How To Be Happy: Force Yourself To Appreciate Life

By Karyn:

This post is rated PG for brief use of brutish language and mature content revolving around the meaning of life (aka ‘the human condition’). Feel free to laugh, cry, or gasp. Here are a few ideas for looking forward after or during a rough patch.

Life after the loss of a friend or family member changes everything. Reality can feel crushing, but nothing like death. In the first moments you experience what it feels like to understand chaos.

Gravity never feels quite right again.

If you allow yourself to grieve death as much as you value life, you find the ability to see people and things in their impermanence. Perhaps learning to cherish them. For better or worse, you may revalue most of the things you once thought important. Whatever your madness, I hope you find that the risk of pain is worth the opportunity to have known that lost someone.

Our world is so full of complexity.

View from our yurt

In the simplest of terms; we have individuals, groups, communities and societies. At the center, flowing through the individuals is time and place. Information -being the exchange of knowledge- is transferred through all of these levels, back and forth, around and around again, wildly.

It’s an eternal game of ‘Telephone’ here on Earth.

Death and dysfunction have become a big part of my life. For the last several years, I have been studying the communication, politics, and psychology of life threatening problems. I’ve also lost more loved ones than I can count on a single hand. I feel transformed because of these details.

I have come to the conclusion that the thing most dangerous to a human being is the self. Yup, the self. As in, you are dangerous to yourself. I’m saying this because of all that which we do that does not help us or make us better.

I’m talking about all the time we waste bullshitting ourselves. Just considering the three cupcakes I ate for lunch and the lies I had to tell myself to consume them is enough to justify this hypothesis. My guilt has manifest blogging (more bullshit!!).

In the most manic of responses, I’ve decided to start a running list of ideas for more satisfied living. Let me know what you think and add on if you so desire (you know that you do desire).

Lava Tree State Park, Pahoa, Big Island, Lava Tree

Taken by me in Lava Tree State Park (HI)


 Some ideas for more satisfied living

Find real, honest, true passion:

Who are you? Who and what do you love? What do you want to leave behind in this world? Get to know someone so well that you can read the emotions on their face. Neither of you will ever be the same and you’ll always get to see that face.

Use your hands:

Me gusta when people eat or talk with their manos, but did you know that you can also use them to repair/fix things? Break open old electronics (do watch out for mercury, it will turn you into Spiderman or something). Figure out how things work, how they are built. Then make something. It’s good for your hands. DIY!

Do these things alone less:

(1) Eating.

(2) Watching TV/Movies. Reading. Working out. Going to the store/school/work/Jamba Juice. Talking. Walking. Skateboarding. Whittling….

You get it, interact with more people doing regular things (maybeeeeee with fewer alcoholic beverages). You’ll spend much less money and be a hell of a lot happier with a shoulder to lean on. Doesn’t feel too awful to be that shoulder for others too.

Myself, Jeremy, and my lil’ sis (Katie) in North Kohala (HI)

Care about the things you buy:

For women, this especially applies to shoes. Reward good.. I promise that if you look into products and purchase the “best” items (in the mid price range) you’ll spend less money on repairs and replacements in the long run. This goes for used and stolen items as well. Dude, like, every website these days has a public rating system.

Know what you believe in and talk about it:

Talk, refrain from yelling/screaming/crying. Just keep doing that thing you do with your friends, except about topics more interesting than the Kardashians (did I spell that right?), free will (overplayed) or the New World Order (so yesterday).

Ask more questions:

Wouldn’t it be nice to fight less and understand more? At that, wouldn’t it be nice to be better understood? Learning about the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of others will change the way you see the world and the people you love.

Keep your mind open:

50-120 years is a pretty long life. We’re as good as Alligators, who also live that long. Discovery Kids says they’re dinosaurs, which means they have evolved a lot! Moral of the story is: be more like dinosaurs. Staying the same is boring, go out and discover something. Climb a mountain, man… or at least a grassy hill while barefoot.

Photo: Discovery Kids

Stop being embarrassed:

Dance and sing more. My grandma told me to and she knows best.

Learn something from Bjork: Life is short, so just be who you are. In her words, “What you resist, persists.” Plus, I know you smiled when you saw this picture.

Please share your thoughts, all are welcome and will receive a thoughtful response.

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