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That’s Just Ducky! June 2, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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35 comments

Ego (the false self, the illusionist, the imposter, the story-teller) will do anything to keep us off balance.

It is always churning the waters.

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When we practice mindfulness, we no longer believe all the thoughts we think.

We let go of the notion that “I think IT, therefore IT is.”

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Instead, our authentic self  (the still silent observer) watches the ticker-tape parade of thoughts pop up in rapid-fire succession.

As our awareness increases, our aim improves.  We get better at shooting toxic thoughts down as soon as they pop up.

Instead of being thrown off balance by non-productive thoughts, we watch Ego’s ineffectual attempts to “stir the pot” with detached amusement.

We see that Ego is just a big fat QUACK!

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Once we “wake up,” the stormy seas left in Ego’s wake dissipate.

Instead of getting worked up over this, that, and the other thing (or even nothing at all), we mindfully manage our thoughts.

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I am not the thoughts I think.
My thoughts are not “me.”

I am the silent observer of thoughts that arise.
The detached witness.

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I can identify with the thoughts Ego tosses at me.
Or allow them to drift away.

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”What are you ~ a god, an angel, a saint?”

“No,” replied The Buddha, “I am A-W-A-K-E.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

How Not To Get Sick In Church May 30, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Spirituality & Faith.
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36 comments

IMGP3928Q.  What’s the best way to avoid getting sick in church, especially during cold and flu season?

A.  Stop going to church.

That’s my solution anyway.

And, no, I’m not worried that some personified deity will smite me down for not attending church services.

After all . . .

What artist would paint a Daisy then punish it for not being a Rose?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Why It’s Important NOT To Give A Shit! May 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Life Lessons, People.
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31 comments

In the following clip, Carlin discusses the dissonance between who he thought he was and who he really was and how he shifted mid-career from someone who was on stage to entertain by pleasing people to someone who was on stage to share his honest thoughts with the world.

One reason people claim that there are “no mistakes in life, only lessons” is because (if we pay attention), everything teaches us something.  We are always evolving, shaped by our experiences with people, places, and things:

* We try X, it doesn’t resonate, so we cross X off the list b/c X is not what we are here for.

* We try Y, it fits likes a glove, so we keep doing Y, until we are prompted to move past Y and onto Z.

I suspect Carlin didn’t feel as much dissonance at the outset of his career.  But once he saw his peers (Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Grace Slick) shrugging off the status quo, he knew he needed to head in the same direction.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The-Pink-Panther* He who trims himself to suit everyone else will soon whittle himself away. ~ Raymond Hull

* Trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

* You don’t need a permission slip to live your life.

* Be who you are and say what you mean, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

Related posts: Speak Your Truth Quietly & Clearly * Letting Ourselves Be Seen * Pretence Is It Needed? (Candid Impressions)

Relax . . . You’re On Island Time May 19, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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57 comments

Island Time . . .

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Days filled with discovery and awe and magic.  Moments to just be, breathe, and soak it all in.

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Time to notice how palm fronds sway and seagulls hover.  Time to feel the dock sway beneath your feet.

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Time to share contagious laughter and infectious smiles.

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Time to wade in the water, stretch out on a secluded stretch of beach, or cool off with a dip in the pool.

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Time to stow the car and travel by bike or trolley or boat.

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Time to linger over coffee at sunrise or search the shore for shells.

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Time to make tracks in the sand.

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Time to gather poolside.

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And enjoy a refreshing adult beverage.

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Time to stroll and meander and inhale the sea breeze.

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Time to soak up the sun under cloudless blue skies.

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Time to open up to wonder.

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Time to paint a nature study or study a painting.

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Time to awaken your inner artist.

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Time to dine al fresco.

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Time to stretch out, relax . . . and feel right at home.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Today Matters May 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
38 comments

Eeyore-SittingToday matters.

Today’s experiences form the foundation for all our tomorrows.

A bucket is filled drop by drop.

That said, most of what we do today won’t matter one whit ten years from now.

