Love Paper

photography, fall

From Rob Firchau @ The Hammock Papers: Love Paper

A tree gave its life for what you are about to attempt. Don’t let the silicon chip or computer monitor cause you to forget this. That ex-tree material stacked in your printer is so dead as you begin to write that its bark-skinned, earth-eating, oxygen-producing, bird-supporting, squirrel-housing body has been reduced to an inert blank expanse of white. To find the life of language and lay that life down on the paper is to redeem the sacrificed life of the tree…

David James Duncan

If you write, blog and/or read, DON’T MISS the entire post: Love Paper

Photograph: skubmic titled Autumn Lines


15 Minutes of Fame

space-shuttle-launch

Monday:

It’s early afternoon. There are ripples. The wind picks up during the day. There are 9,000 blog views by bed time, 8,500 views for a single post, more than 10x my Total average daily views. (Not that I’m counting.) 

I ferret out the source of traffic: Facebook. I’m unsuccessful at locating the fire starter.

Monday EOD Count: 11,000 views

Tuesday:

I wake to find my blog with 18,000 new views.  18,000 views overnight!  No caffeine required.

I sneak peaks during the day to find post views are climbing at more than 5,000 per hour. Heart? Pumping.

The site traffic is picked up by two media sources who send an email requesting my permission to share the post on their site. They ask for my photo.  Oh No. No. No. No.  I reply with thanks, but no thanks.

I go to bed, and sneak a peak at the view count. 101,000. And counting.

Tuesday EOD Count: 125,000 [Read more...]

The righteous will cross the paper bridge

light

Remember the story you learned as a child: When the hour arrives for us to proceed to the next world, there will be two bridges to it, one made of iron and one made of paper,” Peretz intoned. His words were heavy, but his voice floated on rings of smoke, a breath of fire and ash that hovered over the room full of Hebrew and Yiddish books, as if waiting to descend and consume them. Der Nister swallowed, breathing in the master’s air. “The wicked will run to the iron bridge, but it will collapse under their weight. The righteous will cross the paper bridge, and it will support them all. Paper is the only eternal bridge. Your purpose as a writer is to achieve one task, and one task only: to build a paper bridge to the world to come.

~ Dara Horn, The World To Come


Notes:

Bloggers. Why Curate?

curate,curation,blog,blogging

The pieces that I chose were based on one thing only
— a gasp of DELIGHT.
Isn’t that the only way to curate a life?
TO live among things that
make you gasp with delight?

~ Maira Kalman, My Favorite Things


My Favorite Things is a new book by Maira Kalman that was released on Amazon yesterday. “The book is a beautiful pictorial and narrative exploration of the significance of objects in our lives, drawn from her personal artifacts, recollections, and selections from the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style.”

Find her bio here: Maira Kalman


Quotes Source: brainpickings

Blog is a slog?

blog-blogging-blogger

Excerpts from: When Blogging Becomes a Slog by Steven Kurutz, NYTimes.com:

The Petersiks’ trademark gung-ho enthusiasm seemed forced. And since the birth of their second child, Teddy, in April, they were increasingly voicing their difficulty in balancing work and family…the couple responded in a post titled “Feeeeeelings,” in which they confessed to “feeling off for a while” and missing the days when “we did this for the love.” Although they had scaled back outside projects to recommit to the blog, they were unable to shake the sense of “letting you guys down repeatedly.” They had decided to step away from Young House Love for an indeterminate period and explore other career options. The unexpected announcement has generated more than 4,000 comments so far.

Ms. Petersik responded in an email that “we really would like to clear our heads and refocus.” But they are not alone in their experience. Blogger burnout seems to be something that many of their colleagues in the world of home and D.I.Y. blogs, most of them in their 20s and early 30s, can relate to as well. Is the first generation of design bloggers aging out of the blogosphere? Or is this just a new twist on an old business story, updated for the Internet age?

…A tricky thing to avoid as a full-time blogger, considering that the Internet never sleeps, readers want fresh content daily and new social media platforms must be mastered and added to the already demanding workload.

…Pam Kueber…sees the Petersiks’ escalating stress levels and unhappiness simply as evidence of the latter: A passion turns into a hobby, which becomes a full-time career. “And in some predictable period of time, it consumes your life and sucks the joy out if it,” said Ms. Kueber, finishing the arc. “That last part of the Shakespearean tragedy is what you have to be mindful of not letting happen.”

Read full story @ When Blogging Becomes a Slog by Steven Kurutz, NYTimes.com


Image: Egozy

Riding Metro-North. 17 hours and counting.

black and white, photography

Thursday. September 18.

I’m up at 3:00 a.m., and operating on four and a half hours of sleep. Even this Bull-Head understands that this, This, is unsustainable.

Insomnia. A discipline, unlike dieting, I’ve perfected. I now understand, her words, Marina Tsvetaeva, and their meaning.

“After a night of insomnia
the body gets weaker,
Becomes dear but no one’s —
not even your own.”

I look out the window. It’s not dawn but pre-dawn. Moonless. Dark. And Still. Me, the crickets and the hum of the electrical current running the overhead lamp.

I rifle through my schedule for the day.  6:00 a.m. train. Breakfast and lunch with colleagues. A team dinner in the evening. Calls and meetings jamming all white space in between. 18 hours from now, I can take my suit and shoes off and crawl back into bed.  I blink my eyes. Once. Twice. Three times. I cannot clear the blur. I close them and rest for a moment.  Give me 20 minutes and I’ll be good – - fully functioning. Just 20 minutes.

The day landed as expected, full, including two nightcaps for this teetotaler after dinner. I pull the maraschino cherry from my cocktail and drop it in my mouth, when a colleague lets fly: “V.O. Manhattan, huh? My Father used to drink those.” I smile, proud not to have taken the bait. How socially acceptable and behaved you’ve become. There was a time you’d come across the table and level the score and then some. An eye for an eye, a leg, and an arm. [Read more...]

A morsel of gratitude for (my) Readers

read-book-woman-portrait-black-and-white

One of the questions I always try to keep in the front of my mind is to ask why would anyone want to read this, and to try to find a positive answer for that. People’s time, if you bought it off them, is expensive. Someone’s going to give you eight or ten hours of their life. I want to give them something back, and I want it to be an enjoyable experience.

~ David Mitchell, The Soul Cycle

 


Notes:

5:59 am. Inspired. (And Thankful)

sunburst-morning-sunrise

Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:

Jeffrey Foltice @ Photo Nature Blog with his photo above titled Morning Sunburst: the sunrise is near Hudsonville, Michigan. Check out Jeff’s other amazing work here.

Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post.  More here [Read more...]

3:54 am. And Inspired.

