Happy Making




#thecumulativeeffectLet’s Break Some Walls Down

4 comments | February 20th, 2012

exploding flowers

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We love this...from 1 of you, anonymously, to all of us:

Let's love on each other. Let's break some walls down. Let's treat each other like family. Let's remember that we are all in this time and place together. Let's ditch the stereotypes and give everyone a chance. Atheists and believers. Black and white and brown and yellow. Republican and democrat and independent. Gay and straight, bi or TG. We're all just human. {end}  

Do you think we can do it, or have we become a hopelessly divided house?   Why, for so many, do our differences seem to foster disregard and dislike and not interest and acceptance?  What's up with that?  Ok, enough of our cynical observations.  Let's do as the writer says and "love on each other."  Who's in?

#lifestagesA Thank You Note

8 comments | February 16th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

From one of you to some of the rest of you, a thank you note.  Here you go:

To those of you who are in recovery from addiction of any kind: Every day that you choose to lead a healthy life, you inspire someone. Thank you for showing all of us who are still living in sickness that there is hope. I love you all and am very grateful to you for being who you are. {end story}

Gratitude is a key to being a happier you.  Who are you gratfeul for?  Share it here; you might just feel better for saying it.  

#lifestagesBeing a Teenage Girl Sucks

7 comments | February 16th, 2012

party girl

(story submitted anonymously, by a teenaged Chestist)

Are you a teen, been a teen, raising a teen?  If you are, have been, or might be...you'll get this, and her story:

Being a teenager sucks bad. Being a teenage girl sucks even more.

Okay, so I like this guy... a lot. I catch myself glancing at him every 10 minutes at least in school, which is really embarassing because I'm sure someone has noticed. I can't talk to him at all. I'm an extremely shy person, except when I'm with my friends. We have a really small school so we are in pretty much all our classes together. Almost everytime he's near me and I'm with my friends, I try to show off, which is absolutely ridiculous. I actually find myself thinking about what I can say and do to catch his attention. I end up making a huge fool of myself.

I never used to act like this around anyone before. The problem is, I can't seem to stop acting like a crazy person when I'm around him. It's realllly bad, or at least I see it that way. ...

#bodiesA Healthy Relationship With Self

13 comments | February 15th, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-02-10 at 11.51.13 AM

(story by Carre Otis, a Chestist and author of BeautyDisrupted)

When was the last time you honestly asked yourself, “How do I feel about me?” “How do I see myself?” Simple and obvious? Maybe not so much.

How we feel about ourselves and bodies affects much more than I think we realize. Our self image, confidence and feelings of self worth ricochet out through the universe — and certainly the universe of our daily lives and interactions. Our feelings impact other people, shaping their feelings about us as well as about themselves.

Do you feel happy? Confident? Beautiful? Centered in your place and mission in your workplace? At home? In relationship? With your children? With self and others?

Self-love is the battery that powers every other kind of love.

I believe many of us suffer the effects of living on an autopilot of low self esteem and negativity. We’re shut down, dismissing the very need to be in healthy dialogue with our inner selves.. The relationship with self must be nurtured first before we can expect to experience fulfilling and reciprocated relationships in other ...

Happy MakingWhy We’re Here

2 comments | February 15th, 2012

yellow sun rays

This was a comment from Abbie, in reply to all of your replies to her story.

I don't know how to say thank you for this; for not wasting your experience or letting it corrode your faith in people. The fact that you have come to a place where you have confidence in the good in life and faith in the human race after what life has put you through is so encouraging and inspiring. {end}  

Happy MakingMoney and Happiness

5 comments | February 15th, 2012

money bags

(by OOC via DailyMail)

'Mo money may mean 'mo money, but does it mean more happiness?  This isn't the first time we've broached the topic of money and happiness here @OOC, and it won't be the last, no doubt. 

According to this research coming out of the U.K. (where they are on a happiness-making binge at 10 Downing Street), money - at least to a certain extent - can make you happier.  Surprised?

