Happily Ever After

 

 

The wilds touch my back door. A part of them does anyway. Strangeish insects and unfamiliar Corvids enliven the “wilds”of my new backyard.  Tall skinny Evergreens surrounded by persistent English ivy. Small deciduous trees that await new spring leaves dot the landscape accented by bright green moss providing splashes of color that reminds me that spring really truly here.

A tiny brook babbles on by fifteen feet below. I can hear frogs in the morning and the friendly neighbor’s cat comes to greet me in the bright but cool sunshine. I am beginning to attune to my new atmosphere.

It is different here but I find much beauty in this newness.

I am now an apartment dweller. My big yard has been replaced by this woodsy spot with two cement slabs and the before-mentioned surrounding moss which will now serve as my garden area. I have three large pots, empty for now. I will certainly get more. Out of the thousands of plants in my old yard I brought only one; the meadow rue. It lies dormant under the soil in an indigo planter awaiting warmer weather.  It wasn’t a choice I wanted to make but in order to make a new life for oneself one must put aside the old.

I have done a lot of that lately; setting aside.

After a 17 year relationship I parted ways with someone who wasn’t good for me. My trusting nature and naivety paired with my wholehearted belief in redemption kept this damaging storm rolling much too long despite the, obvious to others, unhappiness it was bringing me. When living inside the eye of the hurricane; the epicenter of emotional and psychological abuse, you can’t see how bad it really is. Over time the abnormal can become the normal.

And a deep sadness can embed itself in you and you don’t realize how awful it really is in part because if you stop and do this it will break your heart and maybe you can’t go on. And so I put what I thought was a convincing happy face to the word and went on. Inside a hole grew and grew and in time, by the end of those 17 years, it was a giant gaping hole…a chunk torn out of me and beat to hell.

My yard which was in it’s entirety what I deemed my salvation would have to be left behind. My  cats too. Spotsy and my Mario would stay with the house and the yard and it’s owner. I left with my two kids ( 18 and 21 ) to go live in an apartment across town. A new place of sanctuary. A place of  freedom with my name on the lease.

It’s different but it is becoming home. Home is really in the people you are with not the place anyway.

I was fortunate to meet someone at work. An amazing person I knew that I knew the instant we met. I have been having the pleasure of getting to know him ever since. We all live together in this apartment that skirts the edge of this thin strip of urban woods.

There is a freeway that lies beyond it. I can hear the traffic, its steady hum sounds like the ocean to me, it is easy to drift to sleep to.

I feel free and happy and loved. I feel confident and hopeful, more than ever.

The hole in my soul is filled, love pours out and spills out into the world. I am grateful. I thank God everyday. I am blessed beyond measure. I have the opportunity to start anew and this I will do, This I am doing.

 

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill

~nlm

George Harrison – What Is Life

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The Serendipity Effect

 serendipity


 


rainbow art

Some say it finds you! 

Fortunate happenstance perhaps…good things coming by chance..happy accidents…

What is serendipity and where can I get some of that potent elixir?

 Serendipity is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

 

Life is a fast paced, whirlwind of a trip with plot twists and turns, unexpected snippets of senselessness tempered with semi-predictable outcomes. I say semi-predictable because I am of the philosophy that we make our own destiny and that destiny certainly make us. We can prepare for and harness both what we can and cannot control to our best advantage.

 

It was Norman Vincent Peale who inspired us all in his wildly popular “The Power of Positive Thinking”

I have read this classic at least a decade ago. And it inspired me. Many truths are contained within the pages of books. Peale explains in this book that our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.” I have taken this advice to heart…or mind, so to speak.  What we see and what we believe creates our reality.  Appreciation is key and what we think about what we already have taints whatever we encounter.  I never was always so positive as I am now. I’ve spent a great part of my life as a sarcastic cynic who believed that if I never believed in anything or anyone that I would never be let down.  I was ever wary, I had “seen it all”  I expected the negative and had no problem finding it.

I realized that if I wanted to change my life I would have to change myself and my outlook.  And I  decided to believe in all this, what I thought at the time was crazy mumbo jumbo because I really had nothing to lose.

 

We can recite platitudes, embracing their meaning but not truly believing in them. A lot of this stuff makes for excellent sound bites. We can sound cool and enlightened to our friends.  I known people like this who seemed to have something to prove by reciting every guru and free thinking wise person from Buddha to John Lennon.  Words can inspire but it’s what we do with that inspiration..

Serendipity is such a word.  It is inspiring, yes….

cat lady sunflowers friends pet
“Serendipity: Such a beautiful word describing the occurrence of events by chance. I like to think it’s the energy you put out into the world and the world returning your energy with love.” ― Steven Aitchison

 

I realize what I am saying may be construed as sounding too Pollyannaish  or too easy.  Real life is not like that. I know firsthand how damn ironically unfair it can be. I have found myself many times awestruck at life’s ironic unfairness. I could venture to say that a sense of humor helps but sometimes in life nothing seems to work and all the good thoughts and positive actions in the world cannot change that…

Ever have one of those days that start out horrid and end up atrocious?  No matter how well  intentioned and positive you are, you can’t win them all, no one can. That seems like a worthless platitude that doesn’t make anyone feel better. Truly it is only ourselves that can allow us to feel better.

 

Through our actions and reactions to events and nonevents we scatter seeds. Some get rooted deep in the ground long forgotten and some of those can seemingly out of nowhere erupt out of the ground and grow into something wonderful. It comes as such a surprise one can almost trip over it’s fantasticalness.
Serendipity isn’t what we find. It is not simply some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We can engineer serendipity by making something out of what we find, knowing this and then expecting to find it in the first place.

I could venture to say that positive thinking borders on the magical but it is not magic.

 

 

sun flower field sun happy nature

I think we can and do encourage serendipity by the choices we make, by our attitudes and by the way we treat others.  Put good out there in the world and with patience it will come back on you. Never stop believing, never stop putting your best possible foot forward.

I have seen people with good intentions try positive thinking and abandon it far too early expecting instant results. It doesn’t work that way.

Life runs in cycles, it ebbs and flows, no matter positive you are bad shit is going to happen to you. Conversely, so is the good shit, the trick is to learn from the bad and don’t take the good for granted…or too seriously. Goods things often take more than the power of positive thinking, no matter how powerful. Hard work,  perseverance and time with a pinch of luck makes the cake and when that’s topped with creamy optimism, the combination tastes like sweet success.

 

~NLM

people happy enthusiatic color confetti women

 

 

 

Serendipitous Quotes

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“Cultivate the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities.”
Gina Greenlee

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“Success is three parts hard work and one part serendipity; this serendipity is a direct result of the other three parts of hard work.”
Ken Poirot

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“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”
― Norman Vincent PealeThe Power of Positive Thinking

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Related articles

SERENDIPITY was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, inspired by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
SERENDIPITY was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, inspired by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

 

Engineering Serendipity  (Nytimes.com)

10 Awesome Accidental Discoveries (popularmechanics.com)

George Harrison – What is Life 

 

Fresh Quotes: LOVE Hafiz

 The words of Hafiz:  How they enchant. They move, they writhe and wiggle up and down from right to left; dancing like crazy….inspiring me like crazy… Hafiz is another one of my favorite poets. Never mind he wrote these words in the 1300’s. They are timeless, ideas even more so.  Translation adds a twist to these quotes. Daniel Ladinsky does a superb job. It’s hard to tell how much of himself he adds to the text. I concentrate more on the pleasure of reading and the places my thoughts travel to, invoked by the ideas, the whimsy and the thoughtfulness.

LOVE is always inspiring. Poetry lends the power of words and ideas and Hafiz adds the magic. Enjoy!

The following quotes are by Hafiz

 heart of compassion art

Your heart and my heart
are very, very old friends

Arces Natural Park Utah USA night sky rock vista star
Arces Natural Park Utah, USA

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.

 

shadow morning sun woman

 You carry all the ingredients

To turn your existence into joy

moon vintage woman

“I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious –
So kiss me.”

vintage love couple kiss dunaway_cornwellengagement_connection_photography_34_low kiss

Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

 

Gustav Klimt’s The KISS art
Gustav Klimt’s The KISS

 ♥

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

gif hawaii ocean sunset gold

The tide of my love
Has risen so high let me flood
over

You. 

a-single-rose-of-love woman love romance

How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too frightened.

blue sky seed potential dandy

Let us be like

Two falling stars in the day sky. 