7-27-13-sunflower-jpeg

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Carol @ Radiating Blossom – Flowers @ Words with her sunflower photography up top.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Anake Goodall with his share 62 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.
  3. Sandy Sue @ A Mind Divided with her post: A Break in the Weather: “…Earlier in the week I had a Come to Jesus meeting with myself.  When the depression bottoms out, all my demons swell up like roadkill on a hot day—gassy and explosive.  Out trotted All the Reasons My Life is Shit.  I won’t bore you with details, just to say there it is an unholy pantheon of gremlins.  And when said pantheon gets gassy and explosive, the splatter perimeter is vast…
  4. Christy Boyce @ 77 Ways To Grow with her post: Car Crazies!: “So unexpected. Such a feeling of freedom in an unexpected place. I crank up the music and roll down the windows.  I am a Mom with NO KIDS in my car!…[Read more...]

3:59 am. And Inspired.

New Zealand-lake-mountain

Good Wednesday morning. Here we go with my selections of the inspiring posts of the week…

  1. Up top, you see a photograph by Nitzus, photographer extraordinaire who shares a shot from Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand.  I’ve never been to Kiwi-Land but this shot inspires me to do so.  Check out more great photos here.
  2. Letters of Note with a post titled: It’s a strange and confusing world: …In October 1974, as he lay on his death bed at the end of a battle with cancer and reflected on his past, Clyde S. Shield wrote the following heartfelt letter to his 3-week-old grandson and offered some poignant advice for the road ahead…If I could package (with ribbon) those gifts that I would most like to give you, I would. But how do you package integrity, how do you wrap honesty, what kind of paper for a sense of humor, what ribbon for inquisitiveness?…Read more of this moving post at this link.
  3. Michael Baer’s Stratecution Stories with his post (a letter to his son who is graduating from high school): Letter to A Graduate - Some Rules to Live By: slow and steady is a solid approach to success. You will enter into college, and into life, with a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion. You will be impatient for success and expecting speedy movement forward. But know that things can take time. And much of life is beyond your control – all you can control is how you deal with things. So keep plugging away, taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and good things will happen…Read 9 other Rules at this link. [Read more...]

We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers

Word Press & Facebook Like Symbols

NY Times, Sunday, June 16, 2013: Facebook Made Me Do It (Excerpts)

…That feedback loop of positive reinforcement is the most addictive element of social media. All those retweets, likes and favorites give us a little jolt, a little boost that pushes us to keep coming back for more. It works whether or not we post the typical social media fodder of lush vacation pictures and engagement announcements or venture into realms that showcase our most daredevilish antics and risqué behavior.

…Our growing collective compulsion to document our lives and share them online, combined with the instant gratification that comes from seeing something you are doing or experiencing get near-immediate approval from your online peers, could be giving us more reason to act out online, for better or for worse.

…We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers.

…the vast amplification of the potential audience a single person can reach has raised the stakes for all online activity.

…“It’s performative.”


Source: The New York Times: Facebook Made Me Do It by Jenna Wortham, Technology reporter

5:00 am. And Inspired.

forest, woods, aspen, birch,trees


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Olive @ Olivethepeople with her post titled The Subway Samaritan: “He was crazy. At least I thought so. At least at first. You see…

Tina @ Practical Practice Management with her post titled Who Made an Impact on You. I’ve read similar iterations of this thought but it never seems to get old and always seems to leave me in wonder. “Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time…

Sedone @ Getting Better, Man. with his post titled Giving Happiness a Helping Hand aka Beware the Silent H*. “I’m dedicated to giving happiness a helping hand, although sometimes I want to give it the finger…And don’t miss the short video.

[Read more...]

5:06 am. And Inspired.

Inspired with Nature


Good Wednesday morning.  All of my inspiring posts of the week come from a single source.  Thank you Sandy Sue for pointing me to Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings who has started a series of guest posts called “Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.”  Peg awards the bloggers a “Freshly Pegged Award.”  Here’s some samplings:

Life In The Boomer Lane with her guest post titled Why I’d Rather Be 65 Than 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, or 55I hate that my body moves more slowly than it used to, that when I roll over in bed, my back hurts, that sex is accomplished in mostly one position, that photos of myself scare me, that I can no longer run up and down the stairs or sit in a pretzel position on the floor or reach way under the bed to grab something. I hate that reaching way down into the crib to pick up my grandson must be planned like a military operation . I hate that my memory fails at the oddest times, that I am beginning to lose a grip on pop culture, that I think a lot about being home in bed with a book when I am out in the evening. I hate that people in charge can look younger than my children…” Great post.  Read more here.’

Misty @ Misty’s Laws with her guest post titled The Last Straw…To My Heart. “I have an admirer.  I am being wooed on a daily basis.  I see him almost every day and he gives me what I so desperately need.  He satisfies my cravings and soothes the beast within.  He gives me the ability to face the day.  He provides me with the fix that I need before I can function every morning.  He is . . . the drive-thru guy at my Dunkin Donuts...” Read more here. [Read more...]

4:26 am. And Inspired.

baby, cute, inspiring, emotional, photography


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you Megan @ Make Something Mondays for her post More Than Photographs where she shares the photo above and a collection of similar inspiring shots.  See more here
  2. Russ Towne @ A Grateful Man with his post: There is Greatness in Goodness.   ” I just flashed back to a scene in the movie where a man with many flaws who has wanted his whole life to be great and failed over and over again finally does something that is indeed great. The woman he is with says something to him that is profound. It went something like this: Yes, you were great. “But you were also something much better than that…Read more here.
  3. Julie @ jmgoyder with her post Gutsy9′s Growth: I look forward to each post (pictures and updates) on G9′s development.  G9 is a orphaned baby peacock which Julie has adopted.  And there has been an exciting new development.  “But guess what? I think he might…Read more here.
  4. Renplus @ for her post titled Cocoon Breaks Open. “The enormity of Monday’s layoff didn’t sink in until yesterday, and I allowed myself to grieve finally. It needed to happen, and I was proud that I could experience it, release the pain, and move forward. Some beautiful things that I never expected really touched me, though…” Read more here. [Read more...]

4:58 am. And Inspired.

