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We Had a Field Day on Field Day! May 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, People.
41 comments

105px-Hopscotch1900F294.svgJill’s post about school recess periods, We’re Free, brought back happy memories of playing on the playground in grade school:

Kick Ball.  Dodge Ball.  Tether Ball.  Hop Scotch.  Jump Rope.

Remembering those good times on the playground reminded me of our annual Field Day event.

We had a Field Day on Field Day!

Instead of sitting in class, classes assembled outside to run fast, jump high, and compete for ribbons in Olympic caliber events on the track and in the field:

We enjoyed egg-spoon races, 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races (steering human wheelbarrows by the ankles), long jump, high jump, tug-of-war (where even the winners walked away with rope burn), and all manner of mad dashes.

As energy levels flagged, teachers lined us up in facing rows for the Egg Toss.

Not to be confused with the Caber Toss or Hammer Throw:

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At first, mere inches separated the two long rows of intent students facing one another.  With each successive toss, successful teams had to take another step back before launching their oval missiles.

Eventually the chasm was too wide to cross with a gentle toss and the eggs got scrambled.

Egg Toss (in Public Domain)

Rather like Humpty Dumpty.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Did you celebrate Field Days in your school?

Bagels On The Beach May 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

In early May, we went to Einstein Bagels, bought a big bag of bagels and had bagels on the beach at Siesta Key.

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We loved the beach improvements made since our last visit ~ this walkway leads up to the second-story snack bar and concession stand with an amazing view and a diverse menu.

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Siesta Key is proud of its beach . . .

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For good reason.

In addition to miles of powder white sand, it’s “user friendly” . . . with rest rooms, changing rooms, and 800 FREE parking spots (which fill up quickly on sunny days).

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And it boasts a fun and shady playground for tiny tots tired of too much sand, sun, and surf.

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After beaching it for a couple hours, we walked around Siesta Key Village and grooved to fun live music at the SKOB ~ good tunes from the 70’s.  Including Pure Prairie League!

After getting the “munchies” from the college tunes and Woodstock sounds, we chowed down on some mini donuts ~ still warm from the fryer, baby!

No.  I didn’t take a photo of them.  We were too busy eating.

We stopped in Southside Village at Morton’s Gourmet Market.  After sampling some delicious blue cheese from Wisconsin, we bought a chunk of cheese and a bunch of bananas and headed home.

Relaxed and happy.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite music from the 70’s?

Meeting People For The First Time May 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
32 comments

We went to Heritage Village in Largo on a gorgeous spring day.  Our moods matched the weather ~ sunny and bright.

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We enjoyed our interactions with the docents and other visitors.

With no reason to look through the cloudy lens of past experience, we could just enjoy the NOW as we toured historic buildings.

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We didn’t have any stale baggage (or barrels) to cart around because we shared no history.

Our interactions were new NOW.

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No grievances, resentments, disappointments or expectations marred our view or caused us concern about the future.

We engaged for the first (and last) time without a backwards glance.

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When we bring that same level of alert curiosity to our every day encounters, everything is new NOW.

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No man steps into the same river twice ~ for it is not the same river and he is not the same man. ~ Heraclitus

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Love Like That May 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature, Poetry.
29 comments

love“And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.”

― Hāfez

Aah . . . that’s brilliant!

The Power of Virtual Reality April 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
50 comments

Happiness can be boosted merely by the thoughts we think.

Especially if we imagine riding around town with a smiling monkey in a naval uniform on the back of our bright red motorcycle!

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Or visualize playing catch with a friendly frog!

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Or . . . insert your favorite daydream here.

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Research in the field of neuroscience demonstrates that we can expand our happiness through visualization, virtual reality, and daydreams:

Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure – the mesolimbic dopamine system – can be activated when merely thinking about something pleasurable, such as drinking a favorite brand of beer or driving a favorite type of sports car. In fact, this research shows that people sometimes enjoy anticipating an activity more than actually doing it.

For example, reading guidebooks in advance of a big vacation and anticipating the food you’ll eat and the activities you’ll do while there could actually give you more pleasure than the vacation itself. In short, research suggests that we can be just as well – if not sometimes better – off if we imagine experiences without having them.  

So to increase happiness, spend plenty of time happily daydreaming.

If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Consider Time (Stanford Business)

You read that right.

Research suggests that enjoying a virtual vacation can make us happier than going on an actual vacation (with all the attendant hassles).

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Great news for armchair travelers with limited budgets!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  Neural Pathways & Success (Find Your Middle Ground)

It’s Not Delivery! April 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
48 comments

2015-03-21 13-06-16_0002The Pizza Project is still going strong.

So are we.

That got me thinking . . .

Would it even be possible to O.D. on pizza?

I doubt it, but let’s ask Luigi!

“Hey, Luigi!”

“Hey, my little pizza paisano . . . que pasa?”

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“Luigi, have you ever met anyone who ate too much pizza?”

“No.  Datsa, how you say . . .  an oxymoron.”

“Thanks, Luigi!”

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So, there you go . . . there’s no such thing as too much pizza.  Mangia!

Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Reasons Retirement Rocks! April 2, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Joke.
39 comments

Mickey-LoungingRetirement rocks!

At last, I have everything I wanted as a teenager . . .

#1 ~ I don’t have to go to school or work.

#2 ~ I get to set my own allowance every month.

#3 ~ I have my own pad.

#4 ~ I don’t have a curfew.

Mickey-Surfer#5 ~ I have a driver’s license and my own car.

#6 ~ I have ID that gets me into bars and liquor stores.

#7 ~ And I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Bonus Benefit:  No Rushing Around (except to wait on the cats)!  Thanks, Kate.

 

7 Ways Creating Art Benefits Your Brain March 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
58 comments

200px-RealMotherGooseCreative expression is good for us.

Art has helped people with anxiety, depression, addictions, PTSD, chronic pain, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s.

And it’s FUN!

Here are 7 Ways Creating Art Benefits Your Brain:

#1 Stress reduction ~ creating art gives your brain a break by focusing your mind and pushing worries aside.

It’s relaxing, meditative, and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

#2 Art stimulates the brain to create new neurons and synapses, improving connections, communication, and memory.

#3 Art increases the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine, which boosts drive, focus, and concentration.  Dopamine helps ward off depression and protects the brain from aging.

Mr. Weiss Classroom#4 Art increases brain plasticity, fluid intelligence, IQ, and attention.

It enhances cognitive abilities and memory even for people with brain disorders.

#5 Art immerses us in the NOW as we go with the flow and enjoy the journey.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein

#6 Art lets us forget our troubles and express our feelings.

#7 “Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  The Mental Health Benefits of Art for Everyone

Manifesting Our Dreams March 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Magick & Mystery.
34 comments

I believe that at our most authentic/intuitive level, we want (for us) what the Universe wants for us.

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So, unless we do something “counter-intuitive” . . . we manifest our dreams even if we aren’t consciously aware that they are “our” dreams.

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Our lives tend to unfold as they should . . . with or without our assistance.

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Sometimes they unfold as they should even with extreme resistance on our part (e.g., “NO! I don’t want to change!”).

Perhaps bringing our intention to the mix, gets us where we are intended to be that much sooner ~ a move, a new career, better relationships, improved health, etc.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

First published:  Brainstorming Strategies (Pocket Perspective)

Attending a Car Show in the NOW February 23, 2016

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

Donald-Duck-DrivingCars are BFF’s thing, not mine.  But this year I agreed to go to the International Auto Show in Tampa.

Attending the show became an exercise in mindfulness ~ a chance to practice acceptance of the “what is” . . . no matter what.

A chance to remain firmly grounded in the present moment . . . no matter what.

Donald-Duck-BaseballNot judging everything as “good” or “bad.”  Just going with the flow of the NOW.

No constant commentary streaming through my brain.  Just watching and observing.

No extreme highs and lows.  Just acceptance of the “what is” in the moment without resistance.

I accepted and released each moment as it arrived.  I remained awake and aware.  I dealt with situations without boredom or fear clouding my view.

I saw opportunities, not obstacles.

For example, getting there an hour “too early” gave us a chance to walk around the waterfront and enjoy a sunny morning.

Mickey-OKI remained “OK” with anything tossed our way without wasting time and energy deciding whether it was “good” or “bad.”

And, as a result, it was ALL GOOD!

Aah . . . that’s better!

In like vein, the parable of the Chinese Farmer reminds us of the benefits of adopting a “Maybe Mind.”

Related post: How to Become a Luckier Person Overnight (Raptitude)

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