Celebrate Color Your Life Happy Day

ColorYourLifeHappy.com

Color Your Life Happy Day celebrates my mom’s birthday. Here she is genuinely surprised when I picked her up in a limo for a Mother’s Day Brunch one year.

 

Did you make New Year’s resolutions?

If you stuck to them, congratulations. If you’re like most of us, however, those resolutions evaporated from your consciousness in a few weeks (or was that days?)

Regardless of how you fared in this annual practice, here’s an opportunity to start anew, but with just one resolution: make happiness a habit.

What is Color Your Life Happy Day?

August 9th “Color Your Life Happy Day”, is a day to participate in something you enjoy, some activity that will make you happy and others too. Then make a decision to make it a habit to continue finding joy, pleasure, and a way to help others for the rest of the year (make that the rest of your life.)

Happiness is not a destination, but the things we do along the way as we live our lives. At the end of their lives, many wish they had slowed down, worked less, and spent more time enjoying family, friends and fun activities. Don’t let this be you.

Regrets are a waste. Do the things that bring you and others joy and happiness every day.

The Origin of Color Your Life Happy Day

This special celebration was inspired by the memory of my mother, Mildred S. Morris, who was born on August 9, 1910.  She passed at age 92 in 2002. She was a hairstylist by trade but spent her life making people happy with her music. She played piano and organ from childhood through her mid-80’s for many churches, organizations, and events. Everyone who ever heard her play was touched by her lively and fervent style.

How to Participate

Please join me in starting to make happiness a habit on Color Your Life Happy Day, August 9th through August 12th.

      • You may choose to

      • take time off to read a book you’ve longed to finish
      • join the courageous who decide to get control of the clutter that has been making them very unhappy
      • rent a Harley or Segway to go for a fun ride
      • become a tourist in your own town and visit a museum or other local treasure you’ve never seen
      • visit a local convalescent home to spend some time with a resident who never gets visitors.

Color Your Life Happy Day is not just for today, but every day.

Take a picture showing your happiness habit and post it on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook using the  hashtag #coloryourlifehappy.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular by anyone else’s standards. It just has to be something that makes you and/or others happy.

I’m looking forward to the wonderful array of photos. Don’t forget the hashtag #coloryourlifehappy

 

Want help coming up with happiness habits?

Here are a few from my book, Color Your Life Happy:
Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve

      • dance or sing to music you enjoy
      • volunteer for a cause you believe in
      • connect with a pet
      • savor the moment you’re in
      • say “yes” to yourself

For more detailed guidance on handling change and adversity, 
harmonizing family and work, and creating the life you want and deserve, go to Amazon and get the paperback,
ebook or audiobook at http://amzn.to/2aAZH8D

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Reduce stress and relax by coloring creative activities 

Coloring is now socially acceptable for adults. You no longer have to sneak into the kids’ section or “borrow” your kids’ coloring books. Best of all, slowing your mind and engaging in the repetitive motion of coloring helps you unplug from daily stress, increase mindfulness, foster relaxation,  stimulate creativity, and increase self-esteem.

There are three types of activities in this book: 30 patterns, drawings, and mandalas of varying complexity, seven coloring pages with motivational phrases, and finally, seven open-ended activities with space for you to write, doodle, or draw in response to a prompt.

Complete the activities in any order you wish. There are no page numbers or right or wrong. Don’t feel pressured to finish an activity. Stop whenever you want, and move on to another one or not. Most of all, let this book transport you to childlike pleasure and guilt-free fun. Get your copy and one for a loved one on Amazon here.

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Express gratitude daily


“Thank you.”

It is one of the first things many children are taught to say. Sometimes we say it in response to receiving a gift. Other times we express gratitude when someone is kind or helps us with a task.

Expressing gratitude is not just a childhood courtesy but when done regularly can improve your satisfaction with life. Showing gratitude is easy and doesn’t cost anything and has tremendous benefits.

Researchers have discovered that expressing gratitude not just occasionally, but daily, improves your health, promotes better sleep, and strengthens relationships, among many other benefits. This journal gives you space to reflect on what you have to be grateful for, and make a daily list. Enjoy the benefits.

There is space in this journal for you to enter your thoughts and a list of things you’re grateful for every day of the year. Peek inside the Look Inside feature to discover what awaits you at the bottom of the first day of each month.

 Get your copy or a gift for a loved one on Amazon here.

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How to Promote the Happiness Habit

In 2015 I rolled out the awesome Color Your Life Happy custom t-shirt.  If you missed the launch, no worries. You can still order the beautiful t-shirt at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt 


It’s available in sizes small through 5XL and three
other colors: gold, lime and white.

What a great way to support the right to happiness
we all deserve.

This is a Limited Edition custom shirt. The original campaign has ended, but you can still get one. Just go to http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt and click Buy it now!

The suggested retail price is $29.99, but I’ve discounted it when you buy it now at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

Consider buying an extra one for a gift and be sure to tell your friends, family and colleagues on social media to join us. Again, the link is http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

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Happiness is a habit. Tell us in the comments how you will cultivate yours, starting today. 

3 Ways Wayne Dyer Changed the Way I Look at Things

waynedyerYesterday  a friend called to share how she had been inspired and empowered by watching Wayne Dyer on Super Soul Sunday. It made me reflect on what he has meant to my life.

It was only  later in the day I got the news he had made his transition.  I began to think back to how specific words he has shared in his books and personal appearances have expanded my mind and lead to the life I enjoy today. These are just three of them in no particular order.

 

1. To a No-Limits person, winning is an internal process.

I was always competitive. I was eager to win first place whether it was reading the most books in the summer reading program or raising the most money in the church fundraiser. When I didn’t reach these goals I’d feel deflated. When I won, I felt victorious. Yay! I wasn’t a loser.

When I learned that winning is an internal process, it took the pressure off and helps me stop judging my success by the world’s index.

I get to practice this regularly, like when I signed up recently for an art class in a process new to me called Zentangle.  The other seven students had experience with the process and some of them created amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing designs.  As a newcomer to this process, my lines and circles were unsteady and hesitant making me feel I was at the bottom of the class. By the 2nd class, tears of defeat, unworthiness, and incompetence welled up when the teacher asked us to show what we had created for homework.  I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, I was able to pull myself back by recalling that I was once a beginner at every skill I’ve mastered in this life, beginning with learning to talk, walk, and read. If I’ve mastered other skills, I could master this technique too, if chose to. Most important, I realized that I was a winner just for setting a goal and showing up to the class willing to learn and open to the teacher’s suggestions on improving my technique. I took control of my attitude and inner feelings about my experience. Yay! I was a winner without anyone needing to be a loser!

2. Follow your passion in life, but detach from the outcome and allow the universe to handle the details.

The prayers of the adults during my childhood always seemed like begging for favors from a Santa Claus in the sky. They were specific about what they wanted but felt unworthy to receive it. Some even felt selfish or guilty for asking for a better life. All the time they often focused on their current situation, not how they wanted them to be.

Each achievement in my life seemed far away when I first imagined it but I decided I deserved them:  enjoying a teaching career,  having a family, operating a tutoring program, earning a PhD, writing a book, moving to a new home, travelling the world and more.

When people ask for details on how I accomplished any of these, I can’t give them the typical specifics. Because of what I’ve learned from Dyer over many years, the journey to all of my accomplishments start with a deep desire. I  imagine how I will feel and even see myself in these scenes.  What a relief to learn that whatever I wanted already existed. I didn’t have to create it, I just had to attract it. Like a little kid who wants a bicycle so desperately that he can think of nothing else day and night, I visualize not the actions I needed to take, but how I would feel when each of these manifested in the material world.

As small clues pop up, I follow them.

For example, I always aspired to earn a PhD even as a kid when a mentor told me it was the highest degree you could earn (I told you I was competitive.)

By the time I was at the educational level to go after a PhD, however, I didn’t have the funds nor time to do gymnastic classes, science workshops, church activities, and more.  Only a delusional person would try to fit in academic studies into that mix!

Still, when I learned of the availability of full-time doctoral grants, I applied. I completed the long application process and waited for four months only to receive a rejection letter. I was disappointed, but I decided that this grant must not be the route the universe intended. I’d keep a look out for another path.

A month after having received the rejection letter, I received another letter from the grant foundation now offering me a grant. What? A number of the selected recipients had declined to accept the grants, opening up a slot for me, if I wanted it. Wow! It  seemed like magic, but I knew it was because I let the universe work out the details. Now the universe just needed to work out the details of how I would manage all this.

3. Don’t die with your music still in you.

This idea has been so powerful in my life that it has become a guiding principle. Once I understood my happiness is my choice, it became easier to make decisions about which goals  I would pursue.

Like anyone else, I’ve sometimes hesitated to take a step that seemed scary according to the world’s standards. But when I recall my imperative to live my own life, I’ve been able to move ahead. Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve, about one of those times.

The year before I retired from my teaching career, I was considering teaching for a little longer. I had been teaching at Fullerton College close to twenty years; and while that may seem like a substantial amount of time, it wouldn’t give me full retirement. I would have to teach a total of thirty years or more to reach a retirement income nearly equivalent to my salary.

During the summer of 2006, I decided to have some home remodeling done while I had ample equity in the home and so the changes would be in place when I retired. It was one of the hottest summers on record for Southern California. Then—wouldn’t you know it?—my home air conditioner broke down. The repair service was backed up with orders and wouldn’t get to me for more than a week. So for more than a week, I endured the heat all day while work crews were in and out of my house doing the remodeling. It was worse at night, when it seemed to get hotter. I got so hot it was impossible for me to get cool. I didn’t learn until later that I had suffered heat stroke.

Just when I felt better and the remodeling was complete, I returned to the fall semester, still not sure whether it would be my last year. My doctor had been urging me to get a colonoscopy ever since I had turned fifty, but I had neglected to do so until that fall. I made an appointment, did all the body-cleansing prep, and went to have the colonoscopy, accompanied by my youngest daughter.

After I regained consciousness, the doctor told me she had removed three polyps from my colon, one of which was cancerous. Although the polyps had been removed, my doctor suggested that I should consider colon surgery to ensure that the cancer had not penetrated my colon wall.

It was then, after my heat stroke and the possibility of colon surgery, that it became clear to me: I was going to retire right now and get busy doing things I had put off for retirement. I decided to forgo surgery and improve my eating habits and lifestyle instead.

Even though I had traveled and already done many things in my life, many things remained on my list. Postponing these things in an effort to ensure that I had a few more dollars in my retirement fund seemed ludicrous. I chose to live, love, and play more.

So I retired in May 2007 and immediately traveled to two places I had long wanted to see: China and Italy. I took several domestic trips as well. After gallivanting around the globe a bit, starting new websites and blogs, I also began writing [the first edition of] this book.

We are blessed that Wayne Dyer did not leave us with his song, dream, and books inside him. They are now part of our lives, empowering and inspiring us to live the lives we came to live. More important, Dyer insisted that we each have the power to inspire others. By living our own authentic lives we are doing just that. What better way to honor his legacy.

Tell  me in the comments how Wayne Dyer impacted your life.

Article by Flora Brown

How to Create the Happiness You Deserve

 

Pursuing happiness has become a cliché not just because it’s overused, but also because we misunderstand it and go about it all wrong.

When the authors of the U.S. Declaration of Independence penned that Americans have the right to “the pursuit of happiness” they meant we have the right to occupy our lives with moral and spiritual activities that would lead to the well-being of humanity. Their view of happiness was not limited to accumulating material items and fulfilling personal desires.

There was no right to be happy, but rather the right to practice moral lives that would contribute to the good of us all.

Well, not quite all of us.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with changing the original phrase from “life, liberty and property” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
This change is certainly more lyrical and appealing, but since it didn’t really apply to many Americans at the time, it wasn’t as broad as some think.

In fact, Jefferson’s property at the time included about 200 slaves. Since he certainly didn’t allow them to pursue any definition of happiness, he might as well have left the word “property” in the document.

On the surface, many of us claim that we believe happiness is well-being and feeling good about ourselves. In actuality, however, too many of us still seek happiness from material solutions and possessions.  Even though we’ve been let down repeatedly by the quickly-fading high we get from new possessions, we still pursue them. We even cheat, lie and kill to accumulate things.

Let me quickly point out that I’m not suggesting that owning material possessions is bad  or that it’s better to be poor than wealthy. Not at all. On the contrary, research has revealed that people who nurture their inner well-being first are more likely to reduce their stress, enjoy satisfying relationships, and make more money.

How can you create happiness that begins on the inside before it shows up in our outside lives?

Here are five ways to start.

Let go

Henrik Edberg on The Positivity Blog
5 Powerful Steps to Help You Let Go and Feel Less Pain

Learning to let go of something in your past, of something that is just an unimportant distraction or of trying to control what you cannot control can free up huge amounts of the energy and the time you have to use for something better and more fulfilling.

Provide warmth for a stranger

Nadine Kalinauskas | Good News at ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs
Good Samaritans Leave Scarves for the Homeless in Canadian, U.S. Cities

Some Good Samaritans are helping warm the homeless (and scarf-less) this winter by leaving scarves and hats wrapped around poles, fire hydrants and lamp posts in chilly cities across North America.

 Learn to enjoy being alone

Tony Robinson on LifeHack.org
When You Start Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen

Some people think of “being alone” as a bad thing. It either means you’re anti-social, or unwanted, neither of which are a good position to be in.

