Tag Archives: happiness

Happy Place – WPC (11 Images)

Happy place. I taste the words. A place where I feel happy. Where I go to let go of stress and frustrations. And worries. A place where I can laugh or cry. And where my soul can rest.

There are many such places, I realize. For different uses. But all my happy places have one thing in common. Water. On the water. Near the water.

There are everyday happy places right here at home. Like standing barefoot in the shallow water watching the sun dive into the Gulf. Or a catamaran sail into the sunset.

sunset on sat ud26 sunset sail ud26Or sitting on “my” bench next to the deep water at the salt marsh, listening to Mockingbird’s song and watching Mama Osprey enjoy her garden.

salt marsh next to the osprey nest HPmama osprey in the nest UD26

These are everyday happy places. Places to run to whenever I feel in need of soothing stillness surrounded by nature.

And then there are special happy places. Treats of complete happiness not enjoyed every day. Like an afternoon on a small island inhabited only by birds and dolphins.  Or a day spent on the water with family.

3 rooker bar island boat hp

Or hikes on old, unspoiled islands. Diving into happiness as it used to be long before my time. Special treats of happy.

caladesi island beach hphiking 2 on caladesi hp

And then there are forever happy places. Places with traces of my short history here on earth. Places that remember me. From the time my tiny feet felt the cool water for the first time. Where I return to find peace. Sitting on a rock alone with the moon. Enveloped in warmth on a summer night.

Lake in the fall hp

I wish you all a happy week.  Wherever your happy place might be. You can find other responses to this challenge here.

Tiny Miracles

A stroller on sunset beach by Tiny
A stroller on sunset beach by Tiny


Sitting in my beach stroller

at sunset time

my eyes wander

out on the vast ocean.

Curiously expecting

life to expand

to stretch outside

what I already know.

My world is simple

yet full of tiny miracles

discoveries that captivate

my childlike mind.


Feel It in Your Heart?

I’m always interested in new research findings and recently came across an intriguing research study that I thought I would share with you. This research into emotions, and where we experience them in the body, was conducted by Aalto University in five separate experiments with over 700 participants from two very different cultures. The results were recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (US).

Credit: Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Credit: Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

This picture presents the bodily topography of basic and more complex emotions associated with words. The body maps show regions whose activation increased (warm colors) or decreased (cool colors) when feeling each emotion.

The study concluded that emotional feelings are associated with discrete, but partially overlapping (maps of) bodily sensations, which could be at the core of the emotional experience. Unraveling of the subjective bodily sensations associated with human emotions may help us to better understand emotional processing, including emotional disorders.

Definitely interesting findings. You can read the entire report of the study here (the pdf takes a while to load).

Freshly Stressed?

I was on a treadmill this morning. You might have been as well. It’s Friday, good to get in shape for the weekend.

As usual, I started walking slowly. Next I was jogging, then running. Also adjusted the angle after a while, a little bit of uphill wouldn’t hurt. It would just make me work a bit harder. Good for me, there would be a reward for this! Went on running for almost 20 minutes and then wanted to slow down again. Nothing strange about that, the control buttons worked! My pace became more tolerable and finally the treadmill slowed down and stopped altogether.

But what if the buttons hadn’t worked!?

I know these machines. They don’t always work as you might expect. See, I used to be on a treadmill all the time.  I mean 24/7.  The speed was variable but mostly very high, lots of uphill running too. It was fun, nice rewards kept coming. Run we should, faster and faster!

I was freshly stressed. Life was good!

After a while I started to feel tired. Wanted to slow down to a pleasant jog. That’s when  I realized the equipment didn’t work as I had expected. I tried to slow down, pressed all the buttons, but nothing happened.

My dear Blackberry, with whom I was deeply bonded, kept ringing and buzzing around the clock. Hundreds of messages, calls, meetings, be here, be there!  Caffeine breakfast, no lunch, very late dinner, no time for family and friends, no time to sleep! No time, period.

The treadmill was no longer helping me to get happy and healthy. It felt more like a hamster wheel! And the rewards didn’t taste so good any more. They had a faint smell of burnout.

I had come to believe that it was risky to jump down while the machine was still speeding. I might fall and hurt myself! And if I survived the jump, I’d still lose the safety and predictability of the treadmill…  So I just kept running.

Until one day, exhausted, I realized that it would never stop. I had to jump down!

To my amazement, there was no fall, no hurt. After a gracefully executed jump, I landed nicely on my two feet! What a relief!

Now I go on a treadmill whenever I want to. I run as fast and stay as long as I want to. And I always check that the equipment works before I step on it. Recommend you do that too. And if you’re stuck on a faulty treadmill, trust me: it’s possible to jump down. It will be just fine.