If I only had a…

Most of us think that we’d only be happy if we had a…  (nose job, million dollars, Roberto Cavalli shoes, a boyfriend’s love,  the right job…)

In reality, our happiness doesn’t depend on things and people.  Check out this great article a friend of mine wrote on her blog about  our occupation with “stuff” and “goals” and happiness . (While you’re there check out some other articles!).

We’d all do a lot better if we disconnected the “stuff” we want from the happiness that we can feel from within.     If you have a few minutes extra,  check out this interesting video by social psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Dan Gilbert.  He talks about the source of our feelings of happiness and relative value:

Spontaneous Acts of Inspiration

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to something inspiring, spontaneous or unexpected to brighten up the world around us. Bring someone a chocolate chip cookie, break out your art or talent on a street corner or share your good feelings with a co-worker.

In one of the best examples of energy being contagious ever captured on film, the video below shows 200+ dancers dressed in street and traveling clothes filtering into the Antwerp, Belgium Central Train Station at 8am on March 23, 2009 to the strains of Julie Andrews singing “Do Re Mi’ as piped though the public address system…
Watch how the grumpy morning commuter crowd reacts to this seemingly spontaneous act of merriment as the energy builds.
It’s amazing — this stunt was created with only two days rehearsal!

Listen to your “GUTS”

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Stephen Colbert was right.   Listen to your GUTS.

“That’s where truth comes from — the gut. Facts come from the brain — and some people think that makes facts better. But did you know you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your brain? You can look it up….Anyone can tell the news to you. I’m going to feel the news at you.” – Stephen Colbert

There is some compelling evidence that there is something to the relationship between “guts” and “feelings”  and that our enteric nervous system may be more closely linked to emotion that previously thought.   An article on Cognitive Daily, cites research done on Crohn’s Disease sufferers who have an increased nerve response from their gastroentestinal system and brain and how this related to their perception of movie clips in both active and silent phases of the disease. In the active phase of the disease, emotional responses were reported at higher levels than in the “silent” phase of the disease.

One of the primal signal locations for our sense of intuition is often located right in  the stomach.  “I have a gut feeling this is a bad idea.”  for example. This may be yeet another sign that the brain is sometimes aware of information that we aren’t consciously aware of in the moment.   Live Science cites a study done on participants asked to memorise pictures in periods of conscious fixation and also when they were thoroughly distracted.  The mind can retrieve data and spring it on us, seemingly bypassing conscious thought.

When you DO have a “gut feeling”  it pays to listen to your insticts.  That little nagging sense that tells you, “Don’t go that way!”  — harken to it.  The times in this life I’ve gotten myself in trouble it’s always been because I chose to ingore a nagging sense in my gut.   This applies to love, to business, to small, seemingly insignficant choices.

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers.