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POP Goes The Ego! September 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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Picture an uninflated balloon. 

In its flaccid state, it is resilient.  

We can poke it, prod it, stretch it, and toss it about without damaging its structural integrity.

Now, start inflating that balloon in your mind. 

As we fill the balloon with hot air, we stretch the external membrane, causing it to become thinner and more prone to popping. 

The more inflated it becomes, the more vulnerable it becomes.  

An over-inflated Ego is much like an over-inflated balloon . . . it doesn’t take much prodding, poking, or tossing before it POPS!

Each time we internalize and absorb an insincere compliment (by accepting it as true), Ego starts preening and blowing itself up in self-importance. 

Enough vacuous comments absorbed, and Ego is stretched to the breaking  point, leaving it vulnerable to HONEST criticism and critique. 

One harsh word (or look!) and POP Goes The Ego!

Related post:  A Change Would Do You Good * WTF (Watch That Feedback) * Why Write? * No Jivin’

Only A Fool Would Say That September 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.
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Someone recently told me that people who become vegetarians are . . . foolish.

Foolish?  How so?
Are vegetarians foolish for wanting . . .

* To eat in a more sustainable way?
* To improve their health and well-being?
* To save animals from unnecessary suffering?
* To avoid eating food laced with growth hormones?
* To lessen their environmental impact on the planet?

Research over the past 25 years shows that plant-based diets are:

* Eco-Friendly and Sustainable:  How To Feed The World By Going Veggie

According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, meat production accounts for 18% of annual greenhouse-gas emissions — more than transportation, which accounts for roughly 14%.

What’s more, millions of acres of rain forest are cleared each year for cattle ranchers and suppliers of animal feed, wiping out one of the world’s great “carbon sinks” and further accelerating climate change.

* Heart-Friendly: Clinton’s Weight Loss Secret ~ Plants

Bill Clinton has adopted a diet that is free of all animal flesh and dairy. He adopted a 100% plant-based diet because animal fat clogs arteries and shuts off blood flow to heart and brain (and other essential organs).

* Healthier and more Humane:  The Hidden Costs of Cheap Meat

According to a recently published Harvard School of Public Health study that followed 84,000 women over 26 years, women who ate two servings per day of red meat had a 30 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who had half a serving per day.

* Better at keeping the doctor away:  The Pros & Cons of A Vegetarian Diet

Evidence keeps mounting that a diet based on low-fat, high-fiber fruits, grains and colorful vegetables can play a key role in keeping cancer and other deadly diseases at bay.

According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), vegetarians tend to have lower overall cancer rates, less risk of ischemic heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, and lower rates of Type 2 diabetes.

In short, evidence continues to mount that consumers who adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle are benefitting themselves, the planet, and the animals they would otherwise be consuming.

Maybe a vegetarian diet won’t work for everyone, but any one with an open mind can find ample evidence to support the switch from a flesh-based diet to a plant-based diet, and to substantiate the benefits of eating at least a few meat-less meals a week.


Only a fool would say that.

Related posts:  Tammy’s Top Ten Reasons To Become A Vegetarian * Food, Inc. * Join a C.S.A. * Become A Voice of Compassion * A Trip to the Farmer’s Market * Health Benefits From Greening Your Life * Got Milk?  Toss It Out!Go HSUS!  * All The Gory Details * Top Ten List ~ Vegetarian * Gradual Change

What’s The BEST That Could Happen? September 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
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Cover of

Cover via Amazon

 In The Happiness Trap: How To Stop Struggling and Start Living, Russ Harris discusses how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to learn to accept ourselves as we are, while reducing our tendency to worry about anything and everything:   

Our brains were designed to protect us from danger, real and potential.  As a result, our thoughts are constantly  evaluating the scenery around us, and judging situations as good or bad.  

At the same time, we are struggling to fit in with the group, because our odds of survival in the past increased when we banded together.   

In other words, our minds are pre-programmed to worry about things that, more often than not, never happen, and to seek approval and acceptance from others, rather than being true to ourselves.  

As a result of this pre-wiring, we tend to evaluate situations by asking ourselves:  

What’s the WORST that could happen?  

We then use our imaginations to create WORST Case Scenarios that fuel our fear and give us things to worry about:  

* If I submit this story for publication, it might get rejected.  

* If it’s rejected, people will laugh at me.  

* Sigh.  I’ll never be able to earn a living as a writer.  

* I better not submit this story.  

What if we stopped imagining WORST Case Scenarios?  

What if we started using our imagination to create BEST Case Scenarios?  

What if we asked ourselves:  

What’s the BEST that could happen?  

We could then use our imaginations to overcome our fear of uncertainty and forge ahead in the direction of our dreams:  

* If I submit this story for publication, it might get accepted.  

