A True American Road Trip

A True American Road Trip

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

So I disappeared for a couple of weeks and was basically doing a classic American road trip. I did a big loop. I drove out of the bay area to Bakersfield, from there to Las Vegas, a quick stop for the night in Albuquerque, then down to Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns, back through to Holbrooke, AZ and Petrified Forest National Park, a return to Vegas, up to the ghost town of Bodie, CA and home. A little about each below.

Las Vegas – Part 1

Arrived in a very open Vegas, it was kind of weird being someplace where over 90% of the people were maskless. I hit town and decided to gamble for an hour before meeting friends for dinner, I won $1500, the trip was off to a wonderful start. Dinner with old friends was fabulous. Drove out the next day with an overnight stop in Albuquerque.

Roswell

Roswell was what I expected Roswell to be. It was a bit of a tourist trap, but in such a campy, 50s movie sense of the world that I thought it was marvelous. It was just goofy fun, lots of super fake aliens, t-shirt shops and aliens everywhere. I dug the International UFO museum, the black-light space walk and just the general fun sense of the whole place.

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns absolutely blew me away. The magnificent size of the inside of the caverns was absolutely mindboggling. To see stalactites and stalagmites that are 60 and 80 feet long everywhere left me in awe. It was an absolutely fascinating place to walk through.

Petrified Forest, Holbrooke

Petrified Forest is a bit of a letdown, it’s my own fault, the image that hits my brain with the title is this idea of some sort of standing ancient forest. Of course ancient wood that has been turned into rock obviously had to be laying in the ground. So the site is pretty, open prairie land but not much else. But I did stay in a fabulously funky little motel that gave me a cold bottle of water and an ice cream sandwich at check-in.

Vegas – Part 2

Vegas on the second stop was great again, won some more money, and got to see two old friends. My friend John manages a boxing gym in Vegas and I got to be meet a famous boxer Rafael Marquez, he was super nice. Then my friend Jackie who I graduated from high school with was in town with a friend, we met for a drink. And while talking with them it turns out her friend had read my book Appalachian Trail Happiness, it was a really fun moment of recognition for both of us.

Bodie, CA

A little visit to Bodie, one of California’s more famous ghost towns. It’s a really interesting place and you can’t beat a chunk of amazing history for an $8 entry fee. One super interesting thing and you can see it hanging in the left upper corner of the image. Is a light bulb that is functioning and well over 100 years old.

I talk a lot about the need for time off and relaxation, to make sure that we balance out the stress of work with the relaxation of fun and vacation. For me, a lot of that is about getting away and a road trip is a great way for me to do that. Hours alone driving, my music cranked up high, all the little oddities that you encounter on the road, the weird little moments are all life candy to me.

Driving through New Mexico, heading to Roswell, you begin to realize how out in the middle of nowhere Roswell really is. There’s this feeling when I’m driving through big open country. In New Mexico I turned south on highway 270, it’s one of those nice, four-lane roads with very little traffic. Speed limits seem basically irrelevant, you always have that, what if I break down moment? But there’s this incredible feeling of freedom on the open road. Flying along, my music cranked up, open space in every direction, I feel like I’m truly flying. Like gravity and life hold no sway, that I am truly free to go where I want, how I want and be whoever I want to be, anything at all. It’s also a dangerous moment for me, I’m never as close to just disappearing into the sunset as I am on those roads. I feel the draw of complete anonymity and a vagabond lifestyle pulling me away from default life. I need every once in awhile to feel that pull and be completely on that edge, my version of screaming into the abyss and waiting to hear what the echo has to say.

I thought a lot about the idea of a spacecraft crashing out there, so far from anything. I get why a secret military base was located out there. My god, in the 1940s, Roswell would have been beyond isolated, secrets would be easy to keep in a place like Roswell. Who knows, today it’s campy plastic aliens and Dairy Queens. I’m glad I visited, it was fun, the road miles help my psyche and seeing old friends and getting my first hugs in over a year was good for my soul. Definitely happy days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Roswell! Roswell!! Roswell!!!