Narvik, Norway, Arctic Circle, snowboarding, extreme sports, jump, sunset, sunrise, mountains


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. Thank you olavstubburd for the photo which was shot in Narvik, in Northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.
  2. Colleen @ The Chatter Blog with her post When You’re Not Good Enough: “What do you tell yourself when you start facing the realization you are not good enough for something?  Not that you can’t do something.  But that you can’t do something well enough to excel, continue and progress. What Do You Do?…Without a doubt I am not good enough to test for master level…Can I accept that I cannot move ahead, test, progress…Can I do that? Is accepting that I have done “enough” a manner of growing?…
  3. Kurt @ Cultural Offering with his post A Life Well Lived. In Praise of RamseyEveryone has stories of the best dog in the world and we have ours – the story of Ramsey…Ramsey grew up with our children.  He played with them, watched after them, slept on and at their beds.  He was an incredibly good natured dog, friendly to most everyone…He never wandered or got in much trouble; instead he was content accompany anyone who might be going on a walk, playing or working in the yard.  His idea of excitement was running laps as fast as he could around the yard in a frenzied fit of joy.  He was that kind of dog…” Heartwarming story.  Read more[Read more...]

5:16 am. And Inspired.

black and white, photography, Luca Setti


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Luca Setti.  Check out Luca’s other shots at Luca Setti Fine Art Photographer. (See Galleries section.)  Awesome and Inspiring.
  2. Elena @ Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately & Don’t Forget To Breathe with her post: Old-Fashioned. “In a town, that has so many healthy, but plastic-looking women, with ridiculous hair extensions, it’s truly empowering to be walking it, my way…knowing, that family of a sick child has to pay for a wig, according to that family’s income level, is more than enough reason for me, to donate my hair to an organization that gives it for free.  The family is going through enough pain and trauma as it is. I know, because I lost my father to cancer.  Authentic and inspiring Elena.
  3. Rob Biesenbach @ Act Like You Mean Business with his post Fewer Inspirational Quotes, More Original Thinking, PleaseThe Internet has ruined quotations for me.  I love inspirational quotes as much as the next guy…But enough is enough…Now some people may feel they’ve got no special wisdom or insights to share. Bull. You’re just not looking hard enough…”  Excellent wake-up call and post Rob.
  4. Steve Aitchison @ Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life with his post What on Earth is Stopping you? “Times are changing fast and more and more of us are realizing it’s possible to create a life for ourselves instead of life creating us. There is something more you should be doing. There is something waiting for you. There is a spark inside of you waiting to be lit. There is craving, a feeling, of something more important you should be doing. There has never been a better time to start…So, tell me this.  What is stopping you?[Read more...]

4:15 am. And Inspired.

Autumn-colored Sedges in The Enchantments


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

  1. The photo above was taken by Lee Rentz @ Lee Rentz Photography Weblog.  Check out Lee’s other shots in Washington State at a post titled When We Walked Through the Forests of Gold.  Inspiring.
  2. Sheri @ The Other Side of Ugly with her post No Small Thing.Existence is no small thing. To be alive and made up of the very particles of the universe that you live in is no small thing. To have eyes to see, hands to feel, ears to hear, mouths to taste, minds to think and hearts to love is no small thing”…Terrific.
  3. Ofe @ Tropical Spice Living with her post What Every Boy Should Know where she shares 20 lessons that Mothers should impart with their sons.  On point and heartwarming…I won’t be a spoiler.  Check out her post.
  4. Ed Batista with his post The Meaning of Life.  I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Haunting. Eye-opening. Here’s an excerpt: “…The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.  That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing…” Check out Ed’s post. [Read more...]

Keep Pegging Away

brainpickingsYet, another remarkable post from Brainpickings titled 9 Rules for Success where Maria Popova shares excerpts from an essay by British novelist Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919).  Barr, despite a devastating loss of her husband and three of their six children to yellow fever in 1867, went on to become a dedicated and diligent writer, eventually reaching critical success at the age of fifty-two.  I’d encourage you to read the entire post at this link as it is that good.  Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

1) Men and women succeed because they take pains to succeed. Industry and patience are almost genius; and successful people are often more distinguished for resolution and perseverance than for unusual gifts. They make determination and unity of purpose supply the place of ability.

2) Success is the reward of those who “spurn delights and live laborious days.” We learn to do things by doing them. One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.

5) We have been told, for centuries, to watch for opportunities, and to strike while the iron is hot. Very good; but I think better of Oliver Cromwell’s amendment — “make the iron hot by striking it.” [Read more...]

5:23 am. And Inspired.

photography, penguins, nature, inspirational,inspiring,paul Nicklen,photo contest,art,antarctica


Good Wednesday morning.  (Wednesday seemed to come in a hurry this week.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

The photo above was shared by Canadian Art Junkie in a post titled Paul Nicklen’s World Press Photo Winning Shot of penguins in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.  Be sure to check out Nicklen’s other nature shots in the post at this link.  (Very inspired.)

And here’s more Paul Nicklen inspiration.  DK at Lead.Learn.Live with his December 2012 share of Nicklen’s Ted Talk on The Fear Leopard Seal.  Yes, shameless self-promotion of my own share.  But come on people – not 1 like? This is one of the most inspiring nature talks/videos you will ever see.  It’s a longish 18-minute clip and you need to hang in until the end.  It will be worth your time.

S.L. Hoffman at Eagle-Eyed Editor with the post Top 10 books you don’t want to miss in your lifetime.  Tell me it ain’t so.  I haven’t read one book on this list.  And no, I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird.  Check out the link to see how many you’ve read.

[Read more...]

4:01 am. And Inspired.

Ha Ling Peak, Alberta, Canada, mountain, sunrise, river, landscape, photography


Good Thursday morning.  (Yes, we’re mixing it up a bit.  Slept in yesterday.)  Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.

That’s Patrick Latter‘s photograph above of Canmore Mountains in Alberta.  Be sure to check out Patrick’s blog, Canadian Hiking Photography, where every post is an inspiration.

John E. Smith @ The Strategic Learner with his post: Why We Have Social Media.  John’s post reminded me of the incredible virtual friendships that I have made on this blogging journey.  Thank you all for reading, following, commenting, sharing and joining me for the ride.  I’m grateful.  Check out John’s short post at this link. [Read more...]

A Blogger’s 33 Observations on Blogging

Baldur Bjarnason

Baldur Bjarnason @ Studio Tentra titles his post: 33 Observations On The Year 2012.  Terrific post.  Here are a few of my favorite observations:

#1) Doing good work is its own reward, while sharing it leads to suffering. Most of the time nobody will notice, so it’s hard to see why anybody should bother.

#5) The vast majority of those I encountered were incredibly nice and friendly, even when we disagreed.

#6) I have almost no readers but some of my work is read a lot. The number of people that will read every post of mine is miniscule. Most of the traffic comes from retweets or links. I have more than a thousand followers on twitter, but of those only about ten will click on a link to a post of mine to read it…No matter how hard I work, the best I can hope for is to catch the attention of somebody more influential who will momentarily lend me some of their traffic. [Read more...]

