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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Photo Challenge: FOCUS

14/06/2017

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle

Photo Challenge: FOCUS

Photo Challenge: FOCUS – Visitors at The Met Museum

 

Photo Challenge: FOCUS - Visitors at The Met Museum

Photo Challenge: FOCUS – Visitors at The Met Museum

Your destiny is to fulfill those things upon which you focus most intently. So choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving toward something. Ralph Marston
It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems. Thich Nhat Hanh

What do you FOCUS on? For some reason, I’m not quite sure why, when I read the photo challenge for this week, – FOCUS – what came to mind was the people we see gathered around art at museums. I love the way people focus their attention on the art in front of them in a museum. Often, you find people standing in front of a painting for what seems like ages; lost in wonder or deep in thought. I get the impression that some of them leave their bodies and get transported to the period of the painting or art…  Some even become unfocused in their focus and can’t remember a thing after they move from one piece to the next… so in the middle of our focus are moments of unfocused action and, perhaps, our brains need that time to calibrate all that it is seeing. That kind of focus intrigues me.

 

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Motivation Mondays: Father’s Day Matters

12/06/2017

“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.” Sidney Poitier

Motivation Mondays: Why Father's Day Matters

Motivation Mondays: Why Father’s Day Matters

Dad, wherever you are, you are gone but you will never be forgotten. Conrad Hall
To be as good as our fathers we must be better, imitation is not discipleship. Wendell Phillips
When it comes to Father’s Day, I will remember my dad for both being there to nurture me and also for the times he gave me on my own to cultivate my own interests and to nurture my own spirit. Jennifer Grant

Why does Father’s Day Matter? On Sunday, June 18, we will have another chance to celebrate the Dads and Fathers in our lives and give thanks for all the men who made a positive impact on our lives. This day matters because it is a reminder that being a parent is an enormous responsibility and one that must never be taken lightly. For folks with sad or no memories of a father’s presence, it is an opportunity to pause and consider giving thanks to those who stood up for them in that role. For those of us with fond memories of our Dads, it is another chance to express our gratitude and remember that we can be a parental figure in the eyes of a child who needs love. Even though my Dad was a great and admirable figure looming over our household, he had very human qualities too. As an adult, I chose to remember his loving, generous spirit not his strict and sometimes unbending side. He was Dad to me and, in the eyes of a child, he was perfect and all knowing. In the eyes of a teen, Dad was annoying, and in the eyes of an adult, Dad’s life became our legacy and our foundation. We need all of these versions to complete the picture and memories as we curate what we will share with our kids and with the world.
Since I started writing this blog in 2008, I’ve written a post to celebrate my Dad and the many Dads I’ve admired over the years. I’ll add links to those posts here as a way to curate my posts on the topic. Take a look at all or any and enjoy.
Amidst the Deluge: Abundant Love for Father’s Day
On Father’s Day: The Gift of Wisdom
On Father’s Day: Memories of Love Lost & Found…

 

“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” Anne Sexton

Motivation Mondays: Why Father's Day Matters

Motivation Mondays: Why Father’s Day Matters

I admire my father greatly. Kojo Annan
We looked up to our father. He still is much greater than us. Wynton Marsalis
In our house, Mother’s Day is every day. Father’s Day, too. In our house, parents count. They do important work and that work matters. One day just doesn’t cut for us. Margaret Heffernan

 

Even though my Dad passed away some years ago, his fearlessness, generous legacy, worldview vision, wise teachings, philanthropy and blessings continue to guide and lift me and my loved ones up. I was raised Catholic but our friends were spread across the religious divide and we respected all. Dad always preached that the true testimony of our faith was how well we treated our fellow man/woman not just how well we memorized platitudes. Love thy neighbor as thyself was a tenet practiced in our household and he lived it till the day he died.   Was he perfect? Nobody is perfect but his spirit of service and compassion for those in need was legendary. In our lifetime, we have a choice; we can choose the path of poison or of perfume and what we believe, we become. One of my teachers always said that we must make friends with our mind so it can remind us to connect to our hearts and view others through a lens of compassion and not judgement. Instead of wasting time criticizing how others live, we should all work at living our best, good Samaritan lives… the world needs more of that. For those folks who have not had the best relationship with their Dad, I’d encourage you to honor those who have supported and lifted you, and find the space in your heart to forgive your father. To move forward, we must learn to let go of the past and all its hurtful memories. We don’t have to forget but we must learn to forgive.

Inspiration: Happy Father’s Day…
Remembrance: Happy Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day & International Yoga Day: 20 Things That Matter

A Story – Become A Lake (Advice a dad would give)
An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Much fresher,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man.
At this, the master sat beside the young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt, no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things… Stop being a glass. Become a lake.” Source The Little Zen Companion

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for May/June 2017 are:

 

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

JUNE

06/05  –  World Environment Day,  08 National Best Friend Day,  08 World Oceans Day
06/11 –  11  Trinity Sunday, 14 Flag Day
06/18 –  18 Father’s Day,  19 Juneteeth,  20 World Refugee Day,  21 Summer Solstice/International Yoga Day, 23 Intn’l  Widow’s Day, 24 Ramadan Ends
06/25 – 25  Eid al Fitr,  26 Against Drug Abuse 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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Photo Challenge: ORDER

07/06/2017

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” Thomas Merton

Photo Challenge: ORDER

Photo Challenge: ORDER

Photo Challenge: ORDER - Prepped Veggies all in a row

Photo Challenge: ORDER – Prepped Veggies all in a row

There is order all around us; even in the littlest of things, the lines on a leaf, the striations in wood, the casual way we set our table or the prep work we do in the kitchen as we get ready to prepare a dish. All of life has a certain symmetry or order that pleases the eyes and stops us from imagining we have gone mad. Even in those moments where chaos reigns, we see signs of order and it pulls our eyes in. For this week’s exercise on ORDER, I was drawn to the vegetables I had on my kitchen counter. Like many cooks, prep work is fundamental to the process and I love to lay my ingredients out in an orderly manner so I can reach for them as needed. In this case, I was getting ready to make a vegetable soup and, as I washed and cleaned my ingredients, I was struck by the way they lay beautifully in the bowl and later on the tray. So, I grabbed my camera and took some shots. Later when I saw the challenge was on ORDER, I took some more photos… That’s life right?

 

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life…” Prince

Remembering Prince ; a brilliant, extraordinary, musical genius

Remembering Prince ; a brilliant, extraordinary, musical genius

On an important and wistful note, today would have been Prince Rogers Nelson‘s 59th birthday. He left us too soon. May his music live as a legacy to his brilliance and extraordinary genius… I miss him. Recently, I read a few books written by those who knew him up close. I also read some articles that took my breath away. I would recommend the following.

READ: The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince by Mayte Garcia
The Day It Snowed In April: A Memoir by Devin Devasquez
Exclusive: Never-Before-Seen Pictures of Prince, on His Birthday
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