Ten poets you’ve never heard of but you’re going to love

Ten poets you’ve never heard of but you’re going to love

happiness, poetryMy alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re better than my solitude.    ~ Warsan Shire

Tonight to wrap up the last night of National Poetry month I want to feature 10 poets you likely have never heard of but I think you are going to love.  I want to first talk about my own trip to finding a love for poetry and my own poetic writings.  I grew up a blue-collar kid in a working class neighborhood.  No one in my family had ever been to college, so although my mother, and through her, I became an avid reader.  She read fiction and mysteries, I was drawn to military histories and science fiction.  No one in my family read poetry.

My first exposure to poetry came through English class, first in middle school then in my high school English class taught by the best teacher I’ve ever known, Frank Sullivan.  He introduced me to so much culture, I can’t even express what I owe him, happily I was able to tell him that before he died.  His class brought me to an absolute love of theater and in particular Shakespeare.  We read a lot of poetry in his class, one that I loved was The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner.  I liked Shakespeare’s sonnets, I dug some of William Carlos Williams’ work, but in general I found most of the poetry we read uninspiring.  I found most of the “famous” poets we read wrote very structured poetry, high level poems with lots of heavy vocabulary and flowery language.

So, a few years after high school when I started writing myself, mostly to help burn off the negative energy that fueled my depressions, I didn’t think what I wrote was poetry.  I didn’t have a label, it was just what I did.  Then I encountered the books of Charles Bukowski and I found them fascinating and read several before I realized that he also wrote poetry.  Reading that first book of poetry by Charles Bukowski was one of the most significant things I’ve ever done.  His poetry spoke to me so much, it made me feel and so much more than that, it reminded me of my own writing.  Now let me be clear, I do not put my work on the level of Bukowski’s.  But it was raw, straight-forward, unstructured, used utterly plain language.  There were poems about being drunk, being an asshole, about how hard his life was and for the first time, I’d read poems that looked like what I wrote.  I would come to find that there was a whole lot of modern poetry that did the same thing and as such came to realize I love this type of poetry.

The poets that I’m featuring in this post tonight all have the same thing in common, they are not conventional, they come straight at things and most importantly, they make me feel, I talk more about that below. Within the discussion I link to the posts I did with a taste of each of their work.  If you like them, consider going out and buying some of their work.  Poetry doesn’t sell, almost no one makes a living in this world as a poet.  I can tell you this from comparing how my book about hiking, Appalachian Trail Happiness, vastly out sells my poetry book, Otherness.  So supporting them by buying some of their work is not just putting a few coins in their pocket, it is supporting them as a person, as a poet your writing is taking a piece of your very soul and making it public.  When you buy a poet’s work, you’re positively reflecting on their very soul, poetry is an utterly personal endeavor, so please consider supporting their work.

The first one, pictured above is Warsan Shire,  Beyonce apparently used some of her words so you may have heard her name.  I first discovered her work a few years ago and instantly fell in love with it.  It’s raw, hard and touches you in places in ways most poets don’t, as I’ve mentioned here before that the goal of my own writing, stealing a line from jazz musician Art Pepper, is not that you like it, but that it makes you feel.  Warsan Shire my friends will make you feel.

doug draime, poetry, writing

Doug Draime

Doug Draime is one of several I will say this about, I found his work for the first time in the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.  So when I first started doing Happiness is Poetry posts I selected Doug Draime to do a post about.  His work reminded me of Bukowski, it was raw, straight on and made an impact.  So I did the post about Doug Draime and then, to my great suprise got an email from him.  I had never considered reaching out to him but realized that was an option for the poets I was writing about.  While corresponding with him, he’s a great guy, I also asked him to recommend to me some younger, lesser known poets he was aware of and his first recommendation was Hosho McCreesh.

Hosho McCreesh, recommended by Doug Draime absolutely fit the mold of an outlaw poet.  I don’t want to be utterly repetitive but raw, with impact, I really dig his work.

Adrian Manning, so down the tree of reaching out to someone, post their stuff and then get a recommendation. Hosho McCreesh recommended Adrian Manning and his work is fantastic.

Wolfgang Carstens recommended by Adrian Manning is a seriously interesting guy, his words are angular, sharp, they seem revel in the terror of honesty, good stuff. He’s also interesting in the different formats he uses to show his work including illustrated poems.

suzanne burns, poetry, writing

suzanne burns

Suzanne Burns I found on the internet and then reached out to her, she was incredibly gracious and after publishing my piece about her she sent me a couple signed copies of her books.  Super nice person and a fantastic poet.

Ashe Vernon – I was sitting in a friends house and noticed a book of poetry. Knowing we have similar tastes I picked it up and scanned through a few poems. I will admit, not everything I read moved me, but when it happened, whoa, it happened hard. For me, Ashe Vernon, in the baseball sense, is a home run hitter. Like all home rum hitters, she doesn’t hit one out of the park every time she swings, but when she does, you need to get out the tape measures because it’s a monster and there’s nothing more beautiful than a monster home run.

Trista Mateer I found on the recommendation of Ashe Vernon.  Her work is very raw and wonderful, cut open your chest let your heart spill out on the table kind of wonderful.

Alan Kaufman is one of the editors of the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and so I dove into work as a result of looking for a poet to feature one night, good stuff.  He really doesn’t really conform to what you expect, and that’s a very good thing.

poetry, happiness, d.a. levy

d.a. levy

I first encountered D.A. Levy in the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry a book I consider to be the best collection of American poetry.  Levy was from Cleveland a Buddhist Jew, who wanted to read everything and write everything.  He was someone who always seemed to be searching for something and I think that’s one of the reasons I identify and enjoy his work.

A bonus poet, Peter McWilliams, I know I said 10 but it’s kind of hard of to do a list like this and leave Peter McWilliams off of this list.  McWilliams holds a special place in my heart, you see I was introduced to McWilliams by someone who I consider to the be the love of my life and also the first person I truly ever trusted to read my poetry.  McWilliams fascinates me, check out his biography, but as a writer what has always amazed me was how he could write a poem in so few words that would hit me as hard, or harder than much longer pieces.  I leave an example of this as the end of this piece, I hope you like it, and as always, have a happy day my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

poet, poetry, writing, love

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We work too much!

We work too much!

work too much, happiness, quote

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. ~ Sydney Harris

Tonight I want to talk about work.  The overwhelming majority of us need to work.  I personally only know one person who is independently wealthy and doesn’t need to, but they still do.  In America, in addition to our need to work and earn money to live, there is also a philosophy that the more you work, the better you are as a person.  I grew up in a blue-collar family, people who worked with their hands, worked outside and I have a great deal of respect for people who earn their living this way.  For many years, as I pursued my education, I also worked this way.  I’ve been everything from a garbage man to a custodian to a landscaper.  My family pushed me toward higher education for this very reason.  When after decades of work you’re dealing with a bad back, bad knees and and aching hands because of years of subtle and not so subtle work injuries, you want more for your children.  When you are in this position you look at the white-collar workers with their office jobs, indoors, making more money with envy.  As a friend’s dad used to often to say to my friend, “son, you go to college to work half as hard, to make twice as much.”

But at the end of the day. in America we have far more respect for people who “work” for a living.  We refer to office jobs as cushy, we talk about “bankers hours.”  I have actually been called an “egg head” by a friend’s father when he found out that I was an academic.  My grandfather used to bemoan that so many of his grandchildren were teachers because it led to them having large backsides, his language was not so polite.  Yet, as I’ve said, it’s these cushy jobs we want for our children.

The impact of stress

The fact is though, whether it’s the physical punishment of the blue-collar world or the mental punishment of the white collar world, work is hard.  Stress, physical or mental takes a toll on people.  As I’ve mentioned it can cause you physical injury and long-term pain.  It can also cause people to have emotional breakdowns, I have a relative who developed a constant eye twitch from the job stress they were under.  How do most bosses see this aspect of work, well I give you an example from a former supervisor.  Her philosophy as stated to me was this, “if you’re not working 50 hours a week you’re not doing the job.”  I pushed back on this because everybody’s hour isn’t the same, different people have different levels of efficiency.  I’m smart, efficient and I work both hard and smart, my 40 hours is sometimes far more productive than others 50 hours.  But that’s not the big point to pull from her statement, just a little bit of defensiveness on my part.  The point is, is that what we consider as someone doing a good job is that they work a lot.  It’s a philosophy that pervades our society, and as such can drive promotions, salary increases and cause people to think that what life is about, is working more, working a lot, and putting worklife in front of other things that I would personally consider far more important.

