Happiness is Creating

Happiness is Creating

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  ~Pablo Picasso

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When the idea for this piece first hit me I had planned on calling it Happiness is Making Art, however I realized that many times when you talk about making art people have a funny reaction.  You see most people’s idea of making art is limited to a subset of what creating art is all about.  We have a tendency to only think of painting or sculpture as art and that’s a really limited view.  I get this; it has taken me some time to come to the broader realization that art includes writing, singing, painting, drawing, photography, knitting and on and on.  If you create you do art, if you do art, you’re an artist.  The realization for me happened when some of my colleagues on a couple of occasions called me an artist after seeing some of my photography work.  However it’s taken some time for me to become comfortable with the idea.

Creating is a wonderful thing, you don’t have to be particularly talented, it’s not about the quality of your creations  but about the act of creating.  Creating is a particularly good release, it’s an excellent way to relax and lose track of time.  There has been a lot written about the benefits of creating:

Make More Art: The Benefits of Creating

The Brain Benefits of Making Art

The Benefit of Making Art for Kids

It’s common to be afraid of starting out on the road to practicing art, here’s a piece on the 5 Fears That Can Destroy An Artist, although pointed more at people trying to make art a profession it has a lot of relevance to those of us just creating for fun.  Finally here’s a couple of pieces to help you get started on the creative process:

How To Get Your Creative Itch Back

How To Start Making Art Again

And a video,  Art: How to Start Creating Now 

So my friends, carve out a little time, do a little creating and have a happy day ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness Resources: Balance

Happiness Resources: Balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

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Tonight a little twirl around the web to find you all some resources on one of my favorite subjects, balance.  One of the things that I frequently see people do is lose balance in their life.  This typically comes in the form of working too much, or at least losing the understanding that work is not your whole life, that other things are more important than work.  Is this you?  Well if you think you can’t take a vacation, or when you are home or on vacation if you can’t unplug from work you may fall into this category.  It’s not easy the first you truly unplug on vacation or at home, but unless you’re a medical professional or someone similar no one dies if you don’t answer the phone, but remember my friends you only get one shot at life, one shot to hang with your kids at the age they are at right now, so wind down, unplug and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

From our friends at Zen Habits, 5 Essential Zen Habits for Balanced Living

How to create a balanced life

From the folks at life hack, 10 Simple Ways to find Balance in Life

A nice piece from Whole Living, How to find Balance

Finally a TED talk, How to make life-work balance

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Random Happiness: The Beauty & Power of Nature

Random Happiness: The Beauty & Power of Nature

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tonight a quick tour around the web for some images showing how amazing nature can be even when she is at her worst.  ~ Rev Kane

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Random Happiness: Videos

Random Happiness: Videos

calvin

Tonight a little tour around the web to find some videos to help you have a happier day my friends ~ Rev Kane

The science of happiness – an experiment in gratitude  (7:14)

TED Talks

Less stuff more happiness (5:49)

How to buy happiness (10:59)

The happy secret to happy work  (12:21)

The surprising science of happiness (21:29)

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Happiness is the Smoochy Monster

Happiness is the Smoochy Monster

Love is not singular except in syllable. ~ Marvin Taylor

burning man love

Life is a crazy and unpredictable thing, and although it is not easy to do, there often truly is a silver lining within the greyest cloud.  It was this thought recently that led me to think about my cousin who I call the Smoochy Monster.  As a young teenager my cousin was in a four-wheeler accident, nearly fatal, the resulting brain injury very much changed her and all of our lives.  The accident resulted in both physical and mental issues for my cousin; she has a bad leg and suffered a traumatic brain injury that severely impacted her memory abilities.  She has gone through some very hard times over the last two decades since her accident, but today, I want to talk about the silver lining from her accident.

The silver lining is simply that my cousin has become one of the most loving creatures on the face of the planet.  She is a hugging and kissing and loving monster, hence why I have started calling her the smooch monster.  She has also become one of those rare individuals who still writes letters, now these are not Shakespeare but they get the point across, she loves you and they are a joy to receive.

The second part of the Smoochy Monster’s personality is that she has also become the global ambassador of goodwill.  She will engage absolutely anyone with her signature, “hey babe” and start a conversation.  The most amazing thing about the Smoochy Monster is that something about her is utterly disarming, the most antisocial person folds in front of the Smoochy Monster’s charms, resulting in giving her the high-five she’s certain to request from them.  I think we should take her to the middle east and turn her loose on the Israeli’s and Palestinian’s, I believe if given the access she could create world peace.

