Saturday Soul Train

floral-colorful-flowers-shoeYou should be dancing, yeah!  Put on your platform heels, turn the music up, and check out these awesome dance moves and gorgeous clothes.  I love Soul Train!  And who doesn’t love a little Bee Gees, Aretha, and the King of Pop to make Saturday just a little bit better.  Make your own Soul Train dance lane at home and Continue reading

Sunday Morning Mashup

This mashup is perfectly done.  These dancers have got some pretty inspiring moves. So Happy Sunday!  And get your feet moving!  Dancing is good for your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  If you can think of another dimension of health, it’s good for that, too.  Promise!  Dancing is a great cause of inner happiness that radiates from the inside out.

 

Just Say It.

Just say it.

keep-calm-and-just-say-itWhen was the last time you didn’t say something to someone in the moment . . . in real time . . . only to wish later that you would have just given yourself permission to say it?

This seems to be a common experience that we all share.  Many of us have been raised with our default set to humility and a sometimes-overrated sense of politesse.  It wouldn’t be polite to just say what is on our mind or in our heart because we fear sounding rude or abrupt.  We equate graciousness with good manners.  We fear a loss of personal dignity if we respond in a truthful manner.  We fear rejection.  What if someone quit loving us if we just said it?  We are taught to paste a smile on and accept someone else’s bad temper, insensitivity, rudeness, or crudeness . . . because it wouldn’t be polite to respond in a manner that might paint us as the bad guy, the rude girl, the jerk, the b#*@h.

We fear this – a negative judgment from another.  Well, maybe not all of us.  I know several people who just bust a move when it comes to saying something, to self-advocating, to being themselves, to expressing their opinion.  All . . . while the rest of us bottle things in and feel badly or beaten up because we did not express our authentic self or because we didn’t have the chutzpah to stop someone from bullying us.

Why don’t we just say it?  I am not advocating a thoughtless burst of words that take no account of collateral damage.  No one wants to be the belly-acher.  The complainer.  The person who always belches out opinions-as-gospel-truth.  I believe that it is wise to be thoughtful with our words and actions.  It is smart to be aware of and develop our emotional intelligence quotient – our EQ – so that our rational brain has a chance to catch up to our amazingly speedy emotional brain and circumvent an emotional hijacking.  An emotional hijacking can best be described as our amygdala – the specialist for emotional matters – taking control over what we do and/or say while the neocortex – the rational brain – is still coming to a decision.  We all know what it feels like when we have allowed a hijacking to take place . . . those moments when we say, “I can’t believe I actually said that out loud.”  Or “I don’t know what came over me.”  These moments can have defining consequences.

Still.  Remaining pleasantly and politely silent in the face of bullying tactics or plain and simple rudeness or abuse of power has defining consequences, too.  I sometimes wonder if it isn’t better to just say it and deal with the aftermath of a hell-acious emotional hijacking only to find that I am kicking myself later for allowing someone else to thoughtlessly tear down my sense of worth or level of contribution or value to society.

Do one thingI don’t know.  This is tricky stuff.  We want to be good people who are considerate of others.  And there are times when “Just Say It” flies in the face of heroic passivism and turning the other cheek.  But is there a way to balance this . . . especially for the introverts of the world who may not be as comfortable speaking up in public or professional situations?  Is there a way to self-advocate and feel good about the situation later?

I believe there is a way.  I read a quote that really spoke to me at the time, and it has stuck with me these many years later.  This is a paraphrase, I believe: “Say the truth, but say it in love.”  In other words, go ahead and say it, but know what is fueling your words.  Is it anger, jealousy, passive-aggression?  Is it a desire for clarity, for setting the other person straight regarding your thoughts, feelings, or intentions?   As I write, I realize that this quote is the perfect way to pull back on the yoke and glide out of an emotional hijacking situation.  That “just saying it” can be a unifying force.   So, speak the truth, but say it in love.  Love for the other person.  Love for you, yourself.  Love for building a better community.  Love, love, love.toaster oven

The Kind of Stuff You Don’t Hang on the Wall

Stuff that Works . . . This is a GREAT song by Guy Clark.  It inspires me to appreciate the “stuff that works” in my life . . . “the kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall.”  Take a listen.  It is a really beautiful song.

I read a great affirmation yesterday: “Where there is light there are shadows.”

IMG_0975Living in the Pacific Northwest, we experience a lot of gray days.  The sort of days where the horizon line blurs the sky and water into one waterscape.  On these days, there are no shadows and there is an etheral feel to the day — akin to floating.  The lack of contrast lends itself to getting lost in daydreams.  Some find these days extraordinarily gloomy.  Drizzle, fog, and low-hanging clouds cast a mood of Waiting.  Waiting for the sun to return.  When we do get a blue day and the sun is shining, the shadows emerge as well.