Roswell! Roswell!! Roswell!!!

If an alien came down from Mars and saw us all taking selfies and the like, I think it’d up and leave. It’d think we were all mad. ~ Joe Cole

Roswell! Roswell!! Roswell!!! I can’t remember what TV or movie this is from, maybe an episode of the X Files. And it really fits my whole impression of Roswell and also why I have always wanted to go there. I was an avid reader as a kid, and I always dug Saturday movies on cable. Given my age I’m the perfect person to become fascinated by the whole UFO phenomenon.

The UFO craze hit heavily in the US during the 1950’s after a number of incidents in the late 1940’s that captured America’s collective imagination. There was a report of saucers in the Northwest by Kenneth Arnold, the Battle of Los Angeles, and of course the infamous crash at Roswell reported in the newspapers by the United States Air Force as, “RAAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region,” and hit a fever pitch with UFOs being spotted over Washington DC and the Whitehouse on successive weekends in 1952. Now I wasn’t born yet but it was these events and a slew of alien invasion Scifi flicks in the 50’s that created a cultural interest in UFO’s.

So as a kid as I watched monster movies and alien movies, I had a growing awareness, add in my interest in science fiction, reading about alien worlds and space travel and I was ripe for what happened in the 1980’s. In the 80’s we got a whole new slew of really great alien focused Scifi, and then in 1980, Charles Berlitz’s book, The Roswell Incident came out and re-ignited interest in the alien visitation, Budd Hopkins’ book Missing Time, building off of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction story brought alien abduction ideas into the culture. All of this of course caught my imagination and I’ve been fascinated ever since.

So of course in America, the holy grail of UFO culture is a visit to Roswell, New Mexico. The problem with a Roswell visit is that Roswell is really out there. It’s in the middle of New Mexico a couple hours south of Highway 40. But given the pandemic, traveling internationally is not really on the menu right now, so I’ve decided to do a road trip. I’ll drive through Vegas and out to Roswell and spend a couple of days there while also visiting Carlsbad Caverns. Looping back through Petrified National Forest National Park, Vegas again. Appropriately a ride up through the Extraterrestrial Highway and past Area 51. Landing at a pretty famous ghost town, Bodie and finally back home.

This will very much be a road trip in the traditional Americana type of road trip. I’m staying, for the most part at smaller hotel/motels, and definitely planning on hitting as many roadside attractions as I have time to hit. A lot of photography, a little writing and reading and a complete absence of work. So a week of doing nothing but things I love, photography, traveling, listening to music, nothing serious and hopefully just having fun. Roswell is a giant, kitschy tourist trap and I plan on digging every minute of it.

How does this fit in with the Ministry of Happiness, work/life balance and all of the things we normally discuss? Really simply, doing the things you enjoy, having fun, exploring your interests, well this is the life, in your work/life balance and you should go at it at least as hard as you go at the work side of that equation. And when you do, these will be the especially happy days you’ll have my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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We should all worry less

We should all worry less

Life is too short to worry about anything.  You had better enjoy it because tomorrow promises nothing. ~ Eric Davis

I’ve written before about how worry is the enemy of happiness.  In fact when I went back to look up the link I realized I’ve written a lot about worrying.

Overcoming worry

Stop worrying  about Happiness

Happiness: Handling Worry and Uncertainty

And apparently I need to spend some more time reading my own stuff.  Worry in fact can actually have negative health impacts so it’s an issue that needs to be paid attention to for your own good.

What got me thinking about this tonight was a bill I got yesterday.  You see, apparently, when I left the house I was renting two years ago, I somehow paid all but $16 of my bill.  Then, they never contacted me, until a letter in December saying you’re being reported to the credit agencies and a list of my twenty-four cent interest charges each month.  It is frustrating, I’ve worked for a decade to have a very good credit score and to have something like this impact it, well it got too far into my head.  In fact, it kept me from falling to sleep, then it infected my dreams.

