Back to Work ...

I love my work and enjoy being at home but invariably I also feel a bit sad and stressed when a vacation is over and I have to return to my regular routine.  I thought the following article had helpful tips in making the transition back from vacation - hope you think its helpful as well.    

Getting Back to Work After a Vacation

Written by  Ceren Cubukcu

After the much deserved vacation that is full of fun and joy, returning back to the regular routine can distress many of us. While almost everyone doesn’t like going back to work especially after a relaxing and peaceful vacation, you should face the reality and do your best to adjust and be productive again. In order to prevent the post-vacation syndrome, you have to do a little bit of planning and accept that the vacation is over so that you can get back to the right mindset.

Below are some helpful tips which will help you to resume your regular routine.

  • Return Home One Day Early: Rather than using your vacation time until the last minute, return back home one day early and rest at home. This will help you recover from your journey and run regular vacation errands such as unpacking your luggage, doing laundry and buying groceries. If you return on Sunday, you can also take Monday off so you only work for 4 days during your first week after vacation.
  • Scan Your Emails before Going Back to the Office: Many people spend almost their whole day going through their inbox after coming back from vacation. However, it would be more productive for you if you check your inbox the night before work and delete the spam emails plus mark the ones that need your attention. When you arrive at the office in the morning, since you know which emails you need to reply, you can make an action plan to address them.
  • Take Care of Your Eating Habits: During vacation, you eat out every day so preparing a home cooked meal for your lunch will help you feel that you actually returned back. A home cooked meal will also be good for your diet and prevent you from gaining weight. Some people gain weight during vacation due to the food they eat in restaurants so paying attention to what you eat in the office after vacation will help you go back to your regular weight.
  • Remember that This Is Not Your Last Vacation: If you have more time off and are able financially, planning another trip is the best way to overcome your post vacation distress. This way you have something to look forward to. If you don’t have enough money for another trip, you can start saving some instead of spending it here and there.
4e0b30da36080d8dad0d6fbb28122d41.jpg

Some Time Off

Thanks for checking in on my blog.  I'm on vacation this week and enjoying some time away from my regular routine.  I'm writing this in advance and hoping that if you are reading this it will serve as a reminder that we all need some down time - go relax, go play, go explore and NEVER forget to go LOVE!!!!!!   

on-vacation-2.jpg

Dust In The Wind

I find the humor of Chuck Lorre to be funny,  filled with deep irony and sound words to live by. 

For so many years I've roamed this planet looking for meaning only to find that when I let go of searching and enjoy what is right in front of me ... life became more pleasurable.   Often  the most depressed clients I work with are people who keep asking "what does it all mean".  The irony to it all is that there is NO MEANING -- when we stop looking for meaning and DO the things that energize us we find enjoyment, satisfaction, peace. 

Hope you enjoy the vanity card below and hope the idea of doing rather than searching appeals to you!   

"CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #361

Miscellaneous Show Biz Tips


Never forget that taking a bow and ducking are essentially the same thing. 

The reason you suffer is because you think your identity and worth as a human being are inextricably tied into your career. Don't think that. 

Success has many parents, and even more lawyers. They're paying you a lot because they're killing you. Don't grow too attached to your agent. Like a beloved spouse, they come and go. 

If you want fair, go to Pomona September 8-26. Wear comfy shoes. It's not true that if you believe the good reviews, you must also believe the bad ones. The bad ones could have been written by mean, stupid people who hate your success. 

Act like your job is the most important thing in the world, but never forget that it's ultimately meaningless. All we are is dust in the wind, yada-yada-yada."

1st Aired: 20 Oct 2011

maxresdefault.jpg

May Flowers

Hope you find, joy, love and inspiration in the following words from my May calendar. 

1) Rejoice in your power

2) Notice the power of your words

3) Pass on a message of love

4) You are whole and complete

5) The loving universe is your guide

6) You are whole and complete

7) Delight in your relations

8) You are divinity expressed

9) Move with purpose

10) Live generously

11) Thank you for being

12) Trust your inner wisdom

13) Allow your spirit to soar

14) Give thanks for all the Mothers

15) Inquire into the mystery

16) Invent a new choice

17) The world expands with your dreams

18) Your smile illuminates space

19) Where you are is perfect

20) Celebrate the cycles of life

21) Be gentle with yourself

22) Everyone is an angel

23) Smile at your life

24) Find your rhythem

25) Choose peace

26) Cultivate sensitivity

27) Laugh for the joy of it

28) Time is an illusion

29) Balance live inside you

30) Keep your promises

31) Let yourself be loved

month-of-may-flowers.png

Barbara Bush

The world said good-bye to Barbara Bush this week.  She was one of my favorite first ladies -- and although I didn't agree with much of her politics; her wit, charm and ease made her one of my heroes.   

My entire life I have struggled with weight problems.  Sadly, my size became tangled in my self-esteem and a belief system that said I wasn't good enough to be loved.  Barbara Bush served as a great reminder that size does not matter.  She was an example that people can be large and still have love, friendship, purpose and meaning in their lives.  She was a reminder that its OK to be you and that body size has nothing to do with our life accomplishments or finding love.  Her sense of humor, dedication to others and her strong sense of self are things that I would like to hold onto.

I happened to be reading an article called "Lessons You Won't Learn In School" in Psychology Today when I heard about Mrs. Bush's death.  I have a feeling Mrs. Bush would strongly agree with the following: 

"Wisdom lies in acting on the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.  Here are 10 skills that will clarify your visions and bring you closer to your life goals": 

1)  Understanding that not everything that happens to you is about you. 

2)  Focusing on other people without dwelling on how they view you. 

3)  Realizing that you don't have to act the way you feel. 

4)  Being able to re-frame (and manage) disappointment and adversity. 

5)  Knowing how to solicit honest feedback. 

6)  Staying true to your own values despite what others expect of you. 

7)  Being open to new information or revised thinking. 

8)  Mastering a fail-safe way to motivate yourself, one that works when interest flags. 

9)  Zoning in on your purpose in a zoned-out world. 

10) Tolerating ambiguity. 

I invite you to read the entire article on page 52 of Psychology Today: May/June 2018 edition.  

BarbaraBush_640x400.jpg

Its Scary To Be Seen

THE FRICTION OF BEING VISIBLE ***

It is only by risking ourselves from one hour to another that we live at all.  - William James

    Living through enough, we all come to this understanding, though it is difficult to accept: No matter what path we choose to honor, there will always be conflict to negotiate.  If we choose to avoid all conflict with others, we will eventually breed a poisonous conflict within ourselves.  Likewise, if we manage to attend our inner lives, who we are will-sooner or later-create some discord with those who would rather have us be something else.  

    In effect, the cost of being who you are is that you can't possibly meet everyone's expectations, and so, there will, inevitably, be external conflict to deal with-the friction of being visible.  Still, the cost of not being who are is that while you are busy pleasing everyone around you, a precious part of you is dying inside; in this case, there will be internal conflict to deal with-the friction of being invisible.

    As for me, it's taken me thirty of my forty-nine years to realize that not being who I am is more deadly, and it has taken the last nineteen years to try to make a practice of this.  What this means, in a daily way, is that I have to be conscientious about being truthful and resist the urge to accommodate my truth away.  It means that being who I really am is not forbidden or muted just because others are uncomfortable or don't want to hear it. 

    The great examples are legendary:  Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Sir Thomas More, Rosa Parks.  But we don't have to be great to begin.  We simply have to start by saying what we really want for dinner or which movie we really want to see.

    *Center yourself and meditate on a decision before you might generate some conflict; either within you, if you withhold who you are, or between yourself and others, if you exert who you are.

    *Breathe steadily and feel both the friction of being invisible and the friction of being visible.  

    *Breathe slowly and know that you are larger than any moments of conflict.  

    *Breathe deeply and know that who you are can withstand the experience of conflict that living requires. 

*** Taken from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo, (pp. 19-20)       

2aa7806f94ef0ccd4b82515361cfbcc4--the-mask-like-you.jpg

#504

Life and people are so complicated that lately I find myself trying to reduce everything down to its very simplest.  Sometimes my mind can take me in complete circles looking for the meaning of life and trying to figure out how to be happy that I end up just exhausted and feeling pretty miserable.   I find that Churck Lorre's Vanity Cards have a nice way of making me smile and reminding myself not to take things too seriously.  Hope you enjoy the following:  

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #504

The human mind is very adept at labeling. Left to its own devices, it will label situations, things, places, and people. It's a pretty handy app. Except when it comes to people. Over time those labels tend to solidify. They become all we can see. They become what we experience. The true depth of a person, the breathtaking miracle of their very existence, is replaced with a word. A sound. An assemblage of vowels and consonants. Ink or digital letters on paper or screen. Which is why I sometimes try to look at people and see them, witness them if you will, without immediately attaching a mental label. This is especially fun to do in a crowded public place. After a few minutes of practicing nonjudgemental looking, I find my heart filling with affection for total strangers. It's an extraordinary experience. I encourage you to try it sometime. Be warned though, when you feel affection, you can't stop smiling. This may cause total strangers to react fearfully, or, in New York City, say, "What the hell are you lookin' at, ya friggin' freak?!" "Friggin' freak" being your new label.

stress-less-3.jpg

A Journal

Recently I was cleaning a closet and stumbled across my old journals.  I started keeping a journal  in college (class assignment) and have kept up the practice (off & on) through the years.  I decided to type up my journals as a way of putting them all together but more of interest as a way to get me to read them.  

The first entry is from 1977 (I was 16 years old).  So weird now as a 59 year old woman reading the words of a 16 year old.  So many entries about hating my body and my weight.  So many entries about avoiding situations and people because I didn't feel good enough to be seen or heard.  So much pain and sadness. 

There is a very sad entry about not going to a party at the lake because I could not risk being seen in a swimsuit.    

It truly breaks my heart for that young girl - she felt so alone and so scared of the world.  Occasionally there are bursts of hope - she talks about wanting to live fully, explore places and ideas, wants someone to understand her.  

The truly fascinating thing is that my feelings have not changed all that much.  I still don't really like my body and struggle with my weight.  Most days I feel that people are smarter, prettier and more entitled than am.  Even though I've done years of therapy around these feelings and fully understand their history - I still feel them.  

However something very different has changed - I no longer ACT on these feelings (well at least not always).  These days I treat myself to social outings and friendships.  I allow myself to plan vacations and to explore ideas with people.  I will even wear a swimsuit in public.

How I wish that my 59 year old self could have hugged young Rosemary - comforted her sadness and filled her with courage to try different things and enjoy herself.  Its in doing that we receive all of life's joys not in thinking.  To quote Stephen Hayes, "Life is not something we fix its something we experience".  

I've only typed up 4 months of material and I'm sure many more feelings and impressions will come leaping off the pages.  For now thanks for letting me share and I look forward to sharing more with you.  And for today, take a deep breath and I wonder if you want to tap into your courage and go do something that scares you - take a risk!  

641522534013585731.jpg

April Inspirations

I continue to enjoy the inspiration of my lovely calendar and with your permission want to share some inspirational words:  

1.  Give love spontaneously

2.  Let go of excuses

3.  You were born of love

4.  Joy accelerates healing

5.  Exercise your adaptability 

6.  Your family is full of teachers

7.  Seize opportunities for growth

8.  Show up with love

9.  Strengthen your intuition

10.  Discover freedom through discipline

11.  Listen to your body talk

12.  Fully participate in fun!

13.  Every moment is a gift

14.  Everyone craves love

15.  Say yes to an adventure

16.  Dreams become illuminated

17.  Bless your ancestors

18.  Believe in miracles

19.  Move with grace

20.  We're all in this together

21.  You have more support than you know

22.  Love from the inside out

23.  Celebrate

24.  Write yourself a love letter

25.  Create clear intentions

26.  Your body is so beautiful

27.  Live is a process of creation

28.  Enjoy the journey

29.  Trust your heart

30.  Magic happens

 

 

month-of-april-showers.png

Become A Lake

I just read the following and had to share it with you. 

Taken from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

How Does It Taste? 

The more spacious and larger our fundamental nature, the more bearable the pains in living.

- Wane Muller

An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt.  When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.  

"How does it taste?" the master asked. 

"Bitter," spit the apprentice. 

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake.  The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake." 

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the master asked, "How does it taste?"

"Fresh," remarked the apprentice. 

"Do you taste the salt?" asked the master. 

"No," said the young man. 

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less.  The amount of pain in life is pure salt; no more, no less.  The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same.  But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.  So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things... Stop being a glass.  Become a lake."

****Center yourself and focus on a pain that is with you.  

****Rather than trying to eliminate the pain, try to breathe through it. 

****With each in-breath, notice your efforts to wrap around the pain. 

****With each out-breath, try to enlarge your sense of Self, and let the pain float within the depth of all we'll never know.  

