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A Femme Fatale Hug November 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.

Worry reminds me of Kudzu erasing entire Southern landscapes under a blanket of green as it envelops tree limbs and leaves in a femme fatale hug.

Wikipedia ~ Kudzu (in Public Domain)

A creeping patchwork quilt that blocks the light, suffocating all other thought.


* Worrying is interest paid on a debt you may not owe. ~ Peter McWilliams

* “Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gets you nowhere.” (Thanks, Timi!)


* If we do not control our thoughts, our thoughts control us.

* A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.


Don’t Worry.  Be Happy!

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Val Boyko - November 10, 2014

Great metaphors Nancy. Kudzu does indeed smother … and is a worry in itself.
Worry is a disturbance of the mind that takes us into the future and away from the present moment. Stillness can only happen in the present.
Have a worry free day 🙂

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Yes! When we train our brain to reside in the present moment, much of the self-created turbulence (worry, angst, and dis-ease) fades away. Aah . . . that’s better!

2. Jill Weatherholt - November 10, 2014

I love this, Nancy! One of my favorite quotes about worry is from Mark Twain, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Great picture of you in the rocking chair…so festive!

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Thanks, Jill. Mark Twain’s quote is perfect ~> “Most things we worry about don’t happen anyway.”

That festive porch is a Manatee Historic Village ~ volunteers (Sandy, Leo, etc.) do a fabulous job of transforming the restored buildings into a Cracker Christmas each December.

Deck the Halls with boughs of holly . . .

3. valleygrail - November 10, 2014

Worry, the noxious weed of our emotions. Once we allow that seed to get a foothold, it’s the dickens getting rid of it.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Yes! Thoughts become habitual. If we become used to worrying, we never run short of things to worry about.

The easiest way I know to eject worry is to bring my attention back to NOW ~> when we are mindful of the sights, smells, tastes, touches, and sounds around us, there is less room for worry to wiggle its way in.

Bringing “Pink Elephants” to mind also work to alleviate worry.

4. katecrimmins - November 10, 2014

I was fascinated with the kudzu. We don’t have it here. I wonder if it’s coming like killer bees and fire ants. Oops! Another thing to worry about!

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Keep your eyes open, Kate . . . it will erase the landscape. 😯

5. livelytwist - November 10, 2014

So, I’m gonna dance to Happy by Pharell Williams 🙂
I like this: A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection. Thanks Nancy!

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Thanks, Timi! I’m working on “what I’ve learned.” I’ll shoot it over in a day or so.

6. anotherday2paradise - November 10, 2014

Some really great quotes here, Nancy. I do try not to worry, but I think it’s in my genes. Mom is a terrible worrier warrior. The Kudzu is a beautiful shade of green, but we really don’t need to be smothered by it. You can have too much of a ‘good’ thing. 🙂

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Exactly right. When it comes to Kudzu (or Worry) . . . LESS is MORE! 😕

7. NancyTex - November 10, 2014

I love this. Kudzu is the perfect imagery for worry.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Thanks, NT. The analogy hit me one day when I was looking at a photo of ivy blanketing the side of a building, including all the windows, while blocking out the light.

NancyTex - November 10, 2014

Like I said, perfect, perfect, perfect. That’s exactly how oppressive worry feels.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Yes! And as YOU know ~> action is the antidote to dis-ease.

8. jannatwrites - November 10, 2014

I like the comparison to kudzu… worry can be suffocating and does no good. (And I still do it more than I should 🙂 )

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Many of us do, Janna. And telling ourselves NOT to worry doesn’t work well. Instead, we need to give ourselves (and our imaginations) something better to think about.

Envisioning best case scenarios instead of worst case scenarios helps me. Other times, it helps me to play the “it could be WORSE game.”

9. Barb - November 10, 2014

We tend to worry about things that might never happen (and usually don’t), so why do we do this to ourselves? If we think of the NOW, we will stop worrying!

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

We can be “silly rabbits.” When I want to stop the cycle of worrisome thoughts, I “peel carrots” (or do some other mundane task) while really focusing on just what is in front of me.

10. Yolanda M. - November 10, 2014

Never heard of or seen Kudzu until now but what a wonderful metaphor Nancy! Timely post as I woke with a bug bear or two tugging at the fringes of my mind – feeling better now 😀 great pic of you!

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Yay! Glad you managed to shrug off the bug bear or two that were tugging on you. The more we practice, the easier it gets.

11. elizabeth2560 - November 10, 2014

I agree with much of what you say and some of your quotes, but not entirely with the ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ attitude. I used to think that worked until things actually occurred in my life. While that may work for ending the worrying about situations that MIGHT happen; it is not as successful about events that have happened in the past or those that are happening in the present. With due respect; if you have a disease, if you have financial pressures, if someone in your life is treating you unfairly; then sitting still and telling yourself to “be happy” will not resolve those things. I agree that worrying will not resolve them either. But sitting doing nothing is not the solution. What one has to do is get out of those situations is to get up, go to the doctor (to treat your disease), find another job, balance your budget, have a talk to your boss etc etc etc. What you have to do is DO something about your situation. It is then that the turbulence will begin to fade. It is not going to simply disappear on its own.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

The way you have chosen to interpret the phrase “don’t worry, be happy” and the way I interpret that phrase are different. At no point did I say to “do nothing.” Nor did I suggest that issues would simply disappear on their own.

If you are not already where you want to be, then you should move.

Of course, some people equate “worrying about something” as “doing something,” when all worry does is muddy the waters.

elizabeth2560 - November 10, 2014

Hi, I didn’t mean to offend. No you didn’t say that issues would disappear on their own, but the Bob Marley song of the same name does. “Don’t worry it will soon pass” is his message. I disrespectfully connected the quote with the song. My apologies.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

No offense taken . . . and I didn’t think for a minute that you were being disrespectful.

The way I interpret “don’t worry, be happy” is along the lines of “don’t sacrifice happiness you could feel right now by worrying about the future or fretting about the past.”

Even if everything is not as we want it to be, there is usually something we can smile about . . . even if it is only that “this too shall pass.”


nrhatch - November 10, 2014

The lines I like best from “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” are:

In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double

Read more: Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy Lyrics | MetroLyrics

12. Grannymar - November 10, 2014

I so agree with the Peter McWilliams quote.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

He has written a number of books, including “You Can’t Afford The Luxury Of A Negative Thought.” I agree with him.

Our immune system works better when we find things to be HAPPY about. Happiness is healing.

Grannymar - November 10, 2014

I agree with that, Nancy.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Your philosophy and mine overlap to large extent, GM. I think that you overflow with Good Common Sense.

Grannymar - November 10, 2014

I had to come back again, I just found this quote, alas, I am not sure who wrote it.

It is impossible to worry while you’re laughing!’

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

I love it! It’s true ~ laughter is powerful stuff. :mrgreen:

13. Silver in the Barn - November 10, 2014

Kudzu is a brilliant analogy, Nancy, to the stranglehold worry can have on us. I agree, equating worry with doing something is a mistake. But in those times of deep crisis in life where fear, dread, and worry try to take over, we are really put to the test of controlling our thoughts and beating those defeatist thoughts down. Like pulling out the high-power Round-up on the kudzu.

nrhatch - November 10, 2014

Absolutely. That’s why we need to practice when we are not in a crisis situation. With practice, we learn to override the habit of gravitating to worst case scenarios every time someone is five minutes late. “Not worrying” becomes our default setting.

Then when a crisis strikes, we have the mindfulness muscles we need to do the heavy lifting.

Pix Under the Oaks - November 11, 2014

Nancy in my reply to Silver in the Barn.. that is where I just can’t get the worry button OFF. I am dealing with a health issue right now and I am doing emotionally much better than I would have in the past. I would have hit the couch and been in fear the whole time. This time I have been able to live in the present frequently but my fear of “what if” still grabs me. But I still say to myself.. “hey you have done a bit better this time” and that is good 🙂

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Sorry you’re dealing with a health issue, Pix. Never fun. As you now know, worrying only makes “it” (whatever it is) worse, never better.

Try to imagine best case scenarios ~ doing so boosts the immune system which helps your health. And, even if your health issue isn’t improved by positive visualization and vibrations, you’ll feel better if you’re not bathing in a toxic pool of fear.

Sending positive thoughts your way!

Pix Under the Oaks - November 11, 2014

“But in those times of deep crisis in life where fear, dread, and worry try to take over, we are really put to the test of controlling our thoughts and beating those defeatist thoughts down.” So true.. that is where I have been the last 60 plus days.

