Start with a Simple Idea

IMG_1611. a simple ideaStart with a Simple Idea.  

It’s as simple as that.  Or is it?  We hear stories about people who are fulfilled and successful, motivated and inspired.  What many of these people have in common is that they started their Journey of Success with a simple idea that ultimately sparked growth in their personal lives while contributing to the world around them.

I had some crazy dream about Skylab, America’s first space station, last night — how I was trying to walk on one of its pinwheel arms while maintaining my balance in a gravity-free environment — not an easy task even within the fuzzy confines of a dream.  All of which got me thinking, mid-dream, about what a wonder the whole contraption of Skylab is.  Having experienced its interstellar wonder in my dream, I woke up thinking about how much research and groundwork and hope and intention and vision and forward thinking went into creating it.

Skylab didn’t just happen.  It started with a simple idea and it grew.  Maybe someone scribbled his or her original idea of it on the back of a bar napkin.  Maybe it was the result of some astrophysicists having breakfast together at a conference.  Maybe some scientist woke up with a detailed dream of it.  I don’t know Skylab’s true genesis, but someone had to take it and move it beyond a doodle or an entry in a lab notebook.

In a TED talk (click on the link below), Tony Robbins tells the story of his family receiving an unexpected and generous Thanksgiving Day kindness when he was younger.  As a teenager, Robbins wanted to pay this stranger’s kindness forward, so he anonymously provided a different family with a Thanksgiving dinner.  This generous and simple idea grew into the creation of an organization that now feeds millions of people.

I love stories like this.  Still, as inspiring as they are, they can also feel to be a bit overwhelming.  The obvious questions enter into my thoughts: How did Tony Robbins grow the organization from this one simple gesture?  How did he organize enough people to join him in his vision?  Where did he get the capital to grow the organization into such a large one?  Sure, the amazing and energetic and dynamic Tony Robbins could pull this off  . . . but could I?

Believe-in-yourself-and-believe-in-love.-Love-something.Details, details, details.  I so often get lost in the details.  If I were to look back on my life and pushpin myself onto any given past moment, would I have imagined all of the dynamics of Today?  Parts of Today?  Maybe parts, yes. But all of the amazing-ness that I now experience?  No.  I don’t think I could have foreseen a tiny glimpse of the bigger picture.  I had to take one simple step.  And believe.  And know.  And feed the vision.toaster oven

Skylab was originally launched unmanned but there were eventually several different crews delivered to the station.  On the latter missions, there was even an additional spacecraft orbiting to rescue the crew should they encounter any emergencies.  Imagine these baby steps.  First, unmanned.  Next, manned missions.  Ultimately, backup and support.

Albert-Einstein-Quote-Happy-Life

For a free download (in workbook format) of today’s journal prompt “Start with a Simple Idea,” provide your email address, and I will send you your inspiring journal exercise for you to print out and to start journaling.  Time to make a differrence! 

And to conclude on an uplifting note . . . This is such an inspiring TED talk: Why We Do What We Do.  If you have 21:45 today to take the time to just relax and to open your mind to possibilities, this is a great TED talk.  In fact . . . watch it before you begin journaling.  The ideas that Tony Robbins shares will expand your thinking and your creativity and your perceptions of what is possible.

Advertisements

What is it that you are procrastinating on?

Procrastination . . . what is it?  And what’s stopping you?

the time is nowAre you a procrastinator?  A big one or a little one?  Or a kind of It-Depends one?  This is a fantastic TED talk on the topic that is near and dear to all of us.  No matter who you are — you are a procrastinator concerning something.  Tim Urban really nails it when he breaks procrastination down into its simplest parts.  I have watched this talk several times — some of those times being when I was procrastinating about something else.

This inspiring and funny talk is very much worth watching.  It will encourage and it will remind you that life is finite and, if there is something in life that really really interests you in doing or learning or completing, you might want to stop procrastinating and get going.  In his talk, Tim Urban does not resort to any doomsday tactics that will scare you into getting your stuff together so you can get stuff done. He just says it like it is.

Like I said, inspiring.

Do watch.  The entire talk is only 14:03 and it will also make you laugh.  At yourself.  At life.  At deadlines.  At how life is.  And what a relief this is, what with the upside down times that we are currently living in.

