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No iPod Required March 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Life Balance, Nature.
35 comments

Have you ever noticed that bikers, walkers and runners wearing headsets look decidedly less relaxed and happy than those without cords sticking out of their ears?

On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed that those sprouting ear buds feature frowns on their faces as they move through their paces.

In contrast, those without a techno-gadget clipped to their belt, or held in their hand, seem more inclined to radiate happiness as they commune with sky, trees, water, birds, flowers, and the occasional splash of flying fish.

Connecting with nature connects us with the moment.  As we tune in to the here and now, our inner bliss surfaces suffusing us with joy.

No iPod required.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

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RX = Nature March 2, 2019

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

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, head to the park for some R&R.

Doctors orders!

Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. It’s been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while encouraging physical activity and buoying mood and mental health. Some research even suggests that green space is associated with a lower risk of developing psychiatric disorders — all findings that doctors are increasingly taking seriously and relaying to their patients.

***

The medical community is increasingly viewing green space as a place for their patients to reap physical and mental health benefits. Some physicians, like Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., are even writing prescriptions for it.

These “nature prescriptions” — therapies that are redeemable only outdoors, in the fresh air of a local park — advise patients to spend an hour each week playing tennis, for instance, or to explore all the soccer fields near their home. The scripts are recorded in his patients’ electronic health records.

To read more:  Here’s What Being Outside Can Do For Your Health

Aah . . . that’s better!

3-Minute Mindfulness February 25, 2019

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

Want to learn how to “keep calm and carry on” when life tosses you a curve ball?

David (at Raptitude) is offering a free mindfulness course with 5 simple lessons:

It will teach you:

  • What mindfulness actually is
  • Three ways you can practice it anytime, anywhere
  • Why you might want to do that

Your homework is literally one minute a day. 

Got that?  Five quick lessons in five days.

Interested?

Sign up HERE by providing your e-mail address.  The lessons will arrive in your e-mail box at no charge.

At the conclusion of the course, you’ll get information on signing up for Camp Calm (David’s 30 day meditation course), along with other tips and techniques to reinforce your new mindfulness practice.

There is NO obligation to enroll in Camp Calm.  Per David:  “If you just want to do the mini-course and leave it at that—no worries, and no hard feelings.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  A Simple Trick For Becoming A Calmer Person (Raptitude)

 

 

Three Zebras and an Ass February 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Word Play.
26 comments

IMGP2754bThree zebras wandered a dirt road enjoying the day, convivial conversation alternating with companionable silence.

An enormous ass ambled over to them and began to bray.  Loudly.

The ass, delighted to have an audience for his grievances, complained about the weather, the surface of the road, the cost of carrots, his mother-in-law’s tongue, the state of the barn . . .

As the ass dumped his ponderous pile of dung at the zebras’ hooves, the zebras did their best to cheer him up.

To no avail.

No matter what the zebras said, the ass insisted that HIS view of the world was the right view of the world.

Zion smiled, “At times, we must choose between being right and being happy.”

“Poppycock!  I’m happy BECAUSE I’m right!  It just annoys me when people are rude and don’t apologize for being boorish.  Why just the other day . . .  ”

With that, the ass launched another stale tale.

Ziggy grinned, “We see the world behind our eyes.”

The ass snorted, “What utter nonsense!  I see things exactly as they are.”

Zodiac pricked up his ears, “I expect you’re right . . . most asses do see things exactly as they are.”

Satisfied, the ass ambled off in search of another audience.  As soon as he was out of sight, the zebras burst into fits of convulsive laughter.

“What an ass!”

zebras

Aah . . . that’s better!

Stick With Chocolate! February 14, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Humor.
34 comments

Certain foods, like chocolate, may enhance your mood and relieve anxiety.

Other foods, like candy and carbohydrates, provide temporary feelings of euphoria, but may ultimately increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

My RX for this Valentine’s Day:  stick with chocolate!

With a side of flowers!

But don’t take my word for it.  To read more: 8 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

I’ll add a 9th Scientifically Backed Way to Beat the Winter Blues ~> LAUGH!

To get you started . . .

A guy wandering the beach found a bottle washed up on the sand.  A genie popped out and gave him three wishes:

“I want a  million dollars.”

Poof!  A million dollars.

“And a Jaguar convertible.”

Poof!  A Jaguar convertible.

“Last wish.  Hmm . . . I know!  Make me irresistible to women.”

Poof!  The genie turned him into a box of chocolates.  

Aah . . . that’s better!

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!

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!