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



Fishing In A Mirror 9-10-2021

SECRETS FOR A HAPPIER LIFEInspiration and Practices


Hello Michael,
You always catch what you are fishing for. To see what you were fishing for just look at what you have. Sometimes when the water is cloudy and you cannot see to the bottom just cast out your bait. Wait for a bite and reel in. What do you have? When whatever it is breaks through the surface of the water and you can see it you now know what you were fishing for. If you want something else just change your bait or the type of hook you are using. Reality is a mirror of you. Your point of view determines your bait and what you catch. What if for a moment you allowed yourself the luxury of feeling wonderful, light hearted and filled with a general enthusiasm for this moment? What would you be feeling right now? Happy, light, airy, smiling or perhaps taking a slow deep breath? Or are you too busy or skeptical to be caught by this nice sounding bait? Go ahead right now and imagine a moment of peace and calm and then become aware that you already have it. When you look in a mirror you see a reflection of light that is your self. How deeply do you see into this reflection? On the surface there are the shapes, colors and forms of the outside of skin, hair and clothing. Perhaps makeup, jewelry and a costume.  Actually our facial expression and body language and that smile you give yourself, that last look and the feeling that goes with it is carried out into your day.  Filled with intention, excitement, adventure, anxiety, fear or dread you proceed outward. Casting out your bait the mirror of your life precedes every step. You did this yesterday and you will do it again tomorrow. It is as if you are practicing to get it right but by doing the same thing over and over it will never change. Maybe you are practicing the wrong thing. Change your bait to being happy. Cast it out and reel in. If you have caught something else throw it back. Don’t even bring it onto your boat. Or use a thinner lighter fishing line. One that will break if the catch is too heavy. Leave the worries and should haves out in the water. As you continue to fish with lighter and lighter line your catches will keep getting smaller and smaller until they are so small you cannot see them and you can just fish with no bait at all and just enjoy being.
What if for a moment you allowed yourself the luxury of feeling wonderful, light hearted and filled with a general enthusiasm for this moment? What would you be feeling right now?  
Archive of NewslettersSpiritual Gravity
Michael Selzer DDS (retired)Happiness CoachingCharlottesville,

You Are LighterThan EmptySpace 9-1-2021

SECRETS FOR A HAPPIER LIFEInspiration and Practices

You Are LighterThan EmptySpace

Go into your imaginary back yard and bring a shovel with you. Dig a huge hole piling all of the dirt you are taking out of the hole half on one side and half on the other.
Now stand back and look at the empty hole. Notice the space that the dirt had taken up in the ground is now an empty hole. But remember that the space where the hole is, is the same whether it is filled with the dirt in it or empty with the dirt taken out. The space is the same filled or empty. And the space is not affected by the dirt or anything else that might be thrown into the hole.
Imagine throwing some garbage into the empty hole and letting it remain there for a day or two until it rots and starts to stink. At any time you can decide to take the garbage out of the hole so that it is empty again and throw in some roses so that the air in the space smells better. Again at no time did the garbage or the roses affect the space of the hole. Only the sir in the hole or the earth at its sides were affected. The space remains unchanged empty of anything.
Next, imagine you are the space. You are not the dirt or the air or the earthen sides of the hole. You, as the space are empty and unaffected by anything that may be thrown into you. Insults from others as well as aches and pains and even thoughts of your own mind are being thrown into the space of you. 
You, as identified with the empty space are untouched. You can remain as the witness watching the hole being filled and emptied moment by moment day by day. Relieved from all of the stuff that comes your way and falls into the hole of you, there is nothing to disturb your peaceful restful watching. 
You do not have to believe this imaginary tale. All you need is to have it as a point of view a vantage point to see each moment. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what appears to be real or what appears in your thoughts. It sees it as what is. The illusion of being free from garbage in your hole is accepted by your subconscious mind as readily as actually taking the garbage out of the hole. Create the illusion and see the beneficial results of pace, calm and stillness.
The tale of the washer man illustrates this point. Each day a washer man led his donkey through the village picking up the dirty laundry from house to house and placing it on his donkey. At the river the washer man washed and then laid the clothing on the rocks to dry. He then folded the clothing loaded it back on the donkey and returned to the village. One day when he got to the river he realized that he had left the rope he used to tie the donkey to a tree back at the village. It was too far to go back and retrieve and then return to the river. 
He was beside himself. There was no way he could go down to the river with the clothing and leave the donkey all alone at the top of the hill. The donkey would just wander off and he would not be able to carry the clothing back to the village. 
Just then a wise man had stopped by and listened to his dilemma. Not to worry he said. Just make sure the donkey is watching you and go through all of the motions to show the donkey you are trying the rope to the tree. The washer man was very skeptical and said with no rope the donkey would wander away. The wise man insisted and the washer man did as he had asked and made sure the donkey was watching as he pretended to tie it to a tree. 
He went down started washing the clothing and looked up the hill to see that the donkey remained next to the tree. When he finished and had folded all of the clothing and loaded it back on the donkey he signaled the donkey to come with him; the donkey refused to move. Perplexed he had no idea how to get the donkey to start walking with him. Just then the wise man appeared and told him to reverse the tying. He should be sure the donkey was watching and untie it from the tree. The washer man did as instructed and immediately the donkey started to follow him back to the village.
The donkey only needed to see in its mind a tying and assumed untying of the rope. It was an illusion but real to the donkey.
Let your mind as the hole, be the donkey. Throw in what you like or take out what you do not like. The subconscious mind not knowing the difference sees illusion or reality the same. All you need is the point of view that you are the space not the hole, not your mind and not the donkey. 
The illusion of not identifying with what is in your hole is all that you need to be free. Once free you will be lighter than air and able to elevate yourself and others to know your true Self.   The hole (whole) of space is empty except for what you put into it. 
Like water poured into a pitcher consciousness takes the shape of its container.
Archive of NewslettersSpiritual Gravity
Michael Selzer DDS (retired)Happiness CoachingCharlottesville,