5:14 am. And Inspired.

desert


Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s my selections for the inspiring posts of the week:

Alex Jones @ The Liberated Way with his post titled The Little ButterflyAn hour ago an Admiral butterfly emerged out of nowhere fluttering about my head.  In this cold season it is amazing to come across a butterfly let alone in my own home.  In wonder I blinked at this amazing beautiful creature fluttering around the light, apparently it must have been hibernating and had awoken…Read more at this link.

New blood.  John Zimmer @ Manner of Speaking with his post: A Truly Heroic Speech.  Six year-old Benjamin Wheeler was one of the victims of the 14 December 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Recently, Benjamin’s father, David Wheeler, gave testimony at a public hearing before the Connecticut State Legislature’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety...  Read more at this link and be sure to watch the video clip.

Back for an encore. Ray Visotski @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post titled “That Was Us“… Oh, the simple life we lived…still seems like so much fun, how can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?…Read more at this link.

More new blood.  Let’s hear it for candor and a few laughs.  Lily Reed @ We All Shine On with her post “Failure“…The past two days, I’ve seen the internet full of FAILURE talk. I don’t mean cutesy memes…Hang on. Failure means that you LEARNED something, right? I mean, if you look at something and say, ‘Wow, that was @#$%%^ up!’ What was your next step? I’m thinking you inhaled. BAM! Another chance.  Read more at this linkAnd, if you liked this, be sure to check out Now I’m Complaining and Almost 4, Bobby’s Learning How to Ride.

And the Hump Day Inspiring Image of the Week comes to us from Bodhisattvaintraining who takes us to Umbria, Italy – with olive trees, pencil pines, sunflower fields and Lake Trasimeno. SIGH.  Another bucket list destination…

olive trees, sunflowers,pencil trees, Italy, photography

 


Image Source: Desert via Schmackebaetzchen.  And, thank you Stephen Edwards at LifeRevelation for pointing me to Lily.

6:53 am. And inspired.

Canola Field Shaun Lowe

Here’s my picks for the inspiring posts of the week.

Thank you Canadian Art Junkie for sharing the photo above in her post Shaun Lowe: Canola, Sunshine & The Sea.  See her post for more wonderful photographs of eastern Canada.

Steve Gutzler with his post titled 7 Keys to Building Irresistible Energy:I’ll be honest, one of my favorite compliments is when people take note of my energy and passion. But having such energy has been a life struggle of mine. When I was a young man in my early 20′s, I was diagnosed with a blood disorder. For over three years I woke up every day with a low grade temperature and lacking energy. I’d drag through my days. My attitude was good but my immune system was ravaged…Well, fast forward to today. I’m healthy with no hint of fatigue. I train 4-5 days a week and I eat like an athlete. I strive to get seven hours of sleep and I’m working most days by 5 AM. What I like most about where I am at is how grateful I am for what I have. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, not perfect but I’m sure grateful for what I have!”…Read entire post for Steve’s 7 Keys to Building Energy at this link.

Maybe It’s Just Me who describes herself  and her blog as “The life of a middle aged hippie on Maui, eating raw and vegan and staying healthy. I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain in fall 2012 with my husband and son“…do we need more inspiration than this?!!  Her beautiful post shares her sensations as she returns home to the various places she’s lived.  The post is titled:  As We Relive Our Lives In What We Tell You and this excerpt is returning home to Maui: …there is no better feeling than coming home to a place that I love.  I went up onto the roof deck today to look at the clouds, the palm trees, and the volcano rising above, and again later on, to watch a glorious sunset over the ocean.  I was content to just sit and feel the warmth of the island air on my skin.  Skin that desperately cries out for sunshine and humidity, and that whispers “mahalo” every time I return home to Maui.”  Read her entire post at this link.

[Read more...]

5:28 am. And inspired.

David Tribby - Chicago Panoramic Skyline & Sunset

Thank you David Tribby for the inspiring panoramic shot of the City of Chicago. And, now, on to the inspiring posts of the week:

James Altucher, pro blogger, @ The Altucher Confidential with his post on his morning ritual titled The Six People You Must Find TodayOnce you do this, oxytocin will explode through your body, lighting up all of your pleasure centers. (1) Someone to love. Write the name and why you love this person. (2) Someone to thank. You must call them and thank them. If you can’t call them, just write their name down. (3) Someone to be grateful for…Read entire post at this link.

Judy @ petit4chocolatier with her post: Chocolate Cupcakes with Soft Blue Butter-Cream Icing with Little Chocolate Sprinkles.  She had me at her post title.  And then she stole my stomach with wave upon wave of delectable cupcake photos.  I wanted to come through the screen to get at these.  Pan through Judy’s other posts.  Amazing.

[Read more...]

Voting Booths Are Re-Open!

My voting booths are opening again to rename my blog. (Just kidding!)  Yet, if you missed this huge event (hyperbole squared) and can’t wait to learn more, you can find details here and here.

Anake Goodall shared this new Gapingvoid post with me and said that someone is sending me a message…and I need to listen up.

Disclosure: I have blocked my family members from commenting on this post.

live_learn_love - gapingvoid - hugh mcleod


Related Posts:

4:02 am. And inspired.

Red Sea, Sea, beach, sunrise, Egypt

Thank you Sandy @ Another Lovely Day for the amazing photo share of the Egyptian sunrise over the Red Sea.

And, now, on to the inspiring posts of the week:

Julie @ jmgoyder – Wings & Things from a retired dairy farm in Western Australia…with her series of posts on Gutsy9, an abandoned baby peacock that was adopted by Julie.  Start at this post: Tips on Raising a Baby Peacock and then pan forward to the photos and updates.  I look forward with anticipation to Julie’s updates on Gutsy9.  Here’s an excerpt: So I have been raising Gutsy9 myself and he and I are totally imprinted on each other now. He is a pied, so half white and half blue so it will be interesting to watch him grow up. At night he sleeps in a box in the veranda and during the day he sits on my shoulder. Read on for the 6 tips at this link.  And, don’t miss Julie’s Bio/About page.  You won’t be disappointed.

Linda Petersen @ Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities And Remaining Sane Blog rings the bell again with a wonderful post titled Life Is Like A Tiny Bag of Jelly Bellies.  Linda shares a number of little events that give “her a boost and make her happy.”  Here’s a few of her Jelly Bellies…”(1) seeing a grandfather walking along, holding the hand of his joyous granddaughter, all dressed up with coat and fancy hat, skipping happily along, ribbons trailing, (2) hanging a picture on the wall and having it come out straight the first time, (3) finding a $10 bill in the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in a long time, (4) a hug from a child, especially if it is accompanied by and “I love you.”  Hit this link to read more.

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5:03 am. And, Inspired…

canoe, canoeing, river, mist, fog, Golden Ears Mountain

Good Wednesday morning. The peaceful, easy feeling photo above of the Alouette River, Pitt Meadows, British Columbia was taken by Kevin van der Leek.

