Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!
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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?
“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” Francis Bacon
For this challenge on – Shine – I’m going for a combination of natural shine to manufactured shine… It’s all in the light. I love how Bacon mentions that you need the presence of darkness to fully appreciate the power of light. That is true as we see the brightness in stronger relief when there is dark around it… The main photo highlights John Legend at a concert. I love the way it bathes him in brightness.
“I rise to taste the dawn, and find that love alone will shine today.” Ken Wilber
The center photo in this shot is of the setting sun over the Hudson River. I love the way the sun shines on the water, giving it a calm and peaceful glow… We all could use more of this peaceful glow of shine in our world.
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“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” A. A. Milne
For this mixed media exercise, I decided to frame poetry within pictures that speak to the message of each piece. I love using photos with my posts but, I rarely add my haiku or poems to make a picture pop. I am always inspired by nature and all that it offers us. As I looked at the pictures, they inspired something within.
Just to clarify again, as I’ve read some comments, I wanted to mention that what you see in the pictures are poems/haiku I wrote based on the inspiration I felt for each picture. They are not quotes from another source but my own poetry. Hope that helps. Thank you!
With my poem – At Sunrise, what came to mind was the feeling we get at the beginning of the day… we are often filled with hope and promise. I’m glad I decided to give this a try, there is room for all of us to learn new things. What does this piece say to you?
“We never taste a perfect joy; our happiest successes are mixed with sadness.” Pierre Corneille
With my At Sunset poem and photo, I was more inclined to consider the sensations we feel when things go awry or we see the sun set on a hope or dream. Instead of getting stuck or mired in the setback, I felt inclined to nudge us to remember that we do have options even when things don’t go our way… Who is without foes? Ha! Gather those who cherish you and dance the dance of life… under the stars and moon. Why not?
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“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” Charles Dickens
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny. Mahatma Gandhi
Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. Aristotle
What Are Habits? When you think of habits, what comes to mind? Habits are patterns of thought and behavior we adopt and repeat over and over again in both a conscious and subconscious way. We all have our share of habits, good and bad, that feed our spirit and fuel our minds and bodies on a daily basis. If, like me, you are in the habit of waking up early to the sound of birds chirping in the trees or to 3 alarm clocks going off one after the other, you’ll understand. Habits are part of our make-up and we are motivated to keep them going at almost any cost. When I started researching for this post, I was reminded of some of the stories and tips I’ve heard over the years. Depending on the source, bad/good habits can be formed in 3/21/30 days and changed in 21/30 days … or even longer! It has always struck me as a fascinating subject because habits are pretty easy to pick up and quite hard to rid ourselves of; especially the bad ones. Whether we wish to admit to it or not, part of our human make up is based on our exposure to others, our desire to follow patterns of behavior that we stick to, and our ties to socioeconomic influences that include cultural norms we cultivate in our homes and communities. So, for example, if we surround ourselves with folks who enjoy Y, then the tendency to join in is greater. On the other hand, we can make a decision to go against the grain to try an approach that works for us and that could lead us down another path for good or worse.
Habits Begin in Our Mind: As I read many of the articles I’ve shared on this post, one thing became crystal clear, our habits begin in our mind and with our thoughts and behaviors. If we are to adopt new and better habits and abandon old, bad habits, the work must begin in our minds; the mind is a very powerful part of our being and it has tremendous sway over our choices and decisions so before we can even embark on a new path to exchanging bad habits for good ones, we must start with our inner dialogue and make friends with it. Of the many articles I perused for this post, I must add that enjoyed all the tips and insights they shared, Reader’s Digest offered a fabulous 12 Step approach; Acknowledge, Isolate, Pair, Want, Rebel, Honor Yourself, Plan, Act, Replace, Enlist Reward, and Forgive. What I love about this is that the first step is to acknowledge the habit and the final step is to forgive ourselves and others we might want to blame. If we are to heal our old habits and move forward, we must start from a place of honesty and introspection, and move from there to actively work at changing.
A Story: Make Friends With Your Mind
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.
“We monks don’t do near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?” Source: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
READ: The Habit Change Workbook: How To Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones by James Claiborn & Cherry Pedrick R.N.
Reader’s Digest – How to Break a Habit in 12 Steps
HuffPost – 5 Unexpected Ways To Break A Bad Habit
WebMD – 3 Easy Steps to Breaking Bad Habits: by Denice Mann
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” Samuel Johnson
CHANGE HABITS: Breaking Bad Behaviors by Owen Fitzpatrick
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw – Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Some rules are nothing but old habits that people are afraid to change. Therese Anne Fowler
Some years ago, I attended a conference in which Mr. Covey spoke about his popular book and the main takeaway was that we can change our negative habits to more successful one with commitment and effort. Often people chicken out when they drop the ball after sticking to a program for a little bit. As Covey suggested in his book above, we need to be proactive in shifting directions and putting our most cherished thoughts and plans first. We need to remind ourselves that this is part of the struggle to find our footing and it’s perfectly normal to fall down, misstep or fall off the path. The key to succeeding at ending a bad habit and adopting a new one is that we MUST get up and use the strategies offered by the writers in the curated articles. Whether we choose to go cold turkey and quit a bad habit, or solicit the support of a professional and concerned friends to see us through a much needed change, we have to start with our self talk, be ready to face the truth, stay true to who we are and work on the forgiveness part of our plan. Once we get our new habit underway, we need to remove the temptations/triggers that led us astray and replace them with healthier options. It is tougher to quit bad habits if we stay in the same situation, respond to the same triggers, or surround ourselves with the same temptations.
How can we stay motivated with new habits? For starters, we need to clarify why it is critical for us to change. We need to explore options that make sense for us and … the point here is that there isn’t a common cure all for everyone. We need to keep our eyes focused on our expected outcomes and the prize/reward we will receive for it. An important part of our strategy must include sharpening our saw by reaching for resources and strategies that will help us stay on course. When I quit smoking many years ago, I used NLP self-hypnosis to drop the habit and it worked for me permanently. I made sure to get rid of everything that reminded me of the habit and stayed away from the places and things that were a trigger; at least, until I felt deep down that the habit was buried. We can try a wide range of strategies but, for any of them to work, we must be ready to go for it. It must start with our thoughts and behavior… that is imperative.
A Story: Seek To Understand, To Be Understood
Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”
“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.”
A Story: Old Habits Die Hard…
When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.
READ: Lifehacker – Top 10 Ways to Break Bad Habits by Melanie Pinola
WikiHow – How to Form a Good Habit
Washington Post – How to build good habits – and actually make them stick By Brigid Schulte
LifeHack – 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick by Scott H Young
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August and September 2016 are:
09/05 – Labor Day, International Day of Charity, 8 International Literacy Day,
09/12 – 15 Day of Democracy Day, 17 Constitution Day
09/19 – 21 International Day of Peace/ World Peace Day, World Rhino Day
09/26 – National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness
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
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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