Travel is fatal to prejudice

“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.

Picnic table image
Find a new table in a new spot
“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!)

 

Imagination Makes the World a Better Place.

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.

SO…

What are you thinking about?
What are your dreams?
What’s in your imagination?

Dreams to Imagination

Huffington Post says imagination is better than reality! (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/5-reasons-imagination-is-_b_6096368.html_ )

4 Reasons why Reinventions can be sweeter than Easter Morning-no candy involved!

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

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Lyrics | MetroLyrics (and hear the song)

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.

BBB3 is Expanding
There’s a new bird in town! Click on the image to see it larger.

For more about Bob Dylan.

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Special Memory By AmandaH | MetroLyrics

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/29/521898666/bob-dylan-agrees-to-accept-his-nobel-prize-during-a-tour-stop-in-stockholm

How did emotions become the best part of your heart? Find Out.

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.)

Gordy. A heart remembers
Gordy. A heart remembers.

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 Emotionsclick here.

Dream BIG & go in small steps.

I read a quote today from Audrey Hepburn that says:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!”

I recently listed to a webinar about how to get things done. The focus there was exactly that-FOCUS! Ignore the things you could be doing and make sure you ARE DOING the things that enhance/help/travel you to your big goal.  Everything is not equal, and you must decide which ‘tasks’ you should do (which should be the same as ‘want to’) because your big goal should something that is fun to you, and makes you happy and smile.

Put the two together and the world can be your very own glorious garden. Your dreams are indeed all possible. Easy to remember every day-probably not! It’s not bug free or weed free, but it can be pesticide free! It’s hard work.  May take a little self chatting on some days, a small nudge on other days, but we can all get there. As for me – I am sticking up bits on encouragement all around my work area, and trying to feed my passion daily. Do just one little thing everyday for your garden. Only you need to know what it is. It has to be something MANAGEABLE. Then, as the seasons go, watch your flowers bloom!

little steps to big results

 

Have any ideas? How about you?

Rocketing out of ones comfort zone

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.

7 reasons embracing change can be a good thing.” Is the name of the article and it is from a website I never heard of before today, but I do love their name- Attitude is Altitude. 

“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”

If you want to read the whole article

But wait…there’s more!

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!

It’s raining now but that will bring flowers…

…or at least that’s the plan!
Perseverance, change, on the move, and All that Jazz.

“I hear that Father Dip
Is gonna blow the blues
And all that Jazz
Hold on, hun
We’re gonna bunny hug
I bought some aspirin
Down at United Drug
In case you shake apart
And want a brand new start
To do that-
Jazz”

 

All sorts of interesting stuff in those words.

“Gonna blow the blues.” Clearly they are referring to the music, but it is significant here as well about some sadness. Packing up a whole house tends to have a bit of that effect on me. Hence, some aspirin… but here’s the cool part to hang on to-“a brand-new start.” … And then, there’s that very catchy rhythm and beat to the song! Never underestimate the power of the rhythm and beat to your day, week, year and more!

“Don’t worry Roxy-it’s all taken care of” – I’m counting on it! Here’s to chin up, change, new beginnings, hope, some faith in “the universe,” family, and friends. Lets paint the town and have a new start. Want to join? …Want to paint the (your) town?

…and All that Jazz. Do it my way, your way, or maybe we can collaborate. Whatever, for me, it’s time for a shakedown and some high volume rhythm! How about you?

Putting on a new hat and starting again.
Putting on a new hat and starting again.

 

Shredding…not the snow kind but the detox type.

Izabella Spring Cleaning
Izabella Spring Cleaning

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/

Nature is blasting – What’s your blast, do you use it?

Fuddles in the snow
Fuddles amongst the snow flakesI found this TEDTalk wonderful. Caroline McHugh is indeed talking about your personal blast.

The weather forecast for this weekend along the Eastern Seaboard is a bit dismal (unless you are a fan of big  nor’easter storms.) It’s true, perception, needs, attitudes, and consequences all come into play here. For me travel is in my plans, a big storm is not good news. However, nature does her blasting with no apologies; she does what she needs to and she lets it roar!

That brings me to letting your self “be” and do as you need to. Blasting your unique talents and views. Taking up your space in this big wide world. In my rambles around the internet and  TED Talks I stumbled upon the talk embedded below. She talks about seeing yourself in a true mirror – “where you look AT yourself,  you look for revelations not reassurance.”

She goes on to talk about folks who are “larger than life” and what makes them so? They take ALL the space the universe intended them to and so they “shine, glimmer, and glow, …it’s as if they swallowed the moon.” I love that statement! It’s all about INDIVIDUALITY! Your job is to be you. To be the best you can be, to do the best job you can at being you.  Caroline MCHugh is “dedicated to helping individuals and organisations be fully deployed, original versions of themselves.” (more)

BLAST out your individuality, your talents, your glimmer and let it shine!
(Even if its under a snow blanket this weekend!)

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-Art-of-Being-Yourself-Carol

Ask the hard questions

IGordyQuestion read this article which I thought was pretty interesting….

You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question….A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

I found it on http://qz.com/584874/you-probably-know-to-ask-yourself-what-do-i-want-heres-a-way-better-question/
They found it on: http://markmanson.net/question

It’s an unusual way for me to post but I think this is a very interesting concept and thought pattern. So, not my words…the words of: MarkManson.net.

 

Karma. A force to be reckoned with?

Karma :
The force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person. – http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/karma

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….
But….
I think Karma also plays into the big picture.
Whether its food, attitude, or actions…
Garbage in=Garbage out.

Ollie - Minister of Truth