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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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Motivation Mondays: LOYALTY

16/10/2017

“The foundation stones for balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” Zig Ziglar

Motivation Mondays: LOYALTY

Motivation Mondays: LOYALTY

What does LOYALTY mean to you? When I was a child, I looked to my parents and my extended family for succor. Because they were there for me on a regular basis, I knew, implicitly, that all my needs were going to be met. Every day, without fail, I was cared for, fed, clothed, provided with shelter, and sent to school to broaden my mind and learn new things. The trust I held for my family and this included my siblings, uncles and aunts, was built on a foundation of actions that were consistent and loyal. So when we talk about the development of loyalty between family, friends, co-workers and all sorts of associations we build in our lifetime, we must remember that loyalty is never achieved overnight. It is neither feigned nor forced.

When seemingly solid relationships break down, it is often because of indiscretions, a betrayal of trust or a loss of loyalty and affection for each other. If we are to make our relationships successful, we have to be open to the warts and all world of human interaction and stay in communication with each other. Even siblings quibble over slights and what often holds the family bond together is the realization that the relationship has a shared history and that history holds many memories of trust, discretion and love; we turn back to those memories and work at rebuilding or family ties. SO, if you are motivated to rebuild/build relationships that matter, you must start from a foundation of consistent loyalty, true friendship and lasting trust. It is not an overnight affair. It takes time and holds tremendous value.

A Story: BigMouth Fox by Pedro Pablo Sacristán
Penguin, Reindeer and Fox were great friends. One day, Penguin and Reindeer found a load of fruit, and decided to keep it a secret. On the way, they met Fox, who seeing them so happy, asked them why. They told him they couldn’t say, because it was a secret, but Fox asked them to trust him, so they told him about the fruit.
When they arrived at the village, Fox forgot about his promise, and told everyone. When Penguin and Reindeer returned to the place where they had found the fruit, the animals of the village had already been there and eaten it all.
That same day, Penguin and Reindeer found another place full of food, and the same thing happened again with Fox. Angered by these betrayals, they decided to teach Fox a lesson. The next day they told Fox that they had found a lake so full of fish that no effort was needed to catch them. Fox again told everyone in the village about this. The next day, Fox came by, covered in cuts and bruises. After telling all the animals about the lake full of fish, everyone, including even the polar bears, had gone there. But, not finding anything, they felt deceived, and had given Fox a good beating.
Fox learned that keeping people’s trust is very important, and that to get it in the first place you have to earn it with loyalty and always keeping your word.
Penguin and Reindeer devised another trick for Fox but, as he was no longer a bigmouth, he did not betray them, and Penguin and Reindeer regained their faith in Fox, thus forgiving him.
Moral: About Trust, Loyalty and Discretion

 

 

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” Mark Twain

Motivation Mondays: LOYALTY

Motivation Mondays: LOYALTY

What aspect of LOYALTY sustains our relationships/friendships? Recently, a dear friend and I were reminiscing over our long and lasting friendship. We talked about the challenging times and the happy, joyful times we have shared over many years. One thing that stood out for us in our friendship has always been our refusal to listen to gossip about each other. If you’ve lived long enough, you’s know that a fiery end to a friendship can begin with hurtful gossip so we must be mindful about what we say to others and what we hear in return. You cannot be a true friend if you spend time saying nasty things about your friends behind their backs… If you are troubled by their behavior, have a face to face powwow and find a healthier way to mind those fences. When we are motivated by the right reasons to speak to our close and loved ones, we must be open to hear what we have done wrong too. It’s a two way street.

A Story: Where Did The Voices Go? by Pedro Pablo Sacristán
There was once a little boy who told tales about absolutely everything. Whenever anyone asked who had done this, or who had said that, the little boy jumped up and shouted out the guilty person’s name.
At his school the children ended up never speaking to each other; they were tired of the little boy using their words to tell tales. Because they no longer spoke, the children started to lose their voices, until no one could say anything at all.
This made things very boring for the little boy. He was left on his own, feeling lonely, and the others resented him for being the cause of everyone losing their voice…
Wondering what he could do to solve the problem, it occurred to him that he could become the one who asks the questions, and leaves them unanswered. This plan worked, and now that there were so many questions needing an answer, everyone’s voices gradually started working again. Even better, people became friendlier towards him for having cured them.
And so it was that he learned not to tell tales about everything. He realized it was much more fun to let others speak for themselves.
Moral: Loyalty, Friendship, the pain of Gossip

