Though we may not always feel we are actively engaging with our communities, they are a valued resource that can bring so much to our lives. A thriving community takes care of one another, whether that be with programs and services, schools, gathering places, or neighbors that look out for one another.
There's no question that a happier life is a better life. Less stress and more productivity, less loneliness and more meaningful connections, less information overload and more creativity--sounds good to me! But it's so easy to get lost in the doubt of past decisions, the uncertainty of the future, or even the lack of confidence in the present moment. Mindfulness can help.
Here are some mindful strategies for happiness I'm exploring:
Oh, love. So beautiful, so inspiring, and so much work. Whether we're talking about a partner or spouse, a parent, a child or a friend, it's amazing how much love you can feel for someone, and at the same time how much work the relationship takes. Emotions run high and sometimes the person you love most is the cause of stress, anger or anxiety. In every relationship, it's important to nurture not only our partner, but also ourselves.
A wise woman once said "Your body hears everything your mind says." That woman was Naomi Judd. Okay, I don't know how wise she is, but I sure connected with that quote. And I figure someone who has faced serious health issues and spent much of her life touring must know something about how stress impacts your body!
We all spend a huge chunk of our lives at work. We may spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our loved ones. So when you have a bad day or are stressed, it can feel completely overwhelming.
As my exploration with mindfulness continues, I have to admit sometimes I struggle. Being aware of thoughts and feelings sounds so easy, but it definitely takes work. The increased awareness has helped me focus more on the present and I find I'm rehashing the past a little less, which is a huge step for me.
Please meet Alyssa, one of Eugene Field’s best customers. Alyssa is a 10-year-old going into fifth grade and is a voracious reader. In fact, she’s such a big reader that I have trouble recommending books to her – it seems as if she has read practically everything!
Bear Valley Staff asked one of our Drawing Prize Winners for her thoughts about Summer of Reading 2013.
Bear Valley Staff: What was your favorite part of Summer Reading?
Rachel Soderstrom: I got prizes for doing something that I love! I love Elitch's and I love reading!
BVS: What about those prizes? Did you get anything cool?
RS: Oh yes, VERY cool! I won the drawing for a $50 Target Gift card! I was uber-surprised that it was $50 because I had thought it was only going to be about $10. And I love Elitch's, so a free ticket was awesome! And of course, I love adding books to my personal book collection so the book prize was especially good.