This Valentine’s Day my cat Jackie reminds me what unconditional love is and the importance of having an open heart.
As I woke up and reached over to stroke my cat Jackie’s furry coat and gently kiss his head while he purred softly, a feeling of unconditional love washed over me. I wondered aloud, how do I love this creature so much? Considering I was a “non-cat” person as I share in an earlier blog, and that Jackie has ruined two designer chairs in my family room, curtains, an area rug, along with other sundry items. To be sure, cleaning up his business is no fun matter, especially when he occasionally misses his litter box. So what’s his appeal and where does this love come from? He doesn’t actually DO much for us, other than meow for attention when he wants something. And while his purring indicates some happiness on his side, I don’t know if he loves me.
Continue reading “Love like you love your cat”
One of the most practical lessons I’ve learned on my journey to happiness is the role of blame. When I stop blaming and take responsibility, the road to inner peace becomes much more smooth.
I had an “aha” moment the first time I watched this Brené Brown short video on Blame. I recognized the feeling of immediately looking for someone to blame when something doesn’t go my way. And like Brené’s example in the video, the blame for those little things, like spilling coffee or forgetting to take out the garbage, often falls on my husband. The more research and practice I’ve done with mindfulness, I realize that there are many ways blame manifests in daily life. We might find ourselves blaming colleagues or leaders about something that happens at work. Perhaps we blame society or fate for an external crisis or dilemma we find ourselves in. The fact is blaming doesn’t work. It keeps us in a negative cycle and prevents us from taking action.
Blame prevents happiness
Continue reading “The blame game”
This spring I was reminded of the importance of awareness, curiosity and openness, which led to a mindset shift.
When the spring arrives, so does a subtle dance that my husband and I have when it comes to our lawn and the dandelions that seem to enjoy it. As the yellow plants start to emerge one by one, I find a quiet afternoon day and, with my garden trowel and gloves in hand I descend upon my backyard.
I start the arduous job of digging them up, one by one, being careful to get as much of the root as possible. I spend hours slowly and methodically combing through the backyard, foot by foot, extracting these “unruly, ugly weeds” from the lawn.
Continue reading “Dandelions and mindset shifts”
In my last blog, we discovered that ordinary humans, like Avengers, have superpowers. I learned that trust is a superpower for happiness, and now let’s delve into another happiness superpower – CURIOSITY. And just like trust, the power of curiosity transcends all facets of life – at home and at work.
About three years ago, I was exploring different guided meditations to listen to during my morning train commute to the city. As detailed in Good Morning, Life!, I was in the midst of a journey to happiness. I came across a meditation that intrigued me called The Meaning of Life. What a bold title, I thought to myself. As if there is one answer! But as I listened that bold title didn’t disappoint. The meditation lesson outlined three main qualities that bring meaning to our lives and they are: loving, learning and being happy.
Continue reading “Happiness superpowers – part 2: curiosity”
“If you were an Avenger, what would your superpower be?”
This is a common question I get from my boys. Like a good mom, I immediately delve into my imagination but nevertheless come up with an unoriginal answer like “fly”, “read minds” or “be invisible.”
What I never contemplated is that maybe I actually have a superpower. Maybe you don’t have to be an Avenger but just a normal human being. In fact, I think we all have a few superpowers. Today, let’s dive into superpower number one – TRUST.
I first discovered the real power of trust when I had no other choice. I was in the hospital, in the ICU. As detailed in Good Morning, Life!, it was not long after the birth of my first son. Without realizing it, I was hanging on to life so tight I could feel it. I can’t remember details as everything was foggy to me at the time. But I remember clearly the moment that I let go. I had a vision. It was a giant hand and there I was, a small figure in the palm of the hand. Instinctively, I knew that I no longer had control. I metaphorically curled into a ball and just settled.
Continue reading “Happiness superpowers – part 1: trust”