What’s important in life

I think a question we have to ask ourselves, what is truly important to us in life?  Far too many people live their lives without asking this question.  And then, by default, fall into the trap of making their work the primary part of their identity.  If you ask them who they are, they answer with their occupation, not a father, husband, brother, adventurer, hiker, etc…  Even though all of these things may be part of who they are, the answer is I’m an accountant.  These people are on the wrong side of the cliche, do you work to live, or live to work?

Work-Life Balance

I spend a lot of time writing and speaking about keeping a good work/life balance.  It’s something the people I supervise hear from me a lot, in general conversation as well as in the evaluation process.  And since I talk the talk, I also have to walk the walk.  I’ve written about this before on the blog in my post, Tips for Better Work/Life Balance.  One of the tips that is contained within that piece is never work 7 days in a row.  The main reason I tell people this is that there is no such thing.  The fact is that once you work that seventh day, you are into the next five day week.  So six days quickly turns into twelve days.

Walking the Walk

So how do I implement this in my life.  On the most immediate level I take my own advice, I almost never work seven days in a row.  There are occasional exceptions if there is something crucial due under a deadline.  But that is no more than once or twice a year and my goal is for it to not happen at all each year.  What this means is that I never work on Sundays.  But that day could be Saturday or if you’re on a non-traditional schedule any day of the week.  But holding that hard break is really important.  Whether you use that day to just relax or to participate in something you’re passionate about or spend time with your family, it’s nice to have a day when you can be focused and dedicated to something that is not your job.

I also try and control my hours during the week.  I’m in a job that given its realities means that my average hours per week is usually over forty.  But I try not to get nitpicked to death.  This means being organized and efficient about the way I work.  It also means knowing yourself.  What that means for me is that first, I know I’m more of an evening person than a morning person.  So I don’t push myself to go in early and work before everyone else’s day is started, but I do stay late when I need to do extra hours.  However, as part of my wellness and stress relief strategies, I workout four nights a week and try not to interrupt that schedule.  This means currently most days I leave on time.  However I don’t workout on Monday nights, so that has become the night I plan on staying late.  So I know each week that Mondays will be longer days, a time to catch up if I’m behind or to make strides on projects that will put me ahead of the game.  I try to limit staying late to no more than one other night per week so that I can get my workouts in each week.

I also have a hard rule, no taking work home.  I realize this isn’t possible for some people, but if you have to, define a place in your home where you work, don’t let work bleed onto the dinner table, or into family common spaces.  Try, whenever possible and I know it sometimes isn’t, to focus on work when working, family when it’s family time.  The goal here is to gain a balance, that your life isn’t so work focused that you lose track of the other, and more important things in your life.

I am absolutely making a value judgement in this piece that your family, your recreation, your hobbies and other things that you are passionate about are more important than your job.  There are exceptions, if your work is done deeply in service to some cause it may be on par with the other things that I mention.  However for the majority of us this is not the case.  Where do I come up with the justification that this belief is valid?  It comes from what people regret at the end of their lives.  In a piece entitled, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, I wish I wouldn’t have worked so hard is number two!  The list is below:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

And that number five my friends is what I hope I’m helping you do with this blog.  Have a happy day.  ~ Rev Kane

 

 

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Happiness is Fall

Happiness is Fall

fall-color-and-a-railroad-bridge-over-the-yakama-river-in-the-wenatchee-d0eyrjDelicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot

I love the fall, growing up in the Northeast fall was always the time of year that I spent the most time in nature.  In the fall, the temperatures are cooler, there are fewer bugs, animals are on the move and the trees explode into amazing demonstrations of just how beautiful nature can be.  I no longer live in the Northeast, currently I live in the desert and you don’t quite get the same changes there.

However this week I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest and recently drove from Seattle over to Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.  While doing that drive I had the pleasure of driving through the Wenatchee Forest.  Now it didn’t quite have the fire of the fall in Vermont or upstate New York, but it was spectacular.

