Something to be Happy About

Dear readers,

Well, what a week for the American celebrity scene. The United States and the world are mourning the loss of some incredible entertainers. Oftentimes, the death of a celebrity can be so jarring; mostly because we as a society tend to think of earth shakers like Michael Jackson as ageless beings. And though few people's day-to-day life will be changed by the passing of Michael and Farrah Fawcett (and I daresay nobody reading this blog), it serves as a reminder of our own mortality. Legends have passed, and so shall we.
Ok, ok. I know. It's not quite a bonny topic. But, it has been a pretty stressful week for us all. We lost an Angel and a King. Now to turn to more pleasant matters. Since we can safely say it has been a tough week news-wise, I thought it would be good to share some of the things I do to stay calm under emotional strain.
14,000 Things to be Happy About, by Barbara Ann Kipfer. I was given this book for my 11th birthday and take it everywhere. The book is literally a list of 14,000 wonderful little things in life. For example:
- Blueberry pancakes
- Little girls in heart-shaped sunglasses
- "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas
- Hand-knitted mittens
- Green ribbon
- France
- Spring in North Carolina
- Freshly sheared sheep
- Sweet basil
The list goes on that way for hundreds of pages. Calms me down right away.
2. Handel's Messiah
Ohhhh Handel. Mr. Baroque himself. With all that ornamentation and just... so many notes, it is impossible not to feel taken away. Or at least completely distracted by the listening experience. I would share the "Hallelujah Chorus," but I won't. No, no. "And the Glory of the Lord" will do just fine.
3. "The Belt Pose." Unlike the other two, you need a little room for this stress reliever. According to my yoga teacher, if you were to only be able to do one yoga pose for the rest of your life, this one would be it. The relief to the hips, back, and legs is marvelous. Its official name is Supta Padangusthasana, or "Reclining Big Toe Pose."
Basically, you lie on the floor, straighten out one leg, and stretch the other in the air using a strap (or belt). For more detail on this and other "restorative yoga poses," go here.
Whether mourning the King of Pop, sweating a relationship, or just fighting the day-to-day drag, give something uplifting a try! I am sure all of you have great little tricks for turning your day around and keeping you centered. What are they? Please comment!