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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Hello world!


“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl

Hello world: Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

Hello world: Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!


Respite Reminder: I'm Taking My Own Advice. Will Check in occasionally. Back in August!

Respite Reminder: I’m Taking My Own Advice. Will Check in Occasionally. Back in August!

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.

I started this blog 10+ years ago, as a way to help agents/staff at the company I worked for stay motivated. After the market crashed and downsized, I decided to keep it going. The main goal was to encourage myself and others to keep moving forward. It has been a long and rewarding journey.

Over the years, I have learned a lot about blogging, its many positives, and pitfalls, and how important it is to stay focused on our own Why or raison d’être.  We can choose to focus on one of the fundamental rules of blogging which is to make connections with others by adding value through our message/content, comments, and social interactions. We can also choose to turn our attention elsewhere. It is entirely up to us. One thing I know for sure is that if your heart is invested in what you blog about, you will stay the course. Remember to stay true to who you are and why you blog. It can’t just be about monetization. Add value. Help others. Stay encouraged.

Another thing I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected; I know that 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.

 How do we stay mirthful and motivated?
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Motivation Mondays: Thoughts & Tips on #COVID-19


“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for rationality, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. Nido Qubein
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Thoughts and Tips on Covid-19 – Some Background: In the fall of 2019, a mysterious and serious illness surfaced in Wuhan, China. Researchers soon identified it as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with devastating outcomes in the region. Lives were lost as acute respiratory and organ failure were markers of the disease. By February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) renamed the novel Coronavirus to Covid-19 and, as it spread across the globe, called it a pandemic. Today, according to WHO, there are 202 affected countries, 638k cases, and 30k deaths. In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) numbers are equally sobering with 122k affected cases and 2k deaths… and rising.
My state, New York, is now a major epicenter of the spread in the US and we are doing our best to contain it and follow the safety directives and orders from our very able Governor, Andrew Cuomo. The last two weeks have been a harrowing lesson in how lives can change in a matter of days. The impact on the economy and daily life as we know it is huge. The physical and mental concerns grow every day. Some form of paranoia is gripping our communities as we look at each other wondering: Does he/she have it? Is that itch in my throat/eye a sign? Am I next? Are you next? These are honest concerns and the harsh reality is that we need to be supremely careful and do our darndest to stay healthy. We need to find outlets to help us stay positive, we need to stay accurately informed, and we need to act in ways that keep us and others safe.  We now have a slew of vocabulary words that have become ubiquitous; social distancing, pandemic, novel corona, epicenter, panic buying/hoarding, self-isolation, quarantine, shelter-in-place, containment, lockdown, triage, front liners, non-essential services, toilet paper tyrants, virus vampires, and more…

Covid-19 in My Community: When the news first came out about a case in New Rochelle, Westchester County, I suspect most of us who live in Westchester County felt that it would be contained there and not spread to the rest of the county. But it did. It spread to all of our neighboring counties and, as the numbers and casualties increased, the casual approach many had adopted was quickly replaced by one of grave concern.  I live in Westchester County and, for a few weeks, we went about our business as usual; going to work, shopping, taking gym classes, going to the movies, and gathering for all sorts of events.  As the numbers grew and our Governor started implementing stricter guidelines, panic set in. Soon, our schools shut down, non-essential businesses were told to close, people started rushing to stores to stock up on essentials and the hoarders were in full swing grabbing multiples of everything off the shelves. Hand sanitizers, toilet paper, and paper towels were the first to fly off the shelves and disappear.
I remember going to Bed, Bath and Beyond, before the panic buying set in, to pick up towels one day and I saw a huge vat of sanitizers upstairs. Within a couple of days, they were all GONE and things haven’t changed much since. Initially, I went out shopping, as usual, picking up extra items for my home. The lines were so long at Costco that I simply stopped going there because it occurred to me that standing in a long line for 45 minutes was not safe; social distancing wasn’t the norm yet.  Instead, I went to my local Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s,  Stop and Shop, and Whole Foods either very early or late. As time went by, I stopped going to places with any large gathering of people, including the stores.  Maybe because this is the suburbs, it is a bit easier to self-isolate. We drive to everything and our private spaces are not as confined as New York City. That said, we still feel the impact and the loss of life and freedoms. It’s a very surreal experience. This is a time of great anxiety but, don’t forget that there are tons of resources out there. Throughout my post, I’ve added some that I’ve turned to and there is more. Have faith and do not despair. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as this pandemic is forcing us all to go within for answers and to spend time indoors refocused on a new way of being. What are you doing differently? How are you coping?
CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
Anxiety Relief Workshop | Gabby Bernstein
Motivation Mondays: FEAR #mondaymotivation

