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There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world. -Robert Louis Stevensonimages

Throughout three years of blogging I’ve touted the benefits of working through post-adoption hangups. OK, so adoptees have deep-seated challenges to deal with, issues that will never completely vanish but need to be tamed, subdued and controlled. Enough already! Having grown weary of these “issues,” I’ve set a new goal for 2016: ADOPTING HAPPINESS.

I’ve been greatly helped in this quest by Claire Cook’s new book, Shine On~How to contentGrow Awesome Instead of Old. This volume appeared in my life at the perfect time. As I embark upon this NEW YEAR, I’m armed with inspiration and optimism, thanks to Shine On. Unlike so many “self-help” books I’ve read and long forgotten, this charming volume will stay with me. Far more than a book, it offers a concept—a refreshing new “flip the script” approach. Claire Cook took me on her journey, sharing ups and downs, challenges I related to. The brevity of the chapters, the delightful surprises (recipes, lists to be made, beauty tips), good advice, and a friendly, confidential tone all made the reading sheer delight. Shine On was like a visit with a dear friend who had only my best interests at heart!

Google “happiness” articles and you’ll find a tsunami of lists, formulas, and “foolproof” methods for achieving happiness. These suggestions invariably include such advice as practicing gratitude, expressing emotions, and giving up on perfection. Fine, sensible ideas, and do-able. Claire Cook’s book is unique in that it helps the reader craft a personal list of top five happiness breakthrough resolutions.

Here are my five:
Write every day (this is important, as I’ve just started a new novel).
Have some fun.
Refresh wardrobe – not with buying new stuff but using the old with more flair. Eliminate the duds.
Take time daily to read. This relates to #2 on the list, as one of my most fun activities is escaping into a good book.
Return to playing bridge. I grew up with this card game but have grown rusty. Established a foursome; we plan to play weekly.

YOUR TURN: What are your top five?

________    ________    _________    __________    _______

Read Claire Cook’s book to learn specifics about the list of five. But until you do, just go for it, make your own manifesto.

As Sarah Ban Breathnach puts it in Simple Abundance, “Be courageous. Ask yourself: what is it I need to make me happy? The deeply personal answers to this vital question will be different for each of us. Trust the loving wisdom of your heart.”

Join Elaine for reflections on Adoption and Life

Join Elaine every other Monday ~ for reflections on Adoption and Life

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