* If it’s accepted, I would start to earn a living as a writer.  

* I better finish and submit this story.  

We need to stop giving our power away.    

Every time we choose to focus on a negative, we are depleting our reserves rather than re-charging our  batteries.   We can use creative visualization and our imaginations to our advantage, not our detriment.   

It’s EASY!   

Instead of picturing worst case scenarios, see things as you want them to be.    

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  10 Ways To Attract Positive Energy * Self-Fulfilling Prophecies * The “It Could Be Worse” Game * Connecting The Dots (Arriving At Your Own Door) * When Ego Wins, You Lose * Inventing a New Year (Agrigirl’s Blog)

Sweet! Tweet! HootSuite! September 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.
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First, we had the telephone, and we saw it was good.

Then, we had the cell phone, and we saw it was better.

Then, the internet arrived and we received e-mailed updates from friends.

So . . . much . . . better . . . than . . . snail mail.

With the internet firmly entrenched in our lives, social networking sites like Facebook appeared on the scene to  connect (and disconnect) us still further.

We learned to access e-mail, Facebook, and the internet from our Blackberries.


We learned to Twitter and Tweet.


Now there’s HootSuite!


HootSuite n : yet another layer of technology to coordinate all the other layers of technology that keep us from living in the real world.  

What I want to know . . .

How do people who have their noses perpetually pressed to the latest and greatest techno gadget or gizmo ever have anything worthwhile to Tweet about?

No rules.  Just write!

Related post:  The Facebook Strobe Light * Facebook Is {GASP} Broken * 5 Etiquette Tips for Facebook * Facebook is NOT Vegas, Baby

The War on Drugs: A Joint Decision September 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.
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The Partnership for a Drug Free America (i.e., the war on drugs) is funded by the pharmaceutical companies, the liquor companies, and the tobacco companies.


They don’t want us having access to healthy drugs that we can grow in our own backyard . . . it might cut into their net profits.

Warning:  This video contains FOUL LANGUAGE . . . but it won’t cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, coma, or death. 

Think about it . . . have you EVER heard of someone overdosing on pot?

Related post:  Not In Our Town

Who You Are Now . . . September 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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170px-Italienischer_Maler_des_17._Jahrhunderts_001Who You Are Now . . .

Is The Product . . .

Of  . . .

 What . . .

You . . .

Once . . .


Who you are is the result of choices you’ve made.

For a fun post on how we ended up where we are:  Dear Metabolism

Related posts:   Where Happiness ResidesTigger or Eeyore . . . It’s Your Call * How To Be Happy NOW * 5 Steps To A Happier You * 10 Ways to Attract Positive Energy * ABC’s of Happiness * More ABC’s of Happiness

Fun with Words: Gnome September 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play.
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Wikipedia ~ Gnome (in Public Domain)

Gnome  n  1 : a word spelled one way and pronounced another  2 : a word invented by Noah Webster to put unemployed “G’s” back to work (doing nothing) and get them off the dole  3 : a dwarf of folklore, usually bearded,  who lives inside the earth and guards precious ore or treasure from greedy  beings above ground 4 : the mascot and diminuitive spokesperson for Travelocity, a discount travel agency

Not to be confused with Nome  1 :  a well-behaved word pronounced exactly as it looks 2 : a city in Alaska where parkas are required on all but 3 days a year 3 : cities in Norway, Texas, California, Australia, and North Dakota 4: a special function in Mathematics 5 : a spiritual teacher and author


Image via Wikipedia

Related Note:  The Nome King of Oz

Originally named Roquat the Red, the Nome King later takes the name Ruggedo, which Baum first used in a stage adaptation.

Even after Ruggedo  loses his throne, he continues to think of himself as king, and Oz book authors humor his harmless delusion by  politely refering  to him that way whenever he’s within hearing range.

Nomes’ greatest fear is eggs.  Terrified of the white orbs, Roquat vehemently declares that “Eggs are poison to Nomes!”

No one knows why.

Related post:  Fun with Words: Ridiculosities

Fun with Food: Kids’ Lunches September 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Sustainable Living, Vegetarian Recipes.
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School’s back in session, and studies show a clear connection between the belly and the brain.  A  nutritious breakfast and lunch help kids learn and retain their ABC’s and their 123’s.

If you pack lunch for your kids, here are a few nutritious, delicious and easy vegetarian items to include in their brown bags and backpacks:

Hummus with pita triangles ~ pack store-bought or homemade hummus in 4 oz. containers with lids.  Toss one into their lunch box, bag, or tote, with pita triangles, tortilla chips, or pretzel twists for dipping.