Paulette Mahurin @ The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap with her post The Touch That Changed My Life: “While in grad school at UCLA, I had a clinical rotation at a VA outpatient hospital, when a homeless man was brought in to the emergency room. He was filthy with a foul odor, as if he hadn’t changed his clothes in days nor took them off to go to the bathroom. I saw him come with the paramedics and the commotion that ensued with a lull before anyone started treatment, to gown and glove up, goggles over eyes, all body parts covered…Read More at this link.  Inspiring.  Period.

Linda Petersen @ Raising Five Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog with her post I Have Raised My Children Right in the Most Important Area: “I am sure that every parent questions how they have raised their children. I know I have.  I have not been strict enough in making them eat all of their vegetables and clean their rooms, (mainly because I don’t eat all of my vegetables and clean my room.) I know to some people  this is a major parenting faux pas.  However, I have raised my children right in the most important area…caring for others…”  Read the rest of this inspiring story at this link.  And don’t miss Linda’s ABOUT page.

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Polling Closed. Results are in…

Back on December 26th, I asked for your feedback on my blog title in a post titled: “The Voting Polls Are Open.”  I also asked you to vote on a number of choices.  The results are in.  Before sharing the final tally, I thought I would share several verbatims that I found interesting:

  • Since when did start taking polls to make a decision Mr. Gallup? :-)
  • I curious.  When did you start taking direction from anyone?  (There’s a theme running here.)
  • “Laugh” seems to be missing.  “Live.Learn.Laugh.” (This came up several times in comments.)
  • I think “Big Ideas from a Big Head” or “Lead.Learn.Live.Loser.” is best. (Thank you children for your continued support.)
  • Perhaps a title like, “Thrive,” as it is energetic, positive, and gives a sense of moving forward. Makes me think of the word “alive.”
  • The tag line words should have a more logical sequencing.  “Live.Learn.Lead.” makes more sense in the flow of life’s lessons.  (Jay and Joe C, I’ve been dwelling on this for months.) [Read more...]

The Relentless Reviser

henri matisse-young-sailor I & II (1906)


The path to excellence.  Study the best in the field. Develop lifelong habits. Continuously revise and improve. (Kaizen.)  Practice.  Have a critical eye with your own work.  Be sure to focus on the process as it is as important as the output. Pursue your field of passion despite the views of your critics.  There are no shortcuts to excellence – it takes incredible focus and effort.  Same old, same old?  Yes.  It worked for Matisse.  And it will work for you and me.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), along with Picasso and Duchamp, was regarded as one of three artists who helped define art and sculpture in the 20th century.  There is a Matisse show on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until March 17th, 2013.  There is an exceptional review of the show in wsj.com titled The Relentless Reviser.  Below I share excerpts from the review that are applicable to many of us in our fields: [Read more...]

The Voting Polls Are Open

2013 is rapidly approaching.  A new year.  New beginnings.  I’ve been thinking about changing the title of my blog.  When I started this blogging venture, I expected to take a certain path.  And then I took a fork in the road.

The Kanigan household is divided on the decision.  (Note that I didn’t say sharply divided as this topic doesn’t fall on the short list of their top 10 priorities.)

I’d appreciate your feedback on what you feel my blog represents to you.  Please select one of the options below or write in your preferred recommendation.  Hit the VOTE button.*

I will share the election decision on New Year’s Day.  If you prefer to drop me an email with your thoughts, please send it to davidkanigan@yahoo.com.  Thank you!



* This is my first attempt at using a blog poll.  Let’s hope this works.

7:40 am. And, Inspired…

Nitzus Wheatfields and Vineyards near Waikerie Riverland Region South Australia

Good Wednesday morning. Nitzus kicks us off with a photo he titles “Land of Gold” - wheat fields and vineyards near  Waikerie in the Riverland region in South Australia.  Be sure to check out his blog and other great photos.  And now on to my selection of the inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Don Carnagey~Lanier with his post Giving Gratefulness and Being Lonely: “All of our lives are a cycle and a river that we must each travel one our own. The destination is set, but the method of our journeying is up to us. We can cruise down the middle of the river at top speed, or we can hug the shore and spin around in eddies. We can crash over rapids or chart a safer path between obstacles. We can slum along the bottom in the mire and slime of sediment, or we can glide along the sparkling surface where the air is clean. The river is ours from birth to death. How we’ll navigate it is determined by the hundreds of small choices we make each day.”  Read entire post at this link.

Make Believe Boutique with another of her steady stream of thought provoking posts titled The Fresh Blush of Color in the Transpersonal Soul:  “What capacities lie unrecognized within us? What currently unfathomable abilities lie dormant, and what can we do to speed their appearance? These are humbling questions that remind us that for all we know our potentials may exceed our wildest dreams. Plotinus claimed that humankind stands poised midway between the beasts and the gods. Perhaps this is another way of saying that we stand midway on our developmental and evolutionary trajectory to full human potential…”  Read entire post at this link. [Read more...]

5:20 am. And, Inspired…

Linda's Son Standing in Mono Lake

Good Wednesday morning. Linda @ A Nature Mom took this photo of her son at Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra California.  So much seems to have happened since my last hump day post.  Children are on my mind and this wonderful, peaceful (and safe) photo resonated with me.  Be sure to check out Linda’s blog and her photos – wonderful, heartwarming images.

And now on to my selection of the inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Tony Caselli with his moving post  A Night of Long HugsThe house is quiet…On a day like today, with the tragic shooting in Connecticut, I felt fortunate to be rehearsing a play about love, and the power of family and kindness. I got home from rehearsal just before bedtime, and hugged my wife. My daughter came out in her pajamas and gave me a big, long hug, saying “I love you Dad”…10 minutes later, sitting with my 12-year old as he was about to read himself to sleep, we quietly discussed how sad those families in Connecticut must be right now. After we sat for a minute in silence he looked at me. “When I grow up and become a psychologist”, he said, “I hope I can help someone to not do stuff like that.” I hugged him close. “I think that’d be a pretty great thing, buddy.” And now I lay in bed, and I listen to the quiet of the house.” Read entire post at this link.   [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Noel…

Noel Coward (5)

My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.

Noël Coward

Happy Birthday, Noël Coward, who was born on this day in 1899.  In his bio, he is defined as having “virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath – dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit — he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of ‘cool Britannia.’…Coward was on stage by the age of six, and writing his first drama ten years later…His between-the-wars celebrity reached a peak in 1930 with “Private Lives,” by which time he had become the highest earning author in the western world…Since his death in 1973, his reputation has grown. There is never a point at which his plays are not being performed, or his songs being sung. A playwright, director, actor, songwriter, filmmaker, novelist, wit . . . was there nothing this man couldn’t do?”