It sometimes feels as if the times that have made me the happiest have also cast the darkest shadows.  The brightness creates an awareness that life is both awesome and fragile.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, the clouds can, and most likely will, soon return and obscure the sunlight.  As I put things into perspective each morning, afternoon, and night, this song reminds me of the truly important things . . . the stuff that works.  And there is a LOT of stuff that does work. toaster oven

So today?  I am focusing on the stuff that works.

OK Go Saturday Dance Music

time-to-dance-high-heeled-shoes-285661_960_720

theunseenwordsproject.com

If you haven’t seen an OK Go video, then you are in for a treat.  These videos are super clever!  Take a few moments this morning to appreciate some fanciful videos, listen to some good dance music, and get up and start moving.  The thing about OK Go, they don’t spare any creativity when it comes to representing their music.  Have fun today!  It’s Saturday!

There is a reason why this video has over 53 million views!

And this is just plain fun!

Here are a few fun things to entertain your Saturday . . . music, Legos, book!
Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

http://amzn.to/2cJ6NtO

Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit

http://amzn.to/2cpPBNK

Mistakes That Worked Paperback

http://amzn.to/2cpPaCM

time-to-dance-high-heeled-shoes-285661_960_720

theunseenwordsproject.com

Saturday morning boogie time!

our love of dance. Hans_Thoma_-_Kinderreigen_(1872)

theunseenwordsproject.com

It’s Saturday!  And it’s time to dance, people!

Dance like you did as a young’un.  Just go for it!  Shake it, move it, groove it!

Life is lively event.  Seize the movement.

Sometimes all it takes to get you moving is a pair of dancing shoes.  Put them on and start moving!

“Thank you for letting us be ourselves.”

“Celebrate good times!  Come on!”

“When you wish upon a star . . . dreams will take you very far.”

 

 

Life, Love, & Happiness . . . all is a Chancey Poker Hand

deck of cardsI knew an old timer who thought of life as a poker game.  His theory was that we are dealt only so many cards in life . . . that we have to discard the old for the new if we hope to improve the hand that we are currently holding.  He believed that life was all just a gambling game of chance, predicated on our willingness to release something for something else.  In other words: if you don’t like the cards you are holding, you might just as well go ahead and discard.  The new cards that are dealt back to you might make for a better hand.  And if that isn’t the case?  Well, you discard again until you like the hand you are holding.  I should probably add that this older fellow led a very uncomplicated life.

Whether you look at life as Poker, Bridge, Backgammon, or Go Fish . . . there is some truth to what this old guy had to say.  And before I break out in my karaoke version of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,”  I just want to say that there is certainly an element of chance in every single moment of my life.  Like a deck of cards sitting before me on the poker table, I can actually feel the opportunities that are stacked up in front of me, beckoning and simply asking me to release my tight grip on my current reality and be brave enough to discard.

Paul_Cézanne,_1892-95,_Les_joueurs_de_carte_(The_Card_Players),_60_x_73_cm,_oil_on_canvas,_Courtauld_Institute_of_Art,_LondonThat’s the best part of taking a chance.  Any chance.  There is that little thrill that courses through our humanness right in that very second before we know that we have been dealt a bad hand or a good hand.  Research has shown that this “thrill” is actually what compulsive gamblers are addicted to.  It isn’t Winning that they are hooked on, otherwise they would walk away from the table when they have a nice high stack of chips sitting in front of them . . . it’s actually that feeling of not knowing whether they have won or lost that brings them back to the table.

I guess I have to give it to Kenny Rogers . . . or to whomever wrote the lyrics to that song about knowing when to hold them or when to fold them.   It is true.  You do have to know when to walk away.  Know when to run.  There is that expression that nature abhors a vacuum.  Experience tells us that this is true: when we create a hole or a gap in our lives, it is likely to fill up with something or someone else — perhaps with alarming similarities, but different nonetheless.

There are those pivotal times in life when we concede to discarding.  And receiving. When we [finally!] acknowledge that it’s okay to take a chance.  And if there are rules that define winning the game, it’s probably time to have a chat with Mr. Hoyle about writing in some exceptions.

All that life really requires of us is that we go forth and live it.  There is not a lot of thinking or haggling involved with it.  Or is there?   [Shifting back into OverThink drive now . . .]  But it sometimes seems that if  you overthink or strategize life, you are doomed to passivity.  Passivity, like counting cards, has its place but it has no depth, no growth, no change, no underbelly.  It just exists with predictable outcomes.

Jokers and trump cards.  The King of Hearts and the Queen of Spades.  Existence and living.  Risk and chance.  I don’t know exactly how this all spells out into my strategy for poker playing — not being very artful at this game — but I am thinking it’s time to look at what I have chosen to hold and maybe do a little discard here or there.  Change is bound to be good because, if we believe Kenny, every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser.  [My apologies if this song gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day! :)]