Happy News – August 21, 2014

Happy News – August 21, 2014

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Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

 

Our weekly tour around the web to find uplifting and positive stories, enjoy and have a happy day my friends     ~ Rev Kane

 

Filipino Construction Worker Returns Wallet, Ends Up With A Better Life

happiness

 

Orphanage in Kenya rescues hundreds of baby elephants

 

Five year-old daughter raises $7000 to take dying father to Disneyland

happiness, disney

 

Strangers help homeless mother of 3 turn her life around, now she’s paying it forward

happiness, puppy

 

Girl saved by her puppy after 11 days in the wilderness

 

RELATED POSTS

Happy News – August 14, 2014

Happy News – August 7, 2014

Happy News – July 31, 2014

Happy News – July 15, 2014

 

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Happiness is Poetry: Hosho McCreesh

Happiness is Poetry: Hosho McCreesh

happiness, poetry, poem

So tonight my friends, the poetry of Hosho McCreesh, a poet I discovered in my communication with Doug Draime who recommended him to me.  Not suprisingly, Doug was right on the money.  Much like Doug’s work, Hosho writes the way I like my poetry, straight forward, intense like a punch in the literary gut, so good.  You can see more of his writing and buy his work at HoshoMcCreesh.com  Give these a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

**************************

10 o’clock
and the night is
slow and dull,
and someone says
“Let’s go to Vegas,”

But then you
actually go.
And you spend three days
in a hotel room
at the Sahara,
dragging the plastic
garbage can down to
the hotel bar,
and filling it with
75¢ beers, and
chucking the empties
out your twelve-story window
at the construction site
across the way,
hands around
naked hips
trying to keep
each other from
falling off the
ledge
of the sad, lonely,
and desperate
goddamned
world.

************************

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Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Getting Started, Reading & Research

Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Getting Started, Reading & Research

happiness, appalachian trail

As I’ve mentioned previously I have undertaken planning to do a thru-hike next year on the Appalachian Trail (AT). My hope is that I will walk all 2,200 miles of the AT from Springer Mountain, GA to Mt. Kathadin, Maine starting in late February or early March, 2015. This is my trail journal where I hope to take you from my decision to do this, through my preparation and then notes from the trail and hopefully all the way to Maine. All of this in my journey and process to live happy days my friends ~ Rev Kane

Of course two things that happen as soon as you mention to people you are thinking about hiking the AT, they either freak out a bit and tell you that you’re nuts, or they ask you if you have read Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods. So this was a fitting place to start, and over a long weekend along the Pacific Coast I read A Walk in the Woods. It’s an entertaining book, one that will be made into a movie that’s coming out sometime in 2015, hopefully after I’m off the trail. I have a feeling the year after the movie comes out there will be a ton of people on the trail, much like what happened in Alaska after Into the Wild came out.

Bryson is a good writer and he had the good fortune of bringing one hell of a character with him on the trip. So the book is entertaining but after reading it I really didn’t want to hike the AT. Bryson made the trip sound truly unpleasant, sure, he hits all the cliché high notes of doing an adventure, but he doesn’t seem to truly enjoy hiking the AT. Unlike the other books I’ll discuss in a moment, Bryson seems less connected to the AT, less like a thru-hiker and more like a tourist who did just enough not to be viewed as such, but not enough to truly understand the difference for himself. One of the key parts of doing an adventure is that they are transformative in some way; I didn’t get the feeling that Bryson immersed himself enough for that to truly happen for him.

happiness, appalachian trail

The second book I read was a book called Appalachian Trials, that’s not a typo. This book written by Zach Davis focuses on the psychological aspects of hiking the AT. Zach Davis’ proposition is that the main reason people fail to complete the entire trail is not because of the physical aspects of the endeavor but the psychological aspects. Mr. Davis makes a really solid point and gives some great advice about how to get mentally prepared for an adventure like the one I’m planning on embarking on next year. After reading his book I started to feel more excited about the trail and the journey, mostly because some of the techniques he suggested were techniques I’ve employed on other journeys. If for no other reason, I enjoyed the book because it began to build my confidence about being successful. Also, Zach Davis was the first thru-hiker’s book I had read, not just someone who completed the trek but someone who got the bigger spirit of transformation that accompanies it.

One of the most recommended books about hiking the AT is entitled, AWOL On the Appalachian Trail by David Miller. People on the trail typically take a trail name and his was AWOL, the reason for the name became apparent on the first page of the book. David had asked for a leave of absence from his job to go hike the trail and he was denied, hence AWOL, the military acronym for Absent Without Leave. I had been reading Zach Davis’ book and had left it in the car, so I started AWOL’s book before I had finished Zach’s book. I began reading the first page and had to stop and laugh. You see that day I had been informed by my workplace that they were unwilling to grant my leave request as well, looks like I’ll also be going AWOL.

