How to find happiness without really trying

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How to find happiness

Happiness is a state of mind, it is said, but those are empty words, for happiness is not something we think of, but something we experience, like the smile of a newborn child, the gift of a single rose on Valentine’s Day, a kind word when the day is long.

Don’t overthink it

Happiness is just one seat away.

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Searching for the perfect Stressless chair takes time…, down time, to be exact.
Sit down in this chair or that, try another, check out the size, small, medium, or large, choose the classic base with its oval wooden shape or the signature base with its gleaming chrome and wood accents. Do you like the plush padding of the Mayfair recliner or the sleek modern look of the Nordic recliner?

Sit, recline, relax in a Stressless recliner

Sit, recline, relax, while you experience the ultimate in comfort. It takes time., but while you are searching, you are experiencing the patented features of the glide system that automatically adjusts the inner workings to give you the right angle to support your lumbar and neck regions.

To be honest, Stressless has done all the work for you. Stressless is the number one recliner for comfort. Designed and made in Norway to exacting standards, Stressless is made with a commitment to bringing you the very best in comfort.
And when you have completed your search for the perfect chair, what will you have found?

I can’t define it, but I know it when I feel it

Happiness, a state of well-being and contentment, joy, peace of mind, a pleasurable experience, words that are can not describe the feeling you experience when you sit in a Stressless recliner.
I am still searching for happiness, but that is the point. The journey, not the destination, the rewarding feeling of sitting in a Stressless recliner and relaxing takes time.

Stressless chair in Norway
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A tale well-told will put you to sleep

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I can not leave these woods quite yet.

Let me tarry, let me hear the many stories my mother used to tell, of wolves and bears, of witches that bear poison apples, of dragons and knights in pitched battles, of girls with golden tresses, of mice and birds that make dresses, and ogres and boogeymen, princesses and princes, but why so grim, why so gory, why not just a simple story?

These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
And maybe just a little scary.

Success

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It is said that to succeed one has to get up before the others, before the birds, before the sun, drink a cup of coffee, eat a piece of toast and an egg, put on your shoes and run, run just to keep in the same place, and run faster if you want to succeed.

Oh, but the trees, the mountains, and the lakes know better. They are always there watching me, wordlessly, knowing that there is a joy in sitting back and watching silently. Lessons are learned by listening, not just with the ears, but the eyes.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, Stresslessly.

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What a beautiful place to be, I thought, gazing around Kintla Lake. Calm, peaceful, serene, about as far north in Montana one could go without going over the border into Canada.

“Be mindful of the bears,” the park ranger said.

“Oh, I know,” I replied, “I come from a place full of them.”

 

Castaway

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There is much wisdom books, but wisdom, by this I mean true wisdom, wisdom which we apply and use, is not found it is learned.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

[Shipwrecked on a desert isle]

SEPTEMBER 30, 1659. – I, poor miserable Robinson Crusoe, being shipwrecked during a dreadful storm in the offing, came on shore on this dismal, unfortunate island, which I called “The Island of Despair”; all the rest of the ship’s company being drowned, and myself almost dead.

Castaway on a dessert isle with a Stressless recliner

Castaway on a desert isle with a Stressless recliner

[By the end of the second year] 

From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should ever have been in any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place…

[In the fifth year wherein he makes a great discovery]

In the first place, I was removed from all the wickedness of the world here. I had neither the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life. I had nothing to covet, for I had all that I was now capable of enjoying. I was lord of the whole manor; or if I pleased, I might call myself king or emperor over the whole country which I had possession of. There were no rivals: I had no competitor, none to dispute sovereignty or command with me. I might have raised shiploadings of corn, but I had no use of it; so I let as little grow as I thought enough for my occasion. I had tortoise or turtles enough, but now and then one was as much as I could put to any use. I had timber enough to have built a fleet of ships. I had grapes enough to have made wine, or to have cured into raisins, to have loaded that fleet when they had been built.

[Finding a footprint in the sand]

How strange a chequer-work of Providence is the life of man! and by what secret different springs are the affections hurried about, as different circumstances present! To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear, nay, even tremble at the apprehensions of. This was exemplified in me, at this time, in the most lively manner imaginable; for I, whose only affliction was that I seemed banished from human society, that I was alone, circumscribed by the boundless ocean, cut off from mankind, and condemned to what I call silent life; that I was as one whom Heaven thought not worthy to be numbered among the living, or to appear among the rest of His creatures; that to have seen one of my own species would have seemed to me a raising me from death to life, and the greatest blessing that Heaven itself, next to the supreme blessing of salvation, could bestow; I say, that I should now tremble at the very apprehensions of seeing a man, and was ready to sink into the ground at but the shadow or silent appearance of a man having set his foot in the island.

