“Sixteen thousand—that’s how many words we speak, on average, each day. So imagine how many unspoken ones course through our minds. Most of them are not facts but evaluations and judgments entwined with emotions—some positive and helpful…others negative and less so (He’s purposely ignoring me; I’m going to make a fool of myself; I’m a fake).
The prevailing wisdom says that difficult thoughts and feelings have no place at the office: …leaders, should be either stoic or cheerful; they must project confidence and damp down any negativity bubbling up inside them. But that goes against basic biology. All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear. That’s just our minds doing the job they were designed to do: trying to anticipate and solve problems and avoid potential pitfalls.
…Leaders stumble not because they have undesirable thoughts and feelings—that’s inevitable—but because they get hooked by them, like fish caught on a line. This happens in one of two ways. They buy into the thoughts, treating them like facts (It was the same in my last job…I’ve been a failure my whole career), and avoid situations that evoke them (I’m not going to take on that new challenge). Or, usually at the behest of their supporters, they challenge the existence of the thoughts and try to rationalize them away (I shouldn’t have thoughts like this…I know I’m not a total failure), and perhaps force themselves into similar situations, even when those go against their core values and goals (Take on that new assignment—you’ve got to get over this). In either case, they are paying too much attention to their internal chatter and allowing it to sap important resources that could be put to better use. [Read more...]
“Your memory is a monster;
you forget —
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
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
Related William Stafford Posts:
“The thing about ‘impostors’ is they have unsustainably high standards for everything they do. The thinking here is, If I don’t know everything, then I know nothing. If it’s not absolutely perfect, it’s woefully deficient. If I’m not operating at the top of my game 24/7, then I’m incompetent.”
Read more about the Impostor Syndrome (and those afflicted by it including Maya Angelou, Meryl Streep and Tina Fey) in this post titled: Crushing the Impostor Syndrome @ CycloneLife.net.
“…if you’ve experienced enough summers, you know how quickly the season can come and go: Just blink and it will be autumn. Is there some way to prolong the lazy days, to stretch summer out? Perhaps—in the mind at least…We all know the dark side of time passing slowly. A terrified person in a life-or-death situation commonly reports that the whole experience felt as if it took place in slow motion. Time also creeps along…if you are made to believe that a whole room full of strangers don’t like you. A 20-minute wait on a windy railway platform seems endless, but the same 20 minutes spent grabbing a sandwich for lunch with a friend feels gone in an instant. Fortunately, psychological research also points to techniques that allow us to extend happier feelings, including our enjoyment of the blossoms, sunshine and long evenings of summer.” Here’s excerpts on 3 mind tricks on how to accomplish this: [Read more...]
“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.
Source: pulpinsidefiction. Quote: William James (1842-1910). An American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the “Father of American psychology.”
“Not just any talk is conversation; not any talk raises consciousness. Good conversation has an edge: it opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation reverberates: it keeps on talking in your mind later in the day; the next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said. That reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness; your mind’s been moved. You are at another level with your reflections.”
James Hillman (1926 – 2011) was an American psychologist born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He studied at, and then guided studies for, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, founded a movement toward archetypal psychology and retired into private practice, writing and traveling to lecture, until his death at his home in Thompson, Connecticut on October 27, 2011. After high school, he studied at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for two years. He served in the US Navy Hospital Corps from 1944 to 1946, after which he attended the Sorbonne in Paris, studying English Literature, and Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a degree in mental and moral science in 1950. In 1970, Hillman became editor of Spring Publications, a publishing company devoted to advancing Archetypal Psychology as well as publishing books on mythology, philosophy and art. His magnum opus, Re-visioning Psychology, was written in 1975 and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. (Source: Wiki)
“I am pleased enough with the surfaces – in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind – what else is there? What else do we need?”
- Edward Abbey
- Sources: Quote – Thank you Whiskey River. Photograph by Lucem @ Make a Wish
- Related Edward Abbey Post: To Be Everywhere At Once Is To Be Nowhere Forever
I read this NY Times article a week ago: Is Giving The Secret to Getting Ahead. And synchronicity has been working it’s magic ever since. I’m seeing giving everywhere. Yesterday alone with three examples: My post and One Good Deed. Entering a bone chilling cabin, a flight attendant see an elderly woman shivering and gives her a cardigan. Last night a quote by Sam Levenson: “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
Adam Grant, 31, is the youngest-tenured and highest rated professor at Wharton. He has published more papers in his field than colleagues who have won lifetime-acheivement awards. He is the author of a new book titled “Give and Take – A Revolutionary Approach to Success” which will be released later this month. The man lives his personal and professional life as a GIVER. (Miraculously so.) The story (long) is worth the time to understand what he does and why he does it. Grant’s research divides us into three categories: [Read more...]
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.
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 55: I 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...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.
- Thank you olavstubburd for the photo which was shot in Narvik, in Northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.
- 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?…
- Kurt @ Cultural Offering with his post A Life Well Lived. In Praise of Ramsey. “Everyone 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...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rob Biesenbach @ Act Like You Mean Business with his post Fewer Inspirational Quotes, More Original Thinking, Please. “The 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.
- 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...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here’s my selection of inspiring posts of the week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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...]
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.
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...]
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 Butterfly: An 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 link…And, 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…
Here’s my picks for the inspiring posts of the week.
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.
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 Today: …Once 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.
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.
Anne Hathaway offered the best quote of the night at the 2013 Golden Globes Awards during her acceptance speech for best supporting actress as Fantine in Les Miserables.
Image Source: ParalyzedBeaver
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.
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...]
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 Hugs: The 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...]
“You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch.
Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. [Read more...]
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.“)
“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
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.)
My initial reaction to Wendy MacNaughton’s illustration was “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” I let it marinate and then returned to it. My reaction shifted to “please, please, please let it be wrong.”
Wendy MacNaughton. I’m a big fan. She’s an illustrator and graphic journalist with a long list of brand name clients including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and a slew of others. Some of my other favorite illustrations include:
It all started at around 8pm last night. Susan asked: “Do you really need that?“…this in response to my complaining earlier in the day about hitting new record highs for weight gain. And after my 4th trip to the fridge since dinner time. The “that” was a peanut butter (Jiffy Creamy) and blueberry jelly sandwich. Yes, I needed it. Badly. And I didn’t need someone, anyone, scolding me. (Am I a child?) I continued lapping the peanut butter on the bread – jabbing the knife into the jar – spreading on a few extra layers. I don’t lift my head. She continues on from the other side of the room. ”You know, you should read this book on life style changes in what you eat. You can lose weight by just eating healthier. You are not getting enough proteins. This is causing you to crave potato chips, sugars and salty foods.” Blueberry jam dribbles out of the corner of my mouth. I look up. Fat man’s blood pressure building…readying himself for counterpunching. I glance up and glare. She continues: “You know that I’m just trying to help.” I take the last remaining bite and jam dribbles down my shirt…well doesn’t that about capture it. Enough! My turn…trade a boulder for a pebble. ”I don’t need to read a bloody book to tell me that I eat junk and too much of it. And I certainly don’t need you haranguing me about it.” Now, if I had just stopped there. Trade the ocean for a drop of water. ”So tell me. If this book is so good. How’s it working out for you?” Nearing 30 years of marriage you know exactly where the nerve endings are and where to jab. Yep, direct hit. Then regret washes over me. But not enough to apologize. She knows I didn’t really mean it. Right. [Read more...]
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
by Margaret Atwood
Related Posts with Margaret Atwood:
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...]
The stone walkway may be 2.5 feet at its narrowest point. The shore line is 7-8 feet down from the walkway. It’s narrow, it is a ways down and I’m always wary. I must have been daydreaming. Or better stated, distracted by day-work-worrying.
I’m on my morning run.
My right forearm slams into the end of the steel I-beam guard rail. Here it comes. A car crash in slow motion. A Bruce Lee flick. With much less grace. The I-beam doesn’t move. But it moves me. It spins me around. Full Stop. Drop. Roll. Air explodes out of my chest. I’m gasping for air. More stunned than hurt. I’m down flat on my back for a few seconds, grateful that I didn’t plunge into the mud and frigid waters in the bay. I look around to see if anyone caught the show. No one is yelling “Man Down. Man Down.” We’re clear. Pride intact. [Read more...]
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...]
6:15 am. I finish up my blog posts. Finish bantering with Mimi. I pan through the Weather app on my iPhone for a temperature report on my set locations: Miami 61 F/78 F. Sunny. Sydney 67/81. San Diego 54/65. Home: 29 F/41 F. (Brrrrrrr. I shiver. Do I really want to do this? Maybe I should wait until later this afternoon when temps climb. Come on. Who are you kidding? If it doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW, it’s not going to happen pal…you know that.)
6:20 am: I put on sweatpants, sweatshirt and grab baseball cap. (Mind is chattering… should I drape myself in layers…thermal underwear and thermal undershirt…and Tuke/Beanie. Are you kidding? A mere 29°. A Canadian, last time I checked. Man-up.)
6:24 am: Grab headphones, iPhone and Garmin GPS watch. (Notice that I have 1 bar of power left on Garmin and 2 bars on iPhone. Irritated. Irritating. Hundreds of dollars of e-equipment and they can’t hold a charge for more than a few hours. Yep, good one - Gadget Man is blaming battery life. Be grateful. Thanksgiving. Day of Sabbath. And I’m sniping.) [Read more...]
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
- William Stafford (The Way It Is)
Go without a coat; find out what cold is. Go hungry; keep your existence lean. Wear away the fat, get down to the lean tissue and see what it’s all about. The only time you define your character is when you go without. In times of hardship, you find out what you’re made of and what you’re capable of. If you’re never tested, you’ll never define your character.
~ Henry Rollins