Trail Mix ~ Mix together pretzels, raisins, dried cherries, cereal, peanuts, mixed nuts, chocolate chips (or M&M’s) and put in single serving containers for a high energy fix that’s fun to eat.

Cheese and whole wheat crackers ~ cut assorted cheeses (cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella) into cubes or small squares for your kids to eat with crackers, pita, pretzels.

Veggie Wraps ~ fill with refried beans or salad fixings.  See Veggie Wraps.

Mini Kabobs ~ Skewer veggies and fruit on toothpicks to entice your kids to eat these vitamin-rich wonder foods.

Fruit kabobs:  grapes, pineapple, mandarin orange segments, watermelon cubes, cherries, strawberries.  Serve with a small cup of fruit yogurt as a dipping sauce.

Veggie kabobs:  blanched broccoli, crisp red pepper,  cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini, chunks of cheese.  Serve with a small container of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Pasta Salads ~ small cups of macaroni or pasta salad with veggies (celery, red pepper, black olives, peas, diced carrots, etc.).

Three Bean Salad ~ mix cooked green beans with 2 cans of garbanzo, kidney, or black beans (drained and rinsed), add bottled italian dressing and chopped red pepper.  Serve in 4-6 oz. servings.

Other lunch ideas:  pb&j sandwiches cut in triangles or other cute shapes; yummy leftovers (pizza, quesadillas, baked beans, mac & cheese); celery stuffed with cheese, cream cheese, or peanut butter; carrot and celery sticks; pieces of whole fruit (banana, peach, apple); cups of fruit salad (apple, pineapple, grapes, oranges); fiber rich granola bars; and oatmeal-raisin cookies (with or without the chocolate chips).

Healthy Drinks ~ refillable containers of water, V-8 juice, 100% fruit juices, chocolate milk or soy milk.

How do I know so much about packing lunches for kids? 

Easy . . . I’ve got a BIG kid, and he’s always hungry. 

Related posts:  Bon Appetit! * 10 Ways To Fiber Up Your Diet * Healthy Eating (Positive Parenting)

Quick Quiz: STRESS September 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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Stress is a part of life. Good stress (a promotion, new job, going on a date, trying a new sport) motivates us to grow, change, and evolve.

Bad stress, lingering unease which leads to dis-ease, can cause us to burn out and curl up into a ball of wadded up, stressed out, mess.

Here’s a quick quiz to help you understand and learn to deal more effectively with the stress in your life.

1. Stress produces physical symptoms, including:

a. aches and pains
b. headaches and migraines
c. back and neck pain
d. stomach aches
e. frequent or lingering illness and fatigue
f. all of the above

2.  The mental symptoms of stress may include:

a. irritability and crankiness
b. lack of interest in things you generally enjoy
c. isolation
d. nervousness
e. change in eating habits
f. disrupted sleep
g. sadness and depression
h. all of the above

3. Panic attacks caused by stress may include:

a. hot and cold flashes
b. feeling weighted down with a brick on your chest
c. dizziness and fainting
d. nausea
e. nervousness
f. all of the above

4. We can combat stress and stay mentally healthy by:

a. getting plenty of sleep
b. exercising daily
c. helping others
d. expressing gratitude and appreciation
e. meditating
f. listening to music
g. laughing
h. all of the above

If you feel stressed, uneasy, worried, hassled, frazzled, and are not able to counter-balance the signs of stress (physical or emotional) on your own, consider working with a counselor, social worker, medical profession, and/or support group.

Related posts:  STRESS *  Your Wheelbarrow Of Woe * Just Let Go *  Creative Visualization * 10 Ways To Attract Positive Energy

* * * * *

Answers: 1. F   2. H   3. F   4. H

Fun with Words: Ridiculosities September 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Poetry, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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English is ridiculous!
I don’t care what you say
The K in Knees, unnecessary
It just gets in the way

Why do we have silent Gs
In front of Gnome and Gnu?
Superfluous both, standing round
With nothing at all to do

The silent P in Psychiatrist
Seems so melancholy and blue
If we could not pronunciate
Would we be depressed too?

And . . .

What about the extraneous W
In Wrinkles, Wry, and Wring?
How sad to be employed silently
Unable to say a thing

No wonder the P in Psychosis
Can’t tell falsehoods from true
If we had no raison d’etre
We’d be dazed and conflicted too

Perhaps Webster was WUI
When he added a G to Gnat
Writing Under the Influence would explain
Peculiar spellings like that

Same goes for words like Ptomaine
Gnarled, Gnash, Gnaw,
and Knotty
Writing While Intoxicated?  Yup
Noah must have been quite sotty

Tomorrow’s post:  Fun with Words: Gnome