Happy Quotes That Will Change Your State Of Mind

happy-quotesLife regularly offers us difficulties and challenges that we must navigate through. Happiness isn’t developed by trying to escape from life’s challenges but rather with a deep understanding that this too shall pass . Being happy and at peace comes from deep within and is not based on the external circumstances of life.

Sometimes we can get into a pattern of unhappiness. We are overtaken by a pattern of thoughts that cause us to feel bad. Sadly, without a way to interrupt that negative looping pattern we can lose days or even weeks of happy living. Even those born with a more positive personality type have times of unhappiness. No matter what our current level of happiness we can all benefit from an infusion of simple beautiful words in our daily lives. (15 of my favorites are below the fold)

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How To Forgive Dad

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” 

—Mahatma Gandhi 

forgive dad

I was estranged from my father all of my childhood and most of my adult life. We all experience rejection throughout our lives but being disavowed by your father can do a number on your psyche during your childhood and adolescent years.

I was his first born child and carried both his first and last name but he never visited me or called. He was a no show for all of my birthdays and to watch me play sports. He failed to attend my graduation from high school and college. He did not celebrate my wedding nor the birth of his grand daughter. He was a deadbeat dad that never sent a single child support payment.

When I was 35 years old I made the pilgrimage from Charlotte to Wilmington to face my dysfunctional past with a parent who couldn’t care less about me. I named my trip to see him “the forgiveness tour” but it was more complicated than just being about forgiveness. I hoped for a face to face conversation that would address my scarred internal world that left me feeling unwanted. I hoped for a confrontation with him that might silence my unabating question of, “Why am I an unwanted son?”

Forgiveness. It’s fragile, and it’s complicated. Continue Reading →

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Happy and Kind People

“There are two types of people. Those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am,’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’”  —Frederick Collins

I’m ashamed to say it but for many years I would come home from work and walk into my home with the “well, here I am” attitude. Of course I would have never said those words but, sadly, that was the vibe. Thankfully, I have changed, and I now work hard to show kindness and warmth in greeting others.

I just returned from a spectacular 9 day trip to the Piemonte region of Italy. The landscape, the wine, the food, the people, the lifestyle — everything was simply spellbinding. This was my first time to Italy and I fell in love with this beautiful country.

When you travel to a foreign country it does have its challenges. I didn’t speak the language. It was difficult to understand the road signs and how to pay for self-service petrol. Something as simple as ordering a meal was challenging too when you don’t know Italian.(more photos from Italy below the fold) Continue Reading →

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Simple Meaningful Daily Routines

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
―Viktor E. Frankl

happy simple livingViktor Frankl  is a renowned Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. Although his parents and family members died, he survived three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Through his extreme suffering, and witnessing the suffering and resilience of other prisoners, Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy called logotherapy.

At the core of logotherapy is the premise that man’s primary motivational force is to find life meaning. Finding meaning every day is a spiritual quest and requires mindful attentiveness to what we think, say and do.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to focus on meaning every day, and our life circumstances can toss us around if we’re not grounded with present moment awareness.

Below are 10 simple, meaningful daily routines I’ve found helpful for having a better day: Continue Reading →

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Inner Peace and Wonder

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. -Albert Einstein

When I first arrived at the dumpsite outside of Manilla, Phillipines the group guide admonished us not to complain about the smell and stench of this 2,000,000 ton garbage heap, known as Smokey Mountain, the waste disposal area for Manila.  I was a part of a U.S. group who’d come to deliver some dignity, to the 30.000 dumpsite squatters.

being gratefulThe Manilla dumpsite got its name from the continuous decomposing waste and refuse fires. I don’t remember the smoke and fires as much as the encounters I had with the residents.

By the end of the one-day tour I was in tears. No living thing on this earth should be sentenced to live in this hell of undignified existence.

But that wasn’t why I cried. My emotions were sparked by the beauty I saw inside these forgotten outcasts. I saw within them a simple awe and intrigue as we walked among their shanties delivering simple goods. I expected to see a helpless survivor demeanor but instead I saw gratitude and curiosity.

No matter if you’re living in palace royalty or in abject third world poverty, within each one of us resides a sense of wonder, a spirit of intrigue for our surroundings. But we’ll miss the miracles if we don’t really pay attention to the awesomeness that is all around us.

We humans have to work at not falling into complacency. If the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Then the opposite of awe is apathy. Continue Reading →

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