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Happiness as a Hymn March 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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37 comments

Yesterday, I read an undated Philosophy paper my mother wrote years ago ~ probably in college but possibly later in life.

After addressing a number of different theories (Existentialism, Rationalism, Determinism, Intuition), she concluded with the following:

What are we trying to achieve?

Here, I believe with Plato and Aristotle that the highest good is the full development of our individual potentialities ~ and this is happiness, complete in itself, the intrinsic good.

The individual will know happiness as a state of being, not as a momentary pleasure, and it will be the hymn of his life to uplift him and to sing on into the lives of all who know him.

On these points, she agrees, also, with the Dalai Lama . . . we are here to be happy and to make others happy.

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Let that be the Coda to each of our lives.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” ~ Aristotle

Related posts:  Coaxing the Statue from the Stone * International Day of Happiness (Huffington Post) * International Happiness Day (T4D)

Pizza . . . Pick Up or Delivery? March 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor.
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29 comments

Much of life is spent waiting in lines and sterile waiting rooms.

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To save waiting time, people often call ahead for pick up or delivery.  Some drive through the drive-through.

Not us.

We wait until we get to Oma’s Pizza to order a pie for take out.  Then we cross Gulf Drive and enjoy the view while “waiting” for our pizza to bake.

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Best

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Waiting

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Room

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Ever!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Playing The Blame Game March 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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32 comments

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieIt’s a shame when we insist on playing the blame game, because we proclaim ourselves as “victims.”

Much better to see our part in the process and maintain our autonomy and freedom of choice.

When we control our thoughts, we control our life.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Owning Up (Suzicate) * How to Get Out of Prison (Gems of Delight)

3 Easy Ways to Better Days March 10, 2014

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

Tigger-Bouncing1.  The easiest way to have a better day . . . mindful moments.

Press the PAUSE button and check in with your surroundings ~ what do you see, smell, hear, feel, taste, touch, and sense?

Claim the Moment.  Notice what’s happening.

Put your To Do list aside for a moment and Be Here Now:

* If you’re eating, taste your food.
* If you’re listening to music or nature, hear the notes.
* If you’re peeling an orange or spy a rose, smell the fragrance.
* If you’re walking, notice the miracle of movement.

Tigger-PogoOur best days are filled with mindful moments when we’re not pulled into the past, pushed into the future, or lost in thought.

We start to “notice the good” and stop taking it for granted.

We’re inspired to make more of the moments of the days of the weeks of the years of our life.

2.  Allow your Inner Tigger to surface, pull up a chair, and stay awhile.  

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailOh, who am I kidding?

Tiggers are way too busy bouncing and giggling to pull up a chair.

You’ll have to pull it up for him.

But remember, you can lead a Tigger to a seat, but you cannot make him sit.

3.  Create space for what matters.  Have a family game night.  Award prizes.  Go for a picnic in the park or a walk on the beach.  Play on the playground or toss a Frisbee around.  Organize a theme night for dinner ~ exotic costumes optional.  Have a talent show.  Tell jokes.  Laugh.  Have fun!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Think back to the best days in your life.  What made them so special?

Related posts:  Moment by Moment (Mindful Balance) * How to Stop your Mind from Talking all the Time (Raptitude)

Laughter Lights The Way March 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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22 comments

IMGP1786bWhenever possible, be funny:

Wine improves with age.  
Age improves with wine.  
Life improves with laughter.

If you can’t be funny, be fresh:

Rather than allowing our thoughts, emotions, and past experiences to dictate our re-actions to new events, we can view life with alert curiosity. 

If you can’t be fresh, be relevant:

Through training our minds, with constant effort, we can change our mental perceptions and attitudes.  This can make a real difference in our lives. ~ The Dalai Lama

If you can’t be relevant . . . it’s never too late to shut up.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Unearthing The Essential March 3, 2014

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

Brian-with-coffee-and-newspaperRefraining from snap judgments about people, places, and things makes sense given our limited vantage point. We should keep our eyes and ears open and mindfully observe life with alert curiosity rather than a rush to judgment.

But . . .

As we observe the world around us ~ seeing people, places, and things with alert curiosity ~ we are going to see patterns which enable us to conclude, suppose, or conjecture about what we’ve observed.

Donald-Duck-BaseballBased on our observations and experiences, we may be drawn to some people, places, and things, while being bored or repelled by others.

And . . .

Maybe that is as it should be.

If we are to honor our own life purpose, we have to allow ourselves to be the arbiter of what we are drawn to and what holds little or no interest or appeal. After all, there is not enough time for all of us to do it all. We have to pick and choose those pursuits and interests that work for us.

* The minute you choose to do what you really want to do, it’s a different kind of life. ~ Buckminster Fuller

Donald-Duck-DrivingRecognizing that something is “boring” is OK.  BFF loves flipping through car magazines. I find them boring. I would rather watch paint dry.

