My Ode to Summer

Oh summer, how I will miss thee.  Labor Day is here and all weekend I have been hearing about the horrible winter we are going to have again in a few short months.  I gave it some thought and there are other reasons I am sorry to see summer go.

My morning commute is always better in the summertime.  Traffic is greatly reduced and I never have to race out of the house to avoid school bus entrapment in my neighborhood.  I love those days when the roads are free and easy to travel.

Bright sunshine in the early morning and long into the evening is one of my favorite things.  That summer perk has been slowly creeping away and I am not sure I will ever embrace dark as night mornings before work and dark as night skies at 4:30pm.  Blech.

Summer means my latte has a straw.  I am less likely to spill an iced latte than a hot latte.  I just have a knack.  Thus, soon I will be returning to wearing my latte on my blouse or trying to clean it off my dashboard at red lights.  Good times.

My opportunities to eat breakfast and dinner on my porch will soon be limited.  For some reason, I find eating outside to be really liberating. There is something really nice about sitting outside while I drink my iced latte in the morning.  I spend my work hours in an office building, in my house, and in my car so to be able to enjoy my meals leisurely and with fresh air is a treat.

The beaches and other vacation destinations are full in the summertime.  Why do I love a full beach?  The crowds are less likely to be congregating where I want to go.  New York City has a calm energy and a happy vibe on the weekends in the summertime.  I find it a delightful place to spend my free time.  The only people around are true New Yorkers in the neighborhoods I like and driving in and out is a piece of cake.  Also, my park is empty.  I have a park near my house that is perfect for walking my dog.  Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the park is quiet and only a small number of people spend time there.  Today the crowds returned to my park.  I guess they could not spend Labor Day at the shore or wherever they normally go.  Boo.  I will get my park back when the weather gets cold.  I go all year round and save for good sledding days, it is a serene place in the middle of winter (and at the same time will be wishing for a warm beach day!)

Farm stands are the best.  I love the fresh foods at farm stands and what I can make with the foods I find.  I always have this melancholy feeling sometime in October when the only place to buy food is the grocery store.  I get bored of the produce section repetition.  I have been hoarding peaches for the last few weeks and found figs at the farm stand today so need to get creative and do something with those.

Bulk reduction. I have to remind myself of what I wear in cold weather.  I like to conveniently forget my winter attire.  The simplicity of shorts and t-shirts dissipates with coats, clunky shoes, and layers.  There is something nice about brisk autumn nights and layering it on, I do admit.  On the other hand, who does not feel free when they get to shed a heavy coat, wool socks and boots and walk around shoeless without a frozen toe?

From my point of view, there are so many good things about summer, I prefer to just hold onto whatever I can till I am forced to turn the heat on in my house.  I will think about winter and frigid weather when it shows up on my front door.  In the meantime, I am going to worry less about what is to come and keep enjoying what is still here.

Thank you for reading my blog!


Writer’s Block? Psshh

Writer’s Block: The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

My blog posts have been sparse this summer and I thought it was writer’s block.  I have been thinking about my blog and have had little inspiration to write.  I suppose it could be called writer’s block or maybe writing is like the weather.  You have a string of beautiful days and then a week of rain and clouds.  Go with it when inspiration strikes and when inspiration is low, focus elsewhere.  Writer’s block seems like a lot of pressure that only creates more of block.  Why can’t I write?  What’s wrong with me?  Why can I only get one sentence down on paper?  Writer’s block seems more like a vicious cycle of overthinking – in my opinion.  I have been inspired by many things this summer – just not necessarily writing.

I tackled my fear of homemade pie crust in the form of cupcake size peach pies (did you know you can use a muffin tin to create mini pies?).  I was under the assumption making a pie crust was impossible till a family friend told me it is easy as…pie.   As it happens with the right recipe , any baker can make a homemade pie.  Souffle is my next kitchen challenge.

I painted a lot of tomatoes.  I do not even like to eat tomatoes – raw tomatoes totally gross me out.  However, I was inspired to paint cherry tomatoes in watercolor.  I find any artistic outlet to be therapeutic though I am hardly an artist. When the mood strikes me, I like to get my paints out and try my hand at something that interests me. Last summer it was palm trees or any kind of tree.  This summer I choose tomatoes for no reason I can explain.  I am now the proud owner of several sheets of watercolor tomatoes in different sizes and color variations.

I have been spending a lot of time reading about and talking about problems of the thyroid with people I know (this blog will give you information about thyroid issues).  A very important friend of mine has a giant thyroid.  After tests and biopsies and various scans, it is more or less confirmed she is not gravely ill.  Though she needs a thyroidectomy, all signs point to full recovery.  I learned when a person receives a diagnosis, it is an overwhelming process to navigate scheduling with doctors and surgeons, understanding a condition, treatment and all of the questions to ask.  It is a crash course in becoming a quasi medical expert and your own advocate.  I also learned when you are a patient, you need people around you who can be objective and help you see your way through to the end of the medical road.  Watching my friend and supporting my friend made me realize it is hard work to be a patient of any kind and a support system is very important medically, emotionally and for a sanity check.

Yoga happened this summer and with yoga I discovered all yoga pants are not black – sorry LuLu Lemon, we are breaking up (that is an entire blog post of its own).  There so many colorful and  interesting options in the marketplace in spite of my 20 pairs of black workout/yoga pants.  I discovered a company called Liