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Smiling Dogs

It’s a Wonderful Dog’s Life!

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Kat Martin

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

— Edward Hoagland

Every morning for the last nine years I’ve done the same thing – I go into the kitchen and let the dog out of her crate.  She spends the night in her crate so that the cats don’t bother her and she doesn’t bother them.

This morning, I actually noticed something I do.  I say, “Good morning.  How ya doing?”  And BAM, it hit me.  She’s always doing Continue reading » It’s a Wonderful Dog’s Life!

Big Smile*

Acting As If You are Full of Cheer

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: LOVIN' A DAISY*

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today, mix good cheer with friends today enjoy it and bless God for it.

— Henry Ward Beecher

After my post on being cheerful, a friend of mine decided that being cheerful was a good idea.  For a couple of days, she bopped along and then, on the third day she said, “I don’t know what’s wrong – I’m losing steam on being cheerful.”  When I asked how she was putting her new cheerfulness into practice she told me that she kept telling herself to Continue reading » Acting As If You are Full of Cheer

Cheerful Givers at the Walk For Justice 2006

How to Become Consistently Cheerful

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Mykl Roventine

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.

— Aristotle

If Aristotle is correct, and I believe that he is, then the key question is “What habits do I need to develop to improve my life?”  I could answer this with things like:

  • Walk 30 minutes every day.
  • Get eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Eliminate sugar, salt and anything that tastes good from my diet.

Although doing any of these could be good for me, if I truly want to improve my life, I need to Continue reading » How to Become Consistently Cheerful

A Funeral Flag, American Veteran Soldier, The Red, White, and Blue, Stars and Stripes, Patriotic, Memorial Day 2009, Cemetery

Growing Up Means Figuring Out How to Do the Hard Stuff

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Beverly & Pack

It’s so curious:  one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief.  But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.

— Colette

Last week, one of the women at work lost her 93 year old grandmother.  It wasn’t entirely unexpected and they had been very close since my friend was a little girl.  Expected or not, when someone we care about dies, it is always difficult.

Sending a sympathy card or note is what we do when a friend suffers a loss.  That’s why Hallmark was invented, to help us say what we don’t know how to say ourselves.  When a friend loses someone close to them, we instinctively want to provide comfort.  For me, what I want is to Continue reading » Growing Up Means Figuring Out How to Do the Hard Stuff

Where do we go from here? (The Unknown)

Beam Me Up!

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: włodi
Ready to toss in the towel on all those New Year’s resolutions?  Already???

Try a “resolution makeover” this year. Thinking outside the box can help turn old patterns around. Free your mind and lighten your life.

— Clarissa Caldwell

Resolutions ≠ Express Lane to What We Want

New Year’s Resolutions, like advertising copy, often tend to be filled with hyperbole and unwarranted optimism… and instead of striving to achieve our dreams, we end up playing doubting Thomas to our abilities.  Martha Beck, author of Finding Your North Star wrote about this in Oprah Magazine when she recommended changing the grammar and Continue reading » Beam Me Up!