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A Key West State of Mind January 31, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Gratitude, Happiness.
21 comments

I am partial to warm weather.

And palm trees.

And bright colors.

And sunny skies.

This painting by Joanne Sloan arrived in my in-box this morning.  Seeing it put me in a Key West state of mind.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Good Vibrations January 23, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness.
33 comments

Tiggers-R-UsWhen we observe the world around us, we see that happiness is contagious, and travels at the speed of light (or sound).  We can elevate our moods merely by elevating the corners of our mouths . . . SMILE.

Laughing and smiling improves our moods, decreases our stress levels, and encourages others to follow our lead.

When we laugh and smile, we transmit positive energy to others, with no thought required on anyone’s part.  As easily as flicking a switch to illuminate a room, we can fill the world around us with good vibrations.

Cool, huh?

Oh, you’re not convinced yet?

True Story:  Guy in a prison.  No one looks at anyone.  No one smiles at anyone.  It is a dark and unfriendly place.

At the urging of Rick Fields, author of Chop Wood, Carry Water, the inmate experiments with good vibrations. He silently sends positive thoughts to the guards and other inmates.

Without saying a word, he sends thoughts of kindness, hope, compassion, love and gratitude to others.

Nothing happens.  The End.

Just kidding.  {{SMILE}}

Wikipedia ~ American Humor (in Public Domain)

Here’s the real ending to this story:

* As soon as this inmate started sending out positive thoughts,  he instantly noticed a transformation.

* Inmates (who had never looked up before) started to make eye contact with him.

* Guards (not known for pleasant personalities) smiled at him as they passed through the corridors.

He transformed the world around him into a friendlier, less hostile place merely by changing his thoughts.

And . . . not a single word was exchanged.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

The Inner Path to Peace January 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
24 comments

As we travel the spiritual path, we learn to listen to the still, silent guidance of Spirit (the true self), while tuning out the angry, confused voice of Ego (the false self).

We begin to see and accept ourselves as we really are, beneath the layers of social conditioning and familial expectations.

We realize we don’t need anyone’s approval, permission, understanding, or blessing to accept ourselves as we are in this moment.

We stop judging ourselves and others . . . and begin to accept life as it is.

We realize that critical analysis, intellectual egoism, and negativity suffuse our inner light and hold us back.

Instead of endless debate about the minutiae of life, we learn to let go of the Ego’s need for constant analysis,  evaluation, and approval.

We open our eyes and see the biased, subjective, and misleading nature of Ego’s judgments and interpretations which result from looking at life events through the dirty lens of past experience.

Once we see that the meaning we assign to events varies from moment to moment, as a reflection of our unique experiences in life, we stop wrestling with intellectual quandaries from the past, and immerse ourselves in living life in the present.

We realize that we need not change the world . . . just our perspective, our frame of reference.

We look within for guidance, rather than using others as our moral compass.  Using Spirit as an internal reference point, we begin to see things as they are.

We begin to see our unity with others, and learn how to transform the world from within.  We send out Good Vibrations, using smiles and laughter instead of words.

We no longer insist that others accept our view of the world, or demand that they follow our lead.

Happily engaged in the present moment, we focus on our interests, and allow others to stay or drift away, guided by their own preferences.

We develop our generosity of spirit, and act to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of others by helping them see how they add to their own suffering by hanging on to slights, real and imagined.

Donald-DirectorWe take offense less often, realizing that the opinions of others are biased and limited in perspective.

Rather than absorbing the impedimenta of daily life  into our being, we easily maneuver around the pebbles in our path.

We stop living for the moment, and start living in the moment, where happiness resides.

Whether we are chopping wood or carrying water, we embrace the moment at hand. We absorb into our being that which resonates, leaving the rest behind.

We enter the flow of life and find inner peace at last.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Florida ~ Home of the Brave January 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Joke.
36 comments

BFF and I attended a jazz concert (guitar, bass, percussion) this week.

In Sarasota.
At mid-day.

As the price was right (FREE!), the auditorium was packed, with no vacant seats.

While welcoming the multitude of guests to the venue, one of the musicians expressed his sincere appreciation that the crowd had “braved the weather” to attend the concert.

The weather we braved?

Why it was absolutely wicked ~> in the mid-50’s and only partly sunny!

Aah . . . that’s Florida Funny!

Good Morning! January 17, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Home & Garden.
32 comments

Some mornings, Mr. Coffee sets the tone for the day . . .

With his cheery greeting and aromatic countenance, we are galvanized and fortified, energized and vitalized!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Buddies! December 22, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.
31 comments

What is it about minions?

They’re not terribly cuddly.

They’re rather ungainly.

They’re often untimely.

They often misbehave.

They’re terribly naughty.

 

So . . . what is it about minions that makes them so popular?

Aah . . . that’s it!

Find Peace December 5, 2018

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

We carry around so many memories, intentions, and concepts in the pockets of the mind.  Keep emptying your pockets.  ~ Mooji, Writing on Water

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your life around it.” ~ Brian Tracy

When we put peace of mind ahead of all else, we discover the power that lies within. ~ Joseph V. Bailey

Inner peace is the ultimate source of happiness and joyfulness. ~ Dalai Lama

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post (first image):  Tuesday’s Thoughts (Nuggets of Gold)

Summertime! September 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
20 comments

Jill’s recent post, Childhood Summers, highlighted the simple pleasures of summertime . . . when the living is easy.

After sharing some stellar examples of summertime fun, Jill concluded her post by asking:

What’s your favorite summertime memory?

Summertime has always been my favorite time of year.  So I had no problem coming up with a few favorite summertime memories:

Jumping through the sprinkler.
Picnics at Deer Lake.
Mystery Rides with my grandparents.
Kennebunkport Maine & the Jersey Shore.
Camping at Panther Lake.
Cookouts on the patio.
Fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Reading To Kill A Mockingbird. 😀

Before my mind turned to other things, it tossed out a few more thoughts:

Outdoor band concerts on the Navasink River.
Italian Ice
Fireworks on July 4th.
Countryside Swim & Tennis Club.
Frozen Milky Way bars.
Good Humor truck ~> make mine Toasted Almond.
Home made, fresh churned vanilla ice cream . . . with toppings!
Fresh corn from farm stands.

Once the waterfall got started, it wouldn’t stop:

Riding bikes
Hopscotch
Jumprope
Dodge ball
Camping out in the backyard
Pogo sticks
Pulling weeds
Mowing the lawn
Watching thunderstorms

Jill’s post really got me thinking! :mrgreen:

And isn’t that what blogging is all about?

Tossing the frisbee
Playing badminton
Croquet
Mother May I?
Simon Says

Aah . . . that’s better!

John McCain’s Farewell August 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, People.
16 comments

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

“Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

“I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

“I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

“‘Fellow Americans’ – that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

“We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

“Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

“Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Wanted: Optimists August 21, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness.
19 comments

C’mon, get happy!

Stop focusing on the 24/7 doom & gloom news feed and savor something fun:

There’s one problem with the pessimist’s perspective: it’s wrong.

That negative dystopian soup is an illusion, the result of an unfortunate collision between a 24/7 news cycle and the brain’s tendency to hone in on any possible danger and ignore everything else.

Overall, things on planet Earth are pretty good — or at least, in many ways, they’ve never been better. No country in the world has a lower life expectancy now than the countries with the highest life expectancies in 1800. More people around the world believe in gender equality than ever before, and more value religious freedom. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labor and infant mortality are all on the decline.

Humanity has made enormous progress by almost every measure, but that progress has become the water in which we swim, and like fish, we take the water for granted. We focus on the beasts that are still out there in the deep rather than on those we have tamed because that’s what we’re designed to do.

As neuropsychologist Rick Hanson described in his 2013 book Hardwired for Happiness, our brains naturally put greater emphasis on the negative. “Just a handful of painful experiences of futility can rapidly become a sense of helplessness,” he writes, while “most good news has little or no effect on lasting memory systems in the brain.”

In other words, it’s natural to let the bad news overwhelm us. Fortunately, with practice, we can help our brains to give the good stuff equal weight. Dr. Hanson’s advice: when you hear a great story, achieve something in your own life or just find yourself in a beautiful place with those you love, deliberately rest your mind on that experience and stay with it.

Sink into that feeling, he writes, “as it sinks into you.” Describe what you’re doing to your kids, and encourage then to dwell on their joys and pleasures as well.

To read more:  How to Raise Optimistic Kids in Pessimistic Times (Times)

Aah . . . that’s better!