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I have to admit that releasing stress has been more than challenging lately. There are many things going on in this world that are of extreme concern to anyone with feet on the ground and even if my own life is basically okay with no major crises I see suffering everywhere and it makes my heart ache. Homelessness in Berkeley is alarming, as well as elsewhere in this world, whether refugees fleeing their homes in search of survival and better life, or people outcast by society for one reason or another. Life is extremely challenging for many and with rulers that are uncaring and only have interest in their own prosperity, life on planet earth can turn into hell for humankind. We are living in very challenging times and cultivating happiness has become tasking. I try not to take my own mind chatter too seriously since I know that turbulence is the nature of the mind, but I tend to get sucked into negative thought patterns fast and furious and I can feel the tension in the air. This is where taking pleasure in small things steps in for me, because I know that there are still also many good things going on in this world where duality is the name of the game. Trees and plants and water and earth and animals have always been a huge healing source for me. I try to spend as much time as possible in natural settings instead of in the cities where everything humanity shares, whether desirable or deplorable, is always concentrated. In my heart of hearts I believe that we can create a better world, but it starts with caring and compassion. There really is no better advice in regard to living than the golden rule. If we all would do unto others as we would like to have done unto us, this world would change. Based on my observations, there is simply too much selfish and self-centered activity going on with people. Me, myself and I first kind of attitudes do not serve the good of the all. Never have and never will. Everything on this planet is one and we are all in the same boat. Energy here only changes form, it never simply disappears. Eventually we all breath the same air and drink the same water. And nothing is really solid or separate. We now know that molecules travel through what we call dense matter constantly. This world is a place of wonder. This world and all existence is mystical and magical beyond our ability to comprehend. Remember to find joy in taking pleasure in small things. I know I will. After all, in the bigger picture, there is no great or small and everything is relative.