Category Archives: emerson

The Pursuit of Happiness


To begin with, as a foundation, I  need a spiritual self – one that truly believes in a higher power and one that insist that we are here to help others and to utilize the gifts we have for the betterment of the whole, for me that is a given, it is my religion. But in matters beyond that, I have this idea that the two things that make us feel good at the end of the day, when we stop and access, are productivity and control.
Productivity is such a rewarding feeling – and the high from it is directly related to the challenge of the task. In my life, I relate it to the job of raising my children (the most important job in the world) or the completion of a painting or a column or pea seeds popping up from the freshly made garden. Some days, I feel productive just cutting the grass, some days I need more, but every day I need something – if I want to feel happiness. I need to feel productive and the more my productivity enhances the lives of others, the better I feel.

And control…I do not mean this in the negative sense – control freak – I mean this in the sense of being the captain of your ship. You have control of your life as opposed to being a raw piece of meat waiting for something to happen to you. I feel like I would like to scale down the possessions and the duties of my life as I get older – I feel this way because at some point I will not be able to do all that I do now; I will lose control…I will need a smaller life to feel a sense of happiness, a life I can control, less is truly more.

 This control feature, I believe, has a lot to do with preparation; it is a good idea to prepare for your life, to equip yourself with tools to navigate the dark alleys and the peaks of sunshine – for both, the ups and the downs of life, are inevitable and they will both set you on a course, point you in a direction and the more equipment you have the better your decisions and reactions.

So, there is my two bit philosophy. I am writing this raw this morning because it burst into my head when I looked at the mess in my kitchen. I realized that it was out of control and I was not very productive on the domestic front yesterday – this is a small insignificant example incapable of making me happy or sad but it did make me think of the bigger picture, the important one about my family and how I hope they are gathering tools.

That’s it, just an observation I wanted to share, something to ponder. We are all trying to find happiness and the feeling of contentedness but sometimes we look in the wrong places, sometimes we think we need to have more, do more, but sometimes having more and doing more cause you to lose control and you find yourself in an awkward spin that immobilizes you and then you lose productivity and that saddens you. Again, I have absolutely no qualifications to say what I just said, it is just an observation of my own life that I thought might be something to think about. Control and Productivity – something to strive for, perhaps.

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

b u
p s

solitude

We have to find time to be quiet and alone; that is when and where creativity, spirit, subconscious, alpha, God, takes hold of you – there in the stillness, in the nothingness. It is when and where and how your right brain, your creative self, overcomes your rational left brain and figures things out for you – just be still and listen.Emerson said it best in an essay :
 To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.
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Memories

My aunt died last night, my mother’s older sister. She was 83 and had lived a full life – nearly 20 years more than my mother. I will miss knowing she is “here”. Since my mother’s death, I have not seen my aunt as often as before, but I always knew she was there, there at the top of the familial lineage. She knew the answers to so many questions about long ago, about my mother, about their mother, about the contents of times past; that and she are gone.My mom would tell me how she was a teenager during WWII and how that was very difficult to spend those years of youth in wartime – she remembers her singing in the front bedroom of their tiny house, singing songs from sheet music and wishing things were different. I can remember so much about her life , the wonderful way she cooked fresh fish and baked sweet pies (tarts), and spoke French, and drank coffee in demitasse cups, and was my mom’s big sister, and mother to her four children, but one thing I remember most was her coming to my rescue when I was 39 and expecting a baby. I will not go into the story, but I hope she knows I still remember and am still thankful for her.
 We all have our turn to die, just as we all have our time to live – it’s the living that is important and sometimes difficult, dying will come in its own time. Funny, but just today I read a quote by Emerson posted on the wall above the microwave in the building I work in, it said:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson)
…my aunt  succeeded.
b u
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being still

We have to find time to be quiet and alone; that is when and where creativity, spirit, subconscious, alpha, God, takes hold of you – there in the stillness, in the nothingness. It is when and where and how your right brain, your creative self overcomes your rational left brain and figures things out for you – just be still and listen.
Emerson said it best in an essay : To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.
b u
p s