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As The World Turns December 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in People.
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Arvik’s post, 2010 Summation, got me thinking about the start of the New Year . . . all around the globe. 

As Arvik pointed out:

The funny thing about the New Year is that you could start the calendar from any point you want.

Despite that, countries all around the globe celebrate the start of the New Year tonight:

The New Year of the Gregorian calendar, today in worldwide use, falls on 1 January, continuing the practice of the Roman calendar. There are numerous calendars that remain in regional use that calculate the New Year individually.  [Wikipedia, New Year]

Much of the world is ending the period referred to as “2010″ and beginning the period referred to as “2011.”

For the Northern Hemisphere, it’s Winter.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s Summer.

But South Africans and North Americans both celebrate the beginning of the New Year on the same day.

If we turn on the TV tonight, we’ll see camera crews moving around the globe welcoming in the New Year, time zone by time zone, “as the world turns.”

Because of the division of the globe into time zones, the new year moves progressively around the globe as the start of the day ushers in the New Year. The first time zone to usher in the New Year is just west of the International Date Line. At that time the time zone to the east of the Date Line is 23 hours behind, still in the previous day.

The central Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati claims that its easternmost landmass, uninhabited Caroline Island, is the first to usher in the New Year. [Wikipedia, New Year]

Despite different seasons, languages, cultures, and religions, much of humanity actually agreed on something!

It’s a start.

Related article:  All Around the World, Partiers Usher in 2011

Last Chance . . . Time Is Running Out! December 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor.
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170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02I opened my in-box this morning and found it filled with urgent messages:

Last chance!

Midnight tonight is the deadline!

Help us reach our goal . . .

Today’s the last day!

Take advantage of our special year-end offer.

Give today.

Only a few hours left.

Join us before time runs out. 

Hmm . . .

Maybe they’ve got a point.  Maybe I should adopt a similar approach:

Last chance to subscribe in 2010!

Time is running out!

Join Spirit Lights The Way today!


It’s Time To Wake Up December 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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We travel best when we travel light . . . and with mindful awareness.

The poem Ithaka, by the Greek poet, C. P. Cavafy ~ read at the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis ~ addresses this truth:

298px-Pericles_Pio-Clementino_Inv269As you set out in search of Ithaka
Pray that your journey be long,
full of adventures, full of awakenings.

Do not fear the monsters of old . . .
You will not meet them in your travels
if your thoughts are exalted and remain high,
if authentic passions stir your mind, body and spirit.

You will not encounter fearful monsters
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up in front of you.

What are these “fearful monsters” we need to release in order to more fully enjoy the journey to Ithaca?


Thoughts which are not born of mindful awareness.  Thoughts streaming through our monkey minds, lurking below the surface of our activities, separating us from our authentic selves, preventing us from enjoying the present moment.  Thoughts which keep us tethered to the past instead of allowing us to sail lightly through life.

One such monster is resentment . . . and the failure to forgive.

When we learn to accept ourselves as we are and others as they are, the less need we have for forgiveness.  Until then, this mantra may help you practice both forgiveness and acceptance:

I bless you. I release you. I set you free.
I allow you to be you and me to be me.

Of course, resentment is only one of the “fearful monsters” we carry within us.  Other mindless thoughts, arising unbidden in our internal landscape, include jealousy, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, fear, and other concerns of our power-hungry and fragile Egos.

As we learn to let these Ego concerns fade away, we enter more fully the flow of life. The more conscious and mindful we become, the more deliberate we can be in our daily actions and interactions:

* The easiest way to transform the world is to change our perspective.

* The quieter our minds become . . . the more we hear.

* Spirit can clear out the underbrush of weeds in our minds.

* When we have conquered the enemy within, there are no enemies left to conquer.

When we practice meditation, we begin by pressing the PAUSE button, allowing the cares and concerns of the day to fade away so that we can see with clarity:

There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life.  They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.  ~ Hermann Hesse

After meditating on the reality within, we emerge awake and alive, refreshed and re-invigorated.  Once we let go of the unnecessary baggage we’ve been carting around, we feel calmer and more peaceful, ready to journey through life and allow the path to unfold before us in its own way and its own time.

We learn to go with the flow instead of exhausting ourself by struggling against the current.

When we clear out the mental clutter that has littered our internal landscape, we see who we really are . . . and who we were always intended to be.

This search for authenticity, the Journey to Ithaka, is a journey worth making.

I’m not “there” yet . . . but I’m getting closer.

At times, when I’m fully awake and aware, I see glimpses of it on the horizon.

Quote:  ”What are you ~ a god, an angel, a saint?” “No,” replied The Buddha, “I am A-W-A-K-E.”

Related posts:  The Inner Path to Peace * A Not-So-Quick Quiz: Who Are You? * The Awakening by Sonny Carroll * Is a Lack of Forgiveness Holding You Back? (Always Well Within) * Are You Bold Enough To Forgive Yourself and Others?  (The Bold Life) * Surrender  (Courage 2 Create)

The World Peace Diet December 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.
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Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Not long ago, The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, by Will Tuttle, Ph.D., topped the charts on Amazon’s bestsellers’ list.

Rather an amazing feat for a vegan book that’s been out for five years, without receiving endorsements from Oprah, Ellen, or other celebrities.

So, how did it climb to the top of the charts?

The author simply encouraged his readers to buy en masse to bring attention to vegan issues.

How cool is that?

The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Author Bio (from Amazon): 

Will Tuttle has a master’s degree in humanities from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of California. A professional pianist and teacher, he has for the last thirteen years toured progressive churches, vegetarian and macrobiotic conferences, and intentional communities throughout the country. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, yoga, massage, and dance and movement. He lives in Healdsburg, California.

