Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happiness - What is it?


Motivated by Gretchen's 'Happiness Project' I decided to reflect on this notion of happiness.

Happiness has different meanings for people. Thinking on this topic, I am struck by a memory of a workshop I facilitated for Indigenous women of the Americas in the Peruvian jungle. One evening, sitting by the fire, the women were talking about their communities and how difficult it was for them to make it to the workshop. They spoke about the hardships they are faced with all through laughter and beaming as they spoke about their children. Earlier that day, I teased that I should wear a t-shirt that said, “I’d Rather be a Tourist” because clearly the facilities in the jungle are not the Hilton. Sitting among the women I felt ashamed for having that thought, even in jest.

As I read some of Gretchen’s 12 commandments to becoming happier, I got that most of the points, although universal, really are for people in developed countries whose concerns don't have to include the basics of survival. As an example I will use Gretchen's list, because I like it. The Peruvian example comes from one of the women at the the workshop.

American
/ Peruvian
1. Be yourself / 1. Be strong
2. Let it go. / 2. Be thankful with what you have
3. Act the way I want to feel. / 3. Accept that you can’t put yourself first
4. Do it now. / 4. Recognize your opportunities
5. Be polite and be fair. / 5. Be respectful but strong
6. Enjoy the process. / 6. Live in the moment / let each moment follow
7. Spend out. / 7. Treasure what you have
8. Identify the problem. / 8. Identify the solutions
9. Lighten up. / 9. Laugh, and laugh some more
10. Do what ought to be done. / 10. Do what can be done
11. No calculation. / 11. Appraise risks
12. There is only love. / 12. There is only one ‘you’

Happiness is relative, fleeting, but necessary for our body's emotional and spiritual well-being no matter who we are. The important thing to remember is that pure happiness lives within each of us.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fresh Green Onions brings me to Tears


Satisfaction! My first harvests from my small but loved garden are green onions picked by my eleven-year-old son. I hate to admit that I’ve never experienced this type of satisfaction, a satisfaction that comes from knowing. Knowing that, I and I alone (besides my gardener who I affectionately call ‘Mother Nature’ and my 11 year old son, who is a gardener in the making) are responsible for these fresh, scented onions.

Everything about them is pure joy, arousing all the senses. With a vibrant green color it is the picture of health. To the touch they are firm and cool, smelling like sweet sunshine but the taste is out of this world.

I'm inspired to make a salad, during which I rubbed my eye after slicing them and my eyes were awash in tears.
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Francesco De Gregori - Buonanotte fiorellino

I can't understand Italian but I get this is a beautiful song! The internet is wonderful! I found this translation...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What kind of Twitter Bug am I?

On February 1, 2009 I wrote “How Many Friends Do we Need Anyway” the subject is on social networks. At that writing, I was new to Twitter and pondering what part this new tool would play in my life.

I found that people use twitter for a variety of reasons including but not limited to promoting websites, to sell products, to connect with like-minded people, and to spout out random bits of information. This is all good. I like that we live in a society that allows people have the freedom to express and be involve in this media in whatever way they feel comfortable.

Moreover, I like that I can pick and choose who follow my tweets. Generally the people I allow to following my tweets are people who I would in “real life” like to meet. What I am looking for in their tweets is authenticity and something that reveals a bit about them. I also like to read tweets that provide links that lead me to subjects that interests me. Although, I have been known to pick a random person because of something they have posted and follow that for a bit just to see what type of pearl they may expose.

I am less concerned about how many followers I have but rather how many people I can have conversations with that relate to our shared interest. I see my tweets as links connecting a conversation that happen overtime, and my intent is to have these conversations as though we are sitting across from each other drinking tea.

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