Tag Archives: Donna Parker

In Pursuit of Happiness or 7 Habits of Happy People

IMG_0299 2
Happy people: What in the world is their secret?

Are they wired differently? Or are they just luckier than many of us?  2014 was a roller coster ride of experiences, most of which where not that great. I have never been so anxious to see a year pass.  So much so that my intent for 2015 is to be happy.

Whenever I come across a concept that I want to integrate into my life I always start with, what is it?  I look at a number of definitions. I follow-up with research from a variety of sources, including: science, psychology, religion and of course spiritual that provide me a better ability to understand the causes and effects of my topic. Finally, I determine how I can incorporate what I have learned into my life.

So exactly what is being “happy”?  First of all, most of us probably do not think we need a formal definition of happiness; and that we know it when we feel it.  I have learned that happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many different things to people.  Research on happiness indicates a number of similar concepts, ideas and theories, including: that it is personal, covers a range of positive and pleasant emotions, it deals with your overall life satisfaction and that it is partially genetic.  The good news is, you have the ability to control how you feel—and with consistent practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life. The following are the top seven methods shared by most studies.

1. They make exercise a priority.  Exercise has been shown to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, thanks to the the various brain chemicals that are released that amplify feelings of happiness and relaxation. Plus, working out makes us appreciate our bodies more. One study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that exercise improved how people felt about their bodies — even if they didn’t lose weight or achieve noticeable improvements.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.

Continue reading In Pursuit of Happiness or 7 Habits of Happy People

Where is Olivia Pope When You Need Her?

olivia popeitized

My October 2014 article for the Capital City Hues newspaper.

My theme for 2014 was and still is is “manifest”.  I selected this attribute with the intention of manifesting lots of health, wealth and love. However, to-date 2014 has bought two maybe three personal scandals into my life.  I could not, still can not believe the twists and turns involved in my life and these stories.  One is out right fiction and the other two are unique personal situations that only exhibit very few facts or truths and hindsight reveals that yes I could have handled these situations better.

My initial reaction was shock that rumors and scandals were circulating about me and disbelief that people, who I thought I knew well, believed and repeated these stories. Emotionally, each event felt like a gut punch to my self-confidence, increasing my self-doubt, depression. I have also experienced sadness, fear, anger and so on.  My behaviors included leaving my job and move to another state with just what would fit in my car.  The move provided deep insights and understanding into the statement “where ever you go, there you are”.  As if that were not enough, I  moved back to Madison.  I will not go into a lot of detail, but needless to say this was not my intention for 2014.

I was experiencing what is called the “dark night of the soul”, an experience that is apparently cleansing and that must occur before I can live within the NOW of my life. This soul event is when you go through your daily life being fully aware of what you are doing wrong, aware of your fear, aware of your anger, aware of your pain. To truly see yourself and to find true self insight you must be aware of what you are thinking, what you are saying, what you are doing and WHY. Why are you thinking that? Why are you saying that? Why are you doing that?”

We like to give the appearance that our communities are made up of perfect people who live scandal free and undamaged lives. However, my friends, if we’re honest, our communities are actually filled with people who’ve had to deal with difficult situations that have threatened their very livelihood, reputation, dignity, and respect. Whether it is the scandal of a divorce, tax evasion, home foreclosure, bankruptcy, employment termination, unwed pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, or some general failure in life, most of us will face situations in our private and public lives that require us to know how to handle our scandal.

Nearly everyone has something in his or her past that they wish wasn’t there,  I am taking a play from what I think Scandal’s Olivia Pope would do to handle a scandal:

Continue reading Where is Olivia Pope When You Need Her?