The Heart of the Matter

In catching up with my reading, a never-ending process, I came across an interesting article in the July/August 2014 issue of Well Being Journal, to which I subscribe thanks to my friend Gurelle. The title of the article by Jonathan Robinson called “The Top Ten Quickest Ways to Boost Your Happiness” caught my attention because of my own Home Page Title, LOVE is in the Air. ♥

What I realized is that in my younger years I thought love would cure everything and learned it did not. After surviving my divorce I realized that love does not necessarily bring happiness; rather, happiness may very well be the source of bringing love, first with yourself, then with life, and then other people in your life.

Basically, I am not sure you can seek happiness so much as find ways that happiness will emerge, even when you are not thinking about it. Thus, the pursuit of happiness, which is in the US Declaration of Independence, might be misleading. I don’t think you can pursue happiness so much as engage in activities that you enjoy and happiness may emerge.  A more accurate description of this concept is the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh: There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.

The article in Well Being Journal lists 10 ways to bring about happiness, in ascending order, so #1, the last entry, is listed last, perhaps for emphasis, or maybe just a spin off of David Letterman’s top 10. Here is just the list. You can go to the author’s site for more in depth information.*

10. Look at pictures of people and animals you love on your smartphone or computer.

9. Exercise, even if only for three minutes.

8. Give someone money.

7. Get cooler.

6. Work towards an important goal.

5. Tune into the power of appreciation.

4. Do a 90-second “heart meditation” that consists of taking a deep breath and imagining exhaling out the center of your chest.

3. Spend time with a beloved pet, toddler, and/or nature environment.

2. Play a song you really enjoy and sing along. (I would add: dance along with the music.)



I would add another tip: Take time to just BE instead of always doing something. A woman I met many years ago noted that we are human beings, not human doings. That has stuck with me, as has the  saying: Better to do nothing than to waste time. Doing nothing is an “activity” that you can decide to do consciously as a way of relaxing, de-stressing, and just “being.”

*The end of the article notes that Robinson is the author of a book called Finding Happiness Now, on which I assume these ten tips are from. His website is: You can also Google the tile for additional sites.

Final Note & Poem: Earlier this month I could not fall asleep and while making some put-me-to-sleep concoction, I wrote two rhymes. Here is the short one. I haven’t typed the longer one in the computer yet. It mirrors what Robinson said about happiness, but even more, is a spin-off of the saying: “Do what you love and the money will follow,” to “Do what you love and happiness will follow.”


by ellen sue 
Feb. 1st/2015, 11 pm


I’m in love with Life, despite divorce & strife
when I was first wife; now I love my life.

I’m drunk with glee; I am who I want to be.
Waking up ev’ry day to see how much more I can be me.

I’m high on Joy; life’s a puzzle, not a toy.
Truth is central, no game or ploy.

I’m happy as 2nd time wife;
cutting through pain with a knife–
marching forward with drum & fife;

It’s a wonderful life!

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