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

To a Happy and Passionate New Year

To a Happy and Passionate New Year

passion, happiness, quoteAs if you were on fire from within.  The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
~ Pablo Neruda

The last quarter of 2019 was a really fascinating time for me.  I believe I’ve mentioned it before but something hit me some time in October.  I was/am for the first time in my life at a point where I’m not dealing with something that is pulling on my emotions.  You would think I would immediately be ecstatic, but in fact it was a bit disconcerting.  You see when you’ve lived in a particular state of being your entire life, suddenly realizing that you’re in a completely different state, well it can even be a bit scary.

This had a very unusual effect upon me, I sort of went to sleep.  Not literally of course, but I found myself sort of sleepwalking through life for a bit.  Sure, I went to work, I handled my obligations, I kept an OK workout schedule.  But for the most part, I’ve been going to work coming home and watching TV.   Now, there’s an argument to be made that I’d earned a break in my life.  Living for 54 years with near constant emotional stress and strife, suddenly having none, it’s understandable I might just want to relax for a time.  And although that’s likely not the right answer, for the time being I’m going with it.

I’m not a resolution making kind of person, but I am a goal setter and the beginning of the year is as good a time as any to set new goals.  There are the standard annual goals, my goal for blog readership (15,000 page views), total followers (21,000), continue my pattern of completing a book a year, and visiting my 6th continent.  Those are some of the easy ongoing annual goals that have been set for a time.

On the health front I have two pretty big ones for the year, to finally get down to 175 pounds (12 to go) and to get my blood sugar back into the normal range without medication.  Oddly it seems that the last goal is the one that has snapped me out of my sleepwalking.  I made some of the similar changes I had in the past when it got high and it just didn’t come down the same way.  A lack of discipline, being at a higher level than ever before and being older all conspired against my success.  So I’ve had to jump into some more significant than usual changes.  And maybe because I have a problem to solve (I’ve always liked solving problems), I’ve found a lot more energy in my days.

happiness, responsibilityThe energy has quickly spread, I got back to work on continuing to reduce the number of my possessions.  This weekend I sold a number of books, donated several boxes of items to Goodwill and will be setting up several auctions on Ebay starting tomorrow night.  I even had more energy at work last week.  So things are good.

Not perfect, I’m quite frustrated right now, I thought 13 months out would be enough of a time cushion to book my Antarctic trip for next December, it was not.  So I’m hoping to plan a trip to Australia, Sydney and Tasmania to be precise, to hike the Overland Track and check off my 6th continent.  I’ve some quick planning to do to make that work.  But the overall good news is I seem to have a little bit of my fire back.

Without that passion, that fire inside of us, it’s hard for us to be focus and productive in what’s really important, our non-work life.  I’ve still personally got to work on dipping deeper into myself and find some deeper purpose.  But that’s for another night’s discussion.  So my friends, take some time, have those thoughts and discussions with yourself and get in touch with that passion, it will help you have more happy days.

~ Rev Kane

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

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

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

Simple Lessons in Happiness

Simple Lessons in Happiness

positivity

Smile every chance you get. Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have. ~ www.marcandangel.com

So I’ve been traveling and was rolling through Kentucky recently, my granny grew up on the Kentucky border and being in this area always takes me back to my families Appalachian roots. What this typically means for me is returning to really simple ideas and actions in life. So as I was driving today I starting thinking about the simple things we can all do to be happier in our lives. So here’s a little list, nowhere near exhaustive but a few thoughts for you to chew, give a try and hopefully help you have a happy day my friends    ~ Rev Kane

 

Be nice to people – Don’t become a door mat, but whenever give people the benefit of the doubt, if you do you’ll be pleasantly surprised more than you might imagine.

Make time – Make time for those things that are truly important. We are all too busy in our lives but so much of what we do has no meaning, don’t wait for a “life event” some tragedy to make you reconsider what you do with your time.