Noel Coward: Top 10 quotes

  1. It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. [Read more...]

4:03 am. And, Inspired…

Visiting The Wheat Fields Next To Van Gogh's Grave, Auvers Sur Oise, France

Good Wednesday morning.  The photo above is a couple visiting the wheat fields next to Van Gogh’s grave in Auvers Sur Oise, France.  Hit this link to get full impact of this shot.  The full size photograph evokes many powerful emotions…

And now on to my selection of the inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Lvsrao @ Lvsrao’s Blog with his post The Seven Principles: Life is a struggle. Remembering 7 principles gives strength.  (1) In generosity and helping others be like a river. (2) In compassion and grace be like the sun…(Read the rest of his five principles at this link.  Loved it.)

Kim @ Tranquil Dreams with her post When is it OK…:  “Six years ago today, my dad (passed away)…My dad was the typical Chinese man from previous generation who didn’t show his emotions much and didn’t compliment much (or at all). …After he passed, it was when I realize that a good part of my life was spent on trying to do things to make my father proud, however it seemed that I never did actually get to that point.  I was just never that perfect daughter…(Read more for the full story and conclusion.  And listen to the music clip.  Moving.)

[Read more...]

Blog of the Year…

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Thank you to my friends for nominating me for this award: Carolyn @ abcofspiritalk, Sandy @ Another Lovely Day, Cristi @ Simple.InterestingDogdaz, Ivon @ Teacher is Transformer, Joyat60Kalabalu, Kim @ Tranquil Dreams, Melody @ Donkey Whisperer Farm BlogMisifusa, Renee @ Rendezvous With Renee, SarahPotterWrites, Tarasai @ Writerfield and Iamforchange.  I’ve been procrastinating in “paying it forward”…for fear of leaving out and disappointing so many exceptional bloggers that I follow.  (Anxiety remains.)  Yet, Renee’s words (subtle that they are…sarcasm dripping) have been ringing in my head: “Just pay it forward, Dave.” So here we go…

[Read more...]

3:50 am. And, Inspired…

home and lighthouse; sunset, ocean, island

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Vicki Flaherty @ Mostly My Heart Sings with her post The Survivor In Me:  “I guess you never think someone will say the words “You have cancer.”  I certainly had never imagined it. It was surreal. I was home alone and scared. I remember crying like I have never cried before. I’m amazed that just days after the diagnosis, I was already moving to a place of strength and resiliency. The survivor in me, I guess.  Here’s what I wrote in my journal that day, just a series of words: Strong. Resilient. Informed. Great care. Options. Choices. Fortunate. Reaching for family, friends. Being held, supported.  Feeling love. Light. Healing. Growing. Path, Obstacle, Overcome, Stumbling forward with Grace. The seeds for this poem were planted on a beautiful day like today, when I was outside running with Jim, and watching the birds fly over the Iowa River.  I remember thinking how awesome it would be to fly, to embrace the vast openness of the sky and float effortlessly on thermals – and wondering if I could create something like that for myself down here on the ground as a human being.  The answer?  Yes, for moments at a time.  Read the entire post and Vicki’s poem titled Strong at this link.  Inspiring.

Dr. Bill  Wooten, who produces “aha” quote shares day-after-day-after-day, with a quote from Henri Nouwen titled: The Greatest Trap: “Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions...Read the rest of the quote at this link. [Read more...]

4:13 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Kelly Harland, is an aphorist.  I didn’t know what an aphorist or aphorism was. (aph·o·rism/ˈafəˌrizəm/noun/A pithy observation that contains a general truth).  I know now.  What talent.  Here’s Kelly’s post titled: Wept on Vessel.  “What if, an aspect of faith, is embracing who I am?”

Kurt Harden @ Cultural Offering with his post: Helpful Apps.   Kurt suggests that “you try one of these 9 apps and you’ll feel better.”  One of his apps is the Written Word® - Get a blank sheet of paper and write a letter to someone.  Thank them for something and tell them what you have been doing.  Tell them how you think about something.  If necessary use the back of the paper or even a second or third sheet.  Ask them to write you back.  Modeled after society pre-1990.”  Check out his other 8 apps…loved it. [Read more...]

Thank you…

Thanksgiving, Thanks, Thank you, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Grateful

…for your inspiring posts, your comments, your friendship and your followership.  B.G. captured my thoughts this morning, I’m grateful for you.

Susan, Mimi, LaDona, Lori, Lorne, Alex, Anake, Anneli, Ashi, Beth, BeckyBonnie, Brenna, Caitlin, Carol, Carolyn, Christian, Clanmother, Cristi, Currie, David, Dale, Darlene, Dogdaz, Frank, Frank, Feygirl, Francine, George, Gretchen, Grisa, Indira, Ioanna, Ivon, Jaz, Jeff, Jenni, John, John, John, Joyce, Kalabalu, Katrina, Keith, Kevin, Kim, Kristin, Kurt, Laurie, Leonard, Lu, LukeManoli, Maralee, Marina, Marion, Mark, MBB, Meikah, Melody, Misafusa, MindfulDiary, MixandMatchmeme, Michael, Michael, Michael, Mirta, OneHot(Mess), Ophelia, Naomikko, Nat, Nia, Peter, Paul Mark, Ray, Refeatheringthenest, Renee, Rich, Rick, Rob, Sandy, Sandy Sue, Sarah, Senczyjawa, Simplecherishes, S.L., Sonia, Susan, Stephen, Stephen, Steve, Steve, Sylvia, Todd, Thomas, Tony, Tina, Val, Verna, Wally, Zezil…and for all of my other followers that I didn’t recognize…my apologies…and thank you.


Image Source: Modified Carl Richards Circle of Gratitude | Behavior Gap Behavior Gap

4:23 am. And, Inspired…

Walking on beach with camels and sunrise

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Ray @ A Simple, Village Undertaker with his post Potato Chips.  A story about a boy with his bag of potato chips and an old man on a bench in the park.

Ophelia @ Ophelia’s Fiction Blog with her post Life is But a Dream who is tucking her boy Will to sleep with…Baa Baa Black Sheep and Row, Row, Row Your Boat (singing it so many times that it has lost meaning):  But then I look down at his lovely, golden head and I think – can I imagine anything more pure and beautiful than the love I have for this little boy? Why hurry to slip into a dream, when here is this amazing being, breathing, right up against my side as if we’re still one? There’ll plenty of time for dreaming. I don’t want to miss these moments with Will – that make me feel I’m living the most remarkable dream of all.  [Read more...]

4:11 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Scott Marshall @ Land-Sea-Sky-Lathail.  Check out his photographs from Scotland.  MUST SEE…(and btw, that’s his photograph above).

