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The Blind Leading The Blind September 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Lessons, People.
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44 comments

IMGP1472aI read a post written by a twenty-something someone who flew halfway around the world and then spent his first three weeks in Thailand drinking Buckets of Beer at night and being hung-over during the day.

He suggested that we all add Travel to our Bucket List . . . to maintain life balance.

Dude!  Are you sure you’re the best person to give us advice on maintaining life balance?

Another twenty-something recommended travel as one of the best ways to learn about ourselves and our priorities.

What did he learn?  That the highlight of his trip to South America was his excitement at the thought of returning home.

Before blindly following advice from others, it’s a good idea to make sure they know where they are going first.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you are headed for the mountain top, why do you care what the people in the valley are doing? ~ Guy Finley (The Secret of Letting Go)

Related Post:  The Extrapolation Temptation

Choose Happiness September 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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42 comments

We can choose to be happier by changing the focus of our day-to-day thoughts.

Like any skill worth having, changing the way we look at the world will not happen on its own.

We don’t learn to swim, or speak French, or play golf by wishing we had those skills.  We learn those skills by practicing them until we become adept.

If we wish to change our minds, it helps to understand a few key concepts:

1. Thoughts create our reality.  

When we dwell on past hurts and frustrations, our thoughts and emotions are apt to be negative ~ sadness, anger, and resistance fill our world.  When we count our blessings and envision a positive future, our thoughts and emotions tend to follow suit, increasing the level of our happiness.

Sometimes nothing needs to change but our perspective or frame of reference.

2. We can choose the way we view the world.

Our thoughts are tools which help or hinder us as we journey through life.

When we learn to view the thoughts running through our brains in the same way we view images on a TV or computer screen, we realize we can change the channel any time we don’t like the program being broadcast.

Watching the same tearful melodrama for days (or years) is like watching a sad movie over and over again.  Instead of watching stale reruns, we can reclaim the remote, switch channels, and watch more positive and uplifting fare.

Monitoring our thoughts allows us to re-program the default setting on our remotes and trains our brain to broadcast shows that are worth watching.

3. It’s hard to stop thinking about pink elephants. 

If we’re told not to think about pink elephants, the image of a pink elephant is apt to appear, front and center. Telling ourselves to stop thinking about pink elephants is an exercise in futility.

Instead, like training a teething puppy, we must give our minds something else to chew on:  planning our next vacation, writing out a grocery list, playing Sudoku, making weekend plans.

Better still, we can do something:  Read a book.  Watch a movie.  Fly a kite.  Ride a bike. Paint a picture.  Take a hike.  Send a note.  Float a boat. Feed a goat.  Dig a moat. Phone a friend.

One of the best ways to distance ourselves from the habit of negative thinking is by distracting ourselves with a dose of positivity.

4. Emotions follow our thoughts, not vice versa.

Think sad, feel sad.  Think mad, feel mad.  Think glad, feel glad.

As we tune into the ticker tape of monkey chatter racing through our mental corridors, we notice emotions as they arise ~ e.g., a flicker of annoyance.  We take a mindful peek at our thoughts to see if they are true, helpful, kind, etc.

If not, as is often the case, we switch channels to a more positive broadcast.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  A Simple Choice

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.  By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Intestate Succession September 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
Tags: ,
29 comments

Doug Smith is on his deathbed; he knows the end is near.  His wife, daughter and 2 sons are with him, along with a nurse.

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Doug looks at his oldest son, “Bernie, I want you to take the Mayfair houses.”

Bernie nods.

“Sybil, take the apartments over in Pall Mall.”

Sybil agrees.

Doug looks at his youngest son, “Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in City Center.”

Jamie says, “Sure, pop.”

At last, Doug turns to his wife of 27 years, “Sarah, my darling, please take all the residential buildings on the Thames.”

220px-Shackleton's_Ship_Quest_1921

As Doug slips away, the nurse says, “Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been a hard working man to have accumulated all that property.”

Sarah snorts, “Property?  I wish.”

Confused, the nurse looks around.

Bernie nods in the direction of the bed.  “Dear old dad ran a cleaning service.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

Shooting Ducks on the Midway September 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
Tags: , , ,
41 comments

Broccoli-Mocking-Stewie

Ego (the false self, the illusionist, the imposter, the story-teller) will do anything to keep us off balance.

Ego knows that, as long as we’re struggling against the roiling waves and brush fires it creates, we will be too busy to toss him overboard (or fight fire with fire).

Ego wants to live long enough to create conflict another day.

Once we “wake up” and see that we are not the thoughts we think, the stormy seas left in Ego’s wake dissipate.

Donald-Duck-LazyI am not the thoughts I think.
My thoughts are not “me.”

I am the silent observer of thoughts that arise.
The detached witness.

I can identify with the thoughts Ego tosses at me.
Or allow them to drift away.

When we practice mindfulness, we no longer believe all the thoughts we think.

Instead, our authentic self  (the still silent observer) watches the ticker-tape parade of thoughts that pop up in rapid-fire succession (like those revolving ducks at the shooting gallery on the midway).

Donald-DirectorAs we watch, our awareness of our internal landscape improves, as does our aim.  We get better at shooting toxic thoughts down as soon as they pop up.

Instead of being thrown off balance by non-productive thoughts, we watch Ego’s ineffectual attempts to “stir the pot” with detached amusement.

We see that Ego is just a big fat QUACK!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Box of Chocolates September 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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46 comments

IMGP1105bThe titles of blog posts can be misleading.

Titillating titles and teasers may grab our attention without holding it.

Great curb appeal may mask an empty shell:

Inside the vestibule, we encounter a veritable dumping ground of mish mash and pish posh with little rhyme or reason, almost as if the author tossed a bunch of unrelated thoughts into the air and allowed the hodge podge and hoi polloi to descend and settle willy nilly into disordered and discordant chaos and disarray.

Like so much falderal and fiddle dee dee.

If a post leaves me befuddled (because “the point” of the post is M.I.A.), I leave the pointless post, post haste.

Of course, the opposite also occurs.

On occasion, we stumble across a blog title so dumpy or frumpy that we lower our expectations before stepping across the threshold.

Why step inside at all?

Curiosity, perhaps.  Or maybe the slim reed of hope that the dowdy exterior, like an oyster shell, houses a pearl of wisdom.

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Sometimes, despite the gloomy interior heralded on the marquee, intrepid visitors are rewarded.

Instead of finding a warren of empty rooms, we encounter a brilliant flash of light as a veritable palace of jewels and gems opens before us.

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What a delight when valuable insight awaits those who venture past a dingy signpost outside.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” ~ Forest Gump

Winner . . . Winner . . . Lobster Dinner! September 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
24 comments

As mentioned in Short Short Stories, the winner of the Longboat Key News Short Short Story Contest receives a complimentary dinner at The Lazy Lobster.

Winner . . . Winner . . . Lobster Dinner!

If you would like to vote:

1.  Follow this link ~ You Choose:  Which Story Is Your Favorite?

2.  Scroll through the entries and pick your favorite.

3.  E-mail the TITLE of your favorite story to:  story@lbknews.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

You can stuff a lobster, but NOT the ballot box ~>  only one choice per e-mail will be counted.

If you have a favorite . . . feel free to share its TITLE in the comments below.

 

A Telling Tale from the Emerald Isle September 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Life Lessons.
Tags: , , ,
18 comments

220px-OldBeggar1Paddy had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 18th birthday.

On that special day, they’d each walked across the lake to the pub on the far side for their first legal drink.

So when Paddy’s 18th birthday came around, he and his pal Mick took a boat out to the middle of the lake.

Paddy stepped out of the boat and  nearly drowned before Mick managed to pull him to safety.

Disappointed and confused, Paddy went to see his grandmother.

170px-Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing“Granny, ’tis me 18th birthday, at long last.  So why can’t I walk across the lake like me father, his father and his father before him?”

Granny looked into Paddy’s troubled eyes and shook her head.  “Ye father, granddad and great-granddad were all born in December when the lake is frozen.  Ye were born in August, ya daft banana!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

Nothing Knowledge September 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
46 comments

170px-PuckCoverMuch of what we read on the internet and watch on TV is fluff.  

And nonsense.

We think we’re “in the know” if we keep tabs on the lives of the rich and famous on our Smart Phones . . . while monitoring the strokes of the U.S. Open on our iPads . . . while catching breaking news on TV:

Some jury somewhere reached a verdict about someone or something.

Even if none of these things impact our lives in a direct way, we refuse to remain in the dark.

When a celebrity dies, has a wardrobe malfunction, or twerks in someone’s face, tabloids toss out sordid details to boost readership.

Instead of barking out, TMI!!!, we emulate Pavlov’s dogs (or seals training at Sea World) and eat up this “nothing knowledge.”

It’s free!  So why not?

Because there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The vortex created by this nothing knowledge, the black hole of social media manipulation, distracts us from our stated priorities ~ our friends, our families, our health and well-being, our dreams.

chimp2

What we put into our mouths is with us only a short while before making an exit through the back door.  What we put into our minds may haunt those hallowed halls forever.

Maybe one day, in the not-so-foreseeable future, we’ll evolve past the point of ingesting anything and everything tossed our way.

Until that day arrives, do your best to steer clear of whine fests, pity parties, and other non-productive time sucks that put your tizzy in a tail spin.

Aah . . . that’s better!

* Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma ~ which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs

* It’s amazing the things we find to do . . . to avoid doing amazing things.

* Time is our most valuable and irreplaceable commodity ~ a bank account which mandates daily withdrawals, prohibits deposits, and pays dividends when we spend it wisely.

The Heart of the Matter August 31, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

Listen to your heart, it’s calling to you.
Be guided by the heart in all you do.

To handle yourself, use your head.  To handle others, use your heart. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

LOVE is such a big word . . . it really should have more letters! ~ Kobi Yamada

You have not lived a perfect day unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you. ~ Ruth Smeltzer

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused. ~  Unknown

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

The first duty of love is to listen. ~ Paul Tillich

If you can’t be with the one you love, dive headfirst into a box of chocolate!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Fifty Dollars August 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Life Balance, People.
Tags: , ,
28 comments

Dollar-BillsMorris and his wife Esther went to the State Fair every year, and every year Morris would say, “Esther, I’d like to ride in that helicopter.”

Esther always replied, “I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.”

One year, Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, “Esther, I’m 85 years old. If I don’t ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.”

To this, Esther replied, “Morris that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.”

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsThe pilot overheard the couple and said, “Folks I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won’t charge you! But if you say one word, it’s fifty dollars.”

Morris and Esther agreed and up they went.

The pilot put the craft through all kinds of maneuvers, but not a word was heard.  Up, down, back and forth, even sideways, he did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, “By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn’t. I’m impressed!”

Morris replied, “Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, fifty dollars is fifty dollars!”

Source:  e-mail from unknown author

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