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Press The *PAUSE* Button May 11, 2017

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

The myriad of challenges we face in our lives can create agitation and anxiety in our thoughts, crowding out feelings of peace and happiness.

When we take a few minutes to press the *pause* button, our calm center returns . . . and with it our feelings of love and gratitude for all the drops of good in our lives.

When we remember who we are at the core, our days overflow with peace, kindness, love, and contentment.

And we stop struggling with the current of life and enter its flow.

Want to dive in to the flow of life?  Enjoy the calming cadence of Val’s recent post:  Haiku – Notice

Aah . . . that’s better!

Walden ~> The Game, Not The Pond April 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Nature, Sustainable Living.
20 comments

I heard about this video game from Poets and Writers.

If you’ve got 45 minutes to commune with virtual Walden, this presentation by the game’s creator is a fascinating look at how and why she designed a video game modeled after Thoreau’s contemplative time On Walden Pond, where he concluded that it is not until we’ve met our innate and mundane needs for Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Fuel that we can turn our attention to inspiration, creation, and the more sublime and ephemeral aspects of life:

If you’ve got 13 minutes to wander in the virtual reeds, this clip will give you a glimpse of how Tracey has used gaming technology to slow “the quickening pace of life” allowing us to “play deliberately” and reflect, as Thoreau did, on how the choices we make change our relationship to nature and the sublime aspects of life:

If you only have a few minutes to walk in Thoreau’s footsteps and ponder his words and philosophy, this video game trailer will give you a sense of what “slow play” is all about:

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Following The “What Ifs” . . . April 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
21 comments

Life is all about following the “what ifs” . . . isn’t it?

What if I moved away from crowds, noise, and congestion toward silence, serenity, and solitude?

What if I moved away from cold cloudy days toward warm tropical breezes under bright blue skies?

What if I moved away from perpetual busyness toward simplicity?

What if I ignored the yipping of border collies trying to keep me in line and steered my own ship following the call of my inner voice?

For some, drifting with the tides holds no appeal.  To them, my decision to “go with the flow”~ to rise and fall with the ebb and flow of life ~ sounds dull.

For me, it’s perfect.

Time to pause and reflect, to read and write, to pursue things that interest me without concern about accolades, awards, achievement, or recognition in the eyes of others.

Instead of being nervous or anxious about meeting external expectations, I am relaxed as I flow from one activity to the next.

Instead of acting with deference to the judgments of others, I happily assert my independence.

Instead of settling for societal mandates and consensus, I persist with what matters to me.

Instead of dreading the dawning of the day, I’m excited to be awake and aware of the infinite possibilities around.

Instead of being stuck like a square peg in a round hole, I can enjoy each custom-made niche.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Next up:  Thoreau had the write idea when he penned Walden.

 

Drops of Good April 13, 2017

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

For years, I’ve had a Gratitude Basket . . . it’s encouraged me to focus on things in my life for which I’m grateful.

They can be simple things ~ a blue sky, the laughing of ducks on the lagoon, or the whisper of the wind through palm fronds.

They can be big ticket items ~ BFF’s cataract surgery restoring him to 20/20 vision, my brother and sister-in-law’s excellent oversight of mom, or my niece’s wedding which caused family and friends to convene in Orlando the week before Christmas.

They can be ephemeral in nature ~ feeling light-hearted and bright, allowing  joy, vitality, and peace to surface from within, or sharing happy, enthusiastic, amusing, and upbeat moments with new friends.

They can be celebrations of mini-milestones ~ finishing the taxes, losing weight, finding the perfect swimsuit, or  winning BIG BUCKS at Bridge (“Woo Hoo!  First Place . . . $8!”).

This week I started a new practice, Drops of Good, to remind me to be mindful of moments & acts of Generosity and Connection between the citizens of this marvelous planet.

As with my Gratitude Basket, these Drops of Good can be big or small, ephemeral or physical, on-going or one time deals . . . like a HUG.

They can be something I’ve done for others or something others have done for anyone else on the planet, including plants, animals, or the environment.

Drops of Good add up ~> “A bucket is filled drop by drop.”

Do not overlook any good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.  ~ The Buddha

Celebrating the myriad moments of Generosity and Connection around us points us in the right direction ~> UP!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Beyond The Beach April 6, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

Sanibel & Ft. Myers sent me a link to this video with a simple message:

Create, Play, Relax, Breathe . . . ENJOY!

Aah . . . that’s better!

21 Days to More Positivity April 3, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
22 comments

If you need any tips on developing an attitude of gratitude, check out this article:

How to Become More Positive in 21 Days

It’s Tigger tested and approved!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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!

5 Easy Ways To Make Yourself Miserable March 18, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Joke, People.
50 comments

Don’t worry . . . even for novices, misery can be attained with these 5 easy tips and techniques!

1.  Cling to Entitlement.  Life owes YOU.

2.  It’s ALL personal.  Ignore nothing and always assume malicious intent.

3.  Focus on problems.  Keep track of all your problems and constantly review them.

4.  Magnify.  Don’t cheat yourself out of misery by maintaining perspective.  All that negativity will eventually become your reality.

5.   Just say “No Thanks” to Gratitude.  Focus on all the ways life disappoints you and keep them in the forefront of your mind.  Discount anything that is going well in your life.

And remember . . . Misery LOVES company.

The more you share yours with others . . . the more you’ll wind up having!

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!

Are You Running On Auto-Pilot? March 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
38 comments

Our lives are driven by our habits ~> when we get up, whether we make the bed, how soon we get dressed, what type of clothes we wear, whether we drink coffee or tea, whether we brush our teeth before or after breakfast, how often we shower and shave, which shoe we put on first, etc.

Habits save valuable mental energy because they are automatic, conserving glucose for brain matters that matter more than which shoe we put on first.

But . . . some habits no longer serve us.

Take a few moments to think about your habits.

You may have good habits ~ going for a daily walk, eating 7 – 10 servings of fruit and vegetables every day (yes, you can count the veggies in that Bloody Mary), brushing and flossing, limiting alcohol intake, etc.

You may have bad habits ~ inhaling a bag of chips every time you binge watch your favorite show, circling the parking lot for 15 minutes to avoid walking 10 extra spaces from the car to the gym, procrastinating on essential tasks like filing your 2016 income tax return, overdoing the evening cocktail hour by drinking tee many martoonis, etc.

Reflecting on your daily habits is a good habit to adopt . . .

Which habits are moving you from where you are to where you want to be?

And which are holding you back?

By reflecting on our habits, good and bad, we can choose to make positive changes in how we live.

We can stop running on auto-pilot.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“And yet not choice but habit rules the unreflecting herd.”

~ William Wordsworth