From the article: "it provides a cushion against rising living costs and can pay for treats to lift the mood such as holidays, good food – and lipstick...58% of those earning more than £50,000 (call it $90,000 USD) are satisfied with life, compared to 43% of those with an income of less than roughly £15,000 (call it $25,000 USD).  The details emerged in a study of happiness and income, which identified a huge divide between rich and poor."

Call us cynics, but the stresses on those - especially if they're a family - making $25,000 ...

Happy MakingBe Happy More

8 comments | February 14th, 2012

chestist enthralled

(story submitted anonymously, by a 20 yo Chestist)

Here are just 15 words from one of you that sum up a whole lot of a whole lot of people:

I wish I knew how to be happy more, and how to accept being sad. {end story}

Maybe no words have been shared here that we can relate to more deeply than these.  And as we sit here typing, it's so hard not to fall into platitude and cliche, platitudes and cliches we believe with all our being, and yet we keep getting tripped up in our own thoughts.  So let's turn it over to all of us...how do you practice being happier?  Do you let yourself accept being sad?  How'd you learn to?  Thoughts on happiess and sadness...#discuss.  XO, OOC

#lifestagesWhen An Abortion Happens In a Good Marriage

18 comments | February 13th, 2012

black explosion chestist

(story submitted by Lidia-Anain, a Chestist)

Let's just get right to her story:

Six years ago I felt completely suffocated and restless. I had quit my job just a few short months earlier to stay at home with my two boys just until my oldest started Kindergarten then I’d go back to work to help pay for the degree I was finishing. My self-worth had been attached to my job. My self-worth had been attached to my title. My self-worth was not my own. In just a few months after quitting my job I found out that I was expecting another baby. I did not want another child. He did not want another child. We had not planned for another child and had taken the necessary precautions to not have anymore children by using condoms and birth control. We had other plans yet there we were expecting another baby and this time we knew that even if we weren’t ready we could not go through another abortion.

Abortions aren’t things married women have?

We had already been down that road just six months earlier when we had buckled at ...

Happy MakingHappiness, Statistically Speaking

6 comments | February 13th, 2012


(by OOC via technologyreview.com)

Just what makes us happy?  According to this research of U.S. attitudes the answers are:




Statistically speaking, the healthy amongst us are 20% happier than those in ill health (us, we're surprised that the spread's not greater); marriage adds 10% to one's happiness quotient (us, we're suprised it's that high - not because we're in a bad marriage or mariage opposed, oh no, but because of the divorce rate ); and income adds 3.5% (frankly, despite knowing that money doesn't buy happiness, it does reduce a few stresses, so we're equally surprised this isin't a bit higher.)

Kids?  Now that's where it gets interesting.  Apparently and statistically, each child actually reduces happiness by 0.25%.  What then accounts for the continuance of the species and the warm fuzzies we get every time we see our children?  The research doesn't say.  For a full read, go here.

How would you rank these 4 (health, marriage, income, and kids) in contributing to your happiness, what you'd expect would make you happy, or what doesn't make you happy now?  We know a lot of brilliant, kind, ...

#lifestagesReady to Experience Love

7 comments | February 9th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by abbie, a 16 yo Chestist)

The stories you all send us here @OOC seems to go in waves.  Lately, we've gotten more than a few from some of our younger readers who've been through things no one should go through and who - despite being younger - have found themselves and inspired us along the way.  This writer, abbie, has found her voice again, and this is her story:

I may not have known it then, but I have a voice. I am worth something. Always have been. Always will be. He may have stolen my body, but I refuse to let what he did steal my humanity. I've spent 4 years feeling nothing but fear. I am ready to experience love again. No matter who you are or what has been done to you, I hope you are ready to experience love today as well. {end story}.

Abbie's story is horror-full and inspiring both.  No matter our age, being ready to experience love - whether again or for the first time - is hard work, whether it's self-love, romantic love, or, well, ...

