Monthly Archives: September 2012

Happiness Is A Toilet Paper Roll

This week I am reading the poems of Margaret Atwood. One particular poem I read yesterday morning struck me and I wanted to share the experience.

Bored – Margaret Atwood

In the poem the narrator talks about being bored with the mundane chores of life. Most commonly referred to as the simple things in life. Toward the end of the poem she writes about the contrast between knowing and bored. She wonders if the truth to happiness is in the boredom.

I did what I usually do after reading a piece that “strikes” me. I went for a walk in the garden. I picked away dead bits of leaves and flowers and gave the fall chrysanthemums a bit of water.

I remembered in detail how I loved the simple things of my life when my kids were little. How sewing a seam on a blouse felt like heaven and peace all rolled into one. Creating a blanket to keep the kids warm at night from a simple pattern made me happy in ways that I was unable to communicate.

I used the contrast and compared this simple happiness to my former life in IT. Nothing was simple or easy in that world. I tried to lie to myself and called it things like creative and challenging, but the reality was it felt like stress, headaches and complications to me.

It was a world where one simple fix became a nightmare of new problems and compatibility issues. A never ending rabbit hole that was anything but fun. I had to be honest with myself; there was no fun, satisfaction or happiness in that world.

I came back into the house and started folding the laundry. Noticing a couple of toilet paper rolls in the garbage can I plucked them from their final fate and studied them closely. I threw one for the cat who seemed to think it was the greatest toy on the planet. So much for the expensive trendy toys I picked up at the pet store for her.

I remembered how much fun the kids and I had making things out of recycled materials. It might be fun to make a craft with the granddaughter out of the rolls, I thought.

Maybe we can make a pair of Halloween glasses, paint them black and orange… add a little glitter? Yes, we can make a game out of this and pretend they’re ghost buster binoculars. Or maybe just put them in front of her with a question: “What do you see in these toilet paper rolls?”

It all came back to me. Creativity lives in simplicity. Simplicity allows focus, which breeds creativity.

Advertisements

Law of Attraction, Happiness & Self Approval

“A person cannot be comfortable without their own approval.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I appreciate this quote and have modified it slightly from the original; replacing the word “man” with “person” because this quote is applicable to everyone.

What does it mean, to achieve one’s own approval and become comfortable with ourselves?

I’ve learned it means doing things that genuinely make us happy. Working steadily, little by little each day toward thoughts and activities that drive you, bring creativity and passion into your life and renew the spark that perhaps you thought was long gone.

When I was younger I believed fighting against the things I didn’t want was the answer to all my problems. It doesn’t work. Now I understand fighting against things you don’t want drains energy and wastes time keeping us stuck in a pattern of negative thinking as we share in the vibration of the unwanted experience.

Facing things we do not want becomes helpful when we are aware of the unwanted, and can identify the polar opposite. And presto discover what we do want.

So what is working for me now thanks to hitting my head against many walls? The answers simple, I quietly and patiently do things that matter and are enjoyable to me. In this way I contribute to my sense of well being, and I respect and approve of me.

Sometimes the good opinions of others come along and ask, “why are you wasting your time on that?” When faced with this type of reaction I use a soft approach. I explain my need to do what is best for me, and leave it there; no excuses or defense… that’s it.

Some will try and take it further, at which point I say, “thank you and I value your input.” But mostly others soon realize I am comfortable and relaxed with myself and they let it go.

This feeling of peace is not something you can fake. When you honestly do what makes you happy the self approval that follows is something others can see and feel.

Steadily working toward small things that make you happy will gradually bring other things that are also enjoyable into your life experience in the form of new thoughts and ideas. Go with your gut. And before you know it the life you always wanted is staring you in the face and you are living the dream, YOUR dream that is.

The mission: Find ways to gain approval of yourself by doing what makes you happy in small ways every day. There is no wrong answer here. Sometimes things will get a little screwy and you may come up against something you don’t want, keep going. This is called clarity because directly opposite and beside the unwanted thing is something that will make you happy.

Have you had a defining moment where you realized approving of yourself is important? Would love to hear about it!

A Case For Law of Attraction?

Bruce Peninsula Cottage

In the fall of 2011 I began studying the Law of Attraction (LOA). After reading a few books on the subject I thought what the heck; let’s give it a try.

With the Law of Attraction, getting happy and visualizing what you want is the first step toward manifestation. I chose travel. To avoid overwhelming myself, which is easy to do, I decided it would be nice to spend a couple of weekends next summer at the cottage. I used the memories of a few previous cottage trips to visualize myself already there. The feeling of being at the cottage grew the more I did the visualization exercises. My muscles began to relax. I felt the soft wind blowing across the lake and through my hair. I saw the stars over head and felt the warmth of the bonfire.

I did the visualization exercise through November and December. I did it while washing dishes, folding clothes, and during other activities not just in a meditative state. The first thing I noticed was it began to have a positive effect on my feelings of well being. I was happier during the day, laughing more and enjoying myself.

Shortly before Christmas my husband approached me with an offer, no not that kind, the kind I couldn’t refuse. He asked if I would like to spend our 28th wedding anniversary at a large cottage in the Bruce Peninsula area. I hadn’t shared my wish or visualizations with him. I was intrigued.