And one last short journaling question for you to add to your notebook . . .

What is one thing that you have been procrastinating on?  

I can think of one thing immediately and Tim Urban is right: it is one of those things that has no deadline. No Panic Monster required.  Which is why I need Urban’s reminder to evaluate and prioritize.

Is it going back to school?  Or learning how to surf?  Or learning a new chord progression on your guitar?  Or taking better care of your health?  Or being nicer to yourself?  Or writing that thank you note that is beginning to feel embarrassingly belated?  Or finishing that econ paper?  Or that project at work that is just riding your sense of peace even when you aren’t at work?  So many things and so little time.  So I am thinking that I want to make time count for the things that give me a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, joy, and reward.

Life is a lively and fun event, full of wonderful things to do and to learn and to share.  What’s stopping you?

For the next time someone asks you at a party: “So, what do you do?”

val cuteYou’re at a party and you really don’t know anyone there.  You came because someone from your professional networking group invited you.  He tells you that it will be a great way to meet new people.  You are doing your best to “mingle” and make polite conversation.  On the inside you feel awkward and out of place and are wondering when you can make a move for the nearest exit.

While you are making small talk, what is the first question that people ask you after they learn your name?

“So.  Tell me.  What is it that you do?”

If you feel like you are never quite sure how to answer this in a way that reveals who you truly are, watch this video.  It is so sweet and simple, and Adam Leipzig simply nails it.  Leipzig’s explanation of how to discover your life purpose goes beyond writing your average elevator pitch.  It digs down deep and helps you discover what it is you want to do to help others.

Knowing your life purpose is important.  And sharing it with others is essential.  Connecting with others based on the sharing of your dreams, goals, and passions builds empathy and encourages others to do the same.  Living your purpose creates a  “knowing”  in your life that fuels you along life’s timeline.  It feels good and right and also makes a difference in the world around you.  This video is short and well worth the time you spend watching it.

Awesome TED talk: How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes

After I watched this TED talk, I created a journal prompt for my students so that they could explore, discover, and be ready to share their respective life purposes.   Just click on the aqua-blue link below for your Life Purpose prompt.  It is best if you watch this short TED talk first, so you get the most out of the exercise.  Have fun re-kindling a connection with your life purpose!  [Click on link below]

Your Life Purpose.journal prompt

Life is a lively event.  And it is short.  

Make the most out of your journey by discovering and living your life purpose.

Oh, and please do share you life purpose with the rest of us in the comments section!  

We would love to hear what this video inspired!

Validation: You are great. You ______.

IMG_1580

You are great.  You have such awesome peripheral vision!

Validation.  We all want to feel recognized and be valued as essential and worthy.  Actually, we need it.  Validation reinforces the connections that link us to our friends, our family, our community.  When we validate others, we are saying that we want to join their world and see things from their point of view.  It is a way of saying that we understand . . . that we see them as they are and we accept them.

What validates you?  Who validates you?  What words or gesture rings your internal bell of validation?

Merriam-Webster defines validation as to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of.”  Without at least some validation in our lives, we often find ourselves feeling isolated  or alone or misunderstood.  The world feels like a place where others are happy and wildly successful and living lives of fulfillment . . . while we’re not.  Validation extends a hand of kindness to another.  It says, “I like you the way you are in this very moment.”  It says, “I don’t have to know everything about you to know that you are essential.”  Validation is a lifeline that saves another from feelings of lonesomeness and disconnect with the world.

IMG_0200

You both have such stunning hair!

Sometimes all it takes to feel validated is to feel the touch of someone’s hand on our shoulder.  Sometimes it is as simple as hearing, “I like your taste in earrings.  The ones you have on are so awesome!” or “I really like the way that your hair curls.” or “Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful smile?”  Sometimes it takes so little.

 

1216

Wow!  Has anyone ever told you that you have a very strong mind?

Pleasepleaseplease watch this video below.  It runs (16:23) and it is so worth watching.  It is the sweetest reminder that we can make a difference in other people’s lives simply by stepping outside our own selves and recognizing the little things about them.  And there is definitely a ripple effect that accompanies the validation of another.