Don’t be so reactive – This has become ever harder to do with technology, it is all too easy to encounter ideas and attitudes that make you want to explode, take a breath and let it go. Even as I write this people are ignorantly commenting on the city I live in. I could jump in, point out their ignorance but all that will do is start an online argument, add some stress to my night and nothing would be accomplished.

Spend time with good people – This one is particular hard for me, I’m a gypsy and my friends are scattered all over the world. It takes effort, sometimes a great deal to get together but the only person in charge of whether or not it happens is you and your friends.

Finally, smile – it’s amazing what a smile can do.

You may also enjoy…

Appalachian Trail or Bust!

Happiness, the Minimalist Mind and Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Happiness and Saying Goodbye

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

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Happiness and the Three Questions

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Happiness and the Three Questions

Rev Kane on his arrival at Amicalola Falls State Park

Rev Kane on his arrival at Amicalola Falls State Park

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

What are the three questions?

What was the most beautiful thing I saw (encountered) today?

What did I learn today?

What made me happy today?
These questions were created for a couple of purposes. First, I have always been frustrated by the fact that when I travel I fall behind in my journaling then end up trying to catch up and often end up missing days during the trip. I wanted a way to capture each day in a way that I would even be willing to complete at the end of long days when I was tired and a method that I could use to easily catch up if I missed a day.

Rev Kane on his first day on the Appalachian Trail

Rev Kane on his first day on the Appalachian Trail

The three questions fit that criteria but also served an additional purpose, by recording these positive thoughts at the end of the day they act as a reminder, even on the really hard days, that good things were happening every day. And because I knew I would be answering these questions at the end of the day, it made me think more about and focus on the beautiful, happy things that I encountered throughout the day. I changed the first question from the original beautiful thing I saw each day, to the most beautiful thing I encountered. Sometimes the most beautiful thing was a sound, a smell or an act of kindness.

There were a lot of hard days on the trail and often sitting down to rest, to eat and answer these questions really put me in a much better place at the end of the day.  Here is a fleshed out version of what I wrote on my first day on the trail. Enjoy and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

March 5th – my first day on the Appalachian Trail.

The most beautiful thing that I saw today was an absolutely Tolkeinesque spot on the trail. I came around a corner and over a small rise to encounter a set of stone steps that were surrounded by bright green moss and ferns. Like a small piece of Middle Earth in the fog. I learned today that five miles on the Appalachian Trail with a forty plus pound pack is possible. What made me happy today was just finally being on the trail, after months of preparation and thinking about it, after quitting my job, traveling across the country and making my way to Georgia I’m finally doing it. That and the presence of my good friend Jim Cooper who met me at the Len Foote, Hike Inn and hiked me in on my first day. All in all a fantastic day!

3 q day 1

Posted in Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A New Year’s Eve Memory

A New Year’s Eve Memory

new year, 2020Memory is the diary all of us carry about with us. ~ Oscar Wilde

So today a friend texted me to remind me our our New Year’s Eve celebration for the year 2000.  As you may remember, there was a lot of talk about the world possibly ending.  That whole pesky Y2K thing had everyone very excited, amazing what a few misplaced 1’s and o’s might do.  So I figured if it was going to be the end of the world, it ought to be celebrated in style.

When I was younger, I never expected to ever see the year 2000.  I have a clear memory of laying on the playground watching clouds with a friend.  We were maybe 12, and it dawned on me that we would be 36 in the year 2000.  Then we both started laughing and said, “well, guess we won’t see that.”  My life and my mind were in a very different place at that point in my life.

So, having made it, I decide to celebrate in style.  So with a friend I rented a beach house  in Port Saint Joseph on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.  I also bought the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever bought.  I was a grad student and a $100 bottle of wine was a lot of money for me back then.  The first thing we did, was to watch TV as the first places in the world hit the magical 2000.  I remember watching the fireworks in Sydney Harbor, meaning of course that things hadn’t gone haywire on Australian computers.  It looked like the world would survive after all.  Turns out a lot of hardworking nerds had actually averted a potential disaster, if it actually existed.

