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Today is not Opposite Day: This is the truth

By | holidays | No Comments

Today is not Opposite Day. If you observe this holiday, you know this statement is always true. Nearly every day of the year is not Opposite Day, but for the one day that is, January 25th, you do not say, “Today is Opposite Day.” To play along, you must say, “Today is not Opposite Day” because you must say the opposite of what is true. If it is yin, you must say yang.

Yin Yang by Fallen-Eye Opposite Day yin yang male female man woman

Yin Yang by Fallen-Eye

Do opposites attract?

Law of Attraction believers operate under the presumption that we attract into our lives what we focus on. Does like attract like, or do opposites attract? Which is it? Regardless of your belief, opposites create distinctions in an otherwise meaningless world. What would be the point of asking for iced tea if hot tea didn’t exist? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember to focus on opposing thoughts. 

You have to remain alert on this day, or else you might be tricked into feeling like an April Fool. If someone asks if you’re irritated and you are, you smile and say, “No, I’m quite pleased at the moment.”

Are you a planner or procrastinator?

My husband and I recently traveled to Southern California. One day we took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the mountain station at 8500 feet. When we got to the top, we saw tourists shivering in shorts and t-shirts. They obviously didn’t do their homework about the temperature of their destination. Perhaps they had more important things to do.

Fortunately, there was an indoor cafeteria where they could warm up, but they missed out on hiking to see other breathtaking lookout areas around the mountain peak. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that planners must also master the art of procrastination.

millennials testing true false like dislike opposite day multiple choice testIs it true or false?

Starting in elementary school, we begin a long series of tests in which we must determine if statements are true or false. And we play a similar game on other tests as we try to select “right” answers among multiple choices.

These standardized tests shape our thoughts. They teach us that right answers come from elsewhere, not from within. And these thoughts shape our lives. True or false? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that as long as you know what’s true, you also know what’s false.

God is light. In him there is no darkness at all 1 John 1:5 Opposite DayCan you see light when it’s dark?

Our eyes are incapable of observing the pure brightness of the sun or perceiving absolute darkness. We don’t live in either extreme.

Most of us don’t live on the edges of anything. By definition, most people are average. We live our lives in a dim middle-zone reality, somewhere between dawn and dusk. As light increases, darkness subsides. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that darkness is merely the absence of light.

Are you filled with love or fear?

My sister has a fear of flying, especially in small aircraft. Her husband is the opposite. He’s a pilot who’s passionate about flying. For more than five years after getting his pilot’s license, she didn’t go up in the air with him. But eventually, her love for him helped her to overcome her fear.

How an artist leverages her passion to suppress fear

2 Timothy 1:7 Bible verse God spirit fear power love self-discipline Opposite Day

Because he loves planes, he doesn’t fear them. He respects them and takes precautions to make sure he’s safe. His desire to be up in the sky inherently helps him overcome fears that might otherwise keep him grounded.

Love and fear are opposites. There are many shades of concerns and emotions in between, but these feelings have roots of fear or love. Fear is evidence of a block in the flow of love. Love is the absence of fear.

Love is to fear as water is to fire. Love extinguishes fear. Today is not Opposite Day, so there’s no need to remember that your fear of love is not real.

Are you wise or ignorant?

Fear and ignorance are siblings. If you love something enough to learn about it and understand it, your fear naturally subsides. Understanding moves you in the direction of empathy and love. We don’t have time to learn about everything, so we live in a world where we fear many things we don’t yet understand. And we move away from the things we fear.

Knowledge doesn’t obliterate fear, but it can help to minimize it. My brother-in-law has studied planes and practiced flying for years. He could still experience fear in a plane if he had an engine go out, but even then he would have had the training to know how to handle the situation and take hopeful action to glide safely to landing.

He has prepared for what to do in the case that something does go wrong. The world is neutral. The plane has no intention to harm him and neither does the earth. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that it’s wise to know that you can overcome ignorance at any time.

Are you responsible or carefree?

You are the only one who qualifies to play the director and starring role in your life. At any given moment, you either care or careless about the opportunity you have to design your own stage and write your own script.

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

You are not responsible until you adjust your thinking and overcome your fears of judgment. You cannot control what others think. Therefor, what they think should not concern you. Until you begin walking, you can not attract followers. This is the step-by-step way to begin. Today is not Opposite Day so you do not have to remember that it’s responsible to learn how to live carefree.

theatre practice actor man open sign closed Opposite Day

Are you open or closed?

When you have a strong desire for something or someone, you open yourself up to many things. I remember preparing for my first trip to China. I knew my husband would be working there and I wanted to join him on his venture. Although I loved the idea of having another opportunity to live abroad, I had never traveled to Asia. I heard things like, “you can’t trust the food,” and “don’t drink the water.” I was afraid of getting sick there. Prior to moving to China, I didn’t speak a word of Mandarin. I was also afraid of what might happen if I couldn’t communicate with doctors.

As I was preparing to travel to China the first time, I read blog posts by people who had traveled there, and books by expats who had lived there. The more I learned, the more my fears were calmed. The more I understood, the more excited I became.

After moving to China and immersing myself in the language and day-to-day life in Shenzhen, my fears transformed into greater curiosity and a deep appreciation for the culture and people. I made close friends and formed bonds that will last a lifetime. The thought of living in China started out as a fear, but turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember that you have the strength open anything that appears to be closed.

Is great weather hot or cold?

When someone says, “it’s a beautiful day,” do you imagine a blue tropical beach or white ski slopes? To me, “a beautiful day” is somewhere between 80-90 degrees near a beachfront with an easy breeze. I’ve had 90 degree days when I wanted to be outdoors, but I’m with someone who feels miserable in hot weather and wants to hunker down in air conditioning.

