Monday, July 28, 2008

How to be Happy


Hi everybody,

Lately I can't help but wonder if its been "too much about me", regarding the subject nature of recent posts. Sure, it IS my blog and - as the immortal Bobby Brown so eloquently put it - "my prerogative" to post as I please. And we are all guilty to some extent of seeking gratification in its various forms wherever we can, whether it's through our blogging or by cruising the seedy areas of town (and then blogging about it).

But sometimes I feel the need to "give back" to the community, and I don't always have the luxury of drinking until that uncomfortable feeling goes away. Now don't take me literally. I certainly don't mean "giving back" in the form of returning all of the crap I've stolen oven the years. Thanks to the reach of eBay, those items could be anywhere by now.

However I CAN adopt a minimalist approach to this affliction by - at least - posting just once in a way that reaches out to others without the usual inappropriate groping.


So here goes.

I noticed that - while "needy" in some way or another* (* which I am NOT disparaging, since if you folks WERE well-adjusted ... there goes my audience) - the majority of you appear to be fairly happy. Sure there are a few who wish their life could be better, or existent, but - to give the benefit of the doubt - that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

But for each of us, there is a time when perhaps we should take inventory (as my neighbors have learned to do with their possessions), in the form of calm, lucid moments of self-reflection (clothed or otherwise). Are we truly as happy as we can be? Do we set ourselves up for happiness through our thought processes and actions? If not, how can we improve in this area?

Well, here are some tips for doing just that.


1) Take a Pass on Perfection

Trust me. I know you people enough by now to confidently state that in all of your cases this is a futile effort. So let's lower the bar a tad, and simply have you strive to annoy others as little as possible. That may boost their happiness, which should make you happier. Remember that we are all part of the fabric of society. Don't be the itchy part of the fabric.

2) Find Your Balance

I know this may be a foreign concept, so stay with me on this one. While walking upright does indeed require some degree of balance, "finding your center" is really what I'm talking about. It's being comfortable within your own skin, unlike the creepy Buffalo Bill character from that Jodie Foster movie* (* the name of which escapes me, it may have been "Nell", but I'm sure someone will remember the title in the comments). Perhaps for some of you, it's realizing that holding this Pug captive in your cellar as a sex slave is merely a temporary solution at best.

Wait ...

With the possible exception of one or two of you, I just realized that I don't nearly have enough time or space to properly explain how to find your balance. So let's find your center. As homework, I want each of you to look through your local phone book for any type of center that will keep you off of the streets. Could be AA, the YMCA/YWCA, Gambler's Anonymous, Army Recruiter, or even the local Recreation Center. Anything to keep you busy and your mind occupied.


3) Don't Try to Buy Happiness

Especially late at night by the airport. They just might mistake you for the next Green River Killer. Trust me on this one. 'Nuff said.

4) Switch Gears

My personal preference is "Park". That's when the booze in the glove box, blanket in the trunk, and Air Supply CD in the stereo come to party. For the rest of you, at least try to get out of first gear.

5) Lose Yourself in the Moment

The key is to focus on the moment in the same manner that you do on your cell phone conversation. Pedestrians and fellow motorists, and their self-centered attempts to live and distract are completely blocked out, aren't they? Use this same technique to visualize the moment (whatever the hell that is) as the only thing that matters and therefore exists.

6) Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

You can start by thanking me for this advice. And then, assuming the acid reflux hasn't gripped completely, you may want to thank me for my friendship. Then gradually work to the point to where you can even appreciate stop-and-go traffic.


7) Share the Love

By this, I don't mean that you should participate in orgies. So get your minds out of the gutter. This means you, Lamby. No, I mean that we should be more loving of each other (at least initially) without our own self-gratification in mind. When is the last time you went up to a total stranger and hugged them for no reason? Probably the last time you were arrested. Well, haven't you waited long enough to try it again? Do what I do: ease into it by starting with attractive members of the opposite sex. Initially stay north of the equator. If the reaction is not positive, pretend that you thought she/he was someone you knew from church.

8) Help Yourself by Helping Others

How often have we seen one of our neighbors moving in or out? Have we even once stopped to offer our assistance? Why not? Well, stop asking questions and get involved! You just may make a new friend, or perhaps acquire a new stereo that you didn't have to budget for. This is known in my circle as "paying it forward".