The plan was at midnight to pour a couple of glasses of excellent wine and ring in the New Year standing in the Gulf of Mexico.  Why? Seemed like a good idea at the time.  As the night progressed we made friends with our neighbors who invited us to join the massive Cajun style boil they were doing.  We had a great time hanging out with them and eating really good food.  At midnight we indeed clinked our glasses to welcome in the next year, century and millennium.

It was a bittersweet time for both of us, our grandfathers‘ were dying and in between our small adventures, including paddling out to some dolphins in a tiny rubber boat, we could call to check on them.  The dolphins in fact were sharks, and it was a pretty funny realization that quickly reversed our paddling direction.  Unfortunately both of our grandfathers soon passed away.

happiness family

Grandpa Kane

I rarely celebrate New Year’s Eve, a neighbor of mine used to refer to it as amateur night.  A night for people who don’t normally drink to go out and get drunk.  Too many drunk people, too many fights, too many drunk drivers.  My celebrations now are quieter, alone or with a friend or two.  A quiet celebration of the passing of one year into another and the hope for many happy days to come.  Happy New Year my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

 

Posted in Holiday Happiness | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happiness in Three Weeks

Happiness in Three Weeks

sunset, beachIf you do not change direction, you may end up where  you are heading. ~ Lao Tzu

So it’s the third week of January and for most of us our New Year Resolutions have already failed.  For those of us who are regulars at the gym you can really see the pattern.  Around Christmas to New Years Day the gym begins to get really crowded, the workers are frequently giving tours and you inevitably can’t get on your favorite machine because someone is sitting there trying to figure out how it works.  About this time of year, the crowd that had been thinning day by day since the first, has now pretty much disappeared.

I wrote my New Year post this year on looking at things a little differently for your resolution and hopefully that worked for you.  If not, if you went the old usual way and got the old usual results, let me give you a little forgiveness and another chance.  Yeah, I know, I’ve got no real authority but it’s a way for you to give yourself a break.

So, let tomorrow be a do over Monday, start with a new set of resolutions.  I’ll go back to my post’s recommendation, do something you’re passionate about and want to do, instead of what you “should” do.  Either way here is some advice.

  1. Pick easy and measurable goals, something you can do quickly and easily each day.
  2. Reward yourself for success, put a dollar aside for each time you do what you’re supposed to, do buy some ice cream with the cash.
  3. Tell someone about the goal, keep them updated.
  4. Forgive yourself if you miss a day and go right back at it the next day.

Hopefully these tips will keep you going and help you achieve whatever change you were hoping to make by doing this and as always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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

End of the Year Happiness – 2019

End of the Year Happiness – 2019

looking back, happiness

The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

So I’m falling prey tonight to what happens to most writers this time of the year, the end of the year review.  Every year has good and bad, and most of the time that comes down to how we choose to perceive things.  So a little walk through the major events of the year.

I got a job

sunset, beach, photographysunset, beach

For the first half of 2019 I was wrapping up a year a travel.  I’d returned to the US and was visiting family on the east coast and also spent some time on the ocean down in Alabama.  I nice restful time of daily beach walks, lazy TV watching and gorgeous sunsets.  But it was also time to get back to work.  So I was submitting applications in January and February and then headed back west to California to start the interview process.  This job hunt was the most difficult I’ve ever had, but I’m spoiled, in the past it’s been an offer after every interview.  However this time around, I missed on the first job I interviewed for, or at least I’m pretty sure I have, they never contacted me.  First time I’ve ever been ghosted after interviewing for a job. I then had a frantic two week period where I had interviews set up for four positions.  I did the first three interviews, and was asked back for two final interviews at Skyline College.  After completed the second one I was offered the position I would end up taking, the Dean of Business , Education and Professional Programs.

sunset selfie

sunset selfie from my new campus

The job has gone very well.  The faculty and staff I’m working with have been open to my ideas and do a great job with their programs.  That all makes my life a lot easier, I have a great assistant and my relationship with my boss is excellent.  So all in all it’s been a great start to the position.

