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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle/Motivational blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces: Life Tips / Advice, Affirmations/Wellness, Women’s Lives, Food, Travel, Interviews, Inspirational posts, Reviews, Peace, AND Social Media ruminations 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?
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Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES


“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” Brene Brown

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – Collage of 9 Spots Across the Globe

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – Pointe Du Hoc, France

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – The Taconic Highway, NY

I think it’s important to keep your personal life to yourself as much as you can. It protects your sanity and you need to have boundaries. And it helps that enchantment of watching an actor. If you know someone’s favourite colour or what they like to do on a Sunday, you won’t fall for the character as much. Dianna Agron

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES Boundaries exist to keep things in/out and contained. They exist everywhere; we have mountains, bodies of water, rock formations and all types of natural boundaries. Then we have bridges, fences, walls and other man made boundaries. They all serve a purpose that can help us or hurt us. Like everything in life, we can use our boundaries to control our urges and uplift others or we can exploit them for selfish and harmful reasons. Come back later for a MESH selection.

“Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.” Edwin Louis Cole

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – Collage of 4 spots NY & France

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – Sheep at Blue Hill Farm

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES

Weekly Photo Challenge: BOUNDARIES – Straus Park in Memory of Ida & Isidor Staus who were on the Titanic

And this is one of the major questions of our lives: how we keep boundaries, what permission we have to cross boundaries, and how we do so. A. B. Yehoshua
Our computers have become windows through which we can gaze upon a world that is virtually without horizons or boundaries. Joseph B. Wirthlin

I love Edwin Cole’s quote above because it reminds us of the value of setting personal boundaries and respecting existing boundaries. In a world where there are those who focus on their own selfish or sick desires, we need even more reminders that boundaries protect life and that is imperative. What do you think?

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Haiku: When Childhood Ended


“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.” Agatha Christie

Haiku: When Childhood Ended - paintings of childhood

Haiku: When Childhood Ended – paintings of childhood

Childhood memories
Books read by the fireplace
Sweets and Christmas treats

When childhood ended
Bombs, death, and warring factions
A childhood fractured

One of my earliest, happy childhood memories is of being read to as I cuddled up to Mrs Bates by the fireplace. One of my saddest was of being caught in a war-zone and not knowing when it would all end. I can’t say there was one pivotal moment when my childhood ended but, perhaps over time, there were series of events that contributed to its demise. I don’t say this in a cavalier manner or to sound distressed by it. Not at all! I’m just being honest about the fact that most of us go through transformative periods in our lives that force us to grow up and face the realities of life and of adulthood.

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” Tom Stoppard

Haiku: When Childhood Ended - paintings of childhood

Haiku: When Childhood Ended – paintings of childhood

Childhood memories
Time spent in my Dad’s village
Culture spurred events

When childhood ended
Endless losses; school, homes, life
A time of chaos

The hardships that come with living in a time of war and strife includes loss of life, food rationing, and that sense of impending doom and demise. The stream of refugees from other areas grew as the battlefields grew, food supplies diminished and people struggled to save their children’s lives. Such periods of unrest remain etched in our memories and remind us to honor life, enjoy our freedoms with gratitude, and cherish our safety and security. Many people don’t ever see the horrific side of war and what survivors live with for the rest of their lives. Yet, even though I spent a small portion of my life in my father’s village, during a difficult time in our history, there was so much wisdom and learning that took place there, and I still carry and cherish those memories. In a time of chaos and grief we, all of us, experienced nuggets of humanity and grace.

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Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill #GoodNeighborDay


“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world.” Pres. Jimmy Carter

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

“As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family … I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” United States President Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4601, 1978. via National Day Calendar

What does being a good neighbor mean to you? What motivates you to give back in a neighborly fashion? Today is National Good Neighbor Day and a great day to be reminded that we are part of a global community that depends on each other to maintain peace. If you’ve been paying attention to news events in the last week, you’d know that we celebrated International Peace Day, Pope Francis visited the US, the UN Member-nations/world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 global goals, and the Social Good Summit kicked off on with speakers and presentations offering insights on how technology and social media can make powerful impacts on achieving the 17 goals by 2030. Being a good neighbor means caring about your community and the world, and taking actions that benefit all. How can we be good neighbors if our actions malign others? How can we achieve the end of poverty if we withhold food and opportunities from those who desperately need them? To be a good neighbor is to care about those beyond our reach too, not just our immediate neighbors. Showing goodwill to others works in tandem with being a good neighbor. You can’t have one without the other. How do you see it?

