Tag Archives: happiness

lifeismessy

Life Is Messy

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” – Haruki Murakami (1949-)

What’s the difference between happy people and troubled people? It’s the way they process the messiness of their lives. I used to know a grown woman who was very unhappy and walked around feeling jealous of the happy people she met. She complained that life had handed her a miserable existence, and it wasn’t fair that other people didn’t have problems like she did. I was a child at that time, and so I took her assessment to be the truth.

In case you’re one of those folks who thinks those of us who walk around with a grin have an exemption from life’s storms, maybe I can help you join the ranks of the happy. I am a people watcher, an observer of life, and I have an insatiable curiosity about people and how they go about their lives. What I have noticed is that The Creator exempts NO ONE from pitfalls, tragedies and serious problems. It’s the people who, when their lives are a mess, ACCEPT that their lives are a mess who can walk out of the storm, as Haruki Murakami writes above.

I have two good friends, both of whom lost their husbands — one to choices on his part that ended the marriage and one to death. The first friend is struggling to believe that he did what he did and that her marriage is over. She wants the pain to end. She wants the storm to be over. She wants everything to be like it used to be. The second friend came to peace with her husband’s death within a few months. Yes, she had lost, but she immersed herself in her grief and then, she was able to see what she had gained. You can guess which of my friends is now experiencing happiness.

So, what are the steps to turning the messiness of life into happiness?

  1. Acknowledge your losses. Talk or write out them out. Get help from a professional counselor; the good ones help you acknowledge your pain at a rate that won’t devastate you.
  2. Grieve your losses. Some of your dreams will never come true. Some people will not be in your life, or at least, not in the way you’d like them to be in your life.
  3. Make your losses matter. Use them to do something positive for someone else. American TV personality John Walsh turned the abduction and murder of his son into a crusade which contributed to the capture of more than 1000 fugitives. Use your losses to shape your character in a way that softens you and makes you empathetic to others.
  4. Walk through your losses into your new life. Your life will never be the same. It’s not supposed to. You are more empathetic now. You appreciate sunrises more. You don’t take for granted that you will be alive tomorrow. You consider any day without a tragedy a beautiful one, and guess what? That puts a smile on your face!

Namaste,  Sheryl

Life Is Hard

“I can handle anything life throws at me.”

Not long ago, I came upon a quotation I can only now paraphrase. It said that this life is full of problems and struggles, and that acknowledging that fact can bring us peace.

How many times are we fed the nonsense that we must always feel good? Life has too many down moments. I have met some truly happy people, and none of them are without significant problems and events. They are happy, because they know that life brings them positive and negative moments, and it’s easier to feel peaceful during a tough situation when you know it’s  temporary and soon to be balanced out by easy times.

Accepting the pain and yes, agony, of tragic situations helps us to grieve our losses. Washing ourselves in authentic anguish brings to the surface our pain and causes us to release emotions which, if trapped inside, would otherwise incapacitate us.

In the welcoming of the agony of life’s losses, we can also welcome the new opportunities and blessings that come with them, too. And in those moments, we find joy in knowing we can handle anything life throws at us.

Namaste, Sheryl

The Middle Path

The Middle Path

I woke up early today for a Talk with The Creator…


 

Sheryl: Hey, God…

God: Hi, Beautiful You. (*hug*) Let’s talk about body, mind and spirit. Humans are a bit complex in their make-up and yet simple when it comes to caring for themselves.

Sheryl: Are you talking about the maintenance of ourselves or about self-love or something else?

God: I’m talking about the things it takes to make a human healthy in body, mind and spirit. These three areas cannot be divided from each other, and they all work together. In many cases, you guys neglect one of them and then your entire body–your entire life, if you will–suffers.

The Buddha was on the right path with the middle path. This is the concept that moderation and upkeep of body, mind and spirit lead to a healthy life. By healthy, I don’t just mean being a fine physical specimen. I also mean that one’s spirit is carefree and happy and that one’s mind is active and engaged.

Sleep, nutritious food, exercise, and intimacy are all needed to take care of the body.Doing work you love at every age, whether it’s raising children, crunching numbers or playing card games, nourishes your mind. Taking care of the little child inside you by being aware of his/her needs nourishes your spirit.

Sheryl: You do make it sound simple.

God: Indeed, it is. But life as a human is full of challenges. You have physical ailments. You have other people’s opinions  of how you should live. You have your own upbringings, so the human parents you chose have a great influence as to how you treat yourself. It’s all reversible, of course, but some things are easier to reverse than others.

Awareness is key and is the first step. Just notice if you are or are not sleeping well, eating well, etc. Notice if your mind is or isn’t usually engaged. And notice if your spirit seems weak and tired or happy and loved. Then ask yourself, “What can I do to make this better?” Listen. The answers are with you, inside you.

Sheryl: Thank you, I will pass this message along. And use it on myself, too.


