Laughter and Mentors

A to Z letter L.

For the letter J I talked about jokes, joking and the importance of being able to see the jokes of like. Today that continues with L and Laughter.

For me, laughter ranks right up there with gratitude for having a fuller, more enjoyable life. It’s not just me, experts have found that laughter helps in several ways. Here are just five of them:

  • Laughter helps lower our blood pressure.
  • It helps improve memory and learning. Try laughing the next time you’re trying to learn something new. I often laugh at the mouse on my computer. Who thought it was a good idea to name that little gizmo after a rodent?
  •  Laughter wakes our brains up and stimulates us so that we are more alert and creative, not to mention the memory improvement.
  • Laughter is said to work our abs. Does that mean I don’t have to do crunches to whittle my middle? Maybe laugh while doing crunches? For sure anyone watching me do crunches will be laughing.
  • Laughter helps reduce our stress. After all it’s hard to be stressed out and anxious when we’re laughing.

Whoever said, “laughter is the best medicine,” may have been on to something.

What have you laughed about recently?

A to Z letter M.

Yes, today is a two-letter day since I am a tad behind on the alphabet challenge. The letter M is for mentors, whether you are the mentor or the mentee, we all need mentors in our lives.

According to the dictionary a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor, someone who can advise and teach us. A mentor can also be an encourager. While others are quick to point out every imaginable obstacle, with no solution, the mentor will mention possible hurdles, as well as ways to overcome them. We need mentors in our lives.

While mentors can help us navigate a path, we can also be mentors for others. Parents and grandparents are often mentors for their children and grandchildren, even the offspring of their friends.

However we can also be mentors to our friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Being a mentor doesn’t mean making a huge cometment of time or energy. If you have a great garden and your neighbor struggles to keep a shrub alive, you could mentor her on growing plants.

Mentors don’t even have to know they are mentors. Jennifer McMurain,a multi-published author, wife, mom, daughter, sister, active in several organizations is one of my mentors. She does (at least she didn’t) know. She lives several miles from me, and I watch her from afar. I watch how she juggles her time between all of her interests, how she promotes her writing, how she promotes others. When I grow up I want to be like Jennifer. In the meantime, I learn from her and have her as one of my long-distance mentors.

Being a mentor ourselves not only helps someone else, it helps us. Explaining something to someone else can remind us of information we knew but had forgotten. Helping another person pursue a similar interest can also reignite our fire if it’s begun to smolder a little.

Whether we are a mentor or a mentee, mentorship is important.

Do you know anyone who can be your mentor from afar?

Do you have a local mentor?

Are you a mentor?

Sharing this with the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Blogging A to Z.

 

 

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Kindness and Knowledge Quotes

This week I’m doing Thursday’s Thoughts instead of Wednesday’s Words, mostly because I didn’t post yesterday and I love quotes. For the thoughts I found several quotes about kindness, after all don’t we all need a little kindness in our lives? Also found a couple on knowledge, because the more we know, about anything the better equipped we are to handle life’s curve balls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between storms which caused internet issues and a week of constant going I’m still a little behind on the Ultimate Blog Challenge, but hopeful to catch up this weekend.

What kind act have you done recently?

What kindness have you done for you?

 

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J is for Joke

Today is Wednesday, the 11th, and the tenth day of the Blogging A to Z, which means letter J.

A to Z letter J.

The first positive J word that came to mind was Joy. A good word. Since I’ve already talked about the Joy Jar and happiness, why not look for some other positive j words?

How about Jam, or Jelly? A tasty spread for toast in the morning, or combined with peanut butter for a sandwich any time of day. Some people even use it as an ice cream topping.

There is jubilant, jovial and jolly, all perfectly good positive words. They are close to joy, joyous, and joyful. The letter J is just a cheerful letter.

