Secrets For A Happier Life January 20, 2015

ets For A Happier Life: Ideas, Inspiration & Practices
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Mixing thoughts for happiness

MichaelMichael D Selzer DDS

 

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Fixing a hole
January 20, 2015
 Dear Michael,    

Growing up in the 50’s was a lot easier than now; there was only one superhero, Superman.  I remember dreams of flying down the stairs to the basement with my cape flowing behind me.

However, this infatuation I had with superman also became the means to an end of my going to the dentist.  My mom used to take me to the dentist on Mondays at 4:00 after school and before superman was on TV at 5:00.  It seemed like forever but it was probably only for a few visits.  I was so intent on getting home to watch superman on TV that I was an ideal patient not wasting any time.  The dentist Dr Kerman must have liked that and we became friends.  Maybe that is why I am a dentist today.

I invite you to continue reading below and hope you enjoy this string of moments below.

Michael Selzer DDS  

Quick Changes
The key here is finding ways to mix really good thoughts, like watching superman, with not so good thoughts, like having my teeth drilled, so that we cultivate allowing what we think, to change how we feel.
Hold those thoughts.
There is an old story about a man who walks along a path in the woods and falls into a deep hole.  It is a very difficult climb back out of the hole but he makes it.  The next day he goes for his walk and again falls in the hole.  This time with his experience he was able to climb out a little easier.  The following day he is walking along the path and as he gets close to the hole he remembers it but too late and falls in again.

By now his climb out is even easier.  Again the next day he walks along the path, remembers the hole is there and steps around it easily.  On his next walk recalling the hole even earlier he decides to just take a different path.
Falling down the hole can translate to driving and hitting the same pothole more than once.  Or falling into a “hole” of lower energy or less happiness due to routine concerns that come up and repeat themselves during your activity every day.
How you routinely respond to traffic especially when you are late, poor service in a restaurant, bad news or being hungry may be like falling down a shallow or deeper hole.  Do the same concerns or problems keep repeating themselves?  Have you been able to learn from “falling down the same hole” several times to take a different path?
As the man on the path noticed a bit earlier each day that the hole was going to be there he gradually learned to avoid the hole altogether.  Like in the movie Groundhog Day each day there was a little bit more of a mindful memory of what had happened the day before until one day the “hole” was avoided.

Small Moments Of Happiness
One way to allow this shift is for your thoughts to not get caught as much in the circumstance of what you do not want to be happening.   

I did not want to go to the dentist but I thought more about superman than the dental treatment.  By sprinkling the good thoughts among the bad I did not fall down the hole into a whiny or procrastinated dental visit. 

 A puppy’s perspective

                              
 

 

Write down six words which represent six of your happy memories or future plans.  Focus attention on each word drifting in and out with the thoughts and associated feelings.  

 

Select the strongest feeling or new image that comes up and place a name on that.  During the day whenever you remember and especially whenever something good occurs recall that name.  


Cultivate this name as your good feeling to sprinkle on the “edge of the holes” that open up before you each day.  The shallower the hole, the sooner you catch yourself or the less you fall in the easier it is to climb back to your usual good nature.  

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