That’s a clear signal that cars have nothing to do with my life purpose.

* Take charge of your life or someone else will. ~ Herman Millman

The key to sifting through options and possibilities is to do it mindfully and with alert curiosity ~ a conscious effort to sift through what is “extraneous” to us so that we can unearth the “essential.”

Donald-Director* Once in a while it really strikes people that they don’t have to live in the way they have been told to. ~ Alan Keightly

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  It’s Boring (Candid Impressions) * Judging and Kindness (Find Your Middle Ground)

Behind The Clouds February 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature.
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26 comments

Bunnies always make me smile.  As do tiny tots, especially when they laugh.

Sometimes the smallest thing reminds us that the world is ripe for picking:

* a fragrant orange entices our taste buds

* a songbird’s trill resonates at our core

* a blank sheet of paper invites insights

“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.” ~ Charles Dickens

Pulled into the Now by our senses, we remember . . .

The sun is always shining somewhere behind the clouds.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Seven Wonders of the World (Grannymar)

Image:  Wikipedia ~ Peter Rabbit (in Public Domain)

A Double “A Ha!” Moment February 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
40 comments

Mickey-OKYears ago, I cracked open a fortune cookie and pulled out a fortune:

“You will live a happy and peaceful life.”

Yes! 

I taped it to the top of my alarm clock where I would see it each morning as I smacked the Snooze Button into submission at the false start to another “peaceful day.”

Flash forward more than a dozen years . . .

This week, as I pondered the goal-setting advice in Do It!  Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams, I had an epiphany ~ a double “a ha!” moment:

1.   I want a happy and peaceful life.  Contrary to evidence to the contrary, my desire for peace and quiet reflection is NOT holding me back from achieving my Dream(s) . . . my desire for peace IS my Dream!

2.  I am living my Dream.  When I act as captain of my ship, I am happy, peaceful, calm, relaxed, here, now, etc.  My life has balance.  It is only when I allow others to “steer my ship” that the waters get a bit choppy.

As I skimmed through exercises, advice, and a plethora of great quotes, I found this nugget on p. 457 of Do It!  Let’s Get Off Our Buts:

To fulfill our Dream, we need only examine our life and do two things:

1.  More of what works.
2.  Less of what doesn’t.

Exactly!

So, I’ve decided to “clear the decks.”  Anything that “doesn’t work” will be tossed overboard. Excepting the cat, of course.  Unnecessary ballast drags us down faster than a bloated anchor no matter how much wind fills our sails.   We travel best when we travel light.  

Once the extraneous has been cleared away, I’ll load the hull with more of what “does work” ~ laughter, joy, peace, calm awareness, compassion, kindness, exercise (walking, biking, swimming), inspirational books & movies (and blogs!), good food, chocolate, music, writing, simplicity, time for reflection and meditation, and anything else that sparks an interest.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Lack of motivation (to “get off our buts”) may stem from fear, guilt, anger, unworthiness, laziness, etc.  Or our lack of motivation might mean we are content where and how and who we are.

Eat when hungry, sleep when tired . . . move when restless.

Related Post:  Is It Really Important? (Awakening to Awareness)

Gratitude is Gratuitous, not Fortuitous February 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
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35 comments

An attitude of gratitude is gratuitous, not fortuitous.  It does not happen by chance, but by choice.

We choose our focus and fill our coffers.

What we focus on expands, crowding out niggling doubts, reminding us that simple pleasures are life’s treasures.  

Think about the good that surrounds you, here and now.  Gratitude magnifies happiness.

Fortune smiles on us when we smile on it.

* It’s not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. ~ Charles Spurgeon

* There is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings. ~ J. Robert Moskin

* We can only live happily-ever-after on a moment by moment basis.

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Sifting through our 2013 Gratitude Jar put us in a GREAT mood as we recalled all the things we’d enjoyed.

For 2014, we swapped our Gratitude Jar for a Gratitude Basket ~ it’s BIGGER to hold even more good stuff.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal or set up a Gratitude Jar?  With what results?

Related post:  An Appreciation Jar (Pocket Perspectives)

Walking The Streets Like Beggars February 13, 2014

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

Donald-Duck-LazyUnhappiness often arises from holding on to the past or worrying about the future.

Awareness has healing power.  

Simply watch your thoughts, relax, and allow them to drift away . . . as darkness gives way to light.

* You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~ Buddha

Observe your breath and it will slow down.  Follow your breath.  Become calm and centered.  Allow your thoughts to settle down.

Measure your success by the degree of PEACE you feel.

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* Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. ~ St. Francis de Sales

If you are not happy, you have disconnected yourself from your true self.

* Many of us are millionaires walking the streets like beggars because we’ve forgotten we have untold wealth within.

To tap into pure being, follow your breath.  Let go of fear.  Step into love.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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