Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

Day 107: Malaysia Flight 370: Two Parents

In Children, Family, Father, Happiness, Kids, Love, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Travel on March 16, 2014 at 3:15 am


{photo via google search}

Amidst all the news reports surrounding the tragic mystery of Malaysia flight 370, there is one story I find to be most tragic. I guess it strikes a chord with me because it echoes one of my deepest fears–leaving my child to get on a plane and never seeing him again. When Muktesh Mukherjee and his wife Xiaomo Bai got on flight 370, they were intending to vacation and left their two young boys with their grandma. Now those two beautiful boys have to wonder if they will ever see their parents again. I cannot imagine what they must be feeling, I cannot imagine what Muktesh and his wife must have felt the moment they new something was ‘wrong.’

On my last vacation to the UK, I had a panic attack the entire trip (airplane ride and vacation). My partner thought I was legitimately insane for shaking violently when turbulence bounced us around on our way to Italy. But what was really happening, I was thinking of my beautiful little e, I was thinking how much he needs me, and I was praying nothing would happen to me because we need each other.

My heart aches tonight for those two little boys. My heart aches for those parents because I had a glimpse of what they must have felt–times a million. As we pray for their safe return to their little ones, let us all remember how lucky we are to have our love ones present with us in our lives. Sometimes we can forget how special they are when they’re right in front of us.

little e you played a great baseball game today and I love you for it.

to my other love, I love you to the moon around the stars and back again…

to my Ini, thank you for lying against my back while I sleep, you make the best fluffy cuddler…

love, love, love…

and to the Mukherjee family, you’re in our thoughts. I hope they soon find answers because two parents need their two boys.

a whit.

Day 78: Monavie…and more

In Decorating, DIY, life, Love, Monavie on February 17, 2013 at 6:03 am

While in the UK, my boyfriend’s sister introduced me to Monavie, I had heard of the product previously while living in Utah.  However, I had never tried it.

After drinking this product daily, a warmed up 2 oz shot glass amount, I noticed a profound difference in my energy level and skin appearance.  Typically I experience hormonal skin issues (cystic acne) on my face; however, with this product I had no breakouts and my skin felt great.  I also noticed my energy level reappeared and I had motivation to do things again (like exercise–I kid, but really).

I do think this is a great product and differs from traditional acai drinks that can be purchased at the grocery store (which I have also tried).  If interested in giving this product a try please visit my website. I’m not one to sell things, but I have been in a profound grad student rut for awhile now, and I just felt so much better while drinking this.

Speaking of things I believe in–doterra–I absolutely love their melaleuca/oregano/On Guard essential oils.  These rubbed on the bottom of your feet (where it absorbs best) are ultra calming and clear infections wonderfully.  The smells produced by these particular oils are wonderful.  The best.  I’m not selling doterra, but my friend Kelly is…you can read her story here (it’s an amazing, and heartbreaking, story). Kelly was the best esthetician in Utah, hands down, she did my eyebrows for about 4 years while I was living there.  I remember, at the time, she was battling infertility so when I found her again, through her story on another friend’s blog, I was shocked and thrilled to see she had entered the world of motherhood.  It’s funny how friends can come in and out of our lives–I am certainly thankful for the blogging world that has connected/reconnected me with so many wonderful people over the years.

On another note, I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with my love who bought me a very lovely bracelet and lotion (which I returned and bought a cow hide industrial magazine stool instead).  We just joke that he spent hours picking it out, haha, but it truly does look lovely in our home and matches our decor perfectly.  If you’re ever in the Sacramento area, you should really try to visit this store.  If not for anything else, then just to browse and soak in the ideas.  I love it.

More to come on my decorating adventures…I’ve got lots to share.

a whit.

Day 59: on being wholehearted

In Blogging, Esteem, Faith, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, Love, Men, TED Talks, Women on July 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Today I am on a flight, again.

I had the privilege of visiting NY, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, all in less than 5 days–whirlwind trip. Very fun, though.

