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Not My Monkey, Not My Circus! March 17, 2015

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

monkeysSometimes the illusion of peace in relationships stems from allowing someone else to call ALL the shots while we bite our tongues.

Even then determined drama queens find ways to stir up the dust.

Over time, I’ve gotten better at shrugging off the weight of their disapproval, side-stepping unnecessary conflict, and ignoring de bait.

If necessary, I repeat the mantra:

Not my monkey, not my circus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

How are you at side-stepping determined drama queens?

Related post:  Taming The Mammoth ~ Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think (Wait But Why)

Goals: Life Preserver? Or Straight Jacket? March 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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60 comments

Pluto-RollerskatingSometimes life seems messy, disorganized, and chaotic.  We get busy tidying it up by setting self-improvement goals for ourselves.

That’s good, right?

To always be striving to be better than our previous selves?

We may believe that goals help us reach out and become more than we already are . . . but sometimes they do just the opposite.

Instead of encouraging us to explore possibilities in the here and now, they act as straight-jackets, tethering us to what we wanted yesterday.

Who you are now is a product of what you once wanted.

TiggerFor example, what if we set the goal to do more writing and then stumble across a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on the counter?

We want to make banana bread, but we don’t have time because we haven’t met our self-imposed arbitrary word count for the day.

So we let the bananas rot, instead of pursuing their possibilities.

No wonder the cat looks at us askance.

Do goals keep us afloat . . . or drag us down?

Perhaps it depends on the goal.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related link:  Helicone ~ Incredible Science

What If No One Is Watching? February 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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62 comments

alice26thEgo likes accolades and acknowledgement for accomplishments, big and small.

For Ego, it’s not enough To Do or To Be for the Do-ness or Be-ness of it all.  Ego is convinced it doesn’t count if no one is watching.

Ego is in a perpetual state of “Look At Me!”

Hence the rise of Selfie Sticks.

It’s not the journey of writing, painting, singing, dancing, creating, or exploring that matters to Ego, it’s the applause of the audience, the roar of the crowd, the recognition from others that we matter.

A legacy left behind.

If I slam a door, and no one hears, should I slam it louder?

Hmm . . . that depends.  
Am I slamming it for me . . . or for them?

Remember George Costanza and the Tip Jar?  He didn’t toss a tip into the jar because he wanted the self-acknowledgment of having done so.  He wanted “them” to see him toss the tip into the jar.  He wanted recognition from others for his actions.  He wasn’t giving to give, he was giving to get.

When he realized “they” weren’t watching, he reached in to reclaim the tip for a “do over” and lost what he was trying to gain . . . his paisano’s approval.

Donald-Duck-BaseballWhat would you do if no one was watching?

Would you spend decades building the cathedral, the bridge, or the concert center if you retained your anonymity?

Living in the shadows in a state of obscurity?

With no one applauding your efforts?

You know you’ve found your bliss and are headed the right way when your spirit is soaring and work feels like play.

Even when no one is watching.

Aah . . . that’s better!

After enlightenment, the laundry. ~ Zen Proverb

Friendships Based On Mutual Distrust January 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
78 comments

IMGP3921“Offering superficial approval, passive agreement, and placating compliments is easy. Being a good friend is hard.”
~ Janna T. Writes

Yup.

When friends ask us to “be honest,” they don’t always mean it. Instead of thanking us for our honest candor, they may lash out or turn their backs on us.

That happened to me once upon a time.

A friend asked me what I thought of the guy she was dating. Everyone else (including her mother) lied to her and said he was wonderful. I told her that he seemed selfish and full of himself.

He dumped her a few months later.

At that point, everyone else (including her mother) admitted that they had NEVER liked him, that he was a complete and utter jerk, that she was better off without him, etc.

IMGP1472aAnd she was OK with their about-face.

Even though she KNEW they had intentionally lied to her, she was OK with their dishonesty.

She was NOT OK with my honesty.

She gave me the cold shoulder for YEARS, later revealing the reason why.

As I pondered her belated explanation, I decided that, if given the chance, I would not retract my words to gain her approval by lying.

Maintaining pseudo-friendships based on mutual distrust and insincere platitudes seems rather pointless.

What do you think?

Be Honest!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Kindly Be Honest

No Reply January 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, Nature, Spirit & Ego.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

Chinaman-fishingSilent stars twinkle
in the ebony night sky

Ancient muted light
radiates to greet the eye

The eternal now
echoes ~ I ask, “Why am I?”

