Think happy thoughts

Published by Erica on

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. The house is relatively quiet without my mom here to keep me busy with errands and cooking projects… and sure, I can do those on my own, but then I’ll eat all that yummy goodness! And we don’t need groceries, which takes out the need to shop.  Anyways, the free time flows slowly, I guess.  I’ve been seeing pictures of friends weddings and engagements… ’tis the season, to be sure! I’ve been thinking a lot about moving back to Utah and trying to find a job. Trying not to think about getting into the dating world. Sadly, I know I can’t avoid it either – that solves no problems. Thinking about why I stayed  in that relationship for so long. Wondering if I should share that with people. Thinking about other trials I’ve worked through in the past six months. Wondering if I should share that with people. Thinking about how I miss academia and have lost some self-direction since not being a student anymore. Thinking about how I’m really missing Clog America right now, too. 
Admiring the intellectuality of friends I have who make excellent, insightful connections that make me feel smart just for reading what they’ve said. Admiring the spirituality and depth of friends who always lift me up personally and live their lives in Christlike ways.  Looking forward to living with friends who relish every opportunity in life: creating, sharing, loving, existing with so much joy and clarity. Wondering what I offer… am I helping others by how I live my life? I won’t say I’m not…. but I might could do better. Sometimes I get filled with ideas, like creating a blog to document my impending dating discoveries, or creating another blog to share intellectual tidbits about art, humanities, philosophy, etc. 
Or, what about really getting that dance company set up? Once a week mandatory rehearsal for group numbers, forum to connect and develop solos/duets/small group pieces, any dance style accepted. Provo/Orem is a land of dance studios. Wouldn’t it be easy to reserve rehearsal space somewhere? At a reasonable price so that members can participate with low monetary and time requirements? I guess it gets tricky finding performance venues, but a little ingenuity would solve that problem too. And money. Hmm. 
And I think of patterns. Circularity. Pitfalls. And I think I ought to say something about it to people, like here. But then I think, hey, I’m probably a little negative already, perhaps too personal already, and what will be accomplished by sharing? I haven’t decided. It makes me think of spirals. The spiral is an ancient symbol. It suggests eternity, though I often find it relates well to my conception of life as I strive to draw closer to Christ. A finite spiral does have end points. You start at one and progress in circles to the other end. Life is so very circular!! It has to be. We gain knowledge, we act on that knowledge, and a consequence follows. Good consequences encourage us to repeat the acts that caused them, and sad consequences move us to repeat the process and use different actions or different knowledge. Ideally, our circular journey moves us upward and closer to our destination: living like Christ did. And ultimately, living with Him. 
Check out the spirals 
Budhha’s got it going on
Ancient Celts had it figured out in the B.C’s 
Nautilus by Edward Weston.
Spirals in nature: proof that’s not man-made

Well, I suppose it’s time to get to the real reason for the post. I saw a link to this great article on a friend’s Facebook wall, and I thought it would be an excellent share! 

12 Happy Thoughts for Troubled Times By Marc

People and circumstances will occasionally break you down.  But if you keep your mind focused, your heart open to possibility, and continue to put one foot in front of the other, you will be able to quickly recover the pieces, rebuild, and come back much stronger than you ever would have been otherwise.
Here are a few happy thoughts to ponder on those days when the whole world seems like it’s crashing down around you.
  1. Down days are completely normal, and not something you should feel guilty about having.  Happiness is never constant.  Surrendering to your sadness, or whatever negative emotion is trying to come to the surface, does not make you a bad person.  But remember, if you aren’t sincerely thankful for every smile, don’t be totally shocked by every tear.  Keep things in perspective.  Read Happiness Is a Serious Problem.
  2. When you are at your lowest point, you are open to the greatest positive change.  Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the strength to deal with them.  Strength doesn’t come from what you can do; it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t do.
  3. There is a huge difference between giving up and moving on.  Moving on doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there aresome things that cannot be.  Moving on can mean that you’re making achoice to be happy rather than hurt.  For some folks, good situations last a lifetime, but for many, not knowing when to move on can hold them back forever.
  4. Life rarely turns out exactly the way you want it to, but you still have an opportunity to make it great.  You have to do what you can, with what you have, exactly where you are.  It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.  Remember that there is no perfect life, just perfect moments.  And it’s these moments you must cherish; it’s these moments that make the whole journey worthwhile.
  5. Most people ask for happiness on condition, but long-term happiness can only be felt if you don’t set conditions.  Accept life unconditionally. Realize that life balances itself between the ideal and the disappointing.  And the disappointments are just life’s way of saying, “I’ve got something better for you right around the corner.”  So be patient, live life, accept what is, and have a little faith.
  6. Too often, we carry around things from our past that hurt us – regrets, shame, anger, pain, etc.  Don’t let these negative points from the past rob your present happiness.  You had to live though these things in the past, and although unfortunate, they can’t be changed.  But if the only place they live today is in your mind, then let go, move on, and be happy. Read Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life.
  7. You can choose to view things differently.  Pick one part of your life that you are unhappy with and look at it from a different point of view.  See the rain as nourishment for future growth.  Consider being alone for awhile to create the solitude you need to hear your inner voice.  Think of your lack of funds as an opportunity to experience the simple things in life.  Right now, you can choose to allow the light to shine in your life.  It is a choice.  Why not allow it?
  8. Once you embrace unpleasant news, not as a negative but as evidence of a need for positive change, you’re learning from it and growing.  Whatever life throws at you, even if it hurts, be strong and fight through it.  Remember, strong walls shake but never collapse.  Life always offers you another chance – it’s called tomorrow.
  9. When your flaws are stitched together with good intentions, your flaws make you beautiful.  It’s better to be true to yourself and risk being ridiculed by others, than to be false, and miss out on the beauty of being YOU.  Never be bullied into silence.  Never let someone else tell you who you are.  Accept no one’s definition of your life, except your own.
  10. You have the ability to heal yourself.  Just like lava flowing slowly out of a volcano, you must create a healthy outlet for your pain and anger.  It’s important after you’ve been hurt to take some time to think about your pain, and address it calmly and consciously, so you can thwart the possibility of more pain brewing from your own negativity.
  11. There’s a lot of life left to be lived.  The real tragedy in life is not death, but the passion we let die inside of us while we still live.  Remember, troubles from the past cannot define you, destroy you, or defeat you all by themselves.  As long as you keep pushing forward, they can only strengthen you.  Read You Can Heal Your Life.
  12. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.  Today is a brand new day – a fresh start.  Replace negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise.  Drink lots of water.  Fill your body with fuel.  Healthy is happy.  Inspire yourself.  Create.  Laugh.  Play.  Love.  Learn.  Give someone a compliment.  Perform a random act of kindness.  Take a chance on an idea you believe in.  You have the opportunity to do these things every single day – to make the necessary changes and slowly become the person you want to be.  You just have to decide to do it.  Decide that today is the day.  Say it: “This is going to be my day!”


Meridith Reed · July 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

You're amazing, Erica. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

Jenelle · July 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Meridith. We are so happy to get you back in Provo. Thanks for the wonderful insight. I love the circular aspect of life; you are absolutely correct, life is not linear, it has not only ups and downs, but circles and swirls. Love you.

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