Opposite preferences can cause conflict, but they’re necessary in order for us to attach meaning to our world and relationships. Cold is absence of heat and nothing more. Today is not Opposite Day so you do not have to remember that great weather is both hot and cold.

Do you believe that objects are neither good nor bad?

Today, practice believing that nothing is substantially good or bad. I’m no expert on gun control, but I do understand that physical objects in our environment do not take action on their own. They are instruments of our thoughts and actions. If guns kill people, do spoons make people fat? Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that objects are neither good nor bad.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so William Shakespeare Hamlet Opposite Day

Can you believe that people are neither good nor bad?

If a soldier from one country kills a soldier from another, is he a hero or villain? It depends on your perception and how you have been programmed to see the event. Hollywood, or anyone else, will tell you. Even if you’re there as a witness, you’re not qualified to judge. Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not need to remember that bad people are good people.

Are you judgmental or appreciative?

Judgmental people criticize and point out what they don’t like in the world they see. Appreciative people are more accepting. They tend to look for what they like in the world around them. Everything, in and of itself, is a meaningless illusion that we’ve created from prior experience.

One person sees a dog and feels love, while another feels fear. Meanwhile, the dog is sniffing around minding his own business. He did not bring love or fear with him to dole out to the people around him. They arrived with their feelings based on prior experiences with other dogs.

When you remove judgment about what’s happening now, you free yourself. If you can wrap your mind around this concept, you will tap into an innate superpower.  Today is not Opposite Day, so you do not have to remember to appreciate people who are judgmental.

Are you asleep or awake?

The only way you can understand sleep is to have an idea of what it is to be awake. Observe someone dozing. Note that his eyes are closed and his conscious mind is numb. If you poke him, he will awaken in fear.

People operate at various conscious levels, some more asleep and some more awake. Perhaps you know people whose eyes are open but their consciousness is not fully activated. Although today is not Opposite Day, there’s a chance you can experience an abrupt awakening.

Wake Up film Jonas Elrod trailer Opposite Day awake asleep spiritual awakening

Click here to see the Wake Up film trailer

Are you opposed to Opposite Day?

You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to tell people you love them. And you don’t have to wait for Opposite Day to hone your thinking. Holidays are mere reminders of your culture’s values.

Today is not Opposite Day, but you can be aware of the concept and fire up a debate at any time. Go strike up a conversation on something polarizing such as: religion, politics, abortion, animal testing, euthanasia, gay marriage, standardized testing, medical marijuana or concealed guns. Experiment with answering the opposite of what others expect from you.

Is synonym the antonym of antonym?

Get tooled up for Opposite Day. Not all words have opposites. There’s no opposite of dog, for example, unless you’re using it as a verb instead of a noun. A guy might refer to a gal as a dog if he perceives her to be unattractive, for example. If you’re unsure about a word’s opposite, look for its antonym at PowerThesaurus.org. I’m particularly fond of this thesaurus because it gives you the opportunity to contribute by voting on synonyms and antonyms that make the most sense to you. You can help clarify the nuances of polarity.

Knowing what you don’t want is useful

Thinking about opposites can help you gauge what’s important to you. When you go through unpleasant experiences, it helps you become aware of what you do not want. It’s a warning that you need to do a U-turn or recalibrate your direction. This sort of mental gymnastics can help you get your thinking in good shape. When your thinking is grounded in the truth, the curtains will open and your stage lights will come on.

Today is not Opposite Day. This is the truth.

Please like me on Facebook. like dislike button Opposite Day

Please like me on Facebook. We need each other’s opposing views.

 

 

How to get happy now via habits, goals and resolutions

By | habits, holidays, IMPROVE DAILY | 3 Comments

What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming weeks (or months)? Do you have any major goals you’re working toward? Whether I’m talking with an old friend or getting to know someone new, I like to ask these kinds of questions. It’s a good way to get to know people better.

happy here and nowThe way they answer is a gauge of their current state of happiness. Some people light up and describe in vivid detail the vision they’re executing. Others hunch forward and tell stories about of how and why their happiness has been put on hold indefinitely, often because of the noble sacrifices they’re making for others.

When is the best time to do something that makes you happy? The best answer is “now,” and “today,” or “ASAP.” Now is the only time you have and this is true every single day. Your life is happening now right in front of your eyes. Look around. It’s passing by even when you aren’t paying attention.

How about now? Many people miss the power of the present moment because they’re too busy lamenting over the past or projecting into the future. The more you can discipline your mind to stay in the present, to take actions now to design the life you want, the more likely you are to smile more and complain less.

You may admire others who have more money than you, travel more than you do, have better jobs, more fame, or bigger or better whatever. You may think you want what they have, but you really don’t know until you take the opportunity to experience it personally. You don’t know how well it will fit until you try it on or walk in their footsteps. If you did, it might surprise you.

goals list cartoon

Lots of people take time to check in with Facebook, TripAdvisor, Foursquare or Yelp, but forget to check in with themselves. When you feel your mood swinging up or down, make a conscious note of the trigger. Self Check-In. This is a good time to take a moment to reflect on what habits, goals or resolutions you need to make in order to create more emotional up-times in your life. You know you’re getting closer to happiness when you no longer notice the small things that are less relevant because you’re too busy doing what you love to do.

Choose a day of the week to note what habits you need to focus on in the upcoming week. If you have time to slow down and reflect on Sundays, for example, you can reflect back on what went well the prior week and what you want to do different in the upcoming week. Are there new habits you need to put into practice?

Meditation: The Answer to All Your Problems

It can take about 21 days to acquire a new daily habit, so don’t give up if you miss a day. Just pick up where you left off on the next day. Over time your new habit becomes so engrained in your subconscious that you begin to do it automatically. And eventually if you don’t do it, you miss the benefit it provides.

