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Barefoot on the Beach & and some personal thoughts on the WISDOM of happiness.

Welcome to May, 2016. Love pictures of quality family moments caught up in the freshness of the moment and beautiful yogis who appears happy from the inside-out. Now that is a goal for all of us. Have you ever walked barefoot on the beach or sat and playfully dipped your toes in the sand. Now, have you ever watched the wild abandon as a child plays joyfully in those same shifting sands? They run to the sea, time and again, squealing with delight as the endless waves chase them back to the shore. They sit in the soft tidal sand digging dutifully as they expose tiny sea creatures, build wonderful castles for their newly discovered friends, and cry openly when the ocean reclaims each tiny grain of sand. As they fill their pails with seashells, rocks, and other treasures, they are joyful, present, and totally alive. Each day at the beach in the life of a child is a sand-filled wonderland of fantasy as they experience the simple joy of living in the moment.

Is it possible as an adult to experience this same joyful existence? That, my friend, depends on making a personal decision to choose happiness. A prerequisite of happiness is to seek and commit to a positive mindset where negative thoughts are simply not allowed to dominate our being. We all have that friend who is perpetually unhappy. They are either sad, angry, insulted, disrespected, critical, under loved, or entirely overwhelmed with life and often appear to be totally miserable. A focus on the negative side of life leaves less time to focus on many positive moments and often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom. The unfortunate and sad truth is that the consequences of negativity can eventually consume our mind, body, and spirit. On the reverse side of this coin, have you ever experienced that person who has witnessed so much pain and suffering within their lifetime that they have every good reason to be unhappy. Yet, they are content and fulfilled from within. To be happy, you must envision the happiness that you seek. You must believe that it is yours. You must own your choice to be happy.

Sad Story: Everyone has a story. Whether you are in the middle of a chapter in the book, "My Sad Story" currently, or you have finished that chapter, live it, learn from it, but then let it go. Ride the waves of your story as the endless tide rolls toward the shore, realizing that all rough seas calm at some point in time. Whether it is grief, a particular stress, or an illness, stay on the life boat. I realize some stories are more painful than others and some stories have the potential to change lives forever. However, I also fully realize, if you allow the negative to rule, it will hold you forever in its unhealthy and unhappy grasp. Only you can choose to change. Life is a journey. We may sometimes have to climb mountains or cross a barren dessert, but our travels through life give us unyielding stamina and endurance and ultimately make us who we are to become.

Discovering that you have a choice is a liberating moment. One of the biggest components of happiness is our outward expression, that killer smile. In essence, some may have to "fake it, til they make it". A smile makes you feel better inside and look better on the outside, so flaunt that happy face. Also, take a moment daily to remember all of your blessings and feel genuinely grateful. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Practice simple kindness to others; it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you see your potential to make others happy. Do something for yourself every day. Taking time for ourselves is a form of self-love. We cannot fully care for others if we cannot care for ourselves. Accept yourself just as you are in this moment of time; an imperfectly perfect being. You are loved as a child, a grandchild, a mother, a father, a grandmother, a grandfather, an aunt, an uncle, a brother, a sister, and an important part of someone's life. So loosen up, be authentically you, and love yourself. Make time for "little pleasures" in life with those you treasure and remember this is truly how you will be remembered. Walk in the sunshine or the rain. Make it a goal to get outside and enjoy the wonderful outdoors daily. Whether you love to garden, walk, picnic with the grandchildren, or spend time admiring the beautiful shore, make time for the great outdoors. .

Open your heart to love. Accept love, give love, and allow love to guide you on your journey.. The presence of love in your life will open doors to health and happiness. Love is that common thread that binds us all together. There is magic and power in the raw truth of this amazing emotion which makes a statement of an eternal bond that withstands time and adversity. When we give love, we receive so much more in return. Whether you equate love with passion, family, or any strong bond of sincere affection for another, allow yourself to be submerged within this primal force that has existed throughout time. Love gives purpose and direction and makes us complete.

Make each day count. Enjoy your time on this planet. It will not last forever, you know! Don't miss chances to put aside the demands of the daily grind to share a smile with a grandchild or a special friend. Everyone is "busy" and this "busy lifestyle" has almost became an epidemic. The digital age is fabulous. However, we often fail to see past our computer screens. I am often as guilty as the next. If you love what you do, it is easy to get caught up into a pattern of completing the endless demands because it is now possible to do so "around the clock". Then if you add a not-so-healthy dose of perfectionism and a pinch of the almighty obsessive-compulsive....I think you get the picture. STOP! Put it aside so that you don't miss all the good as life passes you by. Our laptops cannot offer what life and love can give. I want to feel the sand between my toes, smell the salt air, hear the ocean as it laps upon the shoreline. And I want butterfly kisses, sleepy heads on my shoulder, and just being in the moment with those that I love the most. Life is good.

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