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Happiness and How to Be More Happy…

FrIdAy FuN & FeElInGs…

simple steps to happiness

Ok, let’s talk.

Why do you think some people seem to be more happy than others?
Here are some of my thoughts…

For some crazy reason, we see ourselves differently than everyone else does. Somehow we look at them and see the beauty, the perfection, everything that’s right. Then when we look into the mirror, the first thing we see are the zits, the scars, and of course the flaws.

Once, when I was on a film shoot in a tiny village in Malawi Africa, one of my powder compacts dropped to the ground and all of the powder crumbled. I was about to toss it when I remembered the mirror inside which was still in perfect condition. So I took it back to my hotel room that night and cleaned the compact until it was nice and shiny. Then I tucked it into my makeup belt to give away.

simple steps to happiness

The next day we were shooting in a cornfield when I noticed 4 girls watching us. I thought about my compact and  walked over to them. I smiled and they giggled back, their faces beaming brightly, something that appeared to come naturally. Then I tucked a hand inside my makeup belt and drew out that shiny empty compact.

They looked at it, very unsure of what I was holding.

I handed it toward them and they pulled away, their faces filling with a hint of fear. So I opened the compact and showed them the mirror. They looked at it, puzzled, then one by one, they started recognizing one another in that little mirror. They pointed at the glass and then pointed at a collar or at a tattered shirt and they lit up with laughter.

I think I just stood there, stunned. These girls had never seen their own reflections. It struck hard. I reached toward them with the compact and handed it to the girl closest to me. “Here, it’s for you” I whispered. Her eyes caught mine and immediately rimmed with tears. I could feel mine start to do the same. Hers appeared to be tears of gratitude, mine stung with humility as I could see her thankfulness for something so very little. She was touched deeply, and so was I.

In retrospect, it was such a small token, in fact, it wasn’t even a legitimate gift–I gave her my garbage and she was thrilled. My heart swelled with the most awesome crimson warmth.

I’m not holding myself out to be a perfect example of someone who gives and always does good, I wish I was, but for that moment, I felt that surge of glee that comes when you touch a life. I actually wish I could say that I gave her something much better, but unfortunately I didn’t…in fact I hope the “gift” I gave her hasn’t changed her life in a negative way…could it affect the way she perceives the world now because she can now see herself ? I really hope not, I really truly hope not.  I hope it was more about the kindness of a stranger. I know for me, it helped me to not see myself at all, at least for those moments, “I” was definitely not on my mind. And how sweet that was. And those feelings brought a current of happiness from way down deep.

Now back to my point. I believe that when we desire to do good, our hearts change. When we focus on others and desire to help them, we can’t help but forget ourselves, our “needs” wants, shortcomings, etc. and at that point, we feel something beyond (the often fleeting feeling of) happiness. We feel an abundance of joy, which is lasting, pure, and becomes a part of our nature. I think the ultimate key is understanding the desires of our heart.

So when we see those people who constantly beam with happiness, it may not be because everything in their life is running smoothly at all, in fact, it more than likely isn’t. I think those people have learned the greater feeling of joy, which is something regulated by the heart, the spirit.

happiness help

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My niece, Brittany, is in the Philippians right now, helping to rebuild from the hurricane damage.  She took this PHOTO, which I loved. To follow her 3 month journey and to feel inspired, head over to Life of a Wanderous Mind

I’d love your feedback on this…and I want to give you an assignment:

  • Right now, stop for one moment, and tap into the desires of your heart. If they are wants or “things”, steer past them to the people in your life. What can you do to make their lives happier? What can you say? How can you treat them today? What can you do right now to step outside of yourself and move your focus to others?
  • Do something every day to touch a life, but don’t expect anything in return. Just savor the peace of lifting another’s burdon.
  • Write down your feelings, it doesn’t have to be long, just from the heart.
  • Place it in you calendar and set up reminders every day. (I use an app that is a daily journal, it also sends me reminders every day. 🙂

My challenge is to do this every day for 1 week. Then come back here and please share how that one little exercise worked for you, what you learned, fears you overcame and how you felt.

