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Category “happiness & fun”

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

Feel Alive

3 Ways to Find Fulfillment Wherever You Are in Life

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.” ~Unknown

For almost all my life, I have lived in my head.

In my head, there was a utopia. And that utopia was named “someday.”

“Someday” I would have my degree, have the perfect relationship, become successful in business, own a beautiful home near the beach, be more athletic, and of course, be completely fulfilled with every aspect of my life.… Read More

Happy and Present

Overcome Limiting Thoughts: 5 Ways to Be Happier and More Present

By

“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” ~Robert Pirsig

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by unpleasant thoughts and feelings? Do they show up like an uninvited guest when you’re least expecting them?

About eight months ago, I quit a lucrative corporate job in finance to follow my passion, writing.… Read More

Woman with arms up

Letting Go of the Attachments That Keep You Stuck and Unhappy

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

My father died when I was fifteen, so I learned right away that life was too short. At the time, the only meaning I could grasp from his death was: my life needs to mean something.… Read More

Rain Cloud Over Head

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Help

“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost

Earlier this year my partner, our son, and I all moved to Santa Barbara from Oregon. People move all the time, but for us it was a huge step.

My partner had a new exciting dream job and we were eager to experience the sunshine of California.… Read More

Happiness

3 Essential Elements for Long-Term Happiness

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.” ~Bessie Anderson Stanley

Love. Purpose. Selflessness. 

That’s it. Everything I’ve learned about happiness lies in those three words.

Why those words?

Because in their absence it’s hard to be happy. Your mind wanders and sets upon trying to fill that void, leaving little room for joy and happiness elsewhere.Read More

Happy Man Jumping

Living for Yourself So You Won’t Die Full of Regrets

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown

A mother was walking down the street with her two little sons. A man stopped to admire them and he asked, “You must be so proud of them! How old are they?” The mother answered, “Who?Read More

Happy Woman with Dandelions

The Key to Happiness: Accept Yourself & Stop Seeking Approval

“Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation, then deciding what you’re going to do about it.” ~Kathleen Casey Thiesen

I think many of us get caught in a vicious cycle of thinking that would lead us to believe the only way we can be happy is to gain acceptance from others.… Read More

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