It often takes a while to discover that following a spiritual path will send our life in the right direction.  In following the path we recognize our flaws and understand we have help to improve our character, circumstances, and destiny which leads to a joyful existence.

Stop waiting to be happy.  There are always fresh opportunities around.  Sometimes happiness is right in front of you. For whatever reason, I am often unable to shift my focus to notice it and engage it.

Regardless of what is going on around you, you can feel happier, be productive, attract success, and enjoy yourself during the process.  When you actually shift your focus and the way you think, your perspective changes.  Want to be joyful?

Make the decision to be happy and it will happen.  It is actually a choice.  We all dream of being happy and joyful, but we expect it to happen sometime in the future.  Until then, we are overworked, overstressed, and under-happy.  The dream does not seem possible without a lottery win or a call from a wealthy uncle in poor health.  How can you enjoy life without some happiness and the possibility that joyfulness will enter your life?

One of the easiest ways to start making happiness choices is to engage in active self-care. Taking a moment for yourself and hitting the reset button is something we all need to do every so often. But a timeout to give yourself a moment of respite or relaxation or indulgence is only part of the battle.  We carve out time for happy hour, but it ends up being less happy because we are thinking about the last couple of emails that we didn’t send in order to be at the bar.  How can anyone binge watch Netflix stress-free with the grass at 8 inches high?  Can you really indulge in a box of salted caramels or honey roasted peanuts knowing that you have not been to the dentist in 18 months?

One of the best ways to let that self-care time shine is to make sure you are not stressing about miscellaneous small-ball stuff on your list while you are trying to check out. Get yourself sorted so that “your-time” is as effective as it can be.

Set your mind to the happiness channel by showing compassion for others, loving your friends and family, being patient with yourself and others, and putting God or the Spirit first in your life. Eventually joy will follow, A joyful life is the best experience we can hope to achieve.  It is the kind of life that produces cool vibes and feel good energy and encourages us to look at the future with high hopes. Pure joy might seem like a fleeting emotion, but even if you feel it for just a moment, you can hold on to it.  You can relish and relive it.

Stop being a worrier!! Happiness works in mysterious ways, just like love.  Neuroscience tell us that brain chemistry alters emotion.  But in order to activate those chemicals for positive feeling, you and I have to change some habits.

The formula for happiness involves changing your thought patterns.  Your patterns—what you do and think and say every day—determine how happy you are.  It’s got nothing to do with what is around you, but everything to do with how your brain works—that inner voice.  The committee that talks to you most of the time offering little plans and designs that are not good for you.  Reduce the size of your EGO and search for happiness within. Fire the committee!  This is an inside job all the way.

My August 5 blog was about the Power of Small Things. We all have them; those small moments or things that often go unnoticed or unappreciated because we think they are either insignificant or we take them for granted because we live in a culture that celebrates big accomplishments. But what if we made it a habit to embrace and celebrate the small things?  Real life is leaving us behind while we are waiting for big news we hope will give us some sort of inner peace, contentment, or joy. IT SELDOM HAPPENS!  The truth is that often the things that matter most are the small things. Hug your child, kiss your spouse (really kiss them), read a book, watch EPISODES on Netflix.

One big mistake we all are prone to make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice.  But every choice is influenced by the people around us.  If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.

Positive social connection is greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming

a positive new person into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make.  Avoid naysayers like Covid-19.

I love to laugh.  Laughing makes me feel good.  This isn’t so surprising but try to remember the last time you really laughed; chances are, it may have been some time ago.  Focused on yourself and your problems, you probably don’t giggle as often as you did when you were a kid.  Funny stuff is happening all around you. Laughing has been shown to reduce stress, enhance immunity, improve blood flow, and strengthen relationships.  I met someone that loves to laugh making us a really good fit!

Where is love to fit into the equation? Early on, we are taught that successful people pay attention in school, land a good job, earn a steady income, settle down with a family, and prepare for retirement.  Many use this model quite effectively. Others not so good.  Some do better than others in one category or another. Eventually we find out that the only thing that matters is loving and being loved.

LOVE is the major thing!!!! The Only Thing!!! The reason for life!

There is no greater purpose in life than to love.  Even if you do not love life itself, loving beings and things in your life brings meaning and purpose. Filling your life with love will make you a more spiritual person and position you to fully engage the Spirit.  Be open to wonder.  Remember as a child how you reacted to something new with such awe?  If so, you have all you need to learn what it means to love. The combination of overall life satisfaction and positive love-based feelings in the now do translate into better physical health and a longer life. When you love without condition, it will provide a positive attitude for life and life for you.  IT WORKS!



Black Lives Matter! A Pandemic is Serious! What Happened to Compromise?  Should schools open?  Why is the CDC being cut out of the Covid-19 reporting loop?  Why is wearing a mask an issue of freedom? Russians are not on our side.  Is my country, the country of my birth, the country that I love, declining like the Roman Empire?  All of these thoughts have been rampaging through my mind recently. I don’t know any of the answers, nor do I have any control, except with my vote, which may not be counted this year..

So, I am going back to the simple pleasures that have been so important to the quality of my life.  I am starting this better path simply by identifying and expressing gratitude for something small.  After all, most everything started out small, so why not focus on simple, small things.  I thought about those things that made me smile yesterday, in the last few minutes. There are lots of small things that can make your day.  

Here are some of mine:

  • getting lost in a novel
  • my old blue sneakers
  • I enjoy biographies, who would have thought!
  • my meditation that connects me to the day
  • my favorite coffee cups
  • taking a walk
  • dinners with family
  • a really good hug
  • watching a bird going about its business and paying me no mind
  • reading in the shade of a large oak tree
  • sitting on my balcony in the sun reading a good book on my kindle
  • petting my cat, Charlie
  • looking at my garden
  • morning coffee
  • large glass of water and time with God
  • perusing through my favorite bookstore
  • walk in the woods
  • Linda’s smile

Experiencing any one of these small things can make my day joyful.  I get lost in a good book a lot but I do not spend enough time reflecting on why the book held my attention.  Reflecting on the joy of the book can bring a smile to my face all day. I encourage you to make your own list of small things that make you smile and feel good about yourself.

For years, I thought that having the desire to be the best-of-the best at my job would bring me happiness. But I eventually learned and have been reminded many times that this simply is not the case. I do believe, however, that many folks have that desire because doing your best is not good enough. Indeed, if you have that burning desire to achieve and accomplish important things, then please take along a list of small things to make your way more enjoyable.  Develop this as a habit, and you will be amazed at its power and impact. Through the power of small things — adding new things regularly, they will build upon one another and over time have an extraordinary impact on your performance and serenity.