I’m Done With Dung!

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This might be the kind outlook on life some folks have, but I don’t think it’s a perspective that makes you happy, unless you really are a Dung Beetle, because the more shit they have, the happier they are.

Even when they confuse a seed that smells the same as dung and dig a hole to bury it,  they’re still happy.  If we think we’re happy then we must be , even if others think we’re deluded.

This reminds me of what Abraham Lincoln said.Most-folks-are-as-happy-as-they-make-up-their-minds-to-be.-Abraham-Lincoln-960x300

Cynicism, pessimism, and what I call having to eat the shit sandwiches, is all part of life. But I don’t have to allow all that to define my attitude, my outlook, or my philosophy toward life. That’s what I’d call having is a real shitty attitude, or what do you think? Is Murray right?

 

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SAD

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Fall In Apple River

A lot of people experience Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD) with the changes in the seasons, the lack of light can really change a person’s mood. They can find themselves affected to varying degrees. I don’t suffer a whole lot from it but do notice I have to make some extra effort to replace my negative thoughts with positive ones, and consciously engage in activities that I know will make me feel good. And so I’m happy to have those days when I am my higher self, which doesn’t just happen on it’s own much of the time, I have to work at it, pray, meditate, and have a willingness, even a willingness to be willing, when I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I am learning that, that inner goddess is there within me at all times, and I am learning to be kind toward myself.

For me, it takes resolve and some persistence to face and walk through the change of seasons from Fall to Winter.
This week I’ve finally had more time to myself, and honestly have been trying to stave off thoughts of the Winter.

I made up my mind to live one day at a time, in the present moment. I choose to do those things that help me to enjoy the Fall, enjoying the air, the sunsets and sunrises, making bread, chicken stew, and salsa with the tomatoes from my garden.

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My Fresh Salsa

Yesterday I got my hands into the good earth one more time, and dug up my crop of potatoes and I pickled beets. These activities though they can feel physically taxing, nonetheless help me to feel connected with the elements, and spiritually I magnify these experiences, and am inspired by them. They give me an inner peace and strength.

I will say I miss my dog especially in the Fall, because we used to go for long walks into the woods. So now I walk alone, but not so much in the woods. Fortunately I have enough property to walk through the fields and down to the river, sit on a rock and listen to my higher-self.

Blue In West Bay
Blue Seamus the Coonhound

“Refugees At Our Door”

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Much of what is happening all over the world is not only very troubling, it makes me unhappy. What does help to ease this feeling is to write . Writing is a therapeutic activity, and I think often times, the written word is the  only way we can get our voice heard. I believe in the power of the written word, to enable change. Much of the time I feel helpless to make a difference, and so I write, speak out, and sign petitions.

Tonight I heard Pulitzer Prize Winner, Sonia Nazario who is the is the author of “Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother.”

I was compelled to write about the interview I listened to, and what I read about her, and the work she is involved with, because she has a very powerful message.

Sonja Nazario’s op ed in the New York Times, “Refugees At Our Door” is an eye opening article. Most of us are completely aware of what is going on with the refugees fleeing Syria, but how many of us are aware of what is taking place between Mexico and the United States boarder, where Donald Trump is wanting to build his infamous wall.

Central Americans are attempting to escape with their lives, where they are threatened by gangs involved with the drug cartel.. Mexico and The United States are both complicit  in what is taking place with these refugees. Mexico is either imprisoning these people, placing them in shelters or they are immediately sent back to Central America, where more often than not, they are killed by the gangs they have run from.

This is a story that needs to be told, is a situation that needs to be changed. In the same way, those fleeing the violence in Europe, these Central Americans are also in need of our care and shelter.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stand-up-for-refugees.fb52?source=c.fb.ty&r_by=14389950

Wealth-Poverty-Happiness

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Most of us who have experienced poverty are all too aware of the direct relationship between the sense of well being and poverty.

The old adage, ‘ Money can’t buy happiness ‘ certainly may very well be true for the wealthy, but poverty can certainly make the poor sad. Money sure can help and make all the difference in a person’s health and happiness, if they live with poverty every day. Often the poor are blamed and shamed, which contributes to an individual’s lack of self-worth, value and dis-empowerment.

This morning I learned about a pilot project involving a guaranteed living pilot project. that is about to happen in Calgary, Edmonton and in Prince Edward Island. This makes me feel hopeful.