The point that I want to you to get out of this, the point I need to get out of this,  is that you really can’t let the little things get to you.  I gave this stupid little issue an oversized piece of my psyche and it impacted my happiness for a night.  Life is too short to even give up that amount of time to something small and stupid.  So try to keep the little things from getting to you, look at them realistically and assess their size and importance in your life more accurately and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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The Extra Magic of Getting Out of your Comfort Zone

The Extra Magic of Getting Out of your Comfort Zone

be happy, comfort zone
Do something that scares you and be happy

My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible. ~ Alex Honnold

It’s been an interesting week or so in terms of writing the Ministry of Happiness. I was trying to decide whether or not I would keep writing the blog. I’ve been doing this for over ten years and it has been the most rewarding writing project I could have hoped for. But writing a blog, especially doing a weekly new post is hard. I’ve written over 1100 posts for this blog. What’s so hard about doing this is two things. First, coming up with new ideas. I mean there are only so many core aspects to happiness and how to achieve it. Which is why the blog has morphed over the years to be a bit more of a personal reflection of my own life and path to happiness as opposed to focusing on happiness as a more clinical or general thing.

Second, is the lack of feedback, you get so few comments, part of that is platform requirements, partly people just don’t. Then you look at your numbers and it can be depressing. One post about Kardashian butt size on most sites yields the equivalent of all of the views I get in a year on this blog. Same goes for conspiracy theory, horrid political positions and on and on, trash gets views. It’s hard not to feel like it’s all a waste of time or that hey, maybe what I’m doing just isn’t all that relevant or good.

But the universe works in funny ways. During the time that I was mulling over my options I heard from several people. These people all related how the blog had in some way inspired them to make positive changes in their life. One person talked about losing an amazing amount of weight and another about making a positive job change. They both thanked me for how the blog has helped them. It’s an amazing what just a couple of comments can do in terms of giving you fuel for the work.

rev kane, slower pace of life, can make you happy
Thank you for your support

In the end, the reason to continue, not much of a mystery as you’re reading a new post, is the thought of quality over quantity. While sure, I would love more feedback, yes, I would love to have a wider reach and bigger reader numbers. But I do want to thank all of you for reading. Honestly, in many ways the blog has been more successful than I could have imagined. The blog has over 200 subscribers, the idea that 200 people have signed up to receive every single new post is both flattering and amazing to me. Secondly, although my numbers aren’t huge, my average year is 15,000 post views it is still nice to know that 40 times a day, all over the world, people read what I have to say.

So my first point tonight is really focus on the positive. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the negatives, there’s something unfortunate in human nature or in our socialization that makes this all too easy. So instead of lamenting my lack of page views and feedback I need to keep my eye on the number of people who do read the blog and the impact it has had and hopefully will continue to have for people. So we keep moving forward and writing the blog.

In that conversation with one of the people about their career choices, we got talking about getting out of your comfort zone. Now I’ve written about this before, and if you’re a regular reader you know I’m a huge proponent of getting out of your comfort zone. The quote I used above really hits the nail on the head. Every time you get out of your comfort zone you grow in confidence and expand your comfort zone. Which then of course, makes doing something outside of that zone a bigger, more exciting thing to do. I’ve seen this very clearly in my life in a number of areas, but I’ll talk a little about hiking.

