Archives for February 2010

Healthier Equals Happier


While I’m busy with my happiness projects my kid are busy encouraging me to be healthier. It’s not that I am a total food slob. As a matter of fact, I grew up on very healthy diet since my mom was from the South. I’m discovering, however. .

My food choices and cooking habits from childhood need reworking.
• The vegetables we ate were overcooked thus rendering them less nutritious.
• I don’t ever remember my mom using the word “cholesterol.”
• Eating everything on your plate seemed like good advice at one time.
• You can’t make a sandwich without bread.

As I learn to listen to my body, some food choices are immediately evaluated. I’m discovering, for example, that some sweets are far sweeter than I remember. Every holiday it’s been traditional for my mother and later me to make a chocolate meringue pie and a lemon meringue pie. Last holiday, when I bit into these pies they were so sweet to me that I thought for a moment that I had accidentally doubled the sugar. But to be sure I hadn’t goofed the recipes I tried these recipes again, and they were still too sweet.

Sadly, for tradition, but happily for my health, those pies won’t be part of our holiday celebrations anymore.

If you want to work at improving your food choices and eating habits, here are three things to do:

1. Look for fresh fruit and vegetable choices that seem to be more prevalent with the increase in farmers markets.
2. Watch cooking shows on TV and YouTube to learn how to prepare vegetables and fruits that are new to your family.
3. Check out these sites for tips on food and healthy living==> and

There’s no doubt about it : eating right and taking care of your body help promote happiness.

What Lifts Your Mood?

pajamasshanghai fr

pajamasshanghai fr

Let’s face it. We all feel down at times. After all, we’re living a human experience.

A happy person is not one who never feels sad, disappointed and sometimes downright mad. A happy person acknowledges these real feelings when they show up, but doesn’t let them linger long. If you accept that what we dwell on expands, then you want to let go of those negative feelings as soon as you catch them invading your space.

So, when you feel down, what do you do?

Some meditate, do yoga, walk in nature, or whistle a happy tune. Research has shown that watching comedies, laughing and dancing all help not only lighten moods, but also strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight disease.


I wear happy pajamas to lift my mood. Happy pajamas–that’s what I call my themed pajamas.

No matter what has tried to reach my inner joy, at the end of the day my happy pajamas lift my spirits and return me to peace. (Of course if you watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent after you put on your happy pajamas, your joy is in danger again. But I digress.)

I love message pajamas: High Maintenance, Relax (a very comfortable sleeping cat,) One of a Kind, Use Your Head.

I also enjoy animal print, particularly leopard and giraffe.

There are occasions when I feel like donning my Paris-themed, frogs, or dreamy clouds pjs, and even a few solid colors. I have one no-nonsense pair of gray pjs that I bought in the men’s dept. I feel like Kathryn Hepburn when I wear those.

In case you were thinking this is a crazy idea at all, check this out. Folks in Shanghai have been wearing themed pajamas in public for years because they are just so darn comfortable. But with the World Expo 2010 approaching, officials want to crack down on this practice.

If you can figure out a strategy that successfully lifts your mood, you can get pull yourself out of the doldrums before you get too comfortable there.

What lifts your mood?

Four Things to Do When You Mess Up

from the rear by carrier on flickr

from the rear by carrier on flickr

We have had plenty examples of public figures lately who mess up in their lives and then back pedal on TV trying to repair their images. We’ve even seen most of them deny any wrongdoing in the face of overwhelming evidence then later come back before the camera to apologize.

While the messes we make in our lives may not mount up to the embarrassment and loss of income of these public figures, we can learn from their poor handling of their mistakes.

You may argue that what a public figure does in his or her private life is none of our business. The truth is that the same visibility that enables them to enjoy fame and riches has a dark side. It exposes them to public view.

Now what can we learn from them about handling mistakes?

1. Mess up, fess up

Of the six things that Proverbs 6:16-19 says the Lord hates, a lying tongue and a heart that devises wicked plans are two things we all tend to hate.

The kinds of deception we’ve observed from public figures recently were uncovered after many years of devising wicked plans and coverup. If this is the case for you, it’s certainly not easy to step forward with the truth. Like the celebrities most of us don’t volunteer the dirt on ourselves unless we can no longer hide it.

Once you are staring in the face of your wrongdoing, lying or deception, your quickest relief will come from openly confessing the wrong deed(s).

