Joy, Peace, Happiness

Dear Reader:

Ellen Degeneres is always talking about and signing off her show by reminding us to be  ‘kind to one another.’  Yet…in order to be kind to one another…we first have to start with being kind to ourselves.

Fresh flowers are my gift to myself…when my garden is in full bloom…some times this means flowers from the garden…but to date I haven’t gotten to the point yet where I have an over-abundance of flowers to spare on a daily basis. So on a weekly one, while making the grocery store jaunt…I stop and buy whatever is in season.

Even before I put the groceries up…I immediately wash out the flower vase, cut and prune the fresh flowers, plop them back in the fresh-water vase and only then put up the rest of the groceries. Fresh flowers has been a top priority with me for many years…even when the children were living at home. It was my secret gift to myself…a reward for another week with everyone still intact. Flowers simply make me happy…period.

It is  part of the quest, we are on, of finding the joy, peace, and happiness within us that will provide the anchor we need for the challenges of life, itself.

In a Huffington Post article…titled “One Simple Phrase” by Richard Kronick, he narrates his own personal search for that joy, peace, and happiness we all so desperately want to obtain. Looking back on his early attempts…he ended up trying several repeated ‘mantras’ and/or pep talk/ cheers to steer him upward to an elevated feeling of peace and joy. Most worked for a time…but none got the ‘job done’ for an extended period of time.

Until one day… he was reading a short story called “A Flower Does Not Talk.”  He read the following story about a female Zen master named Sono:

One day, a fellow Buddhist asked Sono what he could do to put his heart at ease.

Sono replied, “Every morning and every evening, and whenever anything happens to you, keep on saying, ‘Thank you for everything.  I have no complaint whatsoever.’”

Coming upon this part, Kronick froze and slowly re-read the phrase.

“Thank you for everything.  I have no complaint whatsoever.”

Suddenly the wisdom of this statement began to form in his mind.

The answer came to Kronick immediately: gratitude.

When feeling grateful, one cannot simultaneously have feelings of anger, frustration, worry or fear.  Gratitude banishes negative thoughts and feelings.There is no room for negativity inside a grateful mind.

*I will have to tell you a true story that happened yesterday when I tested this ‘theory’ out. I had gone to Spectrum to pay my monthly bill and the room was packed with disgruntled customers whose televisions weren’t working since the change-over to digital a little over a week ago.

I could hear a lot of exaggerated sighs and I spotted slumped-over shoulders of aggravated customers who were just itching to get their turn ‘at bat’ to lamblast one of the workers. When my number was called up, a wearied-looking clerk asked despondently…“May I help you?”

“Yes, I replied, (cheerily) I just want to pay my monthly bill.”

I could literally watch the relief seep out of his body…”Is that it…any other problem?” he asked…still a little guardedly…as if this was too good to be true.

And then I tried it… “Nope….that’s it and by the way… (I, intentionally raised my voice and my cheeriness up another notch)

“Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”

I signed my receipt and sneaked a peek at a few customers looking at me curiously…but a couple of them did actually smile. It was a relief to cut the tension in the small, overcrowded room.

So until tomorrow…Every time we have an opportunity to show our gratitude to someone or some service…let’s remember to do so…getting rid of negativity makes light work of happiness, peace, and joy.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

I took my red lilies and separated them by their root systems…that beautiful pot had six different root systems with two or more plants together…I spread them  out all over the garden.

I replaced the spot on the table with citronella…situated in a pot in a cute little chair on the deck table. It smells good and helps keep the mosquitoes off the deck. Every time I walk out on the deck it makes me happy!

Dee Lesko just makes me laugh. I told her she should be a writer for a comedy sitcom television show. She will read the blog and then try out some of the ideas I might have mentioned…in the funniest ways. Her adorable husband, Mike, is always a good-humored cohort for her experiments. Here is an excerpt from her last comments on the earlier blog (Scents that Do Wonders for Your Well-Being) …She is so witty.

Next:  Your reference to the Scents that do wonders for your well being from the article by Lindsay Holmes from HUFFINGTON POST captured my interest big time. YES, I had to look the article up and make a copy of the entire list!  Thank YOU for sharing such interesting and delightful information. 
You shared an excerpt from the article:  “Fresh-cut grass can make you more joyful.” Okay, Becky…WELL…I just HAD to put that one to the test!  Mid morning Wednesday Mike mowed the grass here at home. I told him that I wanted him to sniff the grass after he had mowed and before he came back into the house.
He uttered a “comment,” and shook his head in disbelief.  (I had shared that list with him earlier in the morning over breakfast.) When he finished and came back into the house, I asked him:  “Mike, did you sniff the grass after it was mowed?”  Response:  “Yeah.”  I asked, “Did it make you feel joyful when you sniffed the newly mowed lawn?”  His answer was: “Well, I don’t know if I felt joyful, but I certainly felt HOPEFUL that none of the neighbors observed me sniffing at the grass like Chloe (our dog)!
I learned from the article that a pumpkin scent combined with lavender can serve as an aphrodisiac in men???  Well, I’m NOT going to put that one to the test!  But, just let me say that there will be no more pumpkin pies made in my kitchen!

Goodness, Dee, I love your sense of humor….thanks for brightening up my day with your fun spirit…and if, per chance, Mike does get hold of a pumpkin pie with a little lavender sprinkled on it….remember the phrase!

 “Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.”





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Joy, Peace, Happiness

  1. bcparkison says:

    Your friend Dee is a hoot. Bless her heart.
    I too love fresh flowers on the kitchen table. Even if it is only one bud. Just calms my soul.


  2. I too love flowers. I also like your posts. Thanks.


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