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Khalil Gibran

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

Motivation 2020: Thoughts & Tips on #Covid19

COVID-19: Johns Hopkins University Experts Discuss Pandemic Response, Social Distancing, and More

Coronavirus – seven steps to prevent the spread of the virus

We are only at the beginning of this fight, we need to stay calm, stay united, and work together. Gam Kim Yong
Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it. Judy Blume

What Can We Do To Stay Sane/Positive?: How are you doing today? What are you doing to stay healthy and mentally strong? For starters, stay accurately informed through the CDC and WHO.  Another important action to take is to cut back on excessive media consumption. There is so much negative and fake news circulating that it can become quite overwhelming. Go to the two health sites mentioned above, maybe add your local news channel and a couple of reputable newspapers and magazines and ignore the rest. Respect the directives of your government. Listen to what your state/national leaders share daily and follow the instructions.
Nourish your body and mind with good, positive, healing foods. In the mad rush to stock up, people have been loading up on snacks and processed foods. Remember that fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, and healthy proteins will support the immune system and help us stay well. Buy them too! Eat healthy meals, Vitamin C, fluids, replenish fresh foods, and maintain a meal routine to avoid panic or stress binging. Exercise Safely. I take long daily nature walks with an audible book in tow. I come home refreshed and inspired. Stay fit by taking quiet nature walks, running outside away from crowds, doing yoga and other exercises at home. Play uplifting music you love and dance away. All of those actions will bring a positive flow of energy to your space.   Stay connected to your support system. Communicate with loved ones. Social distancing doesn’t mean total isolation so check-in, by phone and safe ways, with loved ones and other supportive communities.

What More? Gratitude. Learn a skill. Manage Finances: Go within/Pray and be grateful to our front liners/ first responders. We are all going through this together and reconnecting to a life of spirit and prayer is key to staying calm in this storm. Gratitude is equally important as we can’t thank our first responders and front liners enough for their bravery. We can’t thank our essential service providers enough; hospitals, law enforcement, groceries, banks, mail, gas, food, and med delivery staff, and so many others out there risking their lives to help us survive. We can do our part by not endangering their lives by careless socializing and germ spreading. Pray. Meditate. Reflect. Daily prayer and chants/meditation sustain me and I go to YouTube to listen to more. Read your spiritual texts and delve deep into the word of God. Play uplifting hymns, songs, bhajans, and relax with the sounds as music is both healing and uplifting.
Read and/or try Audible (books on tape) This is a great time to catch up on your reading, writing, and overall learning. It is a unique time to work on brushing up on new skills. Develop your Creative outlets by doing some form of artistic expression now that you have the time to sit and do it. Try cooking/baking,  redecorating your space by moving things around and clean up areas that need attention. Volunteer: Reach out safely to help those in need in your community and/or contribute whenever you can. You can even participate in a virtual volunteer program. Send well wishes out to everyone in our global communities as we are in this pandemic together. No community is truly immune. So many of us independent contractors have lost income so, it is imperative to be careful with our money. Manage your cash carefully and avoid endless online/instore shopping expeditions. Hoarding deprives others of necessary items. More will be available. Trust. Faith. Believe.
Volunteer New York: Virtual Volunteer Center
Psalm 91: Bible Verses for Sleep with Relaxing Music | Let Go & Be Still with Angels To Protect You
Virtual Satsang by/with Swami Shubamritananda Puri
On Facebook Support w/ Joel Osteen Ministries