Dove-Lake_from_South-2008[1].jpg

New Carpet

I'm so tired I can't stand it.  Every part of my old body hurts.   On Sunday we completely dismantled our home - moved everything into the garage in preparation for the carpet installers on Monday.   The installation took most of Monday and hubby and I spent all day Tuesday putting the house back together.  

The old carpet was 16 years old and I've been wanting to change it for quite some time -- so nice to have it done and the new carpet is all soft and cushy - its wonderful.  But it reminds me of how often in life it takes a lot of hard work to get to one's goals. 

It also reminds me that things are usually easier than we think they are going to be.  George, my brain, kept telling me that the project was impossible, would be too costly and wasn't worth doing.  George is usually on the side of negativity and the status quo - George gets spooked pretty easily.  

Yes, I'm tired right now but so glad that we finally did this and glad for the ongoing lesson that action is better than listening to a brain that is filled with anxious and negative thoughts. 

The next time you find yourself listening to your brain - make sure to sort out thoughts that are helpful and the thoughts that just keep you stuck in "old carpet".     

Tired.png

I Lost My Ring

Last week I was running late for work and as I was packing up my briefcase I realized my cell phone was missing.  So you know the drill - retrace steps, ask husband if he has seen it, look on all the counters and table tops, turn over couch cushions, and then suddenly it appears on a small side table.  A sigh of relief and out the door.  Start the drive and realize I don't have my wedding ring ... a sigh of disappointment but my ring I can do without for a day. 

Work day done and arrive back home ... felt naked all day without my wedding ring.  Start my nightly routine: feed cats, get into comfortable clothes, and get out of jewelry.  WAIT A MINUTE my wedding ring is not in jewelry box where I assumed it was.   OH NO where is my wedding ring?  So you know the drill ... search entire house, every available space, under beds, go through clothing pockets...can't imagine where it can be.  After 2 hours of searching I gave up.   And then George my brain took over ... "you are so stupid - how could you loose your ring", "if only you were more careful",  "how can you be this careless" ... on and on George went beating up on me.  

I took a deep breath, sat down and did my leaves on a stream mediation.  In my mind's eye I visualized myself sitting next to a stream and gently watched leaves falling from a nearby tree.  With each leaf I noticed my thoughts and allowed them to drop onto the leaves and then flow down stream.  This is a wonderful exercise to slow the brain down and to separate out helpful thoughts from destructive thoughts that just leave us feeling badly. 

After calming my mind down I called my husband at work and shared my tears of sadness that I lost my ring and he assured me that we would find it.  He also reminded me that I'm a pretty organized person and that everybody is entitled to make some mistakes.  I went to bed feeling sad but more hopeful that whether I found the ring or not things would be ok.      

George tried to convince me that I was a bad person for this loss and that it was unacceptable - very problematic thinking. 

Two days later ... hurrah I found it ... tucked deeply under a fold in my briefcase.  My best guess is that while I was putting on my ring was when I realized my phone was missing and dropped the ring in my frantic mindless search for the phone -- sigh!  

As always the point is gentleness ... there is no point beating up on yourself for mistakes ... learn from them but with gentleness and love.   Next time you find yourself with fast paced racing thoughts do the leaves on a stream mediation - it works!  

rings-2634929_640.png

March Health

If OK with you,  I'm going to once again share from my beautiful calendar.  Each of these words inspire and help me to focus on healthy thoughts that lead to better living - enjoy March. 

1) You're making it all up

2)  Sow seeds of love

3)  Your thoughts change the world

4) Beauty shines from your eyes

5) Imagine a peaceful world

6) In every moment you are free

7) Listen for love

8) We all breathe the same air

9) You have the power to achieve anything

10) Observe your body language

11) Immerse yourself in what you love

12) You are a messenger of love

13) Every act has an impact

14) Create harmonious relationships

15) Know yourself as abundant

16) Integrity is the key

17) Possibility lives in the unkown

18) Dance your spirit awake

19) Change your routine

20) Learn from nature

21) Inspiration follows action

22) You are the perfect age

23)  Ask for what you want

24)  Expand your capacity to be loved 

25) Make your self visible

26) Be your own disciple

27) You are a treasure

28) Everyone is an artist (its true!)

29)  Be thankful for what is 

30) Share your vision 

31) Perception is all that you control  (Have fun!)

march.png

Complaining

Sadly, I've always been a complainer.  As if it helps, as if it changes anything, as if it makes the world a better place.  The following piece by Chuck Lorre gave me much to think about. 

