Friday Smiles & Happiness

Friday Smiles & Happiness

smile, smiles, friday, images

Smile, you’re stronger than you know

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us. ~ Ashley Montagu


A light post for a Friday with some images to make you smile and feel good about the world ~ Rev Kane

smile, smiles, friday, fun, fun friday

Appropriate for a hot Friday

First a post about CANDY!

happiness, smiles, friday, candy, images

Candy makes smiles

A quick story about a mother dog saving her puppies from a fire

Friday, smiles, fun friday, dog, puppies

Happy puppy story for your Friday

love, burning man, fun friday, smiles

Burning Man – Love installation

quote, quotes, wisdom


butterfly, happiness

be happy, fun friday, smiles

Wishing you a happy Friday full of smiles

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Fun Friday: Drunk History

Great Quotes and Good Laughs

Funny Internet Memes

Uplifting Friday

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Secrets to Happiness

Secrets to Happiness

18Found this on a quick web search, a quick bit of wisdom to help you have a happier day leading to a happier life ~ Rev Kane

Secrets to Happiness

  • Live beneath your means and within your seams
  • Return everything you borrow
  • Donate Blood
  • Stop blaming other people
  • Admit it when you make a mistake
  • Give all the clothes you haven’t worn in the last three years to charity
  • Every day do something nice and try not to get caught
  • Listen more; talk less
  • Every day take a 30-minute walk in your neighborhood
  • Skip two meals a week and give the money to the homeless
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection
  • Be on time
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Don’t argue
  • Get organized
  • Be kind to kind people
  • Be even kinder to unkind people
  • Let someone cut ahead of you in line
  • Take time to be alone
  • Reread a favorite book
  • Cultivate good manners
  • Be humble
  • Understand and accept that life isn’t always fair
  • Know when to say something
  • Know when to keep your mouth shut
  • Don’t criticize anyone for 24 hours
  • Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff

Some more pieces you might enjoy!

Happiness is Adventure

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

Happiness is Micropoetry

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Happiness and your own personal weirdness

Happiness and your own personal weirdness

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.  ~H. Jackson Browne

Recently I have been a bit down in the dumps, for me personally things are going fine, however several people I care about are having significant health struggles and another friend recently passed away.  I’ve recently heard a quote in a film today that sort of sums up my mental state.  I’ve hit an age where it is becoming less and less about what I might do, and more and more about what I’ve done.  This mindset has really started to highlight how different I am from most people.

You see I’m a gypsy and right now I’ve done some things home and work related that have really tied me to one place for a time.  These are good things mind you but for me they have added a level of stress into my life that I really could do without right now.  People don’t understand this, for them these same things are accomplishments, fulfillments of the things they considered goals in their lives, affirmations that they are on the “right” track.  For this reason they are confused that I am not excited about the things I’ve done.

This is a very important lesson in life, we are all truly unique, what may inspire feelings of success and happiness for one person may create feelings of stress and failure in another.  This is why we really need to listen to people, get to truly understand who they are and what motivates them.  And why we need to be compassionate when people react in ways we truly find bizarre, if we care about them and their happiness it is the least we can do.

Have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Are you living or existing?

Are you living or existing?

life, living, quote

My motto in life

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. ~ Lao Tzu

We focus here at the Ministry of Happiness on how to live a happier life.  Recently, while talking with a friend we started talking about a person we know who lives a less than wonderful life.   The crux of it seems to be that this person is no longer living, they are just existing.  As far as I understand life it is a one-way, one-time trip and from my perspective that means we should get everything we can out of this experience.

I get why this doesn’t happen for so many people, thinking about the nature of life and death can be terrifying.  We get distracted with the day-to-day necessities of life, work, family, bills, and groceries.  It’s easy to focus on this day-to-day until years have passed by.  We constantly realize again and again that we haven’t talked to old friends for years, that our dreams haven’t been realized and that our bucket lists aren’t getting any shorter.

living, existing, life, happiness

Live a full life

THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN!  It is our choice my friends, our task and responsibility, our duty to ourselves to sit down and right this wrong.  It is one of the most important ways in which we can make ourselves happy, a responsibility we owe to ourselves.  This is one of the best ways to make ourselves happy, and if we are happy then those around us are happy as well.  So give it a shot my friends, give someone a call, check off a bucket list item or make plans to do so.  Go full on cliché and actually stop and go smell some roses, live my friends and make it a happy day ~ Rev Kane

Other Happiness Posts You Might Enjoy!