Tigger-PogoEdges soften.
Mistakes recede.
Recollections cloud.
Pain fades.

Just be.

Just bounce.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  How to Make Bad Days Okay (Raptitude)

Live, Love, Laugh, Learn April 21, 2015

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

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailAs we live, love, laugh, and learn, we evolve.

We transform from “who we are” to become more fully “who we want to be.”

We stop using an external yardstick to measure our “success.”  Instead we focus on the contentment, peace and happiness we feel within.

We let go of the need to impress others with fame, fortune, and other trappings (and traps) of material success.

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We no longer barter our time for $’s at the expense of our values.

We stop accumulating clutter and refuse to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

We begin to see that less is more.  We lessen our attachment to stuff and clear our lives of the extraneous to make room for the essential.

We strive to live with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.  We sense increasing harmony in what we think, what we say, and what we do.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieWe stop defending our reputation.  What they think of us is none of our business.

We let go of anger and resentment and learn to forgive ourselves and others.  We stop stewing in our own juices over perceived transgressions.

We begin to see the innocence in acts and omissions.  Instead of rushing to judgment, we advocate on behalf of others.

We envision best case scenarios instead of assuming the worst.

We develop an attitude of gratitude as we engage in simple pleasures.  We let go of greed.

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Through mindfulness and meditation, we cultivate peace of mind and compassion.

Unwilling to create unnecessary suffering, we enjoy more meatless meals ~ a win for us, the animals, and our precious planet.

We revel in mystery and synchronicity.  We trust intuition, knowing it surfaces from the wisdom within.

We share what we learn, often offering a different perspective.

Mickey-DiverWe flow with life instead of exhausting ourselves by struggling against the current.

We accept the “what is” as it is ~ here, now. We don’t dwell on a past we can’t change or a future that may never arrive at our door.

And when inevitable waves toss us around, we use our sense of humor as an approved flotation device.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like a water-wheel, filling and emptying its buckets over and over as it turns, we empty out who we were, to become more fully who we are. If we hang on to Ego concerns, our buckets do not empty . . .  leaving less room for growth.

Related post:  Want to Succeed?  Let Go.  (Think Simple Now)

Retirement Options April 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , , ,
65 comments

At the Arch

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where . . .

1. You park 3 blocks away from home because you found shade.
2. You experience condensation on your ass from hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
4. You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.

You can retire to New York City where . . .

1. You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You’ve worn out a car horn. (IF you have a car).
3. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.

You can retire to the Nebraska where . . .

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is three cars waiting to pass a tractor.
2. You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
3. The 4 seasons are:  planning, planting, growing, and shucking.

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You can retire to California where . . .

1. You make $450,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You drive everywhere, even to the neighborhood block party.
4. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.
5. When asked how far away something is, you give the distance in minutes, not miles.

You can retire to The Deep South where . . .

1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
3. “He needed killin” is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jim Bob, Joe Bob, Missy Sue.
5. Things are either: “in yonder,” “over yonder,” or “out yonder.”

You can retire to Minnesota where . . .

1. Halloween costumes have to fit over parkas.
2. The highest level of criticism is: “He is different.”
3. The 4 seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road repair.
4. You have 17 casserole recipes, but only 3 spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

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You can retire to Florida where . . .

1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind – even houses and cars.
3. The 4 seasons are: hurricane, love bug, snowbird, and summer.
4. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.
5. Everyone can recommend an excellent cardiologist, dermatologist, proctologist, or podiatrist.

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

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Aah . . . that’s better!

A Pelican, A Gator, and An Elephant April 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Spirit & Ego, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

The pelican leaned back and relaxed as he spoke with his friends, flip-flops flapping in time with the Eternal Now.

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“When we reflect on our lives, and what we want, the goal behind most other goals is simply happiness.  We want to be happy. But, we have a tendency to look for happiness in all the wrong places.”

The gator nodded, her agreement impossible to miss given her prominent jaw.

