Thought Collisions

January 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

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Maybe it’s the barometric pressure? The way it can bring out aches and pains; for example, how, according to my chiropractor, a change in barometric pressure often makes the place hurt where I fractured my spine a year ago? Does this also potentially cause our thoughts to collide, bringing them all out at once so create frustration? I’m looking for a scientific answer here, and not being all that scientific, this is the best I can do.

So, it’s a snowy, gray, January day. I decide to join the masses for a grocery run, in case the snow amounts to anything must-stay-in-worthy. While my daughter unloads groceries, I bring the firewood in. Then laundry. While I’m there, in the laundry room, the place that also serves as office supply room as well as a catch-all for stuff-that-might-be-useful-some day (am I turning into my father?), which also desperately needs to be purged (so I can put other things in there) but is mostly out of sight and out of mind and when it comes to mind (the purging process) it’s overwhelming to think about (who has time?) so has remained largely un-purged since rearranging my studio a year and a half ago after The Flood happened, and anyway, (breathe) I see it and think, heck, just get rid of some boxes. That’s not such a big deal. Just do it. Now. Then I think, but of course! ~ just do a little bit each day, rather than feeling like you have to do the whole thing at once. (I knew that). So I pile up the boxes, empty boxes that I-thought-would-be-useful, and take them to the dump. Before I do that, I mention to my daughter how some of them are very nice boxes, in case she wants them…. this way I wouldn’t feel guilty about being wasteful. But alas, she says she’s pretty good on her box needs, and to the dump I go. On the way back, a car in front of me does a crazy-eight on a straight road. “Slow down” comes to mind. I check my speed, and despite traveling at a snail’s pace, make a wide and slippery slide around a corner heading home. Then, I remember I forgot to get milk. Shoot. So I carry on, crawling to a stop sign, and turn another corner with no trouble. Get the milk, get home. And somewhere in the midst of all this, my mind starts filling up with all the projects I want to do; things I’ve started and not finished but want to finish, or haven’t started but really want to, and they all circle round and round my head, vying for attention. “Me first!” “No, me! I should have been done ages ago, but you keep getting new ideas and I’m left undone.” “You should focus on me, over here, because I’m the one you want most”. (Mostly books and paintings, by the way; all the pieces that typically scream at me when I’m otherwise detained on things like, say, keeping a roof overhead.) And on and on… a creative traffic jam ensues. Inspiration overload. And also somewhere in the midst of all this muse-like bantering, I briefly wonder where my patrons are, so I can get to this stuff in earnest without so much energy needed for the mundane. However, realizing this is a fruitless thought at the moment, I allow the banter to continue, which it does annoyingly well.

Einstein was right. I don’t know what we’d do without the concept of time, because whether it’s real or not, it gives us a chance for a little order in what could otherwise be all out chaos.

And I still don’t know which muse will win out today, but maybe it’ll sort itself out when the barometric pressure switches again. Stay tuned. :)

 

Outrageous Happiness #14: Declare it

January 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

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It’s a new day. Heck, it’s a brand new year. And I challenge you. I challenge you for the next 5 days to declare each day a good day. First thing upon waking, place the thought before you: “Today’s a good day.” (…“by golly” is optional) No ifs ands or buts, just “this is a good day”. Conviction helps, but even if you’re not feeling it, just say it like you might actually mean it. This is your job for the next 5 mornings. That’s it. Pretty simple.

If you want to be a little more outrageous and bold, you can add a few bonus plusses. This takes a little more practice, but it also reaps more rewards.

It’s a good day. It’s a great day! This is one of the best days of my life. The sun is up. Even if I can’t see the sun, I know it’s there, and that’s kinda cool, knowing that that big ball of fire warms our planet every day. And that the moon lights the night and makes waves in the great oceans, and that grass grows every spring, and birds sing and fly. Birds fly over rainbows, did you know? Rainbows are great, aren’t they? Just think of all the beautiful things in this world. Colors and sounds and textures. Art and music and dance. Mountains and trees, lakes and rivers and little trickling streams, all teaming with life! And I’m part of all that. This day, today, I’m part of all that is good. The sky, the earth, the heavens and all its stars, and all the kind and loving souls that share this time and space. There are smart people, helpful people, sincere and positive people all around. I’m smart, helpful, sincere and positive, too ~ and this is a good day! Today, I’m seeing all that is good. I’m attracting all that is good. I am part of all that is good. Angels watch over me and guide my way. Today is a good day.

But if that’s over the top for you, just do the simple version. See how it affects your day. See how it affects your week. See how it changes your attitude. We are what we think. Attitude really does matter.

We may not have control of events and circumstances, but we do have a say in how and what we choose to think. Thoughts are powerful. Consciously or unconsciously, thoughts precede our words and our actions. They define our reality. And over time, they become habitual, for better or worse. The good news is, they’re not fixed ~ we can change out thought patterns, and change the day. And the next, and the next.