Namaste, Sheryl

journal

Journaling

“The practice of writing in a journal is a powerful tool for cultivating what you want from life.

We are artists, creating our lives out of the materials of our experiences, thoughts, and dreams. When we write, we empower ourselves and breathe life into what we want and how we want to live.

You can’t always know exactly how your desires will materialize into reality. This is where faith comes in.

If you show up, listen to and speak from your heart, and then let go of the need to know how, you can let the universe or God or quantum physics or whatever that thing is that helps our dreams become a reality do its magic.”

— Janna Krawczyk, tinybuddha.com

Writing has, as far back as I can remember, been an important release in my life. Whether I wrote to figure out my emotions as a teenager or played with fictional short stories, writing gave my mind a chance to explore and play.

Journaling is now a critical part of my grief therapy as I move forward after the death of my husband. In my lowest emotional states, writing in my journal without censor or abandon helps my mind make sense of the chaotic thoughts that make me think I’m going crazy. Why did he die? Why now? What now? Some of these questions will never have answers, but dumping them out onto paper–or in my case, into my word processing program–helps me to find peace.

I was curious how others might use personal writing and found a tinybuddha.com blog regarding the power of journaling. Ms. Janna Krawczyk presents a personal case of searching for answers, journaling about her situation, gaining clarity over time, and then, having The Creator/Universe/God bring her solutions.

How this makes sense to me! The Creator is here to help our biggest dreams to come true. Writing our dreams down helps us think through them and brings clarity to them. This clarity makes it easier for them to be manifested.

If you don’t have a cute journal or laptop available, just grab a piece of paper and a pen and let your mind send thoughts to your journal without judgment. Let me know what happens!

Namaste, Sheryl

 

happiness

Happiness is a Choice

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

– Groucho Marx (1895-1997)

My happiest days have been the ones on which I decided I would be happy. This life on Earth that we’ve all chosen is one of miscues, misunderstandings and misbehaviors. No one reaches the age of 35 (in my humble opinion) without some seriously horrible event or circumstance occurring in his/her life. There is no logic to being cheerful after this age, because we all have legitimate excuses to groan and complain.

And yet, choosing sadness brings more sadness which eventually brings depression.  I’m not saying that life doesn’t deal us good reasons to seek professional help for trauma, believe me. What I’m saying is that if an individual complains about her/his life’s injury, it can be selfish. It can also keep that person from healing, because complaining often feels like a solution to a complaint, when it’s really not.

Saying, “I’m great,” to someone who asks, “How are you?” is a powerful, first step in choosing happiness.

Namaste, Sheryl

Your True Self

Your True Self

January 19, 2015

Sheryl: Hey, God…

God: Hi, Supreme You! Look at you go. How does it feel to be your true self?

Sheryl: It’s hard to put it into words. I would say it’s magical, because I’m following what I love, what I’m good at and I have this certain innate knowledge that is “right.”

God: For our readers, let me ask you some questions. Are you concerned about money or that what you’re doing will earn money?

Sheryl: No. I have a conviction that every material thing I need is here and that anything I need in the future will be present in the future.

God: Are you concerned about other people or what they may think of you?

Sheryl: No. I feel no concern about others’ opinions of me. I will say that I have new confidence about embracing people who support me and about letting go of those who don’t. I want to draw near those who love me and say farewell to those with whom I’m not compatible. I don’t feel emotional about this. It’s just a practical understanding of what I need to be me.

God: What are you worried about?

Sheryl: Returning to my old way of living.

God: The past is in the past. Leave it there. (voice of strong authority)

How does it feel to be free?

Sheryl: I did not build the original prison of limitation that I lived in the last 50 years. However, I spent a lot of resources to maintain and reinforce it. Now, I have knocked a huge hole in the wall, enough to see a new, unlimited reality. I understand that the prison won’t dissolve like sugar in water, but it will slowly deteriorate without maintenance, and as you just said, I don’t have to look back at it.

So, it feels amazing to be me. I have not known real appreciation for myself until now, and my life is forever better.

God: Did you know that I am you and you are me?

Sheryl: You’ve impressed that upon me for a long time. Deep down I’ve known it. I am tempted to say that I wasted our creative power with my life so far, but I appreciate myself too much to be harsh.

God: Good girl.

Sheryl: It’s a journey, and I just get to be grateful for the present moment.

God: Your past brought you here, and it is gone. The future will be here soon enough. The present moment is the best gift I can give you.

Sheryl: Thank you. (hug)

(hug back)

world peace

World Peace

In a scene from the comedy movie, “Miss Congeniality,” beauty pageant emcee Stan Fields conducts an onstage interview of Gracie Hart, an ill-mannered FBI agent who has unwillingly gone undercover as a pageant contestant.

