Friday, February 4, 2011

Thinking with the Heart

The ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the source of both thoughts and feelings, unlike in our times where our heart symbolizes the seat of our emotions and our brain the seat of our reason.  In our world, thoughts and feelings are often in conflict with each other.  In the Egyptian world, they must have lived in harmony.  Why can't ours?  That is what I want for my life.  Harmony of mind and heart.  Passion and reason. 

But wanting is not giving to yourself.  This harmony comes with effort.  There must be some reason to our passions, and some passion to our reason.  In the book 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller quoted James Michener:

The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.  To him he is always doing both.

What a way to live!  But to achieve that harmony of reason and passion, work and happiness, mind and heart, you have to start small.  Treat it as a career of its own, and it takes time to learn the ways of the job. 

Toward that end, next week, I will try to find ways to put a little happiness into that which I consider my work.  And in addition, I will look at my sources of happiness and see if they can do some work for me.  Then I will journal my efforts.  I encourage you to do same.  In this way, we harmonize reason and passion, work and happiness, mind and heart.  In this way, we begin thinking with our Egyptian heart.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not-So Daily Happiness Tip #13: Hero Inspiration

Take time out today to honor someone selfless, great, or both by reading about them and taking a piece of them with you wherever you go.  You and others will be better--and happier--for it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not-So Daily Happiness Tip #12: A Positive Spin

Take a time-out and be positive on something you rather not be today.  Seeing the bad side, being negative may be easier, but you attract what you seek and put out.  So the question is, what would you rather attract?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not-So Daily Happiness Tip #11: Freethought Day

Use this day to resurrect an old idea that was just too out there.  You liked it to begin with, then you talked yourself out of it.  What can you do with this thought today?  How can you free this thought?  (Want more information on this unofficial holiday?  Check out this page.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not-So Daily Happiness Tip #10: World Mental Health Day

Use this day to work on your health--your mental health, that is.  Check out mental health sections at sites like Science Daily or Yahoo News for the latest on mental health and for inspiration on ways to improve yours.  But don't just get inspired and informed, do!  Pick something from your favorite mental health news site and try it out today.  (For more information on this unofficial holiday, check out this link.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Daily Happiness Tip #9: The Simple Life

So often in our lives, we are overworked and overscheduled.  Instead of multitasking, why not simplify some activities and do the activity for the activity's sake.  This way you unwind after the day's mental and emotional workout.  You can read an article to just read, not to learn.  You can play a game to just play the game, not to win or lose or advance in technique.  You can walk to just walk, not to lose calories.  Simplify your activities from time to time to regain some simple pleasures in your life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Daily Happiness Tip #8: Stop and Sniff

Scents are linked to emotion and memory.  They can soothe or excite.  This dogs know well, often stopping in the middle of a walk to investigate a tantalizing smell.  So next time, follow your doggy's lead and stop and sniff--your candles, your spike rack, or whatever scent hits the spot.
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