How to make a happy life: think differently

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You do not find the happy life. You make it.
~ Camilla Kimball

During a recent yoga class, the instructor weaved her special blend of wisdom throughout the 90-minute lesson. One particular “ism” continued to resonate with me long after I’d packed my bag and headed home. Although not verbatim, it reads something like this: Happiness is not the destination; it’s an attitude you choose to bring with you on the journey. What I love about this can also be understood from Kimball’s quote at the beginning of this post. Another popular saying speaks of happiness as the journey, itself. Yet what about journeys fraught with illness or death, poverty or disaster or [fill in the blank]? Oftentimes those people swimming in a bevy of unfortunate circumstances still seem to radiate happiness. Because happiness is not a treasure to be found but, rather, a gift we already possess as a choice. And it’s all about choosing to think differently. I choose happy.

What choice do you make today?

Image courtesy of VectorHuman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

An apology to my adult daughter

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Dearest daughter, I’m sorry for every time I’ve failed you. For neglecting to portray the consummate woman—aka wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend—or implying that level of excellence is even attainable. I’m sorry if you’ve questioned my love for you, or your worth as a human being. I’m sorry you’ve carried many of your heaviest burdens without me, and that I haven’t hugged you enough—or told you enough—how remarkable you are and the lavish ways you’ve enriched my life since you squawked your arrival. How you’ve taught me what a life free from pretense looks like filtered through the lens of unconditional forgiveness, compassion, acceptance and grit. Because of you, I desire to be a better person— “real people.” And I hope you grasp the goodness of your heart, the beauty of your wings and that the world needs what you have to offer. Thank you for the opportunity to try again each time I fall short. You bless me more than I deserve.

Life as a yogi (in training)

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[Image credit: lobster20]

You cannot always control what goes on outside.
But you can always control what goes on inside.
~ Mr. Yoga

Yoga reenergizes, reorganizes and revitalizes.
~ Bishnu Gosh

Bear with me while I ramble about my new addiction: Bikram (or “hot”) Yoga.  In a little over a week of attending the 90-minute sweat fest almost as many times, I’m already seeing results.  I don’t want to get overly excited but, after just two sessions, my digestive issues had lessened.  In addition, I’m becoming a little bit stronger from the inside out, and my flexibility is slowly improving (the main reason I decided to attend in the first place).  Like Mr. Yoga states, I cannot always control what goes on outside, but I can control what goes on inside.  So as I give myself the gift of Yoga, I believe I’m re-energizing my body, reorganizing my thoughts and revitalizing my spirit.  Better than a prescription any day.

If you’re a Bikram Yoga lover, what does it mean to you?

A mother’s musings

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.  ~ Author Unknown

My mom let go over three years ago.  And before she passed away, she was trapped in a mind and body destroyed by Alzheimer’s Disease.  But I will never forget her hugs.  They were the kind that invited you to kick off your shoes, sink in and stay awhile.  She really knew how to be present in the moment, giving 100 percent of herself in each hug.  When my family moved halfway across the country and I would feel her absence or need a pick-me-up, I’d dial her number to hear her say her arms were wrapped around me.  I would close my eyes, recalling the soft feel of her body against mine and the faint hint of powder lingering on her skin — her strength seeping into me in spite of the distance.  So even though she let go, I’m still holding on to those memories … I hope I can give that same gift to my own daughter.  With that said, if you’re a mama with children of your own (human or otherwise), expecting your first bundle or have loved and lost, Happy Mother’s Day.  And may your hugs be remembered long after you let go.

Have you hugged someone lately?