Reflect on your smaller short-term goals each month. Are you doing what you need to do on a daily basis? The first day of the month is a good time to begin tracking your progress throughout the month. If it’s the 10th day of the month, then you know you’re about 33% there.

You can also use your birthday as a milestone instead of going with the first of the month. It feels a bit more personal, even though it can take a little longer to calculate progress. If your birthday falls is on the 29th, 30th, or 31st, you may need to use the last day of the month as the fall-back date for the months that don’t include your number.

What do you think you need to do to be happier? Try a 30 day challenge. Check out this clip by Google Webspam team member, Matt Cutts . . .

Some people like to set New Year’s Resolutions. But you shouldn’t wait for the New Year to come around to kickoff a big goal unless you’ve been preparing yourself for it throughout the prior year. Most people don’t keep their New Year’s Resolutions because they aren’t in the habit of setting small goals all year long. They don’t have the habit of making and keeping promises they make to themselves. If you don’t set and accomplish small goals throughout the year, you’re not likely to accomplish big goals that you blurt out once a year.

goals high-definition daydreams

The most common type of New Year’s Resolution in the US relates to losing weight, exercising more or getting healthier one way or another. Most people have a general idea of what they need to do to be happier, but don’t have the mental will-power to do the day-to-day mundane things that ultimately lead to big results over time. Happiness is as much a journey as it is a destination.

One of the biggest problems with waiting until New Year’s Day to make a resolution is that it seems logical to set big goals knowing that you have the whole year to get it done. The year begins with a few procrastination jokes about why you can’t start yet. Your self-talk can go something like this, “I don’t have to do anything for the first month (or quarter) because there’s still plenty of year remaining.”

By the time the second and third quarter of the year roll around, the self-talk, however subtle, can turn into a self-defeating blame-game, “I can’t do this because of this or that family member,” or “I don’t have enough money,” or ” I’m too young or too old.” If you aren’t getting it done, you’ll find an excuse. This leads to feelings of unworthiness. Psychology Today

Are you happy?

People who keep their New Year’s Resolutions tend to set smaller goals year-round and, more importantly, they keep them. Their smaller goals support their bigger vision. They write down their goals and schedule the daily and weekly activities that direct them toward their ultimate vision.

Every day is the beginning of a new year. Today is the first day of the upcoming 365 days. Consider birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. They can fall on any day of the year. When that day comes around the following year, it’s the beginning of a new year relative to that date. Every day is a good day to make adjustments to your habits and routines in order to create the relationships and environment that bring out the best in you. If something doesn’t go the way you want it to today, start over again as soon as the sun rises.

How to attain authentic happiness in 7 emails

It’s natural to want to move forward and experience life in a fuller way, whatever that means for you. It’s human nature to want expand your space, your influence, your desires and even your things. You can try to do this vicariously through TV, movies and even social media, but if you really want to make the most of your reality, you’ll reach your goals much quicker by spending less time wallowing in passive entertainment and more time taking action to help them to manifest in your life.

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Habits

If your current habits aren’t getting you where you want to go, start making changes today. Here are several things to consider as you make adjustments to your habits, goals and resolutions:

  • Connect with others who share your driving interests. Technology has made it easy to find people who share your passion. Search for clubs or MeetUps in your area so you can build friendships with like-minded friends.
  • Clarify your next steps. Not knowing what to do next is like a having a clogged drain in your brain. You feel stuck, but can’t seem to get past it. When this happens, you may need to get advice from a mentor or someone who has already done what you want to do. I use Todoist to track my next actions and daily tasks.
  • Decide what you need to subtract from your life. People often set goals that are too time-consuming or disruptive to their current lives without deciding what they need subtract. The hours of your days are already full, so you’ve got to let go of less important activities in exchange for the new. Subtraction, in itself, can often relieve you of financial and mental stress which may result in greater happiness.
  • Negotiate small ongoing changes with your spouse or loved ones. As you make changes to your life, you’ll often face resistance from those around you who don’t understand what’s going on. If you’re persistent about making adjustments on a regular basis, then people have time to adjust their own habits and attitudes as they see your progress.

Happiness is not accomplished by amassing a large number of things. If you’re passionate about gardening or animals, you may want to let go of some of the things you have in order to acquire some land. If you want to go off the grid, you may need to invest in a new home or a renovation to make this dream a reality. The same holds true of horseback riding, biking, or any other passion you have.

Let go of unnecessary possessions and self-defeating habits one by one in order to make more room for happiness. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Do it now.

Sick and tired of being held back by your fears? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power you need to achieve your goals. You can start living the life you've always wanted.

Sick and tired of being unhappy? CLICK ON IMAGE to learn how you can gain the mental power you need to be happy. You can start living the life you’ve always wanted.


 

 

 

 

How to Save money: 7 Silly Secrets for Shopaholics

By | gifts, holidays, money | No Comments

You’ve already heard advice like “make a list before you shop,” or “pay cash for everything you buy,” but why bother with silly things like this when you can buy now and pay later? Not many people are willing to give up shopping for a year like Colin Beavan or Judith Levine, but most people can benefit from a few tips on how to save money when shopping. Here are a $even $illy $ecrets for $hopoholics:

1. Wear casual clothes when you shop. 

You know how some people get showered and all gussied up to go shopping? Don’t do that. If you go out in a pair of old sweats, your pajamas or your underwear, you’re more likely to shop faster. Millions of Walmart shoppers are using this strategy to help save money. Check out the People of Walmart website or the People of Walmart video to see how easy it is to pull together some minimalistic outfits for shopping. The worse you look, the quicker you’ll want to get back home.

shopping in underwear cartoon Tim Wyatt is a cartoonist who lives on a remote island
about 10,000 miles off the coast of New Jersey called Australia.