How did National Good Neighbor Day start? It was initiated in the 1970s as the brainchild of Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana who believed that good neighbors can accomplish more together in their communities than apart. It quickly became a popular way to rally people together and by 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a clear Proclamation 4601 that made it a viable and legitimate holiday. In 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was moved from being celebrated on the fourth Sunday in September to a definite date:M September 28. The Congressional Record in which Max Bacchus asks for such a designation shows September 26 as the date requested. Nevertheless, what matters is that we seize the opportunity to acknowledge our neighbors far and near. When I think of National Good Neighbor Day, I think of both my global neighbors and immediate neighbors. If we stop creating divisions that separate people into factions, we will have a more harmonious global community. We owe it to the survival of our planet to treat all live with respect, goodwill and neighborly consideration. So go ahead and do something nice for your neighbors today. Feel free to add the hashtag: #GoodNeighborDay to your posts on social media.

A Story: The Wise Farmer
A farmer whose corn always took the first prize at the state fair had a habit of sharing his best corn seed with all the farmers in the neighborhood. When asked why, he said, “It is really a matter of self-interest. The wind picks up the pollen and carries it from field to field. So if my neighbors grow inferior corn, the cross-pollination brings down the quality of my own corn. That is why I am concerned that they plant only the very best. All Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb

Another Story: The UN-neighborly Request
A farmer requested a Tendai priest to recite sutras (prayers) for his wife, who had died. After the recitation was over the farmer asked: “Do you think my wife will gain merit from this?”
“Not only your wife, but all sentient beings will benefit from the recitation of sutras,” answered the priest.
“If you say all sentient beings will benefit,” said the farmer, “my wife may be very weak and others will take advantage of her, getting the benefit she should have. So please recite sutras just for her.”
The priest explained that it was the desire of a Buddhist to offer blessings and wish merit for every living being.
“That is a fine teaching,” concluded the farmer, “but please make one exception. I have a neighbor who is rough and mean to me. Just exclude him from all those sentient beings.” Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

“Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.” Marshall Field

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

Motivation Mondays: Good Neighbors & Goodwill

You have to, in your own life, get people to want to work with you and want to help you. The organizational chart, in my opinion, means very little. I need my bosses’ goodwill, but I need the goodwill of my subordinates even more. Lloyd Blankfein
Trust is not simply a matter of truthfulness, or even constancy. It is also a matter of amity and goodwill. We trust those who have our best interests at heart, and mistrust those who seem deaf to our concerns. Gary Hamel

What does performing acts of goodwill mean to you? Lloyd Blankfein’s quote above resonated with me deeply because we often see people withhold their goodwill from those who actually need it most. They spend their time kowtowing to their superiors and working to impress those who can forward their personal agendas. Such actions are not true attempts at goodwill but, brown-nosing. While there is nothing wrong with expressing goodwill to those who can help us, if we only focus our attention on them, we are eliminating a vast group of people who stand to benefit from our kindness. Like the story of the Good Samaritan, we should stay open to helping those in need; especially folks who in dire need of help. When our goodwill becomes a form of cronyism, it loses both its meaning and its true impact. Goodwill efforts are helpful acts that uplift others; when we give of our time, skills, and knowledge to help the most destitute, we perform deeds that reverberate beyond our community and touch people who can then do same for others. We live in a world where so many don’t have food to eat or decent infrastructures to support local communities. When we work with organizations that serve those communities directly, we are making a huge difference in the lives of people we don’t even know. Even though our gifts are going to distant communities, the gratitude and grace of our random acts of kindness return to us in other ways. We should perform goodwill acts for their own sake and not for the accolades that might come from them. We should give honestly and not be like the villagers in the story below, who thought they were being smart when they added water to the wine barrel. How do you express your goodwill?

A Story: The Deceptive Villagers
A great festival was to be held in a village and each villager was asked to contribute by pouring a bottle of wine into a giant barrel. One of the villagers had this thought: “If I pour a bottle of water in that giant barrel, no one will notice the difference.” But it didn’t occur to him that everyone else in the village might have the same thought. When the banquet began and the barrel was tapped, what came out was pure water. All Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August and September are:
08/03 – TIME
08/10 – CONTROL
08/17 – PURPOSE
08/24 – FAILURE
08/31 – HOPE


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