Happy MakingGuilty Pleasures

8 comments | February 8th, 2012


Some years ago we were asked what our guilty pleasures were.  We stopped to consider the question, thought about things like french fries, airplane books, mindless TV, and boy bands...but then we wondered why we should have any guilt whatsoever over anything that gives us pleasure.  Really, why?  So we've decided - for us - there's no such thing as a guilty pleasure, becuase pleasures can be so few and far between (not that they should be) and guilt is such a waste of NOW.  After all, why do it if it makes you feel guilty?

And so here's a couple of questions for you...are there any pleasures that make you feel guilty; and if you feel guilty how is it you get pleasure form them - unless of course it's the guilt that makes you feel good in kind of a self-hate way (and who are we to judge?).  So, to some it up, guilty pleasures...you have any and why do they make you feel guilty?




#bodiesTaking Matters Into My Own Hands

5 comments | February 7th, 2012

red handed

(submitted by Cee Dee in response to Prescribing Pleasure: 1.7.11, now on OOC Replay)

There's nothing about this story, originally a comment to another, that we do not love.  We love its candor, its comfort, and the author's unhesitating willingness to speak her truth and share her story.  Here it is:

Okay, our body is about the ONLY place we as women still have total and complete control.  We decide if we are going to have an abortion or bring a life into this world.  We can nourish a child with our breast milk or not.  We can also manipulate our clitoris into some kind orgasm – be it big or small.  To hand over this last bit of sexual power to a man is just about as depressing as not ever having felt the magic of an orgasm.

Honestly, i didn’t have an orgasm (with a man) until i was 41. i have been having sex since i was 19. The ONLY reason i had THAT orgasm was because I masturbated during sex with my partner. I can only count 1 time that i ...

#bodiesGet Naked, More Often

4 comments | February 7th, 2012

plus sized

(OOC via MindBodyGreen.com)

We came across this piece at one of our new favorite sites, mindbodygreen.com.  The author's premise is that to escape our own body dysmorphia and dissatisfactions - we should be naked more often.  But as he makes clear, not necessarily in front of other people (unless you and they choose to).

The reason this struck a chord with us here is that we watch our 5 and 6 yo kids run around naked all the time...totally carefree and free of inhibition, insecurity, judgment, and self-consciousness.  And as we watch them, we wonder when this will change; why it will change; if it has to change...

What do you think?  Can being naked help you embrace you as you are and maybe help diminish body image issues?  And, tangentially, how often and where are you naked?  Is it just the shower and bed?  Are you a nudist or ever thought about doing the nudist thing.  Come on, let's speak our naked truths and see if we can feel more better.

(for more of the amazing mindbodygreen go here)

#bodiesCan We?

3 comments | February 2nd, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted by Amey, a Chestist)

Amey offered what follows as a comment to this story.  We loved it...here you go:

It seems as women we will always be drawn to the mirror and pick apart what we don't like and remember how we liked ourselves better when...What if we start a revolutionary change...when I look into the mirror everyday I will choose one thing I like, smile at myself, and then walk away from the mirror?  Could I actually do that?  Could you? Could we as women?  One day at a time...make this change? To like what we see? {end story}

What do you think, can you make this change?  What (or who) could stop you?  (NO ONE should). 

#lifestagesStop Comparing Yourself

2 comments | January 30th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

It seems to be an unforunate part of the human condition that we compare ourselves to others - sometimes to make oursleves feel better, but often to make oursleves feel less than and worse.  Buzzkill.  Here's one younger reader's story - and advice:

We're always comparing ourselves with others. I don't know why we girls do this, maybe it's just the way it is. We never really believe it when people say were pretty or smart or something. When my friends or other girls complain about how fat they are I look at them and I look at me. A lot of times they're skinnier than me and I think - wow if they're fat then what am I? There is the first step of self conciousness.

Then when others bag on how ugly they are I look again and compare and think - well they're prettier than me so what am I? Everytime someone says something bad about themselves I ask myself if they're better or worse than me.  Eventually you stop believing what good things others say about you ...