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #577

"There is an almost perpetual gap between my expectations as to how things should be and the way things actually are. This space, or divide, causes me a considerable amount of discomfort, which I try to alleviate through the use of repetitive thoughts, as well as spoken and written words. This activity is called "complaining." The fact that it rarely accomplishes anything, other than exacerbate my irritation, does not keep me from engaging in it. Furthermore, it appears that buried deep within my psyche is the firmly held conviction that complaining is therapeutic - even though experience shows again and again that it's not. In other words, I have a false belief that appears to be immutable, which drives me to take an action that only makes matters worse... and I like it. My only consolation is the knowledge that I come from a long line of complainers. One of my fondest childhood memories is looking up at the adult relatives gathered around the kitchen table, the men smoking Pall Malls, the women smoking Newports, everyone eating smoked fish, and all of them talking over each other, loudly bitching and moaning about pretty much everything. I remember that a rant would often end with the resigned, self-deprecating, seemingly rhetorical question, "Oh, well, who am I to complain?" Well, these many years later, it turns out it's not rhetorical. And I now know the answer. This is my birthright.

Who am I if I don't complain?  (1st Aired: 21 Dec 2017)"

The above piece made me laugh and reminded me of the world I grew up in. 

There is lots of new research in the area of "positive psychology".  The more the brain pushes toward gratitude, optimism  and problem solving (verses complaining) the more content and joyful human beings are.

This does NOT mean that people should not express concerns, fears  and sadness  - it is important to cleanse the body of these emotions.  The problem is that people often get stuck in that place of complaining which then turns to anxiety and depression. 

Do you want to join me today in noticing when you are complaining about something.  Ask yourself:  1) I'm I truly problem solving here?  2) Is my complaining helping me to express true emotions?  3) Is my complaining helpful or keeping me stuck in a loop that makes my problems seem bigger and bigger?  Notice what happens when you notice the complaining and see what changes might be helpful for you.  

whining.jpg
7dac360f6177c9151e22723cc6de6265--complaining-quotes-place-quotes.jpg

Absent People

The absent people in our lives can have as much impact as the people who are there for us day in and day out.  My husband, Rod, recently found his father.  Rod has spent his entire adult life in search of Dad and thanks to Ancestry.com he found him!!!!!  Tomorrow we will get to meet this very important person.  

I've been thinking a lot about absent people and how they truly do impact us.  I went searching for blogs on absent fathers and thought the following was filled with lots of wisdom.  Hope you enjoy:  

By:    CicelyRenee

Lessons on Love my Absent Father Taught Me

  1. Don’t punish other men for my mistakes… As much I hate to talk about this, this needs to be talked about. I could literally be single the rest of my life because a man like my father and others are out there pretty much, abandoning women they have had children with. I know of a woman who had a child with a man that never wanted to be with her and the mother never remarried or even dated, she didn’t want to bring another man in the house for many reasons but who really felt the absence, the mother or the child?
  2. Marry/Date someone better than me… My aunt actually taught me this, she told me to marry a may that was better than my father and I said, my father was never there… she said exactly! So then I married a man that was there… but only physically… (So make sure you jump a few levels up) which brings me to my next point…
  3. Choose someone that can be mentally, emotionally, physically, financially & spiritually present… first of all anyone can have a baby and there is plenty of proof out there and probably in your family. But what it really comes down to, can they be mentally there, mental illness is real and is hereditary. Can they emotionally be there, can they love and sacrifice and suffer a long time? When talking about physically, can they touch you in a way that takes you to a different world, can they be there for the children by picking them up, asking them deep questions about their day and well-being? Can they financially provide, are they going to think of money as the end all be all? Are they going to look at money as power and not want to give it up for the sake of the family? Can they be there spiritually? Can they guide you and the family, can they pray for you? Do they care about your well-being on a level that food and money cannot reach?
  4. Love goes beyond fault, so I messed up, you messed up, can we work together to find a solution? Will they always point out the faults? If so, then this will never work.
  5. Be open to rejection, one of the biggest lessons ever… I reached out to my father my junior year of high school, no reply, I reached out right before I graduated high school and a huge letter of rejection came in a reply. At that time I was not prepared for rejection. But later in life, I was able to accept rejection as protection. I learned that when guys or girls don’t reject you when they wanted to then soon you will feel more pain. So when I am rejected, I know that I am being protected from many heartbreaks and I am ok with that.
  6. Be sure to acknowledge those that came in my place, at this time, I want to give a shout out to the few men that stepped into a fatherly role without even being asked, although for a season, you all have made an impact and I acknowledge and thank you for that. Many times God will send people to fill spots in your life to get over some things that come your way and I am thankful for that.