For most of my life I’ve been a day hiker, I’d done day hikes all over the world. But in 2010 I decided that I wanted to do a hike to base camp on Mount Everest in Nepal. The idea of hiking for nearly a month, much of the time at altitudes higher than any mountain in the continental United States was incredibly intimidating. So I started first with doing some altitude training. I spent time hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park above 8000 feet including some walks on Bryan Head at nearly 10,000 feet. I also started hiking multiple days in a row at altitude.

travel, happiness, bryce
Bryce Canyon NP

This lead to my second step which was doing a full week trek. So I headed to Scotland to hike the Great Glen Way for a week. It was my first week long supported hike. Having done that, along with my altitude work in Utah, gave me the confidence to do the Nepal Trek to Mount Everest. A thirty day supported hike in high passes of the Himalaya. It was this experience that then allowed me to have the confidence to take on a solo hike of the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail that I chronicled in the book, Appalachian Trail Happiness and was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

happiness scotland
Rev Kane going native in the Scottish Highlands

That’s the magic of getting out of your comfort zone, it allows you to continue you to do bigger and better things. But there’s a bit of extra magic in all of this as well. You see by getting out of your comfort zone you’re challenging yourself in new ways. Some times it’s physical like hiking longer distances, higher altitudes or solo hikes on your own. But almost always the biggest challenges, the ones that are most rewarding when taken on, are the mental challenges. You see the real extra magic in getting out of your comfort zone is what you learn about yourself.

happiness nepal
Rev Kane making friends in Nepal

I learned so much in my trek’s to Everest and even more so on my three months on the Appalachian Trail. I learned to appreciate the pace of life more, I learned acceptance, I learned a lot about my capacity to endure and overcome negative circumstances. The most amazing thing you learn though is that you can. That you can do more than you imagined, that you have capacity that you never realized or likely never believed in. This works with other things as well, taking on bigger challenges in your career allows you to see greater opportunities. Taking on bigger health improvement challenges like weight loss allow you to see even bigger changes are possible.

appalachian trail, hiking, friendship
The amazing Warner Hill on the Appalachian Trail

In the end, what getting out of your comfort zone and achieving these things does, is allow you not just to dream, but to believe those dreams are achievable. And that makes for many happy days my friends.~ Rev Kane

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Don’t be insubstantial!

Don’t be insubstantial!

happiness
You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination. ~ Ralph Marston

One of the things that bothers me is when I see people who seem to always be in a sour mood.  Now a lot of folks would say, why let it bother you, it’s their life and their choice. I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement and if I believed they had made a conscious choice to live that way and were happy about it, it wouldn’t bother me.

Unfortunately friends I don’t believe that is the case at all and as someone who tries to help people live happier lives I want to help them.

I learned a long time ago, and saw it in myself when I was struggling in life, you can’t really help people make change until they are ready. So unless I have some indication a person is looking for assistance, I have to let them pass by, even though it makes me sad.

On those occasions what I would say to the person if given the chance is don’t be insubstantial. Life is complicated and it can be hard, things will not always go the way you want them to, you won’t always be where you would like to be in life. So, what is really important, is to be the best you wherever you are, whatever you are doing. If you are a custodian, be the best custodian in the world, or cashier, or desk clerk or banker or administrator.

If you are unhappy with what you are doing and you push that unhappiness out to others all you do is increase the amount of misery in the world, stop it.

We’ve all encountered these sour people and they aren’t helping themselves or anyone else. The first step in you changing your circumstances is to take responsibility for your life, change what you can, move forward as possible. This all works better, happens easier, if you are putting your best foot forward and be giving to the world and extend a smile and a helping hand when you can.

We all need to keep this in mind especially on those bad days when things aren’t going well. So smile, extend yourself, don’t be insubstantial and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness & Standing Up for Yourself

Happiness & Standing Up for Yourself

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We all know the concept, the old biblical saying, Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. I’ve always really struggled with this concept. On one hand I would like to be the type of person who could instantly forgive people who have done me harm or even something Drew Carey has talked about, forgiving people in advance. However as someone who’s a teacher by training I wonder how people learn if there are no consequences to their actions?  A lot of times I feel more like this quote from Margret Cho.

happiness quote

 

 

 

 

People are naturally afraid of conflict and have been taught to turn the other cheek. Unfortunately far too many people take advantage of this and push the rest of us around. They drive like jerks, cut into lines and generally treat the world like they are the only ones in it. So should we turn the other cheek, or should we stand up for ourselves?

