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Pollyanna’s Perfect Life June 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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We are socialized to share our cares, concerns, trials, tribulations, and troubles . . . while glossing over our successes.

People don’t want to hear about Pollyanna and her “perfect life.”

Why is that?

I’m not sure.

I’d rather be around optimistic positive people than naysayers and doom and gloomers; others don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for  success stories.

I expect that different folks have different reasons for avoiding the Pollyanna’s they encounter:

(1) Some want to wallow in their own sorrow and self-pity, and continue playing the victim, without being reminded that other options are available.

(2) Others believe that we should share the negatives in our lives while standing around the “water cooler” so that “Good Samaritans” can earn brownie points for cheering us up.

(3) Some want to be the center of attention at all times – their glorious EGOs are not happy sharing the spotlight with anyone else.

(4) Others believe that sharing “good news” is akin to bragging, and therefore, to be avoided at all cost.

Whatever the reason, if we don’t follow the rules, if we are too happy, others are apt to get annoyed.

So be it.

Let them get annoyed.

After all, we’re doing them a favor . . .

We’re giving them something to whine and moan about next time they find themselves at the water cooler with nothing of import to say.

Quote:  If you want to sing out, sing out.  If you want to be free, be free. There’s a million ways to be . . . you know that there are.  ~ Cat Stevens

Related posts:  Our Deepest FearA Minuet in Time Do What You Love (Dr. Alisa Cooper) * Art as a Way of Life * Do What You Will Water Over The Dam * Live Your Life * Free To Be . . . Me * Doubt * Life Lessons ~ Randy Pausch * The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch)

Actors on the Stage of Life June 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
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We are actors on the stage of life . . .

Think about how you act when you put on a “uniform” (e.g., overalls, medical scrubs, business suit) to go to work.

Think about how you act when dressed up for a social gathering, such as a wedding.

Contrast those situations with how you act when you are in casual attire, hanging around the backyard.

Does your behavior change depending upon what you are wearing?

Does your language (and body language) change?

In many cases it does.

Actors on a stage benefit from costumes which project the part they are playing.

Real life is not that different.

People treat us differently when we are wearing a power suit than when we are wearing a sweat suit or a bathing suit.

And we act differently in response.

The masks we wear belong to our glorious EGO, because EGO wants to protect us from scorn and ridicule, and have others admire and praise us for our accomplishments in life, no matter how modest.

When we become less concerned with what others think about us, and more focused on what we want out of life, we begin to discard our masks, or don them less frequently.

We become more willing to allow others to see our essence, our core, and our Spirit.

We begin to let our true light shine!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Fly High, Freebird * Free To Be Me *  The Roads Are Many * Winks, Whispers, and Nudges * The Impedimenta of Daily Life * Accept Your Irrelevance * Maintaining PerspectiveThe Virtually Inevitable Backslide * Zig-Zagging to the Zenith


FREE Movies for Kids!!! June 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies.
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I came across an intriguing article on the AARP Bulletin today . . . FREE Movies for kids!

A few theater chains are offering good deals on morning  screenings of G and PG movies ~ Regal Cinemas, Cinemark/Century Theatres’Summer Movie Clubhouse, and AMC Theatres.

And they’ll let you in even if you’ve got no kids.

To read the article:  Summer Morning Movies for Kids

 Check with your local theaters for details; not all participate.

Joan Rattner Heilman writes often on good deals and where to find them.

Utopia June 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Music & Dance, People, Sustainable Living.
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I expect others will misunderstand me, at least sometimes . . . I am seldom disappointed.

After all, they see the world behind their eyes, with their own unique Preferences, Predilections, and Propensities.

And I see the world behind my own.

We do not yet live in a Utopia where people gather around, engage in  dialogue, and disagree san judgment.

Maybe one day we will . . .

In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Alanis Morissette previewed Utopia on her website to comfort people who were grieving.