[His return to England]

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board, for relics, the great goat-skin cap I had made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots; also, I forgot not to take the money I formerly mentioned, which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for silver till it had been a little rubbed and handled, as also the money I found in the wreck of the Spanish ship. And thus I left the island, the 19th of December, as I found by the ship’s account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days; being delivered from this second captivity the same day of the month that I first made my escape in the long-boat from among the Moors of Sallee. In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England the 11th of June, in the year 1687, having been thirty-five years absent.

 

Read Robinson Crusoe online

Thought of Home

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“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

Most people think the line is a joke, but Robert Frost meant it seriously as a line in his poem Death of the Hired Man. The poem takes place on a Vermont farm. Mary, the farmer’s wife, sits at the kitchen table musing on the lamp-flame, waiting for her husband Warren to tell him the news, “Silas is back.”

And discuss what to do?

Robert Frost is always worth reading. Always familiar, like a Stressless recliner that fits comfortably each time you sit down and stretch. Always stirring a few thoughts, some original some not.

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It is true, women want what they can’t have – a home in the country, a three-car garage, 2.2 children, and a husband who takes out the garbage.

Home, I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.

Once you grow up and leave home, you learn the world is big and wide, and finding your way home is no easy thing.

The best part of traveling is losing yourself and then finding yourself.

Not all who wander are lost.

Home is not so much a place as a state of mind.

You can’t go home again, but you can visit.

Goreme Turkey

Goreme Turkey

You don’t need to know where you are going or where you are to be where you need to be.

There are challenges in life and crossroads, and when I come to them I have always followed Yogi Berra’s advice, when you see a fork in the road, take it.

There are two directions in life, home and away from home.

I am not from West Virginia, but every time I hear John Denver sing his song Country Roads, I want to be.

A chair is to most of us, home for most of the time, so why not make it Stressless.

Stressless around the world

Stressless around the world

Notes.

I have traveled a bit in my lifetime and I have never been so fond of home as when I am away from it.

Göreme, Turkey is home to 2,000 souls. It is a town that is famous for its rock formations in ancient Cappadocia, central Turkey and part of Anatolia. Settlements in Göreme go back 3,000 years to the era of the Hittites. During the conflict between the Persians and the Greeks, the inhabitants tunneled into the rock to escape the fighting.

It appears that there are not regular streets or addresses so how in the world does the postman deliver a letter? The image is from Pixabay.

Advice

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Stressless Magic recliner

Advice freely given and freely taken is most often ignored. It should be.

“Advice,” I say to my children, “should be ignored.”

On this they always agree.

Lawyers have a saying, its worth what one pays for it. Saying this, they hope to get paid for it even if the advice is bad. Once in a blue moon it is worth all the tea in China. Beware of mixed metaphors and cliches, my English teacher advised, they are just words strung together, hot air that doesn’t fit the bill.

How about this – two thirsty men are stranded in the Mojave desert with a canteen half full. Would they rather have a map to the next water hole or a map to buried treasure? Or suppose you slip and fall from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Would you rather have a bar of gold or a parachute?

Value comes from the use we make of a thing.

Come to think of it, gold is just a rock, of no value until you get rid of it. And kindly word can be a powerful and valuable thing. A nothing thing really, but then only words can motivate us, enlighten us, and give us hope.

When I was a child of twelve, my dad gave me advice, lots of it, which I didn’t pay much attention to.

His advice included:

  1. “Get with the program!” Used when I was not not doing what I should have been and said too often, with me giving that quizzical half-cock of the head response indicating I had not a clue what program I should be watching.
  2. “Liars figure, and figures lie.” Used when stuffy headed politicians tried to make a point with meaningless numbers and no common sense.
  3. “Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes.” My favorite piece of advice since it said anything is possible if one believes hard enough in its success.

My dad liked peanuts, wine, and checkers. I could beat him in chess, but not checkers. Go figure. Once, when I was a mere child of eight at a cub scout party, my dad and I entered a three legged race. Each of us had to share one leg in a potato sack and run a distance of 100 yards over a rolling field. Other sons and dads could not get the hang of it and fell down hilariously to the crowd’s amusement. We won the race by working together, running stride for stride. Not a word was said, but the point was made, and maybe that was the best advice he gave me.

The other day, I came across this old Scottish saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” What I really heard was dad’s advice, get out there and work hard, it will pay off in the end.

In a way, it is funny and sad, to wait so long to hear one’s dad.

 

Stressless Live recliner

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I am from Kansas, not by birth but by marriage.

If you asked me, I would say I would rather live somewhere else. Somewhere where the mountains are high, the lakes clear and blue, the lofty pine trees green and the woodland paths shaded. And warm summer days with a gentle breeze and cool evenings made for sleep.

I am not complaining, mind you. I love Kansas.