9) Choose to Choose Less

Think you own your possessions? Quite the opposite, my friend. Your possessions own YOU. They keep you from being nimble in your life choices and your decision-making. Be like me, and learn to envy those who can make a home from a poorly guarded foreclosure, with nothing but a knapsack and some basic tools to rip out the copper plumbing.


10) Introduce Your Body to Your Mind

I try to do this at least twice a day. But this is a personal journey that I'd rather not share on a blog that does not require a paid subscription.

11) Be More Forgiving

You can start by forgiving me for this and the other posts of mine that you've been subjected to over the past few years. Later on we can continue to test your resolve in this area by having you lend me money.

12) Pick Out the Positives

Everyday, I see many of my fellow motorists "picking out the positives" from themselves when they think no one is looking. That isn't one-way glass, pal. But that isn't what I want to talk about here. I'm thinking more in terms of reflecting on aspects of yourself and your world that you can feel good about. You haven't killed anyone, right? Well that can be considered a positive, depending on where you live. See? It's that easy.


Anyway, I hope this "advice" has been helpful; and that in some small way it has you convinced that you are entitled to happiness, despite anything your fellow bloggers may say to the contrary. Live well, my friends, and go in peace. Or better yet, just go.

.

37 comments:

GirlGoyle said...

I have attempted to Introduce My Body to My Mind countless times but the mind isn't cooperating - wants no part of it. I think I'll continue to keep the two separate as it seems to work best. Who wants to get stuck with a nagging mind?

JMEPED said...

I'm sorry, it's hard for me to focus on my "Secret" chapters when I can't get over the fact you steal ovens. You must be really quite a strong little pug. Do you strap them on your back and jaunt down the sidewalk like nothings wrong? Maybe your clepto habits is what's making that indian shed a tear...

limpy99 said...

"Don't be the itchy part of the fabric"

That was just beautiful. I'm going to use it in my opening speech at AA tonight, right before I call for a toast in your name.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Pug, we are in agreement! Have you been doing yoga or getting reiki treatments in order to align and balance your chakras? Balance is the yin/yang--I even wear a crystal amulet on days when I don't feel very balanced. Perhaps I need a tattoo.

I can't buy happiness because I can't afford it. But living in the moment sounds so simple and yet it's so hard to do. Why? /t. will know.

Little Lamb said...

I will try to take your advice and get my mind out of the gutter.

/t. said...

LOL
@ enemy!

/t.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I know the secret to happiness, Pug. It is knowing you and /t.! You both make me happy.

NYD said...

OK I see that you have sucessfully attained an esoteric blend of Rod Serling meets J. Krishnamurti pairs off with Nancy Pelosi and gives birth to Rosemary's baby, which just happens to resemble Dr. Phil.

Many a truth is said in jest.

Sassy Blondie said...

Pugsley, now it is official: I am in love with you in a desperate manner.

Please forgive me. ;)

dianne said...

Thank you Puggles my sweet for that sound advice on seeking that elusive state of mind called happiness.. Have you taken up yoga or Tai Chi perhaps, you sound very centered? I want the kind of happiness you just cant buy, you know what would make me very happy- 'being lost in the moment' with you my love. xoxox :)

Corn Dog said...

Oh Pugs that was the most hilarious and wonderful advice. I am off to follow it. Loved the "picking out the positives!" har har ... EXCELLENT POST PUG!!!!

puerileuwaite said...

Girlgoyle - I seem to get that a lot. The female always seems to be somewhere else. I used to imagine that it was me teleporting her there, but now I wonder if it's an attempt to flee.

***

Jmeped - Ok, I'm not sure where you deduced the "ovens" part. And I only do what I do, so that one day I can have enough moola to buy - oops - win your heart; then place a bun in your oven.

And the Indian seems to cry at the drop of a hat. All I did was ask him if Indians even get sunburned. When he said "no", I gave him an Indian sunburn to prove him wrong. Then he got upset.

***

Limpy - While you're at it, see if you can guess which ones are there because I drove them to it. Maybe AA will give them the direction that AAA could not.

***

Enemy - I check my chakras every morning as I gradually come to. In fact, my rap name is Chakra Con. Just learn from me, and don't look for yin/yang balance in tattoo parlors.