I listen . . .

No reply

How To Cripple A Butterfly January 4, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
Tags: , , ,
46 comments

Mickey-DiverIf we rush to comfort a baby every time he cries, he doesn’t learn to comfort himself.

If we toss a “fish” every time someone’s hungry, they won’t learn to fish for themselves.

When we rush to empathize or sympathize every time someone has a “hang nail,” we are training them to look to OTHERS to meet their needs rather than looking WITHIN for guidance.

We are encouraging them to share every minor annoyance and aggravation in their lives because it “feels good” to get attention from others . . . and we can give ourselves a pat on the back for “being there” for them.

We need not refrain from helping others when they really NEED help, but we may do more harm than good if we rush to help without allowing others the time needed to process things.

ButterflyThe best way to cripple a butterfly is to interfere with its efforts to emerge from the cocoon.

Our struggle to emerge is part of the path.

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Things I’ve Re-Learned This Year December 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
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24 comments

Life lessons aren’t mastered in a single bold stroke.  We learn, we practice, we forget, we remember, we re-learn.

Here are a few key notes I re-learned this year:

1.  Like a bottomless well, Ego’s desire for applause, accolades, approval, acknowledgement, acclaim, awards, and recognition is never satiated.

2.  When we stroke Ego, it purrs.  When we stop, it snarls.

Broccoli-Mocking-Stewie

3.  People want us to do what they want us to do when they want us to do it. They are affronted when we don’t.

4.  When people ask us to “be honest” . . . they don’t always mean it.

daffy_duck_boxing

5.  It’s silly to buy another pair of shoes because we want an Ego Boost from others when they see us rocking our new ruby slippers.

6.  In many ways, we are at the mercy of the tides.  Life ebbs and flows.  Joy comes and goes.  Sorrow is hard to avoid.

Lumpus-Moose

7.  Even if we’re not convinced that “everything happens for a reason,” taking time to look for “silver linings” helps us deal with passing clouds.

8.  When we aren’t wedded to a set destination, we enjoy the journey (and its inevitable detours) more.

Mickey-Surfer

9.  If we are enjoying the journey, we win.  No matter where the wind blows us.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

For Life Lessons by other writers, check out Timi’s series on Lively Twist:  Did We Do Any Learning? [1]  Learning [2]  Learning [3]  Learning [4]  Learning [5]

Does Santa Make Kids Selfish? December 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
46 comments

Xmas-CatThe training of new consumers begins on Santa’s lap. Ho~Ho~Ho!

And continues in front of the TV as animated ads from Toys ‘R Us ask . . . “What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get?”

We are programming kids to become greedy meanies.

For an eye opening look at how Santa’s questions frame responses and keep the materialistic spiral going:

But all is not lost.

Once Santa shifts his script from getting to giving . . . the kids opt to give the larger piece of chocolate away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Thank You . . . I Am Inconsistent! December 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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46 comments

Tree-Frog-PerchedConsistency is consistently over-rated.

* Consistency makes us predictable. That can be a great help to others in anticipating our acts and reactions.  But it may be a hindrance to us.

We are, all of us, in the process of becoming.

To become more fully who we were always meant to be, we need to embrace change.

* Consistency gives us a sense of control because we know that we didn’t care for green eggs and ham yesterday and probably won’t like them any better today.

Of course, nothing in nature is stagnant ~ neither should we be.

We are not who we once were.

* Consistency makes us feel “right.” As if we’ve figured out the answers and need not ponder the questions any longer.

Because of our routines, we forget that life is an ongoing adventure. ~ Maya Angelou

Boredom arises from routine.  Joy, wonder, rapture, arise from surprise. ~ Leo Buscaglia

Tree-Frog-Percheda

Re-considering self-imposed boundaries and our consistent consistency is a good thing.

That’s why, when someone accuses me of being inconsistent, I give them my best Mona Lisa S~M~I~L~E.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Why You May Never See Me Cry November 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
52 comments

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid of what THEY might think of me.

It’s because I don’t want to have to deal with THEM and THEIR reaction to my tears.

I just want to cry in peace.  To be alone with my sadness.

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid to reveal the real me.

NOT crying in front of them is the REAL ME being the REAL ME.

It’s part of who I am at the core.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them.” ~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” ~ Carl Sandburg

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