This week for sure (unlike last week’s attempt) Happiness Between Tails and I will enjoying a short offline rest.
Whatever part of the world you’re in and however you choose to spend the days ahead, take care and you soon!
Happiness Between Tails by da-AL
Writing/Tales + Tails + Culture + Compassion
This week for sure (unlike last week’s attempt) Happiness Between Tails and I will enjoying a short offline rest.
Whatever part of the world you’re in and however you choose to spend the days ahead, take care and you soon!
Whelp… instead of my original post here, turns out I’ll be taking a break next week instead…
Have a lovely day!
Click H-E-R-E for my podcast page at AnchorFM. This week’s show is the audio version of the post below this blog post of “20 Podcast Promotion Tips by Fiona Livingston.”
At the Happiness Between Tails podcast page, you’ll also find links to subscribe, hear, and share it via most any platform, from Spotify and Apple Podcasts, to Google Podcasts and Pocket Casts, along with RadioPublic and Castbox and Stitcher and more, plus an RSS feed. Check out the full list of 50+ places.
Photo: K-D-doggie and me celebrating our cerulean SoCal skies…
Awful news and day-to-day striving are all I think about — why do I non-stop focus on those rather than celebrate any of the good stuff? Are you the same way? If you’re like that too, allow me to start us off, reboot ourselves as it were…
Hurrah! Today marks the airing of my 30th podcast show since experimenting with the WordPress-to-AnchorFM setup for when I publish “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat.” Jamie Foxx, in his book, “Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me,” (here’s my review of it) mentions a TV show needs 100 episodes to be syndicated. If thats applies at all to podcasts, I’m almost a third of the way through!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Better yet, my brother-in-law, Hakhamanesh, is here! Khashayar and I spent months and months readying our home to get things just right for his move from Iran, and turns out things are working out even better than we anticipated. After decades of filing papers, he’s finally here! To celebrate, we took a nice walk to an outdoor café…
On that light-hearted note, this one of Infidel753’s blog posts still makes me smile upon re-reading it. Check it out for a different way to consider romance writers, and a new viewpoint for how to wash your cat. You might remember Infidel753 from his guest blog posts here on being vegan and on volunteering to help women needing abortions to cross picket lines.
For anyone who doubts their celebration-worthiness — I’ve been the grateful recipient of many kindnesses from people I know, as well as many I encountered only briefly, virtually or otherwise. As bloggers, podcasters, and readers included, we’ll never fathom all the ways we impact each other, how our gentle deeds ripple into the world.
And another thought on things to celebrate — how many bullets have we dodged that we’ll never know about? Some time ago, while driving home, I stopped at a nearby red light and saw a mega-creepy driver leering at me. Once the light turned green, he followed me for several turns. Just when I was almost home and thinking I should head for a police station, I heard a loud crash behind me. He’d been smashed into while he was turning a corner. It calls to mind all the near misses, the bad things we avoid without knowing.
What can you celebrate personally, big or small?
Here’s a reminder for anyone who wants to help Shira help us all do better to make the world a better place for everyone. She was first a guest at Happiness Between Tails H-E-R-E.
Context, Critical Thinking, Continuous Learning: Project Do Better
Project Do Better works to create a society where every child is safe, and that is more fully inclusive for all of us.
Feedback: comment here, please, on this current 5th draft.
Project Do Better presents a vision of a world in which we all work toward a full safety net, and a better tomorrow, for all of us.
I have a request to make:
I believe that planning ahead is a good idea, so:
We need, still, a better central portal set up for the project (any volunteers to do that, please?). This temporary page works for now, I guess, maybe?
Oh, and a logo, please, although a friend of a friend may be working on this, not verified yet.
The sections, of my nonfiction WiP Do Better, every Wondering Wednesday, seek to build…
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As the Covid epidemic drags on and on and on, for what seems like forever, the challenge of keeping socially distanced is easier for some of us. For me, working on my novels (about the books I’m working on H-E-R-E), teaches me the importance of being okay with keeping my own company. Of course, I’m beyond fortunate that my friends and family are doing well physically, emotionally, and financially. That includes my dear dog, K-D. She breaks up the surrealism of these weird times by staying close while I do ZOOM yoga and pilates.
