Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?

Happiness & Beauty, does being pretty make you happier?

9

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:

20150824_194342

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

 

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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  http://celestially.blogspot.com/2012/08/mother-dog-saved-puppies-from-fire-in.html

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

Amen

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

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My COVID Times Diary: The triple-triple

My COVID Times Diary: The triple-triple

COVID 300,000No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. ~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

This will be a short post tonight, it’s a horribly sad post.  Almost ten months into the pandemic, even with vaccines being distributed, my fellow Americans will not take the responsible actions to protect their fellow citizens.  As such, we didn’t socially distance for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Christmas or for New Years Eve.  I know, you did, it’s always somebody else who didn’t.  But the numbers are undeniable, a significant number of Americans are not appropriately social distancing.  So the pandemic is raging in America, closing in on all of us, in the last month I’ve had several colleagues who have not only tested positive but have also been ill.

The triple-triple that I refer to is a day with over 300,000 new infections and over 3,000 deaths in one day.  Basically the equivalent of the 9/11 massacre and the number above is a 14 day average.  So a 9/11 every day for 14 days.  But we’re not treating it with that level of severity, somehow, the majority of Americans are ok with this, it is incredibly sad.  This is just the front end of the anticipated holiday spike, it will get worse.  Hospitals in Southern California are basically out of ICU space, many hospitals in the bay area are not far behind.  I fear within the next month I’ll be doing a post called the quadruple-quadruple, 400,000 new infections and 4,000 new deaths daily.  What a sad day that will be, wear a damn mask, social distance, wash your hands, it’s just that simple to keep from killing someone’s grandmother.

Posted in Life in Covid Times, personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Responsibility and Obligation

Responsibility and Obligation

obligation and responsibilityTo be a human being is to be in a state of tension between your appetites and your dreams, and the social realities around you and your obligations to your fellow man.       ~ John Updike

I have these moments when I just get so incredibly fed up with all of the obligations and responsibilities that I have.  When I’m just tired of being beholden to others.  Then after a minute I remember, in fact, I have no responsibility or obligation to anyone.  Any obligation or responsibility I have, I have because I’ve chosen it.

I know, you don’t believe me yet, so let’s get into it.  Of course you have an obligation to your parents right?  No you don’t, they chose to have a child, and if you have children, so did you.  So you chose to create an obligation to raise, feed, clothe and educate that child.  Why would your decision to do that obligate that child to do anything for you.  Now, for most of us, we choose to feel obligated to our parents.  My mother, a single mother who raised three children, carried a burden that she had not planned on taking on, being a single parent.  Given the sacrifices she made in that role, I’ve decided to take on an obligation related to her.  If I had decided not to be obligated to her I wouldn’t have one.  I don’t have the same obligation to my father.  No one and nothing has come down from the sky and forced me to have one to him, it’s simply our choice.

We choose these obligations in our life, the decisions and actions of obligation are solely within our control.  Now, as we’ve discussed many times, every action, and inaction has a consequence.  As much as we are happier when we ignore them, we often feel pressured by social norms and expectations.  So yes, if you decide you have no obligation to your parents, your siblings and society may feel negatively toward you for that choice, but you do have that choice.  Very often we feel hemmed in because we’re not willing to pay the price for choosing not to be obligated when society feels we should have one.

So if you’re feeling over obligated, if you are sick and tired of being responsible to others, remember you have a choice.  There will be costs and consequences, but you can choose to pay those, instead of being obligated.  And like with many things in life, what should drive your choice is a cost-benefit analysis to determine which choice is best.

One place we may have the least amount of control in terms of obligation is at work.  This is one place where there is something that controls our obligations and provides consequences.  Your job description and evaluations.  At work you’re obligated to do certain things and your evaluations are there to enforce that you meet those obligations.  So I understand why many of us feel very overwhelmed in that environment.  However, ultimately, even at work, you’ve chosen that obligation.  Although it often seems daunting, you can quit your job and get another.  I know, given the choices I’ve made in my life, I typically quit my job every three years and take time off to travel.  It’s always a little bit frightening, you worry about how hard it will be to get another job.  But in the end, I always have, it’s always worked out.  So you too have that choice, it just takes thoughtful planning and you could choose to leave your job as well.

So when I have those moments of feeling overwhelmed by all of my responsibilities and obligations I stop, realize it’s all a choice and that helps.  But I’ll let you in on a secret, because it really all is a choice, I have a little fantasy.  I think about the fact that there really is nothing stopping me.  I can load up my car, empty my back accounts and just drive away.  Sure, that’s when that cost-benefit analysis thing usually keeps me from doing just that, but I could if I wanted to, and that’s enough to make me feel a little better about my life.  Have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Posted in personal happiness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Need and Beauty of Quiet and Silence

Taoism, happiness, cycles

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:

http://nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_nrs-p-14/79-manning-p-14.pdf

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

Posted in happiness resources, personal happiness | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Doug Draime’s work, the writing is good but the attitude is better, and even more than that is the honesty that comes through. I’ve always been drawn to poets who don’t sugarcoat what they see in the world but come at it full and hard. I first encountered Doug’s work in The Outlaw Poetry site.  When I first started writing poetry I figured it had to be terrible because it didn’t rhyme or talk about the beauty of nature or God. It was discovering poets like Bukowski, Draime, Sapphire and more recently, Warsan Shire that made me realize my perception of poetry had been severely limited by my education.

