The Basics of Happiness

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Jars (Watercolor)

 

“Happiness is a living thing. You need to feed your happiness in order to have happiness last. It’s like love. If you don’t feed your love, it will die. Understanding and compassion are the foundation to happiness.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Rx for Joy

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31 Day Painting Challenge: Day 21 Colorful Geometric Shapes

Current symptoms: listlessness, insomnia, constant hood of worry, anxiety, pessimism, road rage

Prescription: (To do at least once a day until symptoms disappear)

Go to a mall or your sister’s house or other place where toddlers are eating or playing (a children’s playground at the park or school is not advised for you might be reported for peculiar behavior – not your fault)

Observe toddler’s feet dangling from the chair; his cherubic cheeks and glistening eyes focused on what’s in front of him;

Note the fat hands hungrily – joyfully – grabbing the sandwich/spoon/bowl;

Listen, really listen, to his easy laughter and his babble.

If you could ask him, he’d tell you:

He’s not worried about tomorrow or fretting about the past;

He’s here, with you, and nothing else matters.

 

When toddler begins to cry or have a temper tantrum, cease the observation and seek a quiet place immediately.

 

 

 

 

Legacy

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“Flower in an Hour Glass”

Grandma is visiting us

she got a really bad perm 

and her hearing has worsened since her last visit

They love her, but The Teens don’t like kimchi

Obvious and unsaid:

You, my daughters, are the land

ravaged by a series of battles from all sides,

the cry of hungry orphans

and thousands of years of cultural pride

You are the Hermit Kingdom and King Sejong’s children –

the offspring of a man who reinvented an alphabet

so the common man as well as royalty

could read –

You are women warriors 

You might have to fight 

for what others are given 

but you will never back down

Ambition – Aspiration – Appetite

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“I love to draw insects and flowers”

Ambition is the strong desire to achieve something.

Aspiration is the hope to achieve something and it also means to draw breath.

Appetite is the natural desire to satisfy a bodily need.

I posit this: that it’s best to work from your appetite when it comes to striving for something. You should literally feel it in your gut and your heart- and allow that to drive your actions. Your body will never steer you wrong.

If your labor is derived from aspiration – the hope with the breath – that is almost as good.

And if you blindly seek your ambition – that desire which originates and stays within your mind –  there is a danger that it’s misguided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We get more of what we respond to.”

Seth Godin

 

 

Beginner’s Mind

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Photo by Joanna Kosinka

Beginner’s Mind is a term in Buddhist thought referring to how fresh “things” are to someone who is just beginning. I am a beginner when it comes to art (just completed my first online class)!  Our society tends to laugh or look down at beginners. But when and how else are you to get good? You have to start at the beginning.

I love learning about basic lines and curves and putting them together to create art. Wow. I surrendered to it. I don’t judge. I just draw. Using Skillshare’s free classes (to start with), I took “Become a Pencil Ninja.”  After completing it, my eye caught one of the feedback comments, “This is a perfect class for children.” I had to laugh…for children, indeed. I am a child when it comes to drawing.

Next up: a self portrait. This looks like it will be much more challenging!

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Skillshare is pretty cool. You can teach classes as well ask take them. Check them out! Skillshare.com.