Thursday, March 20, 2008

With Love.....

I'm so grateful for the response I have had to guest bloggers! I love reading what other people have to say about happiness, and learning from their wonderful words. Here is another amazing guest post from Jen

Love is what happiness is all about. Loving yourself, your family, your friends and doing things for them. Jen has brought housework back to a loving perspective that I fear I had forgotten. Thanks Jen!

It was a Wednesday several months ago when I first changed the way I deal with laundry. By about the hundredth (I may be exaggerating a little bit here) inside-out item I lost it completely. No longer would I turn things right side out while folding! I was done! The rest of the load got folded much faster. I put the baskets of nicely folded stacks in the hall for pick-up and went about the rest of my day. Several weeks passed. No one mentioned having an abundance of inside-out clothes in their clean piles. Nice. I cut my folding time by several minutes, allowing me to read an extra chapter of my current book, wipe down the kitchen countertops, take the dog out, reapply my lip gloss, call a tenant to ask where's the rent, and read blog posts by cjane.

My happy balloon was about to burst. Mar mentioned one day how his workout shirt was inside out and he wore it during his entire workout before he noticed. Dillon came home from school one day and I noticed his shirt was inside out. Had been all day I guess. Mar said to me, "My clothes are inside out quite a bit lately." To which I replied, "Really?" Then I brought up how much time I was saving with my new laundry method and how I would really appreciate it if certain people would make sure their clothes were right side out before they were put into the laundry for cleaning. Mar replied with a sad face, "I guess the laundry isn't done with love anymore." :-(


I guess not.

Maybe I needed to rethink my motives here. Do I enjoy doing laundry? Well, parts of it. I like separating things into color categories. I like adding all the soaps into their little drawers. I like choosing the cycle I need. I don't even mind cleaning out lint screens. I don't care so much for remembering to move loads around and where the enjoyment process breaks down completely is the folding part. Not a big fan. Don't even get me started on the socks! But, my job as mom comes with laundry responsibility. Responsibilities like these are sure easier to handle when you have the right attitude. I can see the possibilities here.

During the 2 minute yoga part of my Turbo Jam video the next morning I repeat my new mantra: I will fold the laundry with love.

Next laundry day, I encounter 6 items of inside out clothing, all of which I turn right side out and fold into nice piles. Into one of Mar's workout shirts I slip a note. "Folded with love on 3/5/08 heart Fif " (Fif is me)

The note starts a chain reaction I did not intend but which Mar and I now enjoy immensely. He found the note, wrote a note back on the other side, and hid it in with the bill drawer so next time I sat down to pay bills I found it. I wrote another note and re-hid it taped to the steering wheel of his truck. The note is still circulating; the other day I found it my vitamin cabinet (it's hidden right now tucked inside the bike shoes he uses when he spins at the gym). Folding laundry with love led to learning more about how we love each other. And also a fun game of hide and seek.

Here's to learning that housework is all about love. I hope my family knows this. I'm glad I do, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I believe happiness goes hand in hand with peace.

All fear comes from living in the past or the future, which are both in our minds- in reality, it is always now. As long as we stay with the Now, we have peace. Knowing this, we can choose peace at any moment. - Message from Tolle's book "The Power of Now"

I believe that actually living in the present moment is ALL we really have and when we focus on that and truly live, then we will be happy and have peace.

How many times have we worried ourselves to death that this might happen or that. Or regretting something that happened in the past, or wishing that things were the way they used to be- that YOU were the way you used to be- without wrinkles, or a smaller size, or more energetic. If we put ALL of that aside- then we have NOW and we need to enjoy it and enjoy our surroundings, because if you don't enjoy the now- soon the now will be the past, and you will wish you had.

Be filled with peace and happiness.... live in the NOW!:)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The magic of Color!

My cute friend Cjane is my amazing guest blogger for today- and she is full of happiness and sunshine! As cjane would say... ENJOY!

Everyone hated, hated the muddy color of gray I painted my master bedroom.

“We’d like to see your house.” Friends and family declared after we moved in to our cozy blue home at the end of the street.

And of course we loved to show off our new house—the remodeled bathroom, the bright green kitchen, the perfectly rectangular backyard—every little detail. But inevitably there would be that awkward moment when our guests entered into our tiny bedroom.

“Oh! Well! That is an interesting color.” Was the usual comment as eyes rotated around our dark walls and voices disappeared with confusion.

It was one thing to disappoint crowds of people who didn’t have to live with my color, but it was another thing when my husband confessed that he didn’t care for it either.

“It’s dark.” He kept saying.

“A bedroom is for sleeping. Dark colors relax the brain.” I would counter.

I can’t remember now the exact name of the color I chose. Something like, “Silver Lake at Midnight with an Almost Full Moon”. (I’d like to be a paint color namer someday, I’d take that job very seriously.) To me, it was the color of a summer rain cloud and who doesn’t love that hue all looming with the promise of rain?

Even in the sunshine—let in by our big window—I loved the dark tone to my bedroom walls. It reminded me of a thick mud mask before it has dried and become cracked. It also made the bedroom artwork pop with color and I thought that was very unselfish.

Unselfish Silver?

Three years have passed by since my mother-in-law (horrified) helped me paint those walls, and I have never once regretted my decision. If possible, I love the color more than when the paint was wet. It has become my color of serenity, peace and quiet. But now there is a new house in the near future, a new bedroom to plan, new walls to color.

“I am thinking about leaving our new bedroom walls white.” I remarked to my husband the other night as we sat in bed waiting for sleep.

“You will do no such thing.” He countered. “From now on, our bedroom will always be this color gray and that is that.”

Winning over someone to your point-of-view?

That is happiness.

What is the name of the color that makes you happy?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

You can always count on Gretchen

Gretchen is one of my dear friends who has also volunteered to be a guest blogger for me:) She sent me this story earlier this week. I was very touched by her writing and her thoughts! Thanks Gretchen:)

I just finished reading About a Boy which was the basis for one of my favorite movies. I found this passage which didn't make it into the movie. I can honestly say this is probably the reason I'm still around today.

"So why don't you ever put your head in the oven?"

"I don't know. There's always a new Nirvana album to look forward to, or something happening in NYPD Blue to make you want to watch the next episode. The point is you keep going. You want to. So all the things that make you want to are the point. I don't know if you even realize it, but on the quiet you don't think life's too bad. You love things. Telly. Music. Food. I love things and they're mostly different things from you. Poetry. Paintings. My work. Men. My friends. Ali. I want to see what Ali gets up to tomorrow. See, a few years ago, I was really, really down, and I did imagine about... you know, what you imagine Fiona's thinking about [suicide]. And I really felt guilty about it, because of Ali, and I know I shouldn't be that way but I was, and... anyway, it was always, you know, not today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today. And after a few weeks of that I knew I was never going to do it, and the reason I was never going to do it was because I didn't want to miss out. I don't mean that life was great and I didn't want not to participate. I just mean there were always one or two things that seemed unfinished, things I wanted to follow through. Like you want to see the next episode of NYPD Blue. If I'd just finished stuff for a book, I wanted to see it come out. If I was seeing a guy, I wanted one more date. If Ali had a parents' evening coming up, I wanted to talk to his form teacher. Little things like that, but there was always something, and those somethings would be enough."

Sometimes if you're having a really rough go of it, you need to cling to anything to get you through it. I love that thought. You don't need a grand event to look forward to. The little things are enough to make life worth living.

I love this book and movie. They never fail to inspire me. Treat yourself and get the soundtrack as well. They're all beautiful and uplifting.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Are you happy?

Yeah! We have another guest blogger:) I love seeing people have a
passion for happiness and wanting to share that passion and knowledge.
I got an e-mail from Anali a few days ago and she sent me a link to a
post she had previously done on happiness in her blog. I read it and
felt an instant high and wanted chocolate! Here is the link to her
super post:

Anali writes about pretty much anything and everything and you will
always be entertained and left with wanting more. For more Anali you
can check it out at:

Thanks Anali for being a guest blogger for me, and I, along with all
my readers would love to hear more:)

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Wonderful and Wise Words from Erin Annie

What do you write when the happiest person you have ever met asks you to write something for their motivational/happy thoughts blog? I mean, how can you ever expect to compete with the happiness of Ms. Bertie?

For me, the answer is in not competing.

But in that lies my advice to the blog reading world. Find your own motivation.
I am possibly the least competitive person in the world. I love to hike, but never to be the first or the fastest. In fact, I'm sure my companions have more than once been annoyed at the slowness of my pace. I didn't stop to smell the roses. I just barely could keep up. But at the end of the hike, I had also completed the trip.
For me, the joy is in the fact that I'm playing a game. The comradererie of being with friends, and of trying something new and different. I'm not in it to be the best. I'm just in it for the experience.

My happiness comes from trying something new. No matter how ungraceful I am, how clumsily I did it, how long it took, or how utterly unartistic it was, I did it, and I had fun trying it.

As the girl who always got picked last for sports, and never gets asked to dance, I learned early that sometimes you just have to have fun anyway. You can't wait for someone else to make you happy, or to beat someone at their own thing. You have to be happy with you first. For me, I will always find happiness in how goofy I dance, or in the beauty of the peak of the mountain. I may have been the last one to the summit, but the view is the same for the first person and the last person.

So go ahead, LOSE! And enjoy doing it!

Erin Annie