Laugh out loud every day!

No matter how bad it is – that is just what it it is. What makes all the difference is what we do about it. Actually, I mean that literally! Are there things you can actually do to make the situation better? Make a plan and DO those things systematically. Start right away! 

AND, then, what makes the rest of the difference is how we react to what happens. Remember, it is simply life. Stuff happens. Not because we deserve it. Not because everything always happens to you. Not because you can’t catch a break. Stuff just happens. It’s not always about you. So – how to react? What to do?

Look for laughter. Lots of studies have shown that people who find ways to laugh improve their immune system. Their physical systems also improve. The body fights off disease better. The “feel good” chemicals in the brain abound. The diaphragm and core get a workout that releases tensions that were clamped on one’s innards.

There are lots of anecdotal stories of people who are diagnosed with a terminal disease who decided to watch as many movies and shows that made them laugh out loud as they could – all the time. And they outlived their prognosis considerably. AND, they enjoyed the time they had, laughing with others instead of sinking into a “poor me” depression.

Laughter is a great medicine for what-ever negative stuff is happening around and to you. Of course you need to deal with that stuff to the level that you can as recommended above. But, at the same time, look for laughter stuff as well. I find myself laughing out loud at the strangest things. Commercials that strike me as absurd. Noticing someone walking their dog and they look so much alike! Kids at play. A scene in a book that I am reading. Just everyday things that I let strike my funny bone.

I keep in mind the advice that I got from my Doctor when I hurt my shoulder. It hurt when I tried to raise it too far up. He said “if it hurts when you do that, don’t do that. If it feels good – do that.” Simple advice. Laughing feels good. Do that!

Live Well

The new year has commenced and lots of us have thought about and maybe even made some resolutions for the year. I have always encouraged folks to only share “move up” resolutions and not to share “give up” resolutions. Not for any other reason than people most often are quick to point out when you are not living up to your resolution. It is a good thing to have folks help us to remember to get back to the “move up” resolution. However, we don’t need to hear about how we are failing at giving up that “give up” resolution. We would feel bad, get defensive and then sooner than later, abandon our efforts.

How does that relate to Live Well? What I want us to think about early this year is to remember to LIVE. Not to just exist from one day to the next or to just get by. Rather, let’s live well. Be aware of what is happening and look for the “neatness” in it. We are enjoying our lives for a finite amount of time and we don’t have any real idea of how much time that is. So, why not make the conscious choice to live well, i.e.. fully? Go out with those friends for a snack. Take a walk in the absolutely freezing weather (for goodness sakes though be sure to dress warmly :-p). Stop everything for a few minutes and have a totally “do nothing” break. Clear away the clutter and enjoy the surroundings. Write that letter (or article or email) that you have been thinking of doing but have not quite gotten around to.

Use the good china. Use the new towels. Wear the good clothes even on the weekend. And, do it now. Tell the ones you love that you love them! I do mean to tell them. If you have had some sort of argument or disagreement, set it aside or make it right in some way as soon as you can. We don’t want to be stuck with the memory of harsh words as our last words with someone.

Live well. Enjoy. We live on one world! Peace! Love! Joy! Happiness!

Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. 🙂

Year end. Year ahead.

This is the time of the year that we see all the clever recaps and look-backs of the year that is coming to a close. We do that as well. We look back at our year and remember the things we did and the things that happened to and around us.

You are probably recalling the bad stuff that happened to and around you. Not to worry – that is natural. Not too good for the feelings of happiness that we want but it is something we do and need to handle. Go ahead. Recall those things. They did happen (if you just think they happened but there is no evidence – reject it! It is imaginary). But, let them go. There is not a single thing you can do to make it so that those things did not happen. That was then, this is now.

Next recall the things that were good that occurred to and around you during the past year. Of course there were things! Bring them clearly to your mind. Focus on these things. What was good about them? How did you feel? How do you feel now while thinking about them? This feels better than thinking about the bad stuff right? So, choose! Focus your memory on the good stuff.

If some of the bad things have left consequences that you are dealing with now, that is just the way life works. We are where we are and we, again, have an opportunity to make choices. Choose to look at the good around you right now, figure out what you need to do to adjust to the current stuff, make plans to do what needs to be done and get started right now with the first step! (Well you can start after you finish reading this if you like. ;-))

Part of the year-end review should include a review about how you have done on your objectives (goals), both short term and long term. Did you achieve all? Of course not. Are the goals you have not met yet still important? If the answer is “not so much”, drop them from your list of things you want to achieve. If yes, carry them forward to next year. Next, what do you really, really, really, REALLY want to get done in the next 12 months? Make a list. Include the goals that are still important from last year.