Let no one know of our sublime beauty

As we hold hands with God

And burn 

Into a sacred existence that defies –

That surpasses 

Every description of ecstasy

And love.

Hafiz quote Persian_Poet_  Love

hafiz

Hafiz (also spelled Hafez), whose given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad, was one of the greatest of Persia’s mystical and lyrical Sufi poets. He was born in Shiraz in southeast Persia (modern Iran) c. 1320 and died c. 1389. He is affectionately known as “The Tongue of the Invisible”. His poems were artfully translated and interpreted by American poet Daniel Ladinsky.

Spiritual Sun  heart art radiate love

References and Related Articles and Recommended Reading 

Hafiz Bio (hafizonlove.com)
FRESH QUOTES: RABINDRANATH TAGORE 
Fresh Quotes: LOVE RUMI
"The Gift" Poems by Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master * Daniel Ladinsky
"A Year With Hafiz" Daily Contemplations * Daniel Ladinsky 

The Making of MAGIC

 

 

There’s much to be said for the way we look at things. Our vision is tempered by what we expect to see. Look for ugliness and you’ll find it, the same goes for beauty for both can be found in everything. It is the way we look at things which control what we see and how we see it.

We create our own reality. I know how that sounds; like some metaphysical mumbo~jumbo that seems profound and  wise but an idea that some of us may find difficult to grasp, myself included. Real life is the reality we live with every day. It can be cold and hard and can smack one right in the face.

If I had control of all reality…seriously…I would eradicate war, hunger and poverty, mean people and bad hair days too..all that stuff. Most of us would but that does not make it so. We can see the state of the world.  Who wants that? It’s so overwhelming and beyond anyone’s power and control but we can control some things.

And that is where the magic comes in…

 

Zenith_by_MescalineBanana art psych
“Zenith” By MescalineBanana

Yes…back on the magic. I realize you are sophisticated and have a certain sense of the world that is pretty much on target. I like to think of myself as an open-minded sort who is tempered with a fair amount of skepticism. I want to believe in Santa Claus and in unicorns and elves and giant talking trees. Do I really, truly believe? Perhaps not, but am I certain? Can I be 100%certain of anything?

 

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 Any 

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Any minute now my knight in shining armor will pop up riding a unicorn and whisk me away from my life of drudgery.

😀

Not likely…but I do contend there is magic. This I know for sure.

Magic exists! I know for I have seen it. It is all around us.

gratitude-zen-life-coaching hands magic

“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”
Charles de Lint

 ♥

 LOVE is magic…so is gratitude.

Attitude is everything: We choose how we feel; happiness is a choice and so is dissatisfaction. Pretty much we are as happy as we make up our minds to be.  I have found this to be true after much trial and error.  There was a point in my life a few years back when I very much needed this to be true…

..and so on blind faith born of desperation I believed. I willed myself to believe and I didn’t stop despite all my wishes not coming true.  I learned that my happiness cannot be based on outside forces. I had to stop reacting to life and start acting. My challenges gave me an insight I wouldn’t have had before; an appreciation for perseverance. A willingness to go the extra mile without a promise of reward, the strength to carry on despite it all….and through all this I believed.

 

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and MAGIC in it.
W. H. Murray

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I am learning that the most direct way we create our own reality is by our own actions.  Action powers everything we do, everything we create, we are responsible for the kind of world we live in–all of us.

We can have a world where magic exists, we just need to create it.

 

art psych girl bubbles universe

I found happiness in gratitude and in taking pleasure in tiny things. Oh what a joy this has given me! It is a gift granted to me by circumstance.

 

 hands and moon

 

We can embrace these wonderfully human and magical traits like love and compassion, generosity, altruism and understanding. We can reach out to each other in friendship, our minds and hearts open. We need to stop paying attention to what we are told to think and believe and learn to trust in our own hearts and our own souls again.

These are natural inclinations.  Bring these into your life and miracles happen…

Magic happens…and it’s contagious.

Have a magical day!

 ♥

Nancy

 

 

web-of-lifeA-550 fantasy art

“When you’re touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again. What really makes me sad is all those people who never have the chance to know that touch. They’re too busy, or they just don’t hold with make-believe, so they shut the door without really knowing it was there to be opened in the first place.”
Charles de Lint

 

 

Magical Related Articles

You Create Your Own Reality: Here’s How

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz by Judy Garland

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

 

Balloon flights in Turkey optimism sunrise happy sky

Whimsy

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”
― Lewis Carroll

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Have you ever allowed yourself to be caught up in flights of fancy? Do you savor spontaneous moments, taking delight in the quaint and unusual?  Then perhaps you have partaken of the sweet nectar called whimsy.