Make no mistake, Covid is horrendous in every way. Who among us hasn’t been freaked out by it? My husband and I got sick with it just before the vaccines came out. We were lucky to survive, fortunate to have gotten medical attention. That said, I’m still dealing with Covid-related health problems.
Whatever might stress you out, whether it’s Covid or otherwise, meet Caz, a London blogger with kindness so immense that she blogs her experiences into healing wisdom. She worked in mental health, and you can reach her at her site, Mental Health 360 dot U K, no spaces. These are her best tips for keeping our heads when anxiety threatens to do us in…
As someone who’s experienced severe panic attacks, I understand just how frightening and debilitating they are. I never want to experience another one and if this is you too, let’s look at how to prevent them. First tho’, in order to overcome panic attacks, you’ll need to understand what they are.
We’ve all had feelings of anxiety — it’s our body’s natural response to stress, and it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. For example, you may feel anxious about a job interview. During times like this, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal, but some people find it harder to control their anxieties. The most severe form of anxiety can trigger panic attacks.
We have panic attacks and panic disorder; one episode is a panic attack, which might occur following the death of someone close or another stressful situation. Panic disorder is when you experience regular and subsequent attacks. It’s a common yet very misunderstood illness and lots of people with this disorder won’t ever seek help due to fear and stigma.
The attacks can occur often and at any time, seemingly for no apparent reason. It feels like a sudden, unexpected rush of intense fear and anxiety along with a flood of frightening thoughts and physical sensations — so, panic attacks are not merely psychological.
If you experience panic attacks, you might then begin to avoid events or situations because you’re afraid of another attack. However, avoidance can create a cycle of living in “fear of the fear”, which adds to your sense of panic. This can cause you to have more panic attacks, leading to diagnosis of panic disorder
If we encounter a situation that threatens our safety, we’ll experience a series of reactions known as the ‘fight or flight’ response — triggered by the release of chemicals that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to flee to safety.
During a panic attack, we’ll experience similar symptoms, even when there’s no real threat involved. A panic attack might happen in response to situations that others find harmless. Symptoms include physical and physiological symptoms, such as these ten:
A panic attack generally lasts between four and twenty minutes, although it often feels a lot longer. However, they have been known to last an hour. I had them one after another, and all night for around three months and it felt like torture.
I can’t stress enough the need to practice the coping techniques. You know you wouldn’t be able to drive say on a motorway after having just one lesson. It takes practice!
Treatment aims to reduce the number of panic attacks you have and ease your symptoms.
The above lists are not exhaustive, and you may have other tips for readers, which you can leave in the comment section below. Please feel free to make any other comments and ask any questions.
Have you or anyone you know experienced anxiety or panic? What helped you or them?
Happiness Between Tails embraces joy — of writing tales… reading tales in books… cohabiting peacefully with our fellow creatures, some who have tails…
… arts… including music.. dance… cooking…
… and happiness — that includes living debt-worry free!
Here to address money is blogger Mr. Nahas. Down-to-earth and compassionate, he offers uncomplicated financial advice…
I hope all is well with you! My name is Justin Nahas, aka Mr. Nahas on my blog about economic freedom.
I was born, raised, and still live in sunny Florida. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Economics.
I have a passion for personal finance and economics — I just find the subjects so fascinating. I love how they can be applied to real life, and that there is always something new to learn about them. On my blog, I try to help people become financially literate, to take control of their finances.
Money is a problem in every part of the world and in many households. It’s important that those like me who enjoy personal finance and economics share their knowledge with others. One day I hope that I can blog full-time and continue to teach others through my failures, mistakes — and successes.
Today, I’ll discuss debt — but not how you might expect. I’m going to go over the emotional struggles that come with owing money and how to overcome those challenges.
Debt has a significant impact how we think, talk, and behave. I believe that getting over the psychological effects of debt is the crucial first step to living debt-free!
So, grab that cup of coffee that you made at home because you enjoy saving money, and let’s get started!
Have you ever thought about your debts and immediately began to stress out or have anxiety? Does the thought of your burdens make you feel like you can’t breathe? Do you constantly wonder if you are going to be able to repay the money owe?
Whether we want to realize it or not, debt impacts our well being. It can lead to stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and even depression; that’s not something you should live with.