What I am thinking about mostly right now, though, is a TED talk that I listened to on my flight into JFK. I was having a long day, sleep deprived, and I just happened to snap on one of the 5 free Delta radio channels (for the record Delta is a joke). There came words I needed to hear and I find it no coincidence that I started to listen to that very station when I did. For those of you that know TED talks, the briefers are limited to a less than ten minute time period to present their research in the most imaginable and insightful way, so the fact that I caught this particular one is quite lucky.

This talk wasn’t focused on the customary scientific findings surrounding most, no, it was centered more on an emotional type of research that could be classified in the psychological jurisdiction; however, I still felt it to fit its own category of sorts having listened to several TEDs and never encountered one quite like this previously.

The speaker, Brenda Brown, was presenting her research on the topic of wholeheartedness. That is, what constitutes a whole hearted individual. She goes on to explain that she had spent several years interviewing several individuals categorized as wholehearted and then those who live, well, unwholehearted. The first problem, if you could call it that, that she encountered in her research was the notion that those who portray a wholehearted esteem recognize that to be wholehearted one must first accept that this requires making everything that you desire to be certain, uncertain. This was problematic for Brenda because, well, she’s a researcher and to be a researcher is to seek the definitive. She segues to note this first encounter required her to take a 2 year research break and attend weekly counseling, lol. However, once she overcame this realization she was able to even further delve into the information that would enlighten her as to what the belief system requires amongst the wholehearted. She goes on to note:

The way to live is not to control and predict, rather, it’s through vulnerability, the wholehearted live with vulnerability because this is the birthplace of love and happiness. The wholehearted let themselves be seen and they love life with their whole hearts even though there is no guarantee. The wholehearted recognize that you cannot selectively numb emotions. You see, when you numb anger, fear, disappointment, you cannot do this without also numbing love, happiness, and laughter. The wholehearted stop catastrophizing and believe in good, they are grateful because of this. They ask themselves, what makes me vulnerable and then they face it head on. They realize that it is this vulnerability that allows them to be them and to live.

Most importantly though, above all else, Brown’s research found that the wholehearted always believe this:

They believe they are enough.

Brown posed the question on her blog, what makes you feel vulnerable? She felt getting to the heart of this might help individuals to reveal their wholehearted nature. She received thousands of responses.

Waiting for doctor results
Initiating sex with my partner
Saying I love you
Getting a mammogram
Going to the doctor
Looking for a job
Going on an airplane

So I pose this question here, what makes you feel vulnerable? How do you find your way through that vulnerability, or do you?

a thinking whit


Day 54: Fumbling With Power Tools.

In DIY, Humor, Men, wit, Women, Work on July 15, 2012 at 6:13 am

This is my street.

This is my neighbor on my street…this morning.


A little later on today…




Man versus woman. Man fumbles, woman gets it done. Nuff said.

A Lesson on Happiness: How Words Transform (Day Eleven)

In English Major, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Men, Men, wit on July 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

A wonderful philosopher once said, “As is his language so was his life.”

The past two weeks have been wonderful for me as I’ve reflected on so many things, the present and the past.  The words written here have transformed, somewhat, and they’ve changed my perspective on things.  So ten days in review, a lesson on how to be happy (plus some added extras).    See you don’t need Prozac after all.

  1. listen to those around you, see what they’re saying, you may find truth. (thank you Mr. Be Happy)
  2. Do something you haven’t dared before
  3. Embrace life, whatever it brings (Hello Earl)
  4. Create your own reality
  5. Live your dreams or in them (that’s fun too)
  6. Let thoughts of happiness infiltrate your ideas
  7. Remember to live (don’t check out empty handed)
  8. Recognize that some days are just going to be shitty
  9. Talk to yourself
  10. If you have holes in your soul–fill em’ up

I realize my realities can be whatever I make them; I can write my own world.  We can all live in our dreams and hopefully those dreams make up our bliss.  You don’t have to pretend to be happy (I used to do that) you just have to give yourself permission to let the good in.  One last thing, let the words of others pervade—sometimes you gotta get out of your own head.

