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Hello world!

29/11/2008

Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle/Motivational blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces on Life TipsAdvice, Interviews, Reviews, Peace, Social Media ruminations and Inspirational posts on people, places, and events that shape our lives. I invite you to stay awhile, read some posts, and share your thoughts with this growing online blog community.

One of the fundamental rules of blogging is to make connections with others by adding value through our message/content, comments, and social interactions. I hope you’ll share your comments and expertise with me. If you’d like to write a Guest post, offer a sponsorship or PR opportunity, send me a message with your inquiry by email at: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com or contact(@)positivekismet(.)com Thank you!

Something I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected; I know that sincere, positive, and empowering messages are far more appealing than incendiary angling for blog attention. If your blogosphere surfing brings you here, relax, kick back, and share a positive tidbit on your worldview.

So, How should we handle the global economic shift? How do we stay mirthful and motivated?
Read more…

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

27/04/2015

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind. Thich Nhat Hanh

What does mindfulness mean to you? A few years ago, Oprah interviewed Thich Nhat Hanh, a well known and beloved Buddhist monk, teacher, Zen Master, poet, writer, and peace activist from Vietnam. The interview was deeply reflective and he made many points that resonated with me. He spoke about seeing the beauty of the present moment (Being Present) and how a spirit of mindfulness helps us develop not only compassion for each other but, also helps us surrender our suffering … it helps us learn to let go. We all have baggage that we tote around with us. Some of us carry little pouches of grudges, while others haul around huge portmanteaus filled with old wounds and churlish plans. When we take time to reflect on what is festering inside, we might be surprised to find that much of it is petty and probably founded on childhood hurts. What do you gain from holding on to a grudge?  You have nothing to prove so let it go… move on with your life.

Who is holding you back? Another pithy point that Thich Nhat Hanh, shared was that: “You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing.”  There are many wounded children parading as adults who feel a desperate need to be controlling and do battle with others over nonsense. Their actions are often based on fear and insecurity and a need to prove something by acting tough. But it’s all an act to hide the suffering and the pain. He said that our suffering is the result of fear, anger, frustration, despair, and the anxiety that overcomes us when things seem unclear. If we stop, breathe deeply, and shift our attention to the here and now, that subtle shift will help us adjust and release our fears.

Hey, wake up! The only competitor worth facing is YOU! The road to mindfulness and understanding of others begins with the work we do with ourselves. If we wish to see the world with new eyes and refresh our lives in a new way, we need to practice mindfulness which includes compassion, contemplation and observation.

“It takes a little bit of mindfulness and a little bit of attention to others to be a good listener, which helps cultivate emotional nurturing and engagement.” Deepak Chopra

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all. Jon Kabat-Zinn

What motivates you to listen? Our children are some of our best teachers because they remind us to listen, to own our stuff, and to find that love within even under trying circumstances. Like little birds, they arrive helpless and dependent and, slowly,  they learn skills that help them fly the coop later on in life. Our time with them is valuable and we must be attentive to how we listen and express our love.  They give to us and take from us, and the reciprocity keeps the love flowing in a harmonious and unbroken cycle. When we withhold our affection from others, the greater loss is ours because our bodies constrict and a blockage forms inside our being like an invisible knot. The memory stays in our bodies and we feel this great need to hold unto it, to control things, and to undermine any  perceived competition.  We gain nothing from selfish actions only more insecurity masked by acts of false boldness.

A Story: Be Birdlike and Free. I remember once, while taking photos of birds, that one little bird watched me for a while. I’ll call it the smart, introspective bird. It watched me throw bread to the gathered seagulls and decided that the best way to get full and quick access to the bread was to act differently. Instead of clawing and controlling the chain of access to the bread, the little bird decided to rise above the fray. It flew on top of my car. The bird became friendly and solicitous and caught my attention. For its effort, the bird got several easy servings and, I in return, got some lovely up-close shots. It’s called RECIPROCITY! Others tried to copy and do same, but the friendly and now bold bird had my attention and he was able to fend them off; he was a diligent and friendly bird indeed. He understood that being friendly to the bread giver  and diplomatic with others helped him when more aggressive birds showed up.  He didn’t need to compete with them, he found a better way to get attention and food.

Meanwhile, the other birds settled on other cars, without quite the same reach, and battled each other for dominance over the bread I threw to them. Some people have a misguided notion that the way to the top is by standing on other people’s heads and clawing to control outcomes. It might feel good for a while but they will fall off.  The way to the top is by standing shoulder to shoulder with others and building alliances not alienating people because you think they would/could/might overthrow you.  Like life; it is all in the give and take, the giving and receiving, the out-of-the-box exploring of options. We must learn to be as open to giving/sharing as we are to receiving .