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for SEPT/OCT 2017 are:

SEPTEMBER 

09/04 –   03 National Boyfriend Day, Labor Day, 05 International Day of Charity,
09/10 –   Grandparents Day, 11 Patriot Day/Sept 11, 15 National POW/MIA Recognition Day,
09/17 –   Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, 20 Navaratri, 21 Rosh Hashana, 22 September equinox
07/24 –   Gold Star Mother’s Day
09/30 –  Yom Kippur

OCTOBER 

10/01 – World Communion Sunday, Int’l. Coffee Day, Nigeria Indep. Day, World Vegetarian Day, 02 Child Health Day,
04 Feast of St Francis of Assisi, World Animal Day,  05 First Day of Sukkot, 06 World Smile Day
10/08 – 09 Leif Erikson Day, Columbus Day,  Indigenous People’s Day/Native Americans’ Day, 10 World Mental Health,
11 Int’l. Day of the Girl, Come Out Day, Sukkot ends, 12 World Sight Day, 13 Friday the 13th
10/15 – 16 Bosses Day, World Food Day, 19 Diwali, Spirit Day
10/22 – World Mission Sunday, 23 Mole Day, 24 United Nations Day, 28 St Simon/St Jude, Nat’l Chocolate day
10/29 – Nat’l. Cat Day, 31 Halloween

 

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

 

 

More Below! Read more…

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International Day of the Girl Child: EmPOWER Girls

11/10/2017

“EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises: The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception.”UN/GirlChild

International Day of the Girl Child: EmPOWER Girls 2017

International Day of the Girl Child: EmPOWER Girls 2017

This year, on the International Day of the Girl Child, we are focused on how to ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises’. Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes, are women and children [1]. Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis UN Women statement: International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child and it is imperative that we join forces to celebrate our collective effort at ensuring that girls and women are encouraged to contribute equally around the world. This year, the UN theme is EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises. A corresponding theme is Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030. Since the genesis of the first celebration of the Girl Child in 2012, the United Nations Organization and many other organizations have devoted time and resources  to close the gender inequality gap. This day not only celebrates the need to EmPower our daughters, it also brings awareness to other issues that impact the lives of girls/women around the world.

What other issues impact the lives of our 1.1 Billion girls globally? They include issues of access to quality educationprotection from FGM/Female Genital Mutilation, Assistance/Education in crisis areas, an end to child marriages through empowerment,  an end to sex trafficking/ sexual violence against children, access to clean/safe water, eradication of gender based stereotypes, an end to modern day slavery, end to nutrition ill-health and reduction in HIV exposure, protection from all forms of discrimination, legal rights, medical care, and  an end to violence against women.  If you stop to think about the enormous effort that it will take to fully address a single issue listed above, then it becomes apparent that we need maximum involvement in even the most basic/fundamental way; we need all hands on deck.
READ: WHEN WOMEN LEAD CHANGE HAPPENS

 

“Some people say that it is shameful for girls to go to work or go to school. These are old traditions and conventions.” These are the words of Alan and Israa, two Syrian girls

International Day of the Girl Child: EmPOWER Girls 2017

International Day of the Girl Child: EmPOWER Girls 2017

 


Beyonce: Freedom – International Day of the Girl
“Today is # DayoftheGirl. Girls around the world are fighting for their freedom every day. Join me, Chime for Change, and The Global Goals by taking action for # FreedomForGirls now.” Beyonce

EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises: The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception. This year’s International Day of the Girl (IDG) on October 11 marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises. UNO/Girlchild

What issues matter to you and your loved ones? Since women and girls represent half the population of the world, issues that affect our gender in other parts of the world, can have a direct impact on our lives. When one set of girls are denied access to opportunities that will empower and embolden them to achieve, we limit our sphere of influence and success.  With girls/women representing 3/4 of the refugees in the world,  over 700+ million with experience of childhood marriages, a high percentage denied schooling, unequal treatment in the job market and the denial of access to other opportunities, we have a lot that we must fight for before, during and after the many crises we experience around the world.