Validation.  I ask myself, “What am I doing to validate other people?” What can I say the next time I recognize that someone needs to be validated?

Vision Board 058

Valentino, you are great.  You are awesome.  You have the most beautiful, knowing eyes.

Fill in the blank below when you meet someone whom you can validate.  Anyone.  A loved one or a stranger.  Your dog or your cat.  The grocery clerk, your chiropractor, your linguistics professor, your Uncle Johnny.  Your doctor, your nurse, your patient.  Your teacher, your student, your department chair.  Your mentor, your sister, your brother, your daughter.  What matters is that you are making a difference.  Just do it.  What’s stopping you?

Fill in the blank for someone else today.  Elevate someone’s day.  Make a difference in how someone else feels appreciated and validated.  It will make their day.  And probably yours, too, when you see their smile and feel the validation connection.  I guarantee that your validation will circulate to parts of the world that you have never visited.

You are great.  You are amazing.  You __________________.

 

Author bio: Kennedy Farr’s passion for writing caught light at the age of four when she first learned how to spell her name on a sheet of lined tablet paper.  Kennedy is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment.  Kennedy lives high atop an emerald-green mountain on a Pacific Northwest island.  She feels blessed by the natural beauty, the serenity, and the bird life that grace each day.

Website: https://theunseenwordsproject.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theunseenwords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Unseen-Words-Project-1095815913825818/

Hermit Crabs: the Great Shell Exchange

036Here is today’s journal question from my 5-year diary with 1,825 potential answers: If you could move anywhere, where would you move?  

This answer is easy for me: Nowhere.

In this past year, I have moved three times.  I feel that I have fulfilled the spirit of new adventure that this question suggests, and I’m sticking with Nowhere.  I love where I live, and there is nowhere else on the planet where I would rather be living.

Stuff.  What is it that George Carlin said about stuff?  “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”  While I completely agree with him, I have to say that there is something comforting about creating an atmosphere that invites relaxation, creativity, and a sense of family.  It is a good thing . . . even when I find that I have accumulated more than my little shell can hold.

I am currently reading Marie Kondo’s the life-chaning magic of tidying up.  If you haven’t heard of it, just google Marie Kondo + joy and you will read about her gentle and successful de-cluttering techniques.  I have only read up to page 61 and you should see my sock drawers!  They have major Wow! factor.
In order to create a home that generates joy, it is necessary to say good bye to those things that have fulfilled their function and duty.  The sorting is quite the process, but I am working through it by taking baby steps.  I know that, once I have read the entire book and taken a stab at categorizing all/most of my stuff, I am going to need to read it again and start the de-cluttering all over again.  Although I can be a quick study in some areas of my life, I accept that I am going to have to give it one more pass before I feel like I am done creating my space of Kondo-esque joy.

IMG_3357To say this undertaking is intimidating might sound a little dramatic; time feels limited and the sorting is time-consuming.  But I shall persist and get to the place where I have made a dent and can go into my next move with better spirits and less drudge-y vibes.

I remembered this BBC video about hermit crabs while pondering this question.  It is simply captivating, what with nature being so fascinating when caught with such detail on film: the narration, the science, the earnestness and the ingenuity of the crabs — all make for quite the video narration.  Enjoy and, should you be in the midst of a move, I wish you the best.  [This video is very brief . . . only a few minutes and not a long documentary.  I think it will perk up your day if you take the time to view it. :)]

I don’t know why but if I watch this once, I watch it twice. There is something just so synchronous and relatively amiable about the hermit crabs’ system of figuring out an orderly solution.

So how about you?  If you could move anywhere on the planet, where would you go?

Life is a lively event.  Enjoy your space, imbue it with joy, and jettison the rest.

What’s stopping you?

Author bio: Kennedy Farr’s passion for writing caught light at the age of four when she first learned how to spell her name on a sheet of lined tablet paper.  Kennedy is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment.  Kennedy lives high on the mountainside of an emerald-green island in the Pacific Northwest.

