Posts tagged ‘happiness’

On A Mission of Joy: 10 Ways to a Wonderful Day!


“You are the world’s light – it is impossible to hide a town built on the top of a hill. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lamp stand and it gives light for everybody in the house.” – Mathew 5:15

We have to choose our mood daily.   Here are some ways to help set us up to be successful.

Joy Tip #1: A Morning Routine

Start your day off right! (NOT with electronics!)

Here are some suggestions for a morning routine:  —Review your vision, particularly your vision for the day.  —Spend time in prayer or contemplation/meditation.  —Journal.  —Do some type of movement/exercise.  Read or listen to affirmations/music.  Drink plenty of fluids (water!). Eat a healthy breakfast. Start a gratitude practice.

Joy Tip #2: A Vision

—Be clear on your vision and mission.

What’s your What? — What would you love?  Think about health, relationships, time & money freedom, and vocation/creativity.  —Take a step every day!

What’s your Why? — What can you give today?

Joy Tip #3: Awareness

Press the “PAUSE” Button!  What are you thinking? (Do you know?)  What is your attention on?  —Are you in a story?  —What kind of story do you want to tell?

Joy Tip #4: Remember Gratitude

—Ask yourself: What am I grateful for RIGHT NOW?  —Start a gratitude journal/collage/list.  Spend 10 minutes with memories of gratitude.  Make it a practice to be grateful throughout the day.  —Volunteer

Joy Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

—Are you getting enough sleep? Brendon Burchard recommends that you ADD an extra hour of sleep every day.  Are you getting 3 meals a day? (And snacks?) Are you sitting down to eat?  Are you aware of your dietary needs? Not enough food, too much food, and problematic foods can all affect your mood! And every body is different.  Are you getting enough water? Don’t like the taste of water? Try adding fruit to your water, like limes, lemons, or strawberries!

Joy Tip #6: Fill Your Bucket

Are you getting enough play? You need to fill your “joy bucket” to help you get through those rough patches!  What do you do to fill your joy bucket? Some examples include: karaoke,   eating favorite foods, long, hot showers,  sitting in the sun; swimming,  dancing around the house; reading a favorite book, going out with friends/family, watching a favorite movie, and collaging.

Joy Tip #7: Put It “On a Shelf”

Is something bothering you? Do you need to do some further reflecting on it later? (Or never??) Put in on a “shelf.”  Some other images include: putting it in a “bubble,” in a “basket” (down the river) or (for the angels to take away for you).

Joy Tip #8: Get Moving

—Simply stand up!  Or, if you’ve been standing all day — sit down!  Stretch your legs. Sit in a different place/different chair.  —Wiggle or do the Hokey Pokey.  —Move around.  Dance around.

Joy Tip #9: Pick From Your Joy Box

—Pick: gratitude; inspirational quotes, speeches, or music; pick out your personal theme song and play it or hum it; get some fresh air; surround yourself with lovely things; do the happy memory, spin activity; dance!

—And . . .

Joy Tip #10: Laugh!

—Get some favorite memories together! (Real life or movies!)  Hold the memory in your mind until you begin to giggle. (Or if needed, let it all loose!)  Need some inspiration?  There are great clips on youtube.  Here is one of my favorites:

—Are you the director of your life, or just one of the actors?  Everyone has days that test them, but we get to decide what we want to do with it!

Much love, many blessings! ❤

This is based on the presentation “On A Mission of Joy: 10 Ways to a Wonderful Day!” that I designed for a Teacher Institute Day at the FranCenter last week in Darien, IL.  If your group/team would benefit from this content, “The Vision Workshop” (Living a “Vision-Driven Life”), or similar, please contact me at for more details.

Tuesday Tribute: Amanda Marshall’s “Believe in You”

Tuesdays are now “Tribute Tuesdays”, and they were inspired by Pharrel Williams’s song “Happy” (which I plan to sing next week).  Every time I hear that song I burst with joy, and I began to think: “Why aren’t there more songs like this?”

Well, there are a lot of inspiring songs, and a lot of many different types of art that just move you. (This morning I started crying when I heard Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” on the radio.)  So. . .  on Tuesdays I want to highlight various works of art that have brightened my life to share the love and also give myself a chance for artistic expression.

My first tribute is to Amanda Marshall, whose song keeps popping up on my iPod shuffle at work. (Not a coincidence!).  She speaks to the disheartened and downtrodden, but really, who in this world wouldn’t like to hear someone say “I believe in you”?