I believe that you will be a happier person in one week if you can take the time to do this…and I can’t wait to hear back!!

xo

Laurie & Tiffany

A HUGE Secret to Happiness & why it matters!

FrIdAy FuN & FeElInGs…

My heart is just swelling as I think about what I want to share today…so many thoughts, experiences, and so much to say. But I think I’ve truly witnessed a HUGE Secret to Happiness & why it matters!

While I was working on a movie in Africa, we roamed through the poorest little villages of Kenya, and met so many incredible people. I felt the deepest compassion come over me…

Most of them had clothing that was worn, tattered, and thrashed. They were filthy, and honestly, they (ok I’m having a hard tiime saying this, but the truth is they stunk.) Now I’ve said it, but none of those outward things made me hate them, no, not one. In fact, they had the opposite effect on every one of us. In spite of the sickness, starvation, and all of their hardships, we were overcome with their beautiful smiles.

Start With A Smile!

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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley

In Kenya and Malawi, smiles were everywhere, even amidst the obvious pain and hardships. I remember seeing 2 young girls beaming as they ran through a field with mice they had just caught for their dinner. But when we went on to Adas Ababa Ethiopia, the smiles seemed to dissolve. Faces were etched with pain and sadness. We even had several people who begged us to take them back to the States.

At first I didn’t understand how there could be such a distinct difference in these people and all of the Villagers we had just seen.

But after a while, it started to become more clear. Everywhere I looked, I noticed crude little huts, slightly larger than a refrigerator box. On top of each little hut stood a TV antenna. It hit like a brick to the chest…could the difference be that these people had TV, so in essence, they knew what they didn’t have? My heart sunk.

I think the difference in their countennances came from their perceptions of their world. In Kenya and Malawi, they were satisfied and even grateful for their lives, no matter how simple. They were content and happy. But for the Ethiopians, they knew what they didn’t have and longed for a different existence.

how to be happy

So of course there’s a moral, and I believe that when we look through eyes of gratitude, great things happen in our lives. Even the simple things we tend to overlook…running water, kindness, a smile, the freedom to pray.

It may not change our circumstance or difficulties, but instead makes them bearable and an important step to feeling fulfilled and happy. That’s it. When we stop looking at what we don’t have and pacifying our “wants” everything changes for the better. Plain and simple, gratitude changes everything, most of all, our hearts.

#1 Beauty Tip, SMILE

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie

We appreciate your comments and love your insights, please share and have a GREAT and HAPPY weekend!!

xo

Laurie & Tiffany

Is laughter the best medicine?

Is laughter the best medicine

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Is laughter the best medicine? We think so and here’s why…

The laughter workout–

Here are some of the health benefits you may enjoy through making sure to laugh!

~ tighter stomach muscles

~ less stress

~ more energy

~ overall feeling of well being

~ suppressed appetite (i.e. weight loss 🙂

~ less illness

~ more health

~ a better life

~ must we say more?

That said, I can’t help but share a little story that happened the other day, that totally put a smile on my face :)…

Tiff’s son was playing with his 6 year old cousin and must’ve said a “bad” word because his cousin went right to the babysitter and said, “He said a bad word!” She asked, “What was it?” The little guy said, “I can’t say it–but I can spell it…s-t-o-o-p-i-d.”

haha, it still makes me laugh!

Please comment below & share something that made you laugh recently–or even just put a smile on your face.  We’d love to hear it!

It feels good to be happy, doesn’t it? And while you’re at it,give someone else a reason to laugh–please share! Speaking of that, special thanks to Summer who inspired this post. Check out her cute site!

Love you guys!

xo

Laurie & Tiffany

smile. 🙂

References:

Study Finds Repetitive Laughter Has an Impact on Appetite Hormones

Laughter prescription