art, Health, Personal Success

The Laughing Experiment

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Lettering doodle

I’ve studied spiritual masters for years now. One (of many) common threads of assertions is that it is our thoughts that make us miserable (in fact, this might be the most basic tenet). Life is life. “Problems” – as we see them – are never ending.

But because most of us see the same things as problems, we don’t see an alternative way to interpret these events.

Your child didn’t get into the college of her choice;

your son accidentally demolishes your garage door with your car;

your husband loses his job;

you get a cancer diagnosis;

and on and on…

It does look impossible to see these as anything but problems. But are they? It’s just life.

Crying, moaning and complaining about them do no good.

Just handle it and, if you can, laugh at the same time.

Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was fortunate: early stage I. But while I recovered from the first of six surgeries, my husband lost his job. His boss cried as he let him go, knowing what we were “going through.” Our two daughters were six and eight years old. We worried about money and their emotional states.

It did seem like the beginning of the end.

But it wasn’t.

I’m here, stronger than ever. Wiser. Fearless.

My husband eventually got his current job – the best one he’s ever had.

Everything happens for a reason. The fact that it is happening is proof.

Handle it. Address the situation without anger, without sadness and without stress, if you can.

The distress and depression come from fighting it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health, motivation, Personal Success, relationships

Encounters of the “Dreadful” Kind

Fear (or terror) is the root of all anger.

Do you get angry often? Want to change but don’t know how? Try the five “whys.” Ramit Sethi recommends asking yourself “why” five times to get to the root of procrastination, but I think it can help identify all types of suffering.

Example:

When I drive, I get angry with drivers who are slow and get in my way.

Why?

Because I’m tired and I just want to get home.

Why?

Because my clients were terrible and I want to relax.

Why?

So I can feel good and forget about the day.

Why?

It was a hard day because I don’t feel good about how I handled one of my meetings. I’m afraid I didn’t seal the deal (or impress the boss, or look good to others, etc.)

Why?

Because I didn’t prepare well enough… I went to bed too late last night….I wasn’t at the top of my game…I don’t like my job…

By the fifth why, you usually get to the real root of the problem. It’s not the traffic, but your fears that drive your anger.

Painful events and relationships are lessons to us. Life is a persistent teacher and homework will keep coming until you’ve passed the test.

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Whooo’s angry?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health, motivation, Personal Success, relationships

What Gifts do You Bring?

Do you bring…

  • full attention and presence?
  • judgment and shame?
  • happiness and enthusiasm?
  • fear and anxiety?
  • unconditional love and freedom?

Your spirit permeates your life and your loved ones. What you reap, you will sow.

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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.