But actually, being alone isn’t’ necessarily a bad thing, as there are a handful of benefits that emerge once you learn to embrace solitude.

Declutter

Linda Luke on Life Coach Linda
From Clutter to Clarity–A Client Story

My client Carol came to me for support with some big decisions to be made with her upcoming retirement.  She felt unclear and overwhelmed as to what to do.

The situation became even more interesting when during our first call she described her life as “itchy”.  I hadn’t heard that one before, so I asked her to tell me more.  She shared that her home felt like a burden instead of a sanctuary, volunteer work and other obligations were filling up her time, and she didn’t feel like there was space for her in her own life.

View discontent as your call to action

Flora M. Brown on Barbara Ardinger.com
Discontent Can Be Your Savior

The moment you realize you’re not satisfied with a situation, person, job, location, or even yourself, your mind gets to work—processing ways to get out, over, or around it. If you don’t heed the solutions that bubble to the surface, then your discontent will only grow.

A common habit and often our default reaction when things don’t go our way is to reenact the situation over and over in our heads. We then call, email, or text our friends reliving the wrong, and maligning the perpetrator. These reactions may give temporary relief, but they are not helpful in the long run.

 

 Guard your happiness with positive habits.
Pre-order your autographed copy at
ColorYourLifeHappy.com before
October 3rd for a special price.

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Choose Happiness Even If It’s Raining Crap and You Can’t See the Sun

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Everywhere you look there seems to be upset, conflict and events that threaten your peace of mind and happiness.

How can you remain upbeat and content under such circumstances?

Research, such as that done by David T. Lykken, noted geneticist, famous for the Minnesota Twin Study and author of Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment, discovered that about half of your sense of satisfaction with your life stems from your genetic makeup.

Your mother was right

Yep. Your mother was right, at least in part, when she said you’re just like your father.

But what of the remaining half?

According to Lykken, eight percent can be attributed to circumstances in your life such as your upbringing, education, marital status and income.

The remaining forty percent is a reflection of your attitude and the choices you make.

There is good news

In other words, you have control over a huge chunk of your happiness.

“Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. … Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.” Bertrand Russell

The happiness that emerges from the research is not that giddiness that comes over you while skipping through the meadow.  It’s the well-being and sense of satisfaction you create as a by-product of your choice of thoughts and outward actions.

Happy people have their share of troubles, problems and heartbreak. What sets them apart and enables them to enjoy happiness are the choices they make.

Dance teacher, Adrianne Haslet-Davis, 32, suffered the unimaginable loss of her left leg in the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. But three weeks later, on May 1, 2013 she appeared on the TV show, Dancing with the Stars, did ballet stretches and vowed to dance again, according to this Sun article.  Although the host and several of the contestants were in tears, it was clear that Adrianne has made a positive choice in the face of a personal tragedy.

Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, is best known as a Holocaust survivor who showed us by example that even though we cannot control all circumstances, we can choose our attitude toward what happens to us. His book, The Search for Meaning, chronicles his experiences as an inmate in a concentration camp. He discovered that the inmates with the best chance of surviving those horrible situations were the ones who found a reason to live.

In this 22 minute interview, Frankl explains how having a meaning to live brings about happiness.


From a large body of research conducted by psychologists such as Martin Seligman, Jon Haidt, Edward Diener, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Sonja Lyumborisky,  people who describe themselves as happy

  • Engage in meaningful work
  • Believe in a higher power
  • Trust their ability to overcome adversity
  • Express gratitude
  • Build on their strengths
  • Discover their weaknesses and get help for them
  • Surround themselves with nurturing relationships
  • Restrict the amount of television and news they watch
  • Eat healthy diets
  • Get physical exercise
  • Feed their minds with uplifting and enriching thoughts
  • Avoid brooding over their mistakes and failures
  • Focus on the present and what they can do here and now

Everyday-Happiness-Cards-FrontBack

Happy people use tools and strategies

Most of all, happy people identify tools and strategies to restore balance, harmony and positive feelings.where-is-happiness-set

To encourage you to awaken the power within you to create a life of mindfulness, meaning, gratitude and joy,  I created Everyday Happiness, a set of inspirational cards designed as gentle reminders to take and keep control of your happiness.

Add these cards to your happiness arsenal and consult them daily for inspiration. Each card presents a cartoon on one side and words of advice or inspiration on the reverse side. Read through all the cards, noting which ones resonate with you. Or pick a card at random, letting that message speak to you.

The cartoons and messages are based on my book, Color Your Life Happy: Create the Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve, available in paperback and Kindle versions.

Once you get your own deck of cards, you’ll want to get them as gifts for the folks you care about in your life.

