"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Life Lessons

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
-Denis Waitley

No man is an Island. The choices we make every day, often without realizing it affect someone else. The doing, or nor doing has consequences. We cannot be so naive to think that we are immune to the world around us. That our doing has no affect on the surrounding world and that if we choose, the world can have no affect on us.
This connectivity  can be of the utmost comfort, or at times it can be daunting.
Sometimes its hard enough to sort through yourself; your emotions, wants, goals, seeking a balance is, for most of us a constant effort.
And so sometimes we make, what seems the wrong choice. A choice that disappoints or does not take another into consideration. Sometimes it is obvious, even as we are making the choice that it might leave someone behind or hurt. But sometimes we are surprised by the consequences of our actions. In these moments we can become exhausted and frustrated, thinking we let one down, and of the overwhelming task of keeping others in mind in every decision we make.

It is hard work being a peacekeeper. Being selfless all the time can be debilitating.  But acting like nothing you do matters in any great way is crippling.  And so we come back to that word balance. That elusive state where all is well and even. The more of life I live, the more i realize how important it is. In fact, I strongly urge that it be a daily mantra for all aspects of life. It is a key, i believe, to happiness. Happiness, which is not a destination, or a right. "Happiness is a spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." Happiness also has to do with choices. I do believe, to a certain extent, you can choose to be happy. It is a matter of mindset and a way of looking at things. And happiness is a balance of actions. Thinking of the consequences of our actions, the way it might affect others, but not forgetting ourselves all together for the sake of others. Because we cannot be happy hurting others and forgetting their integrity, but we also, i am convinced, cannot be happy by living solely for others.

So what is a way we can live this balance? "Live every minute with love, grace and gratitude." If love is the motivation for our actions, grace is how we carry out those actions and gratitude is our response to other's actions, then we have a good shot at happiness; experiencing our own and making others happy too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Everybody loves the weekend. Time off from work to do whatever you like, whenever you like.
Lots of us plan fun activities with friends and family. If you are like me, Friday nights are for going to dinner, or a movie, or social events. Saturdays are fun and somehow always busy, even hectic at times.

And then there is Sunday, lovely Sunday. It is a day like any other in most ways, and just another day in the weekend. Historically and traditionally in Western culture it is a day of rest. A day for family and worship. Although I do not actively practice and organize religion, I can't help but agree that Sundays were meant for family, for rest and for peace.

Unlike any other busy day of the week, I find that on Sunday I can finally relax, unwind, and really be present. I can focus on the now and notice and appreciate the little things. Watching a movie with my husband, reading a good book, playing a game with family. Sundays evoke feelings of security, simple pleasures and true happiness. The smell of Sunday dinner, the simple act of making the dinner. I always find joy in cooking; it relaxes me, gives me purpose and challenges me, and for some reason it seems to have more joy or meaning on Sunday. Its the slowing down, the taking the time to cook a meal from scratch, to leisurely enjoy it in the company of loved ones.

I love that as I grow older, and in this day, I have the freedom to keep the traditions that bring me joy; resting for a day, spending time with family, but I am not chained to anything for the sake of it.
I am free to chose the life that love, the way that makes me complete, free and happy. What a privilege and a blessing. I am thankful to my parents, my country, my husband and my friends for letting me choose. I know how vital it is to happiness to be able to be yourself. 

So here is to freedom and happiness.

And here is to Sunday; to family, friends, resting, and simple pleasures.
Happy Sunday!