A study conducted by Elizabeth Sweet, a professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, suggested that “higher debt is associated with worse health in a national cohort.” It proved that, “reporting high financial debt relative to available assets is associated with higher perceived stress and depression, worse self-reported general health, and higher diastolic blood pressure.” Sweet’s is only one study of many that link debt to well-being.
You aren’t alone in emotionally struggling with debt. Many are in the same boat as you. Many others feel stressed, depressed, anxious, worried, and worse.
That’s okay. It is normal to have that feeling, but you don’t have to accept it as the end-all. Together, we can tackle this emotional struggle.
By now, you’re probably asking, “But Mr. Nahas, how can I get over these feelings?”
That is a fantastic question. Read on for steps you can take.
I want you to know that it’s okay to have feelings about your debt; there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s essential that you know that your feelings are normal, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed. That said, you can’t live in your feelings; you can’t let them get in the way of your goals and overwhelm you to the point where you shutdown.
At the same time, just because you feel anxious doesn’t mean that you should just sit down and do nothing; you need to do the opposite. Instead of saying, “I am feeling stressed. I am ashamed of feeling stressed; I don’t want to do anything,” tell yourself, “I feel stressed, and that is okay. I need to let this stress motivate me to get out of debt.”
You have the biggest asset known to man – your mind. The beautiful thing about your mind is that you can control all of your thoughts and actions. Use your thinking to your advantage; tackle these feelings.
One way to do that is to accept that it’s okay to feel sad, anxious, stressed, etc. Another is to know that you don’t have to continually live with these feelings. Be proactive. What I mean by this is that when you get these feelings, tell youself, “It’s okay,” and then say, “I don’t have to live with this debt; it’s possible to get rid of it, and I will get rid of it.”
Always remind yourself that debt can be managed and that it’s totally possible to get rid of it entirely. Keep affirming to yourself that what you owe doesn’t define you and that it’s only temporary. This journey starts with your attitude and thoughts. Think, and it can be achieved!
Now you might ask, “Mr. Nahas, can I take a run or workout whenever I feel stressed or have these feelings?” Absolutely! Physical exercise can help tremendously with those feelings, but don’t forget to tell yourself what I mentioned above!
Validation: It’s okay to feel the way you feel. Don’t be ashamed. Use your feelings to make you stronger.
You need to accept that you have debt; it may seem trivial, but it’s an important step.
“Mr. Nahas, why would I need to do this?” Good question!
You can’t shy away from this problem; you need to tackle it head-on. It’s not one of those things where you can say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” It’s actually really dangerous to say that because you will then let compound growth take effect and wreak havoc.
To be in control of your debt, you must take control of it. Make a list of all the debts that you have and accept that you have them — and then realize that you don’t have to live with them.
You can pay them off and be free, but it’s going to take some work. It’s totally possible to dig yourself out from them, even if you are at the bottom. There are so many people who have then climbed out; they will tell you it’s hard work, but they will also say that it’s completely possible and worth it.
Before you move on to this step, you must understand and practice the two previous ones. You need to know it’s okay to have bad feelings about your debt, but you shouldn’t accept that you have to live with them. You need to accept that you have the debt — then realize that it’s possible to pay it off.
“But Mr. Nahas, where do I start?” you ask?
It’s important to have financial philosophies you’ll live by. They will help you see what’s important in your life and what isn’t. Once you realize that, you can create a budget and stick to it.
This may be hard for the first couple of months, but sacrifice now is worth living debt-free later. Once you stick to your financial philosophies and budget, you will see progress. Your mood, attitude, and feelings will change for the better. How long it takes to get rid of debt only depends on how much you owe. You got this!
I hope that I was able to help you with the emotional struggles of owing money. It’s totally possible to resolve all your bills; you just need to believe in yourself and master your mind. There will be struggles and days ahead where you feel like you “just can’t” — but you need to be strong and move forward. Keep being proactive.
If you have any questions or need me to clarify something, post a comment and I will reach out to you as soon as I can.
Thank you, friends, for stopping by! Take care and see you soon!
P.S. Don’t forget to visit my site, where my goal is to help as many people as possible!
What are your tips for feeling happier about your money?
