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How To Meditate October 8, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Meditation, Mindfulness, Writing & Writers.
107 comments

Welcome to Beginner’s Meditation.

I’m your instructor and will walk you through the basics.  Soon, with a little practice, you’ll be able to mediate like The Buddha.

OK, let’s start:

Find a comfortable place to sit quietly without distractions.

No, you may not keep your cell phone with you. Please put it away.

Sit there, quietly, without distractions for . . .

What are you doing?

No. I said, “sit down,” not “lie down and fall asleep.”

I need you to wake up and stop snoring ~ it’s disruptive!

Great. Sit there, quietly, without distractions for . . .

Put down the remote. Put it down. You cannot watch TV and meditate simultaneously.

No, no video games either.

That’s it. Focus on your breath . . .

Whose laptop is that? Please, turn off your computer.

If I hear it say, “You’ve got mail,” one more time, you’re going to be in big trouble, mister!

That’s it. Focus on your breath.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

No, you don’t need your own specialized, personalized, individualized mantra to meditate. What you need is to F-O-C-U-S.

Just stop talking and F-O-C-U-S . . .

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe . . .

Turn it off.  Turn it off NOW. Don’t make me come over there.

Well, when I said, “Cell phones,” I meant Blackberries and PDA’s as well.

That’s it . . . Breathe in. Breathe out.

Stop it. Stop laughing.

I mean it. I’m serious about this, people. This is my job.

Listen to me. Please.

Well, actually, strike that.

Listen to your breath, not me. I’m not supposed to be talking either.

That’s it. Focus on your breath.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

OK, that was a good start. Let’s call it a day and try again tomorrow.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder: When the world recedes, you hold infinity in your grasp. 

Related posts: Meditation 101 * Daily Press Weekly Writing Challenge ~ And Now For Something Completely Different

Ta Da! July 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in .
3 comments

Paula, an endless source of inspiration (and amusement), gave me an idea one morning as she shamelessly begged to be featured (again!) on SLTW.

Her pleading (and attempted bribery) got me thinking . . .

Why not add a page, Ta Da!, with links to articles about blogs and bloggers featured on SLTW . . . Paula included!

Since then I’ve added: Blogging Meet Ups, Awards, Freshly Pressed Posts, and Contest Submissions.

Ta Da!

* That’s Me! . . . with brief intros and links to Carl, Kate, Sig, Andra, Paula, Col, Kathy, Greg, Suzi, Kate, Janna, Debra, BeeBlu, Barb, Martin, and Pixie

* Meet Tilly . . . The Laughing Housewife

The House That Janna Built . . . inspired by Janna (who, like me, doesn’t know her way around a tool box with any degree of proficiency)

* A Shout Out to Rufus’ Food & Spirits Guide

Tropical Tones & Hues by Silk Artist Rita Van Gorder

* The Anvil . . . The World’s Oldest Blog

* Night of the Day of the Dead ~ with shout outs to Debra and Tammy

* Delicious paintings by Oriana Kacicek

* The Art of Whimsy featuring Island Artist Barbara Hines

* Swing round to . . . Kate’s Blogging Trapeze

* The Only Cin is Quite a Cook . . . don’t believe me?  Go have a look!

* Paula’s and her That Reminds Me . . . Muse

* Paula Tohline Calhoun’s Ode To My Books

* In a World Without Words . . . we would still enjoy Cartoons by Carl

* She’s ba-ack! . . . with Ode To My (e)-Books (by PTC)

* An Idea Comes of Age (AgriGirl’s Blog)

* Advice from Dr. Alisa Cooper . . .  Do What You Love

* What’s Up?. . . Thursday’s Teasers & Tips (including Perfect Casting by PTC)

* The Days of Milk and Roses . . . Linda Neuffer Chaston, Guest Blogger

* A review of Vivian Kirkfield’s book . . . Show Me How!

* Meditation Amidst The Honking . . . Amy Brueggemann, Guest Blogger

* For the love of Z~E~B~R~A~S . . .  A Surprise Gift in the Mail

* Rolling Round Corners & Corridors . . . posts with staying power by PiP, Renee, Kate, Colonialist, Don, Joss, and Kathy.

* Global Mysteries . . . You’re Published . . . Now What? and Shameless Self-Promotion

* Ghost Tale from the Charleston Jail . . . fiction by Andra Watkins

* Julie Hedlund’s project . . . A Writer’s Retreat in Florence Italy!

* Uncapping my Cyber Highlighter . . . a spotlight on 4 favorite articles by Debra, Don, Tammy, and Martin.

* A shout out for Warren & Betsy Talbot’s Book . . . Dream, Save, Do

* Blogging Etiquette . . . Woman Wielding Words

* Guest Post by Julie Hedlund . . . A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

* Drama! Drama! . . . Maggie Madly Writing

{{Under Construction . . . Stay Tuned!}}

Blogging Meet Ups

(1) February 2011 ~ Flying Gma & her husband (AMI)

* From Cyber Friends to Fast Friends (SLTW)

* Southern Hospitality is Alive and Well (Flying Gma)

(2) January 2012 ~ Renee (Life in the Boomer Lane) (AMI)

Anna Maria Island ~ The Beach.  The Beauty.  The BLTs (Renee)

* Saving the Best for Last (SLTW)

* Vision Boards & Mind Maps (SLTW)

(3) February 2012 ~ Pixie & CH (Venice)

*  Under the Palms (Sweet Days Under the Oaks)

* “Sweet Days” Meets “Sunny Daze” (SLTW)

(4) October 2012 ~ Robyn Oyeniyi (Orlando)

* Season’s 52  (SLTW)

* Lunch with a distant (from me) blogger (Love versus Goliath)

(5) February 2014 ~ Pixie & CH (AMI)

* No, No . . . NOT the Negative!

(6) January 2015 ~ Pix & CH (UTC)

* We got together with Pix and CH for a 3rd time ~ had a great conversation while strolling around and munching on Rise Pies (a build your own pizza place) and slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

And we talked about YOU! And how YOU need to join us next time.

Awards

* The Sunshine Award . . . Anne Lene

* Vivian Kirkfield . . . WP Family Blog Award

* The Sunshine Award . . . GeanieRoake

* PTC . . . However (A Tribute Poem)

* Liebster Award . . . I Am Who I Am

* Super Sweet Award . . . A.P. Robert’s Stories

* One Lovely Blog Award . . . The Heartsong’s Blog

* Liebster Award . . . The Heartsong’s Blog

* Shine On! Award . . . Seeker

* Versatile Blogger Award . . . Safiyah Heals

* Very Inspiring Blogger Award . . . Spiritual World Traveler

* 7 Links Challenge (with links to 20 fave bloggers)

* The Right to Bitch . . . Reader Appreciation Award

* Friendship Award ~ The Only Cin

* Awards, Awards, Awards . . . Vivian Kirkfield

* One Lovely Blogger Award . . . Born to Succeed

* Commentator Award . . . Blue Grass Notes

* Genie Speaks . . . One Lovely Blogger Award

* Sunshine Award . . . Breathelighter

* Tell Me About Yourself Award . . . Janet (Thoughts To Mull)

* Creative Chaos Award . . . Born to Succeed

* Kreative Blogger Award . . . Vivian Kirkfield

* All About Words . . . Beautiful Blogger Award

* Awesome Blog Content Award . . . Sons of Thunder

* You Rock! Awards (given to 7 Blogging Buddies . . . including Paula!)

* Versatile Blogger Award ~ Mirth & Motivation

* Sunshine Award ~ Yikes! Another Award! (FantasyFic)

* 2011 Sexiest Blog Award (accepted by, you guessed it, Paula!)

* Sunshine Award ~ Yeah, I got the Sunshine Award (Perfecting Motherhood)

* CoWAbunger Award ~ TillyB (The Laughing Housewife)

* Liebster Award ~ Vivian Kirkfield (author of Show Me How!)

* Beautiful Blogger Award ~ Tsuchigari

* Yippee! . . . Yuppie! . . . You? ~ Sidey

*Liebster Award ~ Creating Reciprocity

* Vivian Kirkfield ~ Author Blog Hop

Freshly Pressed Posts

* What The World Really Needs ~ 4/26/2010

* The Chain:  Harbingers of Things to Come ~ 8/20/2010

* How to Meditate ~ 10/8/2012

Contest Submissions

* Little Pitchers Have Big Ears ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* A Bolt of Lightning ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* “It’s Time To Fly” ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Page Turner ~ A Mystery Thriller Writing Contest (Manatee County Library)

* The Ordinary Guru Contest ~ July 2014

* Short Short Stories ~ Longboat Key News, August 2014

Cats-eyesHäagen-Dazs & Pretzel ~ A Fractured Fairy Tale ~ March Madness Contest

* Santa & The Nanny Cam ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Haiku Revue ~ Madness ~ Colonialist’s Blog

* Cackle . . . The Spooky Black Cat ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Blurb, Burble, Bloop ~ BB’s Blog

After a round of golf (amid the kangas and the roos)
BB studies her school notes, then pens a poem or two
Her poetic blog is inspired, unequaled, without compare
And that’s because BB is full of . . . AU CONTRAIRE!

* Wit’s End ~ Eric’s The Worst Short Story Contest

* A Fourth of July Mystery Ride ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* You Can’t Stop Reading This Book ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* “I Love Trees” Contest ~ All About Words

* Quiggle’s Search For Spring ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Dashing Through The Mall ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Hollow ~ Trifecta Challenge

* One Line.  Or Two. ~ Trifecta Anniversary Challenge, with JannaTWrites!

* Halloween Drives Me Batty ~ Susanna Leonard Hill

* Read A Book . . . Ignite Your Passion ~ Manatee Country Library Motto & Logo

* NPR Challenge ~ The Namesake ~ National Public Radio

* Father’s Day Tribute ~ Island Sun newspaper

* The House That Janna Built ~ Wergle Flump Humor Poetry Contest

* Whodunnit ~ An Exercise in Passive Voice ~ Darryl L.L. Houston

* The Blizzard of Two Thousand Ten

* Backstage Pass ~ A Bit Off Track . . . Show Me The Voice Contest

* A Clear Cage of Entrapment ~ National Wildlife Federation

* Pedal Power ~ Sierra Club

* Revel in Uncertainty ~ Real Simple, Life Lessons Contest

* Island Aunt WINS Island of the Aunts ~ Becky Levine

Aah . . . that’s better!

Meditation 101 March 3, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
8 comments

Beginning a meditation practice offers immediate benefits to those who take a few minutes each day to relax into the moment and just breathe. 

Mediation lowers blood pressure; reduces stress hormones (which cause weight gain); calms the mind; improves concentration; inspires creative solutions; increases mental clarity; decreases  sadness and depression by elevating serotonin levels; and the list goes on. 

If you’ve never meditated, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

Silence the mind.  Just Be.  Focus on your breath. 

Want a few more pointers?

1.  There are many ways to meditate ~ play around until you find a technique that calms your thoughts and silences your mind: 

* Head to the beach and silently watch waves rolling to shore. 

* No beach?  No problem.  Close your eyes, and focus on the thought of crashing waves.

* Problems using visualization?  Create your own waves by dropping a pebble into a puddle.  Watch the ripples expanding ever outward. 

* Can’t find a pebble?  Repeat an affirmation, phrase, or word instead, while focusing on your breath:  Be Here Now . . .  Just Be . . .  Love . . .  Ommm. 

* To busy to sit down?  Observe yourself in motion: chopping wood, dusting furniture, waxing the car (“wax on, wax off”), or peeling carrots.  The aim: to stop thinking and silently observe your body in motion.

* Need to head to the gym, or walk the dog?  Try a walking meditation, using as many of your senses as you can to observe the world around you ~ the smells, the sights, the sounds.  Observe something, then let it go.  

* Tired?  Just sit and watch your breath coming and going.

2.  Whatever you choose to focus on, let everything else go. 

Every time you find yourself focused on anything other than what you’ve chosen as your focus, return to your focus.

3.  Start small.  Don’t sit down in a full lotus position for an hour spent berating yourself for your inability to get your mind to “Shut the *$@^ up!” 

Instead, aim for five minutes of just sitting still, and observing a candle flame, or listening to the ticking of a clock, or counting 99 bottles of beer on the wall, or enjoying a piece of classical music. 

* * *

Meditation, like playing the piano, gets easier the more you practice.  At first, try not to get attached to any extraneous thoughts for 5 minutes. 

Sit quietly, and comfortably, and just let your thoughts drift across your brain like clouds through the sky. 

Just watch them come and go. 

As you watch, you begin to realize that you are the observer of your thoughts ~ thoughts unbidden  stream across your mind, like a ticker tape. 

You can choose to let them go.  You do not need to hang onto them, or chase after them.   As the observer, you are in control.        

Eventually, if you remain focused on your focus, the stream of extraneous thought slows down ~ as if the clouds were parting with more and more blue sky showing.  In those patches of cloudless sky, the silence becomes profound, and you start to feel your connection with . . . well, everything.

* * *

It’s called practicing meditation for a reason.  There’s no right way or wrong way ~ there is only the way (the unfolding of life, moment by moment).  

Quote:  Just start . . . and the way will appear.

Related posts:  Your Brain On Bliss * Guided MeditationMindfulness Meditation: A Miracle Drug * Deepak Chopra: Mindfulness Meditation * How to Meditate: Eight Simple Steps (Always Well Within)

The Broken Wheel August 17, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
23 comments

Once upon a time, a broken wheel set out to explore the world.

Due to a missing chunk of wood, the broken wheel rolled slowly, but noticed everything.

It observed the flowers in the fields, the sun in the sky, and heard the sounds of songbirds and laughter of small children at play as it rolled happily, albeit slowly, through life.

One day, the broken wheel ran into a talented wheelwright who offered to fix the wheel by replacing the missing chunk with a spare part.

Delighted, the wheel accepted the generous offer.

With the spare part fastened securely in place, the wheel resumed its journey through life.

As it raced down the road, the wheel noticed nothing.  The trees, the flowers, the birds became an indistinct, blurry mass of shapes and colors.  Sounds faded into the background, and the rush of wind drowned out the peals of laughter ringing forth from children at play.

Unhappy, the wheel stopped beside a small pond to meditate.

In the silent stillness, all the wheel had missed sprung back into being ~ the birds took to the air, filling the silence with song; the flowers bloomed in the field, painting the landscape with color; and the sun lit up the sky once again, warming the world with its golden rays.

Rested and refreshed, the wheel resumed rolling slowly ~ leaving the spare part behind.

Aah . . . that’s better!  ♥ ♥ ♥

Source:  Unknown

A Tweet & A Twitter January 6, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play.
21 comments

I don’t Tweet on Twitter, but I bumped into this gem in Reader’s Digest:

“Sometimes I just want to go live alone in the woods and meditate . . . but other times I think that’d be Thoreauing my life away.”

@Rachel_Mandik

Aah . . . that’s punny!

Outwitting Insomnia July 16, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.
32 comments

Donald-Duck-LazyI developed a trick to outwit my erstwhile bedtime companion, Insomnia:

Me:  “C’mon . . . just try.”
Insomnia:  “No.”

“C’mon.  Just close your eyes and go to sleep.”
“No.”

“It will feel good.  I promise.”
“No.”

Huey,-Dewey-And-Louie

“C’mon.  Just do it for me.”
“No.”

