Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celebrate Nature

There is pleasure in the pathless wood,
There is rapture in the lonely shore,
There is society where no intrudes,
By the deep sea, and the music in its roar:
I love not man the less, But Nature more.
                          - Lord Byron

Friday, October 30, 2015

Write the Nonexistent into Life

"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it.  The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired." - Nikos Kazantzakis.

What does not yet exist that you could bring into life today?  

Do you need to stimulate a friendship?  Would refreshing lines in a poem or story add to its possibility?  What if you left an encouraging note for the mailman, an office worker, or someone who provides a service you take for granted? 

Think of just one area of life that needs enriching for someone else.  Then add one for yourself.

Make your day one of believing and doing.  Become a magician of what could add energy to our weary world.  

Write the nonexistent into life.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clouds of Art

"Wander where there is no path." Chiang-tzu

    to form
         their art.

They twirl
     in collisions
               to occur.
" . . . the one impression that remains now is of rain, falling from a bank of floating clouds, smearing the landscape into a Chinese brush painting."   from The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

Bridges send spires 
   to design spaces of solitude.

Ancient forms tell stories of conquests and longing.

          Connections of color and lines.

Puddles capture the cloud variations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

True to Self - From the Inside Out

The fullness of our humanity can be expressed only when we are true to ourselves. Your real job on earth is to become more of who you really are. To live to the highest degree what is pure, what is honest, what is natural, what feels like the real you.

To be authentic is the highest form of praise. You're fulfilling your mission and purpose on earth when you honor the real you.  -  Oprah Winfrey

After reading Oprah's words, what does self-trueness mean?  How do you live from the insight out and not construct your life from an audience's opinion?

Who are you really?  Show your warrior self.

Pure. Honest. Natural.  Those abstractions require actions. How will you reveal them in performance?

Honor yourself today and discover what it will take to define the real you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Play in Preverbs

A preverb transforms a standard proverb into a humorous effect. Wolfgang Mieder defines it as, “parodies, twisted or fractured proverbs that reveal humorous or satirical speech play with traditional proverbial wisdom.”

If at first you don’t succeed, quit is funny if one knows the proverb’s ending “try,
try again.”  Then the t-shirt version: If at first you don’t succeed, sky diving is not for you.

Proverbs modified to have an unexpected, amusing, or nonsensical ending also abound.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. – A rolling stone gathers momentum.
All that glitters is not gold. - All that glitters is not dull.

A Penny saved is a Penny taxed.
Misery loves company or bacon.

Try a few "bird in the hand" modifications.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What's Ahead

Pablo Picasso still painted at 91 years old.  A journalist asked him which one of his thousand paintings he would rank as the best.  "The next one, " he said.

With that in mind, consider accomplishments and adventures in the moment and ahead.

Which fantasies loom that will turn into fun?

Discover connections to prepare for your next best.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Autumn Trees

Trees dance
Even on the stillest days.
The dance forms
In the upward arc of the trunk
And explodes 

As the canopy catapults

Into the sunlight. 
                  - Kees Wagenvoord

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Autumn's Palette

The music of the far-away summer flutters around the Autumn seeking its former nest. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

[T]here is a harmony
In autumn, and a luster in its sky...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest eve...
~William Blake (1757-1827), "To Autumn

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. ~Faith Baldwin

The leaves enjoy tag games on the sidewalks and streets.

The crimson's so bright, ya gotta wear shades.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Make Time for Gratitude

Everyone needs gratitude and reciprocity. To give and receive positivity assists each day's progress. How do we add more positivity to life amidst the negative onslaughts? When do expectations get in the way of reciprocity? 

Neuroscientists studying the amygdala, an area of the brain involved with emotional attention and memory, have discovered a trend toward emotional positivity with age. They believe the older an individual grows, the less active the limbic system becomes in response to negative feedback.
Christina Karns, University of Oregon neuroscientist, studies gratitude and discovers that the brain experiences it differently than happiness. Happiness occurs in the brain’s immediate reward systems. Gratitude involves the cortical structures associated with cognition and social reasoning.
A positive outlook does not automatically make people happy or grateful, but it helps set the stage. Karns says, "The happiness you feel when you bite into a delicious cake is a different phenomenon than feeling grateful toward the person who baked it for you."

The ability to experience and express gratitude kicks in around 7 to 10 years of age, according to psychologist Jeffrey Froh, co-author of the Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building CharacterFro says that gratitude becomes stronger and expressed more spontaneously as children grow. 

The ability to take on the perspective of another person begins to develop around the ages of 3 to 5 years. Fro explains, "In order to feel grateful toward someone, you must to be able to understand that they intentionally went out of their way to do something kind for you." 
Laura Carstensen, psychology professor at the Stanford Center on Longevity, reveals increasing positivity with age occurs because individuals' time horizons grow shorter as they approach later years. Young adults in their 20s tend to see their futures as limitless. Older adults perceive more constraints on time.

Older individuals find it easier to feel gratitude because they have experienced life on many levels and recognize their blessings. "Encountering sad and difficult experiences over a lifetime makes one more sensitive to good ones," says psychology professor Susan K. Whitbourne of the University of Massachusetts. “Because then, you know it’s not just that life is going to hand you a bunch of happiness and success.”
Some people feel more grateful regardless of age. Everyone begins life dependent on others and most end life that way. In between, individuals learn awareness of this dependency. Some choose to look at life with a grateful perspective; others with one of entitlement.

Take time for gratitude today. Get beyond expectations and live in the moments that create possibility. Notice how it increases your happiness.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Sense of Wonder

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life -  Rachel Carson

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Disappear into the Immediacy

"When I write, I author the present, and in authoring the present, I create myself.  I disappear when I write"  - Bob Hicok

Author, Bob Hicok feels, "A poem is that focusing activity, an opportunity to give flesh to my mind, to make it actual, to give the internal a physical, external existence."

Hicok promotes writing as performative. Writers need to move. He advises students to, "Step into the moment that's coming into existence, rather than insist the moment take on a predetermined shape."

"There's a delay between you doing a thing or thinking a thing and your awareness of said doing or thinking but I still have the desire to live and write without hesitation, and from that immediacy, surprise myself away from the known patterns of my mind," Hicok says.

The creative stage of the writing process provides the opportunity to energize and disappear in each moment. Move into the mind's flow. Without judgment, let the words flicker and fly. Surprises arise with each bounce of words.

Disappear into the immediacy of the moment. Amaze and amuse yourself. Let the words spread, splay and sprout from the fingertips. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Words on Autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  
 Albert Camus

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ― Lauren DeStefanoWither

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”  Humbert Wolfe

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple...” ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Autumn abounds in angles and awe.  -Penny Wilkes

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reverence into Words

When a moment of awe arouses a reverence for nature, the next level requires an expression in words.

Discover life's thrills in sensory details. When you observe, squint and refocus. Look up and around. Listen to drizzle and wind. Pay attention to textures when using fingertips on surfaces. 

Use your nose like a Bloodhound and breathe in to tickle the nostrils with scents. Let your arms feel changes in temperature.

Notice what surrounds the object you’re viewing.

Ask questions in the abstract and answer them in imagery. 

Life astonishes (in what ways?).  In the flash of reflections blurred in blue and purple feathers.

Nature stimulates curiosity (reveal it). A bee invites an adventure. Search inside the labyrinth of petals.

How would you communicate admiration and respect without using those words?

Find reverence in a moment that takes your breath away or makes 
you stop and ponder.

Revel and write about life's mysteries.