Who’s up for the challenge? Ready, set …….. go. Just do it! Declare it so.

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How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

 

Week 17 : 52 Weeks of Peace / “Peace on Earth”

December 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

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During this season of hustling and bustling, of bright red bows and snowmen, when angels sing and church bells ring and children listen for reindeer on the roof, I also like to remember what it’s fundamentally about – which, to me, is love, and joy, and peace. And when you find a moment to be still (in my experience, the magic usually takes hold sometime in the evening of December 24), you may actually feel what this holiday yearns for, sings to and praises … Peace on earth; good will towards men.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if peace could stretch itself across the land beneath our stormy, hopeful skies…   and for all of us to feel that peace, in heart and mind and deed. Wouldn’t it be lovely.

A Plethora of P’s / #50: Presents

December 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

proactively punctuating life with the plausible, powerful possibilities of positive thought presented through a plethora of “P’s”.

– ♥ –

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.  ~ Khalil Gibran

Everyone likes presents. They feel good to get, they feel good to give. Large or small, maybe wrapped with shiny paper and a big fat bow, maybe not wrapped at all. Presents say “I’m thinking of you”.

And then, of course, are the presents which no packaging can hold ~ your talents, your thoughts, your care. Gifts of inspiration or hope or wonderment.

Children are gifts. Friends are gifts. You, who make people laugh and smile – you are a gift. You, who ease another’s load, are a gift. You who openly delight in another’s good fortune, are a gift.

There’s no doubt that thoughtful things are worthy ~ and tying them with fancy ribbons adds a joyful spirit. But the gifts you cannot wrap are those that often mean the most. So maybe we should all try sprinkling more of the unwrappable around this holiday season, and remember to top our presents with bows of kindness.

And you receivers… and you are all receivers… assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father. ~ Khalil Gibran

Tis The Season..!

December 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m a terrible salesperson. Remember how in 4th grade you were supposed to go door to door selling greeting cards or cookies or some such thing? … Not. My. Thing. If I got the least bit suspicious that I might be a.) interrupting or b.) annoying, that was the last door that got a knock from me. Shortly after that experience I vowed never to do it again. It’s just not in my DNA.

That said, I’ve gotten a little bolder. It helps when you have something that’s your own, or something you’re excited about, and even better when others are excited, too. So let me extend my gratitude right now to those of you who’ve bought my books and gifts and shared the love with others. It makes my heart sing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It’s also that time of year when people do an awful lot of gift shopping and I figure I’d be remiss not to put in a specific mention of my own offerings, so here you go ~ especially for any of you who are new to my world, or simply need reminding (as in “hey! yes! I could get THAT for so-and-so… perfect!”).

What’s shown below is also what appears on my Shop page. (< listed over there on the left) For future reference, you can check in there anytime to see where to get stuff (although it’s not always decorated with holly and ornaments).

And please feel free to forward to a friend, in case they decide something would be perfect for so-and-so. Thank you! Blessings to you. Thank you. I’ll go now…

 

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Outrageous Happiness #13: Bless Everything!

December 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

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That’s right. Bless everything. Every beautiful, craggy, uplifting, hurtful, thoughtful, ugly, sweet or sour thing. All of it.

What I’m saying is, don’t bless just the warm, fuzzy stuff and the openly good-hearted souls. Don’t reserve blessings only for the downtrodden. Shower them with blessings, yes! ~ but also send blessings to the grouchy, the crotchety, the rude, the ignorant. Don’t hold back.

Send a silent blessing to everyone you meet and every experience you encounter. Bless your broken down car. Bless your burnt toast. Bless your ex. Bless the ornery waitress, the loud neighbor, the nasty driver. Bless the hole in your socks. Bless the rainy day. Bless the mess. Bless each one.

Sure, sure, you may need to let off steam, (putting it mildly?) but don’t stoke the flames of anger with more anger. Remove yourself, become the observer and fuel the situation with blessings. Pour ’em on. Like a heavy rain. Like a rushing stream to thirsty horses. Like syrup on your pancakes or milk on your cereal. Shoot those invisible waves of light right out like arrows from a tight bow. Like a lighthouse beacon. Like pie in your face. Hammer to a nail. Straight on.

Just bless it.

You’ll feel better, and you never know…. they might too. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It’s potent stuff.

“A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen.” – John O’Donohue

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How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

Outrageous Happiness #12: Love What You Do

November 23, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Do what you love. Every day.

Sure, we’re all up to our eyeballs in to-do’s. I know I am. But try. Whether it’s half an hour or two full hours, give it your best shot each day, wherever you are, to do something that you love.

