jump to navigation

Good Vibrations March 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
20 comments

Another favorite aspect of our Disney trips has been stopping to enjoy street performances by musicians, acrobats, mimes, and jugglers.

We’ve enjoyed Matsuriza (Japanese Drummers), Sergio (Italian Mime), Alberta Bound Fiddlers in Canada, Matboukja Groove (Moroccan Musicians), Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China, Viva Gaia Street Band & Carnivale on Discovery Island, A Frozen Sing-A-Long, The Festival of the Lion King, Beauty & The Beast ~ Live on Stage, African Acrobats at Harambe Market, PLUS . . .

Chakranadi (sitar and drums) in Asia:

Burudika (sax, drums, guitar, vocals, dancers) in Africa:

Quickstep Fiddlers (fiddle, mandolin, flute, drum) in the UK:

Harambe Parti (drums and other percussion instruments) at night:

And all of them were sending out Good Vibrations!

Music reminds me to flow with the rhythm of life and celebrate THIS moment with joyous abandon.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Festival of Colors March 11, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
14 comments

Need something to celebrate this week?

How about the start of daylight savings time . . . our clocks Spring forward an hour tonight.

Yay!

I love having more light at night.

And for those of you who are tired of winter’s gray

And want more color in your days

It’s time to celebrate Holi ~ the Hindu Festival of Colors.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Happy Holi!

Here’s a great song to jump start the 2017 Festival of Colors on March 13th & 14th:

If you need more music to get the Holi Party started: 7 Famous Music Videos Influenced by Holi.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Book of JOY February 27, 2017

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

I just finished reading The Book of JOY:  Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Written by Douglas Abrams, it chronicles a week-long visit between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in April 2015.  The visit centered on discussions about how to find Joy in the midst of obstacles like fear, stress, anger, grief, illness and death.

“Together they explored how we can transform joy from an ephemeral state into an enduring trait, from a fleeting feeling into a lasting way of being.”

In a brief introduction to the topic, these two compassionate leaders emphasize that Joy is an inside job:

“Lasting happiness cannot be found in pursuit of any goal or achievement.  It does not reside in fortune or fame.  It resides only in the human mind and heart, and it is here that we hope you will find it.”

Joy is never in things . . . it is in us.

Likewise, many of the obstacles to joy and happiness are also manifested from within -> obstacles like fear, anxiety, grief, anger, frustration come from “negative tendencies of the mind, emotional reactivity, or from our inability to appreciate and utilize the resources that exist within us.”

We can increase the Joy that surfaces and circulates in our lives by the perspective that we bring to the table.  In fact, perspective is the first of Eight Pillars of Joy which form the foundation of a joyful and happy life:

Perspective ~ How we relate to the issue IS the issue.  By way of example, the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet was (in his words) “an opportunity” which provided him with “wider contact and new relationships, less formality and more freedom to discover the world and learn from others.”

Humility ~ Stop taking selfies.  Enough said.  😀

Humor ~ Laughter is a great pain reliever, a de-stressor, and an ice breaker. We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh.

Acceptance ~ When we accept the “what is,” we stop adding to our suffering by battling with things we cannot change or jousting with imaginings. Acceptance is “the sword that cuts through resistance, allowing us to relax, to see clearly, and to respond appropriately.”

Forgiveness ~ Failure to forgive is akin to watching stale reruns in a furious effort to hang onto feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment.  As a result, we remained trapped by the past and tethered to the person who harmed us. Forgiving the person who harmed us allows us to reclaim the keys to our happiness.

Gratitude ~ “Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate, and rejoice in each day and each moment before they slip through the vanishing hourglass of experience.” Gratitude magnifies drops of joy.

Compassion ~ When we are kind and compassionate, we experience more joy.  “Even ten minutes of meditation on the well-being of others can help one to feel joyful for the whole day.”

Generosity ~ When we are generous with our time and talents, we experience more joy.  “Giving joy to others is the fastest way to experience joy ourselves.”

No big surprises there, eh?

The book concludes with Joy Practices . . . “Overcoming the Obstacles to Joy” and “Cultivating the Eight Pillars of Joy.”

Tigger-BouncingThat’s right . . . just like the pianist who wants to get to Carnegie Hall, we’ve got to practice!

If we’ve spent a lifetime looking at events through the clouded lens of past experience (relying on habitual attitudes, stale judgments, and outdated opinions) rather than seeing the present moment as it is, that’s not going to change overnight.

If we wish to change our perspective and begin to view the world with alert curiosity and acceptance, then we will need to practice.

Enlightenment is rarely attained by those seeking instant gratification.

That’s OK.  We have a lifetime to get it right.  (More than a lifetime if we plan on reincarnating.)

And in the meantime . . . there’s cake!

During the week these two mischievous men spent together, they celebrated the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday at the Tibetan Children’s Village.

With cake.

Although the cake did not provide lasting happiness, it did offer up some tasty ephemeral satisfaction to the attendees.

And that ain’t peanuts!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

 

Allow Life To Unfold January 23, 2017

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

Mickey-Ta-DaaaI am happiest when I try to enjoy each moment as it gently unfolds into the next without worrying about what lies ahead or rushing to reach some desired future destination.