There is also, jester and joker. Not the Joker from  Batman, but someone who tells jokes to make others laugh. The jokes don’t even have to be all that good, and there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself a joke to lift your spirits. Here are a couple of silly, or bad, depending on your viewpoint, jokes.

joke 2.

Joke 1

Joke 4.

Joke 3.

Do you enjoy telling jokes?

Do you have a favorite joke?

 

 

 

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I is for Inspiration

 

It is day nine of the Blogging A to Z challenge, at least I’m on letter nine which is “I.” Actually, I think everyone else is on day 11. No matter, I’ll get there.

In the meantime, I is for inspire or inspiration. The hope is that one or more of these quotes will inspire you.

wednesday's words

Today’s Words for Wednesday are all quotes by someone else. I’ve given credit if I know, or if someone is commonly attributed as the author. .

opening-a-book-allows-in-lightImagination kite.

believe in something

Venice - photo by KJWM

meme-helen-keller-fear-quote

Lawnmower race-coming around the corner

Wall with quote at Library

Today’s Wednesday Words are coming out on Thursday due to travel and wind. For some reason my WIFI does not like to fight the wind to connect. Go figure. Which leaves me still two days behind on the blogging A to Z challenge and a three (I think) days behind on the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

A day or two (or three) can be caught up as long as I keep going. No matter what our goals, life often throws wind, activities, family and friends, or other obstacles at us. If we have to slow our progress, no problem. The important action is to keep going.

What do you do when you find yourself overwhelmed and unable to keep up with your goals?

Do you have a favorite Wednesday Word?

What or who inspires you?

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Gratitude Leads to Happiness

A to Z - G

 

I love gratitude. Along with the Joy Jar, gratitude practice has helped combat my down days. Not to say they eliminate them, but they definitely help.

Gratitude helps to remind me of the good in my life and the Joy Jar collects and holds them for future reference. Since today is using the letter G and H, and the words Gratitude and Happiness, do they really work together? Sure.

Starting with gratitude, at one point, before finding the gratitude attitude, I wondered what I had to be grateful for. Taking time to think and acknowledge that no matter how bad it is, there is some good. A favorite phrase that helps me find gratitude is, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

Gratitude can be expressed as a simple acknowledgment, “thankful the sun is shining today.” Gratitude can be written in your journal or planner. Gratitudes can be shared on social media. Twitter has a gratitude hashtag, join other grateful people there. If you’re feeling extra ungrateful, checking in on what others are grateful for will ignite your ideas.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be big, being grateful for the small things can lead to noticing the big things. It’s spring, I am routinely thankful for the sounds of the birds. In the winter, if I’m wanting to go someplace, and the roads aren’t icy definite gratitude. Even finding a parking place is a reason for gratitude. Having an attitude of gratitude doesn’t have to be big, but the results are huge.

While there are many benefits of gratitude one is that it helps us be happier, which is for letter H.

A to Z letter H.

“Happiness is a choice.” Ha! The first fifty times I heard that quote I disagreed, strongly. After all the first time I heard it my husband had recently died. How could I choose to be happy when my world was upside down and sideways?

No, being happy he was gone was not an option, there was no reason for happiness, at least I didn’t think so. However, someone pointed out that there were other things to be happy about. I had people who supported me. Our kids were all healthy. Our grandkids were healthy. We had three grandsons at the time, one just a few months old and holding him made me smile, it made me happy.

Over time I realized that being happy is a choice. I could choose to hold on to pain and misery and not be happy or I could move my focus to something that did make me smile.  Which where the gratitudee attitude of  helps. Listing reasons for gratitude encourages happiness. Of all the reason I have to smile, my favorite is the number of people who support me. Like this group that came out to help me celebrate my birthday.

My supporters 2018

Come and join me on twitter sharing gratitudes and encouraging daily happiness.

This is a two-part post because I’m a little behind on the challenges. I’m now up-to-date on the blogging a to z, the ABC challenge, and just one blog post behind on the UBC.

Do you list your gratitudes daily?

