Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happiness Tip #2

Tip #2

Recently, I read an article about 12  things that Happy People do differently than the rest of us. These things are called “Happiness Tips    

I’m not sure I agree with all of them and I am not sure it is inclusive of some very other important “Happiness Tips”.

I include here some of my thoughts on the issue.  I offer this to you in hopes that we may start a dialogue.

Cultivate optimism.

This one I am not too sure of.   I think that cautious optimism might be a better route.  I have often wondered  just where the line is between being realistic and being optimistic.

Yet I am one of the more optimistic people I know.  I look at the bright side when there doesn’t seem to be a bright side.  The only time I get in trouble is when I expect my optimistic ideas to actually happen. 

Most of the time I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happiness Tip #1

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live - that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
-Dan Millman

Recently, I read an article about 12  things that Happy People do differently than the rest of us. These things are called “Happiness Tips”.    It’s an interesting list, but I’m also not sure I agree with all of them and I am not sure it is inclusive of some very other important “Happiness Tips”.

I decided to write down what I think, one tip at a time.  I serve this up to you to think about your own reactions and, hopefully, start a dialogue.

Tip Number 1   Express gratitude.

This is something I usually do very well.  But then, I have so much to be grateful for.  As I type this, I am on my bed with several dogs and cats cuddling up to me.  I am well-fed and can afford my medicines.  I own the roof over my head and if this isn’t the fanciest place in the world, well, who cares.  It’s home and I love it.

Yes, Gratitude is very important.  To be happy, you have to appreciate what you have.  It’s almost the definition of what it means to be happy.  I don’t understand how you can be happy if you are not grateful.

So what do you think?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Art Card, based in a large wall hanging used at G.A. for several years.

The following quote is from a book by Roger Ebert:

I do not fear deathBy Roger Ebert
I will pass away sooner than most people who read this, but that doesn't shake my sense of wonder and joy

"Kindness" covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.


The Dahlia Lama says that his religion is Kindness.

Throughout history and in every nation, great thinkers have tried to understand the mind of God and have come up with a thousand different religions, many of them quite good.  They have come up with different understandings of the universe and our place in it.  They have profound concepts and deep thoughts and perhaps they are right.  Perhaps it is important that we say just the right prayers or sing just the right hymns.  Perhaps there are certain churches, temples or synagogues that are the 'correct' place to worship God. 

I do not know.

But I do know this:  the world would be a better place if we all just practiced kindness.

And perhaps, just perhaps, kindness is what we need to do.  It might make us grow in understanding and caring.  Maybe, just maybe, kindness is what will lead us to see our brothers and sisters in every country as people, as human beings, as worthy of our love, care and respect.  Maybe it doesn't matter if we know just the right prayers, or just the right hymns.  Maybe theology is not what matters, but our actions.

Kindness.  It's not a bad place to start.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zentangle challange #37 - I think

4" x 6" approx

     Some time ago, when I first discovered Zentangles, I was Determined to learn all about it (that was back when there were only a couple of hundred Tangles).  I decided to make a few samplers, using the different types of tangles.

     I diligently sorted the tangles( or designs) into nice, neat categories:  Grids, Spirals, Plant-like. circle-based, triangle-based, Lines, boarders, backgrounds, etc..  Unfortunately, not all tangles fitted neatly into a category.  And some fit more than one category.   It started to become frustrating.

     But I was still fascinated by the Tangles.  So I decided to try to make the samplers anyway, one sampler for each type of Tangle.   Alas for my well-meaning-ness.  It did not happen.  But I did get  couple done.  The Zentangle above is a sampler of what I then knew of grid patterns.  I liked it OK, but it was lacking something.

     Oh, yes!   Shading.

     So I shaded it and this is what I ended up with:

Imagine my delight when this weeks challenge by the DIVA was on creating a grid!  So, here is my entry!  I look forward to seeing all the other entries by my fellow artists.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Buddhist Story

Floating House
Polymer clay - no paint
Approx 4" x 6"

An old Buddhist story
It is said that the Buddha was walking along a lonely road when a highwayman jumped in front of him.  Brandishing a knife, the thief approached the Buddha, demanding his money. 
“I am powerful, “ said the thief, ”The World trembles at me and does my bidding.  Give me your money!”
The Buddha looked at the thief and raised an eyebrow.  “You are powerful? I am impressed.  Please, show me.  Take the limb off that tree.”  
And the thief strutted over to the tree and with one whack of his knife, he took the branch off of the tree.”  “See.” said the thief holding out the branch to the Buddha, “With one blow I tore it off. “
“Now,” said the Buddha, “put it back on.”
And the thief could not do so.  He lacked the power.
Only children think they are powerful because they can destroy something.