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Meeting Life As It Is March 26, 2015

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

nrhatch:

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

IMGP3904b

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

The Nature of Relationships March 24, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Poetry.
Tags: , , ,
53 comments

Tiggers-R-UsRelationships are governed by societal and religious expectations and conditioning. As a result, human relationships vary from culture to culture.

Despite the global nature of the internet, we are not having a universal experience.

The norm in one corner of the globe does not translate across all borders and boundaries.

Tigger-PogoFor that reason, I don’t really care what people in general think.  I care about what the people I care about think.

It’s less confusing.

Instead of expending untold energy trying to figure out how to get inside someone else’s head, perhaps we should get to know who we are.

Look deep . . . the answers lie within.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Great minds may not think alike . . . but most great minds like a think.

Related posts:  What Makes You, You? * Torn AsunderThink Like A Man, End Up Without One (1) (Lively Twist)

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

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
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)

Tips On Speaking March 14, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , ,
53 comments

alice26thFill your speech with the 7 deadly sins (Gossip, Judging, Negativity, Complaining, Excuses, Embroidering/ Exaggerating/ Lying, and Dogmatism) and people tend to tune out.

Focus on Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love and they tune in.

In Fight On The Plane, Nicki Chen shares an example of conflict sparking a real (if somewhat heated) exchange between two fellow passengers.

When they dropped their masks . . . honesty, authenticity, integrity, and even love peeked through.

Of course, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.  A few tools to play with ~ Register, Timbre, Prosody, Pace, Silence, Pitch, and Volume.

For still more tips, have a listen to Julian Treasure as he plays a masterful instrument . . . the human voice:

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

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

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

I Want To DO Less . . . And BE More February 17, 2015

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

IMGP1800bOne of the best tricks I’ve found to discern whether I’m on the right path for me is to envision this as the last year of my life ~ to question whether I would regret spending the next 12 months engaged in similar endeavors.

At this point, I’m happy with the flow of my days and nights, but in earlier years this simple exercise inspired big changes:

In 1997, it led to my decision to leave the practice of law, take a sabbatical, and re-enter the work force as the director of a Crisis Intervention Team, assisting victims of domestic violence to evaluate options.

In 1999, it encouraged us to shed possessions, down-size, and move out of New Jersey to a home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay ~ still close enough to visit family while being far enough away to live our own quiet lives.

In 2008, it freed us to leave winters behind for good and move to Florida.

IMGP2615c

Aah . . . that’s better!

What would you do if your “final curtain call” lay around the next bend?

What If No One Is Watching? February 11, 2015

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

7 Pearls of Dubious Pedigree January 27, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People, Word Play.
Tags: , , , ,
48 comments

Every so often, I toss flotsam, jetsam, and/or detritus overboard in order to keep synapses firing at optimal efficiency.

Here for your consideration are 7 Pearls of Dubious Pedigree:

Ringling Museum 018c1.  Judgment is discernment.

Judgment gives us the ability to weigh options and choose between competing priorities.  We would be lost without it.

Fundraisers unite
with one common goal ~ to take
your money and run

Even if you give ALL opposing ideas, thoughts, and opinions the benefit of the doubt, that doesn’t mean they possess any inherent validity.

Some ideas are ignorant, idiotic, and/or just plain evil.

Not convinced?  Keep reading . . .

2. Rejecting Social Acceptability.

Next time you’re in a restaurant (or, better still, the bowling alley!), reach over and grab a handful of French fries or a slice of pizza from your neighbors.

See what happens.

Snoopy-and-Schroeder

3.  The Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project.

If parents can’t make equitable distributions between 2-3 offspring, how would society do so for everyone?

“How come Mozart got a GRAND PIANO and I just got a stupid harmonica?”

“Be glad it’s not a rock, Charlie Brown.”

3D-Cow4.  Why are carnivores averse to cannibalism?

Why are cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys gobbled up while horses, dogs, cats, and rodents are shunned by everyone but Andrew Zimmern?

Why are we willing to donate our organs to science . . . but not to someone’s breakfast table?

5.  A “Pay It Forward” Pyramid Scheme.

There’s a Pay It Forward chain letter circulating through cyber space.

When I saw it for the first time, I refrained from leaving a comment on the post because I did NOT want to be selected to win an “unspecified surprise” . . . not if it meant agreeing to add five more people to the chain by offering to send them an unspecified surprise if they would each agree to add five more people to the chain.

Snoopy2

Etc.  Etc.  Etc.  Ad Nauseum.  The whole thing is just too forced and phony.  A pyramid scheme gone awry.

I’m happy to perform “good deeds” and “random acts of kindness” on an ad hoc basis, but I don’t like gifts with strings attached.

And, even if I enjoyed being manipulated via cyber strings, I’m not going to agree to send out 5 surprises in exchange for one surprise I might not even like.

“Be glad it’s not a rock, Charlie Brown.”

When we are mindful, ample opportunities to be kind appear in our In Box every day . . . without the necessity of entering into contrived cyber contracts.

IMGP1368a6. Happiness is ‘eeling.

Laughter each day keeps the doctor away.

He who laughs, lasts. ~ Mary Pettibone Poole

And even if you don’t get better, you’ll feel better.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

Except the doctor.  But ‘eel get over it!

Eek . . . an eel!
Grasping on to my heel!
Whilst wrapped in chain

Oh what a sight
I shudder with fright
But ‘eel steal my pain

All’s well that ends well

The Eel that Time Remembered (Kate Shrewsday)

448px-Alice_05a-1116x14927.  No Fungus, Please.

When I was a kid, I ate a poisonous mushroom in the backyard and had to have my stomach pumped.

It left a bad taste in my mouth.

That’s why I refuse to eat fungus.

If ever I get around to writing a Vegetarian Cookbook, it will NOT include any recipes featuring mushrooms, toadstools, or truffles.

I’ll call it, No Fungus, Please!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  13 Pieces of Potpourri * 13 Unpolished Gems . . . One Stone7 More Unpolished Stones

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

Coasting Downhill January 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
39 comments

It’s great when we reach the point that we can say with confidence: “Who I am is who I want to be.”

Then we can coast downhill to the finish line.

Mountain-Biking

Aah . . . that’s better!

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