A Tail of Happiness

I attended an awesome workshop last week and our facilitator shared this lovely story about happiness with us.

There once was a little kitten chasing his tail around and around. An old wise alley cat stopped to watch him for a while. Of course, curiosity got the better of him and he asked the little kitten, “Why are you chasing your tail around and around?”

The little kitten beamed, “I’ve just returned from Cat Philosophy School where I learned two important things.  The first thing is that happiness is the most important thing in the whole world and the second is that happiness is at the end of my tail.”

“Ah” nodded the wise old alley cat.

“Yes,” the little kitten continued to explain, “I know that if I can catch the end of my tail then I will have a hold of happiness and I never have to let it go.” he finished off feeling quite self important to know this life gem.

“Well,” laughed the alley cat knowingly, “I’m not as fortunate as you have been. You see, I never had the opportunity to attend Cat Philosophy School but my life here on the streets has also taught me some valuable lessons.  I too have learnt that happiness is the most important thing and that, it is indeed located in my tail, however, I have discovered that if I chase it I never will be able to reach it.  Furthermore, I have learnt that if I go about doing what I am supposed to be doing I find that happiness follows me everywhere I go.”

What are you doing?  Chasing your tail, or doing what you are supposed to be doing so that happiness can follow you?

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Euro-English: Some Comic Relief

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make
the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it
should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and
“w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

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A reason, a season, a lifetime

A reason, a season, a lifetime

Sometimes we don’t understand how or why some relationships come and go in our lives.  Why they start or end as they do?  I got this clever analogy over 10 years ago and it has helped me accept many situations I’ve been in.
I don’t think it applies only to relationships, I have taken the wisdom from it even when other events in my life have started or stopped and I’ve sought understanding.  I hope you too will find the comfort and understanding in it as I have.
A reason, a season, or a lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is; you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.  Then, without any wrongdoing
on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the
relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that once our need has been met, our desire
fulfilled, their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.  They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never known, or done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!

But, only for a season!

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson.

Love the person or people in question (and in the way that is right for them) and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

Anon

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Becoming Real

becoming REAL“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Velveteen Rabbit

Excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit”  By Margery Williams

[You can read the full story here in this digital library as part of the Build-a-Book initiative celebrating women writers.]

 

 
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learnt to love myself more easily, even the shabbier, stiffer bits. My hair may not be rubbed off, but it’s definitely changing colour. My eyes still sparkle but they get tired more easily and my laughter lines are deepening, and yet as I’m aging I’ve found myself becoming more accepting of myself. I’m feeling Real.  I’m becoming Real through loving myself.

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You are…

Always be growing

You are strong… when you take your grief and teach it to smile.

You are brave… when you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.

You are happy… when you see a flower and are thankful for the blessing.

You are loving… when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.

You are wise… when you know the limits of your wisdom.

You are true… when you admit there are times you fool yourself.

You are alive… when tomorrow’s hope means more to you than yesterday’s mistake.

You are growing… when you know that you are but not what you are becoming.

You are free… when you are in control of yourself but do not wish to control others.

You are honourable… when you find your honour is to honour others.

You are generous… when you can give as sweetly as you take.

You are humble… when you do not know how humble you are.

You are beautiful… when you don’t need a mirror to tell you.

You are rich… when you never need more than you have.

You are you… when you are at peace with who you are not.

Anon

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A magic bank

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules, just as any game has certain rules.

The first set of rules would be:

Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you. You may not simply transfer money into some other account. You may only spend it. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.

The second set of rules:

The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, it’s over, the game is over! It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all people you love, right? Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right?

ACTUALLY This GAME is REALITY!

Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank. We just can’t seem to see it.

The MAGICAL BANK is TIME!

Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. What we haven’t lived up that day is forever lost. Yesterday is forever gone. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time…. WITHOUT WARNING.

 SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

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What matters most is how you see yourself

What does your guy in the glass say?

 

“Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good – on your mirror!”

– Susan Jeffers –  

I love this quote above and posted it on my Facebook status some time ago and then this week my friend who sends out inspirational quotes shared it as well.
Then I came across this poem below and I thought, “Wow, 2 messages this week reminding me to be true to myself and love myself first.”
Some might say coincidental, I say it is the Universe’s way of sending me a message.  It is what I needed to take note of at this time. And I’m glad I’m listening.
I’m going to spend some time making my guy in the glass happy.

 The Guy In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

©Dale Wimbrow, 1934.

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Friendship

Sand & Stone

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During
some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the
other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying
anything, wrote in the sand:

“Today my best friend slapped me in the face.”

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to
take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started
drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning,
he wrote on a stone:

“Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him,
“After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone,
why?”

The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it
down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone
does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever
erase it.”

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The Awakening

Ten years ago I was in a difficult space and my friend shared these beautiful words with me.  At the moment I’m going through another difficult time and she reminded me of them again.  In the hustle and bustle that is everyday life we become focussed outwardly and stuck in routine and comfort zones.  I’ve been recieving messages all week that remind me to focus inward and to trust myself more. 

As my friend shared this with me on her blog so that others might benefit from the words, so too am I sharing it with you here.

 

The Awakening by Sonny Carroll

awakenA time comes in your life when you finally get it (or at least begin to). When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realise that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it’s not always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers… and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realise that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop manoeuvring through life merely as a consumer looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world… and that you can’t teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away.

You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more loveable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love… and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms… just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonising over how you “stack up.” You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly O.K. that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want…and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realisation that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won’t settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch … and in the process you internalise the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.

You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve … and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalise things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart’s desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

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The value of love

loveOnce upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left, except for Love. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.” “Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?” “It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

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