Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2016

groundhog_daySo today is Groundhog Day.

Some of you might be thinking, what’s that? Some of you might be remembering the film – I know that’s what came to mind when I heard about it on the radio this morning, and this post will focus more on that element, but just for accuracy purposes I did look up Groundhog Day online & found the following explanation on Wikipedia:

“According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its den in the tree on this day, then the spring season will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into it’s den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.”

So there you go, groundhog day refers to animals & weather, bit like cows standing up or sitting down in the UK in summertime I guess.

But anyway, moving on to the real reason for this post ….

On the radio this morning I listened to this guy talking about how we so often sleepwalk through life. I guess many people are often trapped by the daily grind of routine, not really thinking about what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. People get so wrapped up in their own lives that they effectively live in a little bubble, safely ensconced in their own lives, away from many of the realities of the “outside” world. Sometimes that might protect us from the grim happenings & hardships out there. But do we really need to be protected from them? Should we not be acutely aware of what is going on & perhaps trying to make a difference? How else will things change? What’s that phrase, if it’s to be done, why not you?!

Perhaps we need to step off the autopilot pedal every now & then and move onto manual. Take stock of the world. Look at our own communities, our own circles & try to really see what’s going on. Perhaps we are the first step in making that difference, the difference that might really change things for the better.

The expressions are endless:
Take time to smell the coffee;
Walk the walk, don’t talk the talk;
Step out of your comfort zone
and so it goes on ….

On a personal level, each of us has far more than we even realise. Only when we face our darkest days do we sometimes understand that. The interviewee on the radio talked about how we shouldn’t be defined by that awful day or event, that we need to find the essence of our own happiness and to focus on enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

I know I’m guilty of not doing that. Sometimes it’s really hard to see what you have when there’s something you want so much that it tears you up inside or when something so unbearably painful has happened that you just can’t seem to get over it & move on. I’ve often said that thinking isn’t good for you! By that I mean, we can dwell on things too much, rather than looking at life gratefully, embracing what we have and enjoying now, the present.

In our 21st century world we’re surrounded by messages all day, every day. Messages telling us that we need specific things to be fulfilled, be those products, experiences, relationships. We’re, perhaps subconsciously, nudged towards materialism, told that we need these trappings to be happy, that we’re not complete without them. In reality the happiest people are those who appreciate what & who they have around them in their lives already, be that family, friends, a home, food on the table, flowers in the garden, raindrops in the park, and the list could go on.

We all have so much more than we realise, more than we even need. Perhaps we should all create a list of those blessings and endeavour to make each day amazing, to smile and to appreciate those little things daily.

I think I’m inspired to go home & watch Groundhog Day this evening. I’ve read it’s credited as being a very spiritual and even Buddhist film. Interesting. I think I’m going to watch it in a whole new light from now on, and at the end of the day, that’s the only way.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Einstein

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Apologies & Happy Christmas

December 21, 2011

To all those who follow my blog, you’ll have noticed that it has been distinctly lacking in entries for the past few months.  Hmm, not good, is it?

I apologise for the lack of posts, of snippets, of links, of entries about stuff which may or may not interest you greatly.  I’m back on track again now though so expect to be amazed & bewildered by the Reflections blog  in the days to come – or just note that I will be posting entries again sometime soon! 😉

The photo a day challenge came to an end in summer (I know, I failed to last the whole year, but hey ho, what can I say!) but I will be uploading all those images that I never got around to posting, some time over the next couple of weeks.

So all it leaves for me to say for now is: Happy Christmas to each & every one of you.   May you be surrounded by those who you love & care for at this special time of year, may you know the joy of friends and family, recognise how fortunate you are to have them & to be loved and cared for by others, to have those things which mean the most to you and those which we all take for granted, and may you feel the blessings of this special Christmas time of year within your own heart.

Away in a Manager
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Lay down his sweet head
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing 
The baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying he makes
I love Thee Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
Until morning is nigh

Be near me Lord Jesus
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever,
And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children
In thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven
To live with Thee there

x

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Smile (Year in photos 2011)

January 17, 2011

Following on from my earlier post about ways to make today’s blue monday a bit better, here’s a picture which might make you smile:

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Singing the blues

January 17, 2011

Ok so today is Blue Monday, that day which apparently is the most miserable in the year.  The day when all our woes are upon us and we just want to give up, curl into a little ball, and hide away in a corner – praps under the duvet with a BIG bar of chocolate 😉

Obviously on such an auspicious day as this the media is on hand.  Ready and willing to help. A bit ironic perhaps when we wouldn’t even know is was blue monday if it weren’t for the media informing us.   Hmm. Even the weather seems to have fallen foul to the trap.