  • Stan Fields:    “What is the one most important thing our society needs?”
  • Gracie Hart:   “That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan…”
  • [the crowd is silent]
  • Gracie Hart:    “…And world peace!”
  • [the crowd cheers wildly]

I am like Gracie Hart. I will say that I have spent most of my life with the opinion that world peace was utterly unattainable. The best we could do, I figured, was to attain my favorite 80/20 ratio:  80% of people living free and unmolested and 20% oppressed or under fire in some way.

In the past years as I’ve thrown myself into the study of The Creator — you may call this the study of spirituality or of New Age ideas or of spiritual truths — I have realized that world peace is attainable.  I have learned from leaders who insisted on reconciliation in the face of violence: Nelson Mandela, Mohatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr..

I have learned that the force of a society, a culture, a religion or a government is nowhere near strong enough to bring about world peace. It is the force of a single person, connecting to another single person through an act of kindness or a simple smile who connects to another and another and another.

Imagine a room the size of an indoor basketball arena. It is pitch black and filled with people holding unlit candles. Ask the government to light the candles, and by the time the government employees are finished lighting them, many candles will have burnt out, and soon, the arena will be dark again. But have one person light her candle and pass her flame to as many people as she can who pass their flames to as many people as they can, and within minutes the arena will be flooded with light.

This is how we arrive at world peace. We make a conscious effort every day, regardless of our mood or circumstances, to pass along our Light and our kindness. Just your wonderful you, spreading your Light to a few people every day, is all the world needs to be at peace.

Namaste,  Sheryl

mindfulness

Mindfulness, Part Two

Would you like to learn more about mindfulness? The origins of mindfulness come from Buddhism; thus, the study of Buddhist meditation practices can be a good place to start. The Buddhist monk and author, Thich Nhat Hanh, has written several books on mindfulness, and he can also be found on Facebook. The Dalai Lama speaks often about mindfulness, as well.

Mindfulness: There’s an app for that. Really! There are several, actually. I recommend “Mindfulness Daily” by Inward, Inc.  I have set it to prompt me several times a day to pause to take mindful breaths. It asks me to check in with my level of mindfulness and offers many mindful practices.

Mindful Magazine (www.mindful.org) is a publication I recently stumbled across. This month Pete Carroll, the head coach of the championship Seattle Seahawks American football team, is interviewed regarding his use of mindfulness to create a winning team.

For a deeper experience of mindfulness, search online for “mindfulness retreat.” Private and group retreats are held regularly in locations across the western world. And individualized lessons can be obtained through a mindfulness coach.

To conclude, your practice of mindfulness could be as simple as taking mindful breaths several times a day or as deep as finding a mindfulness coach. The thing to remember is the goal of mindfulness: To gently set your mind aside, so that your soul can rise to consciousness and be The Creator of your life.

Namaste, Sheryl

mindfulness

Mindfulness, Part One

Mindfulness is a tool for us humans — whose minds drift up and down, sideways and backwards, into the past and into the future — to still our minds to just accept the present moment. Mindfulness is for everyone, not just for those who are stressed and not just for those who are relaxed. Mindfulness does not solve problems, and it does not change who we are.

Our minds and our egos are, by their nature, very busy and very distractible. If it is true that we are the creators of our own lives — and it is! — then putting a distractible mind in charge of that creation results in a life with a high level of chaos. Mindfulness gently and temporarily pushes the mind and ego aside. Mindfulness allows the soul — the truest part of ourselves — to rise to consciousness. When your soul is in charge of your life’s creation, what do you think the result will be?

For a short mindfulness practice, focus on your breath. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel the air come in through your nostrils and into your lungs. Hold it for two seconds. Then breathe out through your mouth, feeling the rush of air and your lungs deflate. Repeat two or three times. If you feel your mind lose focus, simply bring it back gently to your breath.

Tomorrow, I will present resources, quotations, gurus and ideas for incorporating mindfulness.

Namaste,  Sheryl

P.S. Thank you to The Creator of All for giving me the words to write this when I was at a loss for words.

What Do You Want to Do Next?

“You know, I’m not a huge fan of the concept of ‘passion’ when it comes to careers. Instead of trying to answer the daunting question of ‘What’s your passion?’ it’s better simply to watch what you do when you’ve got time of your own and nobody’s looking.”

– Daniel H. Pink (1964-)

I have been reading a bit about highly sensitive people (www.hsperson.com), careers and crossroads. Along my path of discovery I found a YouTube video, “How Dan Pink Learned the Six Lessons.” Here is a writer who meandered into a very successful career, simply by doing what he enjoyed and not what he didn’t enjoy. He first finished law school and then discovered that he didn’t want to do what attorneys do!

Always looking for opportunities and never giving up on making a living in an enjoyable way, Daniel Pink found his way into speechwriting and then into research and writing books about business.

Still, as he describes it, it was all so casual. There were unexpected turns on the way to his successes. I would have to say he stayed in the present moment in his desire to enjoy his future moments. He was open to many different opportunities and did not flinch at working outside the parameters of a normal business environment.

Inspiring!

Namaste,  Sheryl