motivation, Personal Success

3 Ways to Happy

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Drawing Practice #54

“Happiness is a choice.”

-Shawn Anchor

Three ways to become a happier person:

  1. Practice gratitude on a daily basis. Write about three things/people you are grateful for every day – and don’t repeat journal entries.
  2. Accept what is – don’t fight it, don’t worry about what might happen. View reality as beautiful.
  3. “The final habit is the most powerful that we’ve seen so far. For two minutes each day, start work by writing a two-minute positive e-mail or text praising or thanking one person you know. And do it for a different person each day.” (Shawn Anchor, Washington Post)

Anchor strongly believes that you must take responsibility for your well-being and contentment in life. Of course, clinical depression is a real thing. You may need medication, but the medication should be a stepping stone to getting yourself in a state where you can actively work to be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Success, poetry

Alphabiography

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Photo by Jaime Serrano

I recently assigned an alphabiography to my 6th grade students. For each letter of the alphabet, they had to write 4 sentences regarding a meaningful topic (could be a noun, adjective, verb) to that letter. After reading theirs, I was inspired to write my own.  My version is presenting itself in poem form:

A is for Acceptance

I am learning to accept what is

to see every “flaw, mistake, tragedy” as beautiful

I’m getting better at not asking “why?”

And replacing it with “why not?”

 

 

*My Alphabiography project

 

 

 

Health, Personal Success, relationships

5 Magic Words

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It Is What It Is

I used to hate this saying. I often heard it after I complained about something. What kind of retort is that? It just made me angry. “It is what it is.

When I was a kid, my home was toilet papered and egged. They wrote  “chink” on the driveway. “This happens,” my father said as our family cleaned the mess up. The words stung, like alcohol on an open wound. How could he react in such a weak manner?

And yesterday, my daughter cried. A boy she considers to be a good friend made a racist joke about Asian eyes and dental floss. I was inflamed! But she sat – quiet and still and oh-so-wise, in the puddle of ignorance, stupidity and pain this boy caused. She said, “I want to talk to him and explain why it was hateful and hurtful. He will understand and never do it again. I know he’s a good kid.” As her mother, I could only see red. Someone broke my daughter’s heart and made her question this world (once more), just so he could get laughs. 

And I knew. I knew the anger I felt was a false sense of power.Being angry makes you feel energized and ready to mobilize. But anger is fear on steroids.

“It is what it is” is not a rallying cry to be passive. It means,”what you see before you, IS.” 

When I was undergoing surgery for breast cancer, these five words were embodied in the doctor’s confident hands, the nurses’ night time vigil and my family and friends’ constant support. This IS the situation and we’re taking care of it right now.

It’s about accepting that which you cannot change. If you can’t change it, your anger and defiance – your energy – are wasted. You continually generate negativity.

In fact, acceptance is the first step to proactivity. Once you accept reality (that which IS, that which you cannot change), you can use your energy and creativity to begin to make steps to exact change. A couple of wise friends of mine often say, “This, too, shall pass.” Everything is impermanent. Accept each season.

 

Personal Success

It’s OK

We all ought to be more like dogs, if we want to live joyful lives and be good people.

“I can’t walk you this morning, I’m running late.”

“It’s OK.”

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I’ll just do Down Dog, then.

“You will have to be all alone today, for 9 hours. I’m sorry.”

“It’s OK.”

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I’ll take a nap.

 

“We ran out of your favorite treats, so no treats for you today.”

“It’s OK. I can still rub my back on the carpet and meditate.”

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I love this rug.