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When I Am Well Rested . . . September 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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36 comments

IMGP3523bSleep and present moment awareness go a long way toward making sure we focus on what matters most to us.

When I am well-rested, I am happy, enthusiastic, upbeat, positive, and at peace.  I exude joy!

I slept LATE
(Til half past nine)
It felt GREAT
Sleep is divine!

In the flow of life, I remember to eat right, remain mindful, and get daily exercise.

Expanding my happiness still further.

I enjoy life, relax, and overflow with vitality and gratitude . . . and all that positivity spills out on those around me.

When I am well-rested, I remain awake and aware.  I avoid getting thrown off kilter by the every pothole in the path:

“A stable mind is like the hub of a wheel. The world may spin around you, but the mind is steady.”

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar

Scruffy-CatIn contrast, when I’m overtired and forget to stay in the NOW, I’m cranky and irritable and the toxic sludge of negativity keeps me from “going with the flow.”

Things slip through the cracks until, exhausted from struggling against the current, I go back to Step One and get some sleep.

Aah Morpheus . . .that’s better!

Related post:  Sleep, Beautiful Elusive Sleep (Views and Mews by Coffee Kat)

A Sense of Humor August 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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44 comments

Cheshire_Cat_Tenniel“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Laughter shortens the distance between people.

He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh. ~ the Koran

The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer everybody else up. ~ Mark Twain

When we stop taking ourselves so seriously, we become ever so much happier!

220px-JoseOrtegayGasset“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” ~ William James

Not being happy during Happy Hour is a self-defeating way to go through life.

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Life improves with laughter. ♥ ♥ ♥

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!

 

An Unwanted Visitor August 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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40 comments

I stepped outside to go for a walk and came face-to-face with a 4-foot-long black racer.

I retraced my steps and raced inside.

Pluto-RollerskatingExercise is over-rated.

 

Aah . . . that’s better!

Reality: What A Concept! August 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

alice26thMany of the on-line tributes to Robin Williams had something in common.

Instead of looking at life through Robin’s eyes to garner the whys of his demise, bloggers mentioned him, in passing, as a stepping stone to get other issues into the spotlight.

That’s understandable.

It is easier to know man in general than to know one man in particular. ~ Duc de la Rochefoucauld

* Some called for more resources for those who struggle with mental illness.

A laudable goal, for sure, but I suspect that Robin had adequate (if not ample) resources available to him.

* Others called for us to be kinder in our daily doings and dealings.

An excellent suggestion, but I doubt that Robin took his own life because of   bullies on the cyber-playground or people looking at him askance.

* Some cited the need for open discussion about depression and addiction.

A noteworthy objective, which I suspect is irrelevant to Robin’s death since he spoke in public forums about these “taboo topics” with great regularity.

* Others encouraged us to lend an ear and really listen to those around us.

Yes!  We should do that.  And, yet, I’m not convinced that our poor listening skills, even collectively, caused Robin to end his life.

Sometimes talking makes “it” better.  Other times, talking just makes it BIGGER.

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27I could keep dunking the teabag, but you get the idea.

Instead of focusing on the reality of Robin’s life, many tributes gave Robin little more than a passing glance before veering off in other directions.

Not surprising, really ~ our view of reality is skewed because we’re looking at life through a dirty lens and cloudy filter.

When something happens, our experiences, concerns, and viewpoints form an opaque overlay, obscuring reality.  We tell ourselves stories and fanciful fictions in a futile effort to create order from chaos and sense from nonsense.

We see the world behind our eyes.

That’s not to say that our creation of ostensible tributes to Robin Williams was misplaced energy.  I don’t have a suitable vantage point to understand or oversee all the various ripples set in motion by our actions and inaction.

Perhaps the outpouring of emotion following his death will cause a tidal wave of love and compassion, lifting us high above the surreal landscape.  From that heightened perspective, maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of reality as IT IS instead of as WE ARE.

A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

Reality: What a concept!

Aah . . . that’s better!

On the outside chance that Robin is reading this in Never Never Land, let me close with his view of reality:

Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs. ~ Robin Williams

Related post:  Why We Mourn the Death of Celebrities (Smart Living 365)

The Hospital Bill August 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.
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23 comments

170px-Italienischer_Maler_des_17._Jahrhunderts_001A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store.

The store clerks called an ambulance when they saw him collapse to the floor.

The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery.

He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic Hospital.

A nun was seated next to his bed holding a clipboard loaded with several forms.

Seeing he was awake, she asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment.

Groggy, he replied, “I don’t know.”

“Do you have health insurance?”

“No.  No health insurance.”

170px-Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail

“Do you have money in the bank?”

“No.  No money in the bank.”

“Do you have a relative who could help you with the payments?”

“I have a spinster sister.  She’s a nun.”

At this, the nun became agitated.

With practiced authority, she announced, “Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.”

The patient nodded, “Great!  Send the bill to my brother-in-law.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

“I Vant To Suck Your Blood” August 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Nature, People.
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51 comments

You’re not imagining it.

Those blood-sucking-good-for-nothing-tiny-vampires that should never have been allowed on the Ark really DO love YOU best!

Mosquito (in Public Domain)

Here’s why:

1. Blood Type ~ “Mmm . . . Type O.  My fave!”

2. Body Temp and Sweat ~ “Fee Fie Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a yum yum.”

3. Body Size ~ larger people expel more CO2, an aphrodisiac for skeeters.

4. Beer ~ skeeters are booze hounds.  If you drink it, they will find you.

5. Other factors ~ pregnancy, skin bacteria, clothing color, and genetics.

Or you might just lack the natural repellent that allows “even a Type O, exercising, pregnant woman in a black shirt to ward off mosquitoes.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more information:  Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others  (Smithsonian)

 

Am I Showing My Age Bias? July 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , , , ,
58 comments

The-Pink-PantherPoets and Writers sent the following Fiction Prompt a few days ago:

Some people slow down in their golden years, taking it easy and enjoying the family and friends gathered around them in the comfort of their community, while others try to continue to live like their younger selves.  

This week, write a story about an older person who still has the mindset and physical stamina of a twenty-something. How does this affect her interactions with her peers? What are her secrets? Is she one of those people who wishes to live forever, or does she simply make a habit of staying healthy?

Think about how a person’s biological age and true age are related and what happens when they are in conflict.

As I read “what are her secrets,” I sensed a dose of age bias on the prompter’s part ~ an unspoken message that continuing to “live like [our] younger selves” should be the goal of our golden years.

Why?  Wasn’t that the job of our younger selves?

catlady

What’s wrong with slowing down and taking it easy, while enjoying family, friends, the comfort of community . . . and the occasional cigar?

Do we need to head to the clubs for drinking, dancing, and revelry on Friday and Saturday nights, staying out ’til the cock crows, in order to crow about it to our peers?

Is there a continued benefit to waking with hung-over head on Saturday and Sunday mornings?  If so, I missed the memo.

I am delighted I no longer have the mindset of a twenty-something.  At that age, I was not nearly as content as I am these days.

IMGP3523b

There’s a line in Desiderata that I love:  “Take kindly the counsel of years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

I agree with that sentiment . . . One Hundred Percent!

The daily decisions I face are made with accumulated wisdom.  I can’t think of a single one my present self would defer to my twenty-something self . . . not on matters of fashion, food, movies, books, bars, clubs, or how to spend my leisure time.

Gymnastics

That said, having the physical stamina of a twenty-something would rock!

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you knew an “older person” with the mindset of a twenty-something, would you want to know his secret?

Or would you encourage him to get counseling?

The Science of Happiness June 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
37 comments

Eeyore-SittingIn  Zen and the Art of Happiness, Chris Prentiss explains why gloomy thoughts create a body that, at the cellular level, is more able to feel gloominess than joyfulness:

Each cell in our body communicates with our brain via receptor molecules located on its surface.

Cells are defined by which receptors are on its surface and whether those receptors are occupied by ligands or not.

Receptors and ligands are “information molecules” used to communicate across systems such as the endocrine, neurological, gastrointestinal, and even the immune system.  Ligands come in 3 types (neurotransmitters, steroids, and peptides).  Up to 95% of ligands may be peptides, which govern emotions.

The peptides produced in the hypothalamus gland in the brain duplicate emotions we experience ~> anger, hate, sadness, frustration, enthusiasm, happiness, and joy.

These peptides are channeled to the pituitary gland and the bloodstream, where they visit all 20-30 trillion cells in the body.

After cruising around the bloodstream, peptides dock on the millions of receptors on a cell’s surface.  There, they influence our behavior, activity levels, and mood.

That’s right . . . these teeny tiny molecular bits affect our mood.  With that kind of clout, it’s no wonder that peptides have their very own science journal.

We rely on cell division for growth, repair, and replacement of worn out cells.  An estimated 300,000,000 cell divisions occur every minute of every day.

New cells are created according to what you think and feel.  Cells created when someone is “depressed” will have more receptors for depression and fewer receptors to receive feel-good peptides.

As a result of this mechanism, we are either spiraling upwards into greater and greater happiness or downwards into greater and greater sadness, anger, fear, depression, frustration, etc.

Scruffy-CatIf we feel depressed for an hour, we produce eighteen billion new cells that have receptors calling out for depressed type peptides.

It’s as if the trillions and trillions of receptors are all cupping little hands around megaphones while shouting, “Send us more depression!”

That’s why thinking gloomy thoughts creates a body that is more able to feel gloominess than joyfulness.

The more we engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater our desire for it becomes ~> that’s true for depression, anger, and happiness.

We create ourselves by what we think and feel.  Once we start to manage our thoughts, our personal belief system changes and we begin to create a body that is more able to feel happiness.

Tigger-PogoWe can use our emotions and thoughts to create a body that’s more receptive to feel-good states, with a better functioning immune system.

By staying in the present moment, and choosing happiness right now, we increase our level of happiness tomorrow.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Researchers Find Link Between Peptide and Happiness  (Psych Central) * Become Susceptible to Happiness (Hindu Business Line)

Change June 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
Tags: , , , , ,
42 comments

Chicken-Little-PosterFor many things, it’s slow and steady progress (not perfection) that helps us manifest change.

For others, cold turkey works best.

Gobble.  Gobble.

For example, switching from regular milk to skim milk or from dairy milk to almond or soy milk is harder if we alternate back and forth.  We don’t acclimate to the new milk until we STOP drinking the old milk.

The same is true of other dietary changes.

Our taste buds adapt to less salt and less sugar, but only after we eliminate the “problem foods” from our daily diet.

Also, change is easier if we don’t rely on sheer will power alone.

220px-Pig_roastbeef

Most of us are impatient and don’t want to wait.  Delayed gratification often is not enough to keep us slogging along with the new regime.

If we focus on the short term rewards gained from the behavioral changes we’re making, rather than on what we are giving up, it makes it easier to stick with the new behavior until it becomes status quo.

For example, we can focus on how we feel after a vigorous walk, rather than obsessing about the slow-to-move number on the bathroom scale.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For some terrific tips on mindful change:  What Needs to Change for Change to Happen (Find Your Middle Ground)

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