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Embracing Opportunities July 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
4 comments

170px-201008241206184375_MI came across this quote the other day:

I don’t believe that we have an *obligation* to help every single person we encounter.

I do believe that there is an *opportunity* to help every single person we encounter. 

Every.  Single.  Person.

~ Paul ((( The Ripples Guy )))

Kindness echoes.  Compassion fills our bucket, drop by drop.

* Do not overlook any good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.  ~ The Buddha

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  Making Positive Waves ~ The Ripple Effect (T4D) * Kindness Is My Religion (Streams of Consciousness)

Why Are You So Annoyed? July 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , ,
36 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! 

 

Am I Showing My Age Bias? July 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , , , ,
54 comments

The-Pink-PantherPoets and Writers sent the following Fiction Prompt a few days ago:

Some people slow down in their golden years, taking it easy and enjoying the family and friends gathered around them in the comfort of their community, while others try to continue to live like their younger selves.  

This week, write a story about an older person who still has the mindset and physical stamina of a twenty-something. How does this affect her interactions with her peers? What are her secrets? Is she one of those people who wishes to live forever, or does she simply make a habit of staying healthy?

Think about how a person’s biological age and true age are related and what happens when they are in conflict.

As I read “what are her secrets,” I sensed a dose of age bias on the prompter’s part ~ an unspoken message that continuing to “live like [our] younger selves” should be the goal of our golden years.

Why?  Wasn’t that the job of our younger selves?

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What’s wrong with slowing down and taking it easy, while enjoying family, friends, the comfort of community . . . and the occasional cigar?

Do we need to head to the clubs for drinking, dancing, and revelry on Friday and Saturday nights, staying out ’til the cock crows, in order to crow about it to our peers?

Is there a continued benefit to waking with hung-over head on Saturday and Sunday mornings?  If so, I missed the memo.

I am delighted I no longer have the mindset of a twenty-something.  At that age, I was not nearly as content as I am these days.

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There’s a line in Desiderata that I love:  “Take kindly the counsel of years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

I agree with that sentiment . . . One Hundred Percent!

The daily decisions I face are made with accumulated wisdom.  I can’t think of a single one my present self would defer to my twenty-something self . . . not on matters of fashion, food, movies, books, bars, clubs, or how to spend my leisure time.

Gymnastics

That said, having the physical stamina of a twenty-something would rock!

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you knew an “older person” with the mindset of a twenty-something, would you want to know his secret?

Or would you encourage him to get counseling?

Who’s Pulling Our Strings? July 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
Tags: , , , ,
38 comments

2014-05-05 11-54-38_0042

What’s behind the urgent urgings?

* Hurry up.  You’ll be old, fat, and out of touch soon.

* Do now.  Do Do Do.

* Step outside your comfort zone.

* You’re expanding or contracting.

* Don’t die with your music still inside you.

Why not?

If Mozart had never been, would the world collapse in on itself?

What does it tell us about ourselves if we clothe the naked Emperor in our musings?

If I don’t share my words with the world, will they die un-uttered?

Or will the Universe find some other puppet to speak them out?

Aah . . . that’s better!

We are encouraged to believe we are, each of us, unique.  One-of-a-kind.  To what end?  To contribute to the greater good of all?

Or, perhaps, to feed our Egos.  To feel important.  To believe that we all have a grand purpose.

But do we?

 

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

People Watching: Food Courts July 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes; he is 82. We decided to grab a bite at the food court.

As we ate, he honed in on a teenager sitting at the table next to us. The teenager had spiked hair in a wide variety of colors: green, red, orange, and blue.

My dad kept staring at him, without saying anything.

Annoyed, the teenager sarcastically asked, “What’s the matter, old man, never done anything wild in your life?”

Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food.

Dear old dad returned the volley with ease, “Got drunk and had sex with a peacock once . . . I was just wondering if you were my kid.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from an unknown author.

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)

Privacy Is Dead July 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , ,
58 comments

2014-05-05 11-54-51_0043Privacy is Dead.

Government agencies monitor and record communications relayed via Skype, cell phone, e-mail, and text.

Facebook minions eavesdrop on our “private” messages.

Hackers hack into our cyber accounts.

What can we do?  Stop texting?  Stop calling?  Abandon the world wide web?

In these digital days, our secrets are not safe in cyber space.

Once shared, they’re out there.

If you need to have a heart-to-heart with someone, you might want to do it the old-fashioned way.

Face-to-face.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Writing Fiction meets NSA Surveillance (Eric J. Baker)

Do you monitor your words in cyber space?  Do you wonder who’s listening?

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

Buddhists Are Not Doing Nothing July 1, 2014

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

Contrary to what some think, Buddhists do not sit around doing nothing all day.

IMGP3904b

Meditating is not nothing.  Meditating is hard work.  Getting our thoughts to settle down is no easy feat.  It’s like herding cats.

Once Buddhists finish their morning meditation, they chop wood and carry water.  Or do the laundry . . .

After enlightenment, the laundry.

But they do IT (whatever IT is) with mindful attention.

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When they peel an orange, they use all their senses to focus on its scent, texture, taste, color, and the feel of its peel.  If stray thoughts arise, intent on wandering off unchaperoned, practitioners of mindfulness rein them in and bring focus back to the task at hand.

Imagine paying attention to everything you do, say, think, see, smell, hear, touch, and taste.

All day.  Every day.

Being mindful is not nothing.  Staying present to the present of the present is hard work.  Quieting the chatter of our monkey minds is a challenge.

But it gets easier with practice.  And the rewards are great.

Imagine seeing the perfection in something as simple as an orange.  Or no longer stubbing your toe on the coffee table as you hunt for your keys.

IMGP2583b

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Step Into The Glade June 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Poetry.
Tags: ,
28 comments

448px-Alice_05a-1116x1492Step into the glade
Let down your guard
This place is safe
You are hidden here
No one can see
Through the trees
The shelter of leaves
Allows you to breathe

This place is safe
Hear and heed
The whisper from within
That connects you to
All that has been
And all that ever will be

This place is safe
Inhale its deep scent
Down to your toes
It knows, you see
Who you are and will be.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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