Inception: Can we ever truly decipher reality?: Day Neuf

In life, wit on July 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Whose to say that reality is when we wake up perhaps the opposite is true, maybe, reality is when we close our eyes and just dream.

I met him sitting on a couch in a swanky club.  His hair was long and his blue eyes piercing, I called him Fabio. His name, “Ethan.”

He says he’s a dentist with a little girl, Hayley.  Hayley’s Mom died of blood cancer—they were married for ten years.  I sense his sadness or perhaps he was just really drunk, but I don’t think so.  We sat there for a long time and I asked most of the questions. Finally, while showing him a picture of my little E that’s when he inquired about our “arrangment” (this term always references custody in the divorce world).  The only time he inquired, and when he did so, it’s as if his sadness reflected directly onto me.

It’s funny how people come into our lives and for a moment change how we think.  Sometimes those thoughts are lasting and pieces of them never dissipate.  It’s like we can’t forget,  our mind won’t let us, ideas of them consume us although at different depths—some small, some big.  Not just people, it can be about anything really—love, happiness, sadness, hysterity.  Once we let them in we’re subject to all their idiosyncracies.   Thoughts are never isolated, that’s not how our mind works, they come in, and then they infiltrate every part of our being.  They alter what we thought before and our truth transforms into something new– something that incorporates this new thing.  It’s mental evolution.

Last night I could not fall asleep.  I’ve been doing really well with this happiness thing.  I can already see my empty hole (the one within my soul) beginning to fill.  The idea, that you must insist upon happiness, you must want it, and work for it—that is now a part of me.  It’s a good thing.   But last night, I missed E.  When he’s with his Dad it’s always hard.  I sat there for a long time, on my bed, waiting to break down, but it didn’t happen.  My mind wouldn’t let me. I could only focus on the fact that he would be back in just a weeks time and then a funny thing happened, I began to recall all of the things in my life that are truly good, true goodness.  I thought of health, and my family, Ini, my job.  I thought of the beautiful plant on my kitchen table.  Suddenly all of that became my reality and I no longer felt sadness but rather happiness.  I thought briefly of Ethan and our meeting.

The mind is a place where life is captured, stored, and processed.  Ultimately, our state of mind equates to our state of life.

The night ended and Fabio, or Ethan, or whoever, went home.  I don’t know if he really was a dentist, a dad, or a widow.  I don’t even  know if I met him in the sense I thought I did, but these details don’t matter anyway.  I do know, he came into my life somehow, and now he’s my idea.

His eyes were defeated—or were they mine?  Was I looking into my own eyes, seeing myself from another perspective?  Perhaps, it was all just a dream, one that woke me up to see the greater me—the happy me.  Maybe that’s why on the bed last night while fighting off defeat I thought of him– just briefly.  Then the idea of happiness resumed.

Eat, Love, Pray: A Tribute

In life, wit on July 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm

We didn’t have a cupcake yesterday, so I am obligated to provide you with something really rich today.  Slight problem, I’m feeling–half eaten.  Probably because I finished this book.  Read it, so great.  Time for a trip to the bookstore nearest me.  I’ll miss you latest great memoir.

Divorce, Who Needs Furniture Anyway?: Day Huit

In life, wit on July 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

It always feels the worst when you see a happy couple or a pregnant woman.  One of my coworkers, a newlywed, proclaims yesterday, “Being married is fabulous, fabulous.  I don’t have to worry about anything anymore.  We’re getting our new couches on Saturday!”  Yep, she’s a newlywed.  They never quite understand that matching furniture and blenders do not solve marital woes, and there will be woes.

