Happy Anniversary Ministry of Happiness: Our Best Posts from the last Five Years
Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about ~ Benjamin Franklin
Happy Anniversary Ministry of Happiness
Happy Anniversary to the Ministry of Happiness and the Church of Abnormal Acceptance. It was today in 2012 that I first started this blog. I had gone through years of fighting depression and in trying to help myself starting researching how to be happy. I’d helped myself and decided that I needed a way to share what I had I learned. I had also just become an ordained minister and so it all came together as the Ministry of Happiness. A short-time later I expanded the ministry to include an over arching structure, the Church of Abnormal Acceptance. The name was chosen specifically to make the point that everyone is welcome here. This church is not religion in the terms we ordinarily think of it, but more of a philosophy and a way of life. A place to find a little wisdom that you can apply to your life regardless of whatever beliefs you have may have, in hopes that I can help you find some more happiness in your life.
How to be happy
Over the years my focus on the blog has changed a bit. Initially I wrote about what I had learned from others. More general advice on how to be happy. I pulled a lot from some of the best sites on the web like Zen Habits. There is a lot of great advice on that site and it’s someplace worth checking out. But as I’ve learned more about the science of positive psychology, as I became a happier person, my focus began to change. The basics of course are important, good food, sleep, finding ways to reduce stress, being kind and exercising. These things will keep you happy at a basic level. But perhaps the most important things I’ve learned over the last few years are two things. First you have to find balance in your life and secondly, you have to learn to take risks and get out of your comfort zone.
If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk
So when you write a blog on happiness and you tell people that they need to have balance in their life, you had better have balance in yours if you want any credibility. So I do my best to keep that balance day-to-day. However, years ago I also decided to take the whole balance thing to another level. I realize given my own personal circumstances and that I won’t have a standard retirement, I needed to get my retirement adventures in another way. So I instituted a plan and now, every time I hit a milestone birthday, starting at 40, then 45 and 50 so far, I take at least a leave of absence from work or quit my job and go on an adventure. I do this primarily because it makes me happy, because I can and because it’s a way for me to show other people that they can do it to.
The adventures I’ve gone on have ranged from going to Burning Man, cycling in Ireland, hiking across Scotland, hiking to base camp at Mt. Everest, photographing polar bears in the arctic with spectacular northern light shows and my most ambitious adventure, hiking the Appalachian Trail and writing a book about it, Appalachian Trail Happiness.
It’s happiness to live your dreams
So you might think, ok, he writes a blog on happiness, he’s happy, he travels, write books he must have it all worked out. Of course that’s not how it works, I struggle with one of the things that almost everyone struggles with and that is how to align my job with my dreams. We all hear the comment all of the time, read it online in quotes, you know, love your job and you’ll never work another day. Great idea, but how do you make it work with bills, family and all other types of responsibilities? Well, that’s what I’ve started to write about and work on my life. So there’s still a way to go before I get to the place I want to be, and lots more to write about on the way. And hopefully lot’s of happy days my friends.
Ten best Ministry of Happiness posts
I have assembled this list with absolutely no criteria in mind. I’ve pulled some pieces that have gotten a lot of comments, some that people have told me they really like and a few of my own personal favorites. Enjoy!. ~ Rev Kane
- Remember the Sweet Things – including the most poignant piece I’ve ever read, it will make you weep and give you hope for humanity.
- Fear is Killing Your Happiness – stop worrying and be happy.
- Happiness is Taking Risks – you have to get out of your comfort zone to be happy.
- Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way – Learning acceptance on the AT
- Happiness is Not Safety – Choosing safety and predictability will not increase your happiness
- Happiness is Blue Poop – A cute little post about my niece potty training
- My Polar Bear Adventure – Polar bears and an amazing Northern Lights display
- Appalachian Trail Happiness: My Best Posts – My reader’s favorite AT posts
- My Himalayan Travelogue – Both my trips through Scotland and Mt. Everest
- Happiness is Art: Van Gogh – A popular post with Vincent Van Gogh’s art