FOMO: fear of missing out
COVID19 has nixed all that for me, replaced it with guilt for how great mine and I have it. No one I know directly is sick. Early on, a couple of brilliant friends were ailing from it, but after a stint at home, I’m relieved to report that they’re well and back to work… The weather’s been marvelous this entire quarantine… Working from home is no prob… Bills are paid…
Social distancing is hardly the equivalent of isolation. Being sequestered pales in light of flagging economies… people whose lives are overturned by illness and debt and worse…
Again with the guilt… Because as a soon-to-be-published author (and podcaster here!) — fewer errands and less commuting is lending me more time to think — and to write, write, write!
Authors fork over wads of money, more than I can afford, to attend retreats. I’ve often drooled over websites that advertise sojourns in the woods, luxury cabins populated with fellow scribes who share s’mores smokey firepits. The beautiful escapes provide meals and laundry and cleaning and errands — e-v-e-r-y single thing that hinders writing is whisked clean away. All I’d need to do (besides the money part) is to write and to talk about writing and to listen about writing! Sorta like being cared for as lovingly as if I were a baby — a writer one, of course — sans the diapers — no?
Writing retreat in mind, that’s why I’ve resolved to make use of the sequestering. I’ve knuckled down, slammed away at the keyboard. And it’s going pretty well! Other posts I’ve written about the pandemic are here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.
Fellow author/blogger Paul A. Broome is a retired English professor. He recently completed his first novel!!!! Yeah!!!! It’s named “Girls Who Don’t Believe.” Now he’s working on another!
He and his wife, Sadako, live in North Alabama with their two pets, Cody, a black lab, and Tora, who he affectionately describes as, “a crazy tabby.” Here’s a slice of his “sheltering-in-place” life…
We Americans are people who truly enjoy looking at things — any and all things. I personally do not see this visual obsession of ours as a problem. Looking at things can be understood as one of evolution’s magnificent gifts to humankind. Early on, we had to look carefully at the world around us in order to eat green leafy things that wouldn’t poison us and to avoid big furry things that would eat us. Now we happily look at things to satisfy our aesthetic demands, or more prosaically, to figure out whether or not we want to shell out the bucks to buy it!
At any rate, here we are, all of us, whether we agree with it or not, sheltering in place to avoid a virus, that can, for a short amount of time, float in the air, after someone sneezes, coughs, or shouts to their spouse at the other end of the pet food aisle to get two packs of Kitty Treats for Angel. “The one with tuna!”
Sheltering. In. Home. Is it really so bad?
I don’t think so, and many folks with whom I’ve chatted over these past six weeks do not think so either. Even when states, counties, and cities are trying to re-open, many people are reluctant to go skipping out to the nearest sports bar and hoot and holler while gulping down beer after beer. It turns out that a good number of cautious and wary citizens (I count myself in that number) had rather stay at home and finish that wonderful novel, the one I purchased last year, and never got around to reading. One friend of mine tells me that she’s gotten absolutely hooked on coloring books for grown-ups. She went on to say she bought a large set of colored pencils and has become fascinated with the way different colors work together. I’m beginning to think that’s not such a bad idea. But what about those moments when you have absolutely nothing to do? Or you’re just “tired” of doing things.
Here’s something I enjoy.
I love sitting outside and watching the birds at the feeder: red birds, blue birds, goldfinches, brown sparrows. It’s an endless show of color. And then the squirrels sneak up, and Cody, our black lab, wakes from his nap and chases them back into the trees. The trees that are now thick with leaves, green leaves, so many shades of green that flip and shift in color when the wind blows, and the treetops lean gracefully like ballerinas, and there’s a hawk, wings spread, held aloft on currents of warm air, serene and full of mystery, like those soft, white clouds beneath the deep, blue sky, coming out of the east, drifting quietly to the west.
And when it starts to turn dark? I watch it turn dark. It’s really quite beautiful.
I truly hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of my world. Thank you for taking the time to read, and I’d like to send a warm thank you to da-AL for allowing me to be a guest blogger on her site.
How about for you? Is sheltering in place giving you more time to pursue some of your favorite activities?
Is there a certain day that you least enjoy spending alone? Valentine’s Day is meant to be about love — let’s start with ourselves! It’s only a day — only one day — as are all days — wise reminders from guest blogger/ poet/ daydreamer/ writer R.K.B. …
Take a Shot -Facing Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety and Suicide
You won’t die. It’s not the end of the world, but I know it feels like it.