The green of the pines, with the gold of the Aspens and Oaks, little patches of red, all framed against steep mountains with low clouds floating through the valleys, it was absolutely magnificent.  There were no good spots to pull off and take pictures so for tonight’s post I’ve resorted to the web to give you all a glimpse of what it looked like.  Enjoy and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Western Larch Trees in Autumn at Sherman Pass, Colville National Forest, northeast Washington.

Western Larch Trees in Autumn at Sherman Pass, Colville National Forest, northeast Washington.

30444404ff41030dd0f0c2d0c735f309 stelprdb5439423 stock-photo-gold-lake-reflection-mount-chikamin-peak-fall-snoqualme-pass-wenatchee-national-forest-wilderness-107791901

Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is a Choice

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Our Best Happiness Posts for 2015

Revisiting Some of Our Best Posts & Pictures

Readers Favorite Appalachian Trail Posts

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Happiness is Taking Risks

Happiness is Taking Risks

The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open         ~ Chuck Palahniuk

taking-risks

So tonight I sat down to write a post on how important taking risks is to being happy.  As I always do I scanned the web for anything that might help or inform my writing and tonight I stumbled upon a piece entitled, 10 Risks Happy People Take Every Day by Marc Chernoff.

This is a really amazing piece and I hope you will click through and read the whole thing, but I’ve included the introduction and the 10 points that he makes.  Risk taking is essential to happiness because taking risks involves making change and if you’re not happy, and you don’t do anything to change, then you will not become a happier person.  So give it a read and have a happier day my friends ~ Rev Kane

10 Risks Happy People Take Every Day

Almost two decades ago, somewhat as a joke since she tutored me throughout grade school, I asked my grandmother to sign my yearbook.  This was her closing paragraph:

“The best thing you can do from this day forward is to follow your intuition.  Take risks.  Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what could happen.  If you do, very little worth remembering will ever happen.”

Years later, as I grew interested in the psychology of happiness, I realized how pertinent my grandmother’s words were.  Risk is an inherent part of living a good life.  Without taking risks, you cannot truly live… you merely exist.  Which is why the happiest among us take small risks every day.  Let’s take a look at ten examples, and examine some ideas on how to implement them in your own life.

1.  They risk the possibility of being hurt.

2.  They risk being real in front of others.

3.  They risk missing out on something new, so they can appreciate what they have.

4.  They risk helping others without expectations.

5.  They risk taking full responsibility for their own happiness.

6.  They risk the consequences of taking action.

7.  They risk bearing the discomfort of growth.

8.  They risk the possibility of failing.

9.  They risk being disappointed by accepting the truth.

10.  They risk letting go and starting anew.

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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Happiness is Mardi Gras: All of My 2016 NOLA Photos

Happiness is Mardi Gras: All of My 2016 NOLA Photos

IMGP9963Links to all of my Mardi Gras photos from this year, enjoy ~ Rev Kane

Happiness is Mardi Gras: New Orleans

Krewe of the Bossom Buddies

Street Musicians and Bead Tosses

Street People, Part 1

Street People, Part 2

A little bit of everything

A little bit of everything, Part 2

Miscellaneous Mardi Gras

Parade photos

Mardi Gras in Mobile

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We all have to stop being afraid

We all have to stop being afraid

fear, happinessCuriosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will. ~ James Stephen

Everyone is afraid

There is a lot of desolation out in cyberspace, a lot of destructive language.  I mean the idea that Trolls exist is really amazing and horrifying to me.  Think about it, there are large numbers of people in this world whose sole form of connection to the rest of us is to write horrible things on the internet for the sole purpose of getting reactions and hurting people’s feelings.

We are constantly subjected to language and information whose sole purpose is to divide us from our fellow humans.  For political gain political parties, political candidates and apparently even foreign governments put out divisive material.  Under this onslaught of negativity people fall prey to faulty thinking, silly ideas and their own prejudices.  We all know this, we all see it in the comment sections to news articles.  At the center of a lot of this is just fear.

love more fear less

Love more Fear less

I get it, life is hard and there are so many things that you can worry about out.  Disease, war, crime, terrorism, losing your job so many things can go wrong in life.  People can be absolutely awful and often you don’t get treated the way you should be.  So we’re afraid, afraid to die, afraid to fail, hell we are even afraid to succeed.  But fear is a liar.

