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Let It Out . . . Let it Go September 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , , ,
28 comments

Most of us experience the occasional down day.

The sun is always shining, but sometimes it is obscured by clouds.

Just as a rainy day can be a nice change of pace, so too can a gloomy mood.

Life is enhanced by the ebb and flow of emotions.

We appreciate our sunny dispositions more after a cloudy day . . . as long as we don’t get attached to the idea of being sad.

I read a story one day about puppies that had been mistreated.   Images of the poor wee pups flooded into my brain.

The happiness felt moments earlier evaporated, replaced with overwhelming sadness.  Tears poured down my face.  I sobbed until the pain dissipated.

Pluto-RollerskatingOnce my tears stopped, I returned my attention to what I had been doing before seeing the story.

In other words, a sad thought entered my brain.  The thought made my emotions switch from happy to sad.  I allowed myself to feel that sadness.

Once I acknowledged the sadness, it left.  It moved on.

And, this is the important part, I let it go.

I did not chase after it and bring it back.  I let it go.  I did not get attached to the idea of being sad.  I let it go.

If I hadn’t read the story that morning, I wouldn’t have known about the poor puppies at all.  Nothing in my life changed from the moment before I read about them until the moment after.

I was not being called upon to save them ~ they had already been rescued.

Mickey-LoungingSo, when the sadness started to dissipate on its own, I let it go so that I could get on with my day.

And the sun shone once more.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead. ~ Scottish Proverb

Taking Things Out Of Context September 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , , ,
38 comments

Sally-BrownThe perspective we bring to what we read affects our “take away.”

If we read something when we are angry, we perceive the writer’s words in a different way than we would when feeling calm and peaceful.

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

Experiences that come to mind while reading also flavor our perception.

For example, if I talk about a “pothole in the path” while picturing a broken thermos or some other insignificant obstacle, my words may make sense.

Donald-Duck-MadIf a reader stumbles upon my words after experiencing a catastrophic event (e.g., having their home washed away in a flood or mowed down by a tornado), that reader’s experiential overlay will impact their interpretation of my words, and may cause them to conclude, “That’s Just Crazy Talk!”

“We see the world behind our eyes.”

The ability to take things out of context is facilitated when reading blog posts and e-mails because we cannot hear the writer’s inflection.

Donald-DuckaWords written in a calm and soothing tone may be transformed into an angry and hostile diatribe or attack depending on what’s going on in our head as we read.

Our history with the person in question may magnify this phenomenon.

When we like and admire someone, we view their words without suspicion.  If something sounds “off,” we’re apt to give them the benefit of the doubt.

In contrast, if we’re not a fan of a writer, our distrust may season their words, causing them to become bitter, unpalatable, and hard to swallow.

Donald-Duck-BaseballIf a writer’s words rub you the wrong way, take a look at what you’re bringing to the table.

When we leave our hostility and animosity at the door, the world becomes a friendlier place.

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

Aah . . . that’s better!

Social media can be bad for people without foresight, impulse control, self-awareness, and the ability to anticipate consequences. ~ Eric J. Baker

 

What’s “Wrong” With This Quote? September 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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46 comments

An excerpt from a book, The Strangest Secret, landed in my in-box today.  In the middle of the excerpt, I happened upon this quote:

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry—his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing… he becomes nothing.

As I read the quote, I found it “wrong” for any number of reasons:

Donald-Ducka1.  There is no universal mandate that our thoughts “must therefore be” anything other than what we choose them to be.

“When we master our thoughts, we master our life.”

“How we relate to the issue IS the issue.”

2.  Some people will flounder in the face of uncertainty.  Others will flourish.

“In uncertainty lies all possibility.”

“Embrace all with joy.  Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.”

Mickey-Surfer3. Happiness is the goal behind all goals.

If we convince ourselves that reaching a set destination is a pre-requisite to happiness, we are apt to be disappointed since the rewards we envision, if they materialize at all, often feel less like rewards and more like dead ends.

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road ~ it’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!

4.  We don’t need to know where we’re going as the path unfolds before us.  In tune with Spirit, we remain awake and aware, seeing opportunities as they arise.  We notice the winks, whispers, and nudges intended for our eyes, ears, and hearts.

“The way teaches us the way.”

5.  If we’re enjoying the journey, we win . . . no matter what happens.

“A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

6.  When we are too intent on reaching a set destination, we may become frustrated, impatient, and discouraged if our goal, like the proverbial grapes, remains “out of reach.”

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

7.  We can NEVER be nothing.

No matter what.

Accessing the authentic self is simple.  Just be.  Follow the breath to your innermost core.  Let all else fade away.

In the silent spaces between thoughts, we find ourselves waiting.

Ego despair and confusion dissipate.  Peace, Joy, and Happiness surface.

We become one with the source.

“I am that I am.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Nothing Knowledge September 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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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.

Fifty Dollars August 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Life Balance, People.
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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.
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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!

 

The Other Side of Retirement August 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
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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

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