2. Avoid shopping in malls or stores that are larger than a football field. 

If you spend an entire day in shops and malls searching for shoes when you already own hundreds of pairs, you might be a shopaholic. This is just one of the many Confessions of a Shopaholic. Big name stores are set up to entice you into making impulse buys. Even when you have a shopping list, you have to pass by hundreds or possibly thousands of things you had no intention of buying. Bigger stores mean you’re going to waste more time wandering around and you’re more likely to purchase things you don’t need.

Whether you’re in a big box store or a mall, you’re forced to waste a lot of time getting to the few things you came for. Did you realize that American malls and stores have enough square footage to fit everyone in North America, South America and Europe inside all at one time? These glitzy mazes are full of hallways, aisles, fountains, slow escalators, endcap displays, music and smells, all designed to hypnotize and consumerize. Shopping atmospheres work so well that millions of people feel good about charging their way into debt.

3. Shop with two frugal friends.  

Some people use shopping as a way to zone out and forget their troubles. If you find that you lie about your purchases or hide them from family, you may need more frugal friends on your autodial. You need to shop with people who are so cheap that they wouldn’t even consider downloading a 99-cent app for deals. When you shop with frugal friends, you’re more likely to make fewer purchases.

Your frugal friends can help you decide whether you need To Buy or Not to Buy. If you get into a disagreement or have a shopping breakdown, they’ll outnumber you. They’ll win the argument and you’ll have one on each side of you to grab your arms and pull you out of the store. If your withdrawal symptoms are too bad, they might allow you to get something on Freecycle to help ease your discomfort. You can learn a lot from frugal people . . .

4. Listen to sermons by Reverend Billy’s Church of Stop Shopping.

Reverend Billy is seriously hilarious! He’s on a mission to $ave People from their $hopping addictions and their condemnation into eternal debt. “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans may be clinically addicted, compulsive shoppers,” he says. Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir are performance activists who have turned the First Amendment into the lyrics for a gospel tune.

Thank God kids go to school to learn how to sit still and pay attention, and to raise money holding bake sales and car washes, but unfortunately they don’t learn other practical things like how to prepare a budget or pay bills and taxes. “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money on things they don’t have for things they don’t need.” Will RogersWatch Reverend Bill’s film What Would Jesus Buy? for free on YouTube. Stop shopping! “The Shopocalypse is coming,” he warns . . .

5. Track the number of hours you spend shopping. 

If you can go into a clock shop for more than an hour and enjoy every minute of it, you might be a shopaholic. You may know how much money you’re spending, but you may not realize how much time you’re wasting until you actually keep track of it. Use your calendar or a journal to note how many hours you spend shopping in stores and online. Be sure to include the time it takes you to get to the store and back, wait in line, assemble products, store things and anything else associated with buying stuff.

Keep a supply of rubber bands or bracelets on hand and put one around your wrist for every hour you shop. Let them accumulate for a week. Keep them on all day and night as a reminder. Then start over the next week and see if you can reduce the time. When you’re pulling out your credit card or cash for something you know you don’t need, you might want to tug on the the rubber bands to remind yourself of the sting of spending money.

Once you have a better idea of how many hours you spend shopping, you can brainstorm better ways you could be using your time. Challenge yourself to have fewer rubber bands on your wrist each week. As you become more like Miss Minimalist, you’ll have more money and free time to enjoy life in new ways.

There’s no such thing as bad habits 

 

shopping online cartoon

 

6. Spend time instead of money. 

If you go into grocery stores and take other people’s full carts when they aren’t looking just because you’re in a hurry, you might be a shopaholic. Many people feel the urge to shop before they go to a party or family gathering. Some people use the excuse that they need to spend large sums of money to show the depth of their love.

Some people have turned their holiday gatherings into ceremonies focused on how well the house is decorated and how well the gifts are wrapped. All the time you spent shopping, decorating and wrapping is time that you could have spent with family or friends doing more meaningful things.

The media glorifies gift-giving as if the cost of the gift is the measure of your love. But as Reverend Billy says, “you don’t have to buy a gift to give a gift.” When you’re shopping it’s easy to lose your sense of time. During store hours, there’s no past or future. You won’t find clocks in stores. The system is designed to make you believe that you need to buy more stuff now in order to live life to the fullest in the present moment. It’s a fantastical world of make believe. Next time plan to spend time instead of money, and if you feel you must provide a gift, give a gift card . . .


7. Get help from Shopaholics Anonymous.

Terry Schulman of Shopaholics Anonymous is a specialist in shopping addictions such as overspending, hoarding, shoplifting and employee theft. He recently helped a man who got caught stealing ice skates from a sports shop. The guy is making some progress. At least he knows now that he should have waited until he left the store before he put them on.

Here are a few facts from Schulman’s book Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Stealing, Spending and Hoarding. Over 10%, or 30 million Americans, are shoplifters. About 75% of people repeatedly steal from their employers. Check out what he has to say about compulsive shopping . . .

Many of the shiny and beautiful new things in stores are made in sweatshops by people living in poverty. Happiness can’t be bought this way. In the long run, it’s bad business for the makers and the buyers. It’s is an evil cycle that’s coming back to bite those who have profited as others have suffered. As Americans continue to buy cheap things made abroad, it’s only fair that they’re now giving up retirement benefits, jobs and in some cases even homes in their homeland.

The average American is $225,238 in debt and about $16,000 of that is credit card debt. The problem with credit card debt is that “the amount you owe increases almost as fast as you can pay it off. In fact, the credit card companies plan it that way,” says Douglas Adams, an accountant who helps people sort out their finances and deal with credit card issues.