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.” William Blake

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness has helped me succeed in almost every dimension of my life. By stopping regularly to look inward and become aware of my mental state, I stay connected to the source of my actions and thoughts and can guide them with considerably more intention. Dustin Moskovitz

What will you be willing to give up for peace of mind and contentment? In 1995, Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote a book titled “Wherever You Go, There You Are” which outlined the Buddhist path of mindfulness; a way of living in the moment without judgment. With a mindful approach to living, we don’t second guess our actions or blame others for our mistakes because we act with consideration and care and extend same to others. I look around me everyday and hear people talking about their personal expectations and frustrations and what they would do with more; the lottery, the bank gift, the big job or the magical gift. What is surprising is that we don’t say a lot about what we will do with less or how much we will give up.  What we tend to forget is that the me more, me more, me more mantra is like an addictive drug. The more we get, the more control we want and the more … you know the rest.

On reflection, what never fails to resonate is the fact that we carry our baggage and blessings with us everywhere we go and, unless we are mindful, not much changes even after the big win. Not unless we change. Since when did moving to a new neighborhood or buying a new car change our basic character? Will controlling the bank bring you unequivocal satisfaction? Maybe for a little while, then Phffit! This isn’t surprising information, yet some people expect it. Why? What does it take to have a full life? I know it is not stuff: more toys, more trinkets, or even more money. Mindfulness, contentment and peace with what we already have, acceptance of where we are right now, care towards others, and minding our own store will give us satisfaction.  But, we have to believe in those precepts or do the inner work that is required to help us change what we value.

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for April and May are:
04/06 – PERFECTION
04/13 – MISTAKES
04/20 – GROWTH
04/27 – MINDFULNESS

05/03 – APPRECIATION
05/13 – COMFORT
05/20 – FITNESS
05/27 – SERVICE

MORE BELOW! Read more…

Inspiration: #100HappyDays Challenge

25/04/2015

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.” William E. Gladstone

Inspiration: #100HappyDays Challenge - Spring happy flowers collage

Inspiration: #100HappyDays Challenge – Spring happy flowers collage

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you? 100 happy days

What? A few days ago, I was surfing around on Facebook when I stumbled upon a post about the 100 Happy Days  Foundation  challenge. I took a cursory look at it, ignored it, and moved on to other demands. Later that morning, I saw a post on a friend’s page announcing the same challenge. I stopped, read it, clicked on the link and within minutes, I was sold. According to the happy folk on the 100 happy days site, we live in busy times filled with sound bytes, and less time to stop and inhale the moments that flash by. If we would commit to stop for a moment each day and take/post a photo, over time, our cumulative effort would renew our happiness quotient and spread to others around us. I agree. The more we take positive action to lift ourselves and others up, the greater our exposure to opportunities that heal and help us.

I decided to sign up and, as fate would have it, my friend Susan B, also came up with the idea of a group support effort on Instagram; we are using the hashtag – #100happybloggers.  If  you would like to join us and support other bloggers to stay on course with the challenge, connect with us on Instagram and use the hashtag #100happybloggers whenever you post a photo. You can choose to do it on another social media platform and that’s fine too. I believe that each of us can make a difference in the world if we spread some joy, happiness, and a friendly smile! Use the following and add your own to spread more joy: #100happydays #100happybloggers #100happydayschallenge If you’d prefer to cheer us on from the sidelines, please do but, don’t leave yourself out of the picture.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam

Inspiration: #100HappyDays Challenge - Alley wall Mural of festivities

Inspiration: #100HappyDays Challenge – Alley wall Mural of festivities

It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.100 happy days

How? If you’d like to participate in the challenge, the process is quite simple. First, you must register on the 100 happy days website and choose a start date. Then choose your social media platform of choice for sharing your photos: It could be Facebook, twitter or Instagram. Once you’ve made a choice, all you need do is, every day, submit a picture of what made you happy using the public hashtag – #100happydays.  Your participation and share of happy moments can be private or public. Don’t feel obligated to do things like everyone else. You can do yours differently. The goal is to complete your task in a seamless and stress free way.

Remember that you are free to post your pictures publicly using your own hashtag or offer limited publicity for the enjoyment of your closest kin. If you wish to avoid any publicity, you may choose to send your pictures to myhappyday(at)100happydays.com. Either way, the choice is entirely yours and the key is to choose and post a photo that added a spark of joy to your day. While all of us are invited to post on a social media site, the #100happyday challenge is an individual effort. Since this is a challenge for each of us, there is no room for competition. Go with the flow and post as you go. The operative phrase is #100happydays for YOU!

More Below! Read more…

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION!

24/04/2015

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Isaac Newton

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION!

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION!

As in nature, all is ebb and tide, all is wave motion, so it seems that in all branches of industry, alternating currents – electric wave motion – will have the sway. Nikola Tesla

“Moreover, since the sun remains stationary, whatever appears as a motion of the sun is really due rather to the motion of the earth.” Nicolaus Copernicus

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION!

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION!

Look at what you want to change, gather a few people who believe in it like you do, and start moving forward. It’s important to remember that you don’t always need a destination. Sometimes, you just have to make forward motion. And you absolutely can. Debby Ryan

Weekly Photo Challenge: MOTION – MORE BELOW! Read more…

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