Although, it would have been beautiful to have a father for father-daughter dances or to celebrate during Father’s day instead of being angry or a father to tell you how men really think so that you don’t have to experience it first hand or a father to be there so that your future ex-husband thinks that you have father issues or to think that you are are searching for a man to fill that role as a father figure in your life… it would have been nice…

But now that I am a certain age + life experiences, has shaped me to be this young vibrant thang making the most out of her life and not blaming the present on the past. I will not allow the absence of my father to affect negatively my future relationships with men.

Are you a woman or man that had an absent parent growing up? How did that affect you? How did that help you? What are some things you wish were different? What are the lessons you learned shape your future outcome? ...

Rod's Dad:  

Rods Dad.jpg

Laughter Research

Laughter is so very important - it feels so good and there is strong evidence that it is important to our health.  Its hard when we are depressed or anxious to find the humor in things and yet that is exactly what we need.  So go see funny movies, seek out people who can make you laugh, to to comedy clubs and above all else laugh at yourself. 

For those of you who enjoy corny jokes: 

Why did Mozart kill all his chickens?

Because when he asked them who the best composer was, they'd all say "Bach Bach Bach!"

 For those of you who enjoy the research:  

Finnish and British researchers have revealed how laughter releases endorphins in the human brain. The more opioid receptors the participants had in their brain, the more they laughed during the experiment.

The recent results obtained by researchers from Turku PET Centre, the University of Oxford and Aalto University have revealed how social laughter leads to endorphin release in the brain, possibly promoting establishment of social bonds.

Social laughter led to pleasurable feelings and significantly increased release of endorphins and other opioid peptides in the brain areas controlling arousal and emotions. The more opioid receptors the participants had in their brain, the more they laughed during the experiment.

- Our results highlight that endorphin release induced by social laughter may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement, and maintenance of social bonds between humans. The pleasurable and calming effects of the endorphin release might signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness. The relationship between opioid receptor density and laughter rate also suggests that opioid system may underlie individual differences in sociability, says Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from Turku PET Centre, the University of Turku.

- The results emphasise the importance of vocal communication in maintaining human social networks. Other primates maintain social contacts by mutual grooming, which also induces endorphin release. This is however very time consuming. Because social laughter leads to similar chemical response in the brain, this allows significant expansion of human social networks: laughter is highly contagious, and the endorphin response may thus easily spread through large groups that laugh together, tells Professor Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford.

The study was conducted using positron emission tomography (PET). The participants were injected with a radioactive compound binding to their brain's opioid receptors. Radioactivity in the brain was measured twice with the PET camera: after the participants had laughed together with their close friends, and after they had spent comparable time alone in the laboratory.

The findings were published on in the scientific journal The Journal of Neuroscience.

The research was funded by the Academy of Finland and the European Research Council

Story Source:

Materials provided by Unisersity of Turku  Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Sandra Manninen, Lauri Tuominen, Robin Dunbar, Tomi Karjalainen, Jussi Hirvonen, Eveliina Arponen, Riitta Hari, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Mikko Sams, Lauri Nummenmaa. Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in HumansThe Journal of Neuroscience, 2017; 0688-16 
download.jpg

February (Just Saying)

A lovely woman (actually the woman who designed this website) gave me a sweet sweet gift:  a colorful calendar with inspiring words for each & every day.  Hope its OK that I want to share this with -- let these words guide you each and every day.

1- Time is on your side

2-  You are so fun

3- Welcome change

4- Gratitude attracts abudnance

5- Enjoy your natural flow

6-Love what you have

7-Each breath is a blessing

8-Let go of expectation

9- You decide what is real

10- Your beauty is undeniable

11- Celebrate your imagination

12- True love begins within

13- Explore something exciting

14- Love surrounds you

15- All will be well

16- Kindness is natural

17- Speak words of love

18- Give thanks for another day

19- Make it fun!

