“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain.
Summertime arrives, and many of us travel near and far, and that’s great. As our world gets smaller and smaller, and seemingly crazier, an escape, an adventure, a mind opening experience, a new path, all seem appropriate.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
The journey might be five minutes away or 5,000 miles-both count and both matter.
Spread your wings, fly, walk, run, ride (whatever is your pleasure) and discover your destination.
(Note-background is from the series of illustration backgrounds that I am creating for Book #2 – Working Title of Garden Bud – stay tuned!)
If you don’t use your imagination, does it mean you don’t dream of what’s to be? Do you have passion for your dreams? Passion drives the energy and focus for us to keep on trucking forward. Without that drive (passion) then what’s really up, i.e., what happens? If imagination is the act of thinking/dreaming stuff up then is creativity is the act of putting it in place? Is ‘in-place’ an action, a plan, a drawing, a poem, a song, a whatever? I have been pondering for this a while now. What do YOU think the difference is of imagination and creativity? Please leave your thoughts on this in comments!
Apparently, Albert Einstein said –“Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.” That’s excellent. In my mind, that translates into dream it up, work on it (probably with all the strength you can muster) and make it happen. Much easier said than done but that’s ok too. Which of course brings up the ever present famous Gandhi quote:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
My Version of this is below. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty darn good mantra to live by.
What are you thinking about?
What are your dreams?
What’s in your imagination?
Times they are a changing…
The weather, the earth, the world….it’s enough to make my head spin!
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam And admit that the waters
Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin
Dylan famously goes on to write the next verse about writers and critics, followed by politicians, with the last stance about mothers and fathers. So timely!
The times certainly are ‘a-changing’, Bob Dylan is now the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature—first time for lyrics, as opposed to a novel. It was said that it is “perhaps the most radical choice in a (Noble Peace Prize) history stretching back to 1901.” (reason #1)
Spring brings Easter, Passover and I am sure there are other holidays of spring renewals that I don’t even know. Spring is busting out with colors- greens, yellows, pinks and red splashes all around! (reason #2) I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, or ‘reinventions’ as I am now trying to call, and view, all the changes. As a child the world is always changing, we are continually learning, and trying all different hats, paths, and ways all the time. That’s a good thing. As an adult constant learning and forward motion is still a good thing. That said-constant change is not easy. However, I hope I never stop learning and exploring. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Curiosity does keep the soul, mind, and body alive! (reason #3)
For myself, all these ‘reinventions’ are global as well as very personal. It feels like a spinning top at a dizzying speed. How about you?
…and speaking of changes…
A new kind of Botanical Beauties has come to town! I’m having fun with flowers in new ways (reason #4.) Stay tuned as we see together what and how this develops.
Feeling a bit soggy?
Here are a few ideas of ways to make a rainy day better.
Don’t think of it as cold wet water:
Think SPRING FLOWERS!
Here’s a list of ideas for spring shower happiness.
💦 Pretend you are two years old and go splash in puddles-I know a very special little one that this works well for!
💦 Enjoy some artwork. Galleries, museums, or exhibits are all luxurious and wonderful places to forget it’s raining outside.
💦 There’s always the movies.
💦 Meet a friend for a cup, or glass, of whatever makes you smile.
💦 Plan a rain barrel for your garden, then the next time it rains you will be receiving bonus water!
💦 Gray is much better than black. Look outside-gray is probably everywhere and Mother Nature is usually is pretty smart!
Maybe Gray still is the new black?
💦 Gray is a subdued and quiet color so crawl into that: Tuck yourself in and enjoy a good read with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Or just nap!
💦 Remember that rain is not frozen, or slippery, and it requires no shoveling.
💦 Learn new things. For instance- Did you know that the iconic crayon color, Dandelion, will be retiring? To send him off in style, Crayola is taking him on a 4-week retirement tour! VERY clever marketing and fun to watch. Here’s the link. https://youtu.be/WSBaRK1BM3Q
(BYW – today 3/31/17 is National Crayon Day…who knew?)
AND OF COURSE – there is always “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly!
They say an elephant never forgets and I think your heart remembers it all as well. Emotions make us human. We have appealing emotions (such as caring, love, and trust) and then there are less ‘agreeable’ ones (no need to list them.) Emotions can wreak havoc on out hearts and days, sometimes in good ways and at other times in pain. We need them both but OMG they both can be tough on one’s mind, body, soul, and heart!
It seems fair to say we all know:
There is a direct connection from mental to physical health.
Growing evidence that out thoughts become our attitudes, our attitudes becomes our actions, and therefore our thoughts become our actions.
Negativity is not healthy, happy or something most of us want to be around, share or be consistently identified with.
We need both good and bad to achieve some balance and reality.
Our minds and bodies are one machine.
Something you may not know- “Recent HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.” ( HeartMath source from TODAY.com)
In traditional medicine we often treat but we also often mask an issue. Here is a paragraph from a Psychology Today article that I find very useful. If you have the interest and time I would click the link and read the whole thing- it’s not long.
