We Wish You & Yours All the Joy and Happiness Of This Holiday Season!

 

Good Tuesday Morning, my dear friends! And to those who celebrate Christmas, “Merry Christmas to You & Yours!” I know I am running late, what’s new! I mean really. I can never get anywhere on time anymore. But today I was very relaxed and laid back because I actually get to work from home!!!! Peace and quiet, brother who am I kidding? I got up this morning and wasn’t really planning on doing anything. Then I got to cleaning a little here and a little there. Well you know how it is, before it’s over with you have cleaned the entire house. But as I was cleaning I was thinking about what to say today on the site. Deep down inside though, I was thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do like Samantha on “Bewitched.” You know twitch our little noses at this or that and ZAP it becomes the way we want it. Just going through life zapping our cares away. Making all the wrongs in the world right by just zapping. Having everything we desire by just zapping. Making our lives perfect by just zapping.

Unfortunately that’s not how it works and we know. We must endure what life deals our way. Whether it be great sadness, which we have experienced much too much of this year, or great joy. We all have to find a way to just survive. Get through one day at a time. I know what I am getting ready to ask you will be hard for some to do, but……during this long holiday season try to put all the sadness, bad experiences, losses you might have had, and trouble by the wayside for just a moment. Instead of thinking about all of those, think about the joy of this season. Think what this season is all about, let it feel your soul and your very essence. Breathe deeply, my friend. For you are breathing in the Love of the Goddess. She surrounds us completely. She is waiting for you to let Her give you great Joy and Happiness. All you have to do is just breathe deeply if only for a moment. She is there. She has Returned The Sun to Us. What a Blessing! We have the promise the darkness will soon end and the light will return to us. In this, we have the promise of starting anew, refreshing our souls, letting the Goddess enter our lives and guide us daily into the New Year.

For a moment, my friend, breathe, breathe deeply. Feel Our Glorious Goddess, let Her engulf you and fill you with the joy and happiness of this Blessed Season!

Much Love & Happiness To You & Yours,

Lady A

 

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Daily Motivator for September 29 – Joy is a choice

Joy is a choice

There is nothing that can make you happy if you choose not to be. And there  is nothing that can prevent you from being happy when happiness is your  choice.

There is no need to delay the joy of living until some future, imagined,  ideal time when conditions are perfect. Now is when you are living your life,  and now is your opportunity to live with genuine joy.

No position or possession or experience or set of circumstances will make  your life good. Your life already is filled with magnificent goodness that’s  yours to be experienced to whatever degree you allow.

Worrying about the future achieves nothing other than to rob you of joy in  the present. Feel the wonder of your being, right here, right now, and fill your  awareness with its richness.

Instead of looking for reasons to be envious or resentful, see in each moment  all the opportunities for joy. Instead of avoiding or delaying what must be  done, step enthusiastically forward each time you have a chance to make a  difference.

Joy is a beautiful, life-affirming choice that you can always make no matter  what. Choose to live with joy, and give yourself a life that’s truly rich.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

What Would You Do With a Year Off?

Chelsea, selected from Intent.com

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that you had a year — 365 days, 8,760  hours, 525,600 minutes — to do anything you please, with $100,000 to cover your  expenses. Would you travel? Would you continue working and give the money to  charity? Would you take the time to simply do nothing, maybe go on retreat?

Last week, Mallika encouraged readers to consider what they would do if they  had a year off. I have to say, my first inclination was default to the  “make-the-world-a-better-place” answer– give it to charity, of course! I mean, I  know this may sound crazy, but I love working. Even if I had a year off, I don’t  think I could bring myself to drop my job and do nothing. So if my ideal year  would include working anyway, why not give it away, especially when we know  that contributing to others’ happiness is a much greater source of joy and fulfillment than anything  money could buy?

