Moment of Happiness by Gretchen Rubin

Do you know the Moment of Happiness of Gretchen Rubin?! But you already know I like her a lot, admire her as a female author and role but I don’t want to repeat myself in this post (or maybe just a little bit). My goal is to introduce you to this experiment.
The Moment of Happiness is a daily Newsletter that you can subscribe and receive via e-mail. It’s not long and it does not contain advertisement (or maybe just a little bit). The content of the e-mail is mostly a sentence, or better a quote, that Gretchen picks and sends to you.
I subscribed moved by my curiosity and also because I always like to take note of sentences I read and liked. So I was curious to see what kind of quotes Gretchen chooses to share. These e-mails give me, in days like today, faith and hope not only Moments of Happiness. Below you can read today’s Moment of Happiness by Gretchen Rubin.
I hope it reaches you well.
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Walking with Thich Nhat Hanh – The art of Mindful Living

For my 30th birthday Ursel sent me the book Touching Peace of the Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh who created the Community Plum Village.

During the whole 2016 my mind was busy thinking about the meaning of the word Mindfulness. That Ursel gave me this book it was just a sign which indicated the importance of the concept of Mindfulness in my life. Recently I heard that the books you receive are never a coincidence and I think it is very true.

Reading Touching Peace was for me a great experience which made me feel a lot of good vibes. One of my favourite quotes of Hanh refers to the Christian values I grew up with: “To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now“.

Now I practice Mindfulness in my daily life. Indeed once a day I meditate with the App Calm (about which I will write a review in the next few weeks), I pray, I try to do something kind for an other person and appreciate to have something good in the fridge and to live in an multicultural and opened country like Germany.

To introduce you to the philosophy of the Zen Master Hanh, I share the trailer of a brand new film about him and his community, Walk with me.

You can find more details about this film and the Community of Plum Village on: http://walkwithmefilm.com/

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

I don’t remember exactly how but two months ago I discovered the American author Gretchen Rubin. Now I can’t stop listening to her audiobooks and reading her posts on Linkedin. After listening to her latest book Better than before, I bought Happier at Home and I can’t wait to read The Happiness Project.

I find Gretchen Rubin a great writer but above all I think she is a wonderful woman.

Below you can find some of her quotes I feel to share with you:

HAPPINESS

Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness. In one of those life-isn’t-fair results, it turns out that the happy outperform the less happy.

One major challenge within happiness is loneliness. The more I’ve learned about happiness, the more I’ve come to believe that loneliness is a terrible, common, and important obstacle to consider.

Although we often assume that feelings inspire actions, in fact, actions also inspire feelings. By pushing myself to act happier, I make myself feel happier.

HABITS

Better than before - Gretchen Rubin
Better than before – Gretchen Rubin

“People are powerfully moved by imagination, belief, and knowledge. They can consider the past and future. They can make changes in their behavior out of reason in a way that animals can’t do”.

“Habit allows us to go from ‘before’ to ‘after,’ to make life easier and better. Habit is notorious – and rightly so – for its ability to direct our actions, even against our will; but by mindfully shaping our habits, we can harness the power of mindlessness as a sweeping force for serenity, energy, and growth”.

“We can use decision-making to choose the habits we want to form, use willpower to get the habit started, then – and this is the best part – we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. At that point, we’re free from the need to decide and the need to use willpower”.

“Give warm greetings and farewells. I was surprised by how much this resolution changed the atmosphere of my home”.

GENERAL ADVICES

“If you’re impatient while waiting for the bus, tell yourself you’re doing ‘Bus waiting meditation.’ If you’re standing in a slow line at the drugstore, you’re doing ‘Waiting in line meditation.’ Just saying these words makes me feel very spiritual and high-minded and wise”.

“Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master”.

“The days are long, but the years are short”.

Don’t be afraid to say “Not with me!”

What I learned in 2015 is not being afraid to dissociate myself from something I was not agreeing with. It could seem simple written like that, but in reality it’s not.

It has a lot to do with the image you have of what you are doing and of what you are part of. In some way it has also to do with your own dreams and goals. If you can not identify yourself with your current situation in a certain area of your life and you can not imagine to continue living like that in the near future, you have to change something. But taking the decision to change radically an aspect of your life requires courage and determination.

This year I had the courage to take such a decision. I said “Not with me” and it was so simple. I felt better after that: I was smiling again. I’m still facing the consequences of it and I had days where I wasn’t sure that I took the right decision, but in the end I know it was the right thing to do: there was not another way out.

I’m doing much better now, I’m happy with what I have and I feel grateful that I found the courage to stand up and leave when the rules of the game I was playing didn’t match with my own principles.

Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t agree with something and overall don’t be afraid to quit it. Be open to what comes next and trust your instinct: everything will be good. Stay focused and work on yourself, the sun rises every morning.

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