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Weekly Photo Challenge: HOME March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Gratitude, Happiness.
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Quote: Where thou art, that is home. ~ Emily Dickinson

Related posts:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Home * Home (Creating Magic) * Home (Classy Rose) * I’m Home (Primo Piano) * Back Home (Rosa’s Picks) * Home (Random Thoughts From Midlife) * Home (Running Garlic) * Home (Fantasy Fic) * Home (Pseu’s Blog) * Home (Piglet in Portugal)

13 Books That Changed My Life March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Less IS More.
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Today’s WordPress Prompt:

Name A Book That Changed Your Life.

Books have been friends, companions, teachers, guides, and mentors since I first learned to decipher characters on the printed  page.  Books have entertained, educated, and encouraged me.

 In the past decade, many of the books I read reinforced my desire to live a more spiritual and peaceful life ~ one focused more on internal wisdom, and less on external gratification.  These books added joy to my life by teaching me to shift my perspective from old ways of thinking (centered on ego) to a new way of viewing the world (focused on spiritual strength).

Here are 13 Books that Changed My Life.  Each added to my inner peace and happiness by encouraging me to master my thoughts:

1.  Simplify Your Life ~ Elaine St. James

2.  The Art of Happiness ~ The Dalai Lama

3.  Zen & The Art of Happiness ~ Chris Prentiss

4.  The Serenity Principle ~ Joseph V. Bailey

5.  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ~ Richard Carlson

6.  The Happiness Trap ~ Russ Harris

7.  Awakening to the Sacred ~ Lama Surya Das

8.  The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

9.  Present Moment, Wonderful Moment ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

10.  Take Time For Your Life ~ Cheryl Richardson

11.  Way of the Peaceful Warrior ~ Dan Millman

12.  Power, Freedom, Grace ~ Deepak Chopra

13.  The Happiness Makeover ~ M.J. Ryan

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  What books have enabled you to see the world more clearly and love it more dearly?

Related posts:  The Clean (Book)Plate Club * 100 BooksThe Courage to Be Free * Bring One Fictional Character To Life * 365 Nirvana Now (Blue Lotus Cafe) * WP Daily Prompt ~Bookworm

8.9 Earthquake & 30-foot Tsunami March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Mindfulness, Nature.
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During lunch today, we stared transfixed in horror at the videos taken in Japan during and immediately after the earthquake and tsunami that struck there today.  From AOL News:

The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began almost 150 years ago smashed into the country’s northeast coast today, triggering tsunamis up to 23-feet high that swept away boats, cars and homes and killed hundreds of people.

Hours later, the waves hit Hawaii, but did not cause major damage.

To read more:  Massive Tsunami Devastates Japan * California Braces for Waves

Need something to include in your Gratitude Journal for today?  How about, “I was not swept away in a tsunami.”  Or, “My house was not reduced to rubble in an earthquake.”

If you are warm and dry, don’t forget to say “thanks.”

Think Simple Now:  Prayer For Healing

Creating Magic:  A Candlelight Video Prayer for Japan

Is Your Blog User Friendly? March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Writing & Writers.
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If you want to encourage readers to look around your archives, make your blog user-friendly.

How do you do that?

Easy.  Add widgets that allow your visitors to navigate through your posts without getting hung up on barbed wire.

Here are a few widgets installed on SLTW that give you (and Spirit) room to maneuver around the site with as few snags, hang-ups, and dead ends as possible:

Search Bar:  The widget at the top right, above the E-mail Subscription link,  allows you to search by key word or phrase for articles of interest .  Just type in the specific word or phrase you’re looking for ~ happiness, exercise, curry, spam, blog traffic, Charles Dickens, honesty, drum, sunrise, watercolor, Dr. Seuss, hot air balloon, etc.

All posts that include your key word(s) will appear at the click of the word “Go.”  Scroll through to find articles of interest.  To open up the comment thread on a specific post, just click on the title of the post.

This Just In:  Haven’t been here for a few days?  At a glance, you can see the titles of the 13 most recent posts.

Click on any of the titles you missed that resonate with you and check them out.

Remember to add your thoughts to the comment thread if spirit moves you.

Select Category:  Interested in a specific category of articles?  Click on the down arrow and all the categories appear so you can search out articles posted under “Humor,” “Amazing Animals,” “Food & Drink,” “Meditation,” “Word Play,” or one of the 30 other categories used to sort posts.  To open up the comment thread on a specific post, just click on the title of the post.

Anecdotes and Observations: Want to see the latest buzz?  The last 7 comments are marked by both person and post.   Click on the title to go to the post.  Click on the person’s name and be whisked to their blog (if they have one).  If they don’t have a blog, I’m not sure where you’ll land.  It’ll be a cyber-adventure.

“Hey, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Top Clicks:  Want to see which posts are getting the most traffic?  The top 7 posts are listed on the sidebar.  Often, they are the most recent posts, but not always . . . just ask Kumala Vista & Tongo Tongo and Rhoderic Land, King Kong Tonight how often they’ve been featured.

Home:  If you want to scroll through articles starting with the most recent, click on the Home button at the top left.  You can scroll back in time until you see a post that grabs your attention.  To open up the comment thread on that post, just click on the title of the post.

“There’s no place like home.”

Hidden Gems:  New to SLTW?  Want to see what was being discussed in July?  Hit the drop down menu at Hidden Gems and click on July 2010.  Like the Home button, all July 2010 articles will appear without the comment thread being visible.  Just click on the title of any article and the comment thread opens.

Worth A Fly By & Blogroll:  Ready for travel, adventure, a change of scenery?  Click on one of the pretty avatars under Worth A Fly By or scroll through the Blogroll for inspiration.  Click on the name of a blog or website that appeals to you and you’ll be whisked through the blogosphere at warp speed.

“Beam me up, Scotty!”

If you can’t find what you’re looking for (i.e., a post you read in the past that you want to re-read, articles on meditation, or vegetarian recipe ideas), please speak up ~ ask the reference librarian (that’s me!) for assistance by leaving a comment anywhere on SLTW . . . Spirit will lead me to it in “no time.”

No rules.  Just write! 

What about you?  What’s your favorite widget?  Have you ever gotten caught on a snag or bit of barbed wire when navigating around someone’s blog?

Related posts:  7 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic * What Blogs Do You Read & Why? * 7 Reasons to Press “Unsubscribe” * From Cyber Friends to Fast Friends * Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time?Down The Blog Hole