Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ready to KRE8

Think of yourself as an observer, a spectator fascinated by all that whirls and dances about you.  Life comes together. Bubbles burst by confusion.  Cold and heat surround stillness and motion of day.  You might notice parting and reuniting mingled with smiles and the glisten of faces. Ears tune into a symphony of sounds and raucous beats.

Discover a place free from the chains of routine. Go into a personal space where you can admit aspects of life you've let go of or turned your back on.

Observe with wonder and curiosity at an opportunity not taken. Develop a metaphor like an unfurled scroll where you write and draw a new life, another beginning, a renewed earth.

Create an invisibility. No one can find you but you can see stars born, the sparks of insights, flames bursting into light. A scent swirls into questions. Gradually what's no longer needed releases.

Renewed strength attracts courage and a true sense of self.

Move to write from and toward your center.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Lunatic, The Lover and the Poet

"The lunatic, the lover and the poet are of imagination all compact."  - William Shakespeare

We view all such characters in Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream"  from which the line is taken.  

What is the world of the imagination for you?    

Where does it nurture and take you?

In a lunatic's mind a dance occurs among demons, daring and dread.  The lover's heart and soul fill with sensory wonder.  Sounds, sights, scents and tastes become heightened.  The poem imagines beyond his or her reality and uses it to write about the world.

Writers require this multiple personality to achieve a jounce of words into sentences that propel into paragraphs and pages.

Pulls of extremes, spells of things, passion, courage and persistence define a writer's life.  To live life on one's own terms requires intensity and perseverance. Once patience settles in, we write on and on.

Consider stories that have shaped your life.  How can you explore them from the perspective of a lunatic, lover and poet?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Laugh Today

Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.” 
- Og Mandino

"Life's too mysterious, don't take it serious." - seen on a poster.

Use laughter to conquer life situations. Maintain a list of all possibilities for humor.  

How could you turn a mistake into a first scene in a sit com?  

Prepare a dialogue between two people where both laugh every three lines.  

Write about a humorous connection between a duck and a ladybug.

Laugh your fingers across the keyboard and don't take life seriously today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Autumn Words

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Take 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 contentment.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Be the Pen

"There is a force in the Universe that makes things happen.  All you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking. Let things happen and be the ball. " - Ty Webb

"The ideal piano player is the one who wants to be the piano," says a character in Thomas Bernhard's novel, The Loser.  He continues, "I say to myself every day when I wake up, I want to be the Steinway.  I want to be the Steinway itself." 

Bernhard explores themes of artistic ambition, destructive power of genius, and the double-sided nature of friendship. Written as an unbroken, 170 page paragraph in monologue style, a fictional student of piano virtuoso, Glenn Gould writes his story.

Mary Lou Retton claimed, "You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off."

How might, "Be the pen" enhance your writing or personal situation?  

Merge with the tool you want to master.  Immerse yourself in the skill you're working to perfect.  Disappear into this item in your imagination. 

Become completely united with the experience you desire. 

Write about it.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Poke Holes in the Clouds

Trungpa Rinpoche advised pausing to look at the sky or stopping to listen intently. He believed in using gaps in life and called it, "poking holes in the clouds."

Take time to notice the space between breaths.

Discover a gap between thoughts.

                  Stay in a moment of awe.

                                  Relish an instant of curiosity.

Pause for creativity to take over.

Remain present without negativity or judgment.

Find a pen in the clouds and write into the mystery.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nurture Heightened Perception

I have not arrived at my understanding of the universe by means of the rational mind. 
- Albert Einstein

We use our rational mind to read maps, balance budgets, prepare taxes, and attend to many of life's activities. Carl Jung defined intuition as an unconscious process of perception required for creative thinking. He felt sense perception became a starting point to stimulate ideas, images and ways out of a blocked situation. 

No matter how small a drop of water, it reflects the entire moon.
- unknown author
Our eyes, ears, noses, mouths, tongues, fingers and toes assist us to experience life. 

Questions abound:

Do we learn curiosity and creativity?  

Is intuition nurtured? Does it rattle in the background of experience, knowledge and synaptic connections?

Do you feel a heightened perception at times where sensory imagery leads you to discovery?

Will a flash in the corner of the eye flame into an idea or concept?

What unlocks mysteries and reaches for connections?

Everyone benefits from a high level of curiosity mixed with syncronicity and its extensions. It becomes a push with all the senses to uncover flickers, fragrance, and fun.

Awaken awareness to movement around you. Take in substances, textures, and make correlations.  Invite synchronicity and include a collaboration with nature. Squint to see objects beyond what they appear.

Stimulate your perception. Ask questions of nature.  Go outside to make discoveries.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Try for a Bird Day

"All you have to do is pay attention. Lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order o take the next step."  - Paulo Coehlo

Just be yourself.

