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At The Happy Starfish we are dedicated to providing a wealth of information, products, workshops and articles all aimed at celebrating health, happiness and peaceful living. We believe that life should be an awesome adventure filled with love; love life and life will love you back. Are you willing to surrender what you think you are for what you could become? Are you ready?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Try Loving Kindness this Valentines


“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness”. Dalai Lama
You can’t have failed to notice it’s Valentines. The shops have been full of heart shaped chocolate boxes, novelty gifts and overpriced roses for weeks.
How do you feel about today? Do you practically wrestle the mailman to the ground in an attempt to extort any envelopes which may contain cards declaring undying devotion?  Maybe you automatically hold your breath each time you hear a car outside (it could be a flower delivery)? 
It can be a fun day for couples who totally embrace the romance and celebrate whole heartedly but if you have wildly different ideas than your partner, the day inevitably ends with one, or both parties sulking in a corner. When people can’t communicate honestly regarding their assumption as to what the day will hold is it any wonder their needs aren’t met?
If you have unrealistic expectations for Valentines and equate gifts and cards with validation that you are indeed loveable, then maybe you are lacking self love and no amount of cute bears holding hearts is going to fix that. It’s inevitable that you will end the day feeling let down and disappointed. 
Loving kindness is a meditation practice that helps you develop altruistic love. By practicing regularly you can free your mind from old, negative, self-limiting thought patterns which govern your emotional state and cultivate compassion both towards yourself, and your fellow man.
Buddha once said "Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.”
Studies have shown that being compassionate towards others may be one of the best ways to improve health and well-being, increase positive social connectivity and lower blood pressure. Best of all loving kindness can be practiced anywhere from coffee shops to traffic jams.
Beginning a practice of loving kindness can initially feel uncomfortable. It can feel unnatural to offer ourselves love which is precisely why we should and what better day than today to being a journey a self-love?
You can find audio for our Loving Kindness meditation here

Friday, 7 February 2014

The lost art of letter writing

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart”. Phyllis Theroux
I was deep in my morning meditation when I heard the post drop onto the mat. I was in no rush to collect it. It had been a long time since I received anything other than a bill or statement in the mail. 
Imagine my delight therefore to receive a beautiful hand written letter from one of my closest friends. Crafted on proper stationary I was touched by her heartfelt words and also by the time and effort she had taken to let me know how much she appreciates our friendship.
When I was at school I used to eagerly await the postman every morning. I had numerous penpals and savoured every word written to me eagerly replying as soon as I could. Gradually as I got older, and became more reliant on technology I somehow, sadly, stopped writing to people properly.
Texts and emails are a quick, easy way of keeping in touch but there is something special about receiving an unexpected letter in the post. I am going to make a conscious effort to do my bit to resurrect the lost art of letter writing. Here are five reasons why you should too: - 
Letters can be preserved - the letter I received this morning is now safely tucked away inside my gratitude journal where it will bring me joy each time I reread. 
Letters form a connection - the writer really connects to the recipient. It’s like love in an envelope.
Letters are a mindful way to communicate - emails and texts are easily sent without thought and often regretted afterwards. Taking the time to find stationary, write a letter, buy a stamp and walk to the postbox gives you plenty of time to reflect on your words.
Letters are personal - you know the writer has sat and thought about you specifically. Totally different to being copied in on an email or being sent a mass text.
Letters will survive - ever felt the wonder of looking through your grandparents old photos and letters; discovering who they were and the world that existed before you were born? Letters preserve a sense of history that technology can never recreate.
So whatever your weekend plans are - why not incorporate writing a letter to someone you care about? This small gesture could really make their day.