Monday Mantra

woman-thinking-black and white

In conversation things can be metabolized and digested through somebody else — I say something to you and you can give it back to me in different forms — whereas you’ll notice that your own mind is very often extremely repetitive. It is very difficult to surprise oneself in one’s own mind. The vocabulary of one’s self-criticism is so impoverished and clichéd. We are at our most stupid in our self-hatred.

~ Adam Phillips, The Poetics of the Psyche


Adam Phillips, 59, is Britain’s most celebrated psychoanalytical writer. He explores in his wide-ranging views in a conversation with Paul Holdengräber as part of The Paris Review’s legendary interview series.


Sources: Quote – Brainpickings.  Photograph: Thank you Carol.

 

Talk to the Hand

hand-sun-light

sun-shadows-light


Source: Nezartdesign: 1 and 2.

At some point you have to worry

funny-voices-head-problem-normal

 


Source: themetapicture.com. Thanks Susan.

I leave the door unlocked. I leave the lights on.


Neil Hilborn, a poet with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), performs at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin.

“The first time I saw her everything in my head went quiet. All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared. When you have obsessive compulsive disorder you don’t really get quiet moments… When I saw her, the only thing I could think about was hairpin curve of her lips or the eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek.”


Working, working, working and honing, honing, honing

13473651-male-hands-close-up-black-and-white
“I recently interviewed David Burns, author of “Feeling Good”… In his more than 35,000 therapy sessions he has learned that the pursuit of perfection is arguably the surest way to undermine happiness and productivity…

Have you ever obsessed over a report when your boss said it was already plenty good enough? Have you ever lost an object of little importance but just had to keep looking for it? Do colleagues often tell you, “Just let it go”?…

This left me wondering: what if trying to be average could actually accelerate your success?…

Overachievers have such high expectations of themselves that their “average” might be another person’s “really good.” So instead of pushing yourself to give 100% (or 110%, whatever that means) you can go for giving 75% or 50% of what you usually might offer. This idea is captured succinctly by the mantra, “Done is better than perfect”…

The word “perfect” has a Latin root; literally, it means “made well” or “done thoroughly.” Another translation would be “complete.” And yet today, we use it to mean flawless…

To understand why, we need to understand the role of fear in perfectionism: “If I don’t perfectly [fill in the blank] something terrible will happen.” Often perfectionists are so used to this anxiety that they no longer even consciously recognize it; it’s just the fuel that keeps them working, working, working and honing, honing, honing… [Read more...]

You think you have a memory; but it has you

portrait of a deep thinker

“Your memory is a monster;
you forget —
it doesn’t.
It simply files things away.
It keeps things for you,
or hides things from you —
and summons them to your recall
with will of its own.
You think you have a memory;
but it has you.”

~ John Irving


Image Source: Stephanie Carter. Quote: Pulpinsidefiction


T.G.I.F.: How was your week? Like drinking from a fire hose.

funny-gif-suspense-dog-hose


Source: themetapicture.com


Nap Time!

napping,sleeping,chart

  • 34% of adults in the U.S. say they take a nap on a typical day.
  • A person who dreams during a short nap is likely sleep deprived.
  • As we age there is a tendency to take and be satisfied with shorter naps.
  • Ideal nap time: 1pm – 4pm.  Napping later in the day can interfere with falling asleep at night.
  • A 10-20 minute nap packs the most punch. You can feel groggy after 20-30 minute naps. A 60 minute nap may do more harm than good.
  • To avoid a deep sleep, it’s best to sleep slightly upright

Read more @ wsj.com: The Perfect Nap: Sleeping is a Mix of Art and Science

Maybe. Just Maybe.

king's throne

They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
“Who are you really, wanderer?”
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
“Maybe I’m a King.”

- William Stafford


Credits: (1) Quote-Thank you Whiskey River. (2) King’s Throne Chair Image

Related William Stafford Posts:

I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state by working harder and faster

David-Allen

“Folks, can we hear it for sloth, indolence, and procrastination?!” That’s how I have started many of my seminars over the years. And it always gets thunderous applause and raucous cheers. I think it hits a nerve.