Here are several pieces by Doug Draime, have a read, if he catches your fancy you find his work for sale on Amazon or more directly for his chapbook Dusk with Carol
and other chapbooks through KSE as well as a selected collection from 2012 that I’ve just ordered.

One Day’s Settlement of Chaos

The dream still lives in the
center of chaos, despite
the continual bombardment
in the world around me,
of people
with Hannibal and Hitler-
like ethics, plundering and
devouring the earth.
Yet, the flowers
reach up, purple and yellow
approaching the
fence top, in glorious
pure beauty.
I relax on the porch, drinking a
beer, thinking of the amazing
contradiction.

 

Illuminating Information

They talked about “art” as
…..if it was some
…..perfect glistening
…..thing like a diamond
…..after the mining
…..and cleaning

I swept the floor
…..as they talked
…..I took out the trash
…..washed the dirty glasses

“Art” without the blood
…..and torment
…..Mickey Mouse
…..without the mouse
…..turds.

After they left I
…..cleaned the ashtrays
…..scrubbed the toilet
…..waxed the floor
…..did what I had to do.

“Art” had nothing
…..to do with their lives
…..“art” was a good movie
…..a concert in the park
…..created and performed
…..by people with masters degrees
…..and winter homes
…..in Arizona.

I clocked out
…..bought a couple beers
…..and went home
…..tomorrow was another day
…..of illuminating information

 

Literary Expert

The guy was an “expert”
……….on poetry.
He was a famous poet &
………the magazine quotes
him saying that a poem “can’t be
……….totally honest, or it’s
………………..not a poem.”
He said good poetry is partly
……….honest and party bullshit
…..(I’m paraphrasing). He has taught
at a college somewhere in Iowa for
…..30 years & has
……….20 or so books out,
& he doesn’t have a brain in his fucking head. But he
…..doesn’t offend
anyone & I’m certain
people nod knowingly when he reads
………those little gems.
Chances are he has never written anything close to
honest poetry & therefore, never had to risk anything,
…..except maybe in the “literary” sense
…..(whatever the hell that is).
Everyone has a right to their own opinion about
………what poetry is suppose to be,
even if they’re lying to themselves, because
of course, that’s what good poetry
………is all about

 

Pretending the Apple Pie is Fresh

Pretending what can only be pretended
in the hollow cave of
a diseased mind, and laughing
like a crater on the moon: dead and
deep and treacherous.
War mongers and whore mongers
dine with presidents and kings
on lavish tables.
Meteors and broken stars are buried
beneath the junkyards of the world.
Dignity is something sold on back streets
and in dark crevices.
No matter how often flowers wither and
die in the presence of politicians,
no matter what the earth is destined to
spew out of its bowels, no matter what price
the death of innocence,
the horror continues unchecked by the
appointed and elected guardians of society.
Legions march heads-up past the viewing stand
where the decked-out
dignitaries are seated with chests full of medals,
wearing thousand dollar suits, their wives
smiling beside them
like vampy Vegas whores.

 

The Suits Won’t Go Away

I’ve seen these Suits
with dead faces,
since I was a
kid. I remember
closing my eyes tight,
after looking
at an insurance salesman
or a preacher ( how do
you tell the difference? ),
and praying he would not
be there
when I opened
my eyes.
I still do it at times with
CEO’s in their
designer suits, and generals
in battle dress: death arrayed
in ribbons across
their breast.
I shut my eyes tight still,
at morticians and talk show hosts,
and lying politicians,
with a hint of color in their
Porky Pig neckties.
Not to say, though, that all
men who have worn or who wear
suits are on my shit list.
Camus looked fantastic in a suit.
Presley wore suits with an unmistakable cool.
Miles and Coltrane and Kenneth Patchen
wore suits.
And Einstein wore a black rumpled suit
with impeccable class.
I admire men like that who happened to
have worn suits!
Men who have something to sell
other than
war, mind control and
spiritual stagnation.
I know the Suits will not go away,
no matter how long
I close my eyes and pray.
It’s been the same since
the white race rose to power.
The Huns were Suits, and down
the line, Hitler.
Many of our leaders imitate him,
wearing his Suit of death:
perfect fit, no tailoring
needed.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is Poetry: Ashe Vernon

Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

Happiness is Poetry: Sapphire

Posted in Happiness is Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Happiness Resources: Being Happy with Yourself

Happiness Resources: Being Happy with Yourself

happiness

Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful. ~ Zoe Kravitz

The first and most important thing in being happy is to be happy and accepting of yourself, we can all be our own worst critics and sabotage our own happiness from within.  Tonight a little tour around the web, starting with some links about image.  Give em a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

So first off, no one is immune to having their physical self criticized and scrutinized, here’s a link to a piece about an unretouched image of Cindy Crawford that surfaced.

From Tiny Buddha.com, Increasing Self-Esteem & Happiness

From Pathway to Happiness.com, Insecurity and Confidence

The Art of Building Self Esteem

From the Huffington Post, Happiness is Loving Yourself

How to Love Yourself – The Secret of Happiness

Posted in happiness resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment