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A Monkey With A Megaphone July 25, 2017

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

David wrote another fabulous post ~ this one focused on desire:

Three Things We All Need to Know About Desire

My favorite takeaway from the post is the visual imagery David shared when he likened desire to a “monkey with a megaphone.”

Great depiction!

Desires arise constantly.

We can succumb to the monkey as it chatters on and on about its endless ticker tape of desires, much like a toddler in the grocery store check-out line . . .

OR we can train ourselves to filter the constant chattering and clamoring of our monkey minds and discern for ourselves which desires merit fulfillment.

And which should be left on the cutting room floor.

Mindful discernment is not easy, but it’s worth it. After all, our freedom is at stake!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Drink It All In July 5, 2017

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

When we’re “lost in thought” we tend to “miss the moment.”

To be mindful OF the moment IN the moment, we have to stop thinking and start sensing . . .

We need to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste what’s going on around us.

We need to stop ruminating or the past and rehearsing the future if we want to experience the present and be present for the experience surrounding us right here, right now.

For more on this, read David’s post on Raptitude this week:

The Alternative to Thinking All the Time

Drink it all in!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Language Delays in Children May 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, People.
30 comments

Smartphones do not create smart kids.

Just the opposite ~> early use of screen devices may cause language delays in kids.

In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much.

For every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The research, which was led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.

The researchers say they did not find any effect of screen time on other communication skills, such as gesturing, body language or social interactions. But the effect on speech is worth investigating.

After all, why bother learning to talk when you can just press a button?

Now, step away from the Smartphone!

Unless, of course, you want to prove the adage:  “Monkey see . . . Monkey do.”

Aah. . . that’s better!

To read more:  Kids Who Use Smartphones Start Talking Later

Have I Got A Travel Deal For YOU! May 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Less IS More, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

Earlier this month, I received an unsolicited travel brochure for an upcoming 12-day trip to the Arctic Circle.

By booking immediately, we could get 50% off the published rate!

Wow!

I decided to check out the savings . . . because I love BOGO offers at Publix.

Anyway, I clicked through and found that the price depended upon your desired cabin accoutrements.

Makes sense.

But that’s when sense turned into nonsense.

Even the least expensive cabin was ridiculously expensive.

No way am I spending $2,333 – $3,666 PER DAY to freeze my ass off!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Choice Morsels To Chew On April 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
30 comments

#1 Want to lose weight?  Chew MORE, Weigh LESS . . .

“Some preliminary research has found that chewing until “no lumps remain” increases the number of calories the body burns during digestion: about 10 extra calories for a 300-calorie meal. (Eating fast, on the other hand, barely burns any calories.) Chewing food more thoroughly also increases blood flow to the stomach and gut. By taking a little extra time for chewing, someone could theoretically burn about 2,000 extra calories each month, the study authors write.”


“Extra chewing also slows the pace of eating, which may be another reason why it’s so healthy. Meena Shah, a professor of nutrition at Texas Christian University, has looked into the effects of eating speed on meal size. She found that people who eat slowly tend to eat less. Slow eating may help people eat more mindfully and tune into their own feelings of fullness, she says.”

To read more:   Chew Your Food: Why Slow Eaters May Burn More Calories

#2 Want to temper your spending?

“Make it your goal to spend only on what you truly value, be it travel, special times with family, a hobby or entertainment.  And cut out the frivolous spending on what you don’t value.

“You’ll be amazed at how many things you can happily live without because you’re getting what you really want,” says personal finance expert Donna Freedman.”

“Frugality isn’t a punishment; it’s a positive commonsense approach to life.  So focus on value and quality [to you], not prestige or appearances [with others].”

To read more:  AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#3 Want to take up yoga?

Choices abound!

“In Higher Self yoga, a monthly “ganja yoga” class that Goda owner Nathania Stambouli introduced in the fall: “We’re bringing together two great spiritual practices. Marijuana is a way of enhancing the experience.”

“Ah, yes, enhancing the experience. Of late, there’s been a fair amount of yoga-enhancing going on. It’s yoga with something extra on the side.

“Would you like beer with your yoga? There’s a class for that.

“Yoga in the buff? Manhattan’s Bold and Naked Yoga is precisely what it says it is.

“For yogis who prefer to bundle in down, there’s snowga — yoga with snowshoes.”

To read more:  Weed yoga, naked yoga, yoga with goats: Have we reached peak namaste?

#4 Having a tough time choosing between too many options?

“As a last resort, flip a coin.  “I don’t just look for heads or tails, says Berger.  “I think about how I feel about the toss.  If I’m sad that the coin landed on heads, I’ll go with the tails option.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

That’s what BFF & I do ~>  Being mindful about how we feel about the final reveal of the coin toss clues us in to what we really want.

#5 Want to learn how to drive?  Fast?

“An 8-year-old East Palestine boy used YouTube videos to learn how to drive his father’s van to McDonald’s on Sunday.  When he pulled up to the drive-through window after ordering a cheeseburger he had been craving and intended to pay for using money he gathered from his piggy bank, the McDonald’s workers at first thought they were being pranked.

“The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren’t,” Koehler said.”

To read more:  Young driver gets help from YouTube

#6 Want to feel better?

