• creativity,  flow,  happiness

    The connection between flow and happiness

    It starts with what you know and enjoy I’ve written about flow before but wanted to expand a bit on the concept. Flow is the sensation you get when you are so engrossed in an activity that you lose track of time and feel completely in-tune with yourself and the activity. I often find myself reaching a flow state when I’m creating art. It’s not uncommon for 3 or 4 hours to pass before I realize that I’ve been engrossed in a project for that long. Flowing Happiness   What is flow? And how do we achieve flow? The chart below shows where flow falls on a scale of psychological states. Each…

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  • gratitude,  happiness,  thankful thursday

    Focus on the present

    and experience more happiness When we worry over what the future may bring, we create stress and unhappiness in our lives. The key to daily peace and happiness is to focus on what we have right now. It doesn’t mean we don’t have goals or make plans; it means we aren’t attached to the outcomes of those dreams. Live in the present and appreciate life today. When you focus on what you have and appreciate it, you will live a happier life. Thankful Thursday Today I am thankful for a new-to-me dishwasher. My old dishwasher had developed a habit of not always opening the cover that releases the detergent. As…

  • choice,  feminist,  happiness,  health,  social responsibility,  womens rights

    Does Anti-abortion really mean Pro-Life?

    A world where every human life is valued and protected. The above statement is the vision statement of the March for Life. Sounds like a laudable position, yet when I look at their Life Principles page I discover that they only talk about life up until the point of birth. They never mention the lives of women prior to getting pregnant or the lives mothers, fathers, or children after the baby is born. This makes me wonder if they are truly interested in valuing and protecting every human life. I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in…

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  • happiness,  personal development,  personality,  want to life

    Personality and Happiness

    Does your personality predict your happiness? I read THIS article on one of my favorites sites, the Greater Good Science Center. The premise is that the Big Five aspects of our personalities can predict our happiness. The good thing is by understanding those personality traits we can, if we wish, take steps to improve both our personality and our happiness.  Extraverts are happier, and so are the emotionally stable, personality researchers tell us. It also pays to be more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more conscientious. What does that mean for the rest of us—the introverts, the neurotics, the disorganized? These are the aspects of the Big Five: Extraversion…

  • happiness,  health,  simple living,  social responsibility,  voluntary simplicity,  want to life

    Voluntary Simplicity – a philosophical review

    The Moral and Ethical Weight of Voluntary Simplicity By resisting the consumerist impulses to needlessly upgrade and acquire, many of us can save ourselves from financial stress due to over-commitment and debt, while simultaneously freeing up time and money we can spend on non-material pleasures such as time with friends and family, as well as in pursuit of personal passions, projects, and goals. Samuel Alexander and Jacob Garrett recently published a new report for the Simplicity Institute. (Download it HERE.) As a longtime adherent of simple living, I found their philosophical discussion enlightening. I chose voluntary simplicity because it makes life easier and more pleasant. Living simply reduces the amount…

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  • happiness,  joy,  paradise,  simple living,  spirituality

    What is Paradise?

    I’ve been thinking lately about the meaning of Paradise. Is it a place to go after we are dead and gone from this earth? Is it a place only found in fairy tales? The #1 dictionary definition is that paradise is heaven, yet I like the #4 and #5 definitions better: #4 a place of extreme beauty, delight, or happiness #5 a state of supreme happiness; bliss The paradise in those definitions can be created now, in our own lives and homes and relationships. That paradise is the essence of what I call a life of Bohemian Reflections: a beautiful counterpart to the dark life so many choose to live…

  • excellence,  goals,  happiness,  pets

    Lessons from a Cowboy

    Cowboy was abandoned in a foreclosed home during the long, hot summer of 2012. No one found him until about 30 days after he had been left behind by his not so loving family. He weighed 3 pounds. All I can think is that there had to have been a water leak somewhere in that house that allowed him to stay hydrated and not die alone and sad. Today Cowboy weighs a healthy 10 pounds. He lives in a loving home with playmates, regular meals, and a spot snuggled up at my feet each night. Amazingly, he shows few ill effects from his abandonment. He still eats his food way…

  • flow,  happiness,  livelihood

    Flowing happiness

    One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie Tombstone when Josephine Marcus says, “I’m always happy, unless I’m bored.” I think Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would agree. The video below is a Ted Talk that he gave in 2004. At about the 14-minute mark, he talks about what it feels like to be in a state of “flow,” and around 15:30 he introduces a chart on how this state requires a convergence of skills and challenge. You’ll never  get into “flow” if you simply go with the flow of the world around you. The following are some of his comments on that chart: If we know what that set point is,…