I’m living near San Francisco

I have always loved San Francisco.  It’s a vibrant city with a lot going on, lot’s of museums, events attractions and generally the weather is pretty good.  Although it’s raining like hell and colder than normal as I write this.  I’m enjoying being a 20 minute BART ride from the city and living here has another benefit.  People visit San Francisco, I’ve had more friends come to visit since I’ve lived here than maybe everywhere else I have lived  combined.  So if you’re rolling through the city by the bay my friends, drop a note.

I’ve been exploring the city a bit and having a good time but there is a lot here to see as well as a lot of hiking trails in the bay area.  I’ve also loved being so close to the ocean and have tried to get to the beach to hike at least once a week.  It’s really fun right now as some storms at sea have been driving 20 foot waves into the coast and soon the gray whale migration will be at it’s peak.

My year in health

broken heart, happinessWell, it’s been an up and down year.  My aneurysm continues to grow so I’m looking at heart surgery in the next 3-5 years.  I completely ignored my blood sugar while traveling and now I’m paying the price and working to get that back to normal and not doing a great job of it.  But I’ll get there.  In general everything else is that can be good is and I’ve been working out regularly and hiking some, so physically it’s been a good year.

I published my third book

athena's addict, rev kaneI published my third book this year, another book of poetry, Athena’s Addict.  This was definitely my most personal work and I haven’t done much to publicize it, but I’m happy with the way the book turned out. I’ve been on a pace of a book a year for the last three years and that’s a point of pride for me.

The Ministry of Happiness and Social Media

So this has been the 10th year of the Ministry of Happiness.  This project that I initially thought I would do for a year or so has turned into one of the best things that I’ve ever done.  I’ll write a bigger post later this week, but over the last ten years there have been over 145,000 page views of this blog.  I have over 225 subscribers who receive every single new post.  My social media following has grown to 20,000 followers across my social media platforms.  I’m a tiny fish on the internet, but for a personal passion project I’m damn proud of it.  The blog has helped some folks and in the end, if what I write helps someone than it’s well worth the time and effort I put forth.

My Mental Landscape

One of the more interesting things that happened this year caught me by surprise.  Shortly after arriving at my new home I made a new friend.  She’s a person who I have had some wonderful conversations with.  In talking about our mental landscapes, visualizing your emotional mind as a plain with the the mountains and hills being issues your dealing with, I realized something.  Mine was flat.  I’ve arrived at a point in my life that I was not prepared for and am still adjusting to every day.  I’m not dealing with any big issues, you know, the type of nagging things that you are constantly trying to resolve.  In fact, life is really good.  For the first time in memory I can solely focus on moving forward and that will be the focus of next week’s post.  As always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

 

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

Cultivating the subtle in the pursuit of happiness

Cultivating the subtle in the pursuit of happiness

01When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.  ~ Lao Tzu

Many years ago I started studying Tai Chi and Chi Qong with an instructor in Sacramento.  It was a stressful time in my life and I started doing Tai Chi as a way of forcing myself out of the office and as a method of relaxation.  I did well with learning the basic forms and movements of the style and the class did have the desired effect of helping me relax.  The side benefit of studying Tai Chi was the beginning of starting to look at things from an Eastern perspective.  There were two very important things that we addressed early on in our class, the first being pace.  We discussed the impatience of Western society and in particular the United States.  The first move we practiced for two nights and the class was growing impatient, myself included, we wanted to move on to the next move.  Our instructor laughed at us, when he was studying in China they practiced this same first move for two months before moving on to the second.

