Hey Readers!

 

While y’all have been soaking up the Salt, Sun, Sand & Sea this summer (lucky ducks), I’ve been staring down a blinking cursor on a glowing computer screen. Days of wordplay have left me more word-logged than water-logged & in desperate need of some hair color. (Personal grooming is always the first to go.)

 

All because I’m writing a new book.

 

And I thought it would be fun to give you an insider’s look at the behind-the-scenes         creative process & first presentable draft. This draft, by the way, is likely to go through  many more permutations before it’s all over. Not even the title is sacred.

 

So, I’ll be posting sneak peeks now & again (& welcoming your feedback) in what I’m calling the It’s Happy in Here” series at Simple Pleasures, Everyday Love.  For those who  prefer to keep things private or are not fans of Facebook  (a surprisingly large number of you), shoot over here with your comments.

 

For now, the series will be formatted like regular posts with a few more frills. (Illustration details are still in the works.)

To me, every book presents a new possibility.  I hope you feel that way about this one. Here we go

a

DO NOT BELIEVE ANY OF THIS;

verify it for

 yourself.

Zeal

to

Live Life Well

TM

Hello  & Welcome!

I'm Cindy & so very delighted

to make your online acquaintance.

Simple Pleasures Everyday Love (SPEL) is a unique community of smart, funny, deep-thinking people proactive about increasing the depth & fulfillment we get from life.

 

It's a renewable source of things we all just seem to love: life's little joys, charmed moments, and everyday epiphanies that strike a chord.

 

SPEL's also a happiness-enhancing strategy, a continual reminder to notice & relish ordinary, everyday experiences. (And luscious details matter.)

 

Join over 6,000 SPELers for highly-classified happiness secrets here.  Because you deserve to love your life, truly, madly, deeply.

 

 

Go on & click it.

Guaranteed to

trip your joy circuits.

THE STORY OF A

CADDIE LEGEND

 "An Amazing Life Story..."

Arnold Palmer

My Biz

My Book

 Biz 2

H2O-Yeah!

Being Part of Someone's First

Lovin' the Town You're With

How to Stop Saying Yes When You Mean No

The Nuptial Journey

(Reflections on 30 years of marriage)

Making Uncertainty an Ally

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Cindy O'Krepki , Freelance Writer

A Mulligan (Life's Second Chances)

Animal Magnetism

The Kindness of a Stranger

When Nature Pulls a Fast One

Laugh Lines are Sexy

The Dalai Palma

Your Mind on a Mission

Introduction Now is your time to be happy. I’m talking true joy here. Not a happy-high that comes & goes, but a satisfaction somewhere between peace & joy that’s steady, lasting, & unchanging. No more postponing our lives or our happiness between now & that elusive day when we finally have what we want & life is good. All we ever really have is NOW. Life is happening in the present and the only moment we’re guaranteed is the one we’re living. Happiness is not relegated to a select few — a special breed. You have as much happiness available to you as anyone else on the planet. You have everything you need. We all do.

"Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent."

Jean Kerr

 

It may be hard to believe from where you sit right now, but researchers say that even though we all have a natural emotional set point, 40-50% of our happiness & optimism is directly within our control & can be learned.

 

We can “up” our own happiness quotients. Yes, happiness can be cultivated.

 

The demoralization that results from months or even years of struggling can get you to thinking, maybe they can, but I can’t.

 

In certain areas of your life you’ve tried, but it seems you can’t get past the-way-things-have-always-been.

"Hitting rock bottom

can be incredibly efficient."

Danielle LaPorte

 

 

 

"… rock bottom became

the solid foundation on

which I rebuilt my life."

J.K. Rowling

 

Sure, some people seem like they were born on a sunny day. But if you’re naturally prone to the glums, or if a traumatic event has stunned you or a life crisis has plunged you into a season of sorrow, don’t relinquish the hope that happiness is possible.

Because happiness is an inside job. Happiness is a spiritual practice. (When it comes right down to it, isn’t everything?) Getting to what I call unconditional happiness is not for the faint of heart. But suffering is the alternative, so it pays to rise to the challenge of the courageous where the rewards are second to none. The good news is that when we moxie-up & practice long enough, happiness turns to habit with newly-cemented core beliefs that keep us from yielding to the wayward happenstances of life. Although it’s a process, not an event, one day you’ll wake up to find yourself skilled at being happy — measured by the stickiness of your joy. Where happiness is a tangible commodity & outside circumstances no longer dictate your internal experience. This is why we practice, and what this book is all about. When we design our lives accordingly — we can have access to joy, virtually all the time. This means that it's possible to have a doozy of a day & still sense an internal, abiding joy. To navigate inter-office politics, hormones, rush-hour traffic, cranky store clerks, and family holidays with relative calm. You can go through hell: illness, divorce, job loss, miscarriage, ego-shattering failure, heartbreak, physical trauma, economic hardship, betrayal, and still say deep from within, “It is well with my soul.” To be happy even when you’ve lost the external things that you previously used to feel secure or form the surface markers of your identity.

