Secrets for Happier Life 4-22-2010

 
Secrets For A Happier Life: Ideas, Inspiration & Practices
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      Michael 
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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

 

 
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Secrets For A Happier Life November 2018 Finding You

SECRETS FOR A HAPPIER LIFE
 
ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS MOMENT …RIGHT NOW?
Imagine looking into a mirror and seeing yourself.
Are you seeing you or a reflection of you?
Look into the mirror of your mind
Are you seeing a reflection of you or seeing yourself?
Who is looking?
The answer is “I am” looking or “me”
Subject and Object
I (the subject) am looking at the mirror (the object).  Whatever is reflected on the mirror of the mind or the actual mirror is the object that is being seen or perceived by the subject. The object which is reflected can be a thought, feeling sensation, image sound, memory etc.
Between the subject and object is the commentator called the Ego
The ego in the middle continually wants more of what it likes and less of what is does not like.  It sees what is reflected on the surface of the mirror and wants more or less of it.  Or it looks deeper into some residue on the mirror and wants more or less of that experience or plan.
Meditation cleans the mirror
The mirror is continuously bombarded by thoughts, sense contacts and chooses liking or disliking what strikes it.  In time a residue builds up and the mirror gets covered and less reflective.  It loses its reflection of direct experience.  Meditation can clean the surface of the mirror.  If the mirror becomes perfectly clean it turns transparent and a greater reality is seen.
This meditation is primarily focused on following the breath.  There are 3 depth levels and variations. Each depth incorporates and builds upon the previous level.
Meditation depth level 1 (see previous blog Your Breath Is More Than Air 8-30-2018)
Meditation depth level 2
For each step below maintain awareness for one breath flowing in and out.  10 breaths 10 focuses of attention
1. Attention on your right foot
2. Attention on your left foot
3. Attention on your right hip
4. Attention on your left hip
5, Attention or the middle of your back
6. Attention on your right elbow
7. Attention on your left elbow
8. Attention on your right shoulder
9. Attention on your left shoulder
10. Attention on the back of your head
Repeat the above 2 more times

As thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations are reflected in the mirror quietly note their presence and allow them to pass by and dissolve; similar  to watching a bird flying through the sky leaving no trace of its passing.

*****************************************************************************

 
We are all familiar with earth and space gravity.  Everything pulls and attracts everything else towards it.  The earth is so large in size compared to all of the objects we come in contact with that everything seems to fall toward the earth.  Spiritual gravity is similar in that everything is pulled or attracted to the center of the Heart of the Universe.    SPIRITUAL GRAVITY  a blog
 
              CLICK HERE for  8-9-17 
                 CLICK HERW for 9-6-2017 
                CLICK HERE For 10-4-17
               Click Here for  11-2-2017 
                 CLICK HERE FOR 2-18-2018 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Announcing
SPIRITUAL GRAVITY
a blog
Spirituality Happiness Joy Wonder Deconstructed

Secrets For A Happier Life Flowing Zone 9-26-2018

SECRETS FOR A HAPPIER LIFE
 
ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS MOMENT …RIGHT NOW?
Sitting here.
Breathing in now.
Sipping an iced Arnold-Palmer.
Music in my ears.
In the zone of just sitting.
I came in for a cool drink after an hour of Florida heat and sweat on the golf practice range. I was in the zone of practicing.
Zones or flow come and go.  Mainly unnoticed.
Usually we think that primarily athletes, creative artists and writers are the fortunate zoners. Their excellent, fluid seemingly effortless performance is easy to create a sense of awe in us as as we watch.
However, when the characteristics of the zone experience are present we are more likely to fall in.
Four primary characteristics of zone entry
Level of difficulty balanced with ability
Intention of outcome
Desire to improve
Characteristics of being in the zone
Enjoyment
Timelessness
Elimination of distractions
Clear mind
Light body
My intention was to practice and improve my golf swing. For an hour everything else dropped away. My body felt light and my swing easy. If my intention was to hit the target I would have been continually disappointed and not anyway near the zone.
The same can occur with any activity. Washing dishes. Paying bills. Walking.
Check your intention. Be imaginative adjust the level of difficulty to your ability. Focus attention set your desire and be with it. The path to the zone will open as you move forward.
I am still sitting here.
Breathing.
And back from the zone of writing today’s blog.
Most of the time we are in between two states of mind/body/spirit. The first one above is flow and the second below is shenpa.
Shenpa is a Tibetan word which is closely similar to the emotion of getting hooked and stuck to the very beginning of a disagreeable thought, action of another person,
or circumstance that rubs you
the wrong way. It pushes your button. It occurs so deep and early in the irritation that you are not even aware of your internal reaction until it is too late and you have lost it.
The bliss, peace, contentment or even just a sense of getting by is gone. It is immediately replaced by your fuming response of lashing out in an almost uncontrolled rubber-band-snap-back to whatever it is that caused your button to be pressed. Shenpa is the very urge to scratch an itch when you first feel the bite of a mosquito. Sometimes your hand is scratching even before you are aware of doing it. The longer you wait and the deeper you get into the reaction is like adding multiple rows of velcrow tightening shenpa’s grip and making it harder to break free.
It can be as simple as watching television and seeing someone eating potato chips.  Your thoughts slosh up and back, chips or no chips. Without making a conscious decision shenpa strikes and at the next commercial you find yourself munching on a bag of chips you just took out of the pantry.
The opposite of shenpa is freedom or flowing into the zone. The path from the sequential stress of shenpa towards freedom begins with a simple practice. We all have routine itches that spontaneously appear. Keep an eye out for one to show up and resist the urge to scratch. Okay, you have probably already scratched that one. The next one or the one after that you will catch and be able to make a conscious choice to scratch immediately or not. That is great progress.
As you continue you may start to notice a pattern that causes some of the itches; but that is a subject for another blog.   Another practice is to eat only one potato chip and sit with the urge to take another. Or to see how long you can eat a pistachio nut or a raisin as if they were a hard sucking candy without chewing.
With practice you will gradually start to notice the urge of shenpa to react to routine circumstances that set you off both at home and at work. As you catch yourself earlier in the downward spiral of over reacting you will be moving towards freedom. You will be able to avoid stored up habitual reactions that in the past led to the wish that you had not reacted in that way.
Just as a stick must have two ends as you become more aware of the end emotion of shenpa you will become more aware of its opposite end emotion; that of the freedom of flowing zone.

*****************************************************************************

 
We are all familiar with earth and space gravity.  Everything pulls and attracts everything else towards it.  The earth is so large in size compared to all of the objects we come in contact with that everything seems to fall toward the earth.  Spiritual gravity is similar in that everything is pulled or attracted to the center of the Heart of the Universe.    SPIRITUAL GRAVITY  a blog
              CLICK HERE for  8-9-17 
                 CLICK HERW for 9-6-2017 
                CLICK HERE For 10-4-17
               Click Here for  11-2-2017 
                 CLICK HERE FOR 2-18-2018 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Announcing
SPIRITUAL GRAVITY
a blog
Spirituality Happiness Joy Wonder Deconstructed
MikeSelzerDDS@aol.com | BeJoyNow.com