Question of the Day: Are You Happy?

Question of the day

How would you define happiness? Or create it? Do you feel happy most of the time?

Since I’ve moved to Florida, I have said many times that I’ve never been so consistently happy in my life. Plumbing, rats, and palmetto bugs aside, I am so happy here. Just last night, as we sat talking, maybe we were playing cards, sipping a glass of Pino Noir that we bought at Trader Joe’s earlier in the day, I suddenly shook my head in wonder that I was sitting here with Dan living this life. I was so filled with gratitude. A smile took over my face and Dan had to ask me what I was smiling about.

“Just that sometimes it amazes me that I ended up here, in this place, with you…”

I believe that practicing gratitude is the beginning, and continuous path to happiness. I know when we look for something to be grateful for, we will find many. Even if you have to begin with being grateful for your breath. Happiness and gratitude are so interwoven, I’m not sure it’s possible to have one without the other.

Denis-Waitley-happiness

The meme above is one of my favorite quotes. I think Denis Waitley has hit the nail on the head.

So, tell me, in a comment or in your own blog (linked back here so everyone can read it) about your thoughts on living in a state of happiness.

As always, love and light to everyone.

Question of the Day: WHY???

Question of the day

Why???

Yesterday, I had the most wonderful Valentine’s Day of my life. A box of chocolate covered strawberries was delivered by Fedex, and the man I love took me out to a wonderful dinner on the veranda of an old Florida inn. He made me feel special, and loved, and I hope I did the same for him.

Then, my son called me and asked me if I’d heard about what was going on in Florida. While it takes nothing from the incredible day that Dan planned for us, it certainly has plunged me into some grief and a lot of asking WHY. Dan and I talked about it, and even though we don’t completely agree, we both know that something has to be done. There has to be an answer to stop this carnage.

I want the answer to be simple, like banning the weapon of choice, the AR-15, like mental health checks for all who own them, now or in the future. I know it all steps on right of others, but like many people, at the moment I don’t care, I just want the killing to be stopped. But those things won’t work in and of themselves. If you ban AR-15’s then those with malice in their hearts will find another weapon. Mental health background checks won’t discover those who have never been in the mental health system, which I’m guessing many of the shooters have not.

When Sandy Hook happened, I lived an hour away, and my son’s first girlfriend was from there, and actually went to school with the shooter, Adam Lanza. I cried for days over those small children, and I am crying again and just can’t seem to find any answers in my heart to stop this madness.

The answer is not simple, unless you believe that love cures everything. And maybe some day it will prevail in our thinking and attitudes toward others. But right now we need a way to stop this, before it happens. Maybe someday we will love each other enough that no one will think of bringing such horror on fellow human beings. Right now, in this reality, we need to somehow find a way to keep people safe. Thoughts and prayers are nice, but they aren’t keeping anyone safe, and personally, I feel it’s an insult for politicians to constantly offer thoughts and prayers and do nothing, absolutely nothing to change things for the better.

So, I am giving my Question of the Day over to the grief and pain and horror that we all feel about what happened on Valentine’s Day / Ash Wednesday in Parkland, Florida. And all the other mass shootings, and senseless shootings that happen in this country every day.

Love and light, more than ever, to all.

Question of the Day: Do You Live Intentionally?

Question of the day

Do you set intentions for the life you live?

I once heard Oprah say that after she learned the power of Intention, she required her staff, upon presenting her with ideas for shows, to tell her what the intention of the show was. She wanted to know that there was a reason, a positive reason for every show. I’m sure it was very much a big part of the reason for her success.

I’m thinking that intentions are part and parcel of manifesting our dreams. In my own life, unwittingly setting intentions at first, and now, consciously…has helped to bring me where I am today. I say unwittingly at first, because I didn’t realize that making a greater plan and then every day, figuring out what I could do to further that plan along was setting an intention. I went to court constantly during my divorce, not thinking of it as setting an intention, but intending to move along my plan to free my child and get what was mine. I also didn’t realize that dreaming of a specific type of man, in detail, was setting an intention to find him. But I did. Find him. After a few false starts, which were false because I didn’t dream of him in enough detail. I left too much to chance, lol, and got what I got. Now….I have exactly the man I dreamed of, and I believe, wholeheartedly that it helped to set an intention to find him.  Not to mention things like moving here, finding my home, making friends, being near family.  All done intentionally.

Intentions…..what is your purpose in doing what you’re doing? In writing, in creating, in living? Do we do them mindfully, do we have a plan, are we willing to try even if we aren’t sure of the outcome?

My intention on this Valentine’s Day is to intentionally live out the “Happily Ever After” that has come into my life.

So, tell me, do you set intentions for your life? Or might you after giving it some thought? I’d love to hear, in a comment or a blog linked back to this one.

As ever, love and light to all.

Question of the Day: Grocery Lists – Yes or No?

Question of the day.

Do you make a shopping list before you go grocery shopping?

There should be a 2nd question: Do you remember to bring it, and use it?

