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Beyond A Reasonable Doubt September 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, People.
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18 comments

Beyond a doubt, Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is not reasonable . . .

Many facets of the contrived plot don’t make sense because people wouldn’t act that way in the real world.  The performances aren’t anything to get excited about.  And the timetable of the movie is way off.

That said, we enjoyed the film’s predictable twists, turns, and straight-aways.

The basic premise:  An investigative reporter sets himself up as the prime suspect in a murder by fabricating circumstantial evidence after the fact to boost his career and expose a corrupt district attorney who is fabricating D.N.A. evidence after the fact to boost his conviction rate.

Life is full of pot holes on the journey from Here to There.  This film emulates life.  Navigate around the plot holes and you’ll reach the beginning in the end.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

You Don’t Know Jack August 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, People.
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30 comments

Watched another thought-provoking film this week ~ You Don’t Know Jack.

The documentary addressed the efforts of Jack Kevorkian to assist terminally ill patients to end their lives with dignity.

He believed that we should have the freedom to choose to die when we’ve had enough . . . without having to shoot ourselves, dowse ourselves with gasoline, slash our wrists, strangle ourselves, wrestle crocodiles, or dive off buildings or bridges without a safety net.

Just breathe . . . relax . . . and check out in peace.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Heaven Is For Real August 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Spirituality & Faith.
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56 comments

We watched Heaven Is For Real this week and enjoyed Colton’s story:

Colton Burpo survived an emergency appendectomy.  After recovering, he told his parents he left his body during the surgery and detailed what they’d been doing in other parts of the hospital.  He talked of visiting heaven, meeting Jesus, and shared stories about people he met there ~ including a sister who had died in vitro and his great-grandfather whom he’d never met.

It’s an intriguing glimpse at what may lie beyond the veil:

I’ve requested the book of the same name from the Island Library:

Maybe the best is yet to come.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Is There REALLY Proof of Heaven or Life After Death? (SMART Living 365) * How Do You Live If Heaven Is Real? (SMART Living 365)

A Quick Hit of Inspiration August 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
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38 comments

Sometimes we stall in our tracks and need a quick hit of inspiration to get us going again:

Celebrate your progress.  Sometimes half of success is simply noticing it.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more by Kathy Davis:  Simple Secrets ~ 7 Principles to Inspire Success

Sponge Bob Square Pants August 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor.
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51 comments

Snoopy5If I’m focused writing, I can tune out extraneous noises ~ screaming jets, barking dogs, even TV.

It’s all White Noise.

Except if Sponge Bob is talking.  Hearing Square Pants squawking in the background puts me on Red Alert.

“ACK!  Change the channel!  Change the channel!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Are there any noises you find impossible to filter out or work around?

 

Inequality For All August 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Balance.
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50 comments

Corporations do NOT create jobs.

Consumers create jobs by buying goods and services in the marketplace.

That’s why the erosion of the middle class is so problematic.

As the rich get richer, they don’t spend as large a percentage of their paychecks on consumer goods.

They save it . . . or invest it overseas.

As a result, businesses have to downsize and lay off workers, further eroding the economic base of the global economy.

To turn things around, we need to tax the wealthiest at historic rates, not at the ridiculously low rates of 11%  or 13.9% or 15%.

If you want a better understanding of the current economic climate, I recommend that you watch Inequality For All.

Watching this entertaining, serious, and funny 90-minute film will give you an appreciation for what’s going on, how it happened, and what needs to change to get us back on track.

If you don’t have access to the full 90-minute documentary, this Bill Moyers interview with Robert Reich does a terrific job of highlighting the highlights:

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more information:  www.inequalityforall.com

“We make the rules of the economy – and we have the power to change those rules.” – Robert Reich

Awakening To The Sacred August 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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32 comments

In Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Spiritual Life, Lama Surya Das first examines Matters of the Spirit, touching upon common themes and questions at the heart of every spiritual path, including thoughts about faith, doubt, freedom, truth, love, compassion, and enlightenment.

In the remainder of the book, Surya Das offers a variety of spiritual practices for use by seekers of all backgrounds who wish to enhance their journey through life:  Meditation * Mindfulness * Spiritual Study * Yoga * Simplicity * Fasting * Prayer * Spiritual Readings * Journals * Chanting * Gardening * Breath * Haiku * Staying in the Moment.

At the outset, he reminds readers that awareness is the essential ingredient in a spiritual life:  the spiritual path is best walked step by step, very mindfully, with as much consciousness and commitment as one can summon.  He encourages seekers to incorporate daily practices to help get and keep them in touch with the essence of spirituality ~ peace, love, freedom and belonging.