As I said above, I really struggle with this; there are times when I am able to let things go, in the end does it really matter that someone cut you off in traffic? Really, in the scheme of things it’s a moment, a truly irrelevant moment in your life. But if you react and get angry then it stays with you, bounces around in your mind. However, if someone is driving like an idiot and there is no price to pay, then what have they learned? And if they haven’t learned that it’s a problem, what incentive do they have to stop what they are doing?  Doesn’t this just lead to this?

happiness quote orwell

 

 

 

 

Where I’ve come down on this issue is as follows; where there is truly no opportunity for anyone to learn anything, let it go. If the person you’re dealing with truly looks like they might be violent, let it go, very little is worth actual violence. However when it comes down to it you don’t want to become a doormat and destroy your own happiness. So when there is an opportunity for someone to learn or when your own person or self-worth is at stake, stand up for yourself. In the end I think you’ll feel better about yourself and be a happier person. Just my two cents tonight, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

happiness quote ghandi

 

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Happiness Moments: Havasu Falls

Happiness Moments: Havasu Falls

happiness adventure travel

Havasu Falls

So a new little writing experiment for the blog. I’ve been wanting to find a way to do some free writing as practice. And I’ve been wanting to capture the moments in my life that have brought me true happiness. I need that little pick me up right now with everything going on in the world and no real chance to travel. So, some writing about happy moments in my life, hope they bring you a little happiness too.

The picture above is a completely unenhanced photo of Havasu Falls in Arizona.  From the first moment I saw an image of the falls I knew I had to go there.  The falls exist on tribal land just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park.  To camp in the valley at the falls you have to get a permit and the permits open February 1st and often over 75% of the dates for the entire year sell out within the first few days that reservations are open.  The year I went, I was planning to go early April, it still can be pretty cold at night in April so it’s not the most popular time.  I dialed into the reservation line like I was trying to win a radio contest for three days before I got lucky and got through.  Happily I was able to get my dates.

sunrise havasu

I spent the night in a hotel in the most middle of nowhere Arizona that I have ever been.  It was a surprisingly nice small hotel that primarily serves as a weigh station for Havasu and Grand Canyon tourists.  I got up pre-dawn and drove up to the parking area for Havasu.  At dawn the little “ranger” station opened and I showed my pass and hit the trail.  The hike into Havasu is a nice hike, about seven miles and downhill all of the way.  You start on a super steep decline down into the valley with spectacular views.  You then snake down into the valley and wind down a trail that you can tell would be a nightmare during a flash flood and as soon as the sun gets up in the sky it starts to heat up.

Happily starting early meant the heat didn’t build too much as I hiked in and at the point where it might get warm, you hit a forested stream area that is really beautiful.  After passing through that area you hit the edges of the Havasupai Village and a nice little store/restaurant.  One of the things I love is something I’ve always called momentary food.  Food that, under ordinary conditions, probably isn’t magnificent, but because of the situation is down right fantastic.  Often, it’s when you’ve been hiking on a trail for hours, or at Burning Man in the hot desert and something shows up in an unexpected way.  An ice cold beverage, a hot pizza on the playa at Burning Man, a dehydrated camping meal, etc… The best example for me has always been Monopole Pizza when I was a student at SUNY Plattsburgh.  Monopole served big slices of Sicilian style pizza for a dollar.  Late at night, usually after a lot of drinks, that pizza was absolutely heavenly.  So one night for dinner, several of us decided to go down to Monopole and get a pizza for dinner.  It was dreadful, bland except for a lot of salt and just not a good pizza.  So it wasn’t that the pizza was ever good, but drunk, hungry and the general happy environment made it seem fantastic.