Money can buy a clock . . . but not time.
Money can buy a bed . . . but not sleep.
Money can buy a book . . . but not knowledge.
Money can buy medicine . . . but not health.
Prem Rawat

But enough of this serious stuff. I’m sure you’re ready to get back to shopping. Before you leave, please be sure to buy everything mentioned in this post. It just might be the smartest buying decision you make all year! Good buy.

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You have the power to improve your finances and develop financial fitness. CLICK ON IMAGE now to learn the offense, defense and playing field of money. You can become financially free!

 

Turkeys and Americans Get Stuffed on Thanksgiving

By | Comedy, cooking, eating, holidays, love | No Comments

What’s the difference between a turkey and an American?

Turkeys get stuffed on Thanksgiving, but Americans get stuffed every day.

turkey stuffed (1)

 Turkey with bacon and craisin stuffing by Australian MasterChef Julie Goodwin

Millions of Americans get stuffed two or three times day. Most fill up with prepared foods and snacks at home and on fast foods and snacks when they’re not at home. It’s the western way. If you don’t like hamburgers, soda, cookies and other similar stuffings, you’re often ridiculed by the masses who do.

McDonald’s is the #1 most visited business overall in the US. Huffington Post. Eating fast is America’s favorite pastime. In fact, it’s a sport. Check out Major League Eating for current records on competitive eaters stuffing themselves with everything from turkeys to pumpkin pies to cow brains.

Eating is the secret hobby that will never show up on hobby lists. But Americans love to eat. In fact, the US holds the record as the most obese nation in the world. Reuters. Watch Fast Food Nation to see how this came to be.

Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year when many Americans observe food in an old fashioned kind of way, by pulling out their food processors and making home cooked meals. For decades, western women have been programmed to believe that cooking is drudgery. So Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year when women bother to cook. Men drink as they entertain the kids and watch TV. Beer commercials, football, truck commercials, parades, pharmaceutical commercials and the evening news help to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Breaking News: Man still on death row after fifteen years. This is what happens when you ask for your last meal to be an all-you-can-eat  buffet. Sickipedia

Thanksgiving is one day of the year when you can find all-you-can-eat buffets in homes throughout the country. It takes plenty of time and money to pull off this annual feast. Moms and grandmas spend hours shopping, planning, decorating, baking, stuffing turkeys and teaching the younger women the right way to make the family’s sweet stuffings. I remember my first Thanksgiving with my new mother-in-law. She put me in charge of the sweet potatoes and later told me that I didn’t do it right because my recipe didn’t include marshmallows. I failed one of the initial rites of passage into the family tribe.

Turkey Eating Competition

105-pound woman gobbles down an entire turkey in 10 minutes out-eating her male competitors, including one man four times her size

On Thanksgiving Day Americans celebrate the stuffing of turkeys and the stuffing of people. This is followed by Black Friday, one of the biggest sales day of the year. This four-day weekend is the kickoff to the holiday shopping season and celebration time for retailers.

On Thanksgiving we’re supposed to take time out to be appreciative. But between all the shopping, traffic lights, cooking, cleaning, drinking, eating, watching commercials and playing games and there’s little time or patience left over to take time to say thank you to anyone who isn’t a sales clerk. If this sounds familiar, perhaps it’s time to simplify your life.

We could be thankful that we have enough food to stuff everyone in the country, but unfortunately, some people become obese while others go hungry. We could be thankful for the four-day holiday, but it probably does more harm than good to most people’s health and finances.

You may not be able to change holiday traditions for everyone in the country, but you can begin by making changes in your own traditions. Perhaps you’d like to eat something other than turkey this year?

If you’re concerned about gaining weight through this year’s holiday season, check out the Film Diet Plan. With some thoughtful planning, you can find ways to do less stuffing and more thanking. Are you ready to answer the question, “what are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?”

Everyone was finally seated around the table ready to dig in to Thanksgiving dinner when little Joey picked up his fork and began to eat.

“Wait Joey,” his mother said. “You can’t eat until we say grace.”

“We don’t need to pray here,” he said.

“Of course we do. You know we always pray before we eat at home.”

“That’s at our house,” he replied. “but this is grandma’s house and she knows how to cook.” SHE

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Halloween Costume Ideas for Green-Blooded People

By | clothing & accessories, holidays | One Comment

watermelon helmet (1)If you see a young lady busting out of a tight shirt that says, “GUESS” on it, what comes to your mind? ThinkNiceBe careful about expecting people to guess who you are. They might come up with answers you don’t like. Halloween is the best time of year to let people know who you are and what you stand for.

Have you ever spent too much time and money pulling together a costume you wore for just a few hours? Or procrastinated and ended up with a lame costume you put together at the last minute? Not this year! You can come up with great Halloween costume ideas quickly and easily if you follow one simple rule: be yourself.

It’s no fun to go to a party trying to be someone you aren’t. Too many people are stuck in this trap in real life. Don’t make the same mistake at Halloween. We play many roles in life. There’s no need to work hard at being a fake when you can have fun being real. Here are seven ways you can enjoy Halloween simply by being you.

