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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. Do you really want the world to think that you only speak in monosyllables or that your best response to a post is “Love the quote/pictures/video/this n that?” Do you think “Thanks for sharing!” (which in my opinion is a cavalier way of saying F…. You) is a comment? Please Reconsider. I know YOU took time out of your busy schedule and landed here. I’m rooting for you to say something that will help others understand and respond with clarity to my blog posts. THANK YOU!❤

Hello world!


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: RELAX


“It is nice finding that place where you can just go and relax.” Moises Arias

 Weekly Photo Challenge: RELAX - Our tabby cat understands that command very well!

Weekly Photo Challenge: RELAX – Our tabby cat understands that command very well!

If you want to relax, watch the clouds pass by if you’re laying on the grass, or sit in front of the creek; just doing nothing and having those still moments is what really rejuvenates the body. Miranda Kerr
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert A. Heinlein


For today’s photo challenge on – RELAX –  I decided to follow in the footsteps of the shared photo on the Daily Post page and capture photos of our family cat doing what he loves best … relaxing and sleeping. I take and share photos of the Hudson River and other bodies of water as I do find the sea very relaxing but I wanted to shift directions a bit and perhaps put a smile on your face. The collage above shows a progression of shots of our cat in some of his favorite  resting/relaxation spots; a cardboard box, a rocking chair with his favorite fleece blanket, the edge of the dining table and one of our laundry baskets. The laundry basket shots took a while because initially, he was a bit suspicious when I reached for my camera and he wondered if I would remove him but I didn’t. I took some shots and went about my business. Later in I returned and he was gone to the wind and I took a few more of him curled up and fast asleep… Now isn’t that how we’d love to relax sometime?

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HAIKU: Our Three Top Wishes?


“Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

HAIKU: Our Three Top Wishes? - What we wish for others, we wish for ourselves

HAIKU: Our Three Top Wishes? – What we wish for others, we wish for ourselves

What do I wish for?
To walk freely on this earth?
Live meaningfully

What would you wish for?
To heal the sick and downcast?
Share generously

What should we wish for?
To build bridges to World Peace?
Serve and love deeply

What do I wish for?
What would you wish for our world?
What should we wish for?

Live meaningfully
Love deeply
Share generously

What 3 altruistic things come to mind when you wish for good? For this week’s Discover Challenge on lists in sets of threes, – One, Two, Three!– we are invited to work with lists/ideas that focus our attention on a trio; triumvirate, triad, trinity, troika or threesome. Why Our Three Top Wishes? I added the question mark so each of us can come to the questions from our own hearts. We get to choose how we wish to express this idea and my choice is to look at the altruistic wishes we hold dear to our hearts. Yes, we can wish for whatever we want but, once we do so, we must move our feet and act on them to clarify our goals… That is expected.



“My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.” Aristotle

HAIKU: Our Three Top Wishes? - What we wish for others, we wish for ourselves

HAIKU: Our Three Top Wishes? – What we wish for others, we wish for ourselves

In a perfect world…
An altruistic heart will
wish the blind to see

Help mankind battle…
insidious bad habits
that hurt treasured goals

Turn hearts to wish for …
the end of global conflict
Hate … swept out to sea

What do I wish for?
What would you wish for our world?
What should we wish for?

Live meaningfully
Love deeply
Share generously

What is a Haiku? It is typically a three-line poem, written in a 5/7/5 (17) syllable count style that conveys a succinct message about a topic of choice. It originated in the 13th Century in Japan and while traditionally, the focus has often been on images from nature, today, it is written with various themes in mind. What many enjoy about this poetic form is its emphasis on “simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.“(


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Motivation Mondays: LISTEN


“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetus

Motivation Mondays: LISTEN - Are you a Good Listener?

Motivation Mondays: LISTEN – Are you a Good Listener?

kids story – The Boy Who Finally Listened

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen. Margaret J. Wheatley
The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich
I read, I study, I examine, I listen, I think, and out of all that I try to form an idea into which I put as much common sense as I can. Marquis de Lafayette

Are You a Good Listener? How Well do You Listen to Others or even to Yourself?  Tomorrow is the National Day of Listening so this is a great day to reflect on the topic. From time to time, we’ve all been told to pay attention. While some of us are more adept at listening, some folks simply don’t listen. Why?  For starters, we think four times faster than we talk and the same principle applies  when others are talking. Unless we make a concerted effort to hit the pause button of our inner chatter, focus our attention on the person before us, and respond effectively, it is incredibly hard to hear everything that is said to us. When we are distracted or our thoughts are straddling two worlds, It is even harder to respond without resorting to an automatic, canned response. How often do you find yourself chatting with a friend, family member or colleague and the immediate response to whatever you are sharing is “Yeah, Sure, Got it!?” Did they really hear everything you said? Are they simply responding to that inner reply button that kicks in when we are eager to have our  own thoughts heard; even if it means that we don’t hear with others are saying?  Another fallout of our inattentiveness manifests as people second guessing each other, jumping to conclusions or proffering a response without hearing all the facts. If we wish to be heard, we must become better listeners. It does take practice and a willingness to be present in our conversations.