20- Thank your friends

21- Blessings are always flowing

22- Love has infinite forms

23- Rest is productive (it's true)

24- Take tender care of yourself

25- Embody your wildest dreams

26- Darkness births the light

27- Accept what is as perfect

28- Delight  in the process

february-lsat.jpg

Feeling Old ...

Please, please, please forgive the following Vanity Card if you find it vulgar or insensitive.  I thought it was so funny when I read it that a) I wanted to share it and b) it rings true in a profound way.  Before I share the Card though let me tell you where my head has been lately. 

I feel old, I mean really old.  Old like I don't want to physically get going old, old like I no longer understand hip jokes, old like I don't want loud music in restaurants old.  Part of is because I'm almost 60 and lets face it - that is a lot of years to be doing any one thing (the one thing here is being alive). 

When I was a kid,  a 60 year old was a heavy set grand-ma type who probably only had 10 years to go (you know Aunt Bee).  Now,  life expectancy has risen and the expectations on how much people can do has also risen..  Betty White is doing comedy shows at 96, 100 year olds are running marathons - it is truly amazing. 

Here is my conflict:  I've been feeling old and yet the expectations are keep going and do more  - its hard to know what is completely right for me.  So many nights I just want to stay home and pet the cats and yet a voice in my head says "thats what old people do" so I don't want to do that cause I don't REALLY want to be old and yet I am.  So then I'm out and about doing something not because I  wanted to but because I shouldn't be at home.  

I'm working on NOT letting my thoughts dictate my actions -- rather than sitting in loud restaurants pretending to hear my friend's conversations - I want to be comfortable with the idea that I can stay home with cats and read a book and that is not bad its just true to what my body and ears need.  I can invite friends over rather than struggle with loud restaurants.  And that doesn't have to mean anything negative - its just accepting the stage of life I'm in.  

There is grief work to be done in this area - loss of youth, loss of time poorly spent, loss of what could have been ... I've been sharing those tears lately and as I allow myself the grief work - I'm noticing that I'm letting go of the resentments and even letting go of negative labels that say old is bad.  Its not good or bad .... it just is ... 

Thanks for letting me ramble and here is the Vanity Card -- hope you get a chuckle out of it: 

 CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #566

"I just turned sixty-five. It is, by any measure, an advanced age. It is not the new fifty-five, or the new sixty. It is just old. And it has forced me to do some serious soul searching, to ask myself a tough and vaguely frightening question: How will I know when it's time to quit? What signal, mental or physical, should I look for that tells me it's time to stop writing sitcoms? After much careful thought, the answer came to me. The day I sit on the toilet and my balls hit the water, I'm done."

Aunt Bee:  Young and Old

frances-bavier-pinup-56a9a2a95f9b58b7d0fd9057.jpg

Mortality

Years ago I found a sweet picture at an estate sale that I fell in love with.  A man & woman from the 1800s leaning into each other and heads touching ever so slightly.  Sadly, the estate owner had no concrete information about who these two people were -- he said that it was possible the man had been involved with Sacramento baseball and that I could have the pic for $5.

The picture hangs in our guest bedroom and always brings me a smile.  It also reminds me of how short our time is here on this planet.  Can't imagine that these two lived for more than 60 or 70 years and very possible that no one today even remembers them OR DO THEY?  

Is it possible I own a pic of a couple that lived their lives with grace, joy and dignity.  A couple who chose to live a life filled with justice, kindness and honesty.  The kind of couple whose great-great-great-great grand-children would still be told stories of their generosity, warmth and compassion.   

Or do I own the pic of a couple who were so wrapped in life's fears, pains, sorrows that all they ever did was complain, wallow in self-pity and live such "small" lives that they spent their time in gossip, judging others and greedily hanging on to their earthly possessions.  The type of people who are easily forgotten shortly after their deaths.  

Clearly, most people live somewhere between the two extremes of "sainthood" and complete "jerks" but am I making my point.?  Life is not about "retracting" into our selves - protecting our egos, hoarding our possessions, and withdrawing our talents from the world.  A life fully lived is about going outward - sharing, giving, letting our talents shine.  Retreating into ourselves is extremely lonely. 

So often we are wrapped up in the fear of our own mortality that we forget that legacy is more important and more long-standing.  How we make other people feel is what and how they will remember us.  

WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU AT YOUR FUNERAL?  Take time to think about that question - it will help you to define your true values and help you set a path for what truly makes you content in life.            

20180116_125833.jpg