Excerpt from “Pink Hair & Chocolate Cookies” by Laura Lavigne (of the Center for Happiness, Anacortes, WA)
Many years ago, through the course of one of life’s strange turns of events, I met a woman who worked for an adoption agency. During while of our conversations, she unknowingly gifted me with some powerful insight regarding the importance of our attitude.
One of the cases she was managing involved the open adoption of twin baby girls. The girls were placed in two separate homes; part of the open adoption agreement stated that the agency was to provide the birth mom with regular reports about the girls.
When the girls were three years old, both sets of adoptive parents were contacted and presented with a series of questions. One of the questions concerned their appetite.
When asked about her daughter’s eating habits, the first mom expressed her distress: meals, she said, were always a struggle and created much family tension. The little girl would not eat anything, no matter how she prepared it – unless it had cinnamon in it. This made life very difficult and she could not seem to break her child out of the strange habit.
Presented with the same question, the second mom stated that her little girl was a joy to feed: mealtimes were usually pleasant as all the mom had to do was sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on her daughter’s food in order for her to eat pretty much anything. In fact, she was now keeping a shaker of cinnamon on the table, next to the salt and pepper.
The “bigness” of this struck me like a bolt of lightening. Within an instant, I felt as though I had possibly been handed the secret to a happy life. Or to a miserable one.
Stress, I knew, comes mostly from “resisting what is.” Ease, then, possibly comes from creatively celebrating the same. Not always an easy task, not even always a feasible task, but what if it were something we could achieve, let’s say… some of the time?
What if we were to say “to heck with the neighbors and to heck with all the voices in my head” and simply aimed for peace?
What if we weren’t scared? Scared of losing control, scared of looking soft, or like fools, scared that “this” could lead to chaos and anarchy?
What if we were more interested in being happy than in being right?
What if peaceful meals and happy interactions were worth a shaker of cinnamon on the dining room table?
I know that we don’t always choose what comes our way but we almost always choose our reaction to it, and that can mean freedom.
I invite you to take a look, today, at the places in your life where you may be choosing stress; where you may be choosing to be right. And where you may be able to choose to be happy instead.
And who knows? Maybe cinnamon tastes great on mashed potatoes.
“Excerpt from Pink Hair & Chocolate Cookies, by Laura Lavigne. lauralavigne.com” $14.95 – Signed copies
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Anacortes Center for Happiness
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