1. Find new friends who share your hobby.

Fisherman. Remember the good advice your mother taught you about teaching a man to fish. If you cook a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you get rid of him for the whole weekend. Jokes4Us. If you already have a pole, a fishing vest, some boots and a hat, that’s about all you need. For some extra effect, you can show up with some fish on ice in a cooler. Be prepared to tell your friends about the dangers of eating farmed fish  and the importance of checking Seafood Watch to know your best choices and good alternatives. American Fisheries Society

Happy Camper. Gather up some of your camping gear and tell everyone the benefits of camping. Nature is peaceful, the air is fresh, and the sex is intents! MBCB. Everyone likes a happy camper. Camping World

Hiker. Like to wander through redwoods or go out into the wilderness to climb mountains? Put on your hiking outfit complete with backpack, water bottle, hiking boots, hat and mosquito wear. Tell everyone to take a hike! American Hiking Society

Skeleton. Do you play an instrument? Take your guitar and tell people you lost your tromBONE. American Music Therapy Association

2. Promote a cause you believe in.

Black Cat or Dog. Be the life of the party. Wear a dog T-shirt or mask. After everyone arrives at the party, sit down in the middle of the living room floor and lick your thighs. After you’re all cleaned up, mingle among the crowd on your hands and knees sniffing people’s crotches. Did you know that black cats and dogs are more likely to be euthanized than others? Save a life, adopt a black cat. There’s no reason to fear black cats unless you’re a mouse. Use Halloween as an opportunity to encourage your friends to adopt a pet from the Humane Society. It’s easy to put together this costume. You probably already have some black pants and a long-sleeve black top. Pin a tail to the back of your pants and attach some ears to a headband. Use eyeliner to draw some whiskers on your cheeks.

Breastfeeding Mom. We all know that breastfed babies suck, but not everyone knows that they’re healthier and possibly even smarter. Don’t wait for World Breastfeeding Week to come around to promote the benefits of breastfeeding. Be a mummy. Take your baby or a big baby doll and a blanket, and keep both of them close to your chest. Breastfeeding Magazine 

Homeless Person. Got a heart for the homeless? If you’re an active person, go as dumpster diver. Ask to borrow a grocery cart from your local grocery such as Trader Joe’sWhole Foods Market or some other organic grocer. Load your cart with bags full of plastic and glass. If you don’t want to be active, sit near the door shaking a cup with some coins and ask everyone for money as they go in or out. Give the money to a local homeless shelter. Whatever you do, don’t tell any knock knock jokes. Do you talk to Invisible People?

Recycle Bin. Tell everyone you aspire to be a recycle truck driver because, as your son assures you, they only work one day a week. Jokes4Us. Wear recycle bin green or blue. Get some posterboard in the same color. Use white letters to show what you recycle: glass or plastic, for example. Earth 911

Tree. Know how trees get on the internet? They log in. TB. Trees provide many benefits for people and the planet. Wear a green top with brown pants or a long skirt. Top it off with a green hat. Pin some green leaves to your hat and shirt. If you’re a financial planner, pin dollars to your shirt and be a money tree. Tell everyone to plant their dollars in an investment so they can watch them grow.  Arbor Day Foundation

Toastmaster. People fear public speaking more than they fear death. Many people would rather be the one in the casket instead of the one giving the eulogy. If your doctor has already told you that you only have one year to live, tell him you can’t pay your bill and he’ll give you another year. Go as a politician or famous speaker and tell people that you have the cure for podiumphobia. JOL. Toastmasters gives members a chance to practice their leadership and communication skills while helping them to overcome fears and develop confidence.

3. Be someone you admire.

Monk or Laughing Buddha. This is a good costume for someone who’s recently been wiped out by a divorce or loss of a job. Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise. MrJam. Monks give up their secular lives. Tell people that you’ve been wanting  to give up your worldly possessions in exchange for a more meaningful life. Wear a bald cap and wrap yourself up in a red, orange, yellow or brown sheet. Shoe up in flip flops. Money Management International

Patch Adams. He put his medical degree on the line because he believed in treating sick people not only with medicine, but also with kindness and humor. You can pull together a basic Patch Adams outfit with some scrubs and a red nose. If you really want to go all out, use some bed pans for shoes. “The reason adults should look as though they are having fun is to give kids a reason to want to grow up.” Patch Adams Gesundheit Institute

Pope Francis. He’s says that the Church and Christians must strip themselves of worldliness. To be the pope, you need a simple white outfit, a white beanie cap and a big cross necklace. Many want to serve God, but only as advisors. TAG. When you aren’t smiling and waving, remember to keep your hands in a prayer position. Bring along a wash basin and a bar of soap so you can wash people’s feet. It’s a feet treat. Official Vatican Network

4. Be confident with who you are.

Bald Guy or Gal. If you’re bald or balding, go as a famous bald person. Or wear a bald cap if necessary. Be Pitbull. Wear a black outfit and sunglasses. Take several copies of his Global Warming album to pass out as treats and be prepared to give your friends tips on how to stop global warming. Go as Michael Pollan. Remember to bring books to sign. Go as Dr. Phil and give out good advice such as, “you’re only lonely if you’re not there for you.” Go as Seal to drum up awareness of lupus. Hand out roses and kisses. Go as Gail Porter to bring awareness to mental illness or alopecia. Bald people save energy. They don’t have to wash or dry their hair. Go Sly Bald Guys!

Indians

Lorraine & Bob

Hulk. This is a great costume for a big guy. You only need a pair of old tight pants and a tight top. Chop away at the hemline and sleeves to make them looked ragged in a Flintstone kind of way. Use a little Elmer’s glue to make your hair look messy. Paint your body green. For more ideas about the Hulk and the world’s strongest man, see Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym.