I’ve been working on both (self-forgiveness and sense of humor) for decades now, and still find it quite challenging at times. But you know, when I’m in a loving, whole, and healthy state of mind about myself and about life, everything’s cool. Where I am, doing what I’m doing, is exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. God’s on her throne, the mail is coming, my dog loves me, and tomorrow is just fine right where it is, not showing up until then.

And I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state of mind by working harder and faster. Sometimes it helps, but more often it just perpetuates the angst. [Read more...]

Yes. (Take 2)

Anxiety-chart


Source: everybodyhasabrain

T.G.I.F.: Yes, your work day will be filled with bliss

Jim-Carrey-funny-chance


Related Posts: T.G.I.F.: 5:00 p.m. Bell! (Jim Carrey)

Source: Pinterest

T.G.I.F.: 5:00 p.m. Bell!

Jim Carey,laugh, TGIF, T.G.I.F.


Source: Pinterest

Related Posts:

Sit Still

stephan vanfleteren portrait

“We yearn for silence, yet the less sound there is, the more our thoughts deafen us. How can we still the noise within?…In Vipassana you concentrate on sensation in stillness, sitting down, not necessarily cross-legged, though most people do sit that way. And sitting without changing position, sitting still. As soon as you try to do this, you become aware of a connection between silence and stillness, noise and motion. No sooner are you sitting still than the body is eager to move, or at least to fidget. It grows uncomfortable. In the same way, no sooner is there silence than the mind is eager to talk. In fact we quickly appreciate that sound is movement: words move, music moves, through time. We use sound and movement to avoid the irksomeness of stasis. This is particularly true if you are in physical pain. You shift from foot to foot, you move from room to room. Sitting still, denying yourself physical movement, the mind’s instinctive reaction is to retreat into its normal buzzing monologue — hoping that focusing the mind elsewhere will relieve physical discomfort. This would normally be the case; normally, if ignored, the body would fidget and shift, to avoid accumulating tension. But on this occasion we are asking it to sit still while we think and, since it can’t fidget, it grows more and more tense and uncomfortable. Eventually, this discomfort forces the mind back from its chatter to the body. But finding only discomfort or even pain in the body, it again seeks to escape into language and thought. Back and forth from troubled mind to tormented body, things get worse and worse.  Silence, then, combined with stillness — the two are intimately related — invites us to observe the relationship between consciousness and the body, in movement and moving thought.”

~ Tim Parks, Inner Peace


This essay by Tim Parks is worth reading in its entirety.  You can find it at this link.  Parks references his book Cleaver in the essay.  The book was chosen as a Sunday Telegraph Book of the Year.  It is one of the funniest novels that I have read.  You can read my review of Cleaver at this link.


Credits: Portrait of Phara De Aguirre by Stephan Vanfleteren. Quote: Inner Peace, Aeon Magazine

Sophrosyne

word, definition


Source: Endless Possibilities

A Love Letter from Kafka

Fran Kafka signature in letter to Milena Jesenska

Franz Kafka’s signature in a letter to Milena Jesenská. It reads:

Franz wrong,  F  wrong, Yours wrong
nothing more, calm, deep forest

Prague

July 29, 1920.


In 1919, Milena Jesenská was working as a translator.  She discovered a short story (The Stoker) by Prague writer Franz Kafka, and wrote him to ask for permission to translate it from German to Czech. The letter launched an intense and increasingly passionate correspondence. Jesenská and Kafka met twice: they spent four days in Vienna and later a day in Gmünd. Eventually Kafka broke off the relationship, partly because Jesenská was unable to leave her husband, and their almost daily communication ceased abruptly in November 1920. They meant so much to each other, however, that they did exchange a few more letters in 1922 and 1923 (and Kafka turned over to Jesenská his diaries at the end of his life). Kafka is regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.  It is generally agreed that Kafka suffered from clinical depression and social anxiety throughout his entire life.  (Source: Wiki)


Source: Journal of a Nobody

Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.

Saul Bellow

“And now here’s the thing. It takes a time like this for you to find out how sore your heart has been, and, moreover, all the while you thought you were going around idle terribly hard work was taking place. Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, moiling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It’s internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself? Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.”

- Saul Bellow


Saul Bellow (1915 – 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. He was born in Lachine, Quebec and died in Brookline, MA.  For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest authors.  Bellow grew up as an insolent slum kid, a “thick-necked” rowdy, and an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow’s fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle “to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses.  The author’s works speak to the disorienting nature of modern civilization, and the countervailing ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness (or at least awareness). Bellow saw many flaws in modern civilization, and its ability to foster madness, materialism and misleading knowledge. Principal characters in Bellow’s fiction have heroic potential, and many times they stand in contrast to the negative forces of society. (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Image – Flavorwire. Quote: WhiskeyRiver

My Mind? No. The Mind.

portrait, black and white

Imagine if for the next twenty-four hours you had to wear a cap that amplified your thoughts so that everyone within a hundred yards of you could hear every thought that passed through your head. Imagine if the mind were broadcast so that all about you could overhear your thoughts and fantasies, your dreams and fears. How embarrassed or fearful would you be to go outside? How long would you let your fear of the mind continue to isolate you from the hearts of others? And though this experiment sounds like one which few might care to participate in, imagine how freeing it would be at last to have nothing to hide. And how miraculous it would be to see that all others’ minds too were filled with the same confusion and fantasies, the same insecurity and doubt. How long would it take the judgmental mind to begin to release its grasp, to see through the illusion of separateness, to recognize with some humor the craziness of all beings’ minds, the craziness of mind itself?”

“But I think it is very useful, and indeed more accurate, to call it “the mind” instead of “my mind.”

- Stephen Levine


Stephen Levine, 75, is an American poet, author and Buddhist teacher. He was born in Albany, New York, Levine attended the University of Miami. He spent time helping the sick and dying, using meditation as a method of treatment.  He is the author of several books about dying, Levine and his wife Ondrea spent one year living as if it were their last. For many years, Stephen and Ondrea have been living in near seclusion in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. They are both currently experiencing significant illness which prevents them from travelling and teaching.  One of the most significant aspects of Stephen’s work and one for which he is perhaps best known, is his pioneering approach to working with the experience of grief. Over 34 years, Stephen and his wife Ondrea have counselled concentration camp survivors and their children, Vietnam War veterans as well as victims of sexual abuse.  Although Stephen acknowledges that our experience of grief is perhaps at its most intense when a loved one dies, he also draws our attention to grief’s more subtle incarnations. “Our ordinary, everyday grief,” accumulates as a response to the “burdens of disappointments and disillusionment, the loss of trust and confidence that follows the increasingly less satisfactory arch of our lives”. (Source: Wiki)


Credits: Thank you Whiskey River from the Stephen Levine and Ondrea Levine’s Book titled Who Dies?.  Portrait: Abdelkader Benali by Stephan Vanfleteren 

Before. During. After. After.

photography,soldier,afghanistan,lalage snow

Photographer Lalage Snow takes pictures of soldiers’ faces before, during and after the war in Afghanistan.


Source: Mme Scherzo

Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you have ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~ Derek Walcott, Love After Love


Derek Alton Walcott, 83, was born in Saint Lucia in the West Indies.  He is a poet and playwright who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.  He is currently Professor of poetry at the University of Essex in the U.K. In addition to having won the Nobel, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career including an Obie Award in 1971, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry.  (Source: Wiki)


Photograph of Derek Walcott (in 2003) by Richard Avedon. Poem Source: journalofanobody

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...]

Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration: 38 Top Tips

run, weight loss, fitness,walk,laugh, funny

Leo Babauta at Zenhabits asked his one million followers for tips on “how they formed exercise habits and made it stick.”  What works for me? (When it works.) Four strategies:

  1. GET YOUR WORK-OUT GEAR TOGETHER. Do it the night before. Make it easy to grab it and go.  Save yourself the agony of the rationalizing self-talk: I’ll do it later.  It’s too cold.  It’s too hot. I’m tired. Let me check my emails and then go. Or worse, Oh, just forgettabout it.
  2. DO IT EARLY. Period.  Or it doesn’t get done.
  3. GET STARTED.  Take the first step.  Walk out the door.  Step on treadmill. Put on your shoes.  Once engaged, I get propelled by the Zeigarnik Effect, the need to complete the task.
  4. RECORD RESULTS.  You are what you measure.  I record my weight and my work-out (dates, results) in a spreadsheet on Google Drive.  Then, when I look at it and find gaps (e.g., No workouts for days. Shocking Weight Gain.), I find myself shamed into re-firing the engines.  This works.

ZenHabits shares “38 Best Methods of Successful Exercisers.” Here are five of my favorites: [Read more...]

One only throws a stick at a lion once

lion

“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.”

~ Milarepa


Milarepa (1052-1135) was a great Tibetan Yogi who lived an austere life on the bare hillsides of the Himalayas, eking out an existence on donations and the few plants — principally nettles — that grow in that harsh environment. His name means “The Cotton-Clad One,” and he generally wore just a thin sheet, using the heat generated by meditation practices to keep the fierce Tibetan cold at bay.”


Image Source: Thank you. madamescherzo. Quote Source: Thank you Whiskeyriver via Wildmind.org

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...]

T.G.I.F.: It’s a beautiful day (Cow-style)

cab·in fe·ver: Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms results from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.

32F yesterday with chilling winds.  Spring can show up any time so we can frolic around like Dairy Cows in Holland.  I’ve been around cows.  I’ve never seen this before.  Here’s 30 seconds of happy (very) wrapped in U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day.”


Related Posts:

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...]

T.G.I.F.: Loooooong Week


Source: themetapicture.com

Related Posts:

Three Drops*

dry eyes, eyes,

Three drops.*
Fall asleep wondering if this is the solve. (Please.)
Amygdala firing up on ailment. (See.)
Doc said there may be issues later in life because of trauma. (Has it arrived?)
One month of angst. (Eradicated. With three drops.)
One could ask why did you wait so long. (Or, one could avoid asking.)
And one wouldn’t have a good answer.


* Disclosure:  Turn your eyelids inside out? Heresy.  Wear contacts? Nothing touches my eyes.  LASIK surgery to correct nearsightedness?  Don’t come near me with your surgery solution.  Apply your own eyedrops?  Can’t do it.  Keep eye open so drops can be applied for you?  Impossible.  Squeal like a baby when drop splashes on eye?  Absolutely.


Image Source: LetsBeConnor

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...]

Sunday ends at 4:13 pm

””

(Note to Self: Hmmmmmmm.)

Here are some excerpts from a Dailymail.co.uk article titled: When the weekend ends: 4:13pm on Sunday is when we get the blues ahead of the working week.

  • Anxiety about the working week ahead officially starts at 4.13pm on a Sunday, according to a poll.
  • Four out of ten adults admit that their Sunday is spent feeling anxious and full of dread.
  • The mild sense of depression  begins half way through the afternoon and continues into the evening.
  • Some 44 per cent of us are jealous of our colleagues’ weekend escapades – not helped by the fact that 75 per cent of us don’t bother to leave the house on Sundays.
  • Sundays should be a day to relax and enjoy the last of the weekend break but the results show that people are instead spending their Sundays thinking about work for the week ahead, so they are the most dreaded day of the week. [Read more...]