Thank you, Amanda, for your beautiful inspiration.

Tribute to Amanda Marshall’s “Believe in You”



Terrific Tuesday: 3 Lovely Ladies

Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre /

Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre /

I’m just now playing around with “Terrific Tuesdays” and “Thankful Thursdays.”  Maybe “Fun Fridays”?  But, I digress.

Today I am grateful for 3 ladies who have popped into my life who have really opened my heart and brightened my day.  (And I am grateful for MANY, MANY lovely ladies, but these are 3 featured tonight.)

The first is Beth, known to me as “ksbeth” on wordpress.  I understand that we’re supposed to write for the sake of writing, and I’m working on that, but I can’t help getting a little thrill from that little star notification in the upper right corner of my wordpress dashboard that lets me know someone has “like”d my latest post.  And most often that person is “ksbeth.”  🙂  My heart warms every time I see her little icon.  So, “ksbeth,” if you’re reading this, please know how grateful I am for your encouragement.  And to all of you reading this, her site “I didn’t have my glasses on. . .” is pretty interesting and inspirational, too, so you might want to “Like” some of her posts, too! (I just did!)

Second, is the cleaning woman at the warehouse where I work during the week.  I haven’t seen her in some time now, but I happened to see her again today, walking down the aisle with a big cart, and I swear she must be one of my angels.  She greeted me in Spanish as we passed, and we hugged and commented on how we hadn’t seen each other in a while.  We both had to get back to work, but as she was leaving she said in rapid succession that she was happy to see me, wished God’s blessing (Que Dios te bendiga), and told me I was looking “linda” (beautiful/lovely).  Flabbergasted and flattered, I called “Igualmente a todo!”  (Same to you on all of that!) as she departed.

Finally, I would like to speak about a fellow metaphysics student; I barely knew her before this past weekend, but I now believe she is another soul friend.  Magic happens on the car rides to and from weekends down at the National Headquarters for the School of Metaphysics, as any student will tell you! (That’s where some of the best learning happens!)  This woman gave me so much as we carpooled down and back home this weekend. Besides learning about her amazing life (which she humbly brushed off, saying that everyone has their own challenging experiences), I experienced the presence of a great teacher.  I told her that I felt like I was Mary — sister of Martha, from one of my favorite Bible stories — who sits at the feet of Jesus and soaks in all of his teachings.  I kept thinking:”This is amazing, what she is telling me.  All of this is exactly what I need to hear.  God must have sent her to me.”  The funny part was she kept saying she was thinking: “I’m talking too much. I should stop.”  I said: “Are you kidding!!? I love everything you’ve have to say!”

So, I thank you, wonderful ladies.  You have really added some sparkle to my week.  I hope someone does the same for you. ❤

Precious Moments

"My Family" courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS/

“My Family” courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS/

I’ve been going through a transition and have struggled with feeling stuck and lost without a purpose.  Some of the speakers talked about how the universe is shifting and how what I’m going through is normal.  That’s a relief.  The whole thing has been very difficult for a sensitive, emotional person like me.  I can’t compare myself to anyone else, because I don’t have the ability to climb into their brains, but the rolling emotions, especially the low lows have been hard for me.  Sometimes I don’t know why I feel as I do and don’t know what to do with my depressed emotions.  I do what I can: I improve my diet, I exercise, I distract myself, I look on the bright side, and I have special moments like last night when I take notice of how completely happy I am.

Last night I played dominoes with my grandma, Mom, Dad, my sister, and Brian, and I was all happiness.  No sadness or worry.  Some of you may be thinking: “Dominoes?  People even play that anymore?  That makes you happy?”  I don’t know what to tell you; I used to think the same way.  But I have the best time playing with this group, and I won’t forget it.  Those are moments to remember and live for.  People have told me that you can’t be happy all of the time.  I think you can. Or you can much of the time, depending on how enlightened you are, how at peace you are with yourself and within yourself.  But I think it’s true that for most people it is very difficult.  And I think I will add to my toolbox (a term I got from my psychotherapist long ago) the “This Too Shall Pass” wisdom saying.  All of the other stuff and techniques are  good, too –like the sacred place in our minds (mine’s by the ocean) — but sometimes you’re just wallowing in the muck and feeling stuck there, and you just got to make it through, knowing it won’t last forever.  Sad times pass, just as the happy ones do.  The cycle continues.  Lessons are learned.  Life moves on.

