Bliss

What is bliss?

How do we find it, make it, let it be so?

It’s a leisurely day unfolding. It’s holding two of my favorite people as the early morning light seeps in through the windows. It’s a warm house.

It’s putting things away and sipping hot coffee. It’s a second bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar. It’s my daughter sitting on my lap half telling me a story, half watching a cartoon.

It’s cozy pants and clean teeth and sitting on the kitchen stool. It’s having stuff to do and the time to do it.

It’s another slice of pie because it’s a holiday weekend. It’s being dry and thankful on a rainy day.

It’s right now.

[Disclaimer: After I wrote this piece I did a search on this blog; I wrote another bit with the same title two years back. Must be a common theme often on my mind: How to be happy. How to find bliss. GOOD.]

Yesterday was Black Friday? Nope, FAMILY Friday

All the pomp and hype, and anticipation of discounts and deals…and I find myself pretty far afield. Not shopping; not at all.

Instead?

We had a slow start to the day; we rallied up and headed out to the central valley to see my wife’s family, her brother and sister, specifically.  

Her sister is married, she and her husband have two kids; I might have written about them elsewhere in this blog.  Their kids are the same age as ours, pretty much.  They all get along pretty well. 

My wife’s brother and his honey rolled into town as well; super glad to see them too.  

And it was cartoon movies, video games, left-overs a’plenty.  Just hanging out,chatting, that’s what went  down.  Life slows down on days like this.  

Life slows down,pace slows down, time ticks by, carefree, relaxed, feeling of blessings abound.  

That’s how Black Friday played out.  Anything but black.  Everything good.  Everything GOOD.

“Chain Of Gratitude: Ari Shapiro Interviews 4 Musicians For Thanksgiving : NPR”

You had me at “chain of gratitude.” Ari.

Thanks for this piece!

-jeff.

Ari Shapiro names The New Pornographers as a musical act he’s thankful for in 2019. That gratitude is passed forward to nêhiyawak, then Leikeli47 and finally to Chick Corea.
— Read on www.npr.org/2019/11/28/782926637/musician-to-musician-our-5th-annual-thanksgiving-chain-of-gratitude

Sleep and Your Brain

The linkage between sleep and brain disease (think Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions). Growing evidence.

Your body has processes established to help your brain stay health. Our relatively modern human practices sometimes get in the way (think electricity and light at night, which allows us to do more after dark; think personal and professional demands and working late, driving us to do more; think our own sometimes reckless nightlife; think screens, think entertainment of all types).

Deep Sleep in particular is apparently the time when our brain goes through the best “wash cycle” of  cerebro-spinal fluid to clear harmful toxins.

Bottom Line: Get more sleep, your brain will be better off.

Like I need another reason to do so. : – )

Listen to this short podcast to get the whole skinny.

Or read the article below that details some of the same content from the same reporter who delivered this great news.

And then get some more shut-eye. You’re brain will be happier. So will you.

Article:  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/10/31/775068218/how-deep-sleep-may-help-the-brain-clear-alzheimers-toxins

Podcast:  one.npr.org/i/781267984:781421017

Be Thankful

Here’s what came to mind yesterday:

“Easy to be thankful when things are going well; here’s to being thankful when things don’t go as planned, when things go sideways. Find the lesson, make the best of it, and go forward. Be thankful.”

That sums it up, really. At least for me. It’s proven itself over and over to be the best approach.

Response to great fortune? Be thankful for things working out well for you.

Response to things not going as planned? Be thankful for what can learn from the circumstances.

The happiest people are those that practice gratitude on a regular, even daily basis.

An attitude of gratitude is a fundamental superpower anyone can develop, and if mastered, makes you unstoppable.

Try it for thirty days; go ahead, see how it might improve you perspectives, your daily attitude, your approach to all aspects of your professional and personal life.

And finally, a couple takes on our national holiday, Thanksgiving.

A bit about the roots of the tradition that is a national holiday in the US — though similar traditions exist around the world, for sure — here’s what Wikipedia has to say, in part (with some Wiki-Good links for more related info too):

“The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group’s charter from the London Company, which specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest, which the Pilgrims celebrated with Native Americans, who helped them get through the previous winter by giving them food in that time of scarcity.”

And here’s a really good piece written to share a more well-rounded perspective on the truth of our American history.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-11-27/thanksgiving-history-el-salvador-armenia-family

So for me it all comes back to the basics of right now, everyday: Amen to helping each other. Amen to being thankful.

Attitude? GRATITUDE.

Take a listen: Pain Management, Hospice Africa, Worth Your Time

Consider people in constant pain.  Perhaps from a chronic disease; maybe even a terminal disease.  Consider the decision patients have to make transitioning from Curative Care to Palliative Care:  not trying to cure a condition, but rather manage the pain and suffering.

Then consider not having the medicine to cope with the suffering.

Here’s one short podcast and one organization and some good insight on said topic of pain, and an approach that might do well to duplicate and multiply around the world, where many people don’t have the means to cope with the suffering of chronic pain.

And Hospice Africa?  HERE.

And the podcast?  one.npr.org/i/781323407:782215632

Brave

Not sure if I’ve written about this topic before in this forum. If not, it’s high time. If I have, it’s worth revisiting.

Being brave is a core value and characteristic of living a happy and fulfilling life.

If we don’t learn to have courage and be brave, we will struggle with new things, with hard things, throughout our lives.

If we don’t learn to be brave we will not feel good about ourselves. We will be sad more often.

If we don’t learn to be brave our relationships will suffer.

And for kids especially, it’s important to understand…

Courage isn’t about something magical that happens inside us to make us ‘not scared’. It’s about something magical that happens inside us to make us push through fear, self-doubt, anxiety, and do the things that feel hard or risky or frightening.

It means being brave when it’s necessary. It is necessary. Be brave.