But as I thought about it more, I remembered the words of a friend I have who  keeps trying to convince me of the important of “leisure” and “pleasure” in my  life. I know, foreign concepts for the modern workaholic, right? A few months  ago, when I went to visit her in Miami, her assignment for me was to get a  pedicure once a month — which has been surprisingly difficult for me to actually  follow through on. I have a hard time slowing down, relaxing, engaging in an  activity simply for the sake of enjoying it.

have always wanted to travel. I’ve never ventured outside the  US (not even to Mexico or Canada), and I’ve long wanted to visit other cultures  — learn about how they find happiness, purpose, and meaning in their lives.  Taking a year off for travel… now that would be cool. But would it be  fulfilling? Would I be mentally, physically, and spiritually satisfied with  taking a year off to travel?

What if, I thought, I could combine those three things somehow? Create a  year-long project that would combine the work I love (writing), giving back  (service/charity), and the leisure (travel)? What would that project look  like?

Here’s what I came up with. If I had $100,000 to take a year off, this is  what I would do:

  • Take a writing tour of charity organizations in four different countries  around the world, spending three months deeply immersed in each community
  • Listen and learn about how each organization’s programming is benefiting the  community and transforming individuals’ daily lives
  • Document the experience through a series of articles that synthesize  personal stories, scientific research, historical background, etc
  • Highlight major social issues affecting underserved communities  (poverty, violence against women, water shortage, climate change,  HIV/AIDS, etc) and what people are doing to help
  • Record interviews with staff, volunteers, scientific researchers,  and other involved professionals at each nonprofit to shed light on best  practices
  • Compile all the articles into a book at the end of the year

So that’s my dream year. Heck, maybe that’s my dream life. I think it’s a  good recipe for happiness: find meaningful work, connect with people, give back  to your community, and take time to enjoy the ride. I guess, really, you  don’t need $100,000 to do that.

What about you? What would your dream year look like? What do  you think is a recipe for a happy year and fulfilling life?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving  person to do whatever — whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a  nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of home. To enter,  you can fill out the application on their Facebook.

The Daily Motivator for June 19th – Enjoy more

The more you enjoy, the more you accomplish. Truly enjoy every moment, and  you create a positive momentum that is unstoppable.

It is not success that brings happiness. It is happiness that brings success.

Enjoy life, however it may be, and you open yourself to the very best  possibilities. The more sincerely thankful you are for what you have, the more  value there is in it.

Let yourself enjoy yourself, your life, your world and all the people in it.  Enjoy, and the awesome power of gratitude comes easily and naturally.

Reality is what it is, and yet you can always choose how to respond to it.  Respond more and more with enthusiastic enjoyment, and watch that reality  steadily improve.

Life is yours and it is beautiful on this day, in this place. Enjoy, and make  it even better.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator 

Happiness is here now

Happiness is here now

Happiness is here now, today. Live it.

The possibilities for greater and greater fulfillment are immense and amazing. Explore them, and claim the best for your own by acting on them now.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, now is the time to get moving. If you’ve been wanting a change for the better, now is when you can make that change happen.

Your dreams and desires are real and alive in this moment. Use this time to follow where they lead.

Your unique and priceless journey has brought you now to this point. Pay sincere tribute to all that rich experience by making meaningful use of it on this day.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment are now yours. Live them today in your own special way.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for June 1 – Recognizing Happiness

Recognizing Happiness
Analyzing the Path

by Madisyn Taylor

 

When we take the time to recognize when we are happy and what that feels like, it becomes easier to recreate. 

Those of us on the path of personal and spiritual growth have a tendency to analyze our unhappiness in order to find the causes and make improvements. But it is just as important, if not more so, to analyze our happiness. Since we have the ability to rise above and observe our emotions, we can recognize when we are feeling joyful and content. Then we can harness the power of the moment by savoring our feelings and taking time to be grateful for them.

Recognition is the first step in creating change, therefore recognizing what it feels like to be happy is the first step toward sustaining happiness in our lives. We can examine how joy feels in our bodies and what thoughts run through our minds in times of bliss. Without diminishing its power, we can retrace our steps to discover what may have put us in this frame of mind, and then we can take note of the choices we’ve made while there. We might realize that we are generally more giving and forgiving when there’s a smile on our face, or that we are more likely to laugh off small annoyances and the actions of others when they don’t resonate with our light mood.

