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Relax . . . You’re On Island Time May 19, 2015

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

Island Time . . .

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Days filled with discovery and awe and magic.  Moments to just be, breathe, and soak it all in.

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Time to notice how palm fronds sway and seagulls hover.  Time to feel the dock sway beneath your feet.

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Time to share contagious laughter and infectious smiles.

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Time to wade in the water, stretch out on a secluded stretch of beach, or cool off with a dip in the pool.

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Time to stow the car and travel by bike or trolley or boat.

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Time to linger over coffee at sunrise or search the shore for shells.

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Time to make tracks in the sand.

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Time to gather poolside.

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And enjoy a refreshing adult beverage.

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Time to stroll and meander and inhale the sea breeze.

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Time to soak up the sun under cloudless blue skies.

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Time to open up to wonder.

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Time to paint a nature study or study a painting.

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Time to awaken your inner artist.

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Time to dine al fresco.

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Time to stretch out, relax . . . and feel right at home.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Today Matters May 11, 2015

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

Eeyore-SittingToday matters.

Today’s experiences form the foundation for all our tomorrows.

A bucket is filled drop by drop.

That said, most of what we do today won’t matter one whit ten years from now.

Tigger-PogoEdges soften.
Mistakes recede.
Recollections cloud.
Pain fades.

Just be.

Just bounce.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  How to Make Bad Days Okay (Raptitude)

Live, Love, Laugh, Learn April 21, 2015

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

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailAs we live, love, laugh, and learn, we evolve.

We transform from “who we are” to become more fully “who we want to be.”

We stop using an external yardstick to measure our “success.”  Instead we focus on the contentment, peace and happiness we feel within.

We let go of the need to impress others with fame, fortune, and other trappings (and traps) of material success.

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We no longer barter our time for $’s at the expense of our values.

We stop accumulating clutter and refuse to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

We begin to see that less is more.  We lessen our attachment to stuff and clear our lives of the extraneous to make room for the essential.

We strive to live with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.  We sense increasing harmony in what we think, what we say, and what we do.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieWe stop defending our reputation.  What they think of us is none of our business.

We let go of anger and resentment and learn to forgive ourselves and others.  We stop stewing in our own juices over perceived transgressions.

We begin to see the innocence in acts and omissions.  Instead of rushing to judgment, we advocate on behalf of others.

We envision best case scenarios instead of assuming the worst.

We develop an attitude of gratitude as we engage in simple pleasures.  We let go of greed.

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Through mindfulness and meditation, we cultivate peace of mind and compassion.

Unwilling to create unnecessary suffering, we enjoy more meatless meals ~ a win for us, the animals, and our precious planet.

We revel in mystery and synchronicity.  We trust intuition, knowing it surfaces from the wisdom within.

We share what we learn, often offering a different perspective.

Mickey-DiverWe flow with life instead of exhausting ourselves by struggling against the current.

We accept the “what is” as it is ~ here, now. We don’t dwell on a past we can’t change or a future that may never arrive at our door.

And when inevitable waves toss us around, we use our sense of humor as an approved flotation device.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like a water-wheel, filling and emptying its buckets over and over as it turns, we empty out who we were, to become more fully who we are. If we hang on to Ego concerns, our buckets do not empty . . .  leaving less room for growth.

Related post:  Want to Succeed?  Let Go.  (Think Simple Now)

I Want To DO Less . . . And BE More February 17, 2015

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

IMGP1800bOne of the best tricks I’ve found to discern whether I’m on the right path for me is to envision this as the last year of my life ~ to question whether I would regret spending the next 12 months engaged in similar endeavors.

At this point, I’m happy with the flow of my days and nights, but in earlier years this simple exercise inspired big changes:

In 1997, it led to my decision to leave the practice of law, take a sabbatical, and re-enter the work force as the director of a Crisis Intervention Team, assisting victims of domestic violence to evaluate options.

In 1999, it encouraged us to shed possessions, down-size, and move out of New Jersey to a home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay ~ still close enough to visit family while being far enough away to live our own quiet lives.

In 2008, it freed us to leave winters behind for good and move to Florida.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What would you do if your “final curtain call” lay around the next bend?

The Enduring Gifts of The Season December 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Special Events.
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12 comments

 Peace on Earth. 

Goodwill towards Man.

May we share the Peace, Hope, Love, Light, and Joy of this Festive Season, whether (and however) we celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or the Winter Solstice!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Celebrate Good Times December 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Special Events.
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38 comments

We cannot do everything.

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If we try, we become fragmented, splintered, overextended, stressed out, etc.

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And we don’t enjoy any of it.

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Sometimes, LESS is MORE.

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Especially when making memories.

