Saying goodbye is always a difficult time. It could be the end of a relationship, someone moving away, leaving a job or worst of all someone you love passing away. From 2017 – 2018 I had quite a few people pass away. It began to seem like just a product of getting older. Each one hurt and their leaving left a void in my heart. I searched to find something that would make saying goodbye just a little less painful. What I found is wonderfully displayed in this quote from one of my favorite philosophers, the loveable furry bear Winnie the Pooh.
As I thought of each of the people I cared about who passed away I realized and was taught many things. Not the least of which was this; the reason their loss hurts so much is because you loved them so much. The reason someone is loved has to do with many things. Shared great memories, being there for each other, and many other wonderful moments. How fortunate were you to have a person in your life that you shared so greatly with and loved so deeply? Many people never have that experience. As the years and people continue to pass I am forever grateful for everything they have brought to my life.
This does not make the pain of missing them any less but it does temper that feeling of loss with a feeling of gratitude. How lucky was I to have such amazing people in my life. Recently, I saw a drink that my late aunt Virginia used to love. She passed away at the end of last year. Sure it made me miss her, but it also brought back memories of times shared drinking one of these beverages. As I continued to recall other great memories of my aunt the end thought was the same, “Damn, I miss her but I sure was lucky to have such an amazing person in my life.” My heart may be filled with sadness at missing her, but there is also a smile on my face remembering all of the good times.
These thoughts are not just for those we have lost. They work just as good for those who are still here. When I leave for work in the morning my beautiful Margie is usually still lost in blissful slumber. As I drive to work I am missing the sleep I should be getting, but most of all I am just missing her. I wish I could still be in bed with her arms wrapped around me. Suddenly, I am even more frustrated I am not an independently wealthy, best-selling author….yet. Before these feelings turn my day upside down I have to reflect why I am so bothered by all of this. I have the most amazing and beautiful woman that I would much rather be with. She makes me happy and puts a smile on my face and in my heart. In an instant I go from frustrated to grateful and excited to make it through the day and be back home.
This is also true when it comes to a great workout or walk with my mother, a great conversation with my friend Russ, coffee with my friend Nick or a million other moments I wish would never end. When they are over I just reflect with gratitude on how lucky I am.
Last post we talked about my affection for the stories of Winne-the-Pooh. Today we are going to look at the above quote from this famous literary work of art.
“What day is it?” asked Pooh
“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day.” said Pooh.
In this quote we are given the gift of great wisdom hidden in what seems to be a silly thought. Today is the best day. In fact, today is the only day. Yesterday has already happened and we cannot change it. If we continue to live in the pain and hurt of yesterday we are doing so at the cost of today. If there is a wrong or hurt that happened yesterday we cannot undo it. The only way to attempt to remedy yesterday is to take action today to undo the wrongs of yesterday.
The same holds true for tomorrow. It has not come yet and will never come. Tomorrow is always in the future. Perhaps you have concerns about future tomorrows? The only thing you can do is act today to help those events in the future. Things such as purchasing life insurance, starting a health regimen, begin a savings account or many other actions that will improve your future. It is the actions we take today that will determine our tomorrows.
Fully enjoying the day we are currently in is the only way in which we can live a truly positive and rewarding life. If we live in the regret of the past we are giving away our peace of today. If we delay our happiness for a future event we are doing the same thing. That is not to say you shouldn’t have things to look forward too, but enjoy the process while you are waiting for them to arrive. Make today your favorite day. Let us all take this great lesson from that friendly bear and his woodland friends.
For quite some time now my nickname has been, in some form or fashion, ‘Bear’. Most recently, the love of life calls me ‘Honey Bear’. Not sure how this started. Perhaps it is my voracious appetite during the fall months. Maybe it is even my tendency to put on weight and sleep countless hours during the winter months. Not quite sure. In addition to those attributes there are a few famous bears I really admire.
One of those famous bears is Winne-the-Pooh, or Pooh for short. Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed the stories of this bear and his friends in the 100 acre wood. As a child I suppose you are just drawn to certain things and are not sure why. In the late 90’s as an adult I was afforded to look at this bear in a very different way. I picked up a copy of the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. In this book he compares all of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh with the different religions. It may sound odd, but I found it to be strangely accurate. There was also the book Winnie-the-Pooh on Problem Solving by Roger and Stephen Allen. In which the characters, and Pooh specifically, help CEOs and others solve problems. This may sound a bit far-fetched until you consider how some of the fundamentals we are taught in childhood are forgotten in our adulthood.
Knowing of my admiration for this Ursine movie star, Margie bought me the latest Pooh movie for Christmas. In this film Winnie-the-Pooh encounters an adult Christopher Robin who has forgotten what is truly important in life. Through his simplistic outlook, and amazing compassion his childhood bear helps him fix his adult life. It is a great movie I recommend for those of all ages. It will help you get in touch with your childhood spirit and remember what is really important.
