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Some Alarming News! March 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
26 comments

We saw the most bizarre segment on the news the other night.

The reporter, standing in the middle of the beach, surrounding by turquoise waters, blue skies, and swaying palms, was SCREAMING into her microphone:

AUTHORITIES IN THE AREA ARE ON HIGH ALERT.

SPRING BREAK FOR COLLEGES STARTS THIS WEEK.

In a futile effort to prove her point that disaster was afoot, she proceeded to interview a few folks relaxing on the beach who seemed NOT to be on high alert.

They was just chilling!

Next, she interviewed a spokeswoman for Visit Sarasota who also seemed Far Too Calm for the impending disaster looming on the horizon as she explained that rooms at the inn are far and few between from mid-February to mid-March . . . and also for Easter week.

The reporter got a bit more fodder from a police officer who explained that some spring breakers consume too much alcohol and do things they oughtn’t.

At which point, the segment swung back to the reporter SCREAMING into her microphone:

AUTHORITIES IN THE AREA ARE ON HIGH ALERT.

SPRING BREAK FOR COLLEGES STARTS THIS WEEK.

She reminded me of Chicken Little!

But as we looked around, we saw no evidence that the sky was falling.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

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

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Meditation, Mindfulness.
26 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!

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!

 

 

 

How To Have A Good Conversation February 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
32 comments

Listen to others and let them know they have been heard . . .

Taking the best within us and sharing it with others benefits everyone. Nothing is too frivolous if it stems from loving kindness and compassion.

Making others feel good is NEVER a waste of time.

The first duty of love is to listen. ~ Paul Tillich

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Antidote To Fear February 11, 2017

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

“The whole aim of practical politics,” H.L. Mencken wrote almost a century ago,” is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Never has that adage been truer than now.

No President Has Spread Fear Like Donald Trump

* In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

* It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. ~ H.L. Mencken

There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies, and statistics. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

* Everything you read in the paper is absolutely true . . . except for the rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. ~ Erwin Knoll

Donald-Duck-LazyWhat happens when we get caught up in F.E.A.R.?

F.E.A.R. (“False Evidence Appearing Real”) can be a real downer when our mood is precarious.  We don’t always have the necessary strength of will to shout out loud, “THAT’S NOT TRUE!”

Want to drown out F.E.A.R.?

Donald-Duck-DivingClick your heels together and repeat after Mencken:   Hogwash & Hobgoblins!

Better yet, wave your Potter-riffic wand at Trump’s Twitter Feed while incanting:  Expel-liar-mus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Mantra for Today ~ Trust

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

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!

The Cons of ProFlowers December 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Mindfulness, Word Play.
44 comments

I started to order a table top Christmas tree (live) from ProFlowers . . . but they wanted credit card info to pay for the order BEFORE they would reveal the shipping and handling charges.

That bothered me.

I opened a new page to see what I could find out about shipping and handling and the info was very vague . . . between $8 and $25 per shipping address.

Plus a $2.99 handling fee.

Plus a possible shipping and handling surcharge.

I expect many people feel “invested” in the purchase at that point and agree to pay whatever shipping charge appears.

Not me.

I wanted to see the total before I plunked down my credit card info . . . especially since the site was so vague about what the charge might be.

So I backed out of the site without buying anything.

A few days later, I decided to check whether my caution had been warranted.

Donald-DuckaWOW!

I am glad I didn’t complete the purchase at ProFlowers ~ as I read through the reviews I ConCluded that a ProFusion of customers were ConCerned with the ProHibitive add-on charges revealed only after they had ProVided ProFlowers with a ConVenient credit card number.

In some cases, the ConCealed charges, once revealed, DOUBLED the cost of the order!  Other customers complained about the shoddy ConDition of delivered items, mentioning missing vases, bent stems, etc..

I’m ConVinced I’ve never seen so many negative 1* reviews ConGregating together in cyberspace before.

Perhaps ProFlowers has more Cons than Pros.

Aah . . . that’s better!