Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Be The Change January 2, 2015

Sometimes when you think you’ve mastered something, life has a way of reminding you how much you have to learn. That’s how I feel about this thing called change. As a young pup, it was exciting. It was something I looked forward to and sought out at every turn. That all changed the day I lost my birth mom and brothers. That was when I decided change was not my friend. Looking Happy

I’ve never exactly feared it or disliked it, but it isn’t something I necessarily feel fondly for either. So the fact that 2014 was a year of more change than I’ve ever before encountered might sound like it made for a pretty awful time of it. I’ll admit that it wasn’t always easy, but reflecting on all that change has a way of reminding me of its value. It might be scary at first (like it was for all of us when dear baby Carter first came home from the hospital a year ago today). But as time passes, it fosters understanding and appreciation for where we’ve come from.

What that means for me is a new perspective, not just on change, but on life itself in 2015. Like most things, change is only scary if we let it be. And fear tends to do nothing but bad things to most people. So while I’m against making resolutions I would argue too frequently fall into the category of not fulfilled, I shall again set a goal for myself this year. A goal, not a resolution.

It’s not necessarily something new for me, but it reaffirms a belief that has become the foundation of who I am. It pieces together the best (and worst) parts of the past into a present that bridges the gap to a bright future. Not just for me, but for those around me and those around them if all goes well.

This year I will find more ways to be the change I want to see in the world. I will live the passion I feel in my heart, knowing that the joy I feel can light the way for those around me who might fear the change necessary to make the world a better place. It’s no small goal, I know. But it’s important.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals,” suggested American philosopher Henry David Thoreau.

I would argue that’s because sometimes when you think you’ve mastered something, life has a way of reminding you how much you have to learn. When I was a pup, I thought by exploring everything at paw’s reach I would know everything. I could do anything and everything. Now I realize how much there is left to learn that only change has a way of teaching.

 

Just Keep Swimming April 3, 2013

Maybe it’s because I never knew my deadbeat dad. Or perhaps for the unconditional love I still have for my birth mom. I guess it could have something to do with the beautifully written storyline and brilliant character development. Whatever the reason, I get pretty excited about the Disney film “Finding Nemo.”

For those who might be unfamiliar (shame on you), the movie tells the story of a Nemo (a young clownfish out to earn his stripes and independence) and his dad Marlin (who spends the majority of the movie tracking down his beloved son). They each encounter and befriend unique characters along the way, including my personal favorite the lovable and incredibly forgetful Dory.Daydreaming

Something Nemo, Marlin and Dory all do a lot of in the movie is escape a number of dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations. Dory’s positive attitude amidst even the most scary of situations is inspiring. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOnPbNfKcds

Take that, negativity! As I found myself humming that song to myself today, my thoughts turned to my escape in life. While the best laid plans never seem to come to pass, there is one escape that has never let me down. I’ve said before I’m a daydreamer. (How else should I be spending all that time while mom and dad are away at that place they call work?) Today I realized my imagination is my escape. It always has been and always will be.

Mr. and Mrs. Prickles come alive. My friends from the past, present and future are there, canine and human alike. There is no shortage of peanut butter, and there is an abundance of love. These are things that happen in my imagination frequently. It’s my safe place from the negative energy in the world.

Maybe that’s why I love “Finding Nemo” so much. Of all the characters, I think I identify most with Dory. Before she met Marlin, she was a drifter, uncertain of her purpose in life. Joining Marlin on his search for Nemo brought her fears to purpose. She remembered things better when she was around him. “And I look at you,” she said to Marlin, “and I…and I’m home.” I know what its like to feel at home just by looking at someone. My birth mom taught me that. Now I look at my adoptive parents and I’m home.

 

Making Happiness a Habit March 11, 2013

The great and powerful “they” say it takes 21 days to get into a new habit. Good, bad or indifferent as the habit may be, I’d have to say I agree. On day 22 in a row of writing this blog, my newly certified habit found its words in a post on how money can’t buy happiness. As I reflect on that day, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I had happiness on my newly habitual mind.Happy Blogging!

Fast-forward to today: my 81st day in a row blogging every day and it is definitely a happy day in my life. Today I hit a landmark of 1,000 likes on Wiley’s Wisdom, which inspires me to contemplate Mahatma Gandhi’s words on happiness. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony,” Gandhi reminds us. I celebrate this happiness today.Joy

It hasn’t been easy blogging every day. I often worry about whether my stories are even interesting or my thoughts insightful. But this isn’t about me. It is about my heartfelt mission in life to share my thoughts on joy with as many people as possible through what I say, and that is exactly what I will continue to do.

So today I choose share the happiness I feel with you. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” as Gandhi would say. To every single one of you who have supported me, offered me feedback, and (in all honesty) been a friend to me: thank you. I’ve never really had friends before, at least not in the practical sense. Yet in less than three short months since I started Joy: From the Ground Up, I now have more than 150 of them. I am so blessed.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that I wrote one of my first posts on happiness the day after it became an unconscious habit for me. When it comes to coincidence I am also a believer in something I call “God things.” You know, those moments when the stars align, the heavens open up and the birds sing our most favorite harmonious song. Or when you think, say and do are in harmony, as Gandhi would say. But there’s this thing about those moments that I can’t help but find thought-provokingly ironic. You have to actually pause to appreciate them or the moment may just pass you by. I don’t think I have to worry about that anymore. It’s official: happiness is a habit for me now.