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Do more of what makes you happy.

That about sums it up, when it comes to my theme/goal for 2014.

Things that make me happy include some of the things I spent today doing: spending time with my sweetheart, doing tai chi, meditating, writing (and submitting some work), keeping in touch with friends and family, making healthy and delicious meals (oatmeal (not instant or quick, and loaded with raisins, craisins, nuts, and cinnamon), coffee and mimosas for breakfast; Balsamic chicken, braised Brussels sprouts, lobster mashed potatoes and champagne for dinner), doing stuff around the house . . . it's not an exhaustive list, but it's all stuff that gives me joy, and joy is a good thing.

This morning, as part of my day, I spent time reading and meditating about happiness. And one of the things I read pointed out that people who look to other things (or people) to make them happy, seldom stay that way. Being happy, on the other hand, tends to attract success in the areas of life that you think might bring you happiness. I spent a lot of time last year meditating (something that was new to me), and it really helped both my physical health (it reduces my pain levels a lot, something for which this girl with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia is extremely grateful) and my overall outlook. I've always been a reactive personality, responding quickly to whatever comes along, and I've found that the meditation has made me far less prone to flying off the handle or becoming upset about things, as well as reducing the number of "fight or flight" episodes during the year - a huge boon to those around me, as well as to my mental and physical health. (Again, stress exacerbates my physical conditions, and reducing stress helps keep them manageable.)

For 2014, I have decided that in addition to doing what I already know makes me happy, I'm going to stretch myself just a bit. I mean, I turn fifty this year - 50! - and it's time to spread my wings just a little bit. Which is why I have signed up for a nine-week course in drawing birds with Val Webb. Yes, me! Drawing! This will be (more than a bit of) an adventure for me, and I am looking forward to it. (The watercolor lettering class looks amazing, but seemed a bit more daunting to me and required more supplies, and the birds and eggs and nests looked so pretty, so . . . birds it is!)

So I suppose the goal for the year is really to "be happy", which includes doing those things that I like and spending time with the people I love, as well as trying some new things to see if they suit me. I've seen some other good yearly themes mentioned by friends like bostonerin and Becky Levine.

Do you have such a tradition/practice? If so, do you want to share what your theme/goal for the year is?

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
Love the happiness theme. I can totally get behind that (okay, maybe not the brussels sprouts!), and I think you deserve it. :) Isn't it amazing how we (kind of) start the meditation for ourselves and then, whoa! It makes everybody around us happier, too. Except the cat.

Was it a book you were reading about happiness? One you'd recommend? Title?
Jan. 4th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
The cat is still happy, either way. It is in the nature of cats to be happy and not happy all at the same time. Like their own Schrodinger's cat vibe.

It wasn't a book on happiness, it was the Chopra Center's "Awaken to Happiness" series. Here is a link for the sign up for a free, eight week session: http://www.chopra.com/8wk-happiness-sign-up.
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Jan. 4th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
I am nervous, but looking forward to it!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
I like this HAPPY sentiment very much! Best wishes for 2014!!!
Jan. 4th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Best wishes for you, too, Deena!
Jan. 2nd, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
drawing is for the birds!
I HAD to say that. It made me happy to do so. And SO ONBOARD with being selfishly happy THIS year and all years to come.

Though I joke (and you know I do), I think it's very cool that you will be drawing birds. Birds should be fun. And if you find it's not, send me an example of a bird that was "not fun" and I'll show you HOW to make it fun (or funny looking)!

FUN and being happy. YES!
Jan. 4th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: drawing is for the birds!
Right? I am looking forward to my class with a bit of trepidation. The fact that it's online and therefore nobody will see my stuff but me unless I want them to is a comfort!
Jan. 7th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
Your bird drawing class sounds wonderful! Have fun with it!
Jan. 13th, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
So far, so good, in that I am learning some stuff and it's not a complete disaster. Unless we count that Great Grey Owl I did, but I prefer not to talk about it. :P
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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