Look at that list. Are there priorities that stand out for you? List that one first. What do YOU need to do to make that happen? Make a full list. Now put those things in the order that they will have to be done. Those are the steps that you can take that will lead to the achievement of that objective or goal (and a happy feeling next December when you review the year again. :-)). Do that for the next most important objective or goal you want to make sure comes about for you over the next year. And so on.

Print those lists out and keep them where you sit to do your planning for the month, week and day. Fit those steps that you can do into each area. Do one of those things right now! As Tony Robbins says: “take massive action”. Do! Act!

Continue to live well, love always and laugh out loud every day. Have a great year ahead. May it be the best yet!

Freedoms

“Freedom of action, freedom of expression. And that means the freedom to express your opinion, not the freedom to hurl crude insults at those who think differently, though these days some people don’t seem to know the difference. As far as I am concerned, that kind of abuse has nothing to do with freedom.”

From: “The Tulip Virus” by Danielle Hermans, translated from the Dutch language by David MacKay. Published in 2008 and translated in 2010.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way…every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom.”

Viktor Frankl

“Our lives begin to end
The moment we stay Silent
about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King

I am reminded of my freedoms and my inner voice reminds me that our freedoms mean nothing if we do not live freely. We are free to differ with each other but do it with respect, if not for the person, then at least for the right of that person to have a different opinion. When we differ, persuasion is the key to resolve the differences. And if persuasion based on rational (to you) arguements fail to convince then we must simply agree to disagree and move on to find common ground. Bullying and abuse of power only generates hard barriers, resentment and hatred.

I lived a life dedicated to making changes that would make life more equitable and fair for all. Obviously there is still lots to be done. But we always remained civil, peaceful and calm. And big changes happened. We did not let demagogues control us. Our minds remained free to adopt and live the lives we had the right to live. When we saw an injustice, we spoke up and took action.

Don’t complain and take no action. Speak up and persuade. Live and let live – and if possible, help others along the way. “We are not here to see through others, we are here to see each other through.” And finally, live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.

Do what you can!

It is a world absolutely full of fearful problems that have the effect of putting many of us into a tailspin. Weather events are so much more than we are used to seeing. People are even more intolerant of each other than they have been. Social media has given a platform for idiots to attack the postings of others just to get noticed. It seems that we are falling down the rabbit hole of nuclear war between two peoples whose leaders are just plain out of touch with reality. All of that, and here I am espousing that we can be happy anyway.

How? No, we don’t just stick our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. There are a couple of things that I would advocate. Look at what is happening that particularly concerns and/or scares you. If enough people did something in particular, could it change it for the better? Could enough people doing something at least make the situation you are concerned about liveable. Then just start working towards that end yourself and do what you can to get others to join you. Everything worthwhile started with just one person taking just one step followed by another.

What sorts of things can we do? Pick up that piece of garbage that some idiot dropped and left. Consider and do what you can to be ready for a severe weather or flood event that might cut power and shut down all services for a period of time. A water supply is essential along with foods that can be stored and eaten without access to power. Know your neighbors and develop friendships with them. Be supportive and caring regardless of differences.

What about the biggies? Climate change and nuclear annihilation? What can I do that can make a difference?

Let’s look at climate change first. As mentioned above, I can prepare for emergencies that can be caused by severe weather. But I can also reduce my impact on worsening stuff that contributes to speeding up and exacerbating climate change. Don’t bother arguing with deniers. Just reduce your carbon emissions. Reduce consumption of things that contribute to the destruction of rain forests and forests in general. Reduce consumption! Share.

Nuclear annihilation? Raise your voice wherever and when ever you can. Let our so-called leaders know know that “heck no – we won’t go” is real. Not appeasement but for sure not bombs. The Korean problem is a real tough one and I don’t have any answers. If we can collectively figure a way to ensure people can get unfiltered messages and news let’s do it. Start by unilaterally declaring peace. Get that to the people. Send huge supplies of food to the borders and offer to help deliver it to where it is needed. Include clothing and building supplies as needed. Show that we really do want to be at peace and helpful. No money – goods that no other country may buy for money.

Above all, do what you can do. Make it prt of your conversations with others to ask and encourage them to do the same or at least what they can do. Don’t obsess about the news. Live locally and do what you can. If we can all do that, we will certainly be happy anyway!😎