posted August 13, 2009

Recipe for Happiness

1. When in doubt, breathe. Your body is always right and it never hurts to notice that you are still alive. Breathing calms the whole self: body, mind, spirit. Breathe deeply for 4-10 breaths. Don’t skimp. Just be with the breathing. Ask your higher self/God/Truth/Krishna/Jesus, etc for alignment.

2. Move your body with love, kindness and mindfulness.

3. Eat whole unprocessed foods from an address as close to home as possible.

4. Do something creative and helpful every day, for your livelihood and for fun.

5. Be yourself in all your relationships. Be the best version of you that you can be, and be kind to yourself when the version you happen to be today isn’t as fun as the version you were yesterday.

6. Let everyone you encounter be themselves. Don’t bother trying to change them. Bless everyone and recognize everything that happens to you as an opportunity to grow and learn.

7. Drink as much water as you can. You are 70% water, and if you don’t freshen the tank…well, just look over at a vaseful of flowers that hasn’t been changed in a few days. Enough said. Drink as much water as you can.

8. Catch yourself when you find yourself trying to create problems. (And laugh.)

9. When you feel love, express it! In words, in deeds and with a big smile.

10. On occasion, act As If.

11. Make peace with the past, practice gratitude today, and dream big.

12. Life is hard, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

13. Live the serenity prayer: ask to be granted the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.

14. Give away what you don’t need. Notice how you feel as the clutter disappears. Notice how you feel when you practice generosity.

15. Go outside and touch trees, feel your feet on the bare earth, dip your toes in a body of water as often as possible.

16. Laugh.

17. Laugh at yourself.

18. Slow down.

19. Sleep as much as you can.

20 Step away from the computer.

The Comments

Join the Conversation. Post with kindness.

  1. The first lesson from one of my favorite writing teachers was to always be able to laugh at yourself. She said it’s the only way to survive a field that is harsh and generally arbitrary. It’s a lesson I’ve enjoyed using.

    Thanks for the rest of the list!


  2. You are welcome! I wrote this at 5:30am during my Morning Pages, a habit I used to protect with all my powers BK (Before Kids.) Julia Cameron says our best thoughts come in those first moments awake.

  3. Thanks for these terrific reminders, Nerissa! I love that you have such clarity so early in the morning. My “profound thoughts” (at least *I* think they are *grin*) happen just before I fall asleep so I often lose them. And I do keep notebooks handy.

    This post rocks!

    Amy P.

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