Kansas wheat field in autumn

 

In the fall, the fields of wheat and corn are beautiful. The Flint Hills, though not tall as the Colorado Rockies, are serene and peaceful, and the cattle fatten on the rich Bluestem grass while the deer and the antelope graze. I tell people, it is a great place to raise a family and the people are friendly. We are hard working. But, we have time to talk, time to share experiences over a cup a coffee or a glass of wine. We take our kids to soccer practice and commiserate over the state of the world.

Then, it is only 20 minutes to the airport and there is no wait at the traffic light.

Travel becomes me, whether it is for work or pleasure.

And I find, like most Kansans, after a few days away from home wishing, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, to click my heels three times while saying there is no place like home.

And coming home, the first thing I want is a place to sit.

Stressless Live recliner Paloma henna

Dreaming of my favorite reclining chair in Paloma Henna.

Love at first sight, is what I felt when I saw the Stressless Live recliner.

The extraordinary padding reached out to embrace me. But behind the beauty was the hidden patented technology, which gave me the ultimate in comfort, the Plus-system, with its full neck and lumbar support enveloping me to the touch.

Love, you don’t need to understand it. You just need to feel it to know you are in love forever with the most comfortable chair in the world.

The next thing you need to do is choose a base, whether it is the Classic base with its distinctive hour-glass shape or the Signature base with its chrome metal and wood accents. It is simply a matter of preference, like liking chocolate or strawberry ice cream.

Size is a consideration because we are not cut from the same mold. And Stressless gives you three sizes to choose from, Large, Medium, and Small. Come on, if you don’t think size makes a difference, try on a swim suit too big or too small.

Stressless Live recliner Paloma Summer Green

Live at the opera in Paloma Summer Green

Next to last, select a color. Stressless offers a rainbow of leather colors that fit any personality. Personally, I like the blue of a summer sky. It is a peaceful soothing color, but then sometimes I feel green or red or orange suits my personality better.

Lastly, sit and relax. Discover the most comfortable recliner in the world.

Stressless Live recliner Cori Petrol

Stressless Live recliner Cori Petrol

Wichita and Overland Park is where you will find me when I am home in Kansas, at one of our two stores, Traditions Home and Traditions Furniture.

A place to sit

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Archimedes said, ‘Give me a place to stand and I can move the earth.’ – I say, ‘Give me a chair, let me sit, and go to a place where time and the earth stands still.’

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I love to travel, but hate to fly.

Traveling puts me on a plane, where if I am lucky, I get an aisle seat in an emergency row, but, if not, I am sandwiched in a middle seat between two large passengers who either talk too much or snore. “Peanuts or cookies?” the stewardess asks. An upgrade to First Class where the champagne flows, I want to reply.

Born free, and yet everywhere on this plane one is shackled by the reminder to keep seat belts attached at all times. What would Rousseau think?

If one believes in the philosophy of yin and yang, then the unpleasant experience of flying on a Boeing 777 is complementary, interconnected, and interdependent with the experience of traveling to the natural world. One necessarily gives rise to the other.

In this natural setting far away from the familiar world, I find a seat, confining as the one left behind, but a seat that takes me where I want to go, to a place where I move and time and the earth stands still.

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Alas, it is a universal truth that good and evil co-exist, but the natural world, though pushed aside and often forgotten in a rush to get ahead, has its place and waits for us to come.

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Slinningsbålet

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In a way, going to Norway every summer was like going home.

From Boy, by Roald Dahl. “The summer holidays! Those magic words! The mere mention of them used to send shivers of joy rippling over my skin.”

If you are just now reading this, then it is too late, you already missed it. Wait, wait, you must wait another 360 days until the next summer solstice and a festival called Slinningsbålet.

No, it is not a dance, but a bonfire that marks the time in the year when the days again grow short and the sun begins to retreat in the sky. Long days make for good hikes in the Sunnmøre Alps.

norway-fjord

To celebrate into the night, Norwegians create the world’s largest bonfire turning night into day, and the land of the midnight sun into one of perpetual sunshine. In Norway, it is always bright and happy, unless it it winter, then it is mighty dark and nice to stay at home with a good book, a glass of wine and a Stressless recliner.

Norway’s largest and best celebration of Slinningsbålet takes place on June the 24th in Ålesund in the county of Møre og Romsdal, on the western coastline of Norway. In 2010, the townsfolk on the sea built a massive tower of shipping crates, a record-setting 132.71 feet tall.

Though you missed it, you can connect via Facebook.

Or, if you prefer follow on Twitter.

Did I mention that Stressless recliners and office chairs are designed and made in Ikornnes, a village along the Sykkylvsfjorden, in Møre og Romsdal county. Though you missed this year’s Slinningsbålet, you can still relax in your favorite Stressless recliner and enjoy the summer weather long into the night.

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