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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.
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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!

26 Things To Keep In Mind February 9, 2014

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

IMGP1472aHere are 26 Really Important Things to Keep in Mind while developing the habit of focusing on the positives:

1. Acceptance of the “what is”

2. Balance

3. Compassion

4. Delight

5. Enthusiasm

6. Forgiveness

7. Gratitude

8. Health & Wellness

9. Inspiration

IMGP2751b10. Joy

11. Kindness

12. Love

13. Mindfulness & Meditation

14. Nature

15. Observing the NOW as it is

16. Peace & Patience

17. Questioning (with alert curiosity)

18. Relaxation & Breathing

_0001c19. Stillness & Serenity

20. Tranquility

21. Uplifting thoughts

22. Visualization

23. Well-being

24. Xanadu

25. Your purpose & passion

26. Zen Wisdom

Aah . . . that’s better!

What would YOU add to the list?

“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” ~ Rene Descartes

Related reading:  How To Be Happy Right Now (Gems of Delight)

On A Scale From 1 – 22 February 2, 2014

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

Wikipedia ~ American Humor (in Public Domain)

Emotions are an indicator of our current vibrational frequency.

The positive (and negative) vibes we give off act as magnets to attract more of the same to us.

The better we feel, the more likely we are to keep feeling good because we attract more feel good stuff when we are feeling good.

When we are in complete alignment with our Source Energy, we feel free, powerful, happy, loved, valued.

It’s all good!

If we grade our emotions on a scale from positive to negative, the scale might look something like the 22-point scale shared in Ask and It Is Given:

Mickey-OK1. Joy/ Knowledge/ Empowerment/ Freedom/ Love/ Appreciation/ Gratitude

2. Passion

3. Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness

4. Positive Expectation/Belief

Donald-Duck-Baseball5. Optimism

6. Hopefulness

7. Contentment

8. Boredom

9. Pessimism

Broccoli-Mocking-Stewie10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience

11. Overwhelmed

12. Disappointment

13. Doubt

Donald-Duck-Lazy14. Worry 

15. Blame

16. Discouragement

17. Anger

18. Revenge

19. Hatred/Rage

Grumpy gus20. Jealousy

21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness

22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

No matter where we are on the scale, we can move UP the scale, bit by bit, by swapping out a negative thought for a more positive thought.

When we learn to embrace all with joy, knowing that anything can be a gift of gold in disguise, we’re back in full connection with who we really are.

Aah . . . that’s better!  

No Regrets January 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
Tags: , , , , ,
21 comments

IMGP4187Barb heard a knock on the door and looked up.

David, hat in hand, stood framed in the doorway.

“David!  Come in . . . it’s so good to see you.”

He hung back.  “I figured you’d never want to see me again.”

“I do want to see you.  Very much.  Please come in.”

He looked at Barb and frowned, “This is all my fault.  You’re stuck in here because of me.  If I hadn’t dropped you . . . “

“It was an accident.”

“You make it sound like I spilled a glass of milk.”  He nodded at the chart at the foot of the bed. “What do the doctor’s say?

“Well . . . the psychiatrist is frustrated.  He’s waiting for me to be angry.  Or sad.  Or angry.  Angry would make him happy.  He wants me to grieve.  To rail against fate.”

“Why don’t you?”

“Besides the fact that I’m getting a kick out of doing the unexpected?”

“Yeah, besides that.”

“I don’t know.  I’m just not angry.  The psychiatrist is sure I’m in denial.  He scowls when I smile and shakes his head when I laugh and tell him about my day.  He scribbles madly on my chart when I say anything positive.”

“So you’re driving him crazy.”

Barb grinned. “Yes.  And I take great pleasure and pride in that.”

“Maybe you are in denial.  Maybe it just hasn’t caught up to you yet.”

“Maybe.  But I don’t think so.  I think I’m in a state of acceptance.  At peace with the “what is.”  Any day could be my last.  If this is my last day, why would I want to spend it crying over spilled milk?”