Jenny Wright @ Jennyiswright with her post:  Are you?: …You’ve heard that before. Carpe diem, right? That’s not what I mean. I’m not telling you to be content with what you have, either. I’m just suggesting that you step away and look from afar. Your life may be a hell of a lot better than you think…Everything isn’t all sunshine, roses, and unicorns (though unis are totally real) every day. That’s a fact. Some days feel super bad.  Chin up, buttercup.  Maybe that silver lining is right in your face. Try not to hurry. You might miss it…(Read this post)

Ivon @ Teacher as Transformer with his post: The Right Moment Arrived:  “It arrived– A winter storm. Unexpected, I felt unsure. Slow down. Grasping frantically, Busyness overtakes. I let go. I arrive on time. In the very moment that just arrived.[Read more...]

4:14 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Vanessa @ One Thousand Single Days with her Post: My Time Is Running Out“…From the moment we are born we have a number. It sits invisibly above our head ticking down as we saunter through life. The number is the seconds we have left, the number of breaths left in our lungs, the number of beats left in our heart. 
But we are not aware of it. We don’t see that number ticking backwards before us in the mirror as we brush our teeth angrily after the argument had with our spouse and we don’t see it as we close the door behind us as we face another day of work, we don’t see it as we make choices, rejected ideas or grow too shy to speak up…(Read more)

Anton Ferrie @ My Spring Awakening with his post: “The Yellow Balloon.”  “I was clearing my room out the other day…and I stumbled across a small balloon that had been lying in some forgotten corner, having fallen from a bag or pocket. Normally a small piece of debris like this would hold no significance whatsoever…But this balloon symbolized something much greater…A young man had been seen wandering around the pub, evidently lost, and I approached him in the hope that I could be of assistance. I soon found out that the 23 year old American was…(Read more) [Read more...]

There’s only one lady I dance with…

And given that I don’t dance, this is saying something.  (I watched Dancing With The Stars last night so dancing is on the mind.)  I’ve tried them all.  Safari.  Firebox. Internet Explorer.  And others.  The Google Chrome Browser is simply in a league of its own.  Nothing comes close.  Here’s a quick review of why it works for me and why you might find it helpful as a blogger, writer or a PC/Mac desktop/laptop user:

Syncing.  It follows me where ever I go.  I log in on any computer and bang!  There are all my tabs, extensions and folders.  It’s like I never leave my favorite cozy couch and comforter.  It syncs across all computers.  I have immediate access to all of my tabs and extensions from any machine.  I can get started immediately without interruption.

Tabs: Tabs are Tabtastic as a PC Magazine’s review describes them.  I can set frequently-used tabs that I can click to access sites immediately.  I can park less frequently used sites into folders.  All easy to set up and access.

Extensions.  These are BIG.  I use them often.  You can hang free productivity apps from the browser (and they follow me on all machines).  There is a simple download process from the Google WebStore.  There are hundreds of apps.  My favorite 1-click extensions are the Evernote clipper (stores articles, jot notes, clip articles for sharing); Diigo (for quick bookmarking and highlighting); 1Password (password setting, storage and auto login – because who can remember all of their passwords? This works great);  Addthis (for sharing via email, twitter, tumblr, facebook and many others);  Chrome Notepad (handy, simple note taking app that I use all the time) and Readability (save articles to read later online or offline and syncs to Ipads and Iphones.  Works beautifully.) [Read more...]

4:02 am. And, Inspired…

gif, funny, laugh, humor

Good Wednesday morning.  And Happy Halloween.

Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Shawn Smucker with his post:  “One Sign of a Life Well Lived:  “Ours is a culture obsessed with sanitizing life, and not just in the physical or chemical sense. We want everything to line up with some unattainable standard, devoid of messiness or intrusion. Funeral services are to remain silent. Learning should be on point. Churches present their Statements of Faith as things which should not even be discussed. Children are expected to behave like robots. Can we become brave enough to leave room for some mess? Can we care less about modern sensitivities and more about meaning? Can we come to appreciate life in all of its unsanitized beauty?…Life = Mess.”  I encourage you to read the entire post.

Tanushree Srivastava @ Charity Spring with her post: “Silence.”  “Silence is underrated in today’s world. There is too much noise. Too many words and too much to say…Why do we have to fill in all the voids with words which are not needed?…Silence is often mistaken as symbol of weakness of a person, which is Wrong. I love silence and stillness…There is no greater power than silence which gives you the authority to steer anything in your favor…I personally spoke a lot and was a girl of too many words. But then realization struck me that I am losing on so much by creating my own noise and being always busy with thinking what I had to speak next. Always in a rush. I am sure many will relate to it. So change it like me. Life is amazing when you enjoy it with a calm and silent heart that is not rushing towards the next thought.”

[Read more...]

4:56 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.

Here’s a selection of inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Cristian Mihai, with over 19,000 blog followers, with his post:  “The 7 Golden Rules of Blogging: I was quite sure that I would never become a successful blogger. I created some blogs on various platforms, but I never had the patience to build an audience. The thing is that I never asked myself whether I had something worth writing about on an almost daily basis. I think this is something a lot of bloggers struggle with. What’s worth sharing? What’s considered useful information?…

Dr. James Stratford @ Beyond the Call with his post: “How do you judge your self worth?”  “I formed the opinion that everyone and everything is in a constant yet constantly changing form of perfection, that we can only ever be what we are in this moment, however ignorant or foolish or amazing that might be, based on the fact that we have lived our particular experience with our particular perspective that has been influences in unique ways since the moment we were born and probably long before. It’s a rationale that demands, often against superficial likes and dislikes, that I honour and respect everyone, including myself. Most of all it demands acceptance of people and conditions as they are. You might want to change the world, but it’s actually essential to be able to accept the way things are exactly as they are before you can do so. Usually, it’s in this clear mindset that we see the seeds of growth, the bud of the lotus, in the present conditions.

[Read more...]

Avoid the “F-Word”

Yes, shameful.  Made you look.  It’s not THE “f-word.”  But, the word “FACT.”

  • The fact of the matter is
  • As a matter of fact
  • The fact is…
  • Actual fact
  • In fact
  • In point of fact
  • That’s a fact
  • Just the facts
  • Factually…
  • Due to the fact that…
  • Factoid…
  • True facts
  • Fact-checking…
  • Spurious facts
  • Fun fact

[Read more...]

Reading…

“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”
~ Paul Auster


Sources: Quote – thank you creatingaquietmind.  Image: Artist Natalya Gaida via desvandelecturas.

4:01 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.