Website:https://theunseenwordsproject.com/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/theunseenwords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Unseen-Words-Project-1095815913825818/

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Inner Honey Badger & Make Some Mud Balls

Escape your present reality and think like a honey badger.  Every time I watch this BBC documentary clip of the honey badger, I am so inspired by this animal’s persistence.  The honey badger’s focus on escaping the enclosure is nothing short of amazing.  It uses any and every resource it has to get to where it wants to go.  This animal truly is a marvel.  And what a lesson to all of us who doubt or fear or give up or don’t believe that something is possible.  The message straight from the honey badger itself: It is possible.  Just watch the video (4:12) and you will see what I am saying.  It is a hoot!

When I watch this video, I think about my life and about where I want to go.  Where I know I want to be. What I want to accomplish.  I am reminded of that quote by Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  Well, the thing is: I do know . . . and I am expending personal resource: time, energy, creativity, etc.

But still . . . am I using every resource that is available to me?

This honey badger’s tenacity shows me that the answer to my question is Absolutely not.  The thing is: I know that I am capable of so much more.  Perhaps this is what drives the pistons of life’s dissatisfaction or confusion or self-defeat within my inner world.  I know that I have so much more inside of me to create, to offer, to be.  In the video, the honey badger even makes mud balls (!) to stage its escape.  Mud balls . . . an escape prop out of dirt and water.  Maybe I am easily moved, entertained, and inspired, but I find this very inspiring.  This honey badger never ceases to execute the next escape plan with what diminishing resources are available.  It uses ingenuity to make its goal happen, no matter what “tools” are available.

The word escape has so many different connotations.  It can mean that I am escaping from something that isn’t pleasant or that is demoralizing.  Or it can mean that I am experiencing a moment of escape, like the feeling of reveling in the sunshine on that Maui beach . . . but still with life’s root-of-reality reminding me of that which I will be returning to once vacation is over . . . something that isn’t bad but that isn’t all that great either.

Watch the video below (4:12), be inspired, and then click on the aqua-blue link to a fun and inspiring journaling prompt below.  Have fun with the prompt.  It could very well have the power to create a ripple effect into how you choose to live your life.  I wish you the very best of energy with your respective dreams and goals.

pencil stubClick on the aqua-blue link below for today’s journaling prompt: Your Great Escape Plan

Your Great Escape Plan

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and add it to your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.  Life is meant to be grown.]

IMG_0703

 

Leap & Land with a Bang

Check out this BBC video of mobula rays and their artistic, acrobatic, and aerobatic show.  They are spectacular.  Who knew that rays could leap — and land — so amazingly?   Their landing sends a huge boom through the water.  The higher they leap, the bigger the bang upon landing.  It is believed that the rays that make the biggest impact, give themselves the best odds of standing apart from the herd and of leaving with a mate.

Watch these fabulous flying rays (3:12):

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150512-watch-these-giant-rays-fly

Mating rituals aside . . . when in a group, how do you stand out from the crowd?  How do you get noticed?  How do you draw attention to yourself?   This is not about ego-grabbing narcissism that demands every speck of attention in a social setting.  This is about expressing yourself in your immediate world such that you get noticed, feel understood, and build the best opportunities to connect with others.   Connection . . . it truly is what makes the world go around and is what gives significant meaning to what we do when we aren’t in the midst of connecting.  We, as humans, need connection . . . why not do it with a figurative bang?

So, taking a cue from the mobula rays . . . the higher the leap, the bigger the bang upon landing and the better chance to stand out from the crowd.  What is one thing you can do today or tomorrow or the next day to get noticed?  To make a difference?  To be you?  To exercise your unique you-ness?  Give yourself some credit for being important in the grand scheme of things.  Leap spectacularly and land with a big bang.

Being able to think of something that you will actually do might be a stretch for us introverts.  It might feel unnecessary or unbecoming or way out of one’s wheelhouse.  But why not try one little thing, make a change-up in your wardrobe.  Skip down the sidewalk to retrieve your mail.  Engage with the barista as you wait for your Americano.  Leaping is different for everyone; it is something only you can define for yourself.

Think One New Thing.  Leap and land and leap all over again.  It looks like these mobula rays are expending a tremendous amount of energy to go flying out of the water.  This is something that I think we sometimes want to avoid: The water feels so comfy.  I don’t think I can leap very high.  I’m not very athletic, after all.  Landing might cause me pain.  Someone might laugh at me or think I am weird.  Simply put? Expend the energy.  Your life will become different because of it.  I promise.

