Happy Heart

“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”   Zig Ziglar

happy heart

I really believe attitude and gratitude make a huge difference in our lives. The best test for a good attitude was when I was diagnosed with cancer almost 14 years ago. It was devastating to hear that dreaded word. I had two choices: feel doomed or fight for my life. Thankfully, I chose to fight and thought: This will not get me. I will beat it!   Keeping a positive spirit, doing things that made me smile and laugh, support from family and friends is what helped me through the most difficult year of my life.

It’s one of the main things I’m grateful for today. Gratitude and a happy heart go hand in hand. The more you give thanks, the better you feel. The opposite is often true too. When we grumble and groan about life, we open the door to more hardship. We all have bad days or times when things aren’t going well. It’s the course of life. I find it helpful after ranting to turn it around and recount all of my blessings. I always find the gratitude list is much longer.

There is actually an Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude Project at UC Berkeley and Davis to document and promote benefits of practicing gratitude which include:

  • Strengthen our immune system and lower blood pressure
  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • Acting with generosity and compassion
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated

Pam Grout, author of E-Squared and E-Cubed believes our thoughts can create reality. Love her recent blog on gratitude. As I continue to feel grateful, I really do feel happier, and it makes me smile when hearts randomly appear in my morning coffee.

Why Does Buddha Laugh

smiling-buddha-sm4.jpgWhen the Dalai Lama came to California a couple of years ago, I listened to his lecture via a webcast.  He spoke about peace, compassion, and global leadership while chuckling frequently throughout the lecture.  I thought it was funny (unusual) he would laugh during a talk on serious subjects, but his laughter contagiously made me laugh.

Another time, I had the privilege of attending an event with Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle both I admire as spiritual teachers.  Knowing of Eckhart’s difficult past, I expected him to have a serious tone.  He surprised and amused me by his elf-like laugh after each profound message.

Later I learned laughter is a sign of enlightenment – a blissful state where worries of the world are released, transcending you into a sense of joyfulness.  Once free from the conventional world, you can see the world in a new way.  Embrace it with sincerity and compassion.  The jovial expression of the Laughing Buddha, known as Bu-dai playfully encourages us to enjoy laughter of optimism.