Tag Archives: happiness project

Natasha’s 12 Commandments for Happiness

As part of my personal Happiness Project, I decided to come up with my version of Gretchen Rubin’s Personal Commandments.

Natasha’s Personal Commandments

  1. Be myself
  2. See things as they are not as I want them to be
  3. Let go of expectations
  4. Act the way I want to feel — fake it till I make it.
  5. Enjoy the process
  6. Identify the real problem
  7. Do what needs doing
  8. Play fair and show compassion
  9. Laugh often; have fun!
  10. Create something every day, however small
  11. Appreciate all I have right now
  12. Don’t debt materially or spiritually

They may seem obvious, but they are all things that have gotten me into unhappy situations at one time or another.

When I’m doing henna I’m definitely following all 12, but other aspects of my life require more diligence.  It’s not always easy to enjoy the process in my day job, or to do what needs doing now when what needs doing is a sinkful of dirty dishes… but I can start now, and if I fake that I enjoy doing dishes, then by the end of the chore, I’m actually having fun!  It’s pretty amazing…. now if I could only make myself feel that way about cleaning the litter boxes, I’d achieve Nirvana right now!

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The Quest for Happiness

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately.



Out of focus.

The usual winter doldroms.

So what’s the problem?  Scoutie Girl helped identify my malaise in her post today,  She asked: “Do you ever feel like things are out of focus? Like you just can’t see the bigger picture or know where to go from here?”

YES!  Yes, I do!  That’s exactly how I feel!

Scoutie Girl goes on to list a few suggestions to help nudge folks back on track, but none of them seemed to speak to me.

This malaise is pervasive, not just artists’ block or avoidance.  Things are getting done, but I’m not feeling the spark, the inspiration.

So, I checked out The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It’s a practical and down-to-earth exposition on what happiness is, or isn’t, and Gretchen’s quest to systematically bring more of it into her life.

I like how she starts with generating more energy and at the top of her list is getting more sleep, followed by exercise better, and tackling clutter.  All those seem like that would benefit me.  I’ve found that bedtime has been drifting later and later and then morning seems to be earlier and more difficult.  I used to exercise each morning, but since I’m now dragging myself out of bed an hour later, it’s all I can do to feed the cats and get the coffee brewing.  Definitely programming myself to get to bed earlier will help me get more sleep.  And reviving my exercise program will also improve my overall energy levels and probably my mood as well.

The clutter is a constant battle.  I make headway, and then a month later, the tabletop is gone again. Gretchen has definitely identified an issue in my house and I look forward to seeing how she faces it.

I’m going to create my own Happiness Project, loosely based on the book and Gretchen’s journey.  It will evolve as I go along, but for now Gretchen’s book is a useful guide to get me started on the path out of the doldroms and back into the creative hum of life.


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