I would know. It took me a long while (later than I hoped but just in time) to accept responsibility for my own happiness. For most of my life,  I wanted the world to be different so that I could be happy.  

 

After all, how could I be expected to be joyful with all the sorrow & injustices in the world? Child-soldiering in the Sudan, sex-trafficking in & around the world, animal abuse in puppy mills, homelessness on my street corner, or my husband who forgot to pick up the ingredients I needed for dinner on his way home —even though I reminded him twice.

 

It’s easy to be heavy & hard to be light. In chapters to come I’ll not only show you how we can hold onto our joy, but also why we’re infinitely more effective at championing causes when we do.

 

What Most People Do

 

When we are unhappy with the circumstances of our lives, it almost feels natural to fault the events around us. To place blame squarely on the economy, upbringing, race, age or gender bias, the current administration in Washington, bad hair, unfair treatment, lack of support, and so on.

 

We place unrealistic expectations on our children, employers, government, friends, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, or parents.

 

But it’s no use burdening them with something we can ultimately only give to ourselves.

Let’s address a few happiness hackers that deserve the old heave-ho.

Free yourself from

co-dependent

happiness.

SKIP THE MIDDLEMAN.

It never ends well.

Things can change. PEOPLE RISE FROM THE ASHES. They do it every day & at every age, in every demographic, & every social condition. You CAN too.

You can create meaning out of suffering & transform less-than-desirable circumstances into personal growth & lasting happiness.

How do I know for sure? Because I tested it while wading through my very own soul-sucking bog of sadness: the death of my life’s dream after a 25-year investment, financial distress, spiritual & career crises & prolonged illness. A time when grief tucked me in at night & despair woke me up in the morning. These 22 tips to rebound & bloom were born of that despair. Although there are elements I’ve yet to master, to write this I’ve had to live it.  Happiness Deal-Breakers

  Think someone or something stands between you & your happiness?

             If happiness is your goal, looking outside of yourself is a strategic error.

Sure you can offer support & a silver lining, but when it comes right down to core happiness, it’s every man for himself. Happy is an inside job, remember?

 

Wanting to create happiness for those around us never fails to lead to unmet expectations—our own & others. When we mind other people's happiness, it eventually comes at the expense of our own.

Think you’re responsible for someone else’s happiness? Impossible.

 "The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness

is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to be happy.

It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to

 be unfailingly lighthearted…

 

If it is selfish to want to be happier, we should be selfish,

 if only for selfless reasons."

Gretchen Rubin

When we tend to our own happiness, we become enormously more productive, useful, and magnetic to those around us. We leave the world in better condition than we found it.

 

So if need be, just to get you started, consider doing it for the greater good.

 Think it's selfish to focus on your own happiness? Au Contraire.

It’s fabulous to find gratification in extrinsic rewards, but it’s toxic to make them the source of our happiness.

 

The same goes for all the usual happiness contingencies: sporting a thin or even a healthy body, winning the award, scoring the deal, landing the stable or status-y job, booming a business, realizing a dream, marrying a soul mate, or raising children who live up to expectations or ______________________________________.

"Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like

trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body."

Think happiness has a dollar amount? Think again. Happiness doesn’t require a bulging bank account. With or without money you have a right to be happy. We are not the car we drive, the house we live in or the contents of our IRAs. We’ve all known happy people with little money, & unhappy people with lots of money. And vice versa.

 

Now let me be über-clear here: My own entrepreneurial pursuits are about creating both meaning and wealth. Passion and purpose as well as profit and pleasure. Having my cake and eating it too – with enough cake to share with the  neighborhood.

 

To me,  money is like God’s green energy; after all, how many poor philanthropists do you know?

 

But as George Carlin said:

Happiness does not require two people; it only requires one.

 And it has to be me.

Byron Katie

Granted, it takes awareness & concerted effort to tame the impulse to blame people or circumstances for not living the life you want to live, but you can decide once & for all that no one or nothing has to be a certain way for you to be happy.

Expectations are premature resentments.

Dr. Christiane Northrup

And if you already rank among the happy, why not go for more?

No such thing as too much happy.

{Granted, it’s easier & certainly more desirable, but it’s not required.}

 

Happiness is not a function of what we have, look like or achieve.

 

Real joy is not subject to the whim of external things. Believing otherwise hijacks our happiness.

 

It’s no longer necessary to wait for people or situations to change. We’re free to cultivate our own happily ever after; so let’s roll up our sleeves & get started, why don’t we?

Get exclusive content & instant happiness boosts here.

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It's Happy in Here (TM) (Series) |  How to Be Happy:  22 Tips to Everyday Bliss by Cindy O'Krepki

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