The Addiction of Our Times

funny, social media, addiction,facebook,twitter,busy, work, overwhelmed

“I believe this is a very special moment in history, a kind of perfect storm. There is a growing recognition — to borrow language from AA — that our world has become unmanageable…The addiction of our times is digital connection, instant gratification, and the cheap adrenalin high of constant busyness. The heartening news is that more and more are beginning to recognize the insidious costs of moving so relentlessly and at such high speeds. Just below the surface of our shared compulsion to do ever more, ever faster, is a deep hunger to do less, more slowly. I saw proof of that a couple of weeks ago, when I wrote an article for The New York Times titled “Relax! You’ll Be More Productive.” It focused on the growing scientific evidence that when we build in more time for sleep, naps, breaks, and vacations, we become not just healthier and happier, but also more productive. The piece prompted an avalanche of response, much of it poignantly describing the sense of overwhelm people are feeling at work…Speed, distraction, and instant gratification are the enemies of nearly everything that matters most in our lives. Creating long-term value — for ourselves and for others — requires more authentic connection, reflection, and the courage to delay immediate gratification. That’s wisdom in action.”

- Tony Schwartz, How To Be Mindful in An “Unmanageable World”


No irony here whatsoever, as I sit at 3:57 am rifling through emails and reading posts…


Related Posts:

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...]

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.

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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...]

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.

T.G.I.F.: Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing.


Source: videohall.  Related Posts:

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.

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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.

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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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Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration: Movies…

Here’s a three-minute montage of famous movie scenes to inspire you for your Saturday Morning work-out.  From Jacki Chan, to Rocky, to Mulan, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and more. (What?  No Karate Kid?)


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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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Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration: Virgin Islands

Now this has considerable appeal this morning as temperatures dip well below freezing.  I’m inspired.

Action Sports St. John from Steve Simonsen on Vimeo.


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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...]

Running. With Newtown.

black-and-white-love-sad-sweet-true-love-Favim.com-244215

Off to a late start today.  Could not fire the engines.  Or the head.  Temperature: Brisk 35F. Not a trace of wind.  And gloriously sunny.  Sunny but dark.

I skip the hat.  Skip the gloves. Skip the extra sweatshirt.  I needed cold.  Needed to feel alive. Needed a new path.  A fresh 5-mile route.  Away from the familiar.

9:45 am: I’m heading North. (It’s quiet out. Eerily quiet. I don’t hear birds. Traffic seems to be moving slower.  Everyone mourning? Newtown is North.  Sandy Hook Elementary School is 39 miles due North. TV images flicker by: Mother holding phone, screaming.  Children being marched out of the building. “Close your eyes.  Hold your hands.“)

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T.G.I.F.: Let’s go on a Neature walk

My children shared this clip with me 2 years ago.  I didn’t like it and thought it was ridiculous.  I later changed my assessment and found myself repeating the lines and whistling the jingle. I’ve since (without exaggeration) watched this clip 50+ times.  Welcome to an introduction to my sweet spot for  laughs.  Enjoy biting goats…


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The Best Years Are Still Ahead (Thank Goodness)

chart, graph, happiness, age, Andrew Oswald, aging, youth, happy

  • The behavioral economist Andrew Oswald found that from about the time we are teenagers, our sense of happiness starts to decline, hitting rock bottom in our mid-40s (middle-age crisis, anyone?). Then our sense of happiness miraculously starts to go up again rapidly as we grow older.
  • All in all, Oswald tested a half million people in 72 countries, in both developing and developed nations.
  • And it’s not only we humans who slump in the middle and feel sunnier toward the end. Just recently, Oswald and colleagues demonstrated that even chimpanzees and orangutans appear to experience a similar pattern of midlife malaise.
  • Women hit happiness-bottom at 38.6 years on average, whereas men do more than a decade later, at nearly 53.

Source: Brainpickings.org – Life Cycle Of Happiness

I can only muster thoughts for one

woman-potrait-black and white

‎“I talk about love, forgiveness, social justice; I rage against American materialism in the name of altruism, but have I even controlled my own heart? The overwhelming majority of time I spend thinking about myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself, and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the needy. Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me.”

~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz


Image: kellensblog via thegiftsoflife. Quote: middlenameconfused

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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.)

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