***

Lamby - It's for the best. Wool is way too absorbent for those places. Besides, you already make me happy as it is.

***

/t. - Why IS it so difficult to live in the moment? Enemy told me to ask you.

***

Enemy - Well this is rather awkward. I'm not good at sharing, but I'll give it a whirl. However, if the baby comes out with a moustache, I'm moving on.

***

(MORE REPLIES LATER!)

Little Lamb said...

Making you happy is a good thing. I do like making you happy.

/t. said...

pug,

i took
enemy's comment
as rhetorical, not prescriptive

however, as you ask, difficulties encountered to experiencing the nowness of existential reality, aka 'being in the moment', are rooted in the dynamics of the fourth dimension, or, 'time' in the physical universe, and can be more fully explained by theories of the non-Euclidean space-time of Einsteinian special and general relativity -- have you considered mind-altering substances as an aid to achieving a necessary state of stupor so as to properly perceive and process this information?

don't thank me -- happy to help

/t.

puerileuwaite said...

NYD - That's close. Mostly Rosemary's Baby, though. If that horrible Dr. Phil snuck into the mix, it must have been when I was drugged by Ruth Gordon's dessert.

***

Sassy - Forgive you? I'm right there with you. And - to the contrary - I'm delighted that you've made it past "Denial" into Stage 4. Please stay awhile and made yourself comfortable. I'm in no hurry for "Stage 5: Loathing".

***

Dianne - I'm not saying it's easy. For me, any state of mind can be elusive. I simply run in circles until I catch up to one. And thanks for asking: I practice a "hybrid" discipline that I call "Tie Yoga". I wait until the female gets into a form that I see unity in; then I tie her up. {{{ blushing at your last thought }}} XOXOX back!

***

Corn Dog - Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. I honestly didn't know how this one would turn out, reaction-wise. And since you are one of my "saner" commentators* (* some of them are real nutcases! I can say it, because no one ever thinks it's "them"), I was keen on your feedback.

***

Lamby - I like that you like making me happy. That makes me happy. Whoa! We are like a runaway nuclear chain-reaction of happiness.

***

/t. - Now I understand how the concept of a "Don't Ask / Don't Tell" policy originated. Thanks to your explanation, I'm completely lost in the moment.

***

(P.S. - Did anyone besides me (and possibly the state police) notice that I knocked out THREE posts last month?)

Little Lamb said...

I thought it was only two posts last month, but you're probably right about it being three.

Serena Joy said...

Do my eyes deceive me? Is this a ... new post?! I'll be back; I have to run outside and make sure the sky's still there. Then I'll come back and work on the integration of body and mind and see what I can do about my chakras.:)

puerileuwaite said...

Lamby - Ok, I'll admit it. Intentionally or not, you cracked me up with that comment! Sometimes I suspect you're putting me on with the innocent persona, er, lambsona.

I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire three posts or only two?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is an Apple Powerbook, the most powerful laptop in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

***

Serena - Lucky for you, I haven't yet decided if sarcasm is on the path to happiness, or actually obstructing it. As I await your return, I shall reflect on it, as I sit and adjust my own chakras.

Serena Joy said...

I'm back, Puggy, and bless you for waiting for me. Sarcasm is one of the staples on the road to Nirvana. Isn't it? I know it makes ME happy. And now that my chakras are adjusted and feeling happily sarcastic, I'm a happy, happy girl.:-)

Party Girl said...

Whoa, talk about coincidences. I was trying to find some self-love and pleasure in my possessions right before I came here...pun not intended, I optted instead to sacrifice on the purchasing of a new self-love and decided to help my new neighbors move in instead. Talk about almost missing an opportunity!

Little Lamb said...

I'm glad I can make you smile, intentionally or not. :-)

Enemy of the Republic said...

Whatever be the case, my Pugster, I am glad to see that you have joined the New Age. Together we will go off into the Arizona sunset with our crystals and single blend aromatherapy oils to treat the chakra challenged greed that this postmodern culture has birthed! Love it!

NYD said...

Is this really the way to avoid a pugnacious attitude and truly find happiness without dogma or am I just barking up the wrong tree?


Riddle me this?

/t. said...

i concur
/w nyd

/t.

puerileuwaite said...

Serena - Okay. I'll allow a "Sarcasm Exemption" for Redheads Only.

***

Party Girl - I wish I were there to witness the transformation. Beautiful moments are best shared.

***

Lamby - Well you do. So just keep on keepin' on, my little wolf in lamb's clothing.

***

Enemy - Will they have cappuccino there? If not, I'll bring my own supplies. Also, promise me that we'll at least TRY to score some peyote.

***

NYD - Wow. I didn't think of that. You've opened a fire hydrant of conflicting thoughts in my direction, when all I wanted was momentary relief from internal pressure. I may have to scratch this concept.

***

/t. - Pug is never having to say you're sorry.

Little Lamb said...

wolf in sheep's clothing. Hmmm. I'll do my best.

Does this mean my cover is busted?

puerileuwaite said...

Lamby, I'm afraid it is. Maybe this turns the tables and makes me Little Red Riding Pug.

++++++++++++

Owoooooooo
Who's that I see walkin' in these woods?
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything a big bad wolf could want
Listen to me

Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone
Owoooooooo

What big eyes you have
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad
So just to see that you don't get chased
I think I ought to walk with you for a ways

What full lips you have
They're sure to lure someone bad
So until you get to grandma's place
I think you ought to walk with me and be safe

I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on
Until I'm sure that you've been shown
That I can be trusted walking with you alone
Owoooooooo

Little Red Riding Hood
I'd like to hold you if I could
But you might think I'm a big bad wolf so I won't
Owoooooooo!

What a big heart I have-the better to love you with
Little Red Riding Hood
Even bad wolves can be good
I'll try to be satisfied just to walk close by your side
Maybe you'll see things my way before we get to grandma's place

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything that a big bad wolf could want
Owoooooooo
I mean baaaaaa
Baaa

Little Lamb said...

I'll protect you, Pug.

puerileuwaite said...

Lamby - I was hoping you'd "step up" and volunteer.

Serena Joy said...

Ahhhh, the perks of Redheaddom.:-)

K9 said...

i bet you are great on the "downward dog" yoga pose. now that your center is centered i expect you to be gentle on the supine pigeons and warrior seals! i bet you'd love to see your regular ladies in the "flowering lotus" or even better the "upright seated apple" grrherhahaha please stop peeing. that is the "tree" pose not an actual tree.

#6 and 9 should be an entire okrah show! and youre a lot cuter than dr. oz. better coat too.

excellent post. and a fine public service as well.

dianne said...

So sorry to have neglected you dearest Puggles 'O Wise One',your post has presented me with a new search for happiness. I've been trying to align my chakras and tap into the energy of the Universe for enlightenment. I like the sound of Enemy's 'single blend aromatherapy oils' I'm sure they could help me,maybe you could give me a soothing massage or I you? I already have beads. I am now sitting uncomfortably in the flowering Lotus position trying to meditate & centre my centre, I am feeling quite vulnerable so please dont sneak up on me you naughty boy & try to tie me up! :) <3

puerileuwaite said...

Serena - Anything to make a redhead happy for more than 5-minutes at a time. I enjoy a challenge.

***

K9 - You must have me confused with that sleazy cigarette smoking character in a jogging suit played by Dan Akroyd on SNL (it happens a lot, for some disturbing reason).

But actually I've invented my own positions, so the Yoga attorneys can't tie me up in the courts. For instance, there's the "Deflowering Lotus", the "Slumped Fiona Apple" and the Jimi Hendrix-inspired "If 6 were 9", just to cite 3-forms we can use to greet the sunrise before we turn in.

puerileuwaite said...

Dianne - I certainly look forward to a soothing massage where I don't have to take out or hide my wallet. Or worry about vice cops bursting through the door at some point. Or fret about an MSNBC crew following them into the room with cameras and a consent form.

But on the other hand, I've always wanted to test drive a Lotus. I heard those babies really hug the curves and make you feel like part of the machine. So count me in. I'll even sign the expected "Use at your own risk" waiver.

K9 said...

GRRRHERHERHHAHAHAHA!

cathy said...

you can't help but " live in the moment" well unless your dead!

puerileuwaite said...

K9 - You have no idea how I've missed that laugh of yours, buddy.

***

Cathy - You have a good point. And now that you mention it, I wish folks would stop making offers to help me not live in the moment anymore.