Because, I almost always make a list. And, I almost always forget something that is on the list, like the main thing I am going to the store for. I once added aluminum foil to the list for 3 weeks before I remembered to buy it. (By the way, have you tried the non-stick aluminum foil? It’s awesome!!Nothing sticks to it. Absolutely nothing.) And I have been known to make an elaborate list, with all my coupons clipped to it, and leave it on the kitchen table.

I used to write them out by hand, and had categories like meat, dairy, produce, grocery, toiletries. Now, I usually make them online, using the Publix (the store I use down here) app that lets you make it as you peruse the weekly flyer. Then I print it out. It’s kinda cool, because it tells you where the item is in the store, and if there’s a special what it is. Like if it’s BOGO, so you don’t forget to get 2 of them.

Dan and I usually go together, which has it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks. Benefit is we have stuff in two refrigerators, mine and his, and often one of us can remember where it is, so we don’t buy it again for the place that has it. Drawbacks of shopping together is we sometimes spend way too much money on stuff we don’t really need but that looks good at the time. We’re getting better about that though.

So, tell me, do you use a shopping list? Do you remember it? Leave me a comment, or if you want write a blog and link it back here so everyone can share.

As always, love and light to all.

Question of the Day: Pride – Good or Bad?

Question of the Day

Is pride a good characteristic, or bad? Or both?

I was involved in a discussion about pride the other day. I did something that inspired someone to say “Aren’t you proud of yourself that you do that so well?” I’ve always thought that pride was a negative characteristic, and so said, “No, I’m happy I can do it, and that you can appreciate it. But I never thought of being proud of it.”

The other person went on to ask why I wasn’t proud. I told him I’ve always steered clear of pride, not wanting to seem arrogant, or conceited. I agreed with the meme below which puts pride under the ego, as a negative.

pride

I was countered with examples where pride might be a good thing. Personal pride which inspires you to be your best self, and strive for excellence. Pride in community, where people work to improve their community. How it can be expanded to include organizations, nations, or the world. How about pride in and for our children?

Can’t pride and humility co-exist?

It seems to me that pride is a double edged sword, that there is a ying and a yang to it. There is a good side that, if a person is humble, inspires him or her to behave in ways that honor themselves and others. Then there is the other side, which is false pride, which the inspires a person believe they are better than everyone else. We all know people who are full of themselves, full of false pride. People whose pride won’t let them admit their short-comings, who can’t be accountable for their own actions. I believe there are many people, and I’m sure we’ve all known a few, who build a false pride to cover shame that they may feel, rightly or wrongly. I have known people who could not stand to be wrong. They would say whatever they had to say to excuse away some cruel, or mean, or just hurtful behavior. Their false pride kept them from facing their actions. It’s a slippery slope, once that path is started.

There is real pride though, that lifts others, I believe. Pride in being accountable, in facing the truth about yourself or a situation, inspires us to grow as humans, as communities, as nations, eventually as a world. I looked up the definition of pride and this is what Google has to say:

a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”

Can that be a bad thing? Only when the achievements were egoic in nature, it seems to me. If someone does something like lie for the pleasure of manipulating others thoughts, and then feels proud that they were able to do it, they have started down that slope of giving ego rein over their lives. If, on the other hand the achievements for which one is proud have helped others, and honored themselves, it’s a different story. I think in this way, pride and humility can co-exist.

So tell me what do you think? In a comment, or your own blog, share your thoughts on pride.

As, ever, love and light to all.

Question of the Day: How Do You Achieve Inner Stillness?

Question of the Day 02-09-18

How do you achieve inner stillness?

Eckhart Tolle says that it is inner stillness that will save and transform the world. Sometimes that seems a stretch. I suppose because there are some people who will never achieve inner stillness, and actually think it’s a ridiculous notion.

I have a few methods to achieve it. The first, and most effective, is meditation. I used to do this every morning for at least 15 minutes. Now I do it more rarely in a formal fashion. But, I am still able to get into that deep meditative state very quickly. Like, when I went for an MRI, after a car accident, I asked for meditation music (they give you choices, and put headphones on you) and then just disappeared until it was over. It did not bother me at all, to be lying in that small tube for an hour. I opened my eyes in the beginning, saw that the top of the tube was inches above my head, and decided I would go somewhere else.

I wish they taught young children to meditate. I think it might have been the Dalai Lama who said if all children were taught to meditate by the time they were 8, this world would be a different place. I saw an article saying that one school had chosen to teach meditation to kids who were supposed to be getting detention. While that’s a great idea, I had to wonder why not teach all kids? Seems like detention might become unnecessary if they did that.

Another way to achieve inner stillness for me is to take a walk, especially by the water. Up north I lived on, then near a lake. Here in Florida, I drive the mile and a half to the ocean to walk. I think that walking is probably just a different way of meditating.

When I can’t sleep, I write, or read, to get my mind to settle down and stop the chatter. Especially at 3 AM. However you achieve it, it’s important to be able to find inner stillness. Sometimes just take a deep breath and say “Thank you.”

So, tell me, how do you achieve inner stillness? I think it would be interesting to hear other people’s methods.

Love and light, everyone.