Indian. My husband is part Chinook Indian. When he asked me to marry him I didn’t hesitate. He told me that anytime I needed a break, we could always fall back on reservations. This was important to me because he has an exceptionally large pow-wow. Association on American Indian Affairs

Mimimalist. This is the all-time easiest costume. You only need a few items, a plain top and a bottom, or a simple dress for a lady. Skip the underwear and be sure to tell everyone how they can simplify their lives too. Who needs underwear when you’re wearing pants? You have to admit, it’s a bit excessive. Go barefoot. Minimalists are easy on the planet. Becoming Minimalist

5. Share your secret to good health.

Farmer’s Market Shopper. They’re honest people. You have to be when potatoes have eyes and corn has ears. EL. If you regularly shop at your local farmer’s market, it’s “normal” for you to see friendly people with their carts and baskets loaded up with fruits and vegetables, toting their dogs and kids in strollers. Accessorize with sunglasses and a shirt with a green message.Too many kids today mistakenly think that food comes from warehouses, boxes, bags and cans. Farmers Market Coalition

Fruit or Vegetable. It’s best to choose a vegetable that suits your body shape. Be brave, ask a friend or your spouse which one suits you best: asparagus, banana, carrot, corn,red hot chili pepper, sweet potato, or something else. Wear the appropriate colors and carry a plateful of snacks with you as an appetizer. Mingle among the crowd asking, “would you like to taste me?” Come prepared to tell everyone why they should buy organic. Organic Consumers

Green Giant. He’s a giant and he’s green on the outside, but not on the inside. Green Giant appears to have a good goal–to grow vegetables. But be cautious of this green monster who produces GMO vegetables sprayed with pesticides. Dress up as the Green Giant monster and warn your friends about the dangers of GMOs. Avoid Green Giant GMOs 

Scarecrow. Only in America do people order a double cheeseburger, large fries and a diet coke. EHLW. If more people knew what they were really eating, they’d be scared. Scarecrows are vogue this year. Millions have tuned in to watch The Scarecrow.

6. Exaggerate your work outfit.

Medical Professional. If you work in the medical profession, you may not think about wearing your scrubs, but you should. You’ll certainly generate fear in some people, especially if you show up with accessories such as a (plastic) scalpel or some (fake) needles and cotton. Follow Dr. Mercola for tips on staying healthy on your own.

Librarian. You have to make tough decisions when you’re a librarian. If a man is checking out a book on suffocation, for example, should you offer him a bag? FJ. Pick up an armload of books and put on some reading glasses. Walk around with your index finger over your lips, reminding everyone about the benefits of quiet reading time. Ssshhhuuussh. American Library Association

Teacher. Know what happens if you have a vampire for a teacher? You have to take a lot of blood tests. BL Be creative. If you teach biology, bring a platter of cheese with a dissected mouse spread out in the middle. If you’re a social studies teacher, take a globe showing borders but no country names. Tell your students they’ll get a treat if they guess the name of a country you point to. You won’t have to give out too many treats. Educators for Social Responsibility

7. Get moving.

Biker. Bicycling is the most energy-efficient form of transportation on the planet. Want to know the biker’s secret to good health? Work to ride and ride to work. TXW. If you don’t already have a bike, use your Halloween costume as your excuse to buy one. If you have one you haven’t used in a while, dust it off and pump up the tires. Buy a bright fluorescent Halloween orange biker outfit and a black helmet. Not only will you be safer on the road, you’ll have some great new gear that you can use yearround. Be a biker babe or dude for real. People For Bikes

Bus Driver. Drivers have a tough job. “Two blonds got on the bus yesterday,” my friend told me. “The first asked if this bus would take her to 5th Avenue. Sorry, no it won’t, I told her.  The second blond smiled and said, will it take me?” MWIJIf you’re a public transportation worker, you’re an environmental hero! National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates

Carpooler. Have you heard about the blond carpool group? They meet at work. Anvari. Go to the Halloween party with a few carpool buddies and tell everyone the advantages: saving money on fuel and car repairs, growing friendships, and arriving faster by using the carpool lane.  Check out eRideShare to find some carpool buddies. If a cop ever pulls you over in the carpool lane because he doesn’t see anyone in the car with you, tell him to check your trunk. As he heads toward the back of your car, drive away fast. CC.

Hitchhiker. Hitchhiking helps to save the planet. Make a sign to show where you want to go: SalemIntercourseTruth or ConsequencesElephant Butte Inn, or Why. Add other important notes such as “freshly showered,” or  “off parole, ready to roll.” If you’d like some tips, read HitchWiki or Safe Hitchhiker’s Guide by Ren Tacar CT. Thumbs up to hitchhiking!

Traveler. Dust off a suitcase with wheels. Think of a place you’ve already been, or somewhere you want to go, and dress accordingly. Put a label on your suitcase so you can find it easily. International travel is one of the best ways to learn about other cultures and gain a better understanding of your own. Know before you go. Jamaican Air, for example, only has red eyes. JOL. Not ready to join the Peace Corps, but interested in a short-term adventure? Check out Global Vision International

Goodwill and Salvation Army are great places to find clothing and accessories.

Looking for a way to enjoy Halloween without all the sugar? Check out Halloween Balls: A Candy Substitute for People With Balls.

This is the year to be yourself. If you don’t like who you are, do something about it.

Do Something

Halloween Balls: A candy substitute for people with balls

By | Comedy, eating, holidays, parenting | 4 Comments

It takes balls to say you’re not going to pass out candy on Halloween. It’s like saying you don’t want to roast a turkey on Thanksgiving, or fire up crackers and hotdogs on the Fourth of July.

Smiley Face BallsYou may think people who turn off their porch lights on Halloween night are anti-American scrooges who don’t like kids, when in fact they may be doing you a favor. Your kids get less candy, but more exercise as they parade to the next house. Some kids do more walking on Halloween night than they do most other nights of the year.

Why do you think Superman’s costume is so tight? It’s because he’s wearing an “S” when he needs an “L.”  Funology

Buying sweet goodies is more of a trick than a treat. You think kids like Halloween?

Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween are even bigger celebrations for the candy industry. According to the National Retail Association, Americans will spend more than $2 billion on Halloween candy alone this year.

Halloween is the time to sample new sweets. Adults buy pounds of their favorite candies to share with kids and colleagues, and to hide away stashes for themselves. Millions of Americans are plagued with sugar addiction.

If you want to know whether or not your kid is addicted to sugar, try this little experiment.