‘As a cardiologist with Eastern roots, I am also aware that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) supports the idea that there is a direct relationship between emotions and physical health. The concept of qi, or vital energy, dictates that emotions are closely integrated with the organs. The heart is the source of all emotions and holds the essential spirit, so if the emotions are out of balance, the physical heart must be, too.” She goes on to say “Rather than simply seeking happiness, we should seek to learn how to create harmony between emotions, soul, spirit, and body. If we are connected with our inner emotional selves, we will be able to manage any circumstances that come our way in a manner that will not destroy or severely damage our health and our heart.” (read the article here)
… I don’t think I could say it any better and so I will leave it at that.
(Quoted from Cynthia Thaik, M.D., is a Harvard-trained physician and currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.)
For those of you that have read all the way through- a BONUS!
here is a 2 minutes and 39-seconds Meditation to Calm Your Emotions – click here.
Tuesday, Jan 31 is a lot of things in the wide wonderful world.
#7 is MY FAVORITE!
1) It’s a very dear long-standing friends Birthday so I wish her a VERY Happy Birthday !!!!!
2) It’s the end of January 2017 for all us of us. Only 11 months left to accomplish our 2017 goals. I better keep dancing as fast as I can!
3) 1949: The first daytime soap “These Are my Children” was broadcasted on NBC. Soaps got their nickname because the show(s) were targeted to mothers, and soap manufacturers such as P&G, were major sponsors.
4) 1961: Ham, a chimpanzee, who went into space by the USA was recovered alive and well, paving the way for humans to go next!
5) 1971: Apollo 14 (moon mission) was launched. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5, “moon rocks were collected and several scientific experiments were performed. Shepard hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought with him. Shepard and Mitchell spent 33½ hours on the Moon, with almost 9½ hours of EVA.” (Extravehicular activity.)
6) 1929: As of this day the Boston Red Sox were allowed to play ball on Sundays! Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols signed an ordinance regarding this matter. It cost the Sox $1000 for a permit. BTY – there was still a team called the Boston Braves then too.
7) ANDmost exciting to me is that Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017, it is the day I am making my first real public appearance reading my children’s book called Awsome! at a local library. In case you are around it is 10 am at the Eastport-Annapolis Library. It’s the Preschool Storytime (3-5 years) (Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library: 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403.)
So today is a day to continue to prepare. I am reading the book aloud to anyone I can, even the dog just to practice reading upside down, cadence and ideas. I am thinking about subtle marketing/ PR and ways to help further my cause and the book of Awesome! I am also looking for other places to read it aloud, so if you know anyone that runs any activity for the “little kids” please let me know.
If anyone out there is a public storyteller, all tips would be welcome and appreciated!
Change-if it were easy (or fun) we would all be “making changes for the better” continually. But it’s not. Most of us don’t have strong “change skills.” As humans we differ from our pets (or at least my pets) only in scale to our aversions to change. The furniture moves, or the dog gate moves, and one of my dogs is a bit concerned about it. Luckily I am more flexible than that! We all know that change can be a good thing. Usually, we feel better about change when we choose it, not much feels good when it is thrust expectantly upon us. So, the tricky part is knowing you have the power and choose! We all know the saying, Want new results? Then you have to change something!
In doing some internet research for this post, I found what I think is a good article about change. Most of you readers (I assume) are not looking at immediate grand changes, but I think these are useful tips for us all. Since I am indeed facing many changes, I find these concepts helpful. I hope you do as well.
“1. Change helps you grow
2. Change teaches you to be flexible
3. Change can challenge your values and beliefs
4. Change reveals your strengths
5. Change makes you more compassionate.
6. Change breaks up routines
7. Change offers opportunities”
The other piece of important stuff in my head today are words from Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO and the widow of Dave Goldberg) who gave a powerful speech at UC Berkeley’s commencement about resilience and loss. I think, change, resilience and loss are all often closely connected. Change is nearly impossible unless you have resilience and loss makes you face it all and forces change. Here are a few snippets from her words.
“…After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that there are three Ps— personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence— that are critical to how we bounce back from hardship.”
“….Because today marks the end of one era of your life and the beginning of something new…”
“I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning…”
“Lessons about hope, strength, and the light within us that will not be extinguished…”
“The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive…”
“…live with the understanding of how precious every single day would be. How precious every day actually is…”
“Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”
“So what do we do next?…Lift each other up, help each other kick the shit out of option B—and celebrate each and every moment of joy. .. ”
and now back to my own words…
Easier siad then done-but good words all around.
Look for the good and the positive-then let the changes begin!
The temps have warmed, the sun is shining, birds are outside my open window, and it feels like the N.E. is trying to burst forward. Spring always brings up the topic of renewal, change and spring cleaning. In our more modern times spring cleaning has also become synonymous with ‘detoxing’ (i.e cleaning/decluttering) not only our home but also our body and life. As we all know, not easy.
I am in the process of sorting papers-somehow I still have “papers” from 1998-it’s time! Two piles, one recycles which is easy to dump it into the very large bin. The second is the shredding pile. Clearing-shredding-decluttering pieces of the past. Memories are often attached to these strange pieces of paper. I know that shredding the paper does not shred the memory, sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes pieces of the past are indeed better off shredded. I mean really, no-one has a perfect past! At times, it’s a strangely satisfying process to add these papers to my shinny new big black plastic box called a shredder. Other times, it’s not. I think I will call my shredder Egor-a name with Norse origins meaning “archer-soldier.” Egor seems to eat up everything-more like a warrior, but isn’t a warrior just a super strong soldier? His archer instead of a bow is blades, and instead of a dead something at the arrows end, Egor produces a new ‘product’ at the end. The odd thing to me is that the new ‘product’ is a whole new beast, it’s tiny bits that are almost soft, and surely could fly and flutter if let loose. So, that’s how I am trying to look at shredding 18 years of papers…my warrior Egor and I are on a mission to march on and try to fly.
The first step in simplifying our lives is to rid ourselves of unnecessary complexity. In order to do that, we need to ask ourselves, “Is this activity or possession bringing me joy and peace? Is it reducing the complexity in my life?” If the answer is no, then we need to either find a way to minimize its effect or discard it.-http://powertochange.com/life/springclean/
“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Here’s to keeping your eyes open for the cracks and cranny’s of new doors. That we all see the new with joy and excitement. May 2016 bring new adventures, new friends, new smiles, good health and many magical doors.
As so it fades… 2015 closes and 2016 opens up with new possibilities. Attitude must rule, for the magic of change and possibilities are only available when you first dream, then think, and follow with doing everything you can to start the engine and keep it running. Yes, I know, at times it is very hard to keep going, to keep the steam puffing, and even not to stand in front of it and block its way, but…we all know that does no good. I have to keep reminding myself, I’ve got to at the very least keep chipping away at the big dreams, now and then take a big bold whack at it, close my eyes and JUMP. I suggest that to everyone, the choice to stay static or chisel and jump so… why not!?
As 2016 is peaking its head around the corner I am hopeful that this will be the year that my giant revisions of my book may be in the background and that finally I am on the right track. This book looks nothing like where I started and I’m ok with that, it’s a prosess I keep telling myself-Hope so! It is now a book for the “wee ones” of 2-6 years and it is called Awesome (at least right now that is the title!) It still features Fuddles, the feather that spreads awe and wonder on planet Earth. That is who you see above but that is not an illustration from this upcoming book. The plan is that Fuddles will be on a farm in a sequence book. In the meantime, Fuddles is peaking out the doors into 2016. He does indeed look a bit shocked, maybe a wee bit scared, but time will tell the whole story. Temporarily that’s all I will reveal. Partly, because it is very much still a working copy, and partly for I am just not ready to “put it out there” yet.
I am not one for resolutions, especially public ones, but I will proclaim my intent for this to be the year of my first book to finally come to be!
The topic keeps popping up and so its time to be attentive (again).
Recently, I was having a great conversation with a friend about the concept of how the world/people/organizations can be callous and how we let them (enable them?) to siphon our spirit out. This friend is involved with an ugly business situation that is crushing him. We started chatting about the reflections of ourselves in others. Within friendships, personal and business encounters we act (and react) to these reflections. It is said that emotions don’t belong in business, and although I think business too needs people with hearts, I do understand that raw emotions cannot rule business. However, these ‘reflections’ I am speaking of are far less conscious than unprocessed emotions and are much more subtle. Perspectives verses realities-perhaps. The boundaries of what is acceptable can be fuzzy and clearly differ from the mind and heart of each sender and receiver. Do we stop and think about those reflections? Seldom. However, they no doubt play a large role in our daily stumbles. I am sure these reflections are part of whom we enjoy and disdain, and probably part of why we just don’t like some people we meet. We all know-What we send is usually a reflection what we receive back. I do think reflections can be related to Karma.
The above conversation eventually lead to Karma and who sleeps the best at night? Obviously, most of us think the people who “care more” about the world, humanity, and each other, sleep better. Clearly they are destined to have better Karma. I acknowledge that the world probably needs a little of the bad, it’s a balance and contrast thing. When folks are down right mean, or “bad” what’s that all about? What reflections do they see and feel-if any? Do nasty people even stop to think, much less think about what they are “putting out” in the world? What is their Karma? If we change our reflections do we change our Karma? What do you think?
Later that day I was poking around on the web and an image popped up that said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” It turns out the quote is from a motivational speaker/corporation called Ziglar. I thought it was an interesting full circle spin back to my afternoon conversation, one that started with yoga, twirled to reflections and ended with Karma.
It happens continually…
Coincidence-sure you can call it that….
I think Karma also plays into the big picture.
Whether its food, attitude, or actions…
Garbage in=Garbage out.