I partake quite often as it seems; my thirst is seldom sated.  I suppose at times just plain reality can get boring and it certainly gets less stressful having somewhere fun in my imagination to wander to. This is helpful to me. I like to taste each tiny bit of delightfulness that comes my way….fortunately there is a tremendous amount in this world to delight in. I often find that it is in the small and mundane moments where I can find these sweet little pockets of joy. I believe there are deep veins of happiness out there….or in there just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

Just the other day while I was singing along to the radio and washing the dishes my cat spontaneously jumps up and sits on the edge of the sink. He gazes up at me with an earnest intentness seldom seen in cats, at least that is what I imagine it is as I gaze back into those big green eyes. He doesn’t seem to notice the water droplets misting his black coat. I call him a crazy cat like I do in my sing-song childlike voice I reserve for animals and babies. I am delighting in the ridiculousness of the moment when MM comes in…the look on his face was priceless…this makes me laugh.

cat gets wet random
This is NOT my cat, although I wish it were and I know you do too..THAT is just like you.
Alas, we must be satisfied with worshiping this fine beast from afar

On certain afternoons in sunny spring I have been known to go down to the nearby park for a swing, stopping to smell the roses. I often talk to the urban animals I meet along my way, the crows especially since they tend to answer me back with caw caw  but squirrels and cats and other birds too are also fun to talk to. Thinking about it; I talk to plants as well, trees mostly. They are really quite friendly and so knowledgeable too.

To the outside observer I may seem to have lost my marbles but his is how I keep my marbles intact: through whimsy and imagination.

 I will at times travel to various exotic locations in impromptu flight of fancy. These turn out to be for the most part: sandy beaches and enchanted forests and luxury hotel suites with excellent room service, great deserts and fantastic views…as these are the places my imagination prefers.

Your imagination probably takes you to different spots, some very interesting ones I bet….

unicorn_meat_parts_diagram whimsy animal random

Whimsy is a natural high and it’s free. It lives inside us all. It cavorts with the inner child in the recesses of the imagination. Whimsy is kinda’ bummed out that it isn’t given the respect that it’s due. One could argue as to the  needlessness of whimsy but I contend that it is that very needlessness of whimsy that causes it to be important. It doesn’t take much to spare a little room for the unnecessary, whimsy included…in fact whimsy is so light and fluffy it hardly takes up any room at all.

Whimsy not only feels good, it can make those around us feel good too.  Most of us can relate to the absurd from time to time. Children love it. We adults tend to put that sort of thing aside for more mature pursuits and poor old whimsy is locked in the back of the closet never to be shown the light of day again. I think a lot people are fearful of looking like a fool or insane. Society generally frowns on the eccentric. Instead of caving to societal pressure I am taking this as a sign that I should embrace my eccentricities more fully and more publicly. The more of us “crazies” out there, the more acceptable it will to become to be one.

It is up to us mavericks to set the tone and say to the world: It’s okay to be silly, in fact it’s amazingly fun… and dammit why lose out on all the fun because one enters into the dreaded “adulthood”?  The act of fancifulness is sometimes seen as irresponsible. The world needs dreamers to dream the dreams that show us that reality is not always what we see and it really doesn’t have to be.  Reality is what we make of it.

Wishing you a really fantastical day!

Strawberryindigo.

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“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” 
 Anaïs Nin

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Urban animal encounters: Duck

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Hey squirrel, we dropped your nuts!

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Sounds of Whimsy

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I am the Walrus by The Beatles

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Big Rock Candy Mountain by Burl Ives

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The Art of Ridiculousness by SBI (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

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The Key to Happiness

I am glad to be here; to have a go at it. I am thankful for my body. For eyes that see blue skies and my daughter’s beautiful face. For ears that hear birdsong, soulful breathtaking music and the simple but profound words; ” I love you.” For hands that write poems and plant seeds and make cheesecake. For a brain to take it all in.

love-kiss-silhouette-photography-background-hd-of-love

I am thankful for friends and family…for LOVE ♥

For peace and understanding, patience and tolerance and for generous hearts and kind souls.

