Good Friday…

Hoping you can take a break from your day.  You know, forget the overflowing email inbox.  Stop multi tasking just long enough to focus in on this one thing.

Sit back and look at this video …and let it remind you of the joys in personal relationships.

Free Hugs!

Free Hugs

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need.

Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.

In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring.

Visit Free Hugs Campaign to read the story behind the video.

moon and stars

I’ve been thinking about what I can do to make the new year happy.  Not just for me, but happier on a broader scale.

I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution maker.  Probably because I believe New Year’s resolutions are overrated.  (Or maybe its just a lack of follow through on my own part!)

But this year seems a bit different.  I feel more in control of my own time.  Or at least more responsible for it.

The thing that has been weighing heavily on me lately is the way we are surrounded by – no, immersed in – negativity, violence, corruption, hatred.  Sure, there is a lot of that in our world today.   But it seems to be the only thing that we read, watch and talk about.

This year, I’d like to be a part of spreading some cheer.  I want to help us all remember that there are indeed many kind, wonderful and happy things happening around us.

So, this is my plan… Once a week, sharing something positive that is happening in the world.  A random act of kindness.  A brilliant project that someone has undertaken.  A heartwarming story of love.  Something good.  Every Friday.

Good Friday…  A 52 week challenge of spreading some joy.  Anyone else up for the challenge?

Good health is usually top of mind when we tally up the things we are grateful for. And we are often reminded that everything else we have is nothing if we do not have our health. I am indeed grateful for my robust health and the ability to physically do whatever I want. I appreciate that I have not yet encountered any physical limitations — even though I’m quick to admits that I’m not the same person I was in college!

During the past few months, I have had several friends experience health issues. Some of them have a long road of recovery ahead of them. Some have won a significant battle with illness this year. Some have lost that battle.

It’s never too early to start appreciating your good health, and to work harder to preserve it. Here are a few of my favorite health- related blogs and newsletters that I follow.  Maybe they will inspire you too…

Dr. Weil’s Blog

Time Magazine’s Healthland

The Happiness Project Blog by author  Gretchen Rubin (check out her book by the same name, if you haven’t already read it)

Daily Cup of Yoga

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since my last post. This past year was filled with a  plan for our retirement, sale of our house, and move to Northwest Arkansas. A plan that I felt needed to be kept quiet until I gave my notice at work. That made for an unusual period of time, and a little bit isolating.

What was so hush-hush? Well, it started with buying a house during a trip in July 2011. We closed on that house 9/13/2011, taking a two week vacation to drive down with Dylan and ‘camp out’ on inflatable beds in our new digs. It also included the plans to prep and sell our house. We put our house on the market 3/1/2012 and had a sale by 4/1/2012 – right on our planned timeline. I felt that if I made my plan known at work, that it would impact my effectiveness. Particularly the way others viewed me and included me in their strategies. I noticed some of that even with my relatively short notice of 90 days.

We were incredibly fortunate to have accomplished everything on our own timeline and to have a easy house sale.

20121026-122754.jpgAnd now we are on the road, making the trip to our new home. It’s quite an emotional time for me. The Pennsylvania scenery is gorgeous, and I am thinking already about how I will miss it. Dinner with Pam, Jed, Jean and Gerry last night was wonderful,and I am already missing their friendship. But with hugs, a few tears and promises to visit, we started off on our newest adventure!

20121026-122717.jpg

No, not the joke about Carnegie hall — a way to think about your life.

I have always respected that “doing” yoga is expressed as “practicing” yoga.  It’s an acknowledgement that this is something that we never fully master.  It is always a journey.

During my meditation practice, I stumbled upon the perspective that we can “practice” in life.  Even when we don’t quite feel like practicing yoga, meditating, or even being in a good mood,  that we can “practice” it.  Ok, we can pretend.

Hafez, a fourteenth-century Sufi poet suggests that we act great at all times.  Whether are practicing contentment on a bad day, or sitting in meditation watching our mind run around in circles.

Think about it.  “Pretending” to be a good mood tends to turn into a good mood.  “Pretending” to enjoy yoga poses often turns into an enjoyment.

This is an idea that could really catch on.

Being snowed in can be a good thing.  If you have the basic necessities.  Like oboe music, a clean, silky Corgi, a great cup of coffee, and a stunning landscape of sparkling white snow.

It’s difficult to tell how much snow we got yesterday…  reports are that it was about 16″, give or take.  The wind created large drifts in some places and smoothed it out in others.

The timing was perfect.  At the start of a weekend.  No particular plans.  All my Christmas shopping done.  And a new Corgi at my side.

No doubt 16″ inches of snow will look quite different to me in about a week, but for now, I’m just going to sit back, pour another cup of coffee, give another tummy rub, and enjoy it.

“Don’t take life so seriously, it ain’t nohow permanent.”  Walt Kellly the cartoonist originally said that.

Maybe I’ve just become more pragmatic as I get older.  Or maybe our society has become too productive.  Too efficient.  Too focused.  Too consumed.

But I like the teachings that we are meant to be happy, and wonder why we don’t spend more time focused on achieving that.