Monday, July 25, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice - All 5 Steps

Today I am going to practice all 5 of the following steps: breathing; allowing; accepting; invisioning; starting.

Breathing - Just taking that moment to be, to breathe, to expand past the feelings of constriction and pressure. Breathing connects me with myself, and pushes away the perceived expectations.

Allowing - allowing the moment, the task, the action, the event to be what it is; no more and no less than what it is. Without the coloring of expectations or old opinions, what is this moment and how do I feel about it?

Accepting - What do I want to do with this moment, this task? Can I do it? What abilities can be used, what cannot?

Invisioning - seeing myself taking the action; feeling myself using the abilities I have, making the necessary changes; being the action.

Starting - getting up, or sitting down, and physically beginning the action. Taking that first step and the one after. Put things in motion.

Repeat as needed.

This is not "Just Do It". "Just do it" does not work for me. "Just do it" has me at a desk full of piles, and a sink full of dishes, and to do lists spread all over the place. "Just do it" has increased my tension and constriction.

I want to get things done, oh yes, but first I have to start. Somewhere I have to start. And I want to start so many different things. I want do so many different things.

So I am going to practice, for each thing that I want, all 5 steps.

I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice... Avoid Facebook (right after this post)

Today, for my sanity, I am going to avoid reading Facebook.

More specifically, TONITE I am going to avoid Facebook.

I had my first Happiness seminar today - which means I got to expound on the reasons I believe we all have the right and the responsibility to choose for ourselves and let others choose for themselves.

Basically, I was well entrenched in Lila Land.

So, I thought I would rest my brain, and allow it decompress, by perusing FB and giggling at Kittens and participating in the joy of others' lives.

Instead I found myself yelling at the screen - "But that's not what I've taught you!"  "Weren't you listening?"  "Choose for yourself!" and other niceties.

Then I remembered none of those posters had been at my seminar.

And yeah, even if they had, they still get to choose how to express themselves. But seriously, weren't they listening?!!!

Oh, wait. Not applicable.

So, I'm avoiding Facebook until my brain is back in balance.

Or until the rest of the world adopts my happiness practices.


I hope you're having a great and happy day,


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice - A Civil Tongue

Today I am going to practice the habit of a civil tongue.

With all the shouting going on in all the various forms of media, it is so tempting to jump up onto my soapbox of perception and add my voice to the din. "hear me! My opinion matters!"

And it's true. My opinion matters just as much as and just as little as every other person's on this planet.

As a writer and a witness, I do feel called to express that opinion - to perhaps advocate for or represent those who are so tired of the din we just want to go back to our quiet lives and hope the world doesn't implode. To make sure that the soft, tired, still trying and still believing and undispruptive voice is represented.

But I want to be able to reread my posts and feel proud, feel that I modeled my values of accepting everyone's point of view, everyone's fear, everyone's need, as valuable and equal. I want to express the core of the quiet, believing individuals. I want to speak, and be heard, without using the tools that incite the fear and despair I am hoping to heal.

So I am going to practice and practice, and write and rewrite. And it may never see the light of the computer day - in fact, I actually hope it won't. I hope that by the time I have it worked through properly (say a week?) the world will be more full of quiet voices and less full of the fear, the despair, the brains driven mad by a need to express and only finding one violent outlet.

I hope that by the time I have a well written civil post, it will be passe. Oh, I so hope.

But I am going to keep practicing. Because I am changing the world and I am starting with me.

I hope you have a great day!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice - Love before Money

Today I am going to put love before money. (audio version on

Yeah, I'm a little surprised too. One would think that was an inherent part of happiness - "Do what you love, and the money will follow." (Marsha Sinetar*)

But of course there is that whole aspect of, well, what do I love?

And the follow up - I love a lot of things! Upon which one shall I focus?

And then there's the - but I need the money now in order to have the strength to figure out what I love to do.

And yeah, I've been working through all that. Slowly and steadily.

But, interestingly, today's practice is a little more literal.

You see, I've been doing my daily work in the mind set of - do your chores, and then you can play. Because, yes, my work feeds me.

But the admin work (the chores) is very draining. I don't know why; I imagine that will reveal itself when I figure out how to do the chores effortlessly. But I do know that the admin requires so much focus and energy and pushing myself to do it, that I then take long breaks and I don't get to the stuff I really want to do.

The admin work - paying bills, bookkeeping - the money.
The rest of the work - practicing for seminars, website, writing - the love.

I have been doing the love (or hoping to do the love) after the money.

This week I'm going to practice doing the love before doing the money. I am proposing to myself that the energy high, the being fed on doing the work, will carry me through doing the money. In fact, energetically that makes so much sense - because money is inherently grounding. And a lot of the work I do is energy work. Grounding myself before I've had a chance to even take off really makes it difficult to do anything but watch television and try to search for ways to get myself motivated.

To put it another way - I'm going to eat dessert first. And the sweetness will require that I then eat the main course - savory and salty and possibly even a little spicy - to put myself back in balance.

Oh, wow. Again - that might work literally! I love spicy food, but I've been having a problem eating it lately. Maybe I can try that "backwards" also!

Oh yeah! Do, eat, work at, take flight with what I love. And let the money, the earthiness, the grounding follow.

I am excited for today!  I hope you have a great one too.


*the quote is attributed to Marsha Sinetar, according to

Friday, July 15, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice - allowing and accepting

Today I am going to allow things to be what they are and accept how i feel about them.

I have been thinking a lot about choices and actions and personal truths. But today's truth is, sometimes things don't need action. Or even choice. Things are.
 Moments are.
We are.