Candy contributes to cavities and other dental issues. That’s why we have the Halloween Candy Buyback program, you might be thinking. But do you really want your dentist getting free PR on the evening news because he’s paying kids for candy he sends off to troops abroad? Don’t fall for this prank! It’s like shipping our electronic waste off to China and India, making people in other countries suffer from our toxic waste. GreenPeace

 

It’s normal for parents to want to pass along their heritage. But why not create a new healthier tradition? Instead of passing out candy this year, have balls, throw balls, and get kids excited about playing with their balls!

Why balls?

Sour balls and other candies helps kids with eye-hand coordination as they improve their aim to their mouths. But balls help kids with more important things, like long distance eye-hand coordination, physical balance, strength and endurance.

Ask any man. He loves his balls and he’s enjoyed playing with them ever since he can remember. If you don’t believe me, test this for yourself. Given the choice, a boy will part with candy before he’ll part with his balls. Balls are to men what shoes are to women. SearchQuotes

Males tend to be more athletic than females. They keep their balls with them all the time, close at hand. The majority of females grow to appreciate balls, but parents with little girls need to know that there’s no guarantee on things like this.

Even though they may not have any themselves, they understand that men like their balls regardless of what size or shape they are. They come in a wide variety of sizes: everything from dense bowling balls, to air-filled basketballs, hardcore baseballs, and little lightweight ping pongs. Men and women across the globe have exhibited that they get a significant amount of pleasure each week from balls.

When young couples marry, brides are sometimes surprised that their newlyweds leave their balls out on the couch or living room floor. New wives are usually fairly tolerant of things like this, but after children come into the picture, ladies often nag their children and their husbands about putting their balls away.

Keep your eye on the ball. Doesn’t it make more sense to give your kids things to help their brains and bodies develop, rather than deteriorate?

How much should you invest in your balls? 

Whatever you put into your balls now will certainly return to you later. Even a very small investment may give you a surprising rebound. Regardless of how much you choose to spend on your balls, your investment will provide you with dividends for years to come.

How can you get balls? 

If you don’t have any balls, don’t worry. They’re surprisingly easy to come by. Most women can attest to this. Women are natural shoppers. They know how to get what they’re looking for. If you’re having trouble finding your balls, ask a woman. She can help you out.

In a recent survey, most men reported that their balls are priceless and they’d spend almost anything to keep them. Both men and women enjoy checking out balls at places like Dicks, Sports Basement and Sports Authority.

Some people like old balls. Look for them in the toy section in your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. They often have bins or shelves full of toys and balls you can get for a few bucks. Play It Again Sports is another great place to find balls that have been kicked around. Most used balls work just fine. Older ones tend to have more character. Don’t worry if they’re a little deflated. You can pump them up with a little air.

Let the kids select the balls. Studies have shown that boys especially are more confident when they have a say in matters that involve their balls. Besides, kids are more likely to know what kinds of balls their friends like.

If you’re a germaphobe, wash the balls before you touch them. Men don’t mind playing with dirty balls, but girls do.

What kinds of balls work best?

Different balls serve different purposes, so don’t let anyone convince you that his balls are better than anyone else’s. It all depends on your personal preference. When I was a young girl, I loved playing with big inflatable balls at the beach. And I also liked playing with my Jacks with ball set. I had friends who were into tennis balls, pool table balls and footballs. But I was most impressed with one of my friends who could ride a unicycle while juggling balls or oranges.

When it comes to balls, the sky is the limit. What boy wouldn’t like to have glow in the dark balls, for example?

Should you give your balls away?

Do your part to End Sugar Addiction. Give balls away this year. Don’t worry about losing them. Studies have shown that when you give your balls away, they eventually bounce back.

What food can you serve at a costume ball?

Celebrate healthy eating. Serve healthy treats such as banana ghosts, tangerine pumpkins or fruit-kabobs. Hold a fruit & vegetable art contest for younger kids and a pumpkin carving contest for older ones.

Halloween food art - GreatFoodFunPlaces.com

Banana, tangerine and celery snack plate.

Kids today know how to keep their eyes on their Apple iPhones, but they’ll be more active if they’re participating in an apple-bobbing contest. Check your phone, not your watch. It’s time for change.

Do kids need more balls or more candy?

Halloween candy is out. Halloween balls are in.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 26 million Americans have diabetes and another 79 million have prediabetes and are at risk of developing it.

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. It’s a serious disease which can result in slew of negative health effects. The ADA estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the US contributes $176 billion to the pharmaceutical and health care industries. Trick or treat?

As President Obama advises his nation . . .

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
We are the change that we seek.”
BrainyQuote

Is Halloween a good time to schedule a ball game?

Yes. Host an afternoon softball or soccer game where players come dressed up in costumes. Then let kids get all juiced up as they participate in a fruit & vegetable art contest to explore their creative talent.

Should you involve your kids in ball planning? 

Yes. Involve your kids in planning the Halloween ball or ballgame. Brainstorm activities they might want to do. Not only will they have more fun at the party, they’ll also learn some basics of planning events and preparing healthy snacks.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can lead to life-threatening consequences.”

How do you know when it’s time to change a holiday tradition?

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that world obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. More than 33% of the world’s population is overweight. According to the World Health Organization, 65% of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than starvation. Weight issues are the fifth leading cause of death.

Who are you most afraid of? Witches, doctors or dentists?

The good news is that these dental and weight issues are preventable. If you want to protect your kids from these afflictions, check out this advice from the Childhood Obesity Foundation. They offer four simple things families can do now to help kids achieve healthy bodies.

Order your balls today. Then give your balls to your friends and tell them about the advantages of having a ball on Halloween.

Next time you’re thinking of reaching for a piece of candy. Resist. Reach for your balls instead.

Childhood Obesity Foundation