If you really truly can not do that something each and every day, make it once a week. But that’s as much rope as I’ll give you. It’s critical for a healthy spirit, and a healthy spirit is critical for a healthy everything else.

It doesn’t have to be “the big thing”. You don’t have to compose the next Big Symphony or write the Great American Novel or paint the masterpiece that’ll get you a show at the MOMA. It doesn’t have to be the discovery of little orange beings on Mars. But while waiting for that bigger chunk of time, or the financial backing, or this or that issue to resolve, you can be taking steps in the directions that feed your spirit. Even teeny ones. Bits and pieces. Forward momentum.

Whatever it is that your mind, body and spirit say a big unified “yes!” to, whatever makes hours pass like minutes, whatever makes your heart sing ~ do something about it. Do what you love and love what you do. Give it a nod. Bring it into the light. Make yourself happy. And guess what? Happiness is a little bit contagious, so if you’re happy, there’s that much more happiness in the world to ignite a potential blaze of happiness worldwide. An avalanche of joy. A cosmic reaction. Into the universe. And beyond!

Alright, got a tad carried away. But still. Do. What. You. Love.

(I mean look at these guys. Loving what they do. That’s what I’m talking’ about. More like these at distractify.)

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Hunter S. Thompson, writing at Big Sur, California

 

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Jim Henson and crew working on Sesame Street

 

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Nat King Cole and his piano

 

Monty Python crew partaking in tomfoolery

Monty Python crew partaking in tomfoolery

 

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Johnny Cash performing at Folsom Prison

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

 

Outrageous Happiness #11: The Goofy Quotient

November 9, 2014 § 6 Comments

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I was recently marveling at the architecture in an old city in northern New York. “Oooooh! Look at that one! Just look, oh, the detail! And that one, oh my goodness, it looks like something from Harry Potter. And that one. And over there, that’s a beauty! And just imagine, people built these! Who were they? What were their lives like? How long did it take? Did they take pride in their work? They must have. And who designed them? Aren’t they amazing?”

With a knowing smile in her voice, my daughter says,”Mom, you’re such a nerd.”

“Yes, I am,” I reply.  “And I embrace that!”

…………….

So, yep, I enjoy old architecture. But in truth, I’m mostly a word nerd. Granted, I suppose it’s not so “inner” since it doesn’t take long before people know this about me. Like how much I like Scrabble. Or how almost any word game will do ~ on a board, on paper, in the car, at the table. “Twenty Questions” anyone? Maybe a good round of the Geography game to pass the time on a long drive?

Yes, I love words. How they sound, how they form sentences, the infinite varieties of written expression. Some people like old comic books, or maybe they’re all about shoes. Maybe they’re into astronomy or Egyptian hieroglyphics. Maybe football and nachos. I like words and tea. (And hot fudge sauce.)  A bit geeky, but being cool is not the goal, being happy is. (And, true, a nice pair of boots doesn’t hurt…)

Goofy is also good. Not all the time – but the well-placed goofy quotient can really turn things around; in fact, my first love may have stolen my heart that way. He was a pretty big deal, handsome, smart, athletic. And on one of our first few tennis-playing dates, I wore these silly flag socks. Not sure why; it could have been that’s all that was clean, but more likely because they were fun, and somewhat out of character. In any event, my boyfriend seemed to mock me. I acted like it didn’t matter, but it felt hurtful, like an “oh brother, what a weirdo” sort of vibe. So the next time we played tennis, I was sure to wear the plain variety  ~ and he showed up in the same flag socks as mine, grinning from ear to ear. Strangely unromantic as it sounds, I do believe that was that was the tipping point for me.

The moral of the story being that your inner nerd likes to be heard. It wants to play. And I for one think it’s a necessary ingredient to personal happiness, worthy of indulgence now and then!

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

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Things That Go Bump in the Night (… boo!)

October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ll be missing the trick-or-treaters this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get into the “spirit” of things. So I present you with some art and prose to keep the spirit alive. (oh, yea, I said that)  Just remember to keep the little ones safe, stir your cauldrons slowly and never take candy from a goblin you don’t know.

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……………………………..

All Hallows

By Louise Gluck

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:
This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling

Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

 ……………………………..
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

Three witches, casting a spell …
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 ……………………………..

And a song to sing:
to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it,
and you really wanna show it,
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.

……………………………..
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……………………………..

And off I go then.
But first I will leave you with this link to some really cool, very spooky art created by artist Don Kenn. Happy Halloween…. !

Vintage Vogue

October 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

These fall into the “they don’t make things like they used to” category. Not just because they’re well illustrated, or because of their artistry and creativity, but because of the cleanliness, the sheer un-clutteredness, the freedom from too many headlines and too much text vying for attention. They’re a breath of fresh air, courtesy of the early 1900’s.

Aren’t they wonderful?

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