Instant Happy Therapy: You Are In Control


I am fascinated with the trends on my social media feeds, or at least the ones that Facebook and other social networking sites chooses for us. If somebody with a pretty strong presence in my feed rails about the injustices of customer service, it seems as if it is nearly always followed by a run of status updates proclaiming similar unsatisfactory experiences.

Look, I know this might be a Law of Attraction thing – you want to buy a green VW Beetle, and then that’s all you see on the road the rest of the day. I get that. But FB and other networks have already admitted to using some kind of software that tracks trends in updates and flows them together, all for the sake of “enhancing” our overall online experience. Talk about customer service being a little too self-serving…

Regardless of how they end up in my feed, people are writing them, and sometimes, they are downright depressing.

Well, I’ve got some Instant Happy Therapy for you that works for me every time. I step away from the phone/laptop/tablet and get outside.

I listen. I observe. I inhale. I absorb everything that is around me.

So few of us really do this. Here’s a quick quiz for you. Name the following:

  1. The natural colors and shapes around you.
  2. The types of trees in your neighborhood.
  3. The names of the wildlife outside your front window.
  4. The sounds of birds (and their names) in your neighborhood at dawn, noonday, and dusk.
  5. The insects and animals comprising your community’s little ecosystem and wild life cycle.

Not that any one of these is super important to your happiness. What is super important, though is your awareness of such things. All it takes is a little time outside, unplugged, to become aware of the vibrant life all around you.

This is my Instant Happy Therapy. It is grounded in the present, and it is happening, despite me. I get to become an observer to the wonderful movement of my natural and community surroundings. It grounds me in what matters most in this life.

So log off, and get outside for a little Instant Happy Therapy. It’s free, and it’s always available to you (and everyone else).



Put Yourself First To Be Selfless

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Put YOURSELF first to be selfLESS? Such a contradiction, right? I mean, it goes against everything that we’ve been taught.

How HORRIBLE of you to think of yourself first! Do you realize how much more helpful you could be if you devoted more time to others? Instead of taking that run, or working on that project, you could be helping others in greater need than yourself.


I got fired up about this yesterday as I was listening to my brother-in-law’s interview down in Tampa about Caregiving (he’s written a book about it, and even has a great website; I’ve placed the promo video at the end of this post for you to get a better idea of the power of love that he shares with my sister). Well into the interview, the radio host asks him to talk about some caregiver tips (he’s got 70 great ones in the book), and the tip he shares is that caregivers have to take care of themselves. He then goes one step further and says that, even before the caregiver takes care of the patient, s/he has to take care of him/herself FIRST.

First! I couldn’t believe he said that on the radio, as the sole purpose of caregiving was to be there for the patient, first and foremost.

But after thinking about it for a few hours, it started to really make sense to me. How in the world can I take care of another individual, if I don’t first take care of myself? In the end, is it worth it if the caregiver falls ill from such personal neglect? ONE- where does that help the patient? and TWO- nobody asked you to sacrifice your life for that person.

I’m just 10 days away from my next 5K, and when I went on my run today (after not running for a few days), I realized how out of sync I had become in those days that I did not run. I neglected myself, and my mood dipped, I couldn’t be there for my kids like I had been just a week ago, and I started feeling less confident, insecure, and self-doubting about a lot of issues. Talk about HORRIBLE!

One run, though — one hour to take care of myself — and everything is rebooted. I feel great, my social interactions with my family have improved immediately, and I’m looking forward to working harder on a few projects that I’m in the middle of creating.

Why did I not run those last few days?

It’s a contagious, flesh-eating monster, I tell you. For all of you Little Shop Of Horrors fans out there, it was feeding Audrey II, and the more I did NOT take care of myself, the happier and bigger that monster got. The negativity, the diminishing effort to accomplish my goals, the stronger desire to eat more, work less…. Yeah, Audrey II was being fed a bunch of soul-sucking trash that was making me feel absolutely worthless.

The reason why I didn’t run is because I had “other things to do” that were creative in nature. I rationalized and said that this was BALANCE, this was feeding the muse, this was satisfying both the spiritual and the physical.

My daughter scoops less manure when mucking the stalls every weekend when she is at the farm.

Bottom line: If your workload is too much that you can’t take time out for yourself, then your workload is too heavy, and you got to cut something out. Simple as that. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is more important to you than keeping in shape, taking good care of yourself, and staying on top of YOUR game, whatever that game might be.

Then, and only then, can you truly be selfless for others. Only then can you be there when they need you, and in ways that don’t make you feel like you are sacrificing your life for theirs. It’s not about that folks. Never was, and never will be.

This is YOUR life. Love it. Live it. Give it.

No excuses!

Ok– Here’s the video promoting my brother-in-law’s book. It’s bigger than that, though. You’ll see. Music is by the wonderfully talented Pattie Lin. Pattie, you are the best.

Baby I’m A Rich Man

I have to tell you, I’ve been very blessed. I’m 47, I’m in excellent health and I am continuing with a workout regimen to get me ready for the Baltimore Half-Marathon on October 13. I’ve got some great websites running (,, and, to mention a few), and I am surrounded by great, great family and friends, both online and in my local community.

It’s an awesome life, and I love what I do as a writer, a teacher, and a presenter.

In the midst of all this, I have been doing a lot of reading on Law of Attraction. Some of the biggies I’ve been reading (and rereading) are Rhonda Byrne (she wrote The Secret) and Mike Dooley (Manifesting Change, among others).

Here’s the bottom line: If you ask for it, if you believe in it, then you are going to receive it. The Universe works in wondrous ways — moving and shifting — to provide.

Don’t believe in it? That may be why you are not getting what you want. It’s constant positivity, dwelling on what you want as if you already have it (“I am grateful for being so wealthy!” instead of “I hope someday that I am not this poor.”).

I’ve been practicing this, and I totally buy into it. 100%. There’s no turning back with this one. It’s either all-in, or all-out.

So, I’ve been focusing on being grateful for being so abundant in wealth, thinking that I am already wealthy, and that the doors are wide open to receive more wealth. I asked. I believed.

And in the past week, I received.

The first delivery came in a simple text message from a colleague at the University where I teach. It was brief, simple, to the point: “A second online class opened up. Want it?”

Double my adjunct income? Yes, please. Thank you very much, Universe.

I was giddy with excitement how this was working. I know some of you might say that this is all coincidence, but I believe otherwise.

I also believe the Universe has a sense of humor.

This morning, following a rather excited round of grateful writing about abundance in my daybook, I headed out for my morning run. When I was about a half-mile in, I noticed money ahead in my path — and lots of it.

I couldn’t believe how this wealth was raining down on me ever since I started really embracing the Law of Attraction. I picked up my pace and soon found myself surrounded by bills — $10’s, $20’s, even a few $500’s.

It was all too good to be true.

I paused long enough to grab a few of the bills in my hands and throw them into the air, laughing the whole time. A complete bankroll of Monopoly money was scattered all around me!

I guess I’m going to have to be a little more specific in my Asking… and specify real money for now on!