As a Lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Surya Das explains the teachings of Buddha throughout the book.  For example:

The Buddha’s teachings were concerned with finding the nirvanic peace and freedom of enlightenment, the end to all forms of suffering and delusion.   He saw these goals as being determined by the cause and effect of individual behavior without divine intervention. (p.23)

As a result of his Western upbringing, he addresses theistic religions with equal clarity and ease:

In all truly sacred traditions there is an essential resolve to cherish life and treat others ethically and kindly.  All these traditions encourage us to be open to divine presence, both within and without, and tell us to practice what we preach without hypocrisy or sleight of hand.  (p. 29)

Surya Das encourages us all to cultivate clear vision, as well as personal authenticity.  In other words, to see things as they are, and to be more fully who we are:

We practice Dharma when we stop clinging to our preconceived notions about what we should do and achieve.  We find truth when we learn to let go, accept, see things as they are, and just be.  We find truth by discovering our inner light, our inner value and values, our authenticity and genuineness.  This is living truly. (p. 114)

First there is enlightenment, when we start to see things as they are, and then, if we work at it, there is transformation, when we learn to live, embody, and stabilize those truths in our daily lives.

To experience either, you must stay awake and aware.

Surya Das emphasizes the need of all seekers to open their hearts and learn how to love unconditionally, without lust,  fantasy, or neediness ~ to love for the radiant joy of simply loving, without expecting a thing in return.  To increase our capacity for unconditional love we focus on its components:

(1) practicing forgiveness to free the heart and mind from excessive burdens so that we can experience this moment anew;

(2) practicing acceptance and understanding and seeing all beings as part of the whole;

(3) cherishing life by doing no harm, alleviating suffering, appreciating and valuing what we have, and generously giving to others;

(4) practicing compassion and empathy in order to open our hearts to the suffering of others;

(5) practicing warmth and kindness by being kinder, gentler, and more loving to those around us; and

(6) practicing joy by recognizing that life is a miracle to be celebrated.

When we are joyful and happy, we spontaneously share love with others.  We exude joy, kindness and warmth.  When our heart is singing, we lift the hearts of those around us:

The path of joy is the path of open-heartedness ~ the path of a heart filled with love.   So smile.  Make somebody happy.  Make yourself happy.  Learn to love.  Spread love.  Be love.  You’ll love it. (p. 151)

Written for anyone who wants to connect with the sacred, this book offers practical advice for incorporating the spiritual into our everyday lives.

May all peace, blessings, good fortune, and delight be yours.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Our essential nature, like the wateriness of water, does not change.  What changes is our capacity to share that essential nature with the world.

Give Kids The World August 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, People.
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18 comments

Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre non-profit “storybook” resort and vacation village in Kissimmee Florida where children with life threatening illnesses and their families can enjoy a week’s vacation ~ all expenses paid:

The village is the passionate vision of Henri Landwirth, a holocaust survivor turned hotelier in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.                   ~Father Flanagan

To learn more about Give Kids The World ~> visit www.gktw.com.

To learn more about Landwirth’s remarkable life ~> read Gift of Life.

Henri’s autobiography, with a Forward by Walter Cronkite and an Afterward by Astronaut and Senator John Glenn, was co-authored in 1996 by BFF’s cousin, J.P. Hendricks (“John”).

Revenues from the sale of Gift of Life go to Give Kids The World Foundation to help ensure that children and families who need help will always be served.

To find your way in this world, listen to your heart. ~ P.J.  Hendricks (1972) (“Pat”)

Aah . . . that’s better! 

“I’m Melting!” July 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Books & Movies, Nature.
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40 comments

Chasing Ice is a fascinating look, via time lapse photography, at the rate glaciers are melting in Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, and Montana.

Some of the footage is beyond beautiful, especially the nightscapes that capture the juxtaposition of Earth, Air, Sky, and Water.

Those that deny that climate change is happening may change their tune after watching this film.

One Shell Oil Executive did.

He jumped over the chasm from denying climate change to working for solutions.

It’s not about saving the planet.  The planet will survive.

It’s about whether we’ll be here to witness it.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more information:  Extreme Ice Survey

The Lunchbox July 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Synchronicity & Mystery.
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32 comments

200px-March-hareThis movie is an unexpected delight.

Through coincidence or synchronicity (or Universal conspiracy), two lonely people “meet” for lunch each day . . . without ever meeting.

The change in perspective allows each to see past the bleak confines of where they are to envision where they want to be.

The promise of a brighter future keeps them moving forward toward a spot of hope on the horizon.

“Sometimes the wrong train gets you to the right station.”

Handy subtitles for those who don’t speak Hindi.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you seen it?  Did it make you hunger for curry?  For understanding? For a heaping helping of synchronicity?

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