As a side note, Margie and I spent the last few hours of Christmas Eve watching it and I have to admit it was some of the best 104 minutes I have spent in a very long time.
Ok, 2 days in a row with pictures of me? Only because these are lessons I’ve learned in my own life I’d like to pass on. I would like to begin with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon” – Edward Sanders
If you are unfamiliar with that name, let me tell you his less formal name, Winnie-the-pooh. Yes, I was a Pooh fan as a young person and have found some new and interesting wisdom in them as an adult. (I highly suggest reading “The Tao of Pooh) So what does this piece of advice from a stuffed bear have to do with the picture of me above and more importantly with living an amazing life? Sources my friends.
Here is the thing. A balloon makes me smile. Not 100% sure why, but how many people have you seen holding a balloon and not smiling? Here is the cute thing, I told the lady in my life how I felt about this and she purchased the balloon for me in the picture above. So why am I holding my book A Happy Life for Busy People? Inside there are many tips on places to find happiness in your everyday life. If you care to get a copy click the link above.
So what makes you happy? When I ask most people the first thing that comes out of their mouths is “I don’t know”. Many really have to stop and think about it. A few posts back I advocated compiling a list of things that make you happy. I am going to take that one step further and tell you two other things. Once a week, add one of those things to your life. It could be as simple as a balloon or a bunch of flowers that may not last forever, but will bring a smile to your face. Perhaps a special dessert, or time with that special someone? The second thing I am going to ask you to do is to spread this happiness by selecting one person a week and discovering what makes them happy. You can ask directly or be a little more coy about it. Then, pick up something small and simple to bring a smile to their face. I can’t tell you how much the balloon Margie brought me lifted my spirits. So do it for the one you love this week, then perhaps a coworker next week? Maybe a friend the third. showing you listen and care will mean just as much as what you bring them. Let us all spread a little joy to each other.
As always feel free to spread the word about Secret2anamazinglife.com to all of your friends as well.
Quite often we find ourselves in a situation we cannot see the good in. Why did this happen? Try as we might we are unable to see the light in the darkness. What to do then? Just accept the fact that life sucks at the moment? If you know anything about me personally I believe feeling what we perceive as negative emotions can be a great learning experience as long as we choose not to live there. So after some head scratching and maybe even a few colorful words what should we do? Take a look around. See what we still have in our lives that haven’t left us. Maybe it is our faith? Maybe it is even our job obligations? Sounds weird, but when we feel on the outside of life looking in, knowing that our job needs and expects us to be there can go from a burden to a blessing.
Here is another great thing to look at. Who is still there. We have all had moments in our lives when things are not going our way. The worst times I can think of is when we don’t live up to our own standard and let those we care about down. Take a look around and see who is still there. They always say you can only see the stars when it is the darkest. Ask yourself, who are the stars in my life? Who shines the brightest when I am at my darkest. be thankful for them. Use the down periods to be grateful for what is left, then focus on reclaiming what you want to be.
Proof that inspiration can strike anywhere, let me share some advice from a very sage philosopher, Winne the Pooh. Yes, the childhood character created by A. A. Milne. What can we learn about living an amazing life from a stuffed bear? Plenty. These words actually come from the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. It explores the different religious beliefs in the context of the characters of Pooh and his friends. Sounds crazy I know, but check it out, a great read.
Ok, the part we are dealing with today is called the cottleston pie principle. It is based on a silly sound that Pooh sings as he walks through the Hundred acre wood where he lives. Again, the words seem simple, but the wisdom is hidden in there. We are going to look at one verse at a time. Here is the first.
cottleston, cottleston, cottleston pie,
a fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
ask me a riddle and I reply:
“Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie’
What exactly does all of that mean? Seems rather straight forward, but you would be amazed how many people do not understand. So many people are busy trying to be something they are not, or worse yet expecting everyone else to be something they are not. How much simpler would life be if we all realized our strengths and weaknesses and accepted others as well. Perhaps you have a coworker who is, shall we say…’sunshine challenged’ instead of viewing them as a burden, we can view them as a reminder to remain positive. You would no more use scotch tape to fix your car, than you would use a welding torch to put a torn piece of paper together. Everything has its use and purpose. When something seems ‘bad’ or ‘useless’ consider changing your view of it, or what you may use it for.
Still having trouble accepting advice from a talking bear? How about advice from a world-famous physicist? These words come straight from Albert Einstein and happen to be one of my favorite quotes of his. They also echo the words of the world-famous bear above.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”
So whether you repeat this quote to yourself or sing the verse above, it is important to remember everything, and everyone has a purpose and something they are good at. Do not be to hard on yourself or others. Maybe you just haven’t found what you are here for yet. As Einstein said, Maybe you just haven’t found your genius yet.