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Be Happy: Smiling is Yoga for the Face

You don’t feel like smiling. I get it. You just got back from holiday vacation and the work is piled up on your desk and all those days of relaxation seem to have vanished as if they’d never happened. Your car engine is making a grinding noise every time you accelerate and you’re afraid to […]

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Be Choosy: Thoughts are Like Music. Listen to the Stuff You Like.

A wise person once said to me that listening to negative thoughts all day is like having the world’s largest CD collection (or I guess nowadays we would say “The world’s largest iTunes library) and all day choosing to listen to the music you hate the most. The music that depresses you. The music that […]

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Enlightenment of the Middle Ages: Spiritual Lessons I Have Learned in Midlife

I turned fifty this past summer. Which means if I live to be one-hundred (which is an actual goal) I am squarely and undeniably smack dab in the middle of my life. Middle age has its petty annoyances. It also has its perks.  I may not be able to see the dosage information on the […]

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Be Happy: Just because your teen is unhappy, doesn’t mean you have to be!

I live in a home with two teens and two preteens. In the South, where I live, people tend to respond to this fact by saying, “Oh, bless your heart.” Yes, bless my heart. Bless it with happiness and strength. For, if there is a theme for our lives right now it is this: Moods […]

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Be Sweet: Giving up Sugar and Savoring the Real Sweetness of Life

I gave up sugar a week ago. I am not bragging. It’s only been a week, and a week doesn’t especially give you bragging rights. And it certainly doesn’t earn you the privilege of finger-wagging. So just to be clear: I am not wagging my finger at anyone. But I do want to tell you […]

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How To Be Unburdened: Stop wrestling with your negative thoughts!

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a simple proposal: “Name one thing you can let go of today to lighten your load.” I expected to get concrete answers: meetings, errands, appointments, household clutter, or chores. What I got back surprised me.  Most of the answers were not about concrete objects or time-sensitive work, but about habitual thoughts, […]

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How To Be Joyful: Don’t wipe that dumb grin off your face

I can often be spotted driving along in my minivan, all alone, grinning to myself. Sometimes I think for all the world I look as if I don’t have a brain in my head.  But isn’t that interesting? Why is it that when we see someone smiling “for no reason at all” we assume that […]

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How To Be Happy: Forget your troubles? Easier sung than done!

Remember the Judy Garland song that goes,  “Forget your troubles! C’mon get happy!”? It’s a great tune if you want to get up and dance.  But as advice goes, it’s pretty lousy.   First of all, it’s scarce on details.  Forget your troubles? How does one even begin  to do such a thing? Our troubles […]

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How To Be Grateful: “One of these days” … My philosophy of parenting

One of these days . . . One of these days my house will be clean. I will not find dirty socks stuffed between the couch cushions because it is apparently too far to walk to the hamper.  I will not have to muffle a cry of pain in the middle of the night because […]

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How To Be Strong: Resist Those Purchases that promise you happiness

These past few months I have been working madly to de-clutter our home.  Actually, not madly.  Mindfully.  Or maybe it is a bit of both.  I have been trying to find some breathing room within it, both literally and figuratively.  It has been a real period of reckoning for me and for my family. After […]

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