I am thankful for good people who do great things, for smiles and ice cream…for chocolate.

I am thankful for our fantastic planet. For apple trees and hummingbirds and summertime. For cats and mocha lattes with extra whipped cream. I am thankful for the scent of roses and a newly mowed lawn, for thunderstorms and fireplaces.  For kisses and sandy beaches…for oceans and sunsets.

beautiful heart_latte_art by wikipedia

I am thankful for happy thoughts and good intentions, for opportunity and hope. For dreams and the tenacity to live them out.

I am thankful to be able to share all these happy things with such wonderful people…like YOU…

smile

I am thankful I have another day of life in which to appreciate and to know that this is

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS

There have been times in my life I found myself waiting to be happy; waiting for this or that to happen. I’ve found that I don’t need a turkey to tell me to be grateful and everything doesn’t have to be perfect. There is so much in this incredible world to be thankful for…and I am thankful for that.

Earth large

What are You thankful for?  Let me know?

Strawberryindigo.

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“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” 

― Maya Angelou

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Thank You by Led Zeppelin (YouTube)

Thank You by Dido (YouTube)

Free Hugs

I came across a picture today.  It was a drawing made by a someone I don’t know. I saw it online, I think it was in my Facebook inbox.  The artist’s name is written in the side. It is basic but genuine and to me conveys the most achingly beautiful sentiment.

and it sparked something…

I will sometimes get an idea for a post, but I won’t know actually how it will turn out.  It starts with a message I want to convey, whether it be simple or complex. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even. it just rolls around in that crazy head of mine waiting for something… a spark?  Something to give it life. Incidences will happen; little things, really of no significance but then one day–wham! It all fits together. This picture was a catalyst.

Love will show us the way by Art the System on Facebook

We share a collective consciousness. The good, the bad, the everything contained therein.

The best and worst of us is inside us all. We share so much. One important need is to give and receive love. We are an empathetic species that thrives on mutual understanding and cooperation. We need togetherness.

Newborn babies can die if denied love, it is ingrained in us, the need to reach out and be held. It is a basic and human need we first receive usually from our mothers and fathers. And it this need to touch to be touched lasts through our lifetimes. It is beyond sexual desire which in itself is powerful. It is grounding, it is humbling and uplifting.

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety.  Hugging relaxes muscles; releasing tension in the body. They can take away pain and soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.  Hugs balance out the nervous system and boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

~ Virginia Satir

FREE_HUGS';_Tokyo

Hugs are wonderful. They are warm and innocent expressions of affection.  To me hugs are magical events.

free_hugs_2_by_dastalisa-d3adynw

They are hopeful. They are happy. They spread happiness.

'FREE_HUGS',_Notre_Dame_de_Paris

We have a human need to be wanted and valued and accepted. A hug is a demonstration of that.

There is much to be said about the power of a hug. I have noticed a trend as of these last few years of people with signs giving out free ones. It is a novel thing. it creates a bit of a spectacle and maybe it isn’t all that serious but it does make people happy. and it sends out a terrific message.

I have noticed with the passage of time that hugs are becoming more freely given and socially acceptable. When I was a child one rarely would see two men hug, these days it is commonplace. This is a wonderful thing.

It is such a wonderful thing and so is a kind word, a pat on the back and a smile.

Sometimes we don’t know the burden another may be carrying and cannot fathom how one simple act of encouragement from someone; a stranger even and what sort of positive impact that it can have.

If we all made a point of doing this;  reaching out to others even sometimes going  the extra mile to tell another person you care; whether it’s just an ear to listen.  Sometimes all people need is a release; someone to talk to and a little sympathy.  Sometimes it is a stranger, a person you will never encounter again, this does not lessen the quality of the interaction. Every positive interaction we have with another person makes them feel good and makes us feel good. it’s all good!

And just like rabbits these positive interactions spread and before you know it the room is of full of rabbits.

Try it you’ll like it. Hug someone today.

Strawberryindigo.

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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile
English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

References and Related Articles

Why we need at least 8 hugs a day (mindbodygreen.com)

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

5 Ways to Hug  (wikihow.com)

 Miracle/soulmate (helioshub.wordpress.com)