So a glance down my RSS feeds this morning & a browse on the web quickly supplied a never-ending list of articles about this blue blue day, enlightening me as to all the reasons why today is just so bad.  Well I don’t like being told how to feel or how to behave and so my drive to do my own thing has been peeked into action.

An article in today’s Telegraph is much more upbeat and suggests some ways to get through blue monday.  Maybe some of these suggestions will strike a chord with you and will inspire you to do something different today, something small that will make you smile, a little thing which will just make today even better.

Me?  Well I like the solution the author gives that tells us “Today is the day you need to focus on the good things in your life. Before bedtime, write down all the things you have to be grateful for, as well as all the things that went well over the course of the day. Effective journal-writing captures the essence of your thoughts, provides reflection, allows for creativity, sharper memories, self-examination, and spiritual direction for a more complete person. Doing this also helps you wind down, ensuring a better night’s sleep.”

Interesting stuff.  And yes, I do find that writing things down is a good way to focus your thoughts and even to put things into perspective.  Actually that’s one of the reasons behind this very blog – because words shouldnt just be running marathons in your head, they should be encouraged to get out there, explore the world and meet others & to make happy sentences together 😉

So don’t spend today singing the blues.  Put a smile on your face.  Think happy thoughts.  Get scribbling down on paper or electronically.  Be grateful for all those little things in life which really are good and for all those people who are around you to share them. 🙂

 

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Those special things in 2011

January 1, 2011

So it’s that time of year again, when other people are making new year’s resolutions (that I dont believe in) & making promises that they are just not going to keep.  As my own alternative way of planning for the year ahead, I’m following on from the tradition I established last year to have a list of special things to look forward to in the coming year.  Looking back on last year’s list was very encouraging & a reminder of sooooo many great things in 2010.  I’m hoping that this time in 2012 I’ll be looking back on my 2011 list in a similar way.  There might even be a few surprises there, if I’m really lucky 😉

Ok, so the list is still only skeletal, but I will be adding to it as and when. So here goes:

January
Belated Birthday celebrations with the girls.
Cinema trip to see The King’s Speech – excellent film
Meeting up with a school friend that I’ve not seen for ages.

February
A couple of evenings out with friends
Visit of Croydon Band

March
Weekend away in Croydon

April
Trip to Devon to do some family history research & meet up with new found relatives.

May
Visit of Melbourne Staff Band, a great couple of days

June
Will be going on holiday to Turkey – woo hoo 🙂 – the countdown begins 🙂 🙂 🙂

July

August
A work trip to Vancouver, Canada
Holiday in Canada visiting some interesting cities

September

October
Off to Winton, Bournemouth  for the weekend

November

December

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quote of the day

December 19, 2010

I read an interesting post a while ago about a LinkedIn discussion on favourite quotes.  It caught my attention & gave me some food for thought.   The quote that the author chose was:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford

Hmm.

He gave some complicated reasoning behind this, but my reason for taking note of this quote is that it’s just so basic.  If we want to change things, then we have to makes changes.  If we don’t, then things wont change & we’ll carry on doing the same things in the same old ways.

Simple!

Yeah, maybe it’s simple but I guess it’s not always quite so easy to make the changes that are necessary.  I mean, how often are we unhappy with our lot in life?  Unsatisfied with things?  Wanting more?  Searching for something different?

But do we actually get out there & make changes?  Do we move away from the security which is around us?  Do we dare to make decisions and say things to people that they may not like, but that ultimately we know are for the best?

I think far too often we don’t.  We’re just not honest with ourselves or those around us and we  just “settle” for things as they are.  After all, that thing we’re searching for, that job/person/situation/perfection, might not even be out there and isnt it better to just be happy with what we’ve got instead, just in case?

Hmm, I’m not so sure that the answer should be yes!

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Simply their presence

December 16, 2010

Sometimes you just want somebody to be there, to take you in their arms and hold you tight and let you cry.  And just having somebody simply being there, is all it takes.  There don’t have to be any grand gestures or meaningful words, just their presence alone can be enough to make things seem so much better and to make the world seem a little less of a frightening place.

Hmm, so where is somebody when you really need them most? 😦

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