5 Pieces of Happiness

"Young woman walking in meadow" courtesy of adamr/

“Young woman walking in meadow” courtesy of adamr/

I’m on spring break this week (but I still have tutoring), so I thought I would use this brief breather to try to set some habits.  Since my New Year’s resolution is to “be happy”, I’m going to focus on the 5 things that I have determined will most likely make me happy:

1. Health

2. Creative time/me time

3. People

4. Being in the Moment

5. Life Purpose

I plan on posting about my daily successes in those areas for this week —  beginning with posting about today and yesterday tonight — and any other posts I will schedule for afterwards.

Today’s Inspiration (brought to you by Buddha and Powered by Intuition)

"Tired Businesswoman" courtesy of Ambro /

“Tired Businesswoman” courtesy of Ambro / 

“Each morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most.” — Buddha

(And each moment — in that moment — is what matters most, too!)

I saw this is in my Facebook stream, and it really hit home.  I’ve tried to observe my thought processes lately, and I realized that I spend an awful lot of my day worrying.  Worrying! Which we all know is completely useless.  Why on Earth do we do it?

I am hardly ever in the moment lately.  If I am in the moment, it is often about how unhappy I am at that moment, and then I carry that displeasure on to the next activity.  Or if I am happy in the moment, it soon gives way to a nervousness about what is to come next.  This is no way to live!

Which leads me to another Facebook quote from today: “You are what you believe about yourself.” (

I’ve noticed that I can “trick” my feelings a bit into feeling something different from worry, if only for a short time.  If I am dreading the day or the next session, I try these: “This is going to be a great day!” or “I can’t wait to work with this class!” or “I can’t wait to work with this student!” or  “This will be awesome!” I can actually feel a lift in my face and my head when I think it, and sometimes that attitude has given my day a complete 180!

What it all comes down to over and over again is that I THINK TOO MUCH.  Unfortunately, I am not an android, and I cannot simply shut off my emotions — though I wish, I wish, I wish I could!  I may not be able to control my emotions, but I don’t wish to add to them.  Freaking out about getting freaked out is only compounding the problem.  My goal is to take on the role of the interested observer, to look upon myself — at my emotional and bodily reactions to situations — as if from a distance, and to give myself the ability to relax and let go.

Takin’ it Back

"Happy Girl Jumping" courtesy of Stuart Miles /

“Happy Girl Jumping” courtesy of Stuart Miles / 

Sometimes you just need to get away.   Mini-vacations are great —  you don’t go very far, but you can get out of the house — they are really just as good as a “real” vacation because they still give you that breath of fresh air, that badly needed change of perspective.  This weekend I got a great taste of that when we drove up and visited some family friends for our annual pizza/movie/game sleepover.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was a completely different person while I was there.  And by different person, I mean the real me.  I was dancing around to my own imaginary beat, smiling, laughing, and playing.  I was happy.

Besides the overall wonderful time I had with everyone, I had a particularly fulfilling conversation after breakfast.  Everyone was sharing about jobs (some venting involved, of course), and we got around to me and my jobs.  Here I was, out of the situation I was in last year, but feeling similar unhappy feelings.  What had gone wrong?

Well, there were multiple theories and suggestions on the subject, but most important of all were these ideas that I took from it:

Life is about the journey; live for now.  I should be working so that I can live, not living to work.

I am the type of person that loves activity.  I need to make fun activity part of my life.  And I like a variety of activities.  I sing karaoke; I’ve been in orchestra; I like to read, to draw, and to write; I’ve been in theater; I bike ride; I walk, I do yoga, and I Zumba; I go to book club, have game nights, watch movies, and like to hang out with people.   I NEED to be able to do what I like to do.

So, when my job takes over my free time, I am extremely unhappy.  I need to go back to karaoke on Tuesday nights.  I would like to rejoin orchestra.  I need to start reading again and writing every day.  My friends and family said that these activities are my light; they fuel me up to face life.  And I’ve been double-punishing myself lately by dropping these fun activities and replacing them with extra work that is unpleasant and energy-sapping.

Well, today I start making time for these things.  I’m writing this blog, then I’m going to work out to Zumba.  Then, I’m going to hang out and play some games with some good friends.  Unjust self-punishment is over.  I’m taking my life back!

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