“Please?”
“No.  I’m not tired.”

“Please. Just. Close. Your. Eyes.”
“No.”

“Yes!  I’m tired!  I want to go to sleep.”
“No.  I’m busy.”

“Hmm . . . okay, Insomnia.  I’ve got an idea.”

Donald-Duck-BaseballDubious, skeptical, yet intrigued, Insomnia raises an eyebrow in my direction.

“What do you have in mind?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

Donald-Director“That’s right.  Since you don’t want to go to sleep, let’s meditate instead.  Let’s let go of thought and focus on the magic power of Ohm . . . . . .”

“ZZZZZZZZZ”

Works like a charm!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Love and Gratitude November 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
28 comments

IMGP1472aWhen life seems too iffy (and precarious) or I feel off balance (and out of sorts), the easiest way for me to move from shifting sands of doubt to being grounded in the Here and Now is to meditate on two words . . .

Love and Gratitude

In that space, I stop rowing and put down the oars.

Peace surfaces.
Life flows.

And I flow with it . . .

As the path unfolds before me.
Here, Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder January 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Writing & Writers.
82 comments

Tigger-BouncingAs some of you noticed and noted – thank you! – I have not been posting every day.

That trend may continue:

1.  I started SLTW, in part, to create a searchable database for notes and quotes gathering dust in files, notebooks, and journals.

After five years (and more than 2,500 posts), much of that backlog is now up and running.  Yay!

Tigger-Looking-At-His-Tail2.  Last year, I culled my draft folder from 80+ unfinished posts to a more manageable 17!  Yay!  I’m satisfied with that level of behind-the-scenes ballast.

3.  My mantra this year is “acceptance” and “let it be.”  I don’t feel like pushing myself to crank out “one a day” posts.

If it happens, it happens.  If it don’t, it don’t.

4.  For now, sharing my view of the world seems less compelling than using that time to play the guitar, stretch, exercise, meditate, create, cook, listen to music, eat chocolate, etc.

Tigger-Pogo5.  Posts on SLTW often flow from using thought-provoking and compelling posts on other blogs as springboards.

*BOING* . . . *BOING* . . . *BOING*

At the moment, the community offered by reading and commenting on other blogs seems sufficient.

6.  Instead of staying on the Post-A-Day treadmill, I’m (a) being lax, (b) cutting myself some slack, and (c) going with the flow.

7.  I want to post when I have something to say . . . not just because I want to say something.

Tiggers-R-UsAs I relax and let life unfold, I anticipate posting often enough that it won’t be a case of “out of sight, out of mind.”

I much prefer the adage, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Aah . . . that’s better!   

Create Space For What Matters April 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
28 comments

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Often we get so caught up in the To Do Lists of our daily lives that we forget to enjoy the journey of life itself.  In Take Time For Your LifeCheryl Richardson reminds us to become masters of our limited time on this planet.

Creating space for what matters allows us room to breathe.

Instead of feeling like a Pushmi Pullyu headed in two directions at once, or a perpetually late rabbit unsure of which direction to head, we heed our inner wisdom and allow the path to unfold before us.

A few ideas:

JUST BE:  Practice doing nothing * Slow down * Be Here Now * Enjoy quiet contemplation* Watch your breath * Pause and Reflect * Meditate * Relax * Contemplate the bottomless ocean or the infinite night sky * Allow inner peace to surface * Don’t Worry.  Be Happy.