Reading through the data gathered here on this subject, the statistics are sobering. Did you know that 18.6 million women and girls live with HIV today?  Did you know that human trafficking and sexual exploitation is a $99B dollar enterprise and that 96% of the victims are women/girls?  Did you know that 1 in 3 girls/women around the world will experience physical and/or sexual violence – two forms of gender-based violence (GBV) – in her lifetime? If you have a mother, sister, daughter, female friend, this information and so much more ought to outrage you into action. With 1.1 billion girls in the world, we can no longer afford to be casual about these matters. Join IN!

Do you think you know your facts on today’s 1.1 billion girls? Take this quiz to find out. The answers will be at the bottom of the post.
1. Globally, how many women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday? 250M 500M 750M
2. Most women and girls alive today who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation were cut before what age? 5YR 10YR 15YR
3. Who said: “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”? Emma Watson, Actress/ Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist, Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Liberian activist.
4. Young women in conflict zones are __ percent more likely to be out of secondary school than their counterparts in conflict-free countries? 30%, 60%, 90%
5. Who is Yusra Mardini? Swimmer from Syria who participated in Rio Olympics. Refugee from Syria who with 3 others pushed a dinghy with 18 people to Lesbos to save their lives. BOTH
READ:  THE POWER OF 1.8 BILLION:  ADOLESCENTS, YOUTH AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE FUTURE

 

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Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

09/10/2017

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” Aldous Huxley

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas. Edward de Bono
People spend time worrying about things they think they have to have and lose perception of what they do have. You can have all the money and material things you want. If you aren’t here to enjoy them, what good do they do? Eric Davis

Is Perception, Reality? Some would argue that it is… others would say it is only part of the full story NOT the story. When we talk about our point of view about a situation, we often tell it through our own lens; our truth, our perception and our reality. We defend our position with all our might and try very hard to make the other person wrong. While our point of view might have some gravitas, it is just that… our perspective about a larger truth. Even if we believe that our perception is the universal reality, it is not. Why not? Because we experience events somewhat differently, even so slightly. This is why we see a wide range of eye witness reports after an incident. Six people could watch a thief flee a robbery scene and will remember different details and give different interpretations of what happened. That is why such scenes are not always reliable and law enforcement seek additional methods for fact-finding.

How does Self-inquiry impact Perception? Self-inquiry is an important habit to develop because it forces us to look at ourselves and own our stuff. With self-inquiry, we begin to ask ourselves the tough questions about our perceived hurts and denials; if we are motivated to do the inner work in a sincere way, we begin to take into account our limitations in thinking, and we can reshape our goals and desires and become motivated to do /achieve a higher purpose. As we work through our understanding of how we view the world, we begin to accept that other opinions have weight and that we are NOT always right. Actually, we might even learn that there are 3 sides to every story; ours, yours and the “truth.”  Gradually, we  come to accept that  our beliefs, our biases and our training contribute to our final response to a situation, and, if we are parents, that it is important, from an early age, to expose our children to good habits, ethical standards and a sense of purpose. Since all we do is shaped by our experiences and perception, we can achieve more by learning to harness our best side and impulses. Below is a popular story I enjoyed reading as a kid. Even though the men are blind, they represent the myopia we all have when we are stuck in a rut with our opinions. All we see is our side of the conversation; to grow, we need to stay open-minded, fluid and flexible.

A STORY: The Parable of the Blind men and an Elephant
A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.
When the blind men had each felt a part of the elephant, the elephant’s guard went to each of them and said to each: ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?
MORAL: Our perception rings true to us but, it is subjective and not the totality of truth. Story version via Wikipedia

 

“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.” Ursula K. Le Guin

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Motivation Mondays: PERCEPTION

Perception is created and twisted so quickly. Louis C. K.
When we shift our perception, our experience changes. Lindsay Wagner
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake

If perception is/is not reality, how does it impact what we believe? Since our perspective about life events are informed by our experiences and exposure, it is inevitable that our perception/beliefs are impacted by same. That is why we must be vigilant about our use of imagery and language to negate others.  For instance, the recent controversy over Dove’s use of a black woman in an ad showing her become white as she washed herself with their new Deep Moisture body wash was considered very offensive by many because it gave the unintended perception that if you wanted to look fresh, clean and beautiful, you needed to wash your dark skin color off. Sadly, the ad didn’t help with the photos Dove chose that showed the black model as the BEFORE and the white model as the AFTER the body wash effect photo. Such portrayals create a perception vs reality clash because they bring to the fore our sensitivities, painful history and unresolved issues around racial discrimination, marginalization and  group devaluation. Such portrayals encourage negative stereotypes to proliferate and remind us that stereotypical perceptions are problematic and fraught with negativity.  The impact of such a negative perception is powerful because it sends the wrong message to both the black community and children within that community.