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“We look for happiness outside of ourselves, instead of looking within.  We look for acceptance and approval from others, rather than accepting and approving of ourselves.  We get caught up in daily dramas and lose touch with the present moment.”

The elephant, resplendent in his attire as self-appointed court jester, laughed in agreement.

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“It’s Ego that gets in the way!  It pretends that its defending us from the unwarranted attacks of others while acting the part of the Trojan Horse.”

His stalwart companion neighed support, choosing to ignore the disparaging comparison between Ego and his distant kith and kin.

Seeing all eyes upon him, the pelican reclaimed the floor.  “Ego is a story-teller, spinning webs and stirring up conflict by encouraging us to look to others to define our selves and delineate our relevance.”

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Pelican reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper, worn at its creases.  He glanced over his bill at his companions before continuing.

“In Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness, Deepak Chopra explained the distinction between Ego and Spirit in a way that really spoke to me.  Here’s the passage:

Behind the curtain of your intellect and emotions is your self-image or ego. The ego is not your real self; it is the image of yourself that you have slowly built over time. It is the mask behind which you hide, but it is not the real you. And because it is not the real you, but a fraud, it lives in fear. It wants approval. It needs to control.

The ego is the prison you have built around your-self, and now it holds you captive within its walls. 

And how do you break free from captivity? You break free by choosing to identify with your inner self, the real you.

You know you are free when you feel happy and at ease instead of fearful and anxious. You know you are free when you are independent of the good and bad opinions of others, when you have relinquished the need to seek approval, when you believe that you are good enough as you are.

You know you are free when you surrender to the moment, to the what is, and trust that the universe is on your side. You know you are free when you let go of resentments and grievances and choose to forgive.

As the pelican refolded the sheet of paper and stuffed it back into his pocket, a transvestite bullfrog (in full regalia) hopped over to join the conversation.

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“I overheard what you said about Ego.  I agree.  Now that I use an internal yardstick to measure my worth, I am happy.  I no longer get offended if THEY don’t approve of my lipstick.  I don’t feel the need to defend myself if THEY criticize my weight, my attire, or my life choices. What THEY think of me is none of my business.  I don’t need a signed permission slip from THEM to live MY life.”

With that, the bulging bullfrog (and his bulbous gilded lips) morphed into a Golden Egret.

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As the transformed frog lifted off the ground to soar on an unseen breeze, it tossed out a golden nugget for the pelican, gator, and elephant to digest:

The key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source.  Then you no longer look for happiness because you know you already have it.

This happiness is true bliss, and it follows you wherever you go.*

Aah . . . that’s better!

* What is the key to lasting happiness?, Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness

RX For Happiness April 4, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
44 comments

Robert Louis Stevenson penned this prescription for happiness:

Tree-Frog-PerchedMake up your mind to be happy.
Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Make the best of your circumstances.
No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life.

The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Frog-CircusYou can’t please everybody.
Don’t let criticism worry you.

Don’t let your neighbor set your standards.
Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.

Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges.

Tree-Frog-PerchedaDon’t hold post-mortems.  Don’t spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.  Don’t be one who never gets over things.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And for an extra dose of Happy:

 

Meeting Life As It Is March 26, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
22 comments

nrhatch:

Here’s to allowing things to be “as they are” while we “go with the flow” and “embrace the now.”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Originally posted on Find Your Middle Ground:

… Continuing the conversation about judging, evaluating and accepting life as it is. These words from Adyashanti moved me today. May they touch you also and bring a deeper connection with your inner being and life itself.

Clarity Image courtesy of wbhunt.com

“The greatest generator of conflict, both internal and external, is our addiction to interpreting and evaluating each and every moment of our experience.
When we continually judge and evaluate, we separate from what’s happening. We feel a certain distance from our experience, because now we have become the evaluator of the moment and we’re no longer in unity with the flow of existence and life.

As we begin to meet life as it is rather than as we think it should be, as we let go of our need to control and continuously interpret our experience, we start to open to life in a completely new way. We become deeply founded in silence.
The nature of this…

View original 55 more words

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