Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life. ~ Burton Hills

I love this quote because is implies there is a decision to made regarding happiness and actions to be taken to ensure your remain happy. That happiness is not something that just happens, but also something you can cultivate.

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Important Stuff I Learned From Four-Legged and Feathered Creatures

I have been an animal lover all my life and I have been an observer of behavior, interaction-reaction all my life too. So watching the animals that have come through my life, as pets, neighbors, and wildlife encounters and finding lessons for my own l experience seems very natural.  This could be in part due to my Zoology major Mom, who has a small amount of family fame for saving a chicken in one of her college classes, but that is a story for an other day.

  • A different perspective can make all the difference in your day. So do physically change positions to get a better or new view, then figure out what you want to do or not.
  • Keep reaching. You might just get the dang moth fluttering just out of reach.
  • Be persistent, eventually someone is going to pay attention, roll out of the proverbial and not so proverbial bed and help you out.
  • Invite someone to play. It may be just what he or she needed and they did not know it.
  • Cuddling is good, so just reach out, curl up and let the contact begin, it is very life affirming and relaxing too.
  • Take a break. So what if you are in the middle of a very important chase down of that toy mouse, if you need to yawn or clean up for minute, the chase can continue after you are refreshed.
  • Pride in appearance is a good thing. Who doesn’t benefit from a little preening in front of the mirror, especially when you have been molting and need to get used to a new look. Just don’t forget to walk away from mirror or to let others know how fine they look too.
  • Approaching with caution is a fine idea when you are introduced to a new situation or person. Take the time you need to get comfortable, but don’t hide under the bed all day you might just miss an excellent opportunity or dinner.
  • Use all 5 senses to really get the most out of life.
  • Stretch frequently there is nothing like a big long spine stretch to really get you energized.
  • It is not all about you. It is about you and me and what we are going to do with this stick, string, walk, time together…

The Future: Yours to Invent

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” ~ Alan Kay

There is something to be said for deciding what you want more of in your future and doing something about making that desired future happen. Minimally you are more likely to get more of what you want… by getting what you want folks, I am not talking about visualizing a Porsche and having it magically appear paid for in the garage. As much as I love the idea of waving a magic wand and “poof!!!” a desired realized, I have jet to see that be an effect strategy here on earth.

But back to my point here. We can affect our futures. If you are clear about what you want more of and articulate and crystalline, palpable vision for that desired future you are poised to take considered specific action  in service of inventing it. You may not end up with exactly where you though we would, and you hopes may not be met in the way you expect, but its is a whole lot more likely you’ll get closer than you are now.

Why not try buddying up with someone to craft your vision and support you as you decide some specific actions. The power of two can be incredible. You could do this with a trusted friend or colleague who will support you and be honest enough to keep you accountable over the long haul. You could return the favor for her/him. Or you could work with a coach. I know a couple of coaches if you need a referral. Wink-wink.

(Seriously if you are interested in Coaching I would be happy to talk with you, and I would also be happy to make referrals if I am not a good fit for you.)

Fusion Energy: Good for the Soul?

Fusion energy- the result of two positively charged elements combined into a single element. It is what powers the sun, and the stars.  What about the same principle holding true for people and human systems? When the positive stuff within each of us fuses with the other positive stuff, instead of bouncing around as seemingly unrelated aspects or attributes.

Our joy in life connects with the work we do to earn a living. Going to work is not a drag.  Our values meld with how we choice to spend our free time. We do that things we enjoy for both pleasure, as well as those things that other might call altruistic. Innate strengths couple with talents. And we discover a new professional path to follow. Health in one area of life connects with health in others, resulting in greater well-being. That is a magnificent experience to have the good stuff fusing away as a wellspring of energy and action.

A client of mine, Debbie,  a small business owner, wife and mother of two, described her experience like this. “I am both grounded and energized. My presence at work and home is thoughtful and active. I am able to be reactive to life but not scattered. My business is moving into a new phase which I am excited about.” She dug for the good stuff in herself and her life, and used that to make decisions about where to focus her business energies, which freed her up to be more present with her sons and husband. She actively decided what she would let go of and what to say ye to. When the road a head was riddled with doubt she returned to the core of these positives to keep a grip and perspective.

Here are two ways that can help you dig for the good stuff.

  • Write yourself a letter respond to the following statements. 1) Tell me about a high point in your life when you felt most alive and really proud. 2) Without being modest, what do you value most of about you contributions to work, home, and/or your community? 3) When are you at your best?
  • Ask 5-10 people from different aspects of your life, (friends, colleagues, family, clients…) to tell you about: 1) a unique or fun experience they have had with you; and 2) your top five traits or quirks. Be brave and ask them to be brave, you’ll get some warm and delightful responses. I know because I did this myself.

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude…

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t experience a welling up of gratitude while I, sweating it out in the gym, or saying no to that tempting piece of pie. Oh pie how I love you. But I do feel a sense of control and contribution after a workout or being able to fit in my pants. How interesting to expand this notion beyond the self, to the world- that to keep yourself healthy or to make yourself healthier you are honoring the divine that connects all of the world.  I’ll try to hand on to that thought the next time I am grumbling about an other set of 10.