Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

I was talking to my friend Natalie Tucker Miller and we talked about how summer was ending, meaning a return to “normal” after residing in a summer state of mind.  Here’s the thing though…we both work for ourselves.  We don’t have to work Monday-Friday, 9-5.  We can choose when, where and how we work.  We could have a summer state of mind all year!

What is a summer state of mind?

Well, at it’s most literal, it’s long days of daylight, barbecues and picnics, no school, and summer vacations.  But really it’s a mindset, I believe hearkening back to our own school days when summer meant freedom.  Pushing open those doors on that last day of school meant endless days of adventure, play and day-dreaming.

It’s no wonder that even when we’re all grown up, leading responsible lives, we still see summer as a time to slow down the pace and step up enjoyment of life.  So what’s to stop us from doing that all year long?

I’m thinking that we could learn a lot from children about how to live in a summer state of mind.  Every day would bring the opportunity to have an adventure, look at life with curiosity, discover new things, savor an ice cream cone–one slow lick at a time.  We’d look for every opportunity to laugh and tell silly stories and jokes.  Ask our friends to come out and play.  We’d try to catch the rain with our tongue, step into puddles to see them ripple, and dance barefoot in the grass. We’d live in the moment…reveling in the sun, watching the clouds, swinging in a hammock with no cares.  Most important, we’d view life with a “why not” attitude, believing all things were possible.

So come Labor Day in the U.S. I’m going to embrace being a grown-up and act like a child with a summer state of mind all year long.


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Take a laughter break

My friend, John Dealey, believes we should all laugh each and every day.  According to John, “Laughing can be a total body workout! Current research indicates that laughing 100 times is equal to ten minutes on the rowing machine or fifteen minutes on an exercise bike.”  He encourages everyone to take a laughter break for 15 seconds of deep belly laughs each day…and even if you fake it, your body won’t know the difference.

I came across this a while ago, and it still makes me laugh every time I view it!  I share it with you now to encourage you to laugh. 😀

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The world is a mess.  The economy hasn’t yet bottomed out.  People are losing jobs, or having hours, benefits and salaries cut. We’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and told it’s just going to get worse before it gets better.  It’s bad news after bad news.  So how can you be happy?

Happiness is a choice.  That’s right, you can choose whether or not you want to be happy despite what’s going on around you.  Some steps you can take to make that choice:

* Practice gratitude.  Whether you are feeling truly grateful or not, practicing gratitude will lift your spirits. Keep a gratitude journal where you list five things you are grateful for each day.  Start each day by mentally listing all the things you are grateful for, even if it’s just that you’ve awakened in a comfortable bed [and if you haven’t…it’s time for a new mattress 😉 ]  or that the sun is shining.

* Practice saying “thank you” to people in your life.  Call a teacher that made a difference in your life.  Let a friend know how much they mean to you. Acknowledge your spouse for all the ways you appreciate who they are and what they do for you.

* Plug into the universe.  Everyone will do this in their own way.  For some it’s relationship to God, for others relationship to nature. Music and dancing is the connection point for some, meditation and prayer for others, while a hike in the woods with all senses working is what works for others.  Find your connection. When you feel connected to spirit, to nature, to every live being in the world, it will change your perspective about the daily challenges we each face.

* Practice compassion.  We often judge people based on the stories we make up about why they are behaving in a certain way.  It’s possible that that “terrible waitress” has a sick child at home and could use a little compassion.

* Unplug from your negative thoughts and counter-productive beliefs.  Just because you have a thought or belief doesn’t mean it’s true or real!

You can choose happiness; the choice is yours.

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The YouTube video of the T-Mobile publicity dance has been making it’s way around the globe.

And there’s some controversy around the fact that it was completely staged (even the bystanders) in a train station that was closed to the public.

I say “who cares!”  The fact remains that when I watched this video, the first time and times after, it brought a smile to my face and I wanted to get up and dance myself.  Does it really matter whether or not this was real or staged?  If something can make you smile or laugh, does it need to be spontaneous, or can it be something that’s arranged or staged?

And if it can be arranged or staged…what do you need to arrange to make you smile?

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I was talking with my friend Bobette Reeder this morning.  Her son is getting married this weekend, and she went with him to pick up the Tuxedos.  She said it was an almost surreal (and very happy) experience. There she was, watching her son…now a man…getting all the tuxedos for HIS wedding, and she was remembering him as a little boy at the same time.  Certainly a very special moment between mother and son.  Weddings are big occasions for happiness.

And last night, my daughter Lauren came home with her brand new business cards from her new (and first) job as an Assistant Account Executive at Edelman PR in NYC.  A small moment for sure, but one that made this mom very happy as evidence of my baby growing up and going out there into the world.

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