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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

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!

 

 

 

Plot Twist January 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Joke, Life Balance.
34 comments

Tigger-PogoA wise man at a lecture cracked a joke.  Everyone laughed.

He told the joke again and fewer people laughed.

He told it a third time and no one laughed.

When there was no laughter left, he smiled and said:

“We can’t laugh at the same joke again and again and again . . . so why do we insist on crying about the same thing again and again and again?”

When something bad happens, just yell “Plot Twist” and move on.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  Funny Quotes About Life (Google)

 

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

Anxiety January 19, 2017

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

Donald-Duck-LazyIf you suffer from periodic bouts of anxiety, this article might give you some ideas to lessen its pull:

How Anxiety Warps Your Perception

An anxious mindset can change the way you view the world in profound ways.  Could a simple new treatment offer a way out of the perpetual fear?

Cognitive re-focusing allows us to retrain our brains to look for positives . . . instead of always gravitating to worst case scenarios of doom and gloom.

With practice, we learn to look for silver linings behind dark stormy clouds . . . and to dance in the rain while waiting for the calm after the storm.

We train ourselves to dive deep under the turbulence where we can float and go with the flow . . . instead of frantically flailing and thrashing about at the surface.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

Donald-DirectorRelated posts:  If some (or all) of your anxiety stems from “too much to do” and “not enough time to do it,” consider reading this recent share on Raptitude:  Why There’s Never Enough Time.  Or watch this TEDx Talk: The Habits of Highly Boring People.

Both focus on the fact that many of us have “too many choices” competing for our attention every day.

By narrowing our focus from “everything we could do” (learn Spanish, write a novel, climb Mount Everest, run a marathon, cure cancer) to “things that are priorities for us Here and Now” (watch a sunset, read a book, fix a delicious dinner) we free up time for things we enjoy.

PS:  If you haven’t gotten around to folding your laundry since 2016 (or 2015), put that mountain of clean to good use.  Here’s how:  The Unfolded Truth (Chasing Unicorns)

 

 

 

Anger ~> From Apathy To Action January 1, 2017

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

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27Rainee shared an interesting quote about anger in her recent post on Notable Quotables:

“The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.”
~ Bede Jarrett

I agreed with Bede.

Anger can be a useful motivator . . . moving us from apathy to action.

Donald-Duck-MadAnd not just to counter evil in the world.

For example, Donald (at left)  is angry that his pants “shrunk” and no longer fit his big fat duck butt.

That anger motivated him to get moving and go for a walk!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happy New Year!

Good luck with your resolutions, whatever the motivation.

* * * * *

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. ~ Simone de Beauvoir, French writer & philosopher

I adore that she included indignation (anger aroused by something unjust) in her short list . . . that type of anger often motivates positive change.

2016 “No News” Letter December 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
40 comments

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for our 2016 “No News” Letter, here are the Top Ten Reasons we’re L~A~T~E this Season . . .

10.  It can’t be Christmas yet ~> we “just” packed the Santas away after ringing in the New Year.

9.  BFF turned 60 in October and we’re still celebrating . . . with leftover Halloween candy.

8.  When we go for beach walks, the throngs (and thongs) of sun worshippers make it seem more like July 4th than Christmas.

On the plus side:

No Snow => Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

7.  We hit the 80’s yesterday . . . and it was still 74 degrees at sunset!

Ya, mon!

6.  We enjoyed similar temps last weekend while touring the island with my brother’s family who flew in from Colorado and Chicago for Jess & Nate’s wedding.  (See Reason #3)

5.  Most of the Santas around here are dressed in Bermuda shorts and Panama hats.

4.  The only “snowmen” we see in Florida are made of sand or full of hot air.

3.  Jess wed Nate on 12/18 at Leu Gardens in Orlando ~>  it was so H~O~T that guests stayed in the shade until 3:58 pm before grabbing souvenir sunglasses and taking a seat.  (The minister lip-synched lyrics from Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” before the “I do’s.”)

2.  We lost some of our “Holly Jolly” and most of our “Fa La La” when Tigger took a turn for the worse right after the wedding.  Two days later we said good-bye to our little guy for the last time.

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R.I.P. Tigger (July 2004 – December 20, 2016) . . . you are missed!

But the #1 Reason this missive is L~A~T~E ~>  I lose track of time when playing Bridge.

* * *

Life is full of high notes and low notes ~ the Yin and Yang of life.  We hope your Holidays are Merry & Bright and overflowing with Love & Light . . . ending your year on a high note.

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PEACE!