Silver in the Barn - November 11, 2014

Oh no. Dear Pix, I am so sorry to hear that you are in crisis right now and can only say that I hope you emerge on the other side very soon. Life deals us such terrible blows and sometimes it is all we can do to just put one foot in front of the other. I send you as much concern and support as is possible via cyper-space.

Pix Under the Oaks - November 11, 2014

Thank you so much! Doesn’t feel so terrible now. I will know more tomorrow. I feel in my heart all will be well and I may have to deal with a couple more procedures. All in all, I feel very lucky. Your support is a sweet thing for me. I usually don’t talk about this stuff, I don’t know what is different this time. I just wish I could handle the anxiety better.. 🙂

Silver in the Barn - November 11, 2014

Good luck tomorrow. When my daughter was in ICU, I often thought of worry and anxiety as the enemy and would “push them down” almost physically from the forefront of my mind. I know this is not easy, believe me, and sometimes these things can sound so trite. I don’t minimize what you are going through; just trying to tell you what worked for me. I just refused to “go there” until I had some facts in front of me. It’s the unknown and waiting that are such killers, aren’t they?

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I like what Barbara said, Pix ~> it is a bit like pushing IT away and refusing to “go there” until facts reveal that “there” is the “what is.”

Hope you get some good news tomorrow!

14. Tiny - November 10, 2014

Beautiful! Quotes and pictures. I particularly love the one on paying interest on a debt one may not owe…have to remember that when worry strikes next time!

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

That’s a great reminder for me.

So much of what we worry about (all those worst case scenarios) are just Fairy Tales we’ve told ourselves . . . that do NOT come true.

So why not amuse ourselves with “happily ever after” endings instead. That way we can enjoy the NOW . . . which is all there really is.

Tiny - November 11, 2014

That is so true. I’ve been working on that my whole life and I’m far from “there” yet, somewhat better in recognizing the patterns though…older and wiser.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I’m not “there” either, Tiny. At this point, I do understand the process better. And I have several tricks in my toolbelt to get myself back on track sooner and with less fuss, muss, and bother. All I have to do is remember to apply them.

15. Behind the Story - November 10, 2014

I’ve heard about kudzu but never been intimately acquainted with it. Is that also kudzu in the second photo?

I especially like the last two lines and the last picture. I love ponds and the reflections in them–even better with koi.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

No, the second photo is some sort of ground cover at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The last picture is also from Marie Selby. It’s a wonderful place to visit ~ filled with nature, peace, calm, and still waters.

There are goldfish in that pond. And kids get to feed the fat fellows throughout the day.

16. Rajagopal - November 11, 2014

Liked your post and the views it has generated , nancy….antidote to worry is constructive action , as in the process , action , in addition to mitigating our concern , may also unravel hidden opportunity in the situation that was deemed to be fully problematic .

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Action is the antidote to dis-ease . . . as long as we take our minds off “auto pilot” and steer our imagination in the direction we want to go.

And, yes, sometimes what appeared “bad” at the time becomes one of the best things that ever happened to us as time goes on.

17. diannegray - November 11, 2014

I’m of the school of thought where ‘Things could be worse’ – but unfortunately sometimes they do get worse. But I’m also a great believer in ‘This Too Shall Pass’ xxx

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Yes x 2! If I’m having a hard time picture the “best possible outcome,” then I play the It Could Be Worse game . . . and picture things being SO MUCH WORSE than where I am.

That allows me to have compassion for those who have even more %$#^ on their plate . . . and allows me to feel gratitude for the little “pebbles” in my path.

18. ericjbaker - November 11, 2014

Worrying about something won’t change the outcome.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Yup. We are far more apt to come up with a creative “solution” when we are calm, relaxed, and “in the now.”

19. Three Well Beings - November 13, 2014

I wish I had the story in my grandfather’s writing, but I do remember him telling us kids that the secret to a happy life was getting up in the morning, sitting on the edge of the bed, putting our head between our hands and repeating over and over, ‘Worry, Worry, Worry, Worry” for a couple of minutes and then going about our day. With amusement he told us that he gave a couple of minutes to worry every morning and then that was it for the day. He was indeed a very peaceful man. I can still remember the twinkle in his eye as he told us this “secret” to life. 🙂

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

That’s a great twist to starting the day off with gratitude. Either practice reminds us to be mindful of our thoughts. When we master our thoughts . . . we master our life.

YOU should write down the story and share it with other family members, especially the grandkids.

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