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for FEB – MAR 2020 are:

02/01 – 01 World Read Aloud Day
02/02 – 02 Ground Hog Day, 04 World Cancer Day, 06 Zero Tolerance for FGM, 07 National Wear Red Day
02/09 – 09 Academy Awards, 11 Women and Girls in Science Day, 13 Galentine’s Day, 14 Valentine’s Day
02/16 – 17 Presidents Day, 18 Drink Wine Day, 20 World Day of Social Justice
02/23 – 25 Mardi Gras, 26 Ash Wednesday


03/01 – 01 Zero Discrimination Day
03/08 – 08 International Women’s Day, 13 World Sleep Day, 14 Pi Day
03/15 – 15 Consumer Rights Day, 17 St Patrick’s Day, 19 Start of Spring, 20 International Day of Happiness, 21 World Poetry Day
03/22 – 22 World Water Day, 25 Day of Remembrance of Slavery, 28 Earth Hour
03/29 – 29 Veterans Day


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2019?


MORE BELOW Read more…

Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #GenerationEquality #EachforEqual


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

Motivation Mondays: International Women's Day #GenerationEquality #EachforEqual

Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #GenerationEquality #EachforEqual

UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS: International Women’s Day 2020 – United Nations Observance

Where there is a woman, there is magic. Ntozake Shange
The Generation Equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve. UNWomen
A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves. Gloria Steinem
True equality means holding everyone accountable in the same way, regardless of race, gender, faith, ethnicity – or political ideology. Monica Crowley
Give voice to what you know to be true, and do not be afraid of being disliked or exiled. I think that’s the hard work of standing up for what you see. Eve Ensler
It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent. Madeleine Albright

Women’s History Month: Today is International Women’s Day and the themes for this year are “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” (UNW) and “An equal world is an enabled world #EachforEqual”(IWD)  The first National Women’s Day was held in 1908-9 in New York City. It has grown from that first inspired outing, by a group of women who wanted our voices and needs to be heard, into a global event celebrated by women and girls around the world.  UNWomen has always been a dedicated champion of the event and, since 1996, it has created themes to help us focus on key issues of paramount and international concern for our gender. The UN themes from 1996 to date are below. Do any of the topics or issues resonate with you or women you know? Do you even care about the subject? Why/Whynot? Over the years, these topics have had an impact on the lives of millions of women and some have had a direct impact on my life as well. By bringing these issues to the forefront, it has enabled UNWomen, NGOs, and government agencies to review their policies and make necessary changes. While some of the 193 member states of the UN might not have effective policies that support equality, many continue to create opportunities for gender equity and change.

UNWomen International Women’s Day Themes:

1996 Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
1997 Women and the Peace Table
1998 Women and Human Rights
1999 World Free of Violence Against Women
2000 Women Uniting for Peace
2001 Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2002 Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2003 Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2004 Women and HIV/AIDS
2005 Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future
2006 Women in Decision-making
2007 Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls
2008 Investing in Women and Girls
2009 Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls
2010 Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All
2011 Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women
2012 Empower Rural Women, End Poverty, and Hunger
2013 A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
2014 Equality for Women is Progress for All
2015 Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!
2016 Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality
2017 Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030
2018 Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives
2019 Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change
2020 I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights

Applying the Principles of Generation Equality and Each for Equal: In case you are wondering how to apply the principles of each theme to your life and within your community, I have some helpful tips to share. The IWD Each for Equal theme/campaign has suggested that we Use the hashtag #eachforequal to remind everyone that we are part of the solution to building a gender-equal world. It requires that we remember “Collective Individualism‘ as making individual changes for the collective, Strike the #EachforEqual pose to motivate others, Engage in a year-long activity and collaboration with others, Take collective action and shared responsibility for change, Amplify via social media, and Take decisive action to bring about gender equality dialogue and change wherever we are. It takes individual action to build and grow a collective.

