Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happiness is an inside job

Happiness is not an idea, or something that floats above our heads, kind of like a cartoon bubble, that we fill with whatever we want it to mean, or at least, think it should mean.

Happiness is not wealth, belongings, or the right job.

Happiness is not found in a product from a commercial, a vacation destination, or just the right gift.

Happiness, my friends, is an inside job.

I have searched my entire life thus far for happiness, for just the right everything. The right job. The perfect relationship. The best friends. The most comfortable lifestyle to maintain with my money. I never wanted extravagance, but I wanted to be HAPPY. HAPPY was what I aspired to all the time. I was on a journey that had no final destination. I was seeking it always outside of myself.

Now, in the meantime, I was also doing some soul searching. How can I feel better about myself? How can I be less self-depricating and more self-appeciating? How can I quiet my busy mind and just be still? How can I help others to love me more?

Still, that soul searching was meant to be the means to the end; the end being, the right job, friends, or relationship.

I have discovered so much about happiness. The first thing that occurs to me about happiness is that it is an inside job. And, not just any inside job. The kind that is work that we do to feel better about ourselves within the Universe, and not upgrading or facelifting our selves for the benefit of others. It isn’t about creating change within in order to secure that new job or gal. It is about creating change, deep, profound change within, purely for the reasons of being the best persons we can be for ourselves. Sure, after we begin and continue to do that self work, the better jobs and relationships will come, or the ones that we have will improve, no doubt about it. But those are the natural results of truly loving ourselves. That is true happiness, loving oneself and then taking that self on the road.

The next big part of happiness that I realize in considering it, is that the word “happiness” in no way covers what it means to me. Maybe the word “bliss” would cover it; “awesomeness” fits pretty well for me also. Happiness is a perfectly good word, but I feel like in my life that I use to strive for happiness; now, it is bigger and more pumped up than that; I want full-on bliss, or better yet, AWESOMENESS.

The thing that I think that I love most about the pursuit of happiness is that the work is never done; this is a lifelong endeavor. Exploring and finding our own awesomeness and then rocking it with the world is a life long adventure, and one that I am delighted to be on. The other great thing about happiness and the longevity of striving for it, is that it is made out of stretchable, breathable material; our search of the awesome is ever evolving, ever stretching and shaping our selves, and our very souls, for we are always growing, changing and evolving as beings. Oh, all of the adventures we can have together!!!!

For me, happiness, bliss, joy, or awesomeness- whatever I call it, there is no other way to be. And, it is ALWAYS up to me!

Happy, Healthy, and Awesome 2010 to all!!!

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How were you taught?

Oh, the memories that capture me on this day. Growing up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, all those years ago, Christmas was a magical time. I recall many beautiful, precious moments with my family, but Christmas was extra special. Going out a couple of weeks before Christmas to find just the right tree, usually a blue spruce. Keeping it cold on the porch until it got to be time to put it up.

Christmas Eve. Listening to Christmas carols, putting up and decorating the tree, munching on our favorite nibbles and snacks, and singing and laughing and being together. Putting presents for one another under the tree, and then going to bed to await the magic of Santa’s arrival that night.

Oh, the morning!!! Stockings full of treats, more presents under the tree than the night before, and laying next to it, whispering with my siblings, while we waited in the dark with our tree lit for our parents to awaken. It never took them too long; they didn’t want to wait either, I imagine.

We were taught, from a very early age, that family is of utmost importance. That giving feels as good, if not better, as receiving. That counting your blessings is always the best way to be, that appreciating what you are given is a gift.

That love can heal all things. That it can be expressed and told to one another and that it can make all of the difference.

That surprises are not just for children, but rather, for the child in every one of us.

That Christmas is an opportunity to come together in joy and love, and fellowship, but that it doesn’t have to only come in December; it can come all year round.

To all of my friends, my family, and those I have known, and yet to meet, blessings abound for you and yours. Have a happy holiday season, and remember to give gratitude to what you have been given, and the gifts that you have yet to receive.

Peace.

The love affair with my life

I am involved in a passionate, flaming, love affair. It is intense, it is vital, it is amazing and real.

It is a love affair with my life. My entire life.

I love the ordinary moments. Waking up and making coffee. Getting our daughter ready for school. Walking the dogs. Washing the dishes. Even the most ordinary moments have magic, because as I complete those tasks, I am so vitally aware of how present I am. In this time of hustle and bustle, of time being in short supply and tasks being many, I still make an effort to be ever present, in that moment. And, when I do that, I find myself smiling, giggling, so contented to just be.

I love watching my dreams come true, as surreal as it seems at times. I get downright giddy about the fact that I no longer talk about whether or not my dreams will come true, but rather, WHEN they will come true. It is inevitable. I am strong, capable, confident, and awesome. I want to bring that to the world in all forms, with all of the dreams that are never too big to dream.

I get almost breathless when I think long about the love of my life, even when I think of her for only a moment. Her laugh, her smile, the beauty of her hands, her wisdom, her creativity, her devotion. It inspires me, it fires me up, it keeps me so blessed and contented that we are going to travel this wild journey of life together.

I have to fight back tears much of the time at the intensity with which I feel love for our beautiful gift of a daughter. To watch her grow into a young woman, to be inspired by her energy, creativity, and drive, and to see how compassionate and loving she is, is just magical. I absolutely adore her.

I feel resolute when faced with a challenge that I did not anticipate. Firm in my conviction, I will not be moved by anything in what I need to do. I am devoted to every task, even those that are the most challenging, the most mysterious, the most fear producing.

Fear is a funny thing when it comes to love. I think that in the past, nothing could terrify me more than the prospect of gaining, or losing, love in some shape or form in my life. Love is risk. Love is challenge. Love is truth. Talk about scary.

I love my life, without restriction and without measure. However, even fear doesn’t hold me back, even for a moment. I still feel afraid at times, but I feel it and let it go. I know that no matter what, all will be well, I will be guided, or guide myself. I will persevere. I will love and be loved and cherish and appreciate and relish each and every morsel that life feeds me.

Or rather, that I feed myself.

I am completely in love with my life. Til death do us part.

World AIDS Day 2009

December 1st is World AIDS Day. The time to remember, among other days, this disease that takes so many lives. This year is the twenty first anniversary of the first World AIDS Day. It seems like the more time that goes by, the more apathy develops about this disease.

Still, people die every day. Awareness lacks in terms of the dangers of transmission. We have become complacent, because no matter what the virus does and can do to us, many people do not change their minds, their hearts, their behaviors in regard to it. It is 100 percent preventable these days from the most frequent transmission means: unprotected sexual contact and IV drug use.

Please, say a prayer, wear a ribbon, read about it, talk about it, do SOMETHING.

Please, let us never forget all of those that have perished as a result of this horrible illness, and how we need to keep ourselves and others safe. Reach out. Connect. Share your love and your heart with someone who is affected by this.

In memory of my brother Jeff, Ryan White, and all of the others that have been lost.