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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?
“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.” Georgia O’Keeffe
When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. Georgia O’Keeffe
Life Imitates Art: When I saw this assignment, the first thought that popped into my head was Nature; specifically Flowers and Georgia O’Keeffe. Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an American artist best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes and recognized as the “Mother of American modernism.” I’ve always loved O’Keeffe’s large collection of beautiful artwork she created with flowers; especially Irises, roses, and a wide variety of lilies. A few years ago, when I visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I had a wonderful time walking through the collections, admiring her drawings, and buying postcards/mini-booklets filled with her renditions of lilies, irises and other flowers. It was a memorable experience that has stayed with me; mainly because her keen eye for detail and sense of form and color dazzled all of us who gathered to enjoy her collections. Above, I have gathered nine of her flower drawings and tried to match/imitate them with nine photos of same or similar flowers I took myself. We can imitate without copying and I think the outcome isn’t bad. What do you think?
“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keeffe
The large ‘White Flower’ [she painted in 1929] with the golden heart is something I have to say about White – quite different from what White has been meaning to me. Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know that the flower is painted large to convey to you my experience of the flower – and what is my experience of the flower if it is not color. Georgia O’Keeffe
Something you might not know about the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is that it houses a collection of over 3,000 works of art that includes the works of other artists too. It holds over 1,000 works by O’Keeffe and is considered the “largest repository of her work available to the public in a single institution.” While I focused on her iconic drawings/collection of flowers for this post, her body of work, from 1901 to 1984, included beautiful drawings on a wide range of subjects from bleached desert skulls to nudes, landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes, and abstractions. I would love to go back to Santa Fe again and spend more time at the Museum. It is a treat that will satisfy the artist in you and might even fuel your muse to come up with some new ideas. For now, we can imitate to our heart’s content. Have a Very Happy Valentine’s Day filled with flowers, chocolates and love! <3
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“If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” Stephen Covey
Yoga has both physical and mental benefits when it comes to matters of the heart. It can literally improve the overall health of your heart by reducing stress, lowering your blood pressure, improving respiratory function, heart rate, and circulation. It can also help stretch the chest muscles and open the heart chakra, which can help you cultivate joy, compassion and unconditional love for yourself and those around you. via YogaWorks
Are you ready to open your heart this month? Last month, I joined hundreds of women who signed up to participate in a 14 Day Yoga Challenge through their local YogaWorks Studio. We all joined, not just for our own health, but also in support of American Heart Association’s Rock the Red campaign for Women’s Heart Health. The challenge started on February 1st and will run through Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Every day, we have to attend a yoga class of our choice, read the daily prompts of encouragement, and apply them to our lives and our interactions with others. It has been a transformative process for me as each day brings new ways of seeing and doing the yoga postures, sudden yet subtle shifts in my perspective on things that bother me, and an opening or willingness to not only look within but also to embrace new ways of seeing the world around me.
Yoga Daily Prompts
Day 1: Are you ready to open your heart?
Day 2: Take time for YOU
Day 3: Focus on the positive
Day 4: Spread the love
Day 5: Listen to your heart
Day 6: Connect to nature
Day 7: Halfway there!
How are you doing? Doing this daily practice of yoga has become a great blessing because, each day, I challenge myself to try a new class and to become more attuned to the postures in another class. As some of my closest friends and family know, I’ve had some challenges in the last three years that forced me to adopt a new way of being. An old injury forced me to consider new approaches to healing and has given me tremendous respect and compassion for those who live with constant pain. Taking this 14 day challenge was not an easy decision because, even though I do practice yoga, the commitment meant I would have to push past some of my fears around pain and how the human body handles it. With each passing day, I have found my body and my mind feeling the calm and steadiness that yoga can offer us when done correctly and with love – not competitively.
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“When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.” Confucius
2016 is the year of the monkey; a Yang Fire year. Fire shapes Metal, but can also be a destructive force. Elements of chaos and creation dance together with wild abandon. Scams, delusions and illusions are plentiful, and psychological factors have strong influence. Often it’s not what you see, but how you see it that matters. People born in the year of the monkey are lively, flexible, witty and versatile with strong practical ability. They are good leaders with an insatiable desire for knowledge and amazing creativity. Highly intelligent, they are self-assured, sociable, innovative, good at saving up money, in good physical shape and make good decisions and they are most in good physical conditions.On the flip side, they can be quick-tempered, jealous, impatient and arrogant. via HanBan.com
Kung Hei Fat Choi! Hóunián jíxiáng! Happy New Year! Good luck for this year of the Monkey! Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái. Gōng hè xīn xǐ! Happy celebrations to everyone! How Motivated are you to make this a transformative and bonanza year? Today is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year which will be celebrated for 7-15 days; of the fifteen days of festivities, three are official holidays in China, seven gives people time to perform all the important family related, traditional rituals, and fifteen welcomes the Lantern Festival. In fact, the celebrations actually begin on the eve of the Chinese New Year with the Reunion Dinner. People eat special foods that represent good luck; pigs, ducks, chicken, sweets and fish and Niangao, a Chinese New Year cake. The color Red is an important color in Chinese culture, it symbolizes prosperity and celebrants decorate their doors and windows with red paper-cut outs and positive messages on “wealth,” “happiness” and “good fortune.”
As with every New Year, a zodiac animal is chosen and that animal brings special qualities to the celebrations for the year. This is the year of the Monkey, and this charming, witty, playful animal will add spice, pranks and a delightful intelligence to the year. If you cross the Monkey, arrogance and impatience awaits you. If you are into numerology, you’d know that 8 is a dynamic number for business and personal success so, the New Year and the Monkey will bring us all a bountiful year of great achievement and transformation. This global event and auspicious New Year officially ends on the 27th of January 2017 and on January 28, 2017 another new year will begin with the Rooster as the designated animal.
“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.” Confucius
The Mythology of The Chinese New Year
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年; pinyin: Nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu’s mount. Chinese New Year Wikipedia
At the start of any auspicious season, we have an opportunity to look within and reinvent ourselves with a renewed vigor to make better, wiser choices. The Chinese zodiac shows this as a Yang Fire monkey year. A Monkey year adds wit and intelligence to the mix and if we can stay humble, we will see gains that will help us stay motivated for the rest of the year. For many who celebrate the Chinese New Year around the world, it is the most important celebration to start off a year of great effort, good actions, and wisdom to help us earn great good fortune.
The Monkey brings positive, negative and health related traits to us during this Lunar Year. It offers lucky qualities in the form of: Numbers: 1,8,9; Colors: white, gold, blue; Flowers: chrysanthemum, alliums; Directions: north, northwest, west; Days: the 14th and 28th; Months: the 8th and 12th, and unlucky traits too. The following Colors: red, pink; Numbers: 2 and 7; directions: south, southeast; Months: the 7th and 11th Chinese lunar months augur unpleasant interactions for any who fall under the monkey spell. In addition to honoring the lucky qualities of the designated animal for each year, people look for popular and auspicious blessings/sayings to share with friends and family during the festivities of this beloved tradition. Fu Xing, Lu Star, and Shou are key parts of Chinese folklore and represent the God of Happiness and Good Luck, the God of prosperity, and the God of Longevity; they combine their forces to bring great luck: 福禄寿 Happiness, Prosperity, and Longevity.
A Story: Come Back For Some Later! <3
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for January 2016 and February 2016 are:
01/04 – ANEW –
01/11 – POSSESSIONS –
01/18 – MLK DAY –
01/25 – Opposite Day, Yin and Yang
Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?
– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.</strong
— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab
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