“Of course,” I said. “But how are we going to afford it?”

“Leave it to me,” he said.

True to his word May 11th 2012 arrived to find us lounging on a large lakeside deck at a magnificent cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. For the curious, the cottage can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OQblKWdVjw The property and surrounding area is gorgeous and we had a wonderful time.

So how did hubby arrange the cottage? He had done some work for a grateful property manager (Nick). Nick is the sort of person who believes in sharing the beauty with others. He was very pleased we had a such a nice time and asked if we would be interested in reviewing a few cottages for him. Of course, we agreed!

Last week we visited a cottage in the Kawartha Lakes area. Although it is mid September the days were warm enough to do a bit of swimming and sun bathing. I am in the process of creating a video of the Kawartha Lakes cottage and will post link when available.

True to our word, I wrote an in depth review of the cottage. The cottage was smaller and more homey, and aside from a few easy fixes it was also a pleasure to visit.

Nick called us last night, and asked if we might enjoy reviewing a cottage in the Sauble Beach. We are looking forward to it, with the autumn arriving today. I hope the fall colors are stunning.

With several more cottages to follow after Sauble Beach, or cottaging roster is full this year. Life is good and we are having a great time with it all! How well the law of attraction seems to be working here.

What do you think is happening here? Is it a case of lucky coincidence? Or is it a great example of the Law of Attraction at work? Got an interesting Law of Attraction story? Please leave comments!

HAVE FUN!

P.S. Shameless plug. This cottage is the inspiration for my short story “Whispers Imagination” which can be read here: https://ariescottrell.wordpress.com/short-stories/

The Spirit of Great Comedy

In grade five we were asked to do a school project on a famous performer. My partner and I chose Charlie Chaplin. According to the assignment parameters we did the research and came up with a list of Q&A’s for our interview.

Fully prepared we sat down in front of the class. My partner played the role of interviewer I, the interviewee  played Chaplin.

She asked me the first question. “Where were you born?”

“London, England.” I answered.

After that I took on the persona of Chaplin. The rest of the questions were answered with jokes and silliness. Did I get the facts straight, I don’t remember. What I do recall is the class, teachers and my partner laughing. My partner, who was caught completely off guard, laughed so hard she was wiping tears from her eyes.

It was a good sound, a  joyous sound and the sound of happiness!

I had no idea I planned to wing it and would probably have laughed too, if I wasn’t so busy flicking a fake cigar around and pretending to flirt with the girls.

There was a spirit of fun in that classroom all those years ago and I recall it all these years later. No I am  not going to say exactly how many years later!

With the interviews finished; my partner and I were called into the office to face the two teachers responsible for grading us.

The first teacher said, “You were supposed to answer questions about Mr. Chaplin’s life.”

Still high from the performance, my partner and I kept our heads down feigning remorse.

The second teacher who was still laughing, added, “you are going to lose marks for this.”

A week later we received the final mark, 24/25 or an A or 4.0.

I wondered about the lost mark? Maybe the laughter failed to reach the principles office, or maybe it did. Who knows…

My wish to those reading this today, is that you find time this weekend and always for fun and laughter.

Have a great weekend and if you have an awesome childhood memory… would love to hear them!

Writing a blog post? Avoid loading the pen with confusion.

In keeping with my goal to write one new blog post per week. I sat down this morning intent on editing the draft I have been working on all week.

This is going to be a breeze, I thought. Uh… wrong! The next hour was spent banging my head against the keyboard until finally the truth was accepted. The piece was a random bunch of words and ideas barfed onto the page. This sent me into a temper tantrum that would best any two year old. I’m exaggerating… a little, but it was REALLY annoying.

In frustration and fearing the laptops safety I stepped away from the desk and did something simple and mindless. That’s when the answer came to me (again).  I had forgotten to keep it simple. I approached the topic, the predator/antagonist archetype, without a plan.

The draft was written in the same style I use when writing a short story. With the stories I spew (barf?) the ideas onto the page, and go back afterwards to do research, edits and whatever else is needed. Hey it works out great for the stories, not so good when trying to write a semi intelligent blog post on character and development.

I re read the post many times and reached the same conclusion, it was a very long mess of varying perspectives on the subject of archetypes and antagonists/predators.

I should have chosen a targeted question which defines what I wanted to learn about the antagonist archetype as the very first step and prior to doing the research. I asked myself, how can you research the entire universe when your interest is in the planet Mars? Hell, I’m so down about this situation right now. I shouldn’t have challenged a topic like the antagonist/predator archetypes at all!

This self created and written mass of confusion only served to undermine my belief that one day I will become a sufficiently skilled writer/author.   But no worries folks, I am too stubborn to believe that and I won’t give up… ever.

Lesson learned. Next post I will take the time to understand exactly what the question is before flying all over the internet and reading everything from Grandma’s antagonist cookie recipe to a 1000 page thesis on Lord of the Rings. Enthusiasm is great, when tempered with an honest desire to learn.

A little planning goes a very long way!

How do you plan your blog postings? Can you wing it?