For the lyrics:  Alanis Morissette –> Under Rug Swept, Utopia

Quote:  Being an artist means belonging to a unique, exciting band of outlaws. ~ Robert Venosa, Visionary Artist

No rules.  Just write!

Fly High, Freebird June 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Music & Dance, People.
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How do you act around your parents, your boss, your friends, your spouse, your siblings, casual acquaintances, and even co-workers?

Does who you are depend upon who you are with?

How often are you acting a prescribed role to meet the expectations of others?

How much time do you spend just being who you are?

From birth, we are asked to play different roles in familial life ~ son/daughter, niece/nephew, brother/sister, aunt/uncle, mother/father, husband/wife.

We also have roles to play in school, and on the job, and with our friends.

One reason we play so many parts is that we care about what others think of us.  We are concerned about our reputation with others.  Of course, we have as many reputations as we have acquaintances, and none of those reputations is accurate.

Everyone we meet forms an impression of us ~ often based on stereotypical information about our gender, our age, our profession, or our religious beliefs.  The impressions others hold of us are, of necessity, based on incomplete information.

No one can completely understand another human being.  We see the world behind our eyes, based on the life experiences we have had.

The world behind our eyes is not open for others to view.

When we go along . . . to get along  . . . we tend to lose ourselves in the process.  We become fragmented by all of our separate selves.  We emulate others.  We assimilate ourselves into the prevailing culture.  It gets harder to see who we really are because others have shaped, molded, and transformed us into what they want us to be.

I’m convinced that the happiest people on the planet are the ones who go to bed at night and fall asleep thinking, “Who I Am Is Who I Want to Be.”

That requires freeing ourselves from self-defeating thoughts and prescribed roles that retard our efforts to become  our best selves.  When we worry less about Ego’s concerns about fitting in, and focus more on the Spirit within, we free ourselves to be who we were always meant to be.

We begin to see that if we surround ourselves with giants, we grow.

And if we live among small people, we shrink.  For an insight-filled post on this topic:  Spend Time With Giants (T4D)

Accept that no one else can ever truly understand you and your unique point of view.  Focus on understanding yourself.

When you know who you are, you will see what you want out of life.

Fly High, Freebird.

Quote:  Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude.

No rules.  Just write!

Artwork by Maitte Van Arsdel ~ available at Island Gallery West.

Post Pals June 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, People.
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The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up, and here’s a wonderful way to do just that:

(1)  Visit Post Pals

(2)  Find a Pal ~ pick one name or several from the list of Post Pal children who are currently suffering with serious illnesses ranging from brain tumors to cystic fibrosis to leukemia to neuroblastoma. 

The list (updated regularly) includes the child’s first name, last initial, date of birth, and diagnosis (with each disease defined).  

By clicking on the child’s name, you can learn more about their interests, the  history of the disease, and periodic updates on the child’s condition. 

(3)  Write a Post to send via snail mail or e-mail.  If you want to send an e-mail, just click on the link and type an upbeat and cheery message.   Share something funny that happened to you, or an age-appropriate joke you heard. 

If you want to send letters or small gifts, a forwarding address is included for your use.

Before corresponding, please review Vik’s Tips for What To Say & What Not To Say:  Post Pals Latest News (scroll down to Vik’s post of 5/24/2010) 

(4)  Send It Off . . . knowing that you’ve helped a sick child smile.  

Quote:   It is not how long a star shines . . . what is remembered is the brightness of the light.

Coffee ~ Friend Or Foe? June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor, Life Balance.
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Coffee is the beverage we love to love . . . despite its occasional bad press.

Pour me a cup of Joe
Java juice to jump-start my day
Fragrant beans to fill my cup
Earthy elixir to light my way

So . . . is coffee our friend our foe?

Well, it depends on who you ask and when you ask them.

But, lately, more and more evidence suggests that downing a few cups of coffee each morning is a great way to start the day!