Well on the outside of the Havasupai Village I had an incredible momentary food breakfast experience.  I had, what at the time seemed like, one of the best breakfast burritos of my life and ice cream for desert.  I sat there eating both with a couple of other soon to be Havasu Falls campers on a picnic table in the sun on a truly glorious morning with sterling blue skies and mountains rising in every direction.  I would leave to find my way to the check-in office and get my official passes and then hike toward the campground.  It’s not great trail from the village, in fact the landscape is a bit stark.  Then you make a turn and see the river and some minor up river falls that themselves were absolutely beautiful. But shortly after you make a turn and down to your right you see an incredible sight.

havasu falls

Havasu Falls

My three days at Havasu falls was amazing, I met incredibly cool people.  Got tossed around in my hammock during a pretty gnarly storm and honestly spent the entire time beyond belief at the beauty around me, many happiness moments every day.

havasu falls

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The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness

happiness scienceIf more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

This whole idea of happiness for a long time was thought to be a bunch of hooey, the realm of poets and philosophers but not something measurable or real.  However, over the last 20 years the field of positive psychology has made a lot of strides toward legitimacy.  So here are some pieces that tell you what they’ve come up with ~ Rev Kane

From Real Simple, a piece on the relationship between genetics and life choices and how the inter-relate  http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/the-science-of-happiness-00000000050227/index.html

From Time.com a pretty comprehensive piece on what Psychology knows about what makes us happy  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1015902,00.html

A pop culture piece from Men’s Health on how variety might be the secret to happiness  http://news.menshealth.com/the-new-science-of-happiness/2012/05/16/

A good survey of the science from the LA Times  http://www.latimes.com/la-he-happy8-2008sep08,0,6171435.story

 

 

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Forgive yourself, move forward!

Forgive yourself, move forward!

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes

So I’m a big believer in an overall single goal in life, that goal is to constantly improve. I think this comes from being so unhappy and frankly fucked up earlier in my life. I went from being a confused and angry kid who stuck a gun in his mouth at 14 with the intent of pulling the trigger, to being a full blown alcoholic and addict by 19. It was at that point that I made a very important decision in my life, simply that decision was to get better.

Now if I’m known for one thing it is for being brutally honest. I’m 56, so I made that decision almost 40 years ago. I’d love to tell you that I made that decision and by 21 hallelujah, love was great and I was happy. That’s not how it works, it takes time and it takes work. Through my 20’s and early 30’s I suffered with severe bouts of depression. But I worked on it. There was an entire list of things I needed to work on. I needed to find a way out of my depression, I needed to get healthier, I needed to get past my anger, I needed to learn how to let go better, I needed to learn how to forgive, I needed to learn to not care about what other people thought and trust myself.

I’m happy to say I’ve done all of these things to varying degrees. None of it was easy but all of it was worth the effort. Tonight a short and pointed post to drive home a single point, perhaps the most important tool I’ve developed along the way, is the ability to forgive myself. The place where that has been most useful is in dieting and eating healthier.

I sit here writing this at 182 pounds, which is the lowest weight of my adult life. I used to weigh 250 pounds, that was back in 2002. I honestly have a hard time getting my head around the fact that I used to carry around another 70 pounds. It’s only through looking at old photos that I really get the difference between then and now. So yes, I’ve lost 70 pounds, but I’ve done it over 20 years. This is not the pace people want typically, they want to lose all the weight tomorrow. But it just doesn’t work that way, because weight loss involves change, the more weight you to lose, the more change you have to make in your life. So you make changes, and then inevitably you backslide. That’s where self-forgiveness comes into play. It’s easy to try and lose weight, lose a couple of pounds then fall off of your diet. For me it happens because something gets your emotions stirred up and for me, the way I feel better is to get a pizza and a bottle of coke. Or perhaps some cookies or a cake, or at times all of the above. This happened to me this past week.