Don't judge.

Don't worry.

Fly in your own way.

Try for a bird day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Childhood Geography

We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play. ~Heraclitus

Return to childhood to recapture an adventure, an emotion and an innocence. Define yourself by those incidents. How did you play?

Writer, Jack Gilbert says, "The only geography we have is the storybook of our childhood." What does this mean for you?

Ask questions:

As a child did you feel unquenchable?

Which moods did you express?

Do you recall a loss of innocence?

Write to delve into your storybook of childhood. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bedazzle of Bridges

Bridges frame the natural world.

Bridges show


reveal strength
adapted in tension
and lines.
Bridges teach communication in creative ways.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Find What Works

Since world's instant communication systems focus on what's broken, we must discover what works.  For some individuals words of wisdom and positive communication may not appear realistic. When we create our own mental state of mind, positive reinforcement enlivens the day.

Staying balanced involves permitting oneself to feel the highs and lows, then leveling off from daily dips. A smile activates a positive attitude, improves mood, and helps us benefit from the day's challenges.

Choose your quality of the day: grace, courage, persistence, self-acceptance. Use it as a focus if you have a meditation practice.  Or, write about it to begin the day.

Benefit from natural resources by taking in sights, sounds and scents. Breathe in the colors of wonder.

Find expressions that stimulate joy.

Surround yourself with natural art. Remove petulance and replace it with petals.

Discover energy from unexpected change.

Use photography to capture amazements.

Feel gratitude for all your gifts. 

Last thing at night: Review all the good things that happened during the day. 

Build your gratitude muscle and train your mind to go for the good. 

Remember to focus on what works.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Turtle Tales

Bertrand Russell gave a lecture on the structure of the universe.  Afterwards, a woman in the audience told him about his mistaken thinking. She advised him that everyone knows the world was flat and sat on a turtle's back. When Russell asked what the turtle stood on she replied, "It's turtles all the way down."

Many turtle tales appear in literature. Strong and indefatigable, they defy those who doubt their abilities.

A turtle represents creation, endurance, strength, cunning, longevity, and stability. Turtles provide happiness, protection and good fortune.

The turtle’s shell figures in many tales. Zeus invited a turtle to a party. When she declined the invitation and said, "There's no place like home," he put her house on her back. 

In China a turtle shell formed the vault of the heavens. Vishnu, the Hindu god, changed into a turtle's shape to carry the world on his back. 

For many Native Americans the world rides on the back of a giant sea turtle.

An African legend tells of the leopard who built a drum that everyone can hear. He will not permit anyone to try the drum, not even the Sky-God. Angered at this behavior, the Sky-God announces that anyone who can bring leopard's drum to him will receive a reward for teaching the leopard a lesson about his greedy, disrespectful ways. Then the Sky-God waits.

The elephant, monkey and tiger try to get the drum but the leopard scares them away. Finally, the tortoise steps up. The animals laugh and tease her because of her size and soft shell.

She proceeds anyway and tricks leopard by telling him his drum looks only middle-sized, but nice. She says that the Sky-God can climb inside his drum and not be seen at all.

The leopard brags that he can climb into his drum and not be seen, too. When he squeezes himself completely into the drum, the tortoise seals it with a cooking pot. She drags the drum to the place where the Sky-God waits. He laughs at the lesson that the little tortoise has taught a big, bragging leopard.

As a reward the Sky-God presents her with the strong, hard shell that the tortoise wears to this day.

In reality, sea turtles have poor eyesight and cannot use visual clues to find their way. Experiments have shown some turtles can detect differences in the angle and intensity of the earth’s magnetic fields. Scientists theorize they follow each region’s magnetic pull to find their way back to birth beaches. They have a built in global positioning system.

The first turtles swam more than 150 million years ago. Seven species of sea turtle survive today: loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, green, olive ridley, Kemp's ridley, and flatback.

Five of the six species that live in the United States appear on the endangered species list. The sixth, the loggerhead, is listed as threatened. The last species, the flatback sea turtle of Australia, is considered "vulnerable" to extinction. 

Celebrate a turtle in action today.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Self-Harvest

The leaves are falling;
falling in love with the ground. 
- Andrea Gibson

Seasons change. Autumn tiptoes away from summer. 

Never a shoving, crimson flows into leaves with flickers of yellow.  

As green releases, replacements of magenta and gold brighten the sky and landscape.  

The time arrives to harvest feelings and ideas.

Which new ideas or behaviors would you like to harvest in yourself?

How have you prepared to make changes with the new season?

Which seeds did you plant?

In what ways did you nurture self-growth?

What will you offer from your upcoming harvest 
to nurture others ?