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Anxiety January 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
22 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.

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!

Seriously, Smiles? December 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.
32 comments

grumpy_thinkingIn old photos, dating back to the 1820’s, few subjects smiled.

Some have conjectured that the lack of smiles correlated with the lack of dental care . . . or the long exposure times.

A recent article in TIME magazine suggests that it had more to do with the mores of the day:

Experts say that the deeper reason for the lack of smiles early on is that photography took guidance from pre-existing customs in painting—an art form in which many found grins uncouth and inappropriate for portraiture. Though saints might be depicted with faint smiles, wider smiles were “associated with madness, lewdness, loudness, drunkenness, all sorts of states of being that were not particularly decorous,” says Trumble.

And since most photographs had professional photographers behind the lens, they called the shots:

. . . high-end studio photographers would create an elegant setting and direct the subject how to behave, producing the staid expressions which are so familiar in 19th century photographs. The images they created were formal and befitted the expense of paying to have a portrait made, especially when that portrait might be the only image of someone.

So when did we start smiling in photos?

With the rise of snapshot photography!

“Take the camera out of the professional and put it into the hands of the snapshot photographer and then they can do whatever they want” says Gustavson.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Now You Know:  Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos?

Happy Holidays! December 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness.
20 comments

One of the new FREE apps I’ve tried ~> Paper 53.  It’s a FUN little app for drawing, sketching, painting, and creating personalized greeting cards for everyone on your list.

Here’s a sample of what it can do . . . with a little input from you:

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Tech Tip:  If you don’t want to set up an on-line account at the App Store with one of your regular credit cards, use a $25 or $50 VISA Gift Card instead.

A 21 Day Happiness Challenge November 17, 2016

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

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailJulie (@ the Flexi Foodie) is leading a 21 Day Happiness Challenge starting December 3rd.

Just in time for the holidays!

What better gift to give yourself this holiday season than the joy of happiness?

From her site:

Get weekly emails with simple challenges and activities to help you say YES to your health and happiness during the hectic holiday season.

Happiness is healthy.

After 21 days you’ll have increased energy, you’ll sleep better, you’ll feel healthier, and you’ll feel happier. Just in time for the holidays.

10 minutes a day is all you need.

Each week I send you a challenge activity to do every day that week. Do the activity anytime during the day – whenever you can find a spare 10 minutes. The activity will boost your mood, your energy, and your health and will only take 10 minutes.

You will feel transformed from the inside out! Get ready to see how prioritizing small moments of self care can lead to a healthier, happier, you.

For all the details:  Join the FREE 21 Day Happiness Challenge

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“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”
~ The Buddha

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Here Comes The Bride November 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Home & Garden, People.
28 comments

I attended a bridal shower for my niece on Saturday.

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One of the games involved designing wedding gowns for a willing member of each team.

Team A got off to a terrific start using the only material provided . . .

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Rolls of cheap toilet paper . . .

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Racing against the clock, Team B took an entirely different approach to the challenge.

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Team C won the prize for chugging out of the station with the best train and bouquet.

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But the shower wasn’t all fun and games.

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The Bride-To-Be opened her shower gifts . . .

None of which had a thing to do with rain showers, summer showers, April showers, or taking a shower.

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After presents, she said, “Let them eat CAKE!”

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Chocolate cake.

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Accompanied by chocolate covered strawberries.

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And cups of chocolate mousse.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

The Sun Is Always Shining October 5, 2016

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

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

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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 . . .

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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).

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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.
24 comments

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.
41 comments

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!