Tag Archives: Gretchen Rubin

“Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.” ~ Norm Papernick

Last night, I was woken up by the sound of someone laughing. I was relieved to discover that it was me 🙂

I don’t know if that means I’ve gone mad or if I was just dreaming about something really funny, but either way, it was pretty cool.

Continuing on with #reverb10:

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I spent the whole day making something today. It’s awesome. I mean, really awesome. It’s for a really good cause, too! Also, it’s a secret.

I’ll post it sometime over the next week 🙂

In Other News…

I started university this week, studying two subjects; Philosophy, Morality & Society, & Art & Creation. I’m loving it all so far, & I wanted to share with you some of my Philosophy work. Last week, our tutor posed this question:

‘There are two ideas that will be central to the course: happiness and “the good.”

I wonder, how do you define “happiness”? And how do you think it relates to “goodness”‘?

Here’s the answer I gave:

‘To me, “happiness” is a combination of things, but at its core I believe it is always a choice. I think if we have enough strength & wisdom, we can always choose happiness – no matter what is going on in our lives or in the world around us.

I believe that true, fulfilling happiness cannot be found through money, material possessions or social status. We have to make the decision to be happy & keep up the internal maintenance to ensure it grows more every day.

“Goodness” is also a combination of things. It is being good to yourself, as well as being good to others. It is doing the activities that make you feel good, whether it is cooking, painting, reading, spending time with loved ones or watching a funny movie. It is seeing & appreciating the good in everything, everyone, & every moment, even if it is just enjoying a good meal.

I think ‘the good’ consists of the external things & qualities that contribute to happiness, whereas ‘happiness’ itself is an internal feeling, a perception of the world that always sees that goodness, & an internal choice that needs to be consciously made every day.’

I know there will be some people who disagree with my answer, but it is how I try to live my life every day. I’m not saying it’s perfect & that I’m always in a state of happiness – I’m not. There are times that I forget to choose it, & other times I decide not to choose it. But, most of the time, happiness is the path I choose to take.

Speaking of happiness, I want you to really laugh out loud today. Here’s a great video to get you started:

Keep Smiling!

Jen ♥

My 12 Personal Commandments

Jmsuarez - Full moon (by)

Image via Wikipedia

At last, the full moon is here again, shining it’s light on the darkest parts of ourselves. This is the time to look back over the past month & notice what you have achieved since the last full moon, congratulate yourself, & take some time to think about what you want to accomplish before the next full moon. What do you want to do more of? What habits do you want to break? What changes do you want to make? The three days of the full moon is the perfect time to take a step back, breathe, & take stock of what’s happening in your life.

In my last post, I mentioned The Happiness Project. Admittedly, at the time of posting I didn’t know too much about it, all I knew was that it kept popping up in my life & it was time for me to find out why. Since then, I have discovered the awesomeness that is The Happiness Project; not only is it a great blog, it’s also a book, a toolbox for happiness, & soon, even a TV show. It has grown from being one woman – Gretchen Rubin’s – search for happiness to being a worldwide movement. As fate would have it, I created this blog only one day before I really discovered this growing empire of positivity, so everything I learn from The Happiness Project will be recorded here, along with everything else that inspires, empowers & educates me.

After reading Gretchen’s blog, I signed up to The Happiness Project Toolbox, an affiliated website that provides some really useful resources to help those on the quest for happiness, such as an inspiration board, resolutions, lists, groups, & my personal favourite, commandments. In the blog, Gretchen lists her 12 Personal Commandments – ‘principles to guide your life’ – that she created for herself, & encourages those on the happiness journey to do the same.

So, my first order of business after I joined The Happiness Project Toolbox was to write my own personal commandments, & here they are (along with a short explanation of each):

My 12 Personal Commandments:

1. Love Is Louder!

Inspired by the recent Love Is Louder campaign started by actress Brittany Snow, The Jed Foundation & MTV in response to the high number of suicides caused by bullying in September 2010. The message is that Love Is Louder than hate & aims to give hope to those who have ever felt misunderstood, mistreated, or alone (& let’s face it, haven’t we all felt that way at one time or another?). It’s an amazing cause & you can support by following it on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook.

2. Express your true self – through talking with others, writing, painting, singing, dancing, loving.

I need to express my true self more often & not hold back. Whether it means doing a painting, having a heart-to-heart with a friend, writing a blog entry or just wearing bright colours for the day, it is essential to my happiness.

3. Let go a little. Then… let go a lot.

This is based on a quote I read a couple of months ago:

“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” – Ajahn Chah

Even just reading or saying this to myself makes me feel more relaxed & reminds me to go with the flow.

4. People are more focussed on themselves than they are on you, so be free!

This is a reminder to care more about being true to myself & doing what I want to do rather than worrying about what others might think of me. It’s based on something I read about a few years ago, known as the 20-40-60 rule:

“At 20 you’re worried about what everyone thinks of you.

At 40 you don’t care what anyone thinks of you.

At 60 you realize no one’s been thinking about you at all.” – Bob Mercer.

5. Nourish your spirituality.

My spirituality is very important to me… Even though I’m not completely sure what it is yet. This commandment serves as a reminder to just be still, get in touch with the Universe, my higher self, God, whatever you want to call it. I can do this through meditation, lighting candles & incense & just relaxing, reading my favourite spiritual books (all of which will be covered in later posts), listening to music, or being creative.

6. Lead by example: deeds not words.

I don’t want to be one of those people who is ‘all-talk, no action.’ The best way to do this is to just ‘do’. If I stick to my principles, keep my chin up & live life according to my values, maybe I can inspire others to do the same without preaching or forcing my ideals onto others.

7. Be kind. To myself, others & the Earth.

I think pretty much everyone could benefit from following this commandment. Like many others, I’m sure, I’m often much too hard on myself. I need to think kinder thoughts about myself & others, & do my best to be kind to the planet.

8. Celebrate.

Sometimes I take life too seriously. It’s my new belief that celebrations don’t have to be reserved for special occasions only, I could celebrate pretty much everything if I wanted to! Even if it’s just a quiet ‘Woohoo!’ or pat on the back, if it makes me smile, then I want to celebrate it.

9. Attitude of Gratitude.

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the celebrating. I know from experience that the simplest act of listing 5 things that I’m grateful for can turn my whole perspective around & help me to see what really matters.

10. Music lifts you higher.

This is one I need to remind myself of more. Listening to my favourite music sends me on a natural high, singing along to the lyrics or dancing like a crazy person in my apartment always lifts my spirits & can leave me feeling awesome all day.

11. Laughter cures all.

I love to laugh, & I could definitely do it more often. Watching a funny movie or YouTube video is all it takes, otherwise there’s the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ laughing yoga method of just laughing for no reason other than you can.

12. Painting sets you free.

For me, painting is like meditation. When I paint, I leave all my worries behind & become a part of something much bigger than myself. I haven’t had the opportunity nor the resources to paint since I’ve been in China, so this is something I want to do as soon as possible.

Another awesome blog I’ve been following lately, Positively Present, has also listed their own personal commandments, inspired by Gretchen & The Happiness Project. Check them out for more inspiration for when it comes to writing your own personal commandments.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing to celebrate the full moon for this lunar cycle. I’m feeling very satisfied with my commandments & have already started implementing them into my daily life. My hopes are high & my quest for knowledge, meaning, truth, & now more happiness, is off to a great start!

Keep Smiling! Love Jen xo