Make someone else feel better:

“Make a difference in other people’s lives.  Even small acts of generosity can make you feel rich in spirit.” ~ AARP Magazine, February/March 2017

#7 Want to watch a heart-felt movie?

Check out Collateral Beauty (Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Ed Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Jacob Latimore, Kate Winslet, etc.):

Love is in everything . . .
From a child’s laughter to the pain we feel when a loved one dies.
Love is THE why of it all.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Penis van Lesbian April 22, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Less IS More, People.
22 comments

A good looking man walked into an agent’s office in Hollywood and said “I want to be a movie star.” Tall, handsome, with experience on Broadway, he had the right credentials.

The agent asked, “What’s your name?”

“Penis van Lesbian.”

“Sir, in order to get into Hollywood, you will have to change your name.”

“I will NOT change my name! The van Lesbian name is centuries old, I will not disrespect my grandfather by changing my name. Not ever!!”

The agent said, “I’ve worked in Hollywood for years.  You’ll NEVER go far in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian! For sure you’ll HAVE to change your name or I won’t represent you.”

“So be it! I guess we won’t do business together!”

Five years later, the agent opens an envelope sent to his office.

Inside the envelope is a check for $25,000.

The agent is awe-struck, who would possibly send him $25,000?

He reads the enclosed letter . . .

“Dear Sir, Five years ago, I came into your office wanting to become an actor in Hollywood and you told me I needed to change my name. You told me I would never make it in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian.

Determined to make it with my God-given birth name, I refused.

After I left your office, I thought about what you said. I decided you were right. I had to change my name.  I had too much pride to return to your office, so I signed with another agent who quickly signed me with Walt Disney for a number of movies which have been very lucrative.

You were right.  I never would have made it without changing my name.

Thank you for your advice and please accept the enclosed check as a token of my appreciation.

Sincerely,

Dick van Dyke

HaHa . . . that’s better!

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

Following The “What Ifs” . . . April 17, 2017

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

Life is all about following the “what ifs” . . . isn’t it?

What if I moved away from crowds, noise, and congestion toward silence, serenity, and solitude?

What if I moved away from cold cloudy days toward warm tropical breezes under bright blue skies?

What if I moved away from perpetual busyness toward simplicity?

What if I ignored the yipping of border collies trying to keep me in line and steered my own ship following the call of my inner voice?

For some, drifting with the tides holds no appeal.  To them, my decision to “go with the flow”~ to rise and fall with the ebb and flow of life ~ sounds dull.

For me, it’s perfect.

Time to pause and reflect, to read and write, to pursue things that interest me without concern about accolades, awards, achievement, or recognition in the eyes of others.

Instead of being nervous or anxious about meeting external expectations, I am relaxed as I flow from one activity to the next.

Instead of acting with deference to the judgments of others, I happily assert my independence.

Instead of settling for societal mandates and consensus, I persist with what matters to me.

Instead of dreading the dawning of the day, I’m excited to be awake and aware of the infinite possibilities around.

Instead of being stuck like a square peg in a round hole, I can enjoy each custom-made niche.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Next up:  Thoreau had the write idea when he penned Walden.

 

Why Slacking Off Pays Off . . . April 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
16 comments

I’ve long been a proponent of the phrase “less is more,” which I find applicable in situations too numerous to count.

And now I’ve found a new application for the phrase.

Turns out that LESS work often results in MORE creative output.

Don’t believe me?

Check out this article ~ Darwin Was A Slacker And You Should Be Too

From the article:

Figures as different as Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman, working in disparate fields in different times, all shared a passion for their work, a terrific ambition to succeed, and an almost superhuman capacity to focus.

Yet when you look closely at their daily lives, they only spent a few hours a day doing what we would recognize as their most important work. The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking.

Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest “working” hours.

From writing to research, from science to music, from athletics to art, top performers benefit from deliberate practice followed by deliberate rest and downtime.

World-class performance doesn’t come after 10,000 hours of practice, as Malcolm Gladwell claimed:

“It comes after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, 12,500 hours of deliberate rest, and 30,000 hours of sleep.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The cited and linked article is excerpted from Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Distracted? This Might Be Why . . . March 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Meditation, Mindfulness.
32 comments

Are finding it harder to stay focused on one thing at a time?

This could be why:

Your Smartphone Might Be Dumbing Down Your Brain!

Every time you switch tasks, your brain needs a moment or two to find its bearings. And the more you engage in rapid task-shuffling, the harder it becomes for you to ignore distractions and stay focused, he says. That could be because media multitasking may weaken your brain’s anterior cingulate cortex, a region involved in high-level information and emotion processing, according to research from University College London.

Your brain may also suffer from a lack of downtime—those small breaks, like waiting in line at the grocery store, when we all used to daydream instead of staring at our phones.

Want to counter-balance the impact technology may be having on your ability to concentrate?

Check out this article:

Brain Health: Stay Focused & Eliminate Distractions (Time)

Aah . . . that’s better!

How Patriotic! January 28, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Less IS More, Life Balance.
26 comments

Little-Miss-ScatterbrainIn the USA, shopping, spending, and buying STUFF, especially on credit, is considered patriotic.

That’s why some of the biggest sales fall on Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, and Labor Day.

OMG . . . Presidents’ Day is right around the corner!

Get ready . . .

Get set . . .

C~H~A~R~G~E!!!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Financial Advice for Today’s 20-Somethings (Charles Schwab)