Somebody to Love

Here is some good Saturday morning music for you.  It’s a nice cover of a good song.  Have a great Saturday.  Make it your own.

Life is a lively event.  Improvise whenever possible and have fun.

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.]

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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.

 

 

 

Look Up

This is an awesome video.  It reminds all of us to Look Up.  To see that which is all around us.  In plain sight.  I have watched this video several times, and I continue to marvel at the bare simplicity of the message.  Look up.  Look around.  Look at the people around me.  Be mindful.  Cultivate mindfulness.  Pay attention.  Look for the signs that guide and bless.

These amazing electronic devices are spectacularly connective.  They allow for instant communication that creates bonds that help me to hold near to those who are dear in my life.  They grow my relationships through the instant exchange of shared laughter and goofy voice mails and funny emails and inspiring posts.  They allow me to be available and to express myself in immediate ways that would not have been possible otherwise.  They allow me to be impulsive, and they allow me to edit and to draft and to pause before sending.  They are a blessing.

And these devices “of delusion” can be an isolating master that dominates without any awareness or permission on my part. “I have 422 friends.  Yes, I am lonely. . .”  As this video illustrates, they provide a culture of being alone together.  I look at my plugged-in life now and marvel that I did not have a telephone for almost 18 years.  I look back on that time and wonder how.

How?  In a world of high-speed communication, how did I function by sending letters and receiving replies only once a week.  I had to learn how to be very careful with how I worded questions in a letter so that the recipient would not have to fill in any blanks and guess at my meaning — thus possibly adding another two weeks to the communication — one week for my added clarification and another for the end reply.  I lived in a different world and moved to a different rhythm. There were moments at the beginning of this phone-less time in my life when it was incredibly frustrating, but I learned to adapt.  The planet kept spinning.  The moon rose each night.  The horses wanted to be fed.  I had to learn patience.  And how to mentally set aside anticipated outcomes.  It took a lot of discipline to wait.

As a result of this waiting, I sometimes had to mentally transfer my wonder or my worry or my curiosity to the wonders around me.  I had to learn how to see what was in the moment there before me and not what might be somewhere out in the ether.  I would like to say that I became a Master at Waiting — that I grew a strong sense of discipline — but there were times when this wasn’t true.

Then . . . this past weekend . . . I lost my cell phone.  This was a first, and I wasn’t happy about it.  Ultimately, the ripple effect of this event is too convoluted, fantastic, and detailed to convey in word — as there were many events that linked one to the other in magical ways.  But the overall experience commanded me to Look Up.  To look back to that time when I did not have instant communication.  To pay attention to the signs guiding and leading me. To be willing to extend my self into new territories of belief and appreciation.  To have the opportunity to Just Believe and celebrate. toaster oven

But when my phone disappeared, it became quite the wide journey between the discovery of lost and and the magic of found.  And when it was found, I discovered many things about my self and about other and about my universe that I now value in significant ways that transcend ordinary awareness.  I am definitely looking up.  Whoa.  Am I ever.

All of this to say . . . I do very much like being connected.  I value the ease and the opportunity to be available. But I want to be present when being present counts.  To cultivate mindfulness and be ready for those unanticipated moments of being blessed.

Look up.  It is sometimes very difficult to be mindful of being mindful.  Meta-mindfulness.  Yowza.  It can be quite the trick.  When I am mindful, life has a different feel to it.  Being mindful allows for flow.  Not paying attention breaks up the flow; still, there are lessons to be learned when not in flow . . . lessons that re-direct me to a renewed state of mindfulness . . . of Look Up.

 

 

Last Leaf

This is such an awesome music video.  Fanciful, creative, beautiful, imaginative.  So innovative.  Wow!

“If you should be . . . forever it’ll be.” Forever. toaster oven 3

“Last Leaf”

If you should be the last autumn leaf hanging from the tree
I’ll still be here waiting on the breeze to bring you down to me
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be 

And if you should be the last seed in spring to venture forth a leaf
I’ll still be here waiting on the rain to warm your heart for me
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be
And if it takes forever, forever it’ll be

[http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/okgo/lastleaf.html]

Collaboration. It’s the Everything that creates Something.

Helen Keller wrote these beautiful words: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” 

Here is Google’s “define: collaboration“: the action of working with someone to produce or create something

I like the openness of this definition.  I like the creativity for which the word something allows.  It provides Choice.  The something can be good or bad.  Mindful or careless.  Happy or tragic.  Loving or selfish.  Beautiful or stunted.

Life, at times unfortunately, allows for both.  But this duality gives us Choice.  To dream.  To build.  To create.  To collaborate.  To experience.  In my ideal world, I am opting for good, mindful, happy, loving, beautiful.  And then some.  Having this Choice leads me to consciously and unconsciously create and allow ways for these intentions to collaborate and build something that is bigger than the human spirit.  Bigger than what I could ever do on my own.  I want Positive.  This is the direction in which I want my life to travel.  And I want to travel with those who believe this same thing.  It makes life such a fun adventure.toaster oven

This OK Go video is awesome.  It is a creative masterpiece of collaboration.  I hope that you have fun watching this!

And here is a link to an article that describes the video’s selfless and fantastic motivation of helping needy animals:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2010/09/ok-gos-new-music-video-for-white-knuckles-features-talented-dogs-and-raises-money-for-homeless-pets.html

There are many behind-the-scenes videos and outtakes as well.  It is all just so fanciful.  I hope you enjoy this creativity!  I always feel so good after I watch this testimony to collaboration.  🙂