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For a tangible remind of good times, here’s a Holiday Wreath idea to consider.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Does Santa Make Kids Selfish? December 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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46 comments

Xmas-CatThe training of new consumers begins on Santa’s lap. Ho~Ho~Ho!

And continues in front of the TV as animated ads from Toys ‘R Us ask . . . “What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get?”

We are programming kids to become greedy meanies.

For an eye opening look at how Santa’s questions frame responses and keep the materialistic spiral going:

But all is not lost.

Once Santa shifts his script from getting to giving . . . the kids opt to give the larger piece of chocolate away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Bolt of Lightning December 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
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88 comments

2014-11-30 13-50-44_0013Joan flipped through sales flyers for the mall, planning her attack for Black Friday.  The front door slammed with insistence.

“M-O-M!  Christmas is ruined!”

“What?”

“The mall exploded!  It got hit by lightning and a generator blew up. It’s closed until January.”

“January?”

“Yes!  Christmas is ruined!”

“Calm down . . . there’s always Cyber Monday.”

“Ugh.  I hate on-line shopping.  No pushing.  No shoving.  No lines.”

Joan smiled at her daughter.  “And worst of all . . . no food court!”

Cathy collapsed into a chair.  “I’m going to go into serious sugar withdrawal without my weekly Cinnabon!”

Tossing the flyers into recycling, Joan stood.  “Don’t worry.  We’ll think of something.”

Joan found her husband tinkering at his workbench. “Paul, the mall has closed in a puff of smoke.”

“So I heard.”

“You did?”

“Yup.  I heard Cathy’s concerns about Christmas and Cinnabons loud and clear.”

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“What are we going to do?”

“About?”

“Are you daft?  Shopping.  Gifts. Christmas.  Ringing any bells?”

Paul caught Joan’s gaze. “Let’s make hand-made gifts.”

“You have sawdust for brains.”

“Hear me out.  Instead of poring over flyers, hunting for parking spots, and lugging piles of stuff home, let’s create gifts from the heart.  I’ll make wooden trains, planes, and puzzles for the kids. And a pipe rack for your dad.”

“What about me?”

“Your friends would love your homemade fudge or toffee . . . or one of your famous Grand Marnier cakes. You could make your mom that wreath she’s wanted.”

Warming to the idea, Joan returned to the kitchen and grabbed her recipe file.

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Soon delicious aromas circulated, mingling with carols.  As fragrant cakes baked, Joan created a starfish and sand dollar wreath for her mom, scented candles for her sister, and an afghan for Cathy.

Paul spent hours in his workshop emulating Santa’s elves.  Sawdust flying.

Cathy mastered the art of the Cinnabon.

Instead of waiting for the Big Day, Joan, Paul, and Cathy delivered treats to delighted friends throughout December.

Christmas morning, Cathy served fresh home-baked Cinnabons to her parents and grandparents.

Between bites, Joan grinned at Paul, “Hey, sawdust for brains! That was some bolt of lightning.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Written for Susanna’s 4th Annual Holiday Contest.  Entries accepted through 12/12.  Complete rules and other Merry & Bright Submissions ~> HERE.

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Joan’s famous Grand Marnier Bundt Cake:

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and mix well, about 5 minutes, with an electric mixer or whisk.  Pour into a well-greased and floured fluted Bundt pan (or 10-inch tube pan).  Bake in pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes.  

OPTIONAL: Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.  NOTE:  Cake Freezes well before topping.

Giving Thanks To Promote Giving December 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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36 comments

devious-hobbesMy e-mail box has been FLOODED with four types of messages this past week:

* Black Friday Sales Flyers
* Cyber Monday Sales Flyers
* Thanks Giving Thanksgiving Missives from Non-Profits
* “Giving Tuesday” pleas . . . please!

Black Friday Sales have overflowed the banks of traditional brick and mortar storefronts to infiltrate automobile advertisements, performing arts centers, and even the Smithsonian Museum.  Most are dispatched without whetting my appetite to Buy More.

The same goes for most of the Cyber Monday Sales Flyers.

That’s the great thing about cyber trash . . . No Residue.

Most Thanks Giving Missives received on Thanksgiving seem designed with manipulation in mind.

The-Pink-PantherAlma maters, non-profits, restaurants, charities, and businesses give thanks for past giving (encouraging us to bask in the glow of their “sincere” appreciation for past support) before asking us (in almost the same cyber breath) to reach into our piggy banks, wallets, and IRA’s to provide them with continued support.

Maybe it’s just me being cynical, but I tend to question the sincerity of Thanks given with a plea for me to Give More.

Especially when it’s followed up with “Giving Tuesday” pleas to “please give!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  I Hate This Time of Year Rant (Crowing Crone Joss)

How We Plan To Spend The Holidays November 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Special Events.
Tags: , , , ,
32 comments

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Aah . . . that’s better!

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