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

Appalachian Trail Happiness, Where to buy the Book

My Polar Bear Adventure

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Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?

Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?


Beauty is power, a smile it’s sword ~ John Ray

Well my friends according to a study done by the University of Texas and printed in USA Today apparently it does.  However, let’s understand the mechanism, it’s been long-established that people considered traditionally good-looking, more symmetrical facial features, earn more than those who are not considered good-looking.  So all of those years you’ve been claiming your sister, brother, friend was getting a benefit from being physically attractive, guess what, you were right!

The benefit is limited to economics and things like first dates, but being more successful on those fronts promotes a better self-image, increases confidence and being financially better off reduces stress and that is why pretty people on average are happier.  However, this is an average, I know some really unhappy pretty people and some down right happy people who wouldn’t be considered physically attractive.  So all in all, there may be some merit to being classically beautiful, but there is so much more to happiness.  So even if you’re only as pretty as me:


You can still have happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Pieces You May Enjoy!

Happiness is reducing stress

Happiness & Selected Families

Happiness, Simplicity & Letting Go


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Happiness in the Simple Pleasures

Happiness in the Simple Pleasures

leaves, fall, photographyLife is truly lived in the moments of simplicity! ~ Avijeet Das


For the last couple of years there has been a bit of a push back on the idea of seeking happiness.  You see a lot of posts like this one, Stop Chasing Happiness.  The piece is actually pretty good and there are some great tips in it about how to live a happier life.  Yes, I get the irony in that sentence.  Part of the issue is the ambiguous nature of the word happiness.  Other than a 70’s mood ring, there isn’t a way to know now I’m happy, now I’m not.  Also, people often put unrealistic expectations on the term or continually defer to, I’ll be happy when…. instead of enjoying the happiness they are experience at the moment.  This is one of the reasons I often say the suggestions I make will help you live a happier life.  No one is happy all of the time, nor should anyone expect to be.  It’s important to take pleasure, contentment and find happiness in your everyday ordinary life.

backscratcher, simple pleasure

So tonight I want to talk about some of the simple pleasures in my life, in order to get you to think of some of the same in your life.  I’m going to start with having my back scratched, man, there isn’t much that’s better than a good back scratching.  My oldest niece is a world class back scratcher but she lives about 3000 miles away.  Luckily, backscratchers exist.  I spent about three months living in my aunt’s cabin in Utah one year and next to the bed was a simple wooden backscratcher.  I became thoroughly addicted to how good it felt at night to scratch my own back.  So much, that when I stopped traveling that year and settled down to work, the first thing I did once my apartment was set up was to order a backscratcher.  I still have it 15 years later and still use it almost every single day.

head massager, simple pleasure

Several years ago my wonderful friend KC gave me a gift.  As you can see from the image it looked like some artistic rendering of an alien jellyfish.  I’m always thankful anyone would give me a gift but was more than a little skeptical about this crazy looking thing.  Then when I got home I started to try and use it and there was a moment as the little tentacles rolled along my scalp that I had one of those full body spinal shivers.  The kind where that wave of pleasure rolls through your body and you have that moment of physical and mental bliss.  I’m even more addicted to this thing now that I’ve shaved my head, head massages are a pretty normal part of my life these days and still incredibly wonderful.

We all have these simple pleasures.  For some it’s a quiet cup of coffee or tea early in the morning before anyone else is awake.  For others a nice piece of chocolate and I think for all of us, a really good hug qualifies.  I could list a ton of others, sitting quietly listening to an album in the dark, laying out flat and having my spine crack back into place, a really great piece of pizza and a coke.  Whatever those small things are in your life isn’t important, what’s important is that we take time to stop, appreciate and be mindful of those moments.  These small moments come so much more frequently than the big moments, that if you add them up over time, they’re likely more important.  So don’t let them slip by my friends.  I’m now going to go sit in my favorite reclining camping chair and massage my head while I listen to some music.  Hope you can find some time today to indulge in one of yours and have a happy moment my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness Resources

Happiness Resources

Happiness, resources

Happiness in the Fall looking over Lake George

A quick tour around the web tonight for some resources to help you live a happier life:

An interesting piece from Zen Habits on Super Health communities, communities where people can live happier, healthier lives.