The second topic we studied was the idea of cultivating subtle energies and recognizing the subtle in our lives.  This is another area in which our culture is very different from the East, our lives are not about the subtle in the United States.  For me in particular this topic hits home, I’m not subtle, I hit life straight on and I don’t do it quietly or subtly.  Maybe this is part of my heritage, my upbringing, hell maybe it’s genetic coming from my Irish and Italian roots.  Either way, noticing and cultivating the subtle is something I need to personally work on.

01In our life here in America we do not live subtly.  Those of us in cities deal daily and constantly with a high level of noise and distraction, we move quickly from appointment to appointment, we eat fast food, we drive fast and we live fast.  A local news station is currently advertising by using a woman who talks about not having thirty minutes for the news which is why she loves that they give all of the important news and weather in the first eight minutes.  Really, we can’t spare thirty minutes a day to know what’s happening in the world?

Noticing and cultivating the subtle is not just simply about slowing down or smelling the roses it is about truly settling.  Settling means coming to a full stop, like a quiet and calm pool of water where the water is so calm that all particles are allowed to sink to the bottom leaving the water clear and still.  This is the meditation I practice at night, trying to bring peace and clarity to notice the subtle in my life.

We have talked a lot here at the Ministry of Happiness about the big things,  things we can do to be happy.  Today I ask you to consider settling to find peace and clarity so that you can see clearly, notice the subtle beauty in your life and find happiness.  Have a great and happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

How Travel Makes You Happier

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Our Best Happiness Posts of 2015

My favorite Appalachian Trail Photos of 2015

Why I’m Happy Right Now!

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

Happiness is Poetry: Outlaw Poets

Happiness is Poetry: Outlaw Poets

outlaw

My absolute favorite poetry collection is entitled The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and you can read it free on the link, today several selections from that collection, wonderful reading for a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Hiding Places ~ Jack Micheline

There are hiding places in my room
where beautiful poems are hidden
Poems hidden away in boxes
on sheets of brown paper
Poems of spirit and magic
workers hands hidden in boxes
beautiful thighs
there are blue skies hidden in my room
dolphins and seagulls
the heaving of breasts and oceans
there are skies in my room
there are flies in my room
there are streets in my room
there are a thousand nights hidden in boxes
there are drunks in my poems
there are a million stars on the roof of my room
all hidden away in boxes
there are steps down side streets
there is a crazed eye of a poet in my room
there are old Arabs exploring the desert near Escalon
there are sparrows and bluebirds and wildcats in my room
there are elephants and tigers
there are skinny Italian girls in my room
there are letters from Peru and England
and Germany and Russia in my room
There are the steps of Odessa in my room
the Volga river in my room
there are dreams in the night of my room
there are flowers
there is the dance of affirmation in my room
the steps of young poets carrying knapsacks full of poems
there are the Pictures of an Exhibition in my room
Moussorgsky and Shostakovich
and Charlie Mingus in my room
Composers and painters all singing in my room
all hidden away in boxes
one night when the moon is full
they will come out and do a dance

I’m an Emotional Idiot ~ Maggie Estep

Here’s a link to her reading it, it’s awesome:

Emotional Idiot

I’m not Mad ~ Vampyre Mike Kassel

Am I mad at you?
Of course I’m not mad, What ever gave you that idea?
Just because I’m sitting here pushing pins
into a wax doll
with a lock of your hair in it?
Just because I burned the panties you left here and buried the ashes at the crossroads at midnight?
Just because I sent the nude pictures we took of you
to Cattle Breeders Digest?
Just because I welded the doors of your car shut?
Just because I wrote your name and address
on the men’s room wall
of every bikers bar from here to Bakersfield?
Just because I made three hundred copies
of your apartment key
and handed them out to every junkie and wino in the Tenderloin?
Just because I switched your birth control pills for Ex-lax,
spiked your shampoo with Nair,
and hid an electric cattle prod inside your favorite dildo?
Just because I pitchforked your mother,
and strung out your cat on speed?
No, I’m not mad.
And by the way,
Have you got a dollar?

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