Reading AWOL’s book has been a joy, Miller is also a good writer, a thru-hiker who gets the experience and draws a vivid and incredibly detailed picture of what hiking the AT is like. My recommendation is that without a doubt if you are considering a thru-hike of the AT, you need to read AWOL’s book. Not only is it an excellent trail journal but AWOL connects to the transformative nature of a thru-hike in a way that Bryson completely missed.  Miller also writes a fantastic trail guide each year, The AT Guide, I highly recommend it.

happiness, appalachian trail

The most recent book I’m reading is called As Far As The Eye Can See by David Brill. Much in the same way as David Miller’s book, Brill truly understands the transformative nature of the journey, of what thru-hiking can mean to you personally. David Brill did his thru-hike in 1979, almost ancient history from a technological perspective, he carried more weight, ate much differently and didn’t have access to some of the neat gadgets we have today. In many ways, that may have made for a better experience, the opportunity to step even further out of society. For thru-hikers today I fear, at least from my perspective, that they stay too connected to their old life and the rest of the world to allow for the disconnection that leads to transformation.

One of the beautiful things about Brill’s book is that he relates lots of little low-tech and brilliant tips. One is the idea of twisting parachute chord to make a clothesline so that you can wedge socks and clothes into the line so that they won’t blow off, simply brilliant. Brill is the most poetic of the AT writers I’ve read so far, he’s truly in love with the AT, its culture, creatures both two-legged and four. His experience obviously had a deep impact upon his soul and it comes through in the pages. His book has reminded me of the importance of mindfulness and openness as I undertake this journey and I’m thankful to him for that.

happiness, appalachian trail

I’m sure there will be more books to read, and I’m starting to look at more resources on the internet including whiteblaze.net, the AT online forum. The name comes from the white blazes that mark the Appalachian Trail along the way. David Miller also has a Facebook Page for the AT Guide where he posts updates to the guide and AT news. So off to the ether for more research, have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Ask yourself this…!

Ask yourself this…!

happiness
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. ~ Bruce Lee

Hello my friends, tonight a list of questions that have been floating around on the net. They are a subset of the post you may have seen entitled 101 Thought Provoking Questions.

The overall list is interesting but way too long, so I thought I would take a smaller bite (23) out of the whole list. With a little more thought I’ve decided to go through the list of questions and do a post for each, with my own answers included to help you get started about thinking about these things. So some deeper thinking tonight my friends to help us all have happier days ~ Rev Kane

The List

Do you like who you are?

What would you regret not doing in your life?

What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?

If you had one year left to live, what would you try to achieve?

Are you afraid of being your true self around others? Why?

Are you enriching the lives of others?

What makes a meaningful life? Are you living one?

If you could live one day over and over again, what would you choose to do?

Who do you look up to and why?

Based on your current day-to-day life, what do you expect to achieve in 5 years from now?

Do you really listen when people talk to you?

What is the number one change you need to make in your life this year?

Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?

How can you simplify your life and focus on the most important things to you?

What is most important to you in life? Are you giving it the time it deserves?

When was the last time you tried something new?

Are you holding onto something that you need to put behind you?

What have you given up on?

How many people do you truly love and what are you doing for them?

What were you doing when you last lost track of time?

What can you not live without the most?

When did you last laugh so much it hurt?

What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?

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Happiness is Laughter: Cartoons

Happiness is Laughter: Cartoons

happiness, funny

 

Tonight a collection of single pane cartoons, to raise a smile and help you have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

 

 

Click on the images to enlarge them

 

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Happy News – August 14th, 2014

Happy NewsAugust 14th, 2014

happiness, news

 

 

 

 

 

 

Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears       ~ John Lennon

 

Tonight our weekly tour around the web for some uplifting and happy news to help us have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

 

A really touching piece,  a university president in KY, gave up $90,000 of his annual salary to give the lowest paid employees on campus a raise.

A piece to restore some of your faith in your fellow man, commuters unite to help a man trapped by a train.

A nice piece about service dogs and how they help their owners.

Veteran returns lost and stolen Purple Hearts to their rightful owners.

Shelter Dog make-overs.

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Happiness Resources: Happiness Research

Happiness Resources: Happiness Research

happiness

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight a little bit of a research angle, recent research from the fields of happiness and positive psychology.  Have a read and a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

 

How surprise can make you extra happy!

Happiness depends on your expectations.

Using technology to make yourself happier.

Less materialism can lead to happier consumers and a healthier environment.

The science of happiness

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Happiness is Poetry: Dylan Thomas

Happiness is Poetry: Dylan Thomas

happiness, poetry, poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though lovers be lost, love shall not ~ Dylan Thomas

Tonight my friends a tour through one of the more famous poets, Dylan Thomas.  His name often comes up on the lists of poets that my favorite poets have read, or recommend, so give his work a look and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

First his most famous poem.

Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

************************************************

Clown in the Moon

My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.

I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.

********************************

Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glowworms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter’s robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics die,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

**********************************************

A Saint About to Fall

A saint about to fall,
The stained flats of heaven hit and razed
To the kissed kite hems of his shawl,
On the last street wave praised
The unwinding, song by rock,
Of the woven wall
Of his father’s house in the sands,
The vanishing of the musical ship-work and the chucked bells,
The wound-down cough of the blood-counting clock
Behind a face of hands,
On the angelic etna of the last whirring featherlands,
Wind-heeled foot in the hole of a fireball,
Hymned his shrivelling flock,
On the last rick’s tip by spilled wine-wells
Sang heaven hungry and the quick
Cut Christbread spitting vinegar and all
The mazes of his praise and envious tongue were worked in flames and shells.

Glory cracked like a flea.
The sun-leaved holy candlewoods
Drivelled down to one singeing tree
With a stub of black buds,
The sweet, fish-gilled boats bringing blood
Lurched through a scuttled sea
With a hold of leeches and straws,
Heaven fell with his fall and one crocked bell beat the left air.
O wake in me in my house in the mud
Of the crotch of the squawking shores,
Flicked from the carbolic city puzzle in a bed of sores
The scudding base of the familiar sky,
The lofty roots of the clouds.
From an odd room in a split house stare,
Milk in your mouth, at the sour floods
That bury the sweet street slowly, see
The skull of the earth is barbed with a war of burning brains and hair.

Strike in the time-bomb town,
Raise the live rafters of the eardrum,
Throw your fear a parcel of stone
Through the dark asylum,
Lapped among herods wail
As their blade marches in
That the eyes are already murdered,
The stocked heart is forced, and agony has another mouth to feed.
O wake to see, after a noble fall,
The old mud hatch again, the horrid
Woe drip from the dishrag hands and the pressed sponge of the forehead,
The breath draw back like a bolt through white oil
And a stranger enter like iron.
Cry joy that hits witchlike midwife second
Bullies into rough seas you so gentle
And makes with a flick of the thumb and sun
A thundering bullring of your silent and girl-circled island.

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Simplest Formula for Happiness

Simplest Formula for Happiness

happiness journey

 

 

 

 

 

 The most simple things can bring the greatest happiness                                        ~ Izabella Scorupco

We of course talk a lot about it, this is The Ministry of Happiness after all. I try in these posts to help us all delve into the depths of the elements of our lives that can help us bring happiness into our lives. Occasionally however, it’s good to return to the core ideas, to the simplest things that we can do to bring ourselves happiness. I do a lot of reading about happiness and these ideas seem to be at the absolute core of whatever everyone agrees are the things we can control in terms of our own happiness.

There are of course things we can’t control, our very genetic makeup which can control how easily or deeply we can become depressed. Our circumstances at birth and in our early life are also out of our control and experts typically say that these things account for about 60% of our happiness. But we control about 40% and the following things are primarily how we do that.

 

Relationships

Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Who we spend time with has a tremendous impact on our happiness, we have talked about this many times before and I understand how hard it is to push people out of your circle who diminish your happiness but you must do this whenever possible. We often underestimate how possible it is for us to do this. So whenever possible surround yourself with happy, supportive and caring people who truly care for you.

 

Gratitude

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust

I had a great reminder of this today in talking with my 89-year-old Granny, after gently complaining about some things she stopped and said, I count my blessings, I’ve probably had more than I deserve in this life. Beautiful wisdom there and what she said probably goes for most of us, if we count our blessings, if we are grateful for what we have and were to tally it up, I think we’d all find we have far more than we deserve. Being grateful does many things for us it solidifies and strengthens are relationships and research also shows us that it can be healthy for us helping to reduce stress.

 

Mindfulness

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.                 ~ Mother Teresa

One of the absolute best things we can do to make ourselves happier is to become more present in our lives, more mindful. To focus intently upon the here and now, the person or people immediately in front of us makes all of our experiences and interactions richer. This also helps us be more grateful for our lives, allows us to be focused and less distracted.

 

Kindness and Giving

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness ~ William Arther Ward

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give                                       ~ Winston Churchill

When we are kind to others, help others, it makes us happier, maybe in that sense it’s not a purely selfish act, but if you can help others and by doing so help yourself I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. There are formal and larger ways to help people but I think sometimes the smaller acts are equally as powerful. One little thing I do at the college I work at is to occasionally buy a student lunch. Usually I do this when I’m in line at the cafeteria and someone comes up a little short, or their credit card is working or for some reason it just seems like they are having a tough day. Doing it makes me feel good and always really surprises the students, a little kindness and giving goes a long way. One of the easiest ways to be kind to people is to just smile at them, it will confuse some people, but a smile as we’ve talked about before, makes people feel good.

 

Purpose

Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful. ~ John C. Maxwell

This may be the most important and hardest component of being happy. Finding a purpose in life is hugely important to making us feel like our life is worth something and that we are worthy of happiness. Some people find this purpose in love and marriage, others in their children, but one place where many of us struggle is in our work. For many of us we work at the job we are at because we have to, we all have bills to pay, mouths to feed. But is important to our self-worth and therefore our happiness that we find that purpose if not purely in our job, at least in some component of what we do for a living.

So my friends find those great relationships, count our blessings, be mindful of each precious moment of our life, be kind and giving and lead a purpose driven life.  In return you may find yourself having many happy days ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Laughter: Funny Kid Pictures

Happiness is Laughter: Funny Kid Pictures

happiness, kids

 

 

 

 

 

So tonight to lighten up your weekend kids, well, being kids, enjoy, have a great weekend and a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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