Secrets for Happier Life 4-22-2010

Secrets For A Happier Life: Ideas, Inspiration & Practices
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“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory”

 Albert Schweitzer
Be Happy Now April 22, 2010
Dear Michael,   


Welcome to Secrets For A Happier Life. 
Like rain dripping into and filling a bucket, your life can become happier one drop at a time. For over 25 years I have gathered thoughts and experimented with practices related to increasing joy.  I am happy to share them with you. 
Yogi Berra is reported to have said, “It’s like deja vu, all over again.”  Was he talking about our lives and how we  seem to be on a merry-go-round bumping into the same problems over and over again?  What does it take to step off into a new direction?   If he were asked how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb Yogi might have answered, “only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.”  Are you ready?  How is your light? Your happiness?
Right now what can you do to add another drop of happiness to your life?  Remember, happiness is a road you travel along, not a destination.  I invite you to begin with Small Moments of Happiness and Quick Changes below. 
Yours truly,  
Michael Selzer DDS


Small Moments Of Happiness

Notice that when you laugh you are happy. Notice especially that when you are laughing your whole body is moving. It’s in motion. You have stopped thinking, have let go and relaxed and allowed your body to move and shake. You are happy for at least that moment. And then like the ripples settling down in a pond the waves and motions of laughter settle back to our routine level of being.

The trick to being happy is to have more small moments of happiness and then let the natural brain chemistry learn to stimulate this happy response more and more often.


Quick Changes

Right now recall a moment when you were happy. Expand the image of that or the sense of that moment of happiness. Make it big and bigger in your minds eye. Put it on a TV screen, a movie screen, an I-max screen.

Group  SmilesOr, you can also pretend. That’s right, merely make up a good thought. It works just as well. The brain does not differentiate between real and pretend. It just registers a path for each thought. As you have more happy thoughts the path gets deeper and easier to access and reverberate with other thoughts. That’s it. Hold onto the awareness of happiness and let it soak into your body down into your finger tips and toes. 


The trick is to continually just let go of unwanted thoughts and replace them with happier ones. Gradually the groove of happy thoughts becomes the routine.


Do this practice 3 to 6 times a day or whenever you realize that you are not as happy as you would chose to be. Allow the groove of happiness in the brain’s chemistry to get deeper and deeper.  

Happiness: A Puppy’s Perspective

Or just take a puppy to the beach
Austen Eating Sand
1. More drops fill your bucket faster.  Every hour think ten happy thoughts.  They can be real or pretend.  The groove in the brain will get deeper either way.  For those old enough to remember that may be where, “it’s groovy” comes from.
2. When an unhappy thought comes up, immediately think the opposite.  Turn it into an opportunity to experience a happy thought when you most need it.  Again, its okay to pretend.
3. Before you fall asleep at night review happy thoughts.  Form an intention to continue filling your bucket with happy thoughts tomorrow.  As you sleep the brain continues to process the last conscious thoughts you have.


Upcoming topics in future newsletters

*More on how to train your brain
*How awareness to body sensations deepens happiness
*How to enhance the good moments of each day



Entering The Gap 6-20-21

SECRETS FOR A HAPPIER LIFEInspiration and Practices

Inspiration and Practices

Entering the Gap

Although thoughts may seem to flow uninterrupted from one to the other there is usually a small gap in between them. When you are in the “Gap” you are flowing within time and everything else stands still. Your Gap might be imagined as nirvana, happiness, God, being or envisioning your highest wish. 
I invite you to read on and hopefully finding your way into your own felt sense of the Gap.

Almost continually we are receiving information from our five sense windows and thoughts. I will focus on sights, sounds and thoughts as they are the most prominent. Whenever we become aware of something (some + thing), a sight, sound or thought, there is an almost immediate shift into an instantaneous evaluation of liking or disliking whatever it is. Often we spend more time thinking about our liking or disliking and our comparison of this “thing” or experience rather then about the thing itself. We get to ride along a wave of emotion and then the next thing comes along; unless we have become attached or stuck to the current thought. Check in with yourself as to your internal evaluation of these words, right now. Getting stuck eliminates the gap because we just ruminate and recycle the same thought round and round sometimes building up into an action that we might later have preferred not to have done. 

Remember the gap

Recently I have been practicing with the two thoughts of:
Let go and embrace.

Whatever the thought or experience is, as soon as you become aware of thinking about it or evaluating it just “Let go.”
If the thought sticks around then I practice embracing it. For me embracing the thought is to ride the wave of the emotion that has been raised. Once the wave has crested and settles I find that I can then let go of it.

As I watch for thoughts and emotions to arise and fall on there own I help then along by repeating to myself, “let go.” Then whatever the next sight, sound or thought that comes into awareness I repeat to myself, “let go.” 

Gradually I start to see the gap, the small quiet space in between thoughts. I start to feel the calm, stillness and enjoyment and then WAP its gone as quickly as it had arrived. So I go back to letting go and embracing. Sometimes when I become really quiet and still the old thoughts drop away and new connections and insights appear. 

Often I can sit and watch the trees swaying in the wind that I cannot see. 

I sit and wonder why is that?


Archive of Newsletters

Spiritual Gravity

Michael Selzer DDS (retired)
Happiness Coaching
Charlottesville, Virginia

Tea Kettle Illusions 2-10-2021


I had been sitting quite still watching the falling snow as the sound of the heater turned back on. Instinctively my head turned in its direction. My glance crossed over the tea kettle resting on the stove, just sitting there. Oddly I saw past the tea kettle to the wall behind it. This replaced the routine ordinary flat view of things, similar to looking at a photograph, with a greater awareness of the three dimensionality of life. The tea kettle now stood out from the background of the stove. It appeared as a silhouette that needed something behind it in order for me to see the tea kettle as a seemingly separate object.  Then I noticed that the stove became separated from the background of the wall behind it. And I realized that there is a foreground that I am seeing and background behind it that is mainly not noticed and remains as just background. Next I realized that the background I am now aware of can switch and become the foreground for whatever makes up the background that is behind it.  I started exploring and reviewed that the tea kettle was the foreground to the stove as its background. And then the stove became the foreground for the wall that was its background. Not just the part of the wall that I could see but the entire wall of the room I was in. Next the wall became the foreground for the house as its background and the house became the foreground as the earth formed its background. The earth became the foreground for the background of space behind it and then the background of space became the foreground for its greater background of God.    

And I slipped into this surreal sense of seeing, thinking and feeling. I realized that not just images have a sense of foreground and background. Sounds, emotions, thoughts, insights and sensations all have both their routine foreground that is perceived against a larger background. And interestingly that you can shift going in deeper and deeper and then up and back going from one to the other until you get so enmeshed, so unstuck in the foreground of one seeing the next background and then becoming unstuck in that background seeing the next one and the next and the next and the next. Until this becomes immersed within your emotions, going through multiple levels where each emotion is foreground for the background of a deeper emotion behind it. I was quickly reminded as the sound of the heater came on again that this extends to sounds as well. The sound of the heater coming back on again is just the foreground for the background of the OM of all of the sounds pulled together within the Universe. I found that by allowing the foreground to be there by focusing on its background and then allowing the background to also be there I become unstuck in the foreground.  As you become unstuck layer by layer by layer you may find your way into the center of your happiness.  I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY WEBSITESArchive of NewslettersSpiritual GravityMichael Selzer DDS (retired)Happiness CoachingCharlottesville,