On the other hand,  perception can have a positive impact when used to elevate us and our choices. When I was a kid, we moved quite a bit and traveled for my Dad’s job. As his career trajectory expanded, we moved to meet the demands of his success which came with perks and benefits. I loved some of it but not all, however, it was part of my reality and contributed greatly to my love of travel and need for change. As I grew older, I decided that while travel is a great way to expand our minds and connect with other cultures, I still wanted to have a home that didn’t change hands often for my own kids. I believed that having such stability would help build their sense of family and sharpen their confidence levels. We have lived in the same home for 25 years and my children grew up loving their home and finding the security that stability in that particular area can bring.  Even though my childhood housing experience took us from one grand home to the next (some with 9-10 bedrooms), there was always an unsettling feeling that we might have to move again so don’t get too comfy in this space. We did have a country home that we went to every Christmas holidays and I must say that the time I spent at our country home felt the most settled and secure. Kids need that continuity and sameness while growing up so, it is important for parents to try and perceive what their kids need from the kids not the parents eyes.

Has being motivated to make certain choices helped perception to meet reality? It has in so many ways and answers the question: Why do we believe what we believe? We do because our beliefs are informed by our personal history/experiences, they have worked for us and our choices, and they help us strengthen our resolve to keep it up. As we get older, we might veer from the path of our normative exposure but, most of us tend to stay true to our beliefs and resolve to act on them.  As a side note, today is Columbus Day and as many of you know, the jury is still out on whether Columbus discovered the Americas or if that was a reconstructed history that created a narrative that some now say isn’t entirely true.  When we want to discredit a group of people, we can reinvent stories that diminish their contributions while elevating the stories of the power brokers. We see this phenomenon at play everyday. So, who discovered the Americas? Does your perception stand the harsh light of reality?

Whether we like it or not, we are confronted daily to make educated choices about things that matter to us. It is our resolve to do A over B that shapes our character. It is the same resolve that gave the monk, in the story below, the insight about the ephemeral nature of material things and the greater value that comes from experiences we can enjoy again and again. Because of his steady practice of Zen, the Monk had released his desire for material things. The thief, on the other hand, had retained his perception that stuff = happiness. It’s all about our perception.

A ZEN STORY: The Moon Cannot Be Stolen
A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, ” I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for SEPT/OCT 2017 are:

SEPTEMBER 

09/04 –   03 National Boyfriend Day, Labor Day, 05 International Day of Charity,
09/10 –   Grandparents Day, 11 Patriot Day/Sept 11, 15 National POW/MIA Recognition Day,
09/17 –   Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, 20 Navaratri, 21 Rosh Hashana, 22 September equinox
07/24 –   Gold Star Mother’s Day
09/30 –  Yom Kippur

OCTOBER 

10/01 – World Communion Sunday, Int’l. Coffee Day, Nigeria Indep. Day, World Vegetarian Day, 02 Child Health Day,
04 Feast of St Francis of Assisi, World Animal Day,  05 First Day of Sukkot, 06 World Smile Day
10/08 – 09 Leif Erikson Day, Columbus Day,  Indigenous People’s Day/Native Americans’ Day, 10 World Mental Health,
11 Int’l. Day of the Girl, Come Out Day, Sukkot ends, 12 World Sight Day, 13 Friday the 13th
10/15 – 16 Bosses Day, World Food Day, 19 Diwali, Spirit Day
10/22 – World Mission Sunday, 23 Mole Day, 24 United Nations Day, 28 St Simon/St Jude, Nat’l Chocolate day
10/29 – Nat’l. Cat Day, 31 Halloween

 

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

 

 

More Below! Read more…

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