Monday, June 29, 2009

Think Again

I’ve been thinking lately…if I could only have one wish from that proverbial Genie; and if it couldn’t be wishing for more wishes - doesn’t that just blow the three-wish-thing to smithereens? - I would wish for everyone in the world to have that “falling in love” feeling. Think about it. If everyone were to be experiencing the happiness that that feeling engenders it would be virtually impossible to start wars or conflicts with ourselves, our neighbors or any other country. Poof, we would be happy regardless of external circumstances.

So, how do find happiness without that Genie? It begins with the inner landscape of our mind. We must change what we focus on - even though journalistic sensationalism has us glued to stories ranging from Kate & Jon’s separation to 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson’s death - our minds have been hijacked by the over stimulation of that larger-than-life noise. It has become the backdrop of our lives. Anything less these days seems dull. We must begin a vigorous re-training of our minds back to sanity and truth - this is where our happiness lies and trust me…it is not boring. I know it seems overly simplistic to say ‘think happy thoughts and you will be happy,’ but tossing out the cacophony that distracts us from peace is vital.

We’ve been told that changing our thoughts changes our lives ("Thoughts have the peculiar quality of becoming their physical equivalence,"Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich) and now quantum physicists and string theorists are backing up those claims with scientific proof. As Gregg Braden, best selling author known for bridging science and spirituality, so eloquently puts it, “New discoveries suggest that our world is the mirror of our beliefs. What we once believed is about to change.”

This week, I recommend that you check out Jacob Glass’ Happiness Boot-Camp (the link is under Teachers & Tools). Psychologist, Jonas Chong tells us that out of the 60,000 or so thoughts that we have per day, 87% of them are negative and repetitive - talk about boring! And, if our thoughts create our lives and our beliefs are nothing more than thoughts we keep on thinking, then nothing less than a boot camp is required if we are serious about changing our lives and becoming happy. We must be about the business of re-training our minds. We must begin to think on other things in order to create happiness in our lives, which will then bring us our heart’s desires, not the other way around.

I leave you this week with a quote from Christiane Northrup, MD who says, “The world is going to be changed by joy and pleasure, not pain, not fear.”

Monday, June 22, 2009

In The Beginning...

I’ve been thinking lately, with the economy caving in and all, what is it going to take to make us happy? Certainly it’s not this insatiable greed that we’ve been operating under? - The impetus that has sent banks and investment houses into schemes that in the short run would make many people squillionaires (my word, feel free to use it) but in the long run would cause giants in the industry to topple, initiating a worldwide domino effect of financial instability? My purpose is not to blog about finances but it has been a means to measure happiness, security and peace of mind in this world. What now, though? - Now that that measuring stick has splintered causing people to lose their retirements, jobs and homes? What really constitutes true happiness? It has put the discussion on the table with much more ferocity causing me to initiate this blog.

A word about me here: (I promise not to bloviate even though there’s nothing more fascinating than talking about ourselves) I just wanted to give you some insight to who I am and why I have started this blog. My background is varied and eclectic – I have a degree in Special Education and I have taught sign language, for children, adults and parents, both deaf and hearing, and helped spearhead a study that introduced the notion of sign language as a tool to aid in language development for autistic children. From there I did a twelve-year stint as a surgical assistant (Divine guidance? Can’t say for sure.) and then I went into production because that’s the next logical step for a teacher turned medical professional, right? After that I worked in the publicity department at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to help bring about that little show known as the Oscars. In between the cracks, much like grout, I wrote, wrote and wrote – publishing my first paper before graduating college, lots of magazine articles, writing and editing for the Chicken Soup for The Soul book series and most recently co-authoring a book called The Buddha Next Door. I should also mention that I have been an avid student of the “soul” for as long as I can remember. From my first inquiry, at the ripe old age of four, of “Does God breathe?” – to years as a student of Science of Mind (not to be confused with Scientology), A Course In Miracles and Buddhism; to my continual study at the hands of some of today's most insightful, teachers – Byron Katie, Abraham, Jacob Glass, Gregg Braden and the like - I continue to learn. Through it all, I have discovered that much of my own happiness comes from inspiring others.

Perhaps you will join me on this journey as we begin to mine the wealth of our lives to uncover personal happiness. We will be choosing to explore new avenues for joy, and there is no truer adage than ‘you get what you focus on’ – try thinking of “white Cadillacs” and then see how many you notice on the road today. We choose to focus on happiness here – the ultimate end product to all the running around and multi-tasking that we do, right? We run around feverishly proceeding with the certainty that by working hard and sacrificing we will attain happiness. But it does not seem to be working out as we planned. In many cases we just seem to get more fatigued by the process, while the financial remuneration is not as rewarding as it used to be and has even disappeared in some cases. Today I ask you to consider the opposite – let’s live in George Castanza’s (Seinfeld’s cohort) “opposite world” and begin to adopt the notion that if we choose happiness first, all those other things will naturally, without stress, toil, strategy or force, come to us. At the very least, we will be happy.

I leave you today with a wonderful quote from Abraham Hicks, who says, “Reduce your workload by 30% and increase your fun load by 30% and you will increase your revenues by 100%. And you will increase your productivity by 10,000%. (If there could be such a percentage.) More fun, less struggle -- more results on all fronts.