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Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Virginia Wolfe had it right with regard to the difficulty of writing with multiple competing obligations and the lack of a personal space to write in. She used the illustration of Jane Austin, who had the great good fortune of a good income and a supportive family to help her bring her amazing pieces of fine literature to fruition.

I am not the only writer to fall prey to this dilemma. Over the course of my adult life, I have found times when I could be extremely productive, and others when I have gone weeks or even months without writing anything of note. Talking to my many friends who write, they report similar issues.

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Plan to Reach Your Dreams

 

I’m in the business of helping people build happiness, both here and at my day job. An important part of that is to help you reach your dreams. To do that, you need to turn your dreams into goals, and your goals into achieveable objectives.

It’s a whole lot easier than it sounds, and I’m here to help you learn to reach your dreams.

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You Can Control How Assholes Affect Your Day

Cover of "A$hole: How I Got Rich & Happy...

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Yes, you really can. First, we need to distinguish between assholes who want to ruin your day and people capable of doing actual harm to you. I’m talking about trollish behavior, the sort of thing designed to shut down conversations, embarrass you, and change your emotions for the worse, not the sort of thing that can actually hurt you. That’s a different post.

Sample Assholes Who Want to Ruin Your Day:

  • That guy who wolf whistles or shouts insults at you as you’re walking down the street.
  • The one who steps into your personal space in a waiting area and won’t back away.
  • The woman who cuts in front of you in line with her toddler in her arms, daring you to say anything.
  • The store clerk that pretends you don’t exist because you don’t look like that store’s usual customer.

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by request, this is hidden behind the cut now

Read more... ) (it was a pretty pic. Go ahead and look if you want to)

What have you done today to build happiness?  


Starting today, make a commitment to spend five, or ten, or fifteen minutes building happiness by working toward something that matters to you


Too many of us dream of being happy without setting goals that will get us there, or set goals, but don’t do anything to work toward those goals.


I’m too busy.


I don’t have the money this week.


The dog ate my homework.


Poppycock


(and that’s my professional opinion).


Even I can take fifteen minutes to build happiness in my life, working toward that one thing I really want to do


It’s the one instruction I give in therapy that most people are able to follow… and if they aren’t, they are able to give five or ten minutes a day.


If you want to be happy, devote fifteen minutes (or five, or ten) toward it every day.


Every day.


No excuses.


Why not devote fifteen minutes every day for at least one week on any new project that you think might be worthwhile?


Want to diet? Spend fifteen minutes a day documenting your food intake at fitday.com.


build happiness in fifteen minutes

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Ten personal commandments

Once upon a time I came across a meme on LiveJournal asking people to identify their ten personal commandments.  I like memes. When people participate in them, interesting thought experiments spread across the world.

I took the assignment seriously and took perhaps a full week to think about what ten principles I would like to live by. I wanted them to be universal, to apply in addition to rather than instead of a religious belief, and to address both harm to self and harm to others.

Here is what I came up with:

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I was exhausted last night and didn’t get my post ready for today. Here is something interesting and useful about the empathic nature of society to tide you over until I get home from work tonight and finish my post on Wrath, the first of the (Christian) Deadly Sins.

I’m interested in your thoughts on his reasoning (RSA Animate has tons of thoughtful videos out there… I invite you to ‘waste’ a day wandering through them.)

Also, this:

Empathy and Civilization

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Ion having depression; dandelion seeds blowing in the wind Have Depression

I am not owned by my depression but I am affected by it.

I battle it into submission, and sometimes it battles me into retreat

Having depression means I have to take enormous care to eat right, get the sleep I need, and balance my life. and that I am sometimes completely incapable of eating right, sleeping right, or balancing my life.

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Smart Phones

Smart Phones as Swiss Army Knife

Smart phones are an amazing investment, and even if you’re down and out and broke, if you can find a phone and plan you can afford, buy one.  They are a lifeline, an entertainment center, and a business office in one.

Every now and then someone starts that old rant about the ‘Obamaphones’ again. Part of me wants to ask whether that is kind of like a homophone, except that it sounds like the President. The other part of me wants to start a pedantic rant about how, no, that particular entitlement far predates the 45th President of the United States. But that’s neither here nor there. 

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Conversation about Content

My sister in law Ann, jumping for joy.

I was having a conversation about content with an old friend. ‘They say,‘ she said, ‘that websites should be focused on one narrow topic.’

So I  decided to build a website deliberately left as broad as possible within the general theme of living life fully and with compassion toward others and attention to the issues around us. You know, ‘shared joy’ and ‘shared pain’ and ‘shared life’. All that jazz. (Thanks again, Spider Robinson, for the inspiration.) Go contrarian me. My friend laughed, and then decided it was a good idea after all. 

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learn to knit
This is me, the first time I attempted to knit, many moons ago

You may have noticed the proliferation of knithacks online and want to join in, or you suddenly have lots of babies to make or buy gifts for, or you want to be able to make Doctor Who’s mega scarf (the 4th Doctor, of course), or a new comforter for your bed, or perhaps a friend gave you a pair of hand knit socks and you have realized that nothing in the world feels as good on your feet.

For whatever reason, you have decided that tangling yarn on a pair (or more) of sticks is something you want to learn how to do. Where to begin?*

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compassion fatigue

 Compassion Fatigue:

Dear JHP:  I’ve been working as a receptionist at my agency now for two years, and I’m tired of it all.  My clients are whiny, my boss is never happy, and I wake up every morning dreading going to work.  I’m sick of it all, but in this job market, I’m afraid to just quit, and I haven’t found anything else out there.  On top of it all, even though I’m sick and tired of them, I still worry about the people I help.  What should I do?

Signed,
Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.

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How to Lead a Group

The social service field is full of situations where you get pulled from one task and with very little notice, get asked to do another.  It is not uncommon, for example for an educational group to be scheduled, and for a crisis to keep the regular mediator from being able to lead it.
Here are some tips for how to lead a psycho-educational, therapy, or substance abuse group successfully with very little notice.

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