I get it. This day might even cause you to become depressed every year.
This year, let’s change that.
You are still worthy.
You are not worthless.
You have love, because you love yourself.
I know, it sucks because you might want to know what it feels like to be spoiled on this day. Or maybe, you just would like to know what it feels like to be acknowledged and told that you are beautiful. Sure, you can take yourself on a date and get all dressed up, but you’d want to know the feeling of having someone else to appreciate it and share it with.
I get that, too.
This isn’t your typical, feel-good post about how “loving yourself will cure all wounds,” because even though that is true, nobody really wants…
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Communication is not easy. Whether I’m listening, reading, looking… all my interactions are colored by my perspective that’s shaped by my present and past. Sometimes my simplest, most straight-forward conversations are with my dear doggie.
Who do you interact with most easily? Blogger/writer Bryan Wagner presents workshops on Zen, Tao, and Shamanism. Here’s his take on relationships…
Communion is creating and embracing an emotional, spiritual, sharing of each other.
We can enter a state of communion if we are present and each of us has the desire, openness, and willingness to remain so.
We can also use that willingness of communication to build a more intimate exchange that leaves traces of each participant within the other. That is the act of communion. Communion is not just language and sharing. Communion is a process further than language, it is the art of complete communication in the moment. Genuine communion happens when things move between those in relationship that is grounded in the awareness of the moment.
I believe that the sharing of emotional content is important to the state of being in communion. That means to express emotional, non-verbal content, and then allow the receiver to process it in whatever form that action takes.
Communion happens inter-species because spoken language is only a very small part of communion. Some of my happiest moments are in communion with animals. I think in part because they are aware and painfully honest in how they respond. Being with animals has the effect of clearing the detritus and fog from my thinking and reference frame on life. I engage in the state of love so readily with animals!
I honor and value those that I commune with and actively seek out building those relationships that offer that place of intimacy. I encourage people to embrace the idea of communing with others and seek those relationships out in their own lives.
Today I will spend some time communing with Spike and P’nut and a horse named Anastasia. I can’t think of a better way to share life. – Bryan Wagner
Who do you interact with most easily?
The smallest kindnesses of strangers, things that they probably no longer remember doing, have benefitted me for my entire life. Those gestures combined with the sorcery of books can conjure magic potent enough turn lead into gold!
Tom Darby is a blogger and writer, born in Chateauroux, France, raised in Klamath, California, residing in Spanish Springs, Nevada. He is an award-winning journalist and hall-of-fame radio jock. You can find his stories and other articles here.
Read on for Tom’s example of exactly what I mean…
The roadside tourist destination opened at seven in the morning, and I was expected to be there an hour later, ready to work. My job was to place a red-on-yellow piece of 15-by-5 inch cardboard on each automobile that read: ‘Trees of Mystery’ in large letters and ‘Shrine of the Redwood Highway,’ below that.
We called them ‘tags,’ those who put them on, ‘taggers,’ and the act of doing so, ‘tagging.’ The object of the job was to slip a piece of wire through the holes at either end of the tag and hook the wire over the bumper so that the tag could be seen as a vehicle passed by on the highway.
Advertising at its simplest.
There were usually three or four taggers on duty each day in the summer months. Each boy hauled a hundred tags and twice as much precut wire in a leather satchel in, through and around the vehicles that quickly filled the parking lot.
One early morning I approached a young couple from British Columbia, Canada, driving a burnt orange Volkswagen bus and asked if they’d like a tag on their vehicle. They did and I obliged them.
As I stood up I saw a thick paperback book shoved down between the dashboard and windshield. The artwork of a ‘naked woman’ swimming with a gigantic shark, mouth agape and swimming out of the depths to gobble her upheld my attention.
“I jus’ finished it,” the woman said, “Do you want to read it?”
She retrieved it and handed it to me.
“Thank you,” I responded.
It took me all of the summer of 1974 to finish “Jaws,” written by Peter Benchley. That gift helped to germinate, not only my young but ripening imagination but also my continuing desire to write.
Has the kindness of a stranger ever affected you profoundly?