Yes.  If you’ve read my “About” page, you get an understanding of why.  Why I do this (blog).  To get someone.  Anyone.  Everyone.  To share a laugh.  A smile.  An “aha” moment.  Perhaps a tear.  A moment of inspiration.  And I’ve come to learn that I “get” far more than I “give.”  I had another one of those moments at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.  It came unexpectedly in an email from a follower.  I don’t know “D.”  “D” is from the other side of this country. I didn’t know he followed my blog.  I’m reading his email: “Hello. I’m finally doing what I’ve been meaning to for months. I’ve never written to a blogger before and I am absolutely compelled to do so now. Your blog; your blog! Since I came across your blog a few months ago, I have been inspired and uplifted. Most profoundly, your posts about your kids have moved this xx year old father to tears. I just want to thank you, David, for sharing. I don’t believe that many days have passed without me going to your blog. And, I can tell you that after I have done so, I feel a genuine sense of gratitude for the kindness and goodness you so obviously bring to this world. Yes, I am very grateful indeed.”  

Thank you “D.”  You moved me.  You made my day, my week and likely months to come.  Thank you “D” and all of my other friends and followers who take the time to check in to visit each day.  You inspire me with long shots of adrenaline to “blog on.”  And now on to the inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers:

Kurt @ CulturalOffering with his share he titles “Pause“: “Within a breath or two of emptying my mind, thoughts came flooding in — nature abhors a vacuum. I felt an itch on my face and wanted to scratch it. A great title for my next book popped into my head and I wanted to write it down before I forgot it. I thought of at least four phone calls I wanted to make and one difficult conversation I was going to have later that day. I became anxious, knowing I only had a few hours of writing time. What was I doing just sitting here? I wanted to open my eyes and look at how much time was left on my countdown timer. I heard my kids fighting in the other room and wanted to intervene.  Here’s the key though: I wanted to do all those things, but I didn’t do them. Instead, every time I had one of those thoughts, I brought my attention back to my breath…(Read more)

Becky Robinson @ Weaving Influence with her post These Exact Places: I believe that there is nothing random about my path, about the people I’ve encountered, about the opportunities I’ve discovered, the places I’ve lived…Where I live, where I go, what I say, and what I do, makes a difference. Where you live, where you go, what you say, and what you do makes a difference. There are no accidents. You are exactly where you need to be, right now.” (Read more) [Read more...]

4:36 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s kicking off hump day with inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers (including a “professional blogger’s” post this week).

Ioanna @ life portOfolio with her post Hate Words.  “Take a moment and think. Your phone rings, at the end of the line is a loved one…“Hey sweetie, my test results are out…”  The rest of the phone call can be guessed…Yes, you lose ground under your feet…

Seth Segall @ The Existential Buddhist with his postDoes All This Sitting Get Us Somewhere?  Novice meditators often ask “will all this sitting get me somewhere?” By “somewhere” they mean somewhere else than where their sitting currently gets them — countless cushion-hours accompanied by states of desire, aversion, judgment, pain, boredom, torpor, fantasy, reminiscence, doubt, planning, philosophizing — and, yes — moments of presence and clarity…We marinate in life and are cooked by it. It’s a process that happens, not something we accomplish. We didn’t build that. Things shift. We tire of hanging onto things. We cease repeating old mistakes. We laugh at ourselves. We open and soften. We come alive…

By “somewhere else” they mean their fantasy of whatever-it-was the Buddha experienced at the moment of his Enlightenment. They wonder whether they will ever have an experience like the Buddha’s…The answer is “no.” The Buddha’s experience was his own. Ours is ours. But sitting isn’t about having a spiritual experience. It’s about living a spiritual life. Sitting isn’t where the miracle occurs. Our life is the miracle. Sitting is the mirror. It’s the pot we’re cooked in.” [Read more...]

1 Year. And Counting…

One year ago this weekend, I ventured out into the blogosphere.  In this Happy Anniversary to Me Post, here’s a few of my observations and reflections over the past year:

STATS: 882 posts. 215,946 views. 14,202 comments. (Can these be real?)

INSANITY. Doing The Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting a Different Result. My “Tags” have reproduced like rabbits. 1,946 Tags. (WHAT. AM. I. DOING. HERE? I have Tag addiction. I tried to create a Page and they all wouldn’t fit. Tags have become the drawer that you keep stuffing the “really important stuff” that you’re going to need later – the drawer is now impossible to open and close. And I have no idea how to unwind this monstrosity.)

I Just Don’t Get It. My “Categories.” I have 11 categories. I mark most posts with many categories. (So, exactly how are you helping your followers find a post if they all have the same categories?)

NAGGING at me.  Months ago, Joe C. had told me that I had my Blog Name (Lead.Learn.Live) backwards.  He believed it should be re-ordered “Live.Learn.Lead.” (As each day passes, I think he’s right.  Yet, I can’t do it.  I can’t change it.  I just can’t. NO. NO. NO.) [Read more...]

4:29 am. And, Inspired…

Good Wednesday morning.  Here’s kicking off hump day with several inspiring posts of the week from my favorite bloggers followed by Awards nominations. KILLER POSTS this week…

  1. Congratulations to Mimi @ Waiting For The Karma Truck who is finally getting her due.  Her post received WordPress’ highest honor for bloggers and was selected as one of the FRESHLY PRESSED POSTS OF THE WEEK: An Ode To Entomology.
  2. Inga @ Inga’s Angle for her post Nocturnal NYC.  Check out her Harvest Moon.  And scan through her other posts.  Awe inspiring talent.
  3. Tommy Brennan @ Whatsoever Things Are True with his post: In Praise of Hephaestus. “…I am weeping as I write this, as the sense of gratitude I have toward this man and everyone like him bubbles up in me.  Maybe he wanted to be a movie star.  Maybe he wanted to be a baseball star.  Maybe he wanted everyone to notice him on the stage.  But he accepted his humble lot in life and was where he was supposed to be when I had a need.” Get to the end of the this one.  (Thank you Christian from The Upside for pointing me to Tommy’s post)
  4. Stepy @ Stepyness with her post: I Think This Blog Thing. (…has just become another one of my failures.”) Raw emotion.  And you gotta love Stepy’s “About Stephy”:  “50% happy, 50% wildly uncertain. 94.7% bewildered, 78% raving mad, 4.5% awesome, 63% tea/coffee and cake. Wearing odd clothes, favouring odd points of view and Drifting Aimlessly since 1991.”
  5. Cultfit with the Promise: “There are only a few athletes here at CultFit.  Paid to play a sport or were ever fortunate enough to have finished in the money.  The rest of us have never been a top athlete in any given discipline.  That’s not to say we have not taken immeasurable joy and made lasting memories from merely showing up and having fun on a Saturday morning.”

[Read more...]