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Archive for February, 2009

Zany Fun!

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Sometimes we just need to have some weird and wacky fun. That useless nonsense that gives us a boost of happiness and some giggles too.  So where do you turn for hilarity and unabashed silliness?  Here are a few of my favorite places:

Hoops and Yoyo – this website is totally outstanding.  The characters are cute, funny and colorful – a winning combination.  With tiny, squeaky little voices and a wacky diversity of subjects, they’ll have you rolling on the floor laughing in no time.  They have great printable calendars, screensavers, and free e-cards too.

Dr. Seuss – who can resist, the master of rhyme, the super-great writer, who gets better with time?  Fun and carefree, with no agenda but fun, for all that and more, Dr. Seuss is the one!  Don’t miss Theodore’s birthday on March 2nd.

Maxine – whether young or old, no can resist this cranky crabby lady.  Abrupt and to the point, she’ll tickle your funny bone as she points out the good and bad news of growing old and lessons of life.

Roald Dahl. A scrumdiddlyumptious writer with the best whizzcracking stories you’ve ever heard!  With great books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Dahl has an imagination and a vocabulary like no one else.  Don’t miss The Twits, George’s Marvelous Medicine, and the short, but great tale – The Enormous Crocodile.

The Office – for any cubicle dweller in a big corporation, this hit TV show presses your buttons in just the right way.  Hilarious and over-the-top.  Character parodies that can feel a little too realistic.  :0)

Animals. Visit The Daily Puppy and Cute Overload to get your fill of those cuddly, fuzzy bundles of cuteness.  Better yet, visit a shelter and play with a lonely pet, or play a game of catch with your own.

Spongebob Squarepants. This MUST be one of the best cartoons ever invented.  Something about that squeaky-shoed, manically-giggling yellow square of a sponge is totally captivating.  Along with the stingy Mr. Crabs, the grouchy and talent-less Squidward, the confused pink starfish Patrick and of course our favorite demented dictator-in-training Plankton, this cast will have you borrowing nieces, nephews and grandkids just for an excuse to watch.

Other favorites include:

Princess Bride movie

All things Disney

Weird Al songs

3rd Rock from the Sun tv show (reruns)

Calvin & Hobbes cartoons

Let your hair down and have some fun.  It’s good for the soul, good for your mind, and you’ll feel better too.  Add a little humor and laughter to every day. Comment below and let me know what some of your favorite fun places and things are.  As Tigger would say – TTFN!  Ta-ta for now.  :0)

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rose

Perfect Love by tinyfroglet

What is Loving Kindness Compassion?

Loving Kindness is a brilliant and beautiful idea I first discovered in Buddhism. It is the development of love and empathy for every person on the planet. Yes – even the bad guys.  It is the belief that we are all united by one common principal; that we all want to end suffering and find happiness.

Why is compassion useful? When you practice compassion, you actively look for the beauty, generosity and goodness in people.  It expands your awareness, helping you to notice it more often, and reminding you of the wonder of love.

Compassion helps us to see the world as loving and kind.  As the Dalai Lama states on his web site, mental suffering is the more abundant concern, thus creating the need for training of the mind:

“For a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical. Of the two, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are either gravely ill or deprived of basic necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life. If the body is content, we virtually ignore it. The mind, however, registers every event, no matter how small. Hence we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.”

Loving kindness meditation and prayer can remove our mind from fear and calm our chaotic thoughts.  This leads to peace and a feeling of security.  To read more on the Dalai Lama’s view on compassion click here.

How do I begin to practice loving kindness? The easiest way to begin is by giving thanks for all the people you are grateful for in your personal life.  Your parents, children, spouse, friends and other family members who give you love and support.  As you start to acknowledge these gifts, others will begin coming to light.  You recognize the generosity, forgiveness, love, and understanding you received from them.

If you have ever been moved to tears by your own overpowering love for another person, you will find that same experience when you accept the gift of another’s love for you.

