You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. ~ Mary Oliver

It’s really so easy to find your happiness when your priorities straighten out. What do you really want from life? Will it take acquiring the biggest, best even better whatever or you’ll be disappointed? If you really had to sit down and write a list of the critical needs you have, knowing you better choose wisely, what would you list look like?

Why not try this? I used to think there were many things I couldn’t do without. And then I read a book about how Nazi prisoners, freed through WWII efforts were relocated to barbed wire camps in England. After the deprivation and degradation they’d already experienced, they had to undergo even more.

Have you ever gone without a decent meal for a year or so? I know I haven’t. But what if it came down to those basics in life we take for granted? If you’re worrying about what to feed your starving children, you can’t possibly be envious of your friend’s new car. Let’s put things in perspective.

When it comes to what we really need in life for happiness, it can be very simple. Shelter, enough food, and love. What else is that important? I’m not saying not to dream big. The bigger you dream, the more enriched your life will be.

It’s about how much time you spend being unhappy about what you don’t have, rather than appreciating what you have.

The simple things in life are truly free, and they’re the best. Whenever you’re feeling unhappy, walk outside. Connect to the trees, feel the texture of the weather that day, remember you are a living thing, just like everything growing around you.

When you forget you are part of nature, spend too much time inside buildings, you forget how great it feels to enjoy just that present moment. If you rest in the present moment, you will notice that everything is fine right then. You don’t need a fancy car or new techno widget if you realize what’s really important.

The only things you need to stay alive are air, water and food. Those are all graciously provided by God. Everything you really need is already yours. Have gratitude for what you have. Remain as much as possible in a state of gratitude and happiness will naturally find you.

And when you get a chance to do something extra special or go someplace wonderful like the beach, your gratitude will increase as will your happiness. This is me at Crushcakes in Carpinteria Beach. Being there is paradise and getting one of the Gobbled Up Panini’s is icing on top of that. Be happy with the little things.  Your happiness will increase and you will find your own unique happiness. Like Mary Oliver says above, it’s about finding what brings you pleasure and doing it. Simple.

This is also the secret to staying vital, animated and young all your life. ~ Stay Juicy!

~ by Lorraine E. Castro on June 15, 2012.


  1. I had been wanting to know if you ever considered adjusting the page layout of your blog? Its very well written; I really like what youve got to say. But maybe you could include a a bit more in the way of written content so people could connect to it better. You have got a great deal of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?


    • Hi Claire, sorry it’s taken so long to answer you. Your comment went to junk mail. I’d love any advice you could give me on this. I’m a newbie. You can contact me directly at lorcastro1@aol.com if you were so generously inclined.

      Thanks for taking the time for your feedback!


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