Premature Ejaculation December 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Spirit & Ego, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Jodi’s post, Quickly Quotable #39 ~ David Sedaris, includes several Sedaris quotes about the value of allowing our work and our words to “incubate” before rushing to share them with the world.

I agree.

On more than one occasion, due to internet connectivity, I’ve been invited to “check out” barely started novels from unknown (to me) authors.

These authors are looking for reassurance that they are on the right track before they even have laid out the rails.

It’s a case of premature ejaculation ~ they are so anxious to share their words with the world that they spew out a few sentences, and issue invitations for feedback, rather than allowing their thoughts to surface and coalesce into a meaningful mass.

Focused on the destination of being read (or published), they don’t enjoy the journey of writing (and thinking).

Writing is not a spectator sport.

Writing, good writing, requires solitude, a separation of self from the world ~ at least long enough for thoughts worthy of sharing to emerge.

Rushing to post a barely started novel is like trying to birth a baby as soon as it is conceived, without bothering to wait the necessary nine months of gestation.

In the movie, Juno, a pregnant teen is dealing with the anxious potential adoptive parents of her to-be-born child, who can’t wait to see the baby.

Juno, wise beyond her years, calms them by saying, “If I could just have the thing and give it to you now, I totally would, but I’m guessing it looks probably like a sea monkey right now.  We should let it get a little cuter.”

Emulating Juno’s example, by writing  behind closed doors, allows our work to
gestate privately ~ giving it a chance to
grow and develop, and get just a little bit cuter, before being delivered into the hands of readers.

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 4 December 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
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200px-March-hareI have good news and bad news.

This is the last installment.

No, that’s not the GOOD news, that’s the BAD news.

The Good News is that we have eight more quotes to enjoy before we have to start working on our New Year’s Resolutions:

25. “If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.”

26. “If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change.”

27. “If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.”

28. “It’s hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.”

29. “One neuron short of a synapse.”

30. “Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.”

31. “Takes him 2 hours to watch ’60-minutes’.”

32. “The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.”

Feel better?

Just remember, in setting your New Year’s Resolutions, the goal should be Progress, not Perfection.

For some wonderful advice in selecting a One Word Resolution:  One Powerful Word ~ A Simple Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

Previous installments of Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3

Inspired by Side View’s Weekend Theme ~ Resolutions Unresolved.

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 3 December 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
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I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now. 

Based on these quotes from performance reviews of government personnel, I may not even make any New Year’s Resolutions for 2011:

17. “He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.”

18. “When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.”

19. “If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he’s the other one.”

20. “A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.”

21. “A prime candidate for natural de selection.”

22. “Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.”

23. “Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.”

24. “He’s got two brains cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it.”

Stay tuned!

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 4 tomorrow.

Inspired by Side View’s Weekend Theme ~ Resolutions Unresolved.

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 2 December 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
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Ready for some more hilarious quotes from government employee performance appraisals?

Here’s what our tax dollars buy us these days in the field of human resources:

9. “This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better.”

10. “Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.”

11. “A gross ignoramus ~ 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.”

12. “She has taken all aspects of her job to previously unexplored levels of space.”

13. “I would like to go hunting with him sometime.”

14. “He’s been working with glue too much.”

15. “He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier.”

16. “He would argue with a signpost.”

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 3.

Inspired by Side View’s Weekend Theme ~ Resolutions Unresolved.

Resolute in our Resolve December 26, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
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It’s time (almost) to turn our attention to New Year’s Resolutions.

To get our wheels turning about where there might be room for improvement in our lives, here are some hilarious quotes taken from Governmental Employee Performance Appraisals (including Public School Employees).

Proof, once again, that our tax dollars are NOT always well spent:

1. “Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig.”

2. “I would not allow this employee to breed.”

3. “This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won’t be.”

4. “Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”

5. “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”

6.  “When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.”

7. “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”

8. “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.”

Resolute in our Resolve ~ Part 2.

Inspired by Side View’s Weekend Theme ~ Resolutions Unresolved.

Welcome, Welcome, Christmas Day! December 25, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Food & Drink.
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All the Whos down in Whoville knew the right way to greet Christmas Day!

So do we!

We’re packing up the sleigh and heading over the river and past swaying palms to my sister’s to pick up our presents:

Thing One (Jess) and Thing Two (Sam)

While we’re gone, pour yourself a glass of mulled cider (or something stronger, if you prefer), put your feet up, turn on the tree, and enjoy some Holiday Cheer courtesy of the blogosphere and Spirit Lights The Way:

1.  Ho~Ho~Ho! Merry Christmas!
2.  Press “Pause” and Enjoy the Present
3.  ‘Twas The Week Before Christmas
4.  Ring Out Solstice Bells
5.  Joy To The World
6.  The 12 Days of Christmas
7.  Santa Claus is Coming to Town
8.  Christmas Diamante
9.  Transformation and Reclamation
10.  A Christmas Carol ~ A Capital Idea

11.  The “Star” of Bethlehem
12.  Happy Holidays!
13.  Green America Gift Membership
14.  How Do Your Spell Relief?
15.  Experiential Gifts
16.  Winter Warmth
17.  10 Holiday Classics
18.  Christmas Unwrapped
19.  Warmth in a Winter Wonderland
20.  Time to Play . . . Family Feud
21.  Welsh Rarebit Dip
22.  Holiday “Diet” Tips
23.  Holiday Parties
24.  Candy Land For Adults
25.  Keep The Weight Off
26.  Simple Holiday Health
27.  Gift Idea:  Books on Tapes