How can I love people that do bad things? One way I have found that helps me love the bad guys, is to understand that they are teachers.  By way of their sometimes extreme examples, we are reminded over and over of what not to do.

Of course, I’m the first to admit this is a tall order.  The good news is that we have our entire lifetimes to learn.  I have achieved moments of total happiness and joy when imagining the countless valuable contributions of each person, from the local farmer who grows our food, to the truck driver who delivers it, the store that sells it and so on.  I then progress upwards giving thanks for all the inventors, scientists, researchers and doctors that work to improve my life, health and overall well being.  Complete strangers trying to make my world and theirs a better place.

Here is another quote from the Dalai Lama to consider:

“For a person who cherishes compassion and love, the practice of tolerance is essential, and for that, an enemy is indispensable. So we should feel grateful to our enemies, for it is they who can best help us develop a tranquil mind.”

What else is compassion good for? Compassion for others helps us to more easily forgive others and live with a feeling of peace.  It also shows us how many things there are to be grateful for in this beautiful world; spectacular mountain ranges and emerald blue oceans, a huge diversity of animal and plant life, sensational sculptures and paintings that touch your heart.  The taste and texture of salty, sweet, or spicy foods, the melodious sounds of music across the world, even the perfection of a single flower.  There is so much good in the world if only we will begin to look for it.

Where can I find more information? There is so much more information available about this concept.  Your local library is a good place to start.  Books on Buddhist religion will offer various insights into loving kindness, as well as a variety of articles and information on the Internet.  Here are a few places to start:

Compassion Meditation

Dalai Lama web site

Loving Kindness guided meditation – Beliefnet.com

Loving Kindness

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snowman

Snowman neighbor by MGShelton

  • Lack of sleep.
  • Headache.
  • Rushing and hurrying through the day.
  • Bad attitude – yours or someone else’s.

The daily grind of work and life can eat away at your peace and tranquility.  Dreary news, abrupt bosses, rude coworkers, traffic back-ups, never-ending chores, all of this and more can add up to create one majorly depressing feeling.

That’s when you lose it.  You shout, stomp around like a gorilla, slam doors, give people the cold shoulder and generally act irritated and upset.  So how do you snap of your sour mood, or better yet, keep yourself from getting into one in the first place?

Bad moods do more than just make you feel bad; they can limit your perspective, crush creativity, and disrupt your life.  Tempers rise and escalate small problems into bigger ones, and your negative thinking can stifle your ideas and distract you from finding the solutions you need.

So how do you keep your cool when you feel ignored, overlooked, taken-for-granted, and unappreciated?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Change your focus.  Take a walk in the sun.  Listen to some music.  Breathe.  Read a joke, call a friend, do a few stretches.  Get away from what’s bothering you to gain some perspective.
  1. Slow down. Rushing and hurrying through work can lead to more mistakes than usual, which increase frustration and add more work to fix the errors.  Stop and go get a snack or hide in the bathroom for a minute.  Take some deep breathes and relax those tense muscles before returning to your task.
  1. Go rant for a minute. This little trick is sorely under-rated.  Go into a bathroom or bedroom for privacy, or simply get out a sheet of paper and write down what’s bothering you.  Let it all out.  Yell, curse, even make fun of the person.  If you do this in front of a mirror it can have hilarious results which will snap you right out of your funk.
  1. Benefit of the doubt. This too, can work extremely well.  Maybe you are tired, have a headache or generally don’t feel good.  Perhaps you are behind on a project, making you short-tempered and irritable.  Give yourself and the other person a break.  Whether it’s you or the other person, let it go.  Forgive and forget.  If the problem continues you can always give them an earful later.
  1. Eat and drink. It’s amazing how many bad moods can be cured with a little TLC.  If you are dehydrated or haven’t had breakfast, there’s a good chance your attitude may simply be your body in revolt.  Have a nutritious snack; drink some water and see if a little food helps your headache disappear and your mood to lift.