What makes you smile?

 

 

 

 

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Flowers Make Life Fabulous and Fantastic

Day 6 of the UBC and ABC challenge. Today’s post is all about flowers for the letter F. Flowers are fabulous and fantastic, and they brighten our lives, our environment, and our season. Flowers are fascinating.

Since I sometimes struggle to keep a flowering plant thriving, which is why I currently have three pots of Aloe Vera, I appreciate the talent, time, and skill of others who plant, cultivate, and share their fantastic floral expertise.

Someone took time and effort to grow this tree in a parking lot, making the cement space a little more friendly.

A closer look at the flowers on the tree.

Flowers are fabulous at hiding the dirt.

Then, of course, there are the flowers that fortunate enough to be appreciated for their beauty without also multi-tasking.

Some people are fortunate enough to be able to grow and paint flowers. This painting by Barbara Shepherd is one I find fascinating.

Artist- Barbara Shepherd

There is the mix of flowers and fabric. There are people who make flowers using fabric, there is floral printed fabric, and then there are those who sew flower shapes on fabric.

Floral print
Appliqued flowers

Finally, there are cut flowers purchased from a local floral vender (or the grocery store) and placed in a vase to create a personal bouquet and brighten a space.

look of the vase isn’t important. The flowers create the fabulous feeling.

What about you? Do you grow flowers, or appreciate the work of others?

What is your favorite kind of flower?

Do you have a favorite flower color?

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Day 5 Blogging Challenges ABC and UBC

Here are some positive E words to embrace and use every day. While including each one every day might feel a little daunting, using at least one daily will help brighten your day and your life.
E is for . . .

EDUCATE – Learning something new keeps the brain active which helps prevent all sorts of problems, and helps keep us active. We can learn in all sorts of situations, classes are available in a variety of places, libraries, businesses, community classes at local colleges, some states offer regular college classes, without credit to those over a particular age.

Education doesn’t have to be in a formal sitting though, watching a tutorial video, or reading for pleasure can be educational. Fiction books include some fact that we learn when we enjoy the story. There are a variety of nonfiction books for learning, how-tos, biographies, histories, and cookbooks to name a few.

Learning doesn’t have to be planned. Your friend might tell you something you didn’t know. Kabam! You just increased your education level. I wrote about tracking the nuggets learned, here ,which reminds me I need to start another Book of Knowledge.

book-of-education-with-notes

ENCOURAGE – Encouragement spurs confidence and builds people up. Try to encourage someone, including yourself every day. When others offer you encouragement relish the words, absorb the moment. Enjoy the feeling.

ENJOY – Enjoy the moment or the feeling of accomplishment after the moment. You may not find the joy in washing the dishes. After all, there is the scraping, the stacking, the running a basin of soapy water, the rinsing, the drying, the putting away. But then, look the kitchen is clean, the counters are clear of stacks of dirty dishes. It looks nice, and you did it. Enjoy the moment.

EXCELLENT – Not to be confused with perfection. Perfection is unattainable. We can have perfect moments, complete a task perfectly, or do a perfect job. Maintaining perfection on a regular basis though is difficult, gut-wrenching, stressful. Perfection is a result. It is a thing. Excellence is a state of mind, a way of being.

In the 1989 movie, BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE Bill and Ted have an excellent time as they go on an amazing expedition. While they are in dire straits, they are in danger of flunking school and one of them being sent to a military school, which would separate their band. While it’s a science fiction movie, and nothing f actual, the message to have an excellent experience is there. Have an excellent day.

ENOUGH – You are enough. You are the person you need to be for this moment in time at this place. Yes, you will change, you’ll learn things, you’ll go, you’ll change your opinion. All of that will come. For now, you are enough.

You Are Enough-Gerty Sunset

For now, that is enough for the positive words starting with the letter E. There are plenty more, and they can be explored another day.

Do you have a favorite positive E word?

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