jump to navigation

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

You Don’t Know Jack August 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, People.
Tags: , , , , ,
28 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!

 

The Other Side of Retirement August 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
Tags: , , ,
51 comments

Pooh-With-MailbagI’m reading letters written by my dad’s dad in the 1950’s after he retired from his rural mail route in Vermont after 30 years of service.

While writing the first of the letters, he was only 7 years older than I am now.

He kept busy with a variety of seasonal interests:  gathering sap to make maple syrup in the spring; planting and harvesting potatoes, beans, corn, peas, and strawberries in the spring and summer; cutting hemlocks for sale to the mill as time permitted; hunting in the fall; and heading south to Florida during the harsh winter months (except when the Vermont legislature sat in session in Montpelier and he claimed seat #87 as Town Representative for Hartland).

His second wife also pursued seasonal interests: dressmaking classes in the spring; canning fruits, vegetables, and meat and tending her flowers during the spring and summer; babysitting for my cousins on an as-needed basis; and traveling to Montpelier and Florida during the winter months, with pit stops in New Jersey to visit my parents as they began married life together, bought their first house, and welcomed my older brother into the world.

Reading about how my grandparents “spent their retirement” caused me to reflect on my own choices and pursuits.

IMGP1800bFor the last 10 years of my working life, I worked for non-profits to “give back to the community.”

Now, my time is my own to spend as I see fit . . . and I love it!

My days are populated with a variety of interesting activities.  I am never bored and there is always more to do than time to do it.

If I get bored or run out of things to do, I’ll volunteer or get a part time job, but for now I’m happy with the status quo.

That was not always the case.

When I first stopped practicing law, I searched high and low for “meaning” and “purpose” ~ convinced that I needed to do something “significant” with my life.

Now, not so much.

Much of the desire “to leave a lasting mark” stems from Ego and its incessant demand for applause, accolades, and approval.  Ego wants recognition for its accomplishments while on life’s stage and yearns for immortality in death.

Mickey-OKUsing an internal barometer and compass to direct and govern my actions has allowed me to embrace peace and happiness in relative anonymity.

I no longer feel any urgency to be more than I am.

Realizing that I have nothing to prove provides meaning enough for me.

Aah . . . that’s better!

After enlightenment, the laundry. ~ Zen Proverb

Related post:  “Just Be” and “I Am” . . . Rocking My World (In The Stillness of Willow Hill)

A Quick Hit of Inspiration August 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
Tags: , , ,
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

Oh, The Changes We’ve Seen August 10, 2014

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

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Many of us alive today were born before:

Television * Penicillin * Polio shots * Frozen foods * Xerox * Contact lenses * Frisbees * The Pill (or Viagra!) * Credit cards * Laser beams * Ball-point pens * Cell phones * Pantyhose * Air conditioners * Computers * Computer Dating * Dishwashers * Clothes dryers * Satellites * Astronauts * Space shuttles * Space stations * Dual Careers * Gay-rights * Civil Rights * Daycare centers * Shopping Malls * Wal*Mart * Amazon * Dot.coms * the Internet * Smart Phones * iPods * Fast Food * Time Shares * FM radios * Tape decks * CD’s * DVD’s * Electric typewriters * Pizza Hut * McDonald’s * Instant coffee * Tang

220px--Lena_Horne_conserves_fuel_(gas).-,_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_NARA_-_535820

Dang!  That’s a bucket load of change in a short time span.  No wonder so many of us are disoriented, dizzy, and distracted.

I think I need to sit down and rest a spell.

250px-Astronaut-EVA

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  My New Kindle HDX is Here! (Kate Crimmons) * Welcome to the Future (Raptitude)

Inequality For All August 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Balance.
Tags: , , , ,
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.
Tags: , , ,
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.

Why Are You So Annoyed? July 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , ,
54 comments

Donald-DuckaSometimes we get annoyed at others because they are exhibiting a trait we have not fully integrated and accepted as part of ourselves.

Sometimes.  But not always.

Other times our annoyance is for other reasons entirely:

* I get annoyed (to use a gentle word) with animal abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse because those actions are morally wrong, not because I share the abuse trait with abusers.

* I get annoyed at bullies and line cutters and liars and cheats and polluters and litterers because I am acting as “unpaid advocate” for the “little guy” whose rights they are trampling.

* I get annoyed when people are late, time and time again, not because I share that trait, but because they are being selfish.  In essence, they are saying that their time is more important than mine.

A flicker of annoyance, standing alone, does not always mean that the object of our annoyance is acting as a mirror for something we need to work on.

Snoopy2As Don noted in The Clowns Around Us, there are those who hijack what could have been genuine heartfelt productive discussions by deflecting, rather than reflecting.

Instead of staying on point, they derail the intended conversation with a joke or off-color remark.

Saying, in essence, “Look at ME!”

I see any number of people who don’t share that trait getting annoyed when someone presses the *disconnect* button on an interesting exchange.

As noted in the comment thread on Don’s post (well worth a read), many of us are starved for genuine conversation and connection in our daily lives.

We long for opportunities to discuss matters of genuine import, to engage in the civilized exchange of ideas, and to offer compassion to those in pain.

So we may feel a flicker of annoyance when someone derails the exchange.

StreetlightA flicker of annoyance (like other emotions) is a signal designed to get our attention so we can choose how to respond to the situation at hand.

Once noted, we must decide whether to take affirmative action or “let it go” and get on with the day.

The third option (stewing in our own juices while doing nothing to change the situation) is almost always a non-productive use of time.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

 

Big Brother IS Watching You! July 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
33 comments

2014-05-05 11-35-34_0037Do you ever get the sense that Big Brother is watching?

The sneaking suspicion that someone is recording every move you make?

Every step you take?

On your journey from Here to There.

Do you feel as if someone is peering over your shoulder?

Gauging your progress in getting from where you are to where you want to be?

Well don’t look now, but . . . you’re right!

Big

Brother

IS

Watching

You!

You’re being scrutinized like a bug under a microscope!

And while Big Brother is watching YOU . . . I’m going to make a run for it!

2014-07-13 16-40-11_0031

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Privacy is Dead * Privacy Risks of Smart Phones * Häagen-Dazs & Pretzel: A Fractured Fairy Tale

Turning Boulders Into Pebbles July 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
42 comments

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Life is full of challenges and obstacles.

Some are boulders; others are mere pebbles on the path.  And some boulders transform into pebbles if we change the way we view them:

* Do what you can with what you have where you are.

Perhaps you don’t have time to sort through ALL your books tonight to select extraneous tomes to donate to the Library for its Annual Book Sale . . . tomorrow.

Fair enough.

But maybe you can nibble away at your collection by selecting ONE book a day to donate to next year’s sale.

One book a day may not sound like much, but it equates to 30 books a month and 360 books a year.

I can hear your overflowing book shelves breathing lighter already.

200px-March-hare* Hardship is inevitable, misery is optional.

Perhaps you can no longer eat everything you used to eat.  Maybe you’re on a salt-restricted or gluten-free diet eyeing a slice of pizza.

Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat (which will add to your suffering), focus on the delicious tastes and textures of the food you can eat.

Like chocolate!

And if that doesn’t work . . . seize the day and eat the pizza!

Life is short.  You could get hit by a bus next week.

Or drowned in a tea pot.

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27

Make the most of this moment.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How often do you transform boulders into pebbles by viewing obstacles as opportunities?

Related post:  Pizza Shopping (Coffee Kat’s Blog ~ Kate)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,978 other followers