I had a particularly rough day and just said the hell with it and bought a pizza and a 20 ounce coke for dinner. Now given I’m both trying to lose weight, overall trying to eat better and working to get my blood sugar back under control, this was bad, bad and bad. What can easily happen at this point is that you say to yourself I’ve failed, you punish yourself mentally and since you feel bad, you eat a bag of cookies. Then you feel bad, rinse and repeat. This spiral is a horrible thing to get into, so you have to forgive yourself. Yes, on Tuesday I fell apart a little, I ate terribly but on Wednesday morning the first thing I did after weighing myself was to forgive myself. I’m human, I make mistakes, so I forgave myself for the mistake and started over. It’s what’s truly meant by taking it one day at a time. This works, I’m living proof of it.

Self-forgiveness helps in subtler ways as well. Today for me has been all about forgiving myself. Over the last year I’ve been fighting with self-motivation. I’ve fallen into this pattern of working and then eating, working out a bit and then pretty much doing nothing for the rest of the evening. Which means I haven’t worked on my current book, I’ve stalled out on a course I’m taking, I’ve drastically slowed down on going through and selling my collectibles to reduce my overall possessions. It’s not that I haven’t been doing good things, I’m doing my job, I’m working out consistently, I’m eating well, I do a Spanish language lesson every day. But I have ambition to do so many more things and normally I work on those. That hasn’t been happening and so yesterday, I had an enjoyable day, betting horse races, I won some money on the Preakness and even picked up a new mattress. However, there were a list of things that I wanted to get done this weekend and I made no progress. So I went to bed feeling guilty with a huge to do list in my head for today.

But that new mattress is wonderful, I slept really well last night. When I woke up I decided to give up the list and just take the day. So I lazed in bed for a bit and did some reading. I cooked a big brunch for myself. I’ve watched a little TV, did a little writing and basically just relaxed. But what I had to do first was just give myself a break. It’s okay that I don’t get anything done today. More than that, It’s okay that my motivation has been off, and that some of the things I’ve wanted to do have fallen by the wayside.

It’s been a really hard year for all of us. We need to process the fact that we’ve all been through significant trauma over the last year. These have come at a lot of levels, but they’ve all been centered around loss. We’ve lost people, mobility, some level of freedom, and for me a big thing, we’ve lost opportunities and time. So the fact that we haven’t been at our best, HAS to be okay. You have to forgive yourself if over the last year you haven’t been the best parent, employee, child, friend and on and on. Just like a diet, what you have to do is forgive yourself and move on. The goal always, is to do a little better tomorrow than you did today, like compound interest, it leads to big things over time. And when you backtrack a day, forgive yourself and get back to it tomorrow. You’ll never be perfect and that is okay. If you can do this a couple of things will happen, first you will get better and achieve your goals. Secondly, you’ll have more happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Ask yourself this…!

Ask yourself this…!

happiness
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. ~ Bruce Lee

Hello my friends, tonight a list of questions that have been floating around on the net. They are a subset of the post you may have seen entitled 101 Thought Provoking Questions.

The overall list is interesting but way too long, so I thought I would take a smaller bite (23) out of the whole list. With a little more thought I’ve decided to go through the list of questions and do a post for each, with my own answers included to help you get started about thinking about these things. So some deeper thinking tonight my friends to help us all have happier days ~ Rev Kane

The List

Do you like who you are?

What would you regret not doing in your life?

What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?

If you had one year left to live, what would you try to achieve?

Are you afraid of being your true self around others? Why?

Are you enriching the lives of others?

What makes a meaningful life? Are you living one?

If you could live one day over and over again, what would you choose to do?

Who do you look up to and why?

Based on your current day-to-day life, what do you expect to achieve in 5 years from now?

Do you really listen when people talk to you?

What is the number one change you need to make in your life this year?

Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?

How can you simplify your life and focus on the most important things to you?

What is most important to you in life? Are you giving it the time it deserves?

When was the last time you tried something new?

Are you holding onto something that you need to put behind you?

What have you given up on?

How many people do you truly love and what are you doing for them?

What were you doing when you last lost track of time?

What can you not live without the most?

When did you last laugh so much it hurt?

What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?

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