What is happiness?

Happiness: what a topic! Most of my clients want to be happier...they want more happiness and less suffering in their lives. Who doesn't? But, what is happiness? We all know it when we feel it, or do we?  Is it feeling good, joyful, optimistic, healthy, alive? Or is it a deeper sense of pleasure, satisfaction, well-being? A colleague of mine claims that "the happiest time of life for men is ages 60-69 and the unhappiest period is ages 20-29." Is this true?

Happiness is self-defined: your happiness may not look or feel like mine. The things that make your partner happy may not make you happy, and vice versa. Happiness is experienced not only in our neocortex (where our thoughts reside), but also on a total body level: a happy body is full of energy, flexibility, aliveness and strength.  It can take you almost anywhere and recover quickly from difficult situations. Let's define what happiness is for you. Complete this sentence:  For me, real happiness is _______________________. 

I recommend that you complete the sentence several times and write down your answers:  your answers may "deepen" the more you think about it. In my work with clients, I often use elements of Buddhist psychology to help clients identify and eliminate the sources of their suffering and locate the source of their happiness.  For example, if you hook your happiness onto someone else (e.g., your partner) or some event happening in a certain way (e.g., your boss being kind to you), your happiness is shaky.  A more solid, lasting happiness has got to come from a lasting source...a source that you can control.  The only thing you can control is your mind and body...and that's a challenge in itself. 

For some people, this is where spirituality comes in. God or Spirit is seen as the only unchanging source of happiness and, in theory, we need to align with this essence or presence in order to have a continual pipeline to happiness. Well, all you spiritual folks out there, how easy it THAT to pull off? Quite difficult, isn't it? It doesn't matter whether you have a spiritual belief system or not, happiness has got to come from within. There's nothing else we have guaranteed access to: money, your partner, your job, your house, it's all temporary and can be here today, gone tomorrow. 

In an effort to avoid a cookbook mentality, here are some possible ways to experience more happiness:
·    Identify what historically has brought you happiness and unhappiness.
·    Study people that you think are happier than you are. What do they have that you don't? If you can, ask them about themselves and how they find their happiness. 
·    Begin to quiet your mind: any activity that brings you more peace and quiet is setting the stage for happiness.
·    Find ways to let yourself be more spontaneous, e.g., more yourself: do you need to spend a day hiking, an afternoon playing golf, an evening dancing your ass off until the club closes?  How can you loosen up more? 
·    Live more in the moment.  Notice when you're off in future hopes or dreams and kindly bring yourself back to this moment. Happiness is only available NOW, not tomorrow and not yesterday. If you're stuck in the past, overanalyzing something for the millionth time, gently bring yourself back to the present. 
·    Experiment with being more flexible; if you can "go with the flow", your odds of happiness increase exponentially. If you have to have things your way, happiness is unlikely to fly in your window...because you're got it bolted shut and locked down. 

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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