The three R’s to happiness from Pick the Brain

A bit of a sciency article on how to start happiness rolling

10 Simple ways to find happiness

Have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Happiness Stories!

Happy Anniversary – Ministry of Happiness: Our Best Posts


Fear is Killing Your Happiness


Remember the Sweet Things


Happiness is Taking Risks


Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way

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The Need and Beauty of Quiet and Silence

A moment of silence is not inherently religious.
Sandra Day O’Connor

Today I want to talk about quiet which in itself sounds a bit contradictory.  The other night I was at a meeting and the facilitator decided to start the meeting with a couple of minutes of silence.  At first it was very strange, sitting in this room, most of the people unknown to me and just sitting there my mind wandering.  Then I turned inward, took a deep breath and relaxed and just sat for a minute letting things from the day go.  In thinking back about this today I was reminded of a fabulous hike I took once in Tennessee.  My friend Andrew and I were working together at Oak Ridge National Lab on a project that was focusing on environmental values.  Andrew and I often hiked together and usually took very interesting hikes, one particular hike we took had a single purpose, to hike far enough out to actually find some natural quiet.  This is not as easy as you might imagine, natural quiet means that the only sounds you can hear are the sounds of nature.  No dogs, no cars, no planes, trains or automobiles.  Our hike was a bit arduous but finally we had gotten into a valley where we thought we had found our quarry.  We settled down and laid back against our packs and for a half an hour enjoyed just the sounds of nature.  It was incredibly calming and wonderful at least right up until the 747 came screaming overhead, at which point we both burst out in laughter.

The link below can provide you some more information on the idea of natural quiet and our national parks:

Since that hike in Tennessee I have been fortunate to find other places of natural quiet during my travels in Utah, Alaska, Nepal and Scotland and each instance is etched in my mind like a precious jewel.  But we don’t need to travel the globe to gather the benefits of silence.  It’s important each day, (preferably at the beginning or end of each day, best at both), to take five minutes and just sit quietly and let the world melt, just another little tool on your quest for happiness.

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.
Alan Watts

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Happiness Resources: Chocolate, Podcasts & More

Happiness Resources: Chocolate Podcasts & More

double bow 1

Today a little tour around the web to find some things to help you have a happier day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Why Chocolate Really is the Secret to Happiness

The pursuit of Happiness  – a site that covers seven areas that can raise the level of happiness in your life, we’ve talked about a number of them before.

The Happiness Podcast – a blog site that is very much like what we do here on the Ministry of Happiness site.

The happiest places on earth, at least according to Forbes Magazine.

Zen Habits – the absolute class of the web when it comes to living a happier life


Other Post You Might Enjoy!

Life Lessons from Granny

A Post with a poem about my Grandpa

Happiness is Granny

Why I’m Happy Right Now!

Making Change Happen

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Happiness is Catching Leaves

Happiness is Catching Leaves

leavesIt’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them ~ Paulo Coelho

It’s finally Fall, my favorite season of the year, the weather turns sunny but cooler, there is that smell on the air, fallen leaves, wood smoke, Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon.  It’s a great time of the year to be outside in nature and I’ve always spent more time in the forest this time of year than any other.  Driving today in the country I passed lots of signs for apple picking and pumpkin patches, the roadside stands in addition to selling fruits are now well stocked with pies as well.

Of all of the Fall memories that I have the most cherished one of them all is being on the playground at lunchtime as a little kid.  Our school had a really large tree right in the middle of the playground, it always saddens me to go by there and see that the tree is now long gone.  But in the Fall, when the weather would start to turn cold and windy, a lot of the other kids would stay inside during lunch.  For me though, it was the best time, you see on those cold Winnie the Pooh type blustery days I would go outside to catch leaves.

winnie the pooh happiness

There was nothing more fun that running round and round in dizzying circles trying to catch those spinning flashes of gold.  The joy of catching one of those simple leaves was immeasurable, a feat not easily done.  I would spend all of my lunchtimes for weeks catching those leaves until that sad morning when walking into school I would look up and see only bare branches.  But that is the essential nature of the Fall, beautiful sunny wonderful days that fade into the cold grey fingers of winter.  So while those sunny days are here, go outside and catch some falling leaves and have a happy day my friends              ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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