fear happiness

Fear is killing your happiness

Overcoming your fears

It is important in life to overcome our fears.  Our fears are solely dependent on us for their very existence.  Past our fears is where our dreams live and so to get to your dreams you first have to beat back your fears.  It’s not an easy thing, I know that, but it’s a necessary thing if you want to find happiness.

fear, happinessIf you read this blog regularly you know about the things I’ve done, traveling to the Middle East for vacation, doing a 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail, and photographing Polar Bears.  I was afraid in some way to do all of those things.  There were legitimate terrorism fears on my trip to Jordan and an ISIS attack occurred when I was there that killed over 30 people.  Polar bears, well hell, they will eat you.  And before I started my hike on the Appalachian Trail I’d never done an unsupported hike of over two days.  So there was fear before every one of those adventures and that’s ok.  But overcoming those fears led to some absolutely amazing life experiences, that’s what overcoming your fear can do for you and why it’s so important. Life is a one-way, one-time trip and you have to make the most of it and find happiness wherever you can.

There is no mystical, magical formula to overcoming your fears, I wish there was.  At the end of the day you just have to have courage.  A quote I’ve seen recently that I really like,is that being fearless when your most afraid is the greatest life hack.  Sometimes you just have to jump, I know it’s hard but it’s worth it in the end.

So my friends, attack your fears, have courage, jump and have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane

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Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Learning Acceptance

Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Learning Acceptance

20150614_141146The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.      ~ Nathaniel Branden

When you set out to do a long-distance thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail you know a few things in advance.  You know it will be hard, you know you will be dirty and wet and smelly.  You know you’ll likely loose some weight.  You also know that that you will go through some form of transformation, you’ll change in some way, maybe many ways.  One of the things that hit me recently while hiking in Vermont and Massachusetts was that the trail teaches you acceptance.

You see when you are out on the trail,  life is simplified to the basics, food, shelter, the weather.  The simple fact is that many of the things you deal with each day are completely out of your control.  On the trail you have to accept the topography, whether you will climb big hills, do sharp descents walk over rocks and in muds to on heavenly flat trails, you just have to walk the trail.  I’ve taken to not asking hikers I pass going the other way about the trail ahead, it doesn’t matter.  I know the profile from the guide I carry, but whether it will be hard or easy is first a matter of opinion, and secondly it doesn’t matter.  No matter what the trail holds, we’re going to walk it, so what’s coming really starts to not matter, it’s just another hill man.  You have to accept the trail for what it is and even more importantly find happiness in not only smooth descents, but in the hard climbs and the rocky trails.  If you can’t get to this point, the trail can be a very hard place indeed.

The other big thing on the trail that you have absolutely no control over is the weather.  We all know that we will get rained on while we are on the trail.  However, sometimes it can be a bit daunting.  Starting the trail in early March it rained, sleeted or snowed 12 out of the first 14 days on the trail.  It was a bit much, it almost broke me, I hadn’t quite gotten to the point of acceptance yet.  This past week on the trail we got wet and basically stayed at least damp the rest of the week.  When it rains a lot, the humidity stays up, your gear stays  wet, it’s unpleasant but it is what it is and you will have weeks like this on the trail.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t take precautions, I blue blazed Albert Mountain in bad weather because of a bad knee and my poor descending skills.  I’ve stayed an extra day in town or delayed returning to the trail to miss a day of bad weather.  But once on the trail I accept what’s coming, this attitude has made being on the trail a much happier experience.  Being wet, tired, smelly, climbing big hills and hard terrain is all part of doing a thru-hike and with that acceptance comes a level of happiness that leads to happy trail days my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Sometimes the simplest things

Sometimes the simplest things

happiness, simplest things

Happiness, the simplest thing

So the other night I was dancing around the web adding to my collection of quotes about happiness when I stumbled upon this quote.

Rules for Happiness:
something to do,
someone to love,
something to hope for.
Immanuel Kant

I absolutely love this, for many of my happiness resource posts I look for simple suggestions  on how to live a happier life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more simple or direct than this quote.  This quote lays out a really simple road map for living a happier life.

First, have something to do, something that gives you a sense of purpose in life, something that makes you feel good for a reason other than the paycheck attached to the job.