And the thing about leaping is that there is gravity on this planet.  You will land.  With a bang. Why not make it a Big Bang and stand out from the crowd?  Take a stand for you.  For a friend or a colleague or a student or a child or a stranger.  And for the world that surrounds you.  The Universe will thank you for it.

pencil stubClick on the sky blue link below for today’s journal prompt.  Have fun discovering (and making!) your leap!

Leap high and land with a bang. journaling prompt

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.  Life is meant to be grown.]

Best When Fresh

best when fresh

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh. – Russian Proverb

If you could hatch one idea or concept or event or mindful change or good habit or new relationship or . . . . what would it be?  Be creative and pick what bubbles to the surface first.  I can think of a few right now that are nest-ready and deserving of some attentive sitting right now.  The secret for me and my sometimes-scattered ways is for me to take a deep breath, focus, and put in some serious incubation time.  Who knows what might hatch as a result of some focused care, attention, and positive intention?

Your prompt for today:

Open your journal and draw a line down the vertical center of your page.  On the left side, write a minimum of three things that you would like to hatch right now.  On the right side, write a brief description of what your hatchling might look like.  Have some fun with this and take a few minutes to relax and to do some nurturing.  For example:

Vision Board 075Playing my mandolin every single day —> Sitting in with that fun Monday band at the book store

Eating more health-conscious lunches —> Create one of those fun salad-in-a-jar concoctions for work tomorrow

Get outdoors more in this beautiful weather —> Take more mini-breaks while working and take some short walks to stretch and to get some fresh air

As you can see, some of your ideas might require some time while others do not require a lengthy incubation period at all.  Some are as simple as going to the produce market, buying some fresh veggies, and washing out a Mason jar.  So simple . . . but a hatchling, nonetheless.

Click here for a fun video on how to make a Mason jar salad the night before . . . we can all benefit from a health-conscious lunch.

Life is a lively event.  Be good to yourself today.  Go forth and nurture those eggs.

 

 

 

Timshel & Epigenetics

Earlier in the week, I posted about your personality (Nature versus Nurture) and the Glory of the Choice (timshel).  These thoughts stayed with me throughout the week. . . and then I came across this TED talk today about epigenetics: “How the Choices You Make Can Affect Your Genes” by Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna.  Here is a summary of this TED talk: “Here’s a conundrum: Identical twins originate from the same DNA … so how can they turn out so different — even in traits that have a significant genetic component? Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna explains that while nature versus nurture has a lot to do with it, a deeper, related answer can be found within something called epigenetics.”

If you have 5:02 today, view this TED talk.  The information is very compelling, satisfying, and inspiring.  The way that it is explained in the talk is to “think of DNA as a recipe book.”  The narrator goes on to explain how “genes in DNA are expressed when they’re read and transcribed into RNA . . . which is translated into proteins into structures called ribosomes.”

And so the story unravels into the most intricate, yet simple, explanation as to how the choices you make in life very possibly affect your genes.  I have spoken with people who have done Genetic Re-writing work, and it now makes more plausible sense to me.  This is interesting research and, after thinking on the wisdom of Steinbeck’s timshel, it all ties together in a very pretty spiritual-genetic bow: thou mayest  + genetics play a synchronous role in how we experience Life.

Sometimes when things come together like this, Life feels both larger and smaller than I could have ever imagined.   Taking in the micro-vast world of genetics coupled with the infinite non-perimeters of the universe does a pretty good job of answering all of my questions for this week.  Sometimes I just have to sit back and say, “This is all quite amazing . . . and I don’t even need to understand the detailed intricacies to be a Believer.  I believe.

If you have a moment, please, do view this TED talk.  If you have ever wondered about Life on Levels of Infinite Curiosity, it will not disappoint.

How the choices you make can affect your genes – Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna

pencil stubYour journal prompt today (click below) is as simple and as a complex as is this topic of re-writing your genetics.  Keep your writing clean and simple and don’t go down any rabbit holes or garden paths.  Keep it easy and uncomplicated.  Listen to your Higher Self and record what it has to say.

Epigenetics and Choice. journaling prompt

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you.]