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laughing-cat1

I told her a joke by Zanastardust

Browsing around the Internet I came across this title on a greeting card web site.  Attic Salt Greetings has hilarious cards that combine humorous pictures of people with great funny lines.  But the truth is their words “life is too short not to laugh out loud.”

For unknown reasons, I love to laugh and have a good time. I enjoy a good snicker or snort, and I’ve been known to chuckle and giggle at times.  However my favorite expression of enjoyment is a full-out belly laugh!  You know, those kind where you just pray you didn’t just have a drink or eat any food, because you can’t contain the laughter and that milk (or soda) might come shooting out of your nose.

Okay, thankfully that type of bodily loss of control doesn’t happen too often.  But I have definitely had moments where I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Even better have been those delightfully precious moments where I was bored, sad or angry and some unexpected bit of humor caused me to laugh for 20 minutes straight.  You know what I’m talking about, where the person who’s with you, whether they get the humor or not, starts laughing as well because laughter is so contagious.

We all need all the hilarity we can handle. I myself have been through some tough times lately, where I’ve wondered if there are really any good people left.  I have been hurt by friends and family alike, as well as complete strangers, and it leaves me feeling betrayed, sad and lonely.  After I get past that pain, it makes me angry.  And this is a good anger.  The kind that says “You can’t keep my down.  Life is good even if you’re not, and I’m going to enjoy every gosh-darned precious moment of it! – – So there!”

Laughter is a healer and a rejuvenator. After a good hearty laugh, the world seems lighter and fresher.  You can think again, and hope returns.  You believe that maybe, just maybe, life will be okay once more.

So how can get more of this valuable commodity?  Luckily resources abound.  Here are some of my favorite tips:

  1. Surround yourself with funny. Funny friends, funny books, funny things.  Whether you love comedies like Better Off Dead, The Princess Bride, Office Space, or Sponge Bob Squarepants, or you just like watching World’s Stupidest Criminals on reality TV, there’s always something to make you smile.
  2. Keep a Cheer Box or Funny File. When you find those jokes, cartoons, tips and ideas that inspire you and make you giggle and snicker – keep them.  Put them all together in a box or file so you can easily find it when you need a good laugh.  Add fun toys like a talking Yoda from Star Wars, or bubbles, finger paints and some crayons to create playful masterpieces.
  3. Music is a must. I’ve never met a person that didn’t like some type of music.  Heavy metal, pop favorites, Motown classics, or Radio Disney.  Put on nature sounds like singing birds or ocean waves, or bang your head to some rock n’ roll.  Match the music to your mood.
  4. Research. Whenever you need to find the funny, look for children.  They know all about it.  Ever put a child into their room for punishment and come back to find them having imaginary wars between the stick people and the car people who are battling on Pillow mountain? That kind of zest and fun will motivate you to loosen up and let go.  Don’t be so serious.
  5. Get Funky.  Do something completely silly. Write a love letter that compares your dear one to Snoopy, Garfield or another beloved character.  Use the table to conduct your own drum solo – especially if you’re not a drummer.  Play in the mud, make up your own language or wear polka dot socks with a stripped shirt and shorts.  Use your imagination and have fun.

So what makes you laugh?  One major key to adding humor to your life is finding out what you think is funny.  And no, you don’t need to analyze it to find out why.  Isn’t it enough that it makes you feel good?

Sometimes the only sense you can make out of life is a sense of humor!

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!

For more visit these links:

Helpguide.org Brining More Humor and Laughter Into Our Lives.

U Comics – Best Comic Site in the World.

David Letterman Top Ten Archive

Humor University Articles

My articles:

19 Unusual Stress-Busting Tips

Every Day Perks Not to be Missed

10 Unusual Ways to Have Fun Cleaning

9 Tips to Turn Laziness Into an Advantage

Increasing Happiness in 2008

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