HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Dear Ones –
Here it is the end of the year, and I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce to you all the concept of a Happiness Jar.
Here's me with mine!
What is a Happiness Jar? The simplest thing in the world. You get yourself a jar (or a box, or a vessel of any kind) and every day, at the end of the day, you grab a slip of paper and write down on it the happiest moment of the day.
Even on lousy days, you do this. Because even on lousy days, there is one best moment (or at least, one least-worst moment.)
You stick that little piece of paper in the jar.
Over the years, you have a record of your happiness.
On bad days, I will thrust my fist in that jar and go fishing — pulling up a handful of great moments that I would have utterly forgotten, had I not documented them.
I've been doing this practice for years, and I love it.
If my house ever caught on fire, this would be the one material object I would grab before I ran out the door…because what's inside this jar? THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT — the whole point of this life.
Over the years, my Happiness Jar has taught me much. What continually amazes me is what ends up on the slip of paper every day. Not awesome events, not huge achievements — usually just a small and tiny thing, a moment of awareness…that moment when you step outside and between the house and the car you get hit on the top of the head with a beam of sunlight, and suddenly feel awash with gratitude simply for being alive, and you think, "Yes. This is it."
It's usually something that small — and something that grand.
I know that many of you have started this practice, too — and I love seeing the pictures of your jars, and hearing how you have adapted this to your own lives. I love the woman who put one in the middle of her dining room table, and she and her kids each put an entry in there every day — what a cool family practice! And I love the woman who wrote to me last week saying that she had the hardest year of her life, but she kept her Happiness Jar practice going the whole time, and today — on the last day of the year, she's going to pull out each piece of paper in the jar, to remind her that even now, even in hard times, there was always one good moment a day.
So if anyone wants to begin this practice tomorrow, a New Year is always a great place to start!
Sending love, and, of course, wishing you all an abundance of Happy Moments in 2016!
MAKE YOUR OWN CEREMONY!
Dear Ones –
We are in the end days of Week 52 of 2014, and it's time for me to start thinking about what my New Years Day ceremony will be this year.
New Years Day is my favorite holiday.
(Note: New Year's Eve is NOT my favorite holiday — all that staying up late, all that noise, all that pressure to be having the BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR WITH THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AT EXACTLY MIDNIGHT…it gives me hives.)
But I love New Year's Day, because I can never get over the generosity of the fact that we all get a BRAND NEW YEAR, totally for FREE — with no dents, or dinks, or mistakes yet.
It's the ultimate REFRESH button.
I like to do ceremonies on New Years Day. I make them up in my head. For years, I used to do this ceremony where I would go for a walk in the woods at dawn, and the first wild animal I saw would be my totem animal for the year. (Domesticated pets and squirrels didn't count.)
Then one year, I saw a fox. A gorgeous, flame-colored fox walking in the fresh white snow! It looked over its shoulder at me. That did it for me. I decided that foxes would be my totem animal for LIFE. So I don't do that ceremony anymore, because I don't want to break the fox spell.
Last year, I got my family together, and we wrote down things we wanted to get rid of in 2014, and things we wanted to beckon into our lives, and then we burned the pieces of paper and threw them in the ocean, along with breadcrumbs and roses.
One year, some friends and I got Chinese lanterns, and lit them while reciting our wishes, and sent them up into the frosty night sky, and almost burned a neighbor's house down, but that's another story. (KEEP MUM ABOUT THIS ONE, PATRICIA!)
One year, I got some friends together and we made bird feeders out of pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, but before we put the birdseed on the pinecones, we swished the birdseed around on pieces of paper that had all our wishes written on them, so the birds would eat our wishes and fly them up into heaven.
Yeah — what I'm saying is: You can make up a ceremony out of just about anything.
May I suggest getting elemental about it — as in: work with nature. Use some fire and water. Be clear about what you are letting go of, and what you are drawing in.
Start making your plan and getting your materials together now.
Decide if you want to do your ceremony alone, or if you want to do it with friends.
But most importantly: Decide what you WANT.
Because you only get one brand new unsoiled, unspoiled, beautiful and fresh new year ONCE A YEAR. Use it well!
ps — Art credit: Robert Farkus…https://society6.com/product/alone-in-the-forest_print#1=45
Dear Ones –
Just two more days for the CRAZY-TOWN 50% off sale at my shop, Two Buttons!
Come see us…and come visit wonderful Frenchtown, NJ!
LAST 2 DAYS FOR OUR 50% SALE !!! SALE ENDS JAN 31ST !!!
It's a colorful and happy day in Frenchtown!
MAGIC COUGH JUICE!
Dear Ones –
So…I've been sick for about ten days now with this bullshit chest cold, distinguished by a cough that makes me feel like a doomed minor character in a tragic Russian novel.
Last night at midnight, coughing myself crazy and unable to sleep, I went on Twitter and asked if anyone had good suggestions for home remedies for coughs. (Because where else would you go at midnight for quality medical care, but Twitter?)
Everyone submitted their best advice, and I took feverish (literally!) notes. Then, this morning, I mixed together pretty much all the major ingredients everyone had suggested, and boiled it down into a powerful fluid, which I am now calling MAGIC COUGH JUICE.
Here's what we got:
I've been drinking it all day, you guys, and I'm pretty sure it's working! Coughing is definitely on the wane***. I don't feel like I'm auditioning for Les Mis anymore! I think we may be on to something here!
Feel free to patent this recipe, someone!
And tonight, just before bed, I plan to drink one last cup of MAGIC COUGH JUICE, but with the addition of the final remaining ingredient a few wise souls suggested on Twitter:
…and to all a good night!
***RESULTS MAY VARY! 🙂