If this sounds exciting to you, grab your Everyday Happiness cards at http://florabrown.com/products-classes/everyday-happiness-cards now.

 

Writing Letters Brings Double Happiness

Showing gratitude consistently appears as a major factor of happiness.

When you show appreciation for the good in your life or thank someone for what they mean to you, it not only makes you happier,  but the recipient as well.

A Harvard Medical School article reports that  “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

While you can express gratitude through a phone call or a gift, the easiest, quickest and most powerful way to bring happiness to your life is to write personal letters.

In my experience, even people who don’t make time to send letters, admit that they love receiving them.

Handwritten personal letters build relationships in a way no other communication can.

When my children were young they grumbled as I insisted that they send handwritten thank you notes for every Christmas and birthday gift they received. From the way they moaned and whined, you’d think they’d grow up hating to send thank you notes. On the contrary, they even send thank you’s to each member of the interview committee following job interviews.

The greatest thing about letters, especially personal handwritten ones, is they create double happiness, touching the sender and the receiver.

Get encouragement and guidance from three heart-warming letter-writing projects.

Heartfelt letters create enduring bonds of appreciation

Lynette M. Smith, copyeditor and owner of All My Best, is on a mission to restore the art of showing our feelings of appreciation through letter writing.

She believes that even simple expressions of appreciation can return our world to joy and hope, one relationship at a time.

Lynette’s personal story illustrates how her book,
How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special came about.

On November 21, 2008, my husband and I attended the wedding rehearsal dinner of our son, Byron, and his fiancée, Rachael. That evening, they surprised us when the two of them each made a special presentation to their respective parents–a beautifully framed, one-page heartfelt letter. Their best man and maid of honor read the letters aloud as Byron and Rachael each stood beside their own parents.

Each letter described what they had treasured about growing up in their family, what they had especially appreciated about each parent, and what values they had learned and planned to bring to their marriage.

We were deeply moved–all of us: four parents, bride and groom, and the rest of the guests. And I can tell you, those framed letters will always hold a place of honor in our homes. To this day, whenever I tell someone about that night and our treasured letters, my hand automatically moves to my heart. That’s where I still feel the experience. And my love and appreciation for our son who expressed his love and appreciation for my husband and me so beautifully has truly strengthened the bonds we already felt.

In her book, Smith covers planning, writing, packaging and presenting your letters.

One of the reviews points out

There’s a little bit of etiquette that goes along with writing a letter. For example, when someone dies in the line of duty, one of the last things you want to write is “I know what you must be going through.” No you don’t and hopefully you never will. Lynette Smith helps guide you through those tricky situations, even if you are going to simply write a note on a card. Letter preferred. You’ll learn how to write that special letter and even how to present it. In some instances, you may be encouraged to present a letter in person, and if possible, in private.~D.Fowler

Her three-part reference book Smith addresses  milestone birthdays; special occasions for school, military, romance, family, rites of passage and career; and professional and personal relationships, aging, eulogies and mending relationships. A special bonus is her selections of positive words, inspirational quotes and sentence jumpstarts.

Your letters are powerful even when written to strangers.

Handwritten love letters to strangers can bring you and them back from despair

Hannah Brechner, a copywriter and creative consultant, was fortunate to have a mother who communicated via handwritten letters rather than the more efficient, but less touching, email and text messaging.

Here’s Hannah’s story in her own words of how she got into

the business of broken hearts.

i began leaving love letters all over New York City back in October 2010 as a way to try to fight off my own loneliness and depression. the callouses still have not faded from the following year as i spent nine months mailing over 400 love letters to strangers in need around the world. today i run The World Needs More Love Letters, a global love letter writing organization that harnesses the power behind social media to write and mail love letters to individuals across the globe. i’m like a proud mama when i tell people it’s spread across 6 continents and all 50 states. she is my labor of love. where i spend my days

Watch the video to hear Hannah’s story in her own voice. If you feel so inclined join her global letter writing campaign at The World Needs More Love Letters.

Handwritten letters and cards can start a conversation

When Tea Silvestre, marketing coach at storybistro.com, signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place in November every year, she considered writing short stories. But then she remembered how much she once loved writing letters. Next she remembered how much stationery she has neglected since she turned her back on it in favor of email, Facebook and all the cyber rest.

 

Letter writing is always on time and always in season.

Whether you join in the letter-writing missions of Lynette, Hannah or Tea, you can be sure that your handwritten letters will not only make your recipient happier, but you too.


How excited are you about sending and receiving handwritten letters and cards? Tell us in Speak Your Mind below.