Brownness

Food For Thought For Friday, March 30th, 2012

The mouse trap

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry.

Brownness

Food For Thought For Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Excerpt from the Marc and Angel Blog

  1. Act like today is already an awesome day. – Do so, and it will be.  Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.  Read The How of Happiness.
  2. Make yourself smile first thing in the morning. – It’s difficult to feel down when your face is happy.  Fill your bathroom or bedroom mirror with post-it notes of your favorite quotes, goals, mantras, photos, etc., and then reflect on them for a minute or two when you first wake up.
  3. Spend time with people who make you smile. – Who nourishes and supports you?  Surround yourself with these people.  Spend time with those who reflect the person you want to be – people who do good things and make your life a little brighter simply by being in it.
  4. Try something totally new. – Go somewhere you’ve never been.  Do something you’ve never done.  It will shake up your vision of what the world is like and give you a fresh new perspective on things.  Variety truly is the spice of life.  You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  As a result, first time experiences usually leave a reflective mark in our minds for the rest of our lives.  So spice it up!  The more experiences you have, the richer your life will be.
  5. Work on something that’s meaningful to you. – Engage yourself in a meaningful personal project, or pull the trigger on doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t yet had the resolve to do.  Life is short.  Today is the day to take action.
  6. Keep track of the things you’re grateful for. – You can’t help but feel good when you literally count your blessings.  Start a gratitude journal and express your thanks on a daily basis.
  7. Dream big. – You can do anything you set your mind to.  Visualize your dreams coming true and work at making them a reality.
  8. Listen to your inner voice. – Your instincts are good.  It’s important to listen to your own head and heart.  Don’t always listen to others.  Do what you know in your heart is right, for you.
  9. Trust yourself. – You are kind.  You are smart.  You are important.  Your choices are just as valid as anyone else’s.
  10. Truly appreciate those around you. – Tell your friends you adore them, say thank you and mean it, flash your biggest and most sincere smile at strangers on the street, hug people for longer than normal.  The more love you give out, the more it builds inside of you and the more you’ll get back.
  11. Give out compliments. – Give sincere praise every chance you get.  Compliment and cheer for those who deserve it.  You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone, because when the person you compliment smiles, you’ll smile too.
Brownness

Food For Thought For Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

If A Dog Were Your Teacher

Author Unknown
 

 
If a dog were your teacher
These are some of the lessons you might learn…

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy

When it's in your best interest
practice obedience
Let others know when they've invaded your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run romp and play daily

Thrive on attention and let people touch you
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
On warm days stop to lie on your back on the grass
On hot days drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
When you're happy dance around and wag your entire body

No matter how often you're scolded
don't buy into the guilt thing and pout
run right back and make friends

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Stop when you have had enough
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you're not

If what you want lies buried
dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day
be silent …..
…sit close by.

…and nuzzle them gently.

Brownness

Food For Thought For Monday, March 26th, 2012

12 LIFE LESSONS (From Marc and Angel Blog)

  1. Everyone has the same basic wants and needs. – When you get to know people with different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, you begin to realize that everyone basically wants the same things.  They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.  The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.  You can relate to almost everyone everywhere if you look past the superficial facades that divide us.
  2. What you do every day is what’s most important. – The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.  Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  Remember, people seldom do things to the best of their ability; they do things to the best of their willingness.  Follow your heart, and do something every day that your future self will thank you for.
  3. You can’t always be agreeable.  – That’s how people take advantage of you.  You have to set boundaries.  Don’t ever change just to impress someone.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.  Being your true self is the most effective formula for happiness and success there is.  Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be.  And sometimes you just have to do your own thing your own way, no matter what anyone else thinks or says about you.  Read The Magic of Thinking Big.
  4. You’re not perfect, but you’re great at being you. – You might not be the most beautiful, the strongest, or the most talented person in the world, but that’s okay.  Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.  You’re great at being you.  You might not be proud of all the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s okay too.  The past is not today.  Be proud of who you are, how you’ve grown, and what you’ve learned along the way.
  5. You DON’T want perfect people in your life. – Even though you probably sometimes get confused, you don’t really want your friends and lovers to be perfect.  What you do want is people you can trust, who treat you right – people you can act silly with, who love being around you as much as you love being around them.  It’s about finding people who know about your mistakes and weaknesses and stand by your side when others walk away.
  6. Life is change.  You must embrace it. – Everything in life is temporary.  So if things are good, enjoy it.  It won’t last forever.  If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either.  Just because life isn’t easy right now, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.  Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile.  Always focus on the positives in your life.  You have a lot to look forward to.  Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending.  You get a second chance, every second.  And don’t forget, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.  Read The Power of Now.
  7. Your scars are symbols of your growth. – Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with.  A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved on.  A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of.
  8. The truth is always the best choice. – Respect and trust are two of the easiest things in life to lose and the hardest to get back.  Never make a big decision when you’re angry, and never make a big promise when you’re overjoyed.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.
  9. It’s the small, free things that matter most in life. – It’s nice to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s also important to make sure you haven’t lost track of the things that money can’t buy.  Maturity is not when you start speaking and thinking about the big things, it’s when you start understanding and appreciating the small things.  Read The Happiness Project.
  10. Everyone’s story is more complicated than it seems. – Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  It’s not always the tears that measure a person’s pain, sometimes it’s the smile they fake.  Not all scars show.  Not all wounds heal by themselves.  You usually can’t see the pain that someone feels.  Don’t judge a person negatively for their past or feelings without a full understanding of their situation.  Just because you don’t agree based on what you see, doesn’t mean you’re right.  And don’t be so quick to point out the flaws in other people’s lives when you are not willing to look at the flaws in your own life.
  11. Giving up and moving on are two different things. – There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.  It doesn’t make sense to hold onto something that’s no longer there.  Accepting what is, letting go, and moving on are skills that you must learn when facing the realities of life.  Some relationships and situations just can’t be fixed.  If you try to force them back together, things will only get worse.  Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger.
  12. You are not alone in being alone. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend.  To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down.  To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay.  To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail.  None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy.  It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself.  You are not alone.  No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie.  There’s always someone who can relate to you.  Perhaps you can’t talk to them right now, but they’re out there.

And remember, sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.  Sometimes you need to take a step back to see things clearly.  Traveling is one of the best ways I know to remain psychologically grounded.  If you’ve been stuck in an emotional rut for awhile, without any positive change, perhaps it’s time to take a short hiatus – get out of town for a few days, experience something new, and stimulate your mind.

Brownness

Food For Thought For Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Be Hopeful… 

Howard Zinn  

 

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

From Mr. Zinn's book: You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train. Howard Zinn is a prominent professor, author and peace activist.

Brownness

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