Daily Archives: August 13, 2014

Expanding Your Happiness

meditationI registered for the “Expanding Your Happiness” Meditation Experience from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey as a way to deal with stress. It started on Monday and runs for three weeks. I’m hoping it will get me into a practice of mindfulness meditation, which is supposed to rewire you brain so you can focus better. Heaven knows I can use help with that. I have a bad habit of multitasking, and often end up spending too much time on trivial things (like cat videos on Facebook) rather than the activities that need my attention.

Like writing.

I’m planning to release a novella each month for the rest of this year. Since I’ve also got a day job, there’s no time to waste if I want to meet my goals. The last novella in the series is a Christmas story, and the holiday isn’t going to wait for me to finish the book. So it’s critical for me to stay on track.

Will meditation help? I don’t know, but I’m giving it a try.

Strangely, the last couple of times I meditated, it seemed to increase my stress level instead of lessening it. I started out in a state of bliss, and became more and more tense. It might just be a fluke, but I wonder if I’m wired that way. Because I’m so practiced at getting into my writing mind—my intuitive mind—maybe meditating actually takes me out of that state and into a more concrete, sensory one. And then, all the real world troubles come into focus.

My imagination is a happy place. I’m in charge. I have the power to resolve any problem. When people fight, they make up. If they disagree on a fundamental level, they learn to live and let live.

The real world is full of problems I can’t fix. So I do the next best thing—I write love stories with happy endings. Hopefully, they’ll give a lift to the readers’ day, and make their troubles slip into the background for a while.

And maybe that’s what expanding your happiness is all about. Finding something that gives you hope when the world looks dark around you. Living in a fantasy world isn’t the answer, but we all need coping mechanisms. Sometimes, books help. They give us perspective. They take us out of our own heads so we can see challenges from a new angle. As an author, I hope that’s what I give my audience.

How do you cope with stress? Have you tried meditation? Does reading fiction help you find solutions to real-world problems?

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