 I didn’t want to be a divorced couple.  In fact, I never thought I would be one of those people.  This narrative  is supposed to be about my world but somehow my ex is woven into the strands of my life, still.  He’s like a vampire trying to suck all the life out of me, he’s been trying to do that since the day I told him his lies would no longer suffice.  Marriage happens when two earthly souls collide, its magical.  Divorce occurs when those same souls run as far away from one another as they can–they’re running two marathons in the opposite direction.  Although most of the time, they don’t even realize it, until they get to the finish line, and there is no one there cheering them on or to share in the victory.  Marathons are difficult and challenging, as is life, getting to the end only to be alone isn’t what anyone wants, but it happens, fifty percent of the time to be exact.  

Although, marriage and divorce aren’t as different as you think.  They both teach you how to deal with another individual–only one scenrio you love that person and the other you hate them.  They also both require you to be someone else at least in some capacity, divorce especially:

No one calls you by your name anymore–you’re either petitioner or respondent.  This tactic works well, strip them of their identity and they’ll suddenly act like whoever you want them to be—allowing an attorney to play with their souls like puppets.  The family law court is full of these puppets.  They sit at awkward distances, with protecting bodyguards, all while exchanging looks of disgust.  

I’ve come to dread the courthouse  because it represents everything I cannot change and it’s the first place (actual place) where my happiness was tested, truly.  I remember vividly the first time I saw a judge and my ex husband, excuse me, petitioner.  It was like a big nightmare but I couldn’t wake up, no escaping this one Ms. whit. ing. addict and the gavel drops.  I’ve now come to know San Diego Superior Court as my “home away from home.” 

A month ago I was there sitting in Department 15 for my kindof final custody hearing.  No attorney, fancy clothing, or notes, just me.  As I was waiting for our case to be called I made a slight detour into another room.  I sat there for an hour.  Case after case was heard and each time the mother explained her drug usage, recent disappearance,  abusive behavior, basically every indiscriminate reason why she shouldn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t see her child(ren).   I realized this was the DV (domestic violence) room about twenty minutes in, but what really struck me wasn’t these mothers, it was the fathers.  Each one sat there, full custody of the children, head bowed and in silence.  They all looked exhausted but even more than that, saddened.   I recognized, that my divorce, as bad as it is, could never be worse than this.  This wasn’t even dissolution, it was—disinigration.  Their families had not only broken apart they were now disappearing, soon there would be nothing left.  One Mom said she just “needs time” and that she’d petition to see her children someday when she feels ready for it; this father looked particularly heartbroken.  He faced the irrevocable truth—his children had no mother. 

The bailiff came in and gestured for my hearing.  At that point, I couldn’t be sad.  I’d been through courtroom after courtroom, countless pleadings, subpoenas, and declarations.  My happiness was stirred and tested and lost at times, but never once did my hope dissolve or did my love for E diminish.  It grew naturally, the way a mother’s love should, as it continues to do.  I was happy for that.  In court, Petitioner’s attorney lied about things like income and school and travel—but I stood resolute in the fact that things were not so bad.  At the close the Judge looked to both of us, “I’ve seen situations much worse than two people living in separate counties—one of you could be in New York.”  I wanted to stop her, but withheld due to courtroom etiquette, “Excuse me your honor, I’ve seen situations much worse, one door down, right here in this department.  Situations where parents don’t want their children at all.”  I wanted to smile but I didn’t.  Then I went outside and cried and vowed that courthouse would not take away one more ounce of my bliss.  Two weeks later my ex called and said he’d be moving to Los Angeles, turns out I’ll never have to set foot in that courthouse again, period.  One word. God.

a whit. ing. addict who found happiness in an unlikely place.

Happy People Are Beautiful: Day Sept

In life, wit on July 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

So, now that I’ve told you all the beginnings of my divorce and my innermost thoughts, let’s move on.

I’m standing in my bathroom scrubbing the toilet (you’ll notice most of my thinking happens in the bathroom and kitchen) and wondering what the hell am I going to put in this gaping hole.  I wish the answer was something simple like, a rosebush, but when the hole is part of your soul, you have to get a bit more creative.