How Does not Being Heard Make You Feel? Everyone wants to feel validated and heard. Even when people have a disagreement, fences can be mended if both sides feel heard. We can agree to disagree over an issue as long as we have communicated our position clearly and we respect the other person’s right to express their position. Once both sides have presented their position, we may agree that while we respect each others right to an opinion, we are choosing to stand by our own. Our credibility as clear headed, thinking people won’t be challenged, if we take a stand after hearing both sides. Simple, right? Well, not quite… What often happens is that people stop listening the moment they hear an objectionable buzzword or trigger. Once that surfaces, they tune the other party out and the chance at healing or compromise is lost. As parents/teachers/bosses, we ought to make an effort to hear what our kids/students/staff are saying to us and honor their POV sometimes; even if we feel our position is stronger. Why? Because we build trust by supporting the effort others are making and, by encouraging them to explore their position, we open the door to building greater transparency, dialogue and trust. Until we hear others fully with all our heart, we can’t expect the same. It takes reciprocity to listen and be heard.


A Story: How Well Do You Listen? Source Unknown
The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.” Source Unknown.


A Story: Listening = Obeying – Zen Stories via
The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras not indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners. His large audience angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to have a debate with Bankei. “Hey, Zen teacher!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?” “Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei. Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher. Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side.” The priest obeyed. “No,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.” The priest proudly stepped over to the right. “You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

Motivation Mondays: LISTEN - Are you a Good Listener?

Motivation Mondays: LISTEN – Are you a Good Listener?

There is only one rule for being a good talker – learn to listen. Christopher Morley
Know or listen to those who know. Baltasar Gracian
To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well. John Marshall
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. Franz Kafka

Do People Accuse You of Being a Poor Listener?  At different points in our lives, we might fall into a pattern of tuning out everything around us because we are focused on a personal challenge or the demands of a pressing assignment. In times like that, we might be easily distracted from what others say to us or simply find that we are unable to deal with much chatter because we are trying to solve the issues before us. It is very important to be aware of the tendency and set aside time to hear others and, perhaps, share with those we trust that we are having a hard time.

When are You least Effective As a Listener? I know that when my spirit is troubled or when I have a deadline to meet, I’m not at my best as a listener. In times like that, pretending to listen to others is the worst thing to do because people can easily pick up on our inattentiveness. When we switch out of a conversation/interview or counseling moment people feel a vacuum in the exchange. So it is best to be honest and clear the air by intentionally setting aside whatever is weighing us down and be present for the other person. If we find that hard to do, we should articulate it in a clear manner and let the person know it’s not them but whatever issue we are currently struggling with… Even such an admission could open the door to an honest dialogue that benefits everyone… So, when the  going gets tough, listen to Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s advice below and be compassionate with yourself and others in your life.


Listen! by Ella Wheeler Wilcox via FamousPoetsandPoems
Whoever you are as you read this,
Whatever your trouble or grief,
I want you to know and to heed this:
The day draweth near with relief.

No sorrow, no woe is unending,
Though heaven seems voiceless and dumb;
So sure as your cry is ascending,
So surely an answer will come.

Whatever temptation is near you,
Whose eyes on this simple verse fall;
Remember good angels will hear you
And help you to stand, if you call.

Though stunned with despair I beseech you,
Whatever your losses, your need,
Believe, when these printed words reach you,
Believe you were born to succeed.

You are stronger, I tell you, this minute,
Than any unfortunate fate!
And the coveted prize – you can win it;
While life lasts ’tis never too late!


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for October and November 2016 are:

10/03 –  2-4 Rosh Hashana,  6 German-American Day,
10/10 –  10  Columbus Day, World Mental Health Day, 11 International Day of the Girl,  12 Yom Kippur
10/17 –   16 World Food Day / FAO World Food Day
10/24 –  24 United Nations Day,  28 National Chocolate Day, 29 National Cat Day, 30 Diwali
10/31 —  31 Halloween

11/01/6 –   01 All Saints Day/Day of the Dead,  02 All Soul’s Day, o3, Culture Day, 05 Guy Fawkes Day
11/07   –  07 Chocolate + Almonds Day, 11 Martinmas/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day/Armistice Day, 13 World Kindness Day
11/14 – 14 Full Moon, 15 Republic Day, 16 Day of Repentance 20, National Black Consciousness Day/Revolution Day
11/21 –   21 World Hello Day, 23 National Cashew Day, 24 Thanksgiving Day
11/28  –   29 New Moon/E-Greetings Day/National Day of Listening

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

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


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab



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