In Canada we are a week away from a Federal election. There’s a lot of grand talk from all of the candidates about helping the middle class. I’ve heard nothing from politicians wanting to actively help the poor, or how they are going to decrease poverty. The voices I do hear, are those who have experienced poverty themselves, and are actively involved with fighting against it and the stigma attached to being on poor or on being welfare.

Wealth or poverty may not buy happiness, and ultimately we have to find it within ourselves. This does not mean that there are existing circumstances, people, places, and things that can contribute to our happiness, just as these can create sadness.

Whatever your circumstance, it’s important to maintain your sense of humour.

https://youtu.be/VKHFZBUTA4k

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Going Solo

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” Despite its prevalence, living alone is one of the least discussed and consequently, most poorly understood issues of our time. ”
– Eric Klinenberg
The above is a quote I read this morning by Sociologist and Author Eric Klinenberg. Most artists need solitude, alone time, and statistically most of us live alone, being in the 50% of the population that are single.I have to admit living alone can be challenging and there can be lonely times like the holidays, but my worst experiences have been the loneliness you can feel within a relationship. At the age of 62, I actually prefer living alone which gives me a lot of freedom and contentment. It’s not without it’s frustrations, but what lifestyle isn’t.

In the past being single was either frowned upon, and the Greeks like Aristotle considered it a fate worst than death. Today I think singleness is seen as being somewhat suspect, and a threat to those coupled.

Roughly one out of every seven adults live alone. I think this needs to be talked about more. The pros and cons, and how our culture and society is drastically changing because of it, in positive and negative ways.

I have been alone the majority of my life and have adapted, come to appreciate, and need my solitude. Being an artist I think makes it much easier because I always have something to do. My creativity takes up much of my time, and I can put my energy into my creative work, which is a very good thing. If I hadn’t made the decision to do this, I’d be unhappy and annoyed most of the time.

Solitude heightens my receptivity to creativity. My thoughts and feelings are not only mirrored back to me. but I make the decision to face my thoughts and emotions over long periods of time alone. This is were the creative process unfolds, in my solitude, often in the contented, lonely hours.

http://catherinemeyersartist.blogspot.ca/2014/12/two-great-enemies-of-creative-work.html

The Thing We’d Rather Not Talk About

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The old adage of don’t talk about religion, politics or sex no doubt it’s founded upon fact, because people figure that’s the best way to avoid serious argument.. I could say yes this might be true, and times have changed, or perhaps what has changed are taboo topics morphing into something else. When we disagree we can often react to a point of wanting retaliation because someone has hurt us. Or we  might have a desire desire to seek varying degrees of revenge.

I see revenge as being one of those topics people don’t really want to discuss much, in spite of it being one of the oldest instincts human beings have and is old as the hills.. We would like to think of ourselves a “nice” people until suppressed emotions that have become repressed come to the surface in anger or even rage.

Shakespeare saw revenge as being normal and predictable. . Shakespeare said, “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”

Does revenge make us feel happy, or is it simply destructive toward all those involved?

According to Confucius he said , “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Gandhi apparently agreed when he said, “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

 What goes around comes around may be true like in relation to Karma. But when we are out of control, reacting with aggressive attack, and then counter attack, then we are in trouble.
Our emotions and instincts serve an important purpose, however if we have little to no self-awareness or self control these can consume us, and inflict damage toward others and damage our own psyche.
I like the  saying I first heard in the rooms of recovery. When you are pointing a finger there are three fingers pointing back.
It’s been said that revenge is a product of hate and weakness. Happiness is the product of love and strength.

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Happy Happy Joy Joy!

There’s no way human’s can be happy 24/7. That’s a fact. We can have a deep contentment and be happy generally. Many of us cope with clinical depression, addiction and other mental health issues. I think this quote that I found today expresses life very well. It’s both realistic and beautiful.

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Having a sense of humour is essential for having a happy life, especially when your miserable.

I developed a dark humour from a young age which was imparted to me by my family. It’s the way we learned to cope with the difficult parts of life. When we felt most like crying we could always find something to laugh about.

This Ren and Stimpy video expresses that kind of humour for me and so does Maria Bamford and so many other comedians..

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0V4TZAyd8I