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The Secret to Happiness is . . . Unhappiness! June 9, 2018

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

For evolutionary reasons, our brains refuse to dwell on incoming data that remains the same.

Instead, it focuses on change and contrast as it constantly monitors the world for intel.

We become acclimated to the sights, smells, and sounds around us.

Neurons that send repeat “texts” (about the clock ticking, the smell of breakfast, or the touch of our clothes against our arms) start to be ignored or blocked.

The brain essentially says, “I heard you the first time.  Tell me something I don’t know.”

Thought of in this light, unhappiness can be viewed as a palate cleanser . . . an amuse-bouche . . . designed to allow us to appreciate happiness anew the next time it appears at our door.

This, of course, is a simplistic explanation of the science behind our senses.

And our sense of humor.

To read more:  The Function of Discontent

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Why Childhood Memories Are MIA June 7, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
29 comments

Researchers are beginning to understand why few of our childhood memories survive the passage into adulthood.

As children, we are able to make memories, but the circuitry of our brain continues to undergo construction through our teens . . . writing over some memories and erasing the circuitry needed to access other memories.

In short, we need to forget in order to grow.

To read more:  This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

And: Why You Can’t Remember Being A Baby

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“Perhaps the biggest mystery is not why we can’t remember our childhood – but whether we can believe any of our memories at all.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Cue The Music June 5, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Music & Dance.
18 comments

Music can improve our mood and positive feelings of well being.  Like meditation, it can improve blood flow, lower levels of stress hormones, and ease pain. It can also improve the quality of our sleep.

Music activates neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention, and memory.

But listening to music can also be unsettling.  Be selective.  Experiment to find what resonates and makes you feel good.

To read more:  Is Listening to Music Good For Your Health

Aah . . . that’s better!

Laughter May 29, 2018

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

A new to me quote you might enjoy:

It was her habit to build laughter out of inadequate materials.  

~ John Steinbach, The Grapes of Wrath (thanks, JoyRoses!)

And a couple of “oldies, but goodies”:

We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.

Wine improves with age.  
Age improves with wine.  
Life improves with laughter.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Changing Our Mind May 21, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
16 comments

Our “mindset” is a constant filter through which we perceive each and every experience.

Over time, we can shift our perspective by being “open minded” (or “maybe” minded) when exposed to opposing views and viewpoints.

In short, we can literally “change our mind” about religion, politics, fashion, food, TV shows, etc.

It’s like mixing water and wine:

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas. They’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

~ Emily Bronte, English Novelist

Aah . . . that’s better!

That’s It! May 1, 2018

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

Another nugget from Nuggets of Gold:

That’s how I felt the other day as I read the Christmas Wish I wrote at age 9:

That’s it!

I am here to enhance happiness!

How awesome is that?

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Tao of Pooh April 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature.
18 comments

Joy Roses shared this nugget on Nuggets of Gold:

As I pondered the image, these thoughts came to mind:

All things must pass.

Let go and go with the flow.

Every drop is part of the whole.

Water flows over and around obstacles in its path.

You can never step into the same river twice.

What thoughts came to you as you watched the river run?

Aah . . . that’s wisdom!

Do I Look Like A Pawn? April 21, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Less IS More, Life Balance.
32 comments

IMGP3167b“How can you quit practicing law?  Don’t you realize how many women would love to trade places with you?”

“Of course.  And now they can.”

“What do you mean?”

“As soon as I resign, they can apply for my position.”

“Haha.  Funny.”

“I’m not kidding.  They are welcome to it ~ it doesn’t fit me anymore anyway.”

“Be serious.  You’re a role model for young girls ~ living proof that women can do anything they want to do.”

“So?”

“So . . . that’s why you can’t quit.”

Chess“OK, let me see if I follow you . . . in order to prove that women can do anything they want to do you want ME to keep doing something I no longer want to do?”

“Exactly.”

“No thanks.  Sacrificing my freedom will not enhance their freedom ~ it would just turn me into a pawn.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Don’t worry about what the world wants from you.  Focus on what makes you feel more fully alive. What the world really needs are people who are fully alive.~ Joseph Campbell

* * * * *

Hand-moving-chess-pieceDo you resist being manipulated by public opinion?

If someone tries to play you, do you put them in “check” by highlighting their faulty reasoning or nonsensical logic?

Do tell.

I always wanted to be somebody . . . now I realize I should have been more specific. ~ Lily Tomlin

Let Billow Your Sails April 19, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
16 comments

For much of my life, my actions were governed by consensus.

My desire to be accepted allowed others to manipulate me through fear and guilt.

Instead of acting in conformity with my values, I complied with the wishes and expectations of others to avoid their disapproval.

As I grew older, and perhaps a bit wiser, I realized that I did not need a permission slip to live my life.

I decided that I no longer wished to be manipulated by public opinion.

I gave myself the freedom to be exactly who I wanted to be without first taking a poll.

A few acquaintances resented my increased personal autonomy since my decisions no longer required input or approval from them.

They tried to convince me that I was being selfish for living life according to my own rules, and tried to make me feel guilty about not doing what they wanted me to do.  They urged me to get back in line.

I ignored them.

Instead of conforming to their expectations, I used an internal compass to guide my actions, and followed my own road in the direction of my dreams.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  Why do we put off living the way we want to live, as if we have all the time in the world?  ~ Barbara de Angelis

Friday the 13th . . . Again! April 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Word Play.
36 comments

The scariest thing about Friday the 13th for me is the words used to describe phobias attached to it.  Words like:

Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga-triska-ideka-phobia) ~ how would you like to get stuck with that tongue-twister in the Scripps Spelling Bee?

Wikipedia ~ Friday the 13th (Free Use)

What about paraskevidekatriaphobia  (Para-skevi-deka-tria-phobia)?

By the time you spit out that monster, it’s Saturday the 14th.

I also love Black Cats.  We rescued a solid black kitten once.  We called him Buddha.  Not because of his color . . . because of his big fat Buddha Belly.

And his serene nature.   He held our hearts in steady gaze . . .

IMGP3904

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happy Friday the 13th!  Be well and mindful as you move through your day.  Namaste! _/!\_