful
Light shining through a kaleidoscope.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

Think About That!

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius

Start, carry and end each day with intention, focus and attention.
Set the course with awareness and control of which thoughts to entertain.
Respond rather than react.
Do not become limiting negative thoughts, for your experience follows suit.
Let the noise and clutter pass by like a river, allowing solace and clarity space to enter and pool.
Assume the best and let go of judgment.
Return to center, to anchor, to hold only what is essential.
Be rigorous in guarding your joy, finding your bliss.
Unwrap the gift of this day.
The power of thoughts to transform and transcend, to imagine and dream.
Think about that with your mind, heart and spirit.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

The Beautiful Details

“God is in the details.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

Life, daily life, is in the beautiful details.
Slow down to notice.
Pause to savor.
Stand still in awe.
Listen. Look. Observe.
Rooted in gratitude.
Open arms in praise.

Dance with Wonder

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Watching my great nephews gaze with wonder at a waterfall is yet another master class in how to live well.
“Give faith a fighting chance and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
Do not waste moments in complaint, comparison or resentment.
This day is your life.
Live it with gratitude, joy and delight.
Find the wonder woven throughout this day and by all means, dance.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance…
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone.)
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone.)”
Lyrics from I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack

Turn it up and dance.

Sweet Fruition

“What is a berry? It is an ovary swaddled within a sugary womb. Plainly put, a berry is the fruition of a flower – the ultimate tautology.” – Hope Jahren

“’Who do you think you are?’ That’s the big one, isn’t it? A flourishing life depends on how you answer that.” – Robert Fulghum

Who do you think you are? Asking and answering again and again through this journey. Knowing what anchors and what releases at the same time and at different stages. What should be let go and what should be embraced. Living beyond and above mere existence. Transcendence and transformation from ordinary days strung together with threads of gratitude, awareness, struggle, delight and joy.

We are never done becoming. Don’t stop at the forks in the road. Choose a path and keep moving. If necessary, turn around to choose a new road. Looking back only to mark progress and remember the lessons, releasing the pain. There’s plenty to work with in the now so no need to loop back and circle the same mountain.

Live in the present, not in memory. The terrain is flat, rocky, downhill and uphill – all of it. It’s what makes up the richness of the adventure, if you choose to make it one rather than a chore, a transaction. See the connections, patterns, light, dark, smooth, colors, edges and shapes. Punctuate! and persist. You have fruition work to do. Flourish until your last breath.

“We can hold back neither the coming of the flowers nor the downward rush of the stream; sooner or later, everything comes to its fruition.” – Li Ching-Yuen

Daily Work

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” – J. B. Priestley

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The first day of a new month, a new week, the daily sunrise invite us into the gift and magic of new beginnings, of clean slates. Each day, we are offered a fresh start to lay our thoughts and opinions down to allow light and color in.

In our control, it’s a decision, our daily work, not to be taken lightly. We hold the key to the locked door of old thoughts of the past and future. Use your imagination, unlock the door and cross the threshold into the present moment.

When our circumstances don’t change, it’s an invitation, prompt and calling for us to change our perspective, our rules, our ways. When we untether our happiness and contentment from circumstances and other people, we move through storms and dry seasons, finding a calm, a peace that passes understanding. Change your thoughts, change your day, change your life.

The Greater Good Science Center offers a monthly happiness calendar with daily prompts to create a habit of starting each day new again. Letting go, open heart and hands to receive the gift of now is a daily discipline and rigor. Choose what you will do with this day.

“To live in the light of a new day and an unimaginable and unpredictable future, you must become fully present to a deeper truth – not a truth from your head, but a truth from your heart; not a truth from your ego, but a truth from the highest source.” – Debbie Ford

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