jump to navigation

The Sun Is Always Shining October 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

The sun is always shining, even when it’s hidden by clouds.


When dark clouds obscure the sun, it is impossible to move from “rung 37” to “rung 3” on the happiness ladder in a single bound.

We lack the energy and enthusiasm needed to even make the effort to reclaim the “joy” we used to feel.

But that doesn’t mean we have to stay where we are . . .


With mindful effort, we can climb out of the abyss one rung at a time.

Find an uplifting quote, anecdote, or photo to ponder. Something that inspires you and refills your well (even if the lift doesn’t last).


Aah . . . that’s better!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~ Alice Walker

Just Breathe October 3, 2016

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

Green-Yin-YangThe Yin and Yang of our nervous system are the sympathetic and parasympathetic.

When we are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system activates the fight-or-flight response.

In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system governs the rest-and-relaxation response.

To recover from excess stress, we need only remember to press the “pause button” . . . by taking a deep breath.

Donald-DirectorBreathing triggers the relaxation response by signaling the vagus nerve to initiate a healing waterfall of hormones.

Once activated, those hormones calm us.  They also reduce cortisol levels, boost brain function, reduce inflammation, and lower heart rate and blood pressure.

So breathe.  Just breathe.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Trump That! October 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Magick & Mystery.

Mickey-SurferI woke in the middle of the night, the tendrils of a dream still vivid.

My father had been mediating a dispute between mom and me regarding a matter of the utmost importance . . .

Whether I should stop wearing the shoes I had on.

When it was time for him to render his verdict and declare which of us had “logic” on our side ~ me, based on the direct personal experience of actually wearing the shoes, or mom, based on her second-hand observations about my footwear ~ he side-stepped the issue by standing up, walking a few steps away, and announcing with sage purpose:

“Trump will be out in November . . . and I’m out of here now.”

Mickey-OKAs dad drifted away, I woke up in bed, hugging his words in his stead.

Dad’s words of wise counsel allowed me to drift back to deep and peaceful slumber for the rest of the night, knowing that:

“All will be well in the end.  If all is not well, it is not yet the end.” ~ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Wheat-Free Experiment September 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Less IS More.

Donald-DuckaPerhaps more than any other food, wheat permeates our diet.

We find wheat in breads, bagels, baguettes, rolls, muffins, biscuits, cereals, granola bars, cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, puddings, pizza, pasta, tabbouli, crackers, pretzels, beer, chips, veggie burgers, etc.

As a vegetarian, my diet centers around fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, grains . . . and chocolate.

Giving up wheat was the furthest thing from my mind.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3Or it was until I heard Dr. William Davis during a PBS Fundraising Special ~ Wheat Belly, Total Health.

At first, what he was saying flew in the face of “truths” I had assumed to be true about “heart-healthy whole grains.”

I laughed at his concerns while munching on a bagel.

But his comments stayed with me.

I requested a copy of his first book, Wheat Belly ~ Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, from the local library.

I read with resistance.

I.  Did.  Not.  Want.  To.  Give.  Up.  Pizza.


What would life be like without wheat?

No Bagels for lunch. No Grapenuts cereal for breakfast. No Triscuit Crackers with peanut butter as a snack. No Macaroni & Cheese.  No Lo Mein.  No Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce.  No Minestrone Soup.  No Spaghetti.  No Lasagna.  No Grilled Vermont Cheddar on Toscano Pano.

No Pizza.

Donald-Duck-BaseballIn spite of my resistance to his message, I kept reading, wondering if there was even a wheat berry of truth to his claims.

He provided a number of anecdotes about people barely able to walk into his office due to excess weight, joint pain, and lack of energy, who (after giving up wheat) bounded into the office at their next visit.

Hmmm . . .

I decided to conduct a Wheat-Free Experiment to see what changes, if any, I noticed in the Health and Wellness department.

Donald-Duck-MadI assumed the first thing I would notice was anger and annoyance at being deprived of some of my favorite foods.

Nope.  My mood got better, not worse.

I assumed that without the adjunct of bread with lunch and dinner that I would be ravenous between meals and go to bed hungry.

Nope.  My appetite dropped without the appetite-stimulating effect  wheat has on the brain.

Mickey-In-HammockI assumed I would toss and turn in bed at night, with visions of sugar plum pudding dancing in my head.

Nope.  Instead of sleeping in 2-3 hours stints, I began sleeping for 3, 4, and 5 hour stretches.  I stopped waking every 2 hours for a pee break.  Once a night is now enough.  (I’ve also noticed fewer “pee prompts” from my bladder during the day.)

For the past week, I’ve woken feeling rested, awake, aware, and ready to face another Wheat-Free day.

The number on the bathroom scale has dropped a couple of pounds ~ this morning I weighed less than at any time in the last 10 years.

Mickey-OKLong-standing neck pain has improved ~> after just one wheat-free week, my neck is pain-free for the first time in at least two decades!

Afternoon headaches spiraling up from my neck have also disappeared.

The “mental fog” is lifting.  When I sit down to a task, I do so with greater cognitive clarity.

My youthful “can do” and “do it now” attitude has returned after an extended hiatus, allowing me to get things done today (e.g., writing this post) rather than putting them off until tomorrow . . . or the day after tomorrow.

Mickey-SurferIn a nutshell, I feel more like the “old me” ~> younger, more enthusiastic, more motivated, more alive.

That said, it’s still “early innings.”  I’m not ready to swear off pizza for the rest of my life.  Yet.

But, if these changes become the new norm . . . giving up pizza would be a small price to pay.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Imagine . . . September 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.

hand-dipping-in-waterImagine you are

a bubbling brook

of dancing light, energy,

joy, and love . . .


And that

your only task

is to rejoin

the sea of bliss.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What A SLAM Dunk! September 24, 2016

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

When you have a Bridge hand like this . . .


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


It’s a SLAM dunk, Baby!

Aah . . . that’s better!

“I Got Your Dollar Right Here!” August 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Joke.

Donald-Duck-DrivingThere’s an auto insurance commercial that cracks us up ~ a woman receives a good driver rebate and uses it to buy an expensive handbag.

When a friend shopping with her calls out to ask her auto insurer for a rebate, Jerry Van Dyke (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) pops into the scene dressed in hip waders and a fishing vest.

He’s holding a fishing pole with a dollar on the line as “bait” as he calls out . . . “I got your dollar right here!”

When she tries to grab the dollar, he yanks it out of reach.

A few weeks ago, BFF recreated the commercial for my amusement using props from around the house.

2016-07-13 15-15-18_0012

When I walked into the kitchen and saw his “Just For Fun” vignette, I cracked up.

Then I pocketed the dollar.

2016-07-16 10-10-18_0015

Aah . . . that’s better!

Changing Our Gratitude Baseline August 11, 2016

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

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.


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

No Need To Reply August 9, 2016

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

IMGP3881A few weeks ago someone said something “unkind” to me.

I had no idea why.

As I pondered her comment, I realized I didn’t need to reply.

So I didn’t.

I just looked at her.
Until she slunk away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Stolen Quote: Silence (Chasing Unicorns)

* * *

If you enjoy quotes (stolen or otherwise), check out Chasing Unicorns ~> Tippy Gnu steals quotes to share . . . after adding a humorous twist or cynical tweak.

Patience Pays Off August 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People, Travel & Leisure.

TucanNormally I write more during the summer months.

Because I can write inside.

In air-conditioned comfort.

Avoiding the blazing hot tropical sun during scorching H~O~T mid-day hours.

But not this summer.

This summer I’ve spent hours inside getting back into Bridge.

It’s a great game.

My favorite.

But learning all the ins and outs of counting cards, bidding, communicating with partners, and playing finesses with finesse is time-consuming.

That’s OK.

Being impatient with the here and now adds to our suffering.

Mickey-LoungingLearning to go with the flow and allow life to unfold without futile attempts to push the stream pays big dividends.

Patience pays off as we pursue our pursuits.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  How To Be Patient (Raptitude)