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Category “happiness & fun”

People holding hands

How to Give Yourself and Others the Gift of Happiness

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” ~Albert Einstein

My son recently returned home from college with a new demeanor.

He was helpful, considerate, interested in others, and genuinely happy. The change was a far cry from the boy who had left for college just a few short months before.… Read More

Smiling Woman

A Simple 5-Minute Habit That Can Make You Happier

“Gratitude creates joy—not vice versa.” ~Dr. Brené Brown

To be blunt, my summer of 2013 sucked. In a matter of months, a tidal wave of stressful events happened and it completely shattered my sense of safety. I was on the verge of a serious depression.

The summer began with a broken heart.… Read More

Man Jumping

3 Things You Can Start Doing Today to Improve Your Life

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” ~Unknown

Have you noticed that when we’re unhappy we often spend our time focusing on those very things that are making us unhappy?

My life has had its ups and downs, like anyone, but one of the lowest lows was back when I had a graduate job at a big four accounting firm.… Read More

Unhappy Little Girl

5 Childhood Mantras that are Poisoning Your Happiness

“So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.” ~Gaston Bachelard

I woke up to the sun peeking through the bedroom curtains and I cautiously opened one eye to check if my little brother was still asleep on the other side of our room.

I was excited about the day.… Read More

Happy People

Stop Striving for Happiness and Start Practicing It Now

“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu

It all started when one of my boys asked me if I was happy, and of course I answered yes.

Why wouldn’t I be happy? I have a handsome and kind husband, two boys of which I am very proud, I had a successful business, I had a house I loved, I was surrounded by friends, I was a sought after speaker in my community, and blah blah blah.… Read More

Man Enjoying the Moment

Life is a Gift: How to Enjoy It and Find Happiness After a Tragic Loss

“If we could see that everything, even tragedy, is a gift in disguise, we would then find the best way to nourish the soul.” ~Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Sometimes a tragedy can give new energy to life and bring awareness we have been living on autopilot.

I still remember the night like it was yesterday.… Read More

Happy Woman on Grass

Don’t Let the Outside World Control Your Happiness

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” ~Eckhart Tolle

We have this strange need or conditioning to not take responsibility for our own happiness. We expect it to come from an outside source.

It can happen, but it’s fleeting.… Read More

Man and Pink Sky

Why Joy Trumps Happiness (and 3 Ways to Coax It Into Your Life)

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ~Henri Nouwen

Once upon a time I was on a relentless hunt for happiness. I’d root around for it in romantic relationships, search for it in visits to exotic locales, and scour self-help sections of bookstores, hoping to run across a volume that, once and for all, would reveal its thorny secrets.… Read More

Happy Woman

You’re Not Broken

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~Marianne Williamson

I used to have this secret habit of flipping through the DSM—The Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders—and diagnosing myself with every disorder in the book.

Reading over the criteria for borderline personality disorder, cigarette in hand and eyes wide open, I scanned the diagnosis criteria.… Read More

Man and Sky

5 Choices to Help You Overcome Your Demons and Be Happy

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.” ~Wayne Dyer

I sat, exhausted and alone after a long night, on the stairs outside the train station.

It was 3:00AM, and it was raining. I’d been drinking all night and I wanted nothing more than the warmth of my bed.… Read More

Man Reading

When Self-Help Doesn’t Help: Doing What’s Best for You

“Your inner knowing is your only true compass.” ~Joy Page

Are you someone who devours self-help books, blogs, and articles?

Do you take pleasure in checking out the latest advice from this “expert” or that “guru”?

Are you someone who puts into play the advice proposed but are still left feeling somewhat unfulfilled afterward?… Read More

Man Watching TV

Lessons from a TV Detox: Stop Watching and Start Doing

“Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Back when I was a ballroom dance instructor, I never watched TV. This was because online streaming wasn’t yet available, and I worked Monday through Friday from 1pm-10pm.

But, over the past couple of years (and in a new career as a solo-preneur), it’s become way too easy to watch TV episodes on my computer.… Read More

Happy Day

Creating Lasting Happiness and Filling the Void Within

“Happiness is not a goal. It’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I don’t care what you do or what you become as long as you’re happy. Just be happy.

This has been my mother’s well-intentioned maxim throughout my life. As much as it is an example of her unconditional love, it is also a pretty massive request if you think about it, and something I could not seem to be.… Read More

Vitality

When You’ve Lost Your Vitality: Overcoming Depression

“When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~Henry Ford

We all have this image of how depression looks. It’s a person looking all sullen and grim. Rain is usually involved. It’s dark. It’s cloudy. It’s depressing.

But what about the sunny depression, the one that almost never shows its face in public, the one that looks just…normal.Read More

Man Looking Out Window

Finding a Window of Opportunity When Life Closes a Door

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” ~John Wooden

“Why don’t you just take up swimming?” the doctor asked.

I was twenty years old, single-minded in my pursuit of a dance career, visiting yet another doctor about the vicious tendinitis that had forced me to give up my spot at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.… Read More

Thinking Woman

Rethinking Mistakes and Recognizing the Good in “Bad” Choices

“Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” ~Unknown

For most of my life, I’ve seen the world in black and white, and I’ve felt constricted and pained as a result.

When I was a young girl, I believed there were good people and bad people, and I believed I was bad.… Read More

Excited for the day

Why We Should Look Forward to More of Each Day

“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.” ~Unknown

For most of us the average day includes a mix of things we both look forward to and things we don’t look forward to. We look forward to coffee in the morning, we regret that we have to go to work; we look forward to coming home at the end of the day, we dislike that we have to do laundry.… Read More

Yoga

A Beginner’s Guide To Trying New Things

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron

I have a confession: I was really scared of trying yoga for the first time.

I know, I know, it’s not exactly bungee jumping or skydiving, activities that warrant a certain amount of fear.… Read More

Friends Having Fun

Why Life Is A Lot More Fun When We Stop Trying to Be Perfect

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

“Oh, my god,” she said, “I forgot to shave my left leg!”

That may not sound like a particularly dramatic announcement, but Jenny and I were sharing a seat on the chartered bus taking our senior class to the beach for “Senior Cut Day” a few weeks before graduation, and her discovery horrified me.… Read More

Happy Guy

Are You Too Busy to Enjoy Your Life?

“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau

I was slipping deeper into a dark spiral after my fortieth birthday, looking for anything to grab onto and pull myself out of the darkness. Some said I was having a midlife crisis, but I believe it was actually the beginning of an awakening for me.… Read More

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