Happiness is How You Arrange Your Mind  •  Anonymous

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup applied (even though she is legally blind) moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets, and the blue curtains that had been hung on her window.

“I love it!” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room…just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged…it’s how I arrange my mind. I’ve already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice. I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away…just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account; you withdraw from it what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filing my memory bank. I’m still depositing.”

Remember five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Grasping at Happiness is Futile  •  by Cain Carroll

Feelings come and go like changing seasons. It’s our reluctance to fully appreciate all of them that makes us feel divided inside. We were taught to feel bad about not feeling good. We learned this from a neurotic culture that is pathologically addicted to unattainable ideals (flawless beauty, eternal youth, perfect happiness). We can un-learn it! Like removing corrupted software from our CPU…Delete program!

When we are in harmony with our life we feel happy much of the time. But it’s also possible to be at peace when dissatisfaction, pain, loneliness, confusion, sadness, or any challenging feeling comes along for a visit. It requires that we simply let go of our resistance to feeling what we feel. In other words, if we can fully accept whatever comes without judgment, criticism, or the need to understand why, then we find a sense of ease opening up inside us.

That way, we can be free to feel dissatisfied without being anxious about it. Feeling less anxious, we have less dissatisfaction. The whole thing unwinds itself.

Admittedly, this takes quite a bit of courage, and the willingness to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable. But if we do this repeatedly, moment after moment, day after day, our inner conflict melts like a chunk of ice into a flowing stream. We discover a basic joy and peace that is available to us all the time, even amid the changing tides of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and circumstances.

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