PRACTICE SELF CARE:  Evaluate your life * Reflect on your growth * Make a wish list * Celebrate your successes * Keep your dreams alive * Avoid negative self-talk * Eliminate physical and mental clutter * Give away stuff that makes you sad * Sometimes Less is More

PRIORITIZE:  Eliminate energy drains * Learn to say NO * Put yourself at the top of the list * Spend free time wisely * Ignore external pressure to conform * Get to know the real you * Be nobody but yourself

HAVE FUN:  Be adventurous * Listen to favorite music * Try something new * Laugh out loud * Dance like no one’s watching * Take an evening walk * Watch the moon and stars * Enjoy creative pursuits * Paint~Write~Sing~Cook * Live on Purpose * Fill each day with drops of joy

BUILD COMMUNITY:  Connect * Ask questions * Share your expertise * Contribute to others * Reach out and touch someone

CREATE LIFE BALANCE:  Empower yourself to change * Make healthy eating easy * Make exercise fun * Get a good night’s sleep * Realize that making a living is not synonymous with making a life * Evaluate which discretionary expenses make you happiest * Live below your means

GO WITH THE FLOW:  Notice where your life is abundant * Start a gratitude journal * Accept the what is * Embrace all with Joy * Watch for synchronicity * Let go of expectations * Listen * Let the Universe guide you to what’s next

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailSmile at the person you’re becoming.

Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What do you do when you don’t have to do anything?

Your Work Is To Discover Your Work January 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
40 comments

When I stopped practicing law, I spent hour upon frustrated hour trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  I didn’t realize at the time that our life’s work is to discover our life’s work:

Your work is to discover your work and pursue it with passion.  ~ Buddha

IMGP3904

To help sort things out, I reviewed my life experiences and created a list of clues to consider.  This week, while sorting through my writing files, I found the list:

1.  Time is our most valuable commodity. Once it slips through the hourglass, it is gone forever.  Each option we pursue precludes other pursuits.

So many options . . . so little time.

2.  I don’t want a set bedtime.  I don’t want to set an alarm.  I don’t want to play dress up.  I don’t want to cart weighty litigation bags through snow and slush.  I don’t want to waste time at the water cooler.

I want to spend my days “in the flow” doing what I want to do.

3.  I want to be happy by making others happy and sharing what I’ve learned ~ teaching a class in Zen, operating a B&B on a sailboat, playing with kids, singing, painting, cooking, writing.

When we do what we love, we never have to work another day in our life.

4.  The work we do adds (or detracts) from our joy of living.  Before law school, I enjoyed working as a babysitter, a beer-tender at the Hoi Polloi, a food server at the Garden State Arts Center, and as the campus distributor of Exam Survival Kits at W&M ~ the kits contained candy, snacks, and a Crammer Hammer . . . to cram knowledge into over-stuffed brains.

Hey, maybe that hammer led me to Becker’s Hardware where I met BFF?

5.  Silence your mind.  Just be.  Focus on your breath.  Slip into the space between your thoughts.  Meditate.  In the silence of not doing, we begin to know what we feel.  LISTEN.

When we know WHO we are, we know HOW to live.

6.  Stop living by consensus.  Be who you really are.  Follow your intuitive impulses.  Do what you want to do.  When we switch from an external to an internal reference point, people find it much harder to manipulate us with insincere compliments and unwarranted criticisms.

Stop struggling against the current.  Go with the flow. Let the future unfold.

IMGP1642e

7.  Now that you know WHO you are, update your resume.   Focus on what makes you, you:  

Resumes should be
the ultimate marketing
tool ~ toot your own horn

Don’t feel constrained by past choices.  You made your bed . . . you can unmake it. Consistency is consistently over-rated.

When the time is right, you’ll know it.  Everything will coalesce.  You’ll have the time, the experience, the idea, the spark, the inspiration, the ability, the enthusiasm to fulfill your life purpose.

Great.  Now breathe.  Relax.  And let the Universe work its Magic.

IMGP3991

Writing the list allowed me to embrace the uncertainty with a touch more confidence.  Instead of feeling panicked at the idea that I didn’t know what was next on the Agenda, I relaxed into the flow of life with alert curiosity.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Ordeals and challenges may serve the purpose of shaking us loose from our moorings to set us up for important changes we can’t see or imagine from our limited time-based perspective.  

Has that ever been your experience?

Related post:  What is Your Unique Purpose in Life? (Ordinary Vegan) * Grow in the Direction of Happiness