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Photo Challenge ~ Old Fashioned July 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor, Poetry.
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In the days of yore, the seven seas did fierce pirates roam
Untethered to the Internet, they sailed the ocean’s foam
Traveling from port to port, they called no nation home

Unbidden by cyberspace, with infinite blog nuggets to comb
We “caught the news” on front porches of General Store and home
And regaled each other with folk wisdom ~ story, song, and poem

Quote:  Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, beautiful old people are works of art. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?

Do you ever long for the “good old days” when we shared tidbits of news over the garden fence . . . rather than being inundated with internet morsels that are often hard to swallow?

Related posts:  Photo Challenge: Old Fashioned (WP Prompt) * Old Fashioned (HugMamma)

The Case of the Missing Child July 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
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Growing up, our station wagon had a third seat which flipped up and faced out the rear window.  The four of us took turns sitting in that coveted backward facing seat.

When folded flat, the back seat enclosed an empty space large enough to hide . . . a child.

In the early 60’s, as you may recall, children had almost no power ~ they were to be seen, not heard.  These powerless mini-beings enjoyed shifting the balance of power by messing with their parents’ heads.

By way of example:  we would take turns hiding in the crawl space under the backseat of the station wagon while our siblings shut the lid on us.  Then, as mom or dad put the car into reverse to back down the driveway, we’d exclaim, “Wait, Betsy’s not in the car.  Betsy’s not in the car.”

Mom or Dad would get out, come around, open the back hatch, lift the seat, find the missing child, return the child to topside (with a small pat on the backside), shut the rear hatch, and return to the driver’s seat to resume safe operation of the vehicle.

This game got old to my parents very quickly.  We, in contrast, continued to take great delight in playing The Case of the Missing Child.

One day, my mother was up front with her best friend Betty.  There were six children being transported in the wagon ~ the 4 of us and 2 of Betty’s.

As my mother started up the car, we called out, “Wait, Doug’s not in the car.”

Having played this game too many times to count, my mother just nodded knowingly, and started up the car.

We yelled again, “Mom, really, Doug isn’t in the car.”

She smiled at Betty and began backing out of the parking space at the store.

We tried again, “Mom, we are NOT kidding.  Doug got out of the car when you went into the store and he never got back into the car.”

She switched from reverse to drive and exited the parking lot, content in the knowledge that her youngest son was safely stowed under the rear seat.

At the first traffic light, a man pulled up beside her, pointed to the roof of the car, and mouthed something.

My mother rolled down her window to find out what he was trying to say.

He repeated his question, still pointing to the roof, “Did you know that you have a kid on your roof?”

How do you, as a parent, answer THAT question?

My mother pulled over to the side of the road, S-L-O-W-L-Y, and got out of the car to inspect the roof.

And there was Doug.

In all his petrified glory.

He had survived the short trip out of the parking lot by hanging on to the roof rack for dear life.  My mother had to pry his fingers loose from the cross bars to get him off the roof and back into the car.

You almost never hear stories like this anymore.

I have never had to ride up to a soccer mom driving a mini-van with five children strapped in the back to ask whether she knows that she has a sixth child on the roof.

That sort of thing just doesn’t happen in these days of safety seats and mandatory seatbelt laws.

Transporting children sure has changed.

* * * * *

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Any favorite childhood memories that would NOT happen today due to increased safety concerns or advanced technology?

Related posts:  Weekend Theme ~ Childhood (Sidey’s Weekend Theme) * Write About Your Earliest Memory (WP Prompt) * Childhood Haiku (Adee) *Hello, Mrs. Telephone (Sidey) * Childlike (Kate Shrewsday) * On Early Memories & Intuition (Mirth & Motivation) * Garden Sculpture (Yellow House Cafe)

Zen & The Art of Happiness July 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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Chris Prentiss commences Zen & The Art of Happiness with a profound thought:

There is only one way to achieve lasting happiness.  That way is simple: Be happy.

Rather than exploring all the “ins and out” of Zen, Chris introduces readers to its essence ~ experiencing life in the here and now through awareness and an alert curiosity.

Our view of the world creates our reality. 

How we choose to view events and experiences creates happiness or unhappiness.  

When we view everything that happens as the best possible event that could occur, there is no reason not to be happy . . .

Right here, right now. 

We no longer waste time and energy bemoaning our fate.  We stop getting in the way of our own happiness.  We learn to dance in the rain.

For years, we’ve allowed our thoughts free rein to gravitate to the “worst case scenario” . . . here’s a chance to put our imaginations to better use.   

We can choose thoughts that eliminate unnecessary stress.

Whenever we imagine a bad outcome to a past, present, or future event, we cause ourselves unnecessary stress. 

Instead of getting caught up in daily dramas, we can choose to reframe our default settings:

* The Universe does not make mistakes.
* The path is unfolding as it should.
* Everything happens for our ultimate benefit.

If we choose to speculate on the good that will arise from a given event, we eliminate stress and create happiness . . . right here, right now.

Being happy NOW increases our capacity for happiness LATER. 

Our bodies, brains, and beliefs have a complex inter-relationship with each other.  Without getting into all the meta-physics, there’s a simple reason to be happy now:

When we think happy thoughts TODAY, we create cells that are designed to feel happiness, making it easier for us to be happy TOMORROW.

So don’t worry. Be happy.

How we relate to the issue IS the issue.

If we see events as beneficial to our long-term growth, we stop tormenting ourselves by judging them as good, bad, right, or wrong.  Instead, we view what  happens with acceptance, peace, and happiness.

As we let go of our resistance to the what is, we free up energy to live our lives in the here and now ~ the only place where happiness resides.

Happiness arises as we access our inner peace and wisdom.

Instead of being tossed around by the waves and currents in our daily lives (i.e., the tyranny of events), we learn to dive deep into the stillness and calm that is always present at the center of our being.

As we become centered in the here and now, our awareness shifts from the daily dramas which surround us, to the inner wisdom within us.

At the level of spirit . . . it’s all good.

We are not mired in the past by sad, stale thoughts.  We’re not caught up in endless worry about the future.  We are right here, right now . . . where happiness, joy, peace, tranquility, and serenity reside.

Enjoy this moment.  It won’t last.  The future soon will be the past.  The day quickly becomes the night.  Fill your life with delight.

Quote:  Try spiritual practice and see for yourself. ~ The Buddha

No rules. Just write!

What about you? 

Has time’s passage ever shifted your perspective ~ transforming perceived “negatives” into positives?

Related posts:  It’s All Good * What’s The BEST That Could Happen? * The “It Could Be Worse” Game * The Serenity Principle * When A Cyber Friend Goes Missing * When Ego Wins . . . You Lose * Better Thoughts -> Better Results