The UNW Generation Equality theme/campaign offers 12 tips to help lay and sustain a foundation of gender equality in our communities and households. These simple everyday actions can bring about great progress; Share the care in your home by sharing chores and shifting ideas about gender-specific roles, Call out sexism and harassment without fear of recrimination, Reject the binary – It’s humankind. Not mankind, Demand an equal work culture, Exercise your political rights, Shop responsibly and pick eco-friendly products from socially responsible companies, Amplify feminist books, movies and more, Teach girls that they are worthy by not reinforcing gender stereotypes, Challenge what it means to “be a man” by seeing the whole person, not the stereotype, Commit to a cause and donate time/money, Challenge beauty standards that perpetuate unrealistic visions of femininity and, above all, Respect the choices of others.

READ:- Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day – #IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter #InnovateForChange
Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #TimeisNow
Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange
Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #IWD2016
Across Women’s Lives: Major Issues Facing Females Globally
Motivation Mondays: Women’s History Month

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Motivation 2020: Heart to Heart


“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.” Henry Miller

Motivation 2020: Heart to Heart

Motivation 2020: Heart to Heart

History of the Holidays: History of Valentines Day | History

Swae Lee – Won’t Be Late ft. Drake (Lyric Video)


VALENTINE’S DAY: Happy Valentine’s Day! What do you know about Valentine’s Day? One thing I love about  February is that it pulls together several subjects that are dear to so many hearts. It’s Heart Health Month, Black History Month, Lovers Month and, also, Presidents Day falls on the same month reminding us that democracy and freedom of the press are paramount to the survival of global peace. On February 14th, in many countries around the world, lovers give each other gifts, cards and delicious treats in celebration of the love they share. According to historical sources, this popular love-fest is held in remembrance of possibly three (3) martyred Saints named Valentine; a priest, a bishop, and a Christian missionary in Africa. In some circles, it is believed that the special day was created by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. Yet, other accounts suggest Valentine’s Day is truly an observance of Lupercalia; an ancient rite of fertility and that any ties to the aforementioned saints are merely coincidental.

Some believe the tradition grew from the days of Claudius I and the sacrifice young men made in leaving for war instead of staying home to raise a family; the celebration honored a wish those left behind had for the safe return of their loved one. The wistful sentiments that arise on this day prevail as lovers return to share a gift or a special moment and memory with their beloved. How you choose to spend this day is entirely up to you. Yes, love ought to be an everyday affair but, take a moment to let your loved ones know you care by giving them an extra bit of attention. Please, don’t forget to indulge yourself a bit too. Self-care and loving others go hand in hand… Enjoy the life you have and LIVE! Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Valentine’s Day! ENJOY THE MUSIC! 😉

A Valentine – Poem by James Russell Lowell
Let others wonder what fair face
Upon their path shall shine,
And, fancying half, half hoping, trace
Some maiden shape of tenderest grace
To be their Valentine.

Let other hearts with tremor sweet
One secret wish enshrine
That Fate may lead their happy feet
Fair Julia in the lane to meet
To be their Valentine.

But I, far happier, am secure;
I know the eyes benign,
The face more beautiful and pure
Than fancy’s fairest portraiture
That mark my Valentine.

More than when first I singled, thee,
This only prayer is mine,-
That, in the years I yet shall see.
As, darling, in the past, thou’ll be
My happy Valentine.
James Russell Lowell via Poemhunter


The Gardener By Mary Oliver
Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses. via thenaturewithinus

READ: Motivation Mondays: Beyond Valentine’s Day
Motivation Mondays: LOVE Is… #HappyValentinesDay
Motivation Mondays: Valentine’s Day Tips
Motivation Mondays: Happy Valentine’s Day

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