Saturday, December 30, 2006

Living The Good Life

This past October, Doug and I traveled to NYC to celebrate with Peter Brown and Alexandra Stoddard. Doug was honored to present Peter with an endownment for the formation of a chair in his name for his 50 years of service to the Riot Relief Fund. Alexandra also recieved the galley copy of her 25th published book, You Are Your Choices minutes before we met for lunch at the famed Le Grenouille.I was thrilled when Alexandra handed me her precious galley to read until the end of our stay. I got an advanced peek at the 50 essays where Alexandra shares her wisdom and candid stories for enjoying more happiness. You Are Your Choices was published December 27th so I can now share my favorites here with you:

Moving On Alexandra and I spoke quite a bit about this subject last year as we prepared to leave our home and friends behind and transplant ourselves in San Antonio. Alexandra was very intrigued by our decision making process and faith in our instincts. A few years back, Unity Minister Albert Wingate remarked that with regards to moving on, you move away or you move towards something. I think that for moving on to contribute to a good live, w
e ought to be moving towards something.

Avoid Perfection In The Pursuit Of Excellence This became a mantra for me while completing my Pilates Level 1 class work. Test administrators provided the following feedback, "You have embodied a pursuit of excellence in all endeavors and this shows in your detail, percision and quality of syllabus material."
Needless to say, I am touched. My classmates and I may not have achieved perfection but we have certainly come a long way!

Understand The Law Of Cause and Effect My number one quote so far from the book is: "Determine the value of an action by weighing it against the value of its consequences." It is posted above my desk. It gives me chills because it is so heavy with meaning for me.

Do More Things That Make You Happy I had to laugh when I read this. It is so simple and if this was the only advice I put in
to practice, the good life would go to great in no time! Actually, I do put this into practice but I love how magnificently she has put it. One of the ways I do things that make me more happy is to attend one of Alexandra's Happiness Weekend retreats each year. This provides me with the opportunity to reflect on what in my life is or isn't making me happy and revise my thoughts and actions where needed. I have been overjoyed that a few friends and family have joined us on these weekends because we have one another's support as we try to make our way day to day. The next one is Feb 2-4 in High Point NC. Kenny and Tommy are coming in from Burlingame NC. Graham and Shelly are heading in from Houston. Frank and Maggie, Rebecca and Bob and possibly Aida, all new friends in San Antonio are coming with us. Now THAT makes me happy! (A few spaces are still available, visit,

I am living a good life. In many ways, it is all a blessing. I also know that I have spent more than 10 years cultivating a way of life that has manifested all that I am so fortunate to enjoy. I wish Alexandra much success in this latest endeavor. I wish for all of you more of the good life in the days ahead in the new year.

Alexandra and Carolyn
Publishing Party for
Time Alive
Gulfshore Life Magazine Naples


Kenny said...

Oh how I wished that I lived near you! You make me so happy and warm when I read your emails! Love your blog! I wish you love, happiness and prosperity for 2007. Much Love to you and Doug!

Doug said...

Dearest Carolyn,

Congratulations on your new blog. I am delighted you have another forum to express your celebration of your happy life.

When we first met, I could see your commitment to living your life joyously.

You continue to practice the habits which give you the discipline and skills to enjoy the happy life you have created for yourself.

I'm delighted to be on the ride with you.

Love you,

Kimberly said...

Dear Carolyn:
Thanks for letting me know about your blog. I am so happy you were able to make a quick trip to Nashville in September...if only for a few hours! Have a wonderful new year and I hope our paths will cross again soon. Give my best to Doug and Jess!
Your Southern lady/Happiness pal,

Tammy said...


What a beautiful site! I've always loved receiving your emails and now I'm delighted to be able to read your blog too! It is wonderful to have a kindred spirit who strives to live a happy, meaningful life. You are an amazing woman and I am blesed to be on this journey with you.

Frank Aguirre said...

Our Dear Carolyn:
Here's a 'value consequence' of your wonderful blog:
It encourages me to be more refined, more genteel and to act out my best self (that I tend to hide in the closet).
Your grade: A+

Hugs, Frank
(Like you, Maggie's an independent thinker and will send HER OWN comment!)

Patricia said...

Hello Carolyn! Happy New year! nice Blog. Appreciate the enthusiasm. Hope to see you in 2007. love Patricia