“This is NOT spilled milk, Barb.  You’re paralyzed from the waist down.  I ruined your life.  Forever.”

Barb reached out and touched the back of David’s hand, “No, you didn’t.”

“How can you say that?”

“Easy.  Even in a wheelchair, I’m not as crippled as those who allow emotional scars to eat them alive.  People like that walk through life without seeing the good.  They are blind to the present moment.  Being paralyzed may keep me from walking, but it’s not going to blind me to the wonder and delights of life.”

“I just want those 5 minutes back.  If I hadn’t been showing off . . . “

“Let it go, David.  I forgive you.  Forgive yourself.  Let go of the guilt.  Let go of regret.  You’re my best friend.  I don’t want you to destroy your life.”

“You mean like I destroyed yours?”

“Shall I be honest?”

“Yes.  Give it to me.  I can take it.”

“I would not choose to be in a wheelchair.  But I don’t get a choice in that right now.  It is the “what is.”  How I relate to that issue is the issue.  I can crawl into a ball and cry . . . or I can look for opportunities to laugh and smile.  I can hang on to anger . . . or I can embrace peace.  I can choose to be sad . . . or choose to be happy.   I choose happy.”

Barb reached out again and covered David’s hand with hers.  “I want you to do the same.  For me.  Be happy.  Live life with no regrets.  Find whatever joy you can.  Don’t take life for granted.  Life is good, but life is short.  Bad things happen.  Laugh when you can.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Is happiness an inside job?  Are we buoyed up or dragged down by the thoughts we choose to think?

Is Barb right?  Does hanging on to pain, regret, guilt, fear, anger, and sadness weigh us down more than losing the ability to walk?

Quote to Ponder:  How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

What Lives Would YOU Like To Live? January 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
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36 comments

Donald-Duck-DivingSome people maintain a single-minded focus from birth to death.  They plunge into a field of endeavor, become specialists, and never look back ~ not concerned about what they might be missing.

Others take a different approach.

We can choose to live multiple lives . . . even if we are not schizophrenics with multiple personalities.

Mickey-SurferSometimes we live multiple lives in sequential order ~ moving from one career to the next on a continual path.

Other times, we engage in simultaneous lives ~ splitting our time between various pursuits.

Let’s say you have 13 lives competing for attention and you’d like to live them all . . . in this lifetime:

Musician ~ Writer ~ Cook ~ Singer ~ Traveler ~ Boater/Sailer ~ Disc Jockey ~ Artist ~ Entrepreneur ~ Host ~ Fitness Guru ~ Lecturer ~ Lawyer

*  Which of these lives can you devote yourself to this year?  Next year?

*  Which can you enjoy for 60 minutes or less a day?

*  Which can you do on weekends or while on vacation?

*  Which lives can be combined with others to create a custom career?

Opening a coffee house might satisfy the desire to be an entrepreneur AND the desire to host social gatherings.

Mickey-Ta-DaaaJack might utilize his talents as musician, singer, or disc jockey to provide entertainment in the evening.

Jill might engage her inner artist to decorate the walls or use a back room to lead Zumba, Yoga, Tai Chi, or Meditation Classes.

Renee might offer lectures on stress reduction or provide vegetarian cooking demonstrations on weekend afternoons.

Colin might choose a boating, sailing, or cruising vacation . . . or even lead group excursions through the Scottish Highlands or Greek Isles once or twice a year.

Instead of choosing to become master of ONE thing, Jack might survive and thrive by being a Jack of all trades.

With Jill, Renee, and Colin tumbling happily ever after.

Aah . . . that’s better!  

Does the idea of living multiple lives hold any appeal?  What lives would you like to live?

Related reading:  I Could Do Anything . . . If Only I Knew What It Was

Illustration: Wikipedia ~ Jack & Jill (in Public Domain)

Are You A Scanner? January 23, 2014

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

Donald-Duck-BaseballScanners want to taste everything.