According to the Harvard Health Letter (Harvard Medical School), coffee,  chocolate, and alcohol have been cleared of much negative press and are now garnering recognition for health benefits when used “in moderation.”

Here’s some of the mostly good news about coffee:

Blood pressure. Results from long-term studies are showing that coffee may not increase the risk for high blood pressure over time, as previously thought.  Study findings for other cardiovascular effects are a mixed bag.

Cancer. Coffee might have anti-cancer properties.  Last year, researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers. A few studies have found ties to lower rates of colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

Cholesterol. Two substances in coffee — kahweol and cafestol — raise cholesterol levels. Paper filters capture these substances, but that doesn’t help the many people who now drink non-filtered coffee drinks, such as lattes. Researchers have also found a link between cholesterol increases and decaffeinated coffee, possibly because of the type of bean used to make certain decaffeinated coffees.

Diabetes. Heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as light drinkers or nondrinkers. Coffee may contain chemicals that lower blood sugar. A coffee habit may also increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help keep diabetes at bay.

Parkinson’s disease. Coffee seems to protect men, but not women, against Parkinson’s disease. One possible explanation for the sex difference may be that estrogen and caffeine need the same enzymes to be metabolized, and estrogen captures those enzymes.

A related article, Coffee: The New Health Food?, from WebMD states:

Want a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer? That could lift your mood and treat headaches? That could lower your risk of cavities?

If it sounds too good to be true, think again.

Coffee, the much maligned but undoubtedly beloved beverage, just made headlines for possibly cutting the risk of the latest disease epidemic, type 2 diabetes. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

“Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies, which conducts its own medical research and tracks coffee studies from around the world. “For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good.”

But, wait, there’s more!

Coffee even offsets some of the damage caused by other vices, some research indicates. “People who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less heart disease and liver damage when they regularly consume large amounts of coffee compared to those who don’t,” says DePaulis.

Awesome!  A vice that’s nice . . . and negates other vices!

Bottoms up, fill your cup ~ dive into your day
Harvard says that coffee is more than okay
Wake up, world, and savor that café au lait
Our friendly morning beverage is here to stay

Related post:  One Mind, One Muse

Advice From Erma June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, People.
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If I Had My Life To Live Over ~ by Erma Bombeck

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s” . . . 

More “I’m sorrys” . . .

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . live it . . . and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck

Sources:  If I Had My Life To Live Over * If I Had My Life To Live Over

Related posts:  Dare To Make Mistakes * Good Enough * Progress, Not Perfection * Water Over The Dam *  Getting to Good Enough (Dustin Wax) * Follow The Thread (GretchensPianos)

Good Enough June 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.
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We don’t have time to pursue all desires to the extreme, but we have plenty of time to dip our toes in the water and decide where to focus our talents . . .

Unless we get caught in the dreaded trap of perfection.

We’ve been programmed to not make mistakes, which may be the biggest mistake we can make.

Instead of expending energy to perfect daily minutiae that won’t matter a year (or even a week!) from now . . . learn to recognize when something is good enough:

Progress, rather than perfection
Is good enough for me
Unless the action in question
Is a high priority

Music, Art, Writing, Life . . . it’s all a wonderful dance.

Even if we step on toes or stumble along the way!

Related posts:  Progress, Not Perfection * Water Over The Dam *  Getting to Good Enough (Dustin Wax) * Follow The Thread (GretchensPianos)

Xtreme Eating 2010 June 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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Americans are fat and getting fatter . . .

In Xtreme Eating 2010, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) shares the reason why:

We eat too much!


From Five Guys Fries to Towering Chocolate Truffle Cake, we’re eating sugar, fat, and white flour in record quantities, while setting new records on our bathroom scales.

Dig in!

Related posts:  A Trip to the Farmer’s Market * Join a C.S.A. * Health Benefits From Greening Your Life * Got Milk?  Toss It Out!Go HSUS!  * Yummy Hummus Ten Ways to Fiber Up Your Diet * Bon Appetit!