Once we know what it feels like and can identify some of the triggers and are aware of our actions, we can recreate that happiness when we are feeling low. Knowing that like attracts like, we can pull ourselves out of a blue mood by focusing on joy. We might find that forcing ourselves to be giving and forgiving, even when it doesn’t seem to come naturally, helps us to reconnect with the joy that usually precedes it. If we can identify a song, a picture, or a pet as a happiness trigger, we can use them as tools to recapture joy if we are having trouble finding it. By focusing our energy on analyzing happiness and all that it encompasses, we feed, nurture, and attract more of it into our lives, eventually making a habit of happiness.

Daily Motivator for April 27th – Worth living

Worth living

You have something beautiful to offer. You have an inspiring and uplifting story to tell.

You experience life in a way that’s unlike anyone else. You have things to say that can benefit everyone else.

You have dreams, visions, and values that can make a real difference in the world. You can give love and joy and meaning to every moment you’re in.

You can make a difference today. You can make life worth living by the way you live it.

You are a priceless, unique expression of what it means to be. Through the focus of your existence, all of existence is brought to life in a way that has no equal.

Live this day with joy and richness and substance and love. Show all of life, in fresh new ways in every moment, why it is so very much worth living.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Train Your Brain to Be Happy

Train Your Brain to Be Happy

  • Care2 Healthy Living Guest Blogger

By Elisha Goldstein, PhD

If you were sitting in a room and on the left hand in a cage you saw a growling lion and on the right hand side in a cage was a scenes of a beautiful beach, which would your brain be drawn to?

If you guessed the lion, you’re right. That is because we’ve been trained over thousands of years to focus on the negative at the expense of the positive. If our ancestors spent their days being mindful of the beautiful scenery while enjoying their lunch, odds are not too much later, they were lunch. They needed to practice focusing on where the danger was to survive. Centuries later we inherited this very well crafted brain that is more attracted to the negative than the positive. Since we aren’t often in physical danger today, how does this automatic negativity bias show up in our minds?

Here are 3 examples of some common “Mind Traps” that we frequently fall into that move us further away from happiness:

Catastrophizing: If you’re prone to stress and anxiety, you may recognize this habitual mind trap. This is where the mind interprets an event as the worst case scenario. If your heart is beating fast, you may think you’re having a heart attack. If your boss didn’t look at you while walking down the hall, you think you’re going to get fired. You get the picture. This style of thinking will support increased stress, anxiety, and even panic.

Discounting the positive and exaggerating the negative: The news is wonderful at supporting us with this one. This is where we habitually reject or minimize any positive feedback and magnify the negative feedback. The glass is always half empty. If you catch yourself saying something positive and then saying “but” followed by a negative, you are practicing this. “I got a 95 percent on this test, but I didn’t get a 100 percent.” Without awareness, this style of thinking will likely land you in a depressed mood.

Blaming: Be careful of this one. We all do it, pointing the finger at someone else for our woes or point the finger at ourselves for others woes. “If my boss wasn’t so hard on me at work, I wouldn’t be so anxious” or “It’s my fault my parents got divorced.” Just check in with yourself after noticing this style of thinking. It doesn’t cultivate any solutions and just makes you feel stuck, anxious, or depressed.

The question is how can we rebalance this automatic nature of our brains toward greater happiness?

There are some basic practices we can use to begin retraining our brain to get some space from these mind traps and refocus on what truly matters. We can change our brain to handle stress better, be more empathic, happier, less fearful, and even enhance our learning and memory. Learning theory teaches us that what we practice and repeat in life becomes automatic and neuroscience is proving that we can change the architecture of our brains by intentionally paying attention with greater mindfulness.