And maybe a moment or thing or place or person invokes the feeling of unhappiness, but first I have to accept that that is how I feel. How can I make a true choice about my happiness until I allow the moment to be what IT is; until I accept the (perceived) truth of it?

 Likewise, the expectation that I will need to "work" through a moment can hide the truth of it. Walking around projecting the persona of MYSELF with all  my unique quirks is no more truthful or happy than trying to believe something so someone else will approve. And I can't force myself to be happy or mindful or empathetic or judgmental or disconnected. I know that truth changes. People change. Moments change.

Enlightenment is awesome - and it is true knowledge of self.
It is allowing that some moments don't need any work. any action. any choice.

Just acceptance. Just allowance.

Today I am going to practice allowing - moments, people, myself - to just be.

I hope you have a great day!


Monday, July 11, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice... What works? Really.

Today I am going to explore what really works for me.

I waffle back and forth and over and under, through a variety of organizational and time management options. And I still don't feel I have a handle on how I work - on how I best prepare and administrate.

The actual classes and coaching and teaching and mentoring and singing and being in the happiness moments are, well, easy.
But I have learned this last week that a really good moment requires more attention than just that  moment. It requires rehearsal. Acknowledgement of areas that need practice. Preparation. Planning. What is that saying? "Proper planning prevents poor performance."

Hmm, I'm going to have to change that, so the focus is on amazing performance. OH!

"Proper Planning Presents a Powerful Performance."  Ha!

Maybe that's the way I work. As if everything is a performance - because it is. I am performing an action of some type or another, whether I am paying bills or mentoring clients.

And performance does require practice. And proper care of instruments. And...

Okay, it doesn't sound exactly right, but it does sound like one step closer.

Maybe not, how is it a performance? But how do I want it to perform? I want the household to run smoothly. As smoothly as a seminar.

So today I am going to explore what works for me in areas I do want to do the work, and how I can apply that practice to areas in which I haven't quite found the happiness connection.

I hope you have a great, and powerful, day.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Song in the Darkness

Today, friends and I talked about "Being Strong Enough."

That's not how we phrased it, of course, but it's the painful meaning that comes through the words. Because there is this underlying belief - and, if you're like us, you probably feel it too - that "I should" be able to handle this, or that. That "I should" be able to overcome this pain and that self-doubt. That "I should" be strong minded enough to conquer the depression, strong hearted enough to quit thinking of my issues, strong willed enough to manifest a perfect life for my family.

Oh yeah, and for myself.

And when the muscles of will and mind and heart break down under that constant burden of should, what do we do and where do we turn? Because, yeah, we can tell each other to find someone to talk to, to look into medication, to get "me time;" and we may promise each other we will do those important things. But when we're alone...

When I'm alone, in the darkest hour of the night, and I feel like I can hear all the thoughts of all the people and maybe I'm not sleeping but at least it's not the next day yet, please don't let it be tomorrow yet because this day is done and I don't want to face another, and I just can't do it alone, but I can't make myself reach for that hand because I don't even know WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!!! and it's too dark to see the hand anyway and why should they care because I'm not strong enough and I've failed...

When I am alone and I allow the thoughts to over run me, when I am too tired to fight anymore and I am "weak" enough to hear all of my fears and anxieties - not even admit them or fix them, just hear them -  I reach the eye of the storm.

And in that stillness, first I hear my heart beat.

Sometimes it's a disappointing sound, because I know the sun will shine again and I'll walk through another day.

And sometimes it's a triumphant sound. Because I KNOW the sun will shine again and I WILL walk through another day.

And sometimes, the best times, it's just a sound. A beat. And a measure of breath.
And my breathing is actually a sigh timed to the drum beat. Beat. And sigh. And beat. And sigh.
And the deeper I breathe, the deeper the beat feels, until it touches my blood. Which is a flowing whoosh. 
A beat. A sigh. A whoosh. So peaceful. So absorbing. Beat. Sigh Whoosh. Sigh. Beat. Beat. Whoosh.
Such a perfect harmony to the hum of the neurons.
Hum. Whoosh. Sigh. Beat.


A beat that is so deep, so full, so profound it can't be my heart. It can't be simply my heart. It's so much bigger than my heart.

An Infinite heart, beating in time with mine.
A Compassionate breath, sighing along with mine.
A Nourishing blood, whooshing around with mine.
An Accepting neuron, humming along with mine.

Sparkling, dancing neurons, like stars in the firmament. The vast, Omnipresent firmament. So deep, so encompassing, so full of every moment and every being and every thought.

So Nourishing and Compassionate and Infinite. And strong.

Hear that heart beat, beat. So strongly. Wrapped around me. Connected to me.

To which I am connected.

Of which I am a part.

Which means I am not alone.

Which means I don't have to be strong enough to do it alone.
To fix it alone.
To bear it.

Because my heart does not beat alone. It is only one part of the rythym section. My breath does not sigh alone; it is in a chorus. And my blood whooshes with others, shivering strings on a harp. And my neurons, oh my neurons hum in melody with a godzillion other stars.

All the strength I need is the strength to hear my heart beat.

I hope you can hear the song.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Today's Happiness Practice... Finding my Center

Today I am practicing finding my center.

I was going to say finding my balance, but that almost implies standing still. Pausing on the tightrope. Wobbling in the air.

And I am moving forward. And/ or up.

But I want to remember to breathe.
I want to stay connected to my physical self.
I want to maintain all the practices that brought me to this new height of feeling.

So I am practicing staying in touch with my center. And I think the discovery is, is it my heart? Or my diaphragm? Where in the physical body is my center? Where does my balance and connection happen?

I don't think it's just one spot, one core. It may be the whole body. I don't know. So I am going to practice and I am going to discover my center.

Today is going to be an interesting day!

I hope you have a great one,