So today a shout out and bit of love to the Smoochy Monster who has given so many a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is accepting life as it comes

Happiness is accepting life as it comes

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. ~ William James

plumber

So today I’m sitting here waiting for the plumber to come, that is almost never a good phrase.  Worse, the reason that the plumber is coming is that I did something incredibly stupid, I accidentally dumped a bunch of hot grease down the sink.  An absent-minded moment that will cost me money and hopefully drive home the lesson about mindfulness that I’ve tried to impart in my post on Happiness & Mindfulness.  We need to be present in our lives at all times not just for existential reasons but also for very practical ones, like not absent-mindedly dumping grease down the sink.

I really hate when I do something stupid, we all do, especially when it costs us money.  In addition to that there is a level of stress involved and that’s not good for us either.  This is where acceptance comes in, we have to accept what life and the universe throw at us.  At the end of the day it is only going to be a little time and money.  Not money that I want to pay, but in the end hopefully the plumber will arrive shortly, snake the drain and be on his way with me only being a couple of hundred dollars lighter.

Of course we also stress and worry, I’m worried that my stupid act is not the whole problem that the plumber will turn up something more significant both in scope and price.  But I can’t change any of that right now, all I can do is wait and see.  But I am no Zen master, last night when I realized the situation I was angry at myself, frustrated, stressed, I didn’t sleep very well.  But in the end there are three questions you have to ask yourself: Did I do everything I could do?;  What will I learn from this experience?; How do I get past this?

So right now I did what I could do, I have learned a lesson in mindfulness, I already know better than to dump a bunch of grease down the sink, finally I get past it by forgiving myself for my stupidity, paying the bill and really realizing in the scope of things how unimportant what happens around this will be.

So I’ve been working on forgiving myself today, tonight I’m having a massage and hopefully tomorrow this will all be behind me.  Breathe Michael, relax and release the anxiety, take life as it comes and keep things into perspective and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Random Happiness – Videos: Inspiration, Kindness, Gratitude

Random Happiness – Videos: Inspiration, Kindness, Gratitude

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

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So tonight a collection of videos that can inspire us to bigger and better things in life, words to touch our hearts, make us better people and have better days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Short videos, less than 3 minutes in length

Kid gives an inspirational speech after learning how to ride a bike (1:11)

This is a great 1-minute video that will be blacked out during the Olympics starting January 30th, check it out today. (1:04)

A great message from a son, about his mother (2:30)

Videos of medium length, less than 10 minutes

Vets returning home (3:32)

Paraplegic goes surfing (4:42)

The benefits of Laughing Yoga with John Cleese (3:48)

Long videos, longer than 10 minutes

This is Water – A commencement address by David Foster Wallace (22:44)

Coach Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Acceptance Speech, prepare to weep, this is one of the greatest single speeches I’ve ever heard. (11:15)

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Happiness is Reducing Stress

Happiness is Reducing Stress

Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life. ~ Marilu Henner

buddha

Hello my friends, so a new year has started and many of us have resolved to make some changes in the coming new year.  We are addressing each of top ten resolutions and hopefully helping you be more successful.  Tonight, we talk about a very popular resolution, reducing stress in the new year.

Stress is devastating, it can impact your mental state and even your physical well being and even negatively impact your immune system making your more susceptible to illness.

Tonight I’m going to turn to the web to address several categories of stress and offer some resources on how to reduce it, hopefully this will help you have a less stressful new year and more happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane

How couples can help each other distress and improve their relationships

Twelve ways to eliminate stress at work

How does exercise reduce stress

Relaxation techniques for stress relief

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Random Happiness: Stories of Kindness

Random Happiness: Stories of Kindness

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ The Dalai Lama

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Tonight a tour around the web to find stories of kindness to all help us think a little better of our fellow man and have a happier day ~ Rev Kane

Tonight we start with a site dedicated to and containing a whole set of stories of kindness.

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A collection of random acts of kindness.

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Ten touching acts of kindness at the Boston Marathon bombing.

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Finally a story from one of my favorite sites, the Tiny Buddha.

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Happiness Resources: Relationships

Happiness Resources: Relationships

Hello friends, tonight we take a little tour around the web for resources related to how to be happy in relationships.  Many of us list improving our relationships as a new year resolution so here’s some pieces on doing just that.  Give them a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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How to be Happy in a Relationship

Ten actions that create relationship happiness

Are we happier in long-term relationships

The key to a good relationship? Be gay, be childless or make tea

Happiness and relationships

The 21 Day Relationship Challenge

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