Even if NOW is not exactly as I want it to be.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Life is the art of Drawing . . . without an eraser.” – John W. Gardener

Tigger Is Gone December 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Gratitude, Life Balance.
77 comments

Tigger took a turn for the worse this week and we had to say good-bye to the little guy yesterday.

RIP little buddy!  (July 2004 – 12/20/2016)

We are sad, but coping . . . and hoping he is in a better place.

IMGP3904b

Sorrow is the price we pay for joy. ~ Joan Bel Geddes

What Cats Do For Us

Warm our laps * Remind us to “paws” and relax * Foster connection with other cat lovers * Turn common household objects (tissue boxes, bottle rings, and paper towel tubes) into toys * Make us more aware of squirrels, raccoons, birds, and lizards * Provide morning wake up calls * Entertain us with daring acrobatic feats and comical gestures * Make window sills and cat perches more beautiful * Keep mice and rats at bay * Make us smile and laugh * Give us cool cartoon characters * Inspire poets and playwrights (think CATS!) * Teach us how to land on our feet * Make our homes warmer and happier * Remind us that life is mysterious * Share the all-is-well experience of purring with us * Show us how to lick our wounds and bounce back * Remind us to S~T~R~E~T~C~H ourselves * Open our hearts

Aah . . . that’s purr-fect!

 

 

 

What A SLAM Dunk! September 24, 2016

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

When you have a Bridge hand like this . . .

2016-08-17-16-49-05_0001

And the dummy (your partner) lays down a hand like this . . .

2016-08-17-16-49-13_0002

It’s a SLAM dunk, Baby!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Changing Our Gratitude Baseline August 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
41 comments

grumpy_thinkingI read a story about a young man suffering with CFS ~ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

And when I say suffering, I mean S~U~F~F~E~R~I~N~G!!!

He can’t talk, text, or type to communicate.  Noise and light drains him ~ he wears headphones to drown out sound and a baseball cap pulled over his eyes to keep out light.

He can’t eat due to digestive problems.
He’s on a feeding tube.

And he’s exhausted and in pain All The Time.

I imagined spending a single day in “his world” before returning to my own life the next day.

Happy-TigerWow!

All the little things so easily taken for granted became cause for celebration because my gratitude baseline shifted:

I can open my eyes and see sunny skies.

I can listen to the insistent M~E~O~W~S of the cat . . . urging me to do his bidding N~O~W!

I can type, text, and talk . . . and enjoy the replies.

I can sit down to a hearty and delicious meal without fear of setting off a tsunami in my gut.

Tigger-BouncingThat’s the wonderful thing about imagination.

I didn’t have to live in his world for a single minute before changing my gratitude baseline.

So today I’m grateful that . . .

I didn’t have to deal with an earthquake or trekking across frozen tundra in a blizzard.

I didn’t have to eat monkey’s brains, bull’s balls, or any other Andrew Zimmern oddity.

There are no bombs bursting in air overhead and not a single snake slithering around in our shower.

Tiggers-R-UsLife seems sunnier in an instant when I acknowledge a few of the “clouds” that are nowhere in sight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What a wonderful life I’ve had!  I only wish I’d realized it sooner. ~ Colette

Bagels On The Beach May 19, 2016

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

In early May, we went to Einstein Bagels, bought a big bag of bagels and had bagels on the beach at Siesta Key.

2016-05-06 12-51-07_0035

We loved the beach improvements made since our last visit ~ this walkway leads up to the second-story snack bar and concession stand with an amazing view and a diverse menu.

2016-05-06 12-51-28_0037

Siesta Key is proud of its beach . . .

2016-05-06 13-04-30_0040

For good reason.

In addition to miles of powder white sand, it’s “user friendly” . . . with rest rooms, changing rooms, and 800 FREE parking spots (which fill up quickly on sunny days).

2016-05-06 13-04-42_0041

And it boasts a fun and shady playground for tiny tots tired of too much sand, sun, and surf.

2016-05-06 12-52-06_0039

After beaching it for a couple hours, we walked around Siesta Key Village and grooved to fun live music at the SKOB ~ good tunes from the 70’s.  Including Pure Prairie League!

After getting the “munchies” from the college tunes and Woodstock sounds, we chowed down on some mini donuts ~ still warm from the fryer, baby!

No.  I didn’t take a photo of them.  We were too busy eating.

We stopped in Southside Village at Morton’s Gourmet Market.  After sampling some delicious blue cheese from Wisconsin, we bought a chunk of cheese and a bunch of bananas and headed home.

Relaxed and happy.

2016-05-06 12-51-34_0038

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite music from the 70’s?

A Love Like That May 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature, Poetry.
29 comments

love“And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.”

― Hāfez

Aah . . . that’s brilliant!

7 Reasons Retirement Rocks! April 2, 2016

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

Mickey-LoungingRetirement rocks!

At last, I have everything I wanted as a teenager . . .

#1 ~ I don’t have to go to school or work.

#2 ~ I get to set my own allowance every month.

#3 ~ I have my own pad.

#4 ~ I don’t have a curfew.

Mickey-Surfer#5 ~ I have a driver’s license and my own car.

#6 ~ I have ID that gets me into bars and liquor stores.

#7 ~ And I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Bonus Benefit:  No Rushing Around (except to wait on the cats)!  Thanks, Kate.