“See, Touch, Go” is a technique I talk about in my new book The Now Effect and it simply means when your mind wanders onto a mind trap for example, “see” where it wandered to, “touch” or notice the thought, and “gently go” back to the task at hand. Practicing “See, Touch, Go” with our common mind traps, will strip away any of the wasted attention on self-judgment or any other distracting thoughts and get you back to the task with greater focus, making you more productive and less stressed.

See, Touch, Go

The 3-minute video below is the first of 14 instructional videos that are woven throughout The Now Effect. I wanted to share the first one with you to give you an experience of “See, Touch, Go.” Give yourself a chance to practice it right now, then go ahead and bring it to the tasks at work, even your email.

(Note: The introduction in the video says, “thank you for buying The Now Effect” because the reader experiences this as the first video in the book.)

****You can find this video at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/train-your-brain-to-be-happy.html?page=2****

Come back to this to practice throughout the day and bring it informally to the tasks at home and work whenever you notice your mind wandering onto a mind trap or from what’s most important to pay attention to. You may even want to schedule a pop up in your calendar asking yourself “Where is my attention now?” When it pops up, take a breath and then answer the question. You may discover you were caught in a mind trap.

You may do this dance over and over again. The purpose isn’t to judge yourself if you’re distracted, but just become aware of it and gently refocus your attention. This mindful focus has been proven to help us become more flexible in our decision making, less stressed and happier at home and at work.

Try it out!

Daily Motivator for March 20th – Ordinary hard work

Ordinary hard work

Achievement often appears easy in hindsight, and from the outside looking in. Yet significant achievement is not easy, and is not without considerable problems and frustrations.

It can be discouraging to look at the already-completed achievements of others, and to compare them with the challenges you now face. Keep in mind, though, that even when you can’t see the challenges that led to an achievement, they were most certainly there.

Working through difficult challenges is, in fact, what creates achievement. Just because it looks easy doesn’t mean it is.

Most of the work of achievement is done when no one is paying attention. Those who achieve, do the work even though it is difficult, demanding, tedious and far from glamorous.

More often than not, even the most impressive results come from plenty of plain old, ordinary hard work. It’s not extraordinary talent that distinguishes achievers, but rather an extraordinary level of commitment to getting the work done.

And that’s great news, because that same level of commitment is always within your reach. Choose to persist in doing the necessary work, and the achievement you seek is yours.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

How Happy Are You? (Quiz)

How Happy Are You? (Quiz)

  • Shubhra Krishan

When you have a few quiet moments, do take the time to answer the quiz below. It should give you an idea of your Happiness Quotient:

  1. Is your home a calm, soothing place?
  2. Do you enjoy doing what you do for a living?
  3. Do you have at least two close friends?
  4. Are you part of a group or club that enjoys the same activities as you do?
  5. Do you have some goals for personal growth?
  6. Is your relationship with your family a positive one?
  7. Would you say you are in good health at this time of your life?
  8. Are you satisfied with your financial situation?
  9. Do you like what you see in the mirror?
  10. Do you laugh often and heartily?

The more times you answer ‘Yes’, the happier you are. If the number is below five, I would invite you to read my previous post on 4 simple ways to be happy. Even the responses to that piece have elicited some wonderful ideas on the art of being simply happy!

DID YOU KNOW?

Our happiness levels swing up and down with age. Most of us start life happy, but grow a little less happy as the years roll on. Studies show that people are the least happy in their 40s. After this age, happiness levels start climbing upward again!

Smile!

Choosing Happiness, It’s actually your choice

Nature Comments & Graphics
Choosing Happiness

It’s actually your choice

From Jaelin K. Reece,

Did you know that happiness is up to you?

It’s actually your choice.

You can choose to be happy instead of waiting around for it to suddenly appear out of nowhere one day and land in your lap. Happiness is called upon and cultivated.

I am the Creator of My Own Thoughts

Now keep in mind, this is my personal perspective of happiness. You might have a different view. Everyone has a unique view point, especially where emotion is concerned. But, nonetheless, I like my outlook on happiness. It helps me to see that I am the creator of my own thoughts and state of mind. It is my choice what feeling I choose to have on any given day. This does not mean I don’t go with the flow of feelings, but that I can choose at any given moment to change what it is I desire.

For example, if I am having a hectic day, and I do have my share, I can choose to be breathless with activity or I can remind myself to stop and choose to be calm. I can go out for a walk and embrace the beauty that surrounds me and choose to experience that aesthetic as appreciation, gratitude, joy or numbness. I can choose to vacate and disconnect from my feelings, I can space out and be oblivious, or I can call upon the grace of the moment and be one with the beauty. These are all options.

We Have the Power to Choose

I think we as a society, collectively lose sight of how power-full we really are. I mean really full of power. We have the power to choose. It is something we are born with. No one has the power to take that away from us. It is our birthright.

The key to owning that power fully, is to accept that you are a rightful heir to it. Knowing that you are empowered within to choose your emotion, to choose how you respond or react to something, is all up to you. It is all choice.

Choosing Powerlessness

Many times, our childhood experiences and life learning gear us away from our power. We learned to give it all away, to quietly accept whatever happens to us, without question, without standing up and saying ‘No!’ We have become a passive society of powerless and uninspired automatons, going along with the crowd. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have been raised in. Somewhere along the line, a standard was laid out and we are ‘expected’ to magically meet this invisible ‘standard’ by compromising and living according to someone else’s perspectives. Where is the happiness in that?

I guess that leads me back to my original statement.

Choosing happiness is a choice.

Anytime you choose, you are making a decision. You are engaging your power.

Think about how you are feeling right now. How long has it been since you chose what you wanted to feel?

I am not suggesting that you go into a state of denial if you are in trauma, but I am suggesting that you insert a new option for yourself. Instead of sitting in pain, decide for 10 minutes that you will focus on happiness.

How does it make you feel? Are you lighter? Was a burden lifted? Even if it was a mere 10 minutes, it was a starting point. It was a choice. Would you rather go through life choosing happiness and drawing happy experiences to you, or by sitting in pain and expecting the worst, thereby feeling the worst?

It is still a choice.

It is your choice.

Why Not Choose to Experience Happiness?

I ask only that this stirs a thought within you. It is my hope that you will look at the power you possess and carpe diem – seize the day! Make a choice! Choose to experience happiness in your life.

It’s all up to you.

Enjoy – or not- it’s your choice.

    
~Magickal Graphics~

The Daily Motivator for December 14th – Positive power of happiness

Positive power of happiness

It is simple and easy to be happy. The hard part is convincing yourself, and getting past your own resistance to happiness.

 

You might assume that just because things are one way or another, there is no possibility of happiness. Yet that assumption is entirely mistaken.

 

You know precisely how to be happy, how to create the feeling of happiness within yourself and how to express it within any context. You’ve done it many times in a whole lot of different situations.

 

Your happiness does not come from the moment, or the surroundings, or even from the people around you. It comes from you, and from your decision to feel its positive power.

 

Go ahead and skip right over all those reasons why you can’t be happy. Instead, think of the times when you have been happy and recall the strategy you’ve always used to bring that happiness to life.

 

Activate that very same strategy right now. And bring the positive power of your own happiness to this very moment.

 

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily Motivator for April 14 – How you see yourself

How you see yourself

The more time you spend feeling sorry for yourself, the more things you’ll have to be sorry about. If you insist on seeing yourself as a victim, you’ll end up experiencing your life as a victim.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Because you can choose right now, and every day, to see yourself in a positive, empowering light.

The way you see yourself is up to you. It doesn’t have anything to do with the circumstances you happen to be facing.

See yourself as the unique, beautiful, creative and effective person you know you are. See yourself as a bundle of positive, inspiring and meaningful possibilities that are well on their way to being fulfilled.

See that you are able to successfully handle whatever life sends your way. See that you are able to thrive and grow and make positive meaning out of the world in which you live.

See yourself as constantly moving forward through it all, with love and joy and purpose. And what you see, you will be.

— Ralph Marston