Then like a rush, God spoke to me.  I’ll intercept here (excerpt from my heart):

I believe in God but like I told a friend the other day, “God is whoever you think he is.  For some little old Japanese man on fishing boat in Okinawa, he’s may be Buddha.  The Muslim, Allah.  The Jew, Yeswah.  For me, my Father.  There is only one thing that God is absolutely not and that is, limited.”  So, I’ll continue.

He didn’t speak to me in a powerful voice or even my own voice for that matter (which he sometimes does).  He spoke to me through the words of others, which actually doesn’t come as a surprise given my obsession with words.  The most interesting part of this entire scenerio is the context under which it occurred.  So, I’ll back up.  Two nights ago I am on the phone with this guy.  I would call him my friend but that isn’t really his rightful title seeing as I have only known him a few weeks, and half of that he spent hiking through the hills of Canada.  So, I’ve known this guy, really, for about a week.  I’ll decline to mention where I met him, but assure you it was not on some freaky website or in a therapy group.  The main premise in our talking revolved around something like dating, something like that.  We’re phone conversing, and really I’m annoyed with him from the get-go, he’s way too nonchalant for me, reminds me of my ex-husband.  Then suddenly he stops—“Ms. whit. ing. addict I sense you’re not happy.  I went through a rough time during my twenties too.  Take some time and find out who you are, find out what makes you happy.”  I was pissed.  First, I don’t like being told what I am and what I am not.  Second, this guy has no clue what I’m going through.  His “rough” twenties probably involved five bongs and a pound of cannabis.  Plus, he’s thirty six, no kids, no marriage, balding, what does he know?  So, I hung up the phone and went to bed with a huge grudge, one that was still lingering the next morning.

To top it all off, this guy works directly across the street from me.  So, I spend my morning walk trying to dodge a chance meeting with Mr. Be Happy.  Then I get to work and start working, all day.  At lunch I pull up one of my favorite inspirational blogs and I read this, “Happy people are Beautiful.”  There were God’s words, in the writings of my fellow blogger/burn victim (83 percent of her body was burned in a plane crash).  I thought maybe there’s some power to that and I kept working.  Mr. Be Happy must think I’m a troll according to this philosophy. 

On my walk home I’m finishing up my book and I read these words, “Ms. whit. ing. addict, you tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, you strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never be lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s east enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.”

Through the manifestations of God I realize I’ve been doing it all wrong.  I’ve been like a little kid waiting for a boost, “Come on, lift me up to my happy life.  I wanna see it.  If you give me sucker or an icecream cone, then I’ll be happy.”  There he is in heaven, or wherever he lives, “Child, child—you’ve got to lift yourself up.  You’re big enough now that with a little effort you can get there on your own.  Don’t worry though, I’ll be right behind you, making sure you don’t fall on your ass.  You’ve got to learn to be happy with what you have.  Sometimes icecream isn’t what you need.  Sometimes you need to get your ass to the gym.”

We’re here to bless others, to help others, and that requires personal happiness.  So, as part of my efforts towards self-revelation I have made the decision to dispel any and all negative thoughts I’ve felt for Mr. Be Happy.  Instead, I think I’ll join him in his bliss. No more putting on makeup and pretending to be happy.  It only covers the blemishes and then each night, when you wash it off your face, you’re back to where  you began.  What you really need is a solid beauty cream, one that penetrates, working from the inside out. 

Hopefully, at the end of this journey, I’ll still be striving for self-content, “insisting upon it.” I’m looking down into that huge hole I’ve dug.  I know what I’m going to fill it up with, happiness.  Although, that doesn’t happen without continuing to work through the painful, difficult things, that’s part of insisting upon it, striving for it, and knowing what it truly is.  You can never know the good without first knowing the bad.

I’ll love you forever. Period.

In English Major, life, literature on July 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Since we’re on the topic of memories…this is one of my favorite childhood books.  I read it to E whenever I can.

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