July 31, 2011 · 3:00 pm
I went to the Topanga Film Festival this morning to see the documentary Happy and I started thinking about happiness, the concept, the reality and the possibilities. I have been following The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for about a year now and enjoy the daily quotes and reflections, but I wondered, how can I spread happiness, encourage happiness and find areas in my life to insert happiness?
Encouraging signs are popping up everywhere, for example, my husband was given the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert awhile ago and it was mentioned in the movie today, and this quote that showed up today on Facebook from Weight Watchers:
“Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself!”
So I know what I can do to make myself happy:
incorporate a healthy lifestyle into my daily life,
allow creativity to be a priority
spend time with my family
connect with my close friends
practice kindness and tolerance
Now I want to expand by giving more happiness:
sharing what I have to give
helping worthy causes
creating more happiness in my home
creating more happiness in my classroom
It is a commitment, but also a choice, to surround oneself with happiness. It is a road I am choosing to walk.
Filed under choice, Family, Focus, Life thoughts
Tagged as Commitment, creative writing, Equinox, happiness, self-discovery, The Happiness Project, transformation, Weight Watchers
March 22, 2011 · 10:34 pm
Tonight was the Spring celebration at my gym: Equinox. It was a great party with all the festivities, a DJ playing pulsing music, wine and appetizers, special classes offered and tours of the club. Even with all that to offer, as I sat at home, syncing my phone after a reset to fix my corrupted software, I debated leaving the comfort of the couch to venture out. I decided to go for it and I am so glad I did.
I arrived at the gym, stowed my bag in a locker and strolled over to the main studio for Zumba, which I have been dying to take, only to find out that the class started a half hour earlier that I had thought. I hesitated, but spotted a woman I knew and she waved me in. It was a blast! I was dancing for the half hour and got a great workout, but it ended too soon. I had come to the party and wasn’t ready to call it quits yet so I headed up to my favorite yoga class, Candlelight Flow. Wine was being served outside the spa, so I took a glass with me into class at the encouragement of Holli, my yoga instructor. What a wonderful class we had in the dimly lit room with Holli’s amazing music and encouragement.
Days begin early for me lately, since I started a 5:45 a.m. workout regime and then head off to the world of kindergarten-a workout in itself, but I’ve realized that being a teacher is like being a mother, and I have to take care of myself if I am going to be able to take care of others. Here’s to self-care, cheers!
January 1, 2011 · 9:38 pm
Dreams and a Plan 2011
My New Year’s Day tradition is to create a collage visualization of my hopes, dreams and plans for the New Year and so this afternoon I sat down at the kitchen table with my husband and youngest daughter (who is 19) and spent a pleasant couple of hours scanning magazines for inspirational words and photos. My 2011 collage has a theme: Create. That is also the word that popped into my head during a Winter Solstice meditation with Diana Lang two weeks ago. I take it to mean that I can create the life I want, and it doubles as inspiration to create art and the written word. My plan has three categories:
1. Create health & peace of mind
2. Create and maintain relationships
3. Create art
I will create a more healthy lifestyle by developing the habit of exercise at Equinox and Curves and integrating it into my daily life. I have chosen the 10,000 Steps walking program and I have my spiffy new pedometer to track my daily steps. I have realized that if I walk (either on the treadmill or an extended walk with Charlie, my dog) for an hour, I can rack up the steps fairly easily. I am also committing to yoga at least twice a week. This also helps with creating peace of mind, but is definitely a good strength training routine as well. I will continue with resistance training to help build bone strength. The big news is my recent re-acquaintance with Weight Watchers. I am attending weekly meetings and making daily use of eTools to track my food. I have come to the conclusion that tracking creates the discipline I need to succeed. I am proud to say that In the past month I have really become mindful of the food I eat and am excited with the 5 lb. weight loss!
Charlie, my walking buddy, on the way home from his bath. Note the cute scarf?
I will create peace of mind by tracking my spending and saving habits too, and will continue my money education and devotion to becoming money-wise. By tracking my habits on mint.com I will have a realistic visual of where my money is going and how I can gain control even in these tough economic times, taking into account furlough days and the cutbacks imposed on education by lack of State funding.
I am open to creating new friendships and devoted to maintaining those I have. I will continue to nurture the friends and family I am blessed to have in my life presently and appreciate these relationships. I am taking a positive path to relationships and plan to focus on positive aspects of relationships while attempting to eliminate gossip and other negative habits that are detrimental to honest friendships. I will practice patience, support and giving.
I will create art by focusing on my writing through my classes in the UCLA Writers Program, this blog, a daily 2-minute journal and various writing experiences. I will expand my creative experiences through any art form that becomes available and will be open to opportunities to express myself through music, art and crafts.
This is my new nifty 2-minute timer.
2011 is a blank slate, a new beginning and a chance to “Embrace the art of living.” My vision is clear and my plan is in place. Feel free to share your plan for the New Year! May it be a truly happy year for us all.
Filed under Life thoughts, New Year's
Tagged as 10000 Steps Walking Program, art, creative writing, Curves, Diana Lang, Equinox, meditation, Mint.com, UCLA Writers Program, Walking, Weight Watchers, Winter Solstice