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. –Jim Davis

2. Be quick, but not slick

“Lying is done with words and also with silence.” Adrienne Rich

Admit your wrongdoing immediately and speak sincerely. This is no time for a script or trying to twist the blame onto someone else.

3. Stick to the facts, Jack

This is no time for justifications, excuses or long background stories to set the stage for a plea. And please, don’t imply that you were unfaithful because you just wanted to have some fun. Say what you did as objectively and unemotionally as possible.

The more you talk in these situations the more likely you’re going to stray into lying again. Most people don’t want to hear your sob stories, and they will only deepen the pain felt by the people you directly or indirectly wronged.

4. Take the blows, Rose

Confessing your wrongdoing, admitting your lies and asking for forgiveness don’t save you from the consequences of your actions. Once upon confessing to a lie, I remember that losing the trust I built up over years with a loved one was more painful than a physical hurt.

Sure, you should ask for forgiveness, but expect to suffer some consequences as well. Even in small matters, consequences can sting. Then use the experience to prevent future deception, even if avoiding the pain of confession and consequences is your motivation.

Who is Starring in Your Reality Show?

Minto Cato--Black theatrical actress 1920's-1940's by The Nite Tripper fr flickr

Minto Cato--theatrical actress 1920's-1940's by The Nite Tripper fr flickr

The TV shows we now call reality TV have a long history. Alan Funt’s 1948 TV series Candid Camera is thought to be the first in the US to show us the “real” reaction of real people. Following that was Truth or Consequences in 1950 with its hidden cameras.

Since then we have gone through many shows that took us outside TV studios to ride alongside real cops, catch real criminals, and watch how people will navigate through life-challenging situations to survive primitive or frontier environments.

Why we are so fascinated with these shows is a question that could keep psycholgists and sociologists busy speculating for years. One thing is for sure. When we are deeply engaged in these reality shows we are not fully engaged with our own reality show.

Each of you is living your own reality show, and have many tasks to make your show run smoothly. You must write and perform your script almost simultaenously as you interact with the other “actors” in your life as well as direct the production. If you are starring in your show that means that your goals and needs are being met. The extent to which you realize that you have control over your own reality show is the extent to which you will enjoy happiness and fulfillment in your life.

While the TV reality shows, like any other dramas, movies or books, may give you hints that will help you live your life more joyfully, at some point you must turn off the TV, leave the theater, close the book. If you are not starring in your own reality show, chances are you are playing a supporting role to someone else.

Take a look at your own reality show and decide if you like the way it is going. If not, rewrite the script, change the scenery, bring in new actors and direct the action to your liking. You are the star of your show. Make it a hit.

Two Actions That Will Make You Happier

orchestra conductor by sogolitta on flickr

orchestra conductor by sogolitta on flickr

Being happier requires taking action, but it’s the action we take on the inside that makes the difference. Two actions are essential: Bring your inner critic under control and turn up your intuition. These two actions will guide you to your higher self, the best life you were meant to live.

Intuition is a knowing of what is true and right without anyone telling you. When intuition puts you in touch with your higher self you feel at peace, content, even in the midst of a difficult situation. Have you ever, even if for only a moment, felt more loving, felt your own power and greatness? If so, you were in touch with your higher self.

Some people call intuition hunches, sixth sense, or the little voice. Whatever you call it, we all have it though it’s better developed in some than in others because they’ve practiced. Have you ever had a hunch to do something that worked out well for you? You probably couldn’t explain the source of that thought, but you knew it was the right and good thing to do. Perhaps you’ve heard of someone cancelling a flight because they heard an inner voice that told them to do so.

Unfortunately we have given our inner critic so much more attention that it drowns out our intuition. The best way to get in touch with your intuition is shut off the inner chatter, making the inner critic get quiet. It’s then that you can hear your inner voice or intuition.

This is tough to do without physically sitting still and shutting off those thousands of thoughts that race through our heads everyday. Some achieve this through meditation, others through self-hypnosis, others through listening to soothing music.

There are many meditation exercises available that can guide you through the process of breathing properly to facilitate getting in touch with your intuition. Practicing getting to your higher self is not dependent on your belief in any religion or deity, since your intuition is without denomination. The more you practice getting in touch with your intuition, the more you will be able to tackle the adversities that come your way, form the relationships you desire and create the inner joy and happiness you want.