Happiness

Choosing Delight

Posted by on Mar 3, 2019 | 0 comments

Choosing Delight

Ross Gay’s Book of Delights is an invitation. Starting and ending on his birthday, the poet wrote an essay a day about the things, people and events that struck his delight – a smile from the person selling him a bus ticket, a song on the radio, his garden, a turn of phrase, fresh lychees on sale, a high-five from a stranger. With each essay, his poetic riffing sweeps you up and carries you away on an infectious tide of delight. During this year, Gay found that, the more he practiced this discipline – this constant alert for delights – the more delight he found. His life...

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You can’t tell by looking at me …….

Posted by on Jan 28, 2019 | 0 comments

You can’t tell by looking at me …….

We all wear masks. They consist of the parts of ourselves that we gladly show to others – qualities, attributes, feelings, and experiences that we choose to reveal in a given setting. We also have parts of ourselves that we don’t talk about or show. Maybe because nobody asks. Or maybe because we don’t want others to see or know those parts – the parts of us that are vulnerable, sad, angry, broken, tender, imperfect, or just private. Maybe we don’t feel safe. Some of us are more comfortable showing vulnerability, some less. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a...

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Experiencing Grief and Joy at the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 | 0 comments

The following is a Perspective I recorded for KQED. You can listen to it here. I’m a holiday person. Starting with the Thanksgiving ritual of going around the table and ending with staying up ‘til midnight on New Year’s Eve, I treasure the traditions of the season. For weeks, our house smells of baking cookies. We choose the perfect Christmas tree – not too tall or too short, not too skinny or fat, with branches wide enough apart for real candles, a tradition from my German mother. On Christmas Eve we sit around the tree singing carols, my children and husband merrily butchering the...

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Full Stop — What a Traffic Ticket Taught Me About Being at Rest

Posted by on May 23, 2013 | 1 comment

A while back I got a ticket in the mail for failing to stop at a red light. This New England girl had been caught on camera doing a “California rolling stop.” I was mortified, and upset at the steep fine. My husband was remarkably cool. Apparently he had noticed my tendency to roll through intersections and had been worried about it. “I’m just glad nobody got hurt,” he said.  That made me feel even worse. You’d think I would learn my lesson, but I continued to tap-and-roll through intersections more often than not. So this week I recruited my children to help me “brake” my habit. They were...

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An Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions: Year-End Lessons

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 | 0 comments

Many of us fall into one camp or the other: the optimistic resolution-makers — who begin the year with energy and hope for positive change — and the cynical non-resolvers who sit on the sidelines and dismiss resolutions as delusional and doomed to be broken. But for those who see a value in year-end reflection and intention setting but don’t embrace the resolution model, I’d like to invite a slightly different approach — one that is both grounded in experience and constructively future-oriented. It has three steps: we celebrate our successes; we acknowledge our...

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Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 | 1 comment

All over the country this week bloggers are holding forth on the subject of gratitude. And I’m all for gratitude, not just in November, but daily, maybe even hourly. But too often gratitude is touted not as an end in itself but because it will help you achieve some goal:  being grateful will make you happier, or improve your relationship, or make you a better manager. Practicing gratitude does have some great benefits, but the heart of gratitude is not as a means to an end. Gratitude is not about you. Life coaches exhort their clients to keep a gratitude journal to help them feel happier and...

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