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Posts tagged “Ongoing life lessons

The re-discovery of happiness … day 14

When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that…”  (Quote from “Pollyanna” by Eleanor H. Porter)


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The re-discovery of happiness … day 13

Seeking happiness, I passed many travelers headed in the opposite direction, seeking happiness.  ~Robert Brault


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The re-discovery of happiness … day 12

You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness.  ~Author Unknown


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The re-discovery of happiness … day 11

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck


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The re-discovery of happiness … day 10

You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you’ll seldom have the chance to be happy by circumstance.  ~Lavetta Sue Wegman


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The re-discovery of happiness … day 9

When was the last time you jumped for joy?  If you had to think about it, it’s been too long.  Sometimes it’s all you need to shake off your gloom.  ~Christine Sternfels



The re-discovery of happiness … day 8

Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.  ~Author Unknown



The re-discovery of happiness … day 7

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.  ~Frederick Keonig



The re-discovery of happiness … day 6

The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change.  ~Charles L. Morgan

I stepped out on the deck to watch the sun rise as I enjoyed my coffee this morning.  It just stopped raining.  As the sun showed up, the water on the tips of the leaves of my cedar started sparkling.  It was a moment I had to capture.  The picture above is not an alien pod, just a macro shot of the drops of water clinging on to the tips of the newborn pine needles.  Below is the “not so up close” version of the shot.  Have a great day everyone!



The re-discovery of happiness … day 5

Some wish for happiness, others create it.   ~Christine Sternfels



The re-discovery of happiness … day 4

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.  ~Jacques Prévert



The re-discovery of happiness … day 3

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.  ~William Feather



The re-discovery of happiness … day 2

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
~Robert Brault



The re-discovery of happiness … day 1

Ever wonder why pets and kids are always happy?  Simply because… they are.  They don’t try to find it, over analyze it, buy it or make it a goal.  They just are.  ~Christine Sternfels


There is no secret to happiness.  It’s something we all know and are capable of being.

Over the next 30 days, I will post a “Happiness” quote each day.  They are sayings by wise women and men.  From simple folk and anonymous authors to influential leaders of great nations.  From students of life to spiritual leaders.  Some will be funny and witty, while others will be deep and life-changing.  Some go back a few centuries and some were just thought of five minutes ago, which is what I will start this series with.  Yes, one of my own.

Won’t you join me on this journey?  Feel free to take along anyone you wish.  My hope is to be reminded of this special gift each day, so I may continue to share it and hold on to it forever.  So are you ready?  Buckle up, cause here we go!

While you can…

When we reflect upon what’s been said and done, most of the time it’s the unspoken words and undone deeds that haunt us.  Don’t wait “when you can“, just do it “while you can“. ~Christine Sternfels




Are you going in the right direction?

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.  ~Dr. Seuss

Ever wished you had a GPS for your life?  “Turn left.  When possible make a legal U-turn.  Destination is up ahead in one mile.  You have arrived.”  I mean the type of internal GPS that knows the best way for you to reach your destination and you could literally hear it guide you.  None of this “Go with your gutt” or “Find what gives you joy”. 

Sometimes, in the process of recreating, redefining or repurposing yourself, you get lost.  There’s too much guess-work and connecting with your instinct or listening to the universe.  Sometimes I feel like I’m going in circles and I have all this passion and I’m going at it with gusto, then bam!  It’s a freaking brick wall.

I know I have a purpose, I just need to stop second guessing it.  I have envisioned my destination, I just need to jump over the hurdles.  I can do this, I’m going the right direction… or am I?

What do you do when you feel this way?

You’re not alone

Life is simple, it’s just not easy.  ~Author Unknown

When life gets to you and you feel like walking away from it all, remember… you’re not alone.  If you think you’ve run out of solutions and your problems are too much to handle, remember… you’re not alone.  Although you’ve hit the bottom, and climbing back up seems impossible, remember… you’re not alone.  If there is no one else to turn to and you feel no one will understand, remember… you’re not alone.  Have you forgotten about me?  Has the world taken you so far, that we’ve become strangers?  I want you to stop… breathe… listen to your heart beating… give me your burdens and rest.  Tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities.  Live to love, give, serve and be thankful.  I am here to keep you steady and strong as you face the most difficult days of your life.  I am always with you, remember… you’re not alone.  Love always, JC

Busy Bee

Success is sweet, but first you sweat for it. ~ Christine Sternfels

The hand you’re dealt

“Life is like a hand of cards. You have to play the hand you’re dealt, you can’t win by folding, and sometimes you must take chances in order to win.” ~ Mike Conner

Life isn’t fair, but it is good.  It’s a constant maneuvering of decisions, points of view, strategies, action and direction. We’re all recipients of a deal.  None alike, each one unique.  How we play it, what we make of it and what we get out of it is up to us.


Even on the gloomiest day and rain is pouring down hard… the clouds will open up and light will shine through.  ~ Christine Sternfels



Yesterday I was clever,
that is why I  wanted to change the world.  

Today I am wise, 

that is why I am changing myself.  

~ Sri Chinmoy

Why is it difficult for some of us to simply be the change we want to see in the world?  I believe we wake up with the best intentions, but they are empty promises without taking action.  If there is one word to identify what gets in my way to change for the better, it would be strength.  I am working on that.  What is yours? 


“There are days when things are crystal clear, then there are days when everything is a blur.  There will always be obstacles in front of us and around us, so don’t spend your time being confused.  Refocus and remember what you were going for.”  ~ Christine Sternfels


What is the Universe telling you?

Could it be, that fortune cookies may actually be valid messages?  That’s almost like saying the magic 8 ball can help me with my decisions, right?  Well… I wouldn’t take it that far, but lately I’ve been reaching one crossroad after another because I want to do so many things.  I couldn’t decide and that night’s fortune cookie came at  the right time because I was actually contemplating going back to work.

“Decide what you want and go for it.”

One thing is for sure, I didn’t want to go back to work, I just need to stick to my plan.  Eventually I was able to focus.  I made a list, identified which ones I was passionate about and which ones were desirable.  As I categorized my list, I started putting them in order.

I’ve completed the first item, finishing all the paperwork for my non-profit.  Now I’m just waiting for the IRS to get back to me.  Meanwhile, while I wait I have photography to keep me busy.  Then there’s this book that I’ve been trying to write.  I’ve started it but my self-doubt just kept getting in my way.  I felt like my stories and my writing was not good enough.  While I contemplated if I should even keep it on the list, I grabbed another fortune cookie.


Ok… I get it.  Thanks for the nudge!

Collecting memories

What surrounds your home are reminders of what’s stored in your heart. ~ Christine Sternfels

I collect memories, not things.  Memories stay in your heart, even when you’re losing your mind.  Things fade, get old, lost, broken, become outdated and useless.  As my dad would say about material things “You can’t take that with you when you’re dead.”.

There was a time when my most precious possessions were beautiful and expensive things.  We lived in a neighborhood of ‘Joneses’.  One day, the entire hill we lived on was almost consumed by a wild fire in Southern California.  The only reminder of those ashes would be the hours of working too much, missing out on my children’s lives and spending whatever time I had at home being too tired and cranky to do anything with my family.  The Grand Prix fire changed my life.

When you get that pay check and you’ve paid your bills and set some aside for a rainy day, try to allot a portion for non-tangible things such as travel and giving back to your community.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard for a living, as long as you make an effort to have a life.  Work to live, don’t live to work.  Then go out there and collect memories.


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