Second, find someone to love.  This doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love but have someone close to you, someone you care about even more than yourself.

Finally, have something to hope for, something to look forward in the future.  This comes back to simple mindfulness and the idea of being present.  You should be focused on the present on what’s happening in this moment but always be preparing for the future, having a goal something to live for and as always, and I’m sure Kant meant to mention it, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Some other Happiness Posts You Might Enjoy!

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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Happiness Through Turning Inward

Happiness Through Turning Inward

sunsetThe outward work will never be puny if the the inward work is great.               ~ Meister Eckhart

So it was a busy weekend.  I did some writing Friday night and stayed up late and decided that I’d sleep in late on Saturday morning, the planet had other ideas in the form of a 3.5 earthquake at 8AM.  It wasn’t big or long, but short and violent and shook me awake from a deep sleep and left me disoriented for a minute.  It moved a few of my paintings and leaned over a water bottle, just life when you literally live on top of the San Andreas fault but it was my first earthquake since moving here.

So, I got up and hit the farmers markets, I was in the mood for good tomatoes and happily landed some really beautiful Black Krims, so I’ve been satiating my tomato urges for a couple of days.  I’ve been working on my blood sugar which has gotten a bit out of control, so for the last two weeks I’ve been eating very few carbs.  This means I also skipped my normal weekly cheat meal, which is where I allow myself my weekly Coca-cola.  As a bit of a reward for going two weeks without a cheat meal I headed into the Mission District to get a couple of good slices of pizza and a coke.  I’m a little embarrassed to tell you how unbelievably satisfying that coke was, yes, I have a problem.  🙂  But it is important to reward yourself for good behavior.

I also checked out a pirate supply store and a science fiction book shop I’ve been wanting to check out.  For me I know I’m in the right bookstore when the staff recommendations are heavy on Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman.  I picked up Gaiman’s short-story collection Fragile Thinks, I have some flights coming up soon and can’t wait to dive into it.  On BART on the way back home, I met a couple of Belgian women who’ve been touring America and were heading for the airport.  It was great to run into some fellow travelers and listen to some stories.

Finally on Saturday night one of our student programs from the college was putting on an event.  The students took over  a coffee shop, posted their art and did some performances.  Students did everything from spoken word, to rap, to musical pieces on guitar.  I had the opportunity to chat with a few of the students about their art pieces, it was a lovely night.

A bit of a crazy reflection shot

Today I headed up to Point Reyes and did a small hike and attended a little gathering for a friend,s birthday.  A lot of driving and a very full day.

I don’t like my weekends to be too hectic, I’m someone who absolutely needs to have some quiet and downtime on my weekends.  I think it’s important for all of us to find ways to turn inward, recharge our batteries and build our happiness.  So I decided to do a little photography tonight.  Last night, heading to the student event I realized with our recent clear skies, the site of our new building on campus should over some good sunset photo opportunities, especially tonight as the clouds started to come in.  Photography is something I get lost in, something that calms me and makes me happy so I spent about an hour shooting the sunset.

I also got a bit of a bonus on the happiness front today.  I sent cards and a little cash to my littlest nephews for being good big brothers.  They have recently welcomed a little sister into their lives and have been doing a good job of dealing with the adjustment.  Well they sent me a picture today of what they had done with their money, they pooled it together and it was a picture of them holding a pizza box, they’re definitely my nephews.

sunset selfie

sunset selfie reflection

It’s important to find time my friends.  First to satisfy those lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, sleep, food and security and then to work up that pyramid to the things that bring us happiness.  Take some time my friends and you’ll have happier days. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness Resources

Happiness Resources

Our typical tour around the web in order to help you have a happier day       ~ Rev Kane

How to thrive: Dan Buettner’s Secrets Of Happiness
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/28/131571885/how-to-thrive-dan-buettner-s-secrets-of-happiness

In the long run: lessons in happiness
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/04/137607070/in-the-long-run-lessons-in-happiness

Quantifying Happiness
http://www.npr.org/2010/11/12/131274191/quantifying-happiness

Creating our own happiness
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7572601

Happiness on Two Wheels
http://www.npr.org/2011/05/15/136239243/bike-mad-author-finds-happiness-on-two-wheels

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