They’re adaptable, flexible, lightning fast learners who are curious about anything and everything they don’t already understand.

They enjoy learning about new things and translating the information to share with others.

As a result of these interests, they are excellent teachers, communicators, and educators.

Are you a Scanner?

Do you know someone who is?

Related reading:  Refuse to Choose ~ Use All Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life of Your Dreams

Triple A To The Rescue! January 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
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12 comments

Woodstock-&-SnoopyWhen your car breaks down, it’s Triple A to the rescue.  If your life bogs down, you can also turn to AAA for help:

Action Alleviates Anxiety

Sometimes a small change has a tremendous impact on our mental outlook:

* Exercise is a great stress buster.  Go for a brisk walk.  Boost your heart rate while lowering your stress and anxiety levels.

* Take the dog and/or kids to the park or playground.  Play tag, dodge ball, or monkey in the middle.  Get on with it.  Live Life Now.

* Offer to take nursing home residents in wheelchairs for outings around the neighborhood.  Walk dogs at the local shelter.  Volunteering two hours per week can reduce stress and provide other feel good benefits.

* Join a tai chi or yoga group in the park.  Meditative movements help melt anxiety.  Sunshine is a mood booster.

* Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff ~ Swap out one negative thought a day for a more positive thought.

* Catch up with friends.  Peel an orange.  Read a book.  Don’t let life slip through your fingers.  

* Be mindful.  Pay attention.  Awake and aware, we walk, pause, listen, reflect, know, and see the world anew ~ bright, fragrant, alive.

Life is a tapestry of textures.  Enjoy it!  Make your life come true.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Brainstorming Our Elephants January 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

James-the-CatQ.  What’s the best way to eat an elephant?

A. One Bite At A Time.

Let’s say your “elephant” is a need for better organization and greater efficiency.

When you’re already stretched for time, where are you going to find the time to tackle such a weighty issue?

Relax.  

Even 10 minutes a day will make a huge difference in your time over time.

* Time mastery is life mastery.

* A bucket is filled drop by drop.

If you waste 10 minutes a day spinning your wheels . . . that’s 3650 minutes (60 hours) a year that you could spend nibbling away at your elephant.

Here are a few Time Management Skills to consider:

1.  Be mindful of how you invest your time and whether you are getting a good return on your investment.

If you enjoyed yourself, maybe it wasn’t wasted time.

2.  Identify and eliminate time wasters ~ unnecessary interruptions, waiting for appointments, procrastination, trying to do too much, indecision and not saying “no,” failure to set priorities, surfing the web, e-mails, meetings.

Work to minimize or eliminate wasted time one time waster at a time.

3.  Eliminate clutter from your work surface.  Messy desks and work spaces slow us down.  Use a filing system ~ be decisive about whether to file an item, act on it, or recycle it.

4.  Tackle high priority items when your energy level is high and low priority items when your energy is flagging.

5.  If you sit at a desk all day, take breaks to clear your head and stretch your muscles.  If you’re going, going, going all day, take a break to kick back and put up your feet.

We are more efficient when we allocate time for well being as well as doing.

6.  Take daily action to nibble away at your elephants.  Track your progress and adjust your approach as necessary.

7.  Breathe.  Relax.  Repeat.  

Aah . . . that’s better!  

Resources:  Productivity Institute * Higher Awareness

Adding “Happy” to Life January 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , ,
20 comments

Tiggers-R-UsWhether at work or play, life provides ample opportunities to add “happy” to the lives of those around us.  

* Live well.  Laugh often.  Love much.

* Dare to put Love into action.    

* He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh. ~ The Koran

When we share the best parts of ourselves with others (via art, music, cooking, writing, or sharing a smile), we increase Gross National Happiness.

And we have a reason for being that makes us excited to follow our feet out of bed each morning.

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What better rationale for being here could there be?  Tuck a few reading and thinking nooks into the equation, and it’s all good.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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