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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

Before you leave a comment, STOP, consider this: Our comments are part of our digital footprint on the internet. They tell the world how we think and respond to information. I know YOU took time out of your busy schedule and landed here. I’m rooting for you to say something inspiring that will help others who read my posts. THANK YOU! ❤

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: 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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Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

26/05/2017

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

 

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy. Thich Nhat Hanh

What delightful dish do you enjoy making in the summer? With Summer almost upon us, it is time to create light and tasty dishes that celebrate all that summer has to offer us; flowers, fruits, vegetables, and an array of colorful dishes we can eat warm or cold. This Pasta dish idea came to me when I found some fantastic 5 color/flavor Cavatappi pasta at my local store. The colors danced before my eyes reminding me of all I love to see in the summertime. The colors were natural too: red from beets, yellow from Turmeric, green from Spinach, orange from Tomato and beige from Semolina. As I ventured into another local store, I found some terrific French Lavender dried flowers from World Market and a range of my favorite Basil Infused Olive Oil and, with those ingredients, I knew a dish was at hand. Kick back and enjoy this very simple and easy to make recipe.

Do you know what the best part is? Not only does this taste good but, the aroma of lavender and fresh veggies wafting through the kitchen will make you want to create this dish again and again. Plus, you can make it with any type of pasta and even with leftover pasta and any combination of your sautéed veggies. Mangia!

 

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.” Jonathan Safran Foer

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

Food Files: Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil

Pasta Primavera w/ Lavender & Basil
Ingredients
1/2 Ib bag of 5 Color Cavatappi Pasta (or any Pasta of your choice)
Any mix of julienned, cubed, sliced and diced vegetables of your choice
My Mix – Carrots, Mushrooms, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli florets, Snap Peas, Baby Corn and sweet Red Peppers.
1-2 Tbsp Tuscan Basil Infused Olive oil.
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper (This is hot so it’s optional)
1 tsp French Lavender dried flower seasoning
1/2 tsp Basil seasoning
1/4 – 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
Cook the Pasta until it is al dente in a pot of 5 cups of boiling hot water. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. In a heated medium to large sized Wok or frying pan, add the oil, fresh garlic and ginger, seasonings and salt, and stir quickly for about 15 -30 seconds. Add the mixed vegetables and sauté for about 2-3 minutes making sure all the ingredients are evenly coated with the seasonings. Stir in half the Pasta and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, adding more to the wok as needed. Once the pasta and veggies are hot and cooked through, remove the wok/pan from the heat. You may sprinkle a pinch or two of more Lavender flowers atop each dish before serving it. Serve hot as a side dish or as a main dish with a protein of your choosing. This is a quick and easy dish to prepare. Plus, you have the added bonus of a delicious, healthy dish that you can make with any combination of vegetables. Buon appetito! Prep time 10-15 minutes. Ready to eat in 30 minutes.

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Photo Challenge: EVANESCENT

24/05/2017

“Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.” Samuel Butler

Photo Challenge: EVANESCENT - The Shortlived Widow's Tears Flowers

Photo Challenge: EVANESCENT – The Short-lived Widow’s Tears Flowers

Men are more evanescent than pictures, yet one sorrows for lost friends, and pictures are my friends. I have none others. I am never long enough with men to attach myself to them; and whatever feelings of attachment I have are to material things. John Ruskin

When I saw the theme for today’s photo challenge – EVANESCENT – the first thing that came to mind was the beautiful purplish blue Widow’s Tears flowers I have growing in the front of my garden and propagating on the stone walkway.  They are variously known as Widow’s Tears/Commelina and/or Spiderworts/Tradescantia, and what distinguishes them from many of the floras we enjoy in our garden is their vanishing, short-lived quality. Like Morning Glory, they bloom brightly in the morning light, displaying their beautiful three petals and grass-like, long spindly leaves fully open. At the center of each colorful bloom is a stamen with yellow pollen tips tilting slightly like spider legs. As the day progresses, they start to wilt and by midday, their short and pretty lifespan ends, leaving behind shriveled petals and hundreds of dangling buds that will bloom the next day. Like the cycle of life all living things go through, these and other ephemeral plants live theirs briefly … reminding us to enjoy the evanescence of each moment.

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Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

22/05/2017

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Having good health, being able to breathe and be happy, that’s one of the most beautiful gifts. On top of that, I have the gift to play music and make people happy through that. I’m just telling you from my heart, I’m so in love with life. Roy Ayers
When you don’t feel healthy, stop the excuses and do something. Just go outside, walk, breathe. Life’s too short to fall into a rut. You are in charge of you – treat yourself well, and it’ll show. Jessica Stroup

Breathe! How often do you find yourself holding your breath? Why do you do that? I often wonder if it is instinctual or intentional because inhaling and exhaling deeply is called the breath of life for good reason. When we hold our breath in fear, anger or anxiety, we constrict our minds and bodies and that constriction suppresses the life force that fuels our creativity and clarity on this planet. Everything we do in life begins and ends with breath. We take our first breath at birth and our last gasp at death. When we are preparing to give birth, we learn about Lamaze or other breathing techniques to help ease the labor and delivery of our babies. When we prepare to give a speech or presentation, we turn to the Genard Method or a multitude of techniques that can help us deliver our message successfully. Yet, most of us take this precious and powerful part of our existence for granted.  If we take the time to pay attention to our breath, and learn a few simple deep breathing exercises to help us rejuvenate, restore and relax, we will see the benefits pretty quickly.

In yoga, deep breathing is an essential part of  the practice and is called Pranayama; a Sanskrit word. Prana means life force and ayama means extending or lengthening our breath. The very act of consciously working in concert with our breathing can help regulate our body and reduce stress.  Taking conscious, deep, steadying breaths will fill our lungs with not just precious air but can help us to collect and calm our thoughts. Most of us don’t realize that deep breathing is a conscious act. We breathe in a very shallow way and that isn’t enough to truly rejuvenate our bodies. When I first started taking yoga classes, eons ago, I learned a number of Pranayama/breathing techniques that seemed odd at the time yet, they were very powerful in helping me heal my body and steady my mind. Bhastrika or bellow breath was one, Bhramari or bee breath was another, Kapal Bhati was a third, and then there was the Nadi Shodhan breathing which was a bit more involved than the others. But, the best part is that they all rejuvenate the body and mind and can have an enormous calming effect that will leave us feeling balanced and well rested. That is why in any yoga class, breathing is practiced to help with deepening the postures and getting ready for meditation.
READ: NPR – Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever
A Story: The Power of Breath
The old master was meditating by the riverbank when a young student interrupted him. “Master, I wish to become your student,” said the man.
“Why?” asked the master.
The student thought for a moment. “Because I desire enlightenment.”
The old master leapt to his feet and grabbed the student’s robe. In a flash, the master plunged the student’s head into the river, waiting a full minute before throwing him, kicking and gasping, onto the riverbank.
“Now, tell me, what did you desire most when you were underwater?” he asked.
“Air!” gasped the student.
“Very well.” said the master. “Come back and see me when you want enlightenment as bad as you wanted air.”

 

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Motivation Mondays: BREATHE

Thus one memory follows another until the waves dash together over our heads, and a deep sigh swells the breast, which warns us that we have forgotten to breathe in the midst of these pure thoughts. Max Muller
When you get into your car, shut the door and be there for just half a minute. Breathe, feel the energy inside your body, look around at the sky, the trees. The mind might tell you, ‘I don’t have time.’ But that’s the mind talking to you. Even the busiest person has time for 30 seconds of space. Eckhart Tolle

 

What can we do to experience the benefits of breathing fully and deeply? For starters, BREATHE! Taking a few deep breaths and modulating our breathing pattern can help us pull ourselves together;  STOP TALKING: One of the hardest things to do when we are feeling stressed is to stop talking a mile a minute about every possible minutiae that gets us feeling even more twisted;  STEP OUTSIDE: If you cannot do so, imagine yourself out of that space, and in a more open, welcoming, light filled space; Consider what you need to GAIN CLARITY;  Remind yourself to BELIEVE there is a solution for whatever is stressing you out;  If possible, DELEGATE, delegate, delegate the task to someone more able; Finally, BE SILENT for a while: We often forget the power of silence to help us regain control in stressful situations. Not only is silence a powerful tool that helps us pull ourselves and our thoughts together, it gives us enough space to relax and re-center, and with that comes greater clarity.

Now, go back to Step 1 – BREATHE! Often, we forget that one of the fastest ways to de-stress is to focus on our breath and slow down. Before you rush off to conquer the world, take a moment to pull yourself together by practicing some simple breathing exercises. You can take long, deep breaths standing up or seated comfortably. Un-clench your fists, close your eyes, and imagine a peaceful setting with beautiful lighting and a flowing stream. Stay there a little while and breathe…
READ: One Man’s Story: The Power of Transformational Breath by Robin Denman

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for March/April 2017 are:

 

APRIL

04/03 –    6 International Day of Sport, 7 World Health Day
04/10 –    9 Palm Sunday, 11 Start of Passover, 14 Good Friday
04/17 –    16 Easter,  22 Earth Day,
04/24 –    24 Remembrance Day

MAY

05/01  – May Day, World Lyme Day, 02 National Teacher Day, 03 World Press Freedom, 04 National Day of Prayer,
05 Cinco De Mayo, 06 Kentucky Derby
05/14 –  14 Mothers Day, 20 Armed Forces Day
05/21 –  22 International Biological Diversity, 24 National Brother Day, 25 Ascension, 27 Ramadan starts
05/28 – 29 Memorial Day, 31 World No Tobacco Day

 

 

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

post-a-week-2017-md
– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

BHWritingLab_052016_post_PROMPT1A

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

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