The Art of Happiness

Some time ago I bought a book by the Dalai Lama. It changed how I felt about happiness. The simple understanding of this powerful emotion can bring peace to any soul. This book can teach you how to understand anger and frustration on a simpler level. Your life seems more in control because of your knowledge of your own emotions. You can free yourself of all obstacles just by thinking. It really helped me be at peace with the things I couldn’t change and take action on the things I could.

 The book has a few basic teachings, as I list below.

    The Art of Happiness is based on a few basic premises:

1.
The purpose of life is happiness.
2.
Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances, or events—at least once one’s basic survival needs are met.
3.
Happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts and minds, through reshaping our attitudes and outlook.
4.
The key to happiness is in our own hands.

What can one book do for a person? For a lot of people, the one book that is most dear to them is a religious one. In this case, the book can be used in conjunction with any religion. It is a simple way of learning how to finally be happy. I hope just one person reading this blog takes the chance and reads it, and it helps them the way it helped me.

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Ideas

Being a stay at home Mom is hard. Not for the reasons that are obvious like chasing kids all day, not getting adult interaction or the financial hole it creates, but because of the extra mental energy I have. Everyday I think of ideas. Ideas for products to create, companies to start, and songs to write. I feel powerless to make any of them happen.

I feel like I don’t have the resources or the power or the money to make my ideas a reality. I know great people take great risk to make their dreams come true but as a Mom, am I allowed to ‘risk’ anything? Should my ideas be put on a shelf for a time where my kids don’t need me as much? Will my ideas come to me as often as they do now if I put them on hold for years?

 Today, I called my twin. She reassured me and had good advice. She said to use my frustration as a motivator. Use it to drive my ideas, to make them happen. Not to give up at the first sign of opposition but instead use the opposition as a positive motivator.

Who is to say that I can’t do anything I really put my mind to? Is it me, my own self, that is in the way of reaching my full potential? I think the answer is yes. My ideas can be researched to see if they are worth pursuing. Just doing the research might lead me to think of a new idea and one day, one of these ideas will work. I just need to not give up on them at the first sign of risk.

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Lord God of mine

In the Spring of 2004, I had just started a job at the State Department in the Federal Triangle area of Washington, DC. just steps from the Capitol. Every day was interesting. Finding a good parking spot, avoiding the homeless beggars, eating lunch at the Congress cafeteria, and writing poetry on the steps of Capitol reflecting pool- it was all very interesting. I felt important to be someone who dressed in a suit, had a job while raising my son by myself. Little did my co-workers know I was teetering on the edge of bouncing checks and losing my apartment. I felt like I could never catch up, never do enough, never be good enough.

One day, while sitting on a bench outside my office building, a man, who was obviously homeless, appeared next to me. At first I tried to move away, but then I realized he was saying something to me, something I should listen to. Through the traffic noise, I heard him say, “Don’t be afraid of what you have to do, Don’t shy away from all that you can do, Remember this as you pass me by, Lord God of mine.” I turned to my coworker frightened, yet inspired, to see if she had heard and seen this man but as I turned back around, he was gone. I never saw him again. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and yet I had almost coward away from it because of what society tells me is my place. I immediately wrote what he said down in my poetry journal. His words inspired me to be more than I already was. To be a single mother who not only did what I had to do, but did everything I could do, and know, that it was my best. It made me happy to be me, something I had not felt in a long time.

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Learning materialism

I recently learned that children understand materialism around two years old. They see other people’s attachment to physical things and the child understands the comfort that is associated with ‘collecting’ material objects. This is reflected in the child’s need to always have a toy…or three near by and to carry around purses, book bags with a few of their favorite toys or objects, especially when entering new or uncertain situations. My point of explaining this is to point out that a mother’s relationship with material objects directly influences a child’s relationship with material objects. That means a child will feel secure, or un-secure depending on the materialistic value they have around them. Knowing this makes me want to live differently. If I have less but appreciate the few nice things I do have, maybe my children will copy. Maybe they will be easily satisfied with fewer material objects. Just maybe.

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Get to work

A man walks into his office, hurried and a mess. His boss notices he is late and asks, ‘Why did you come to work like that?’

The man looked down at his un-tucked shirt and replies,

‘Well, this morning I woke up to see that my dog ate my cigarettes so……I got high. It isn’t usually part of my morning routine but hey, it was there, I needed something to smoke so…..I got high. Then I realized I had been in my bathroom for over an hour so I found some clothes on the floor and rushed right in.’

The man stood there realizing what he had just said to his boss, worried about the repercussions. His boss takes a look around, leans forward and says, ‘Thanks for not calling in sick. Now get to work.’

 

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Welcome

I started this blog to dump little stories or ideas I have out of my head. Some of it may be offensive to the straight and narrow. By no means do these stories represent real life events. Enjoy.

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