Where We Find Happiness

Here’s something I just figured out. No one is responsible for me. But me.

No one is responsible for my happiness but me.

And. Here’s a big one for me. I am not responsible for your happiness. You are.

You are responsible for your happiness.

I will let people down. I will let you down.

Ouch. That is so hard for me.

And yet.

So empowering!

You are responsible for your happiness.

I will let people down! Own it!

You will let people down!

Because. x and y and z. Because.

Human beings make choices. And mistakes. It is not so simple.

You must be responsible for your own happiness.

Do not give that away.

And so.

This weekend. My family. My boys. That’s where I find happiness.

Sitting in the car with Max watching Henry play soccer with Tim freezing on the sidelines.

Max and I on our adventure to his awesome piano recital on Michigan Avenue. On the nine foot Steinway. In the window. Serenading the tourists walking by.

Texting Henry about his game.

Home for Sunday night dinner together.

Happiness.

Imagine Again and Again

As ever – thanks to all for visiting the Carrot Seed.

A few months ago I posted John Lennon’s Imagine.

Once again it feels appropriate after the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Meetings recently held here in Chicago.

Including an auspicious visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
And No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

To Foster Non-Violence We Must Achieve Inner Peace

We can foster non-violence by educating ourselves and our children in the ways of compassion, empathy, and inner peace.

With affection.

With urgency.

We can train ourselves and our children in “wise selfishness.”

In the words of a semiretired simple Buddhist monk, “If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?”

Being in the presence of the Dalai Lama is to feel hope. Wisdom. Compassion. Inspiration. Humor. Humility. And again. Urgency.

He presents himself as a friend. An equal. A grandpa.

Who is on a mission to save the world from itself. By teaching how to achieve inner peace. And thereby. A kinder humanity. Kinder government. Kinder world.

Endeavoring to address the crowd without the use of his ever-present friend and translator, his heavily accented English can be difficult to follow. You must listen very closely to his words and watch his expression and demeanor.

In fact. It’s his demeanor that is most heartwarming. He is utterly congenial. Waving and smiling and bowing with his hands in prayer. His generosity, graciousness and humility was ever present in the way he rushed to ensure every person who was onstage received a white scarf. Each recipient slightly bows as His Holiness drapes it over their shoulders. And then he bows again to them. This incredible blessing bestowed with such genuine humility and kindness.

What an honor! I so wished I were on stage to receive a white scarf!

And so.

The morning discussion was dedicated to nonviolence and its role in creating a better world.

Three incredibly poised and brilliant 17 year olds presented their winning essays on the topic.

Such a wonderful job they did afterward the Dalai Lama came to the microphone and stated, “These people already know these things. They don’t need my talk.”

Indeed. But the rest of us certainly did.

You can change the world.

Practice. Train to find inner peace. And create a better world.

The Dalai Lama

I’m getting ready for bed. I’ll be up early in the morning. To see the Dalai Lama at Loyola University.

There is hardly a person in this world who I admire more.

How fortunate we all are to have him as a teacher with us today. By his choice.

How fortunate I am to be able to sit in his presence tomorrow.

With those thoughts.

I look forward to relaying his message.

Much love.

What’s in the Box? It Looks Like Cake!

Tim walks in the front door. Home from work. Carrying a big package wrapped in a pretty bag. I’m sitting on the sofa reading and working waiting for the rest of the family to walk in. Henry’s next. Then Max.

We’re all very excited. “Oh my goodness! What’s in the Box? It Looks Like Cake!” I exclaim. Suspiciously. As the boys anticipate wide-eyed.

“It’s not cake.” Pause. “They’re doughnuts.”

“We don’t eat doughnuts.” Duh.

“Yeah. But Don said these are the best doughnuts in the country. I had to wait in line 15 minutes. I couldn’t not get any.”

“Sounds like the Doughnut Nazi.”

“Precisely.”

And so.

The Doughnut Vault really and truly have the best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten.

Not counting the fry cakes from Schutt’s Apple Mill that I feasted on every autumn for my first 18 years of life. (Yes. I’m sure I consumed them at twelve months old.) Until sadly, I left for college where the doughnuts were nasty. But the autumn colors. Fantastic!

I digress.

The family has pretty much given up sugary treats and grain based products. For no better reason that we all feel better because of it. (If you would like a list of one thousand reasons to discontinue sugary treats and grain based products be sure to check out Mark’s Daily Apple)

Doesn’t a doughnut just scream. Sugary Grain Based Product!

“No Doughnut for You!”

Yes. But every now and again. When your husband walks in the door. With a box full of the best doughnuts in the country. That looks like a cake. You have to eat some. of. one. Or. two.

I’m glad I did. But wait. The day gets even better. Tim had another bag tucked under his arm.

A tied up lovely bundle of Homemade salami from the South Side. (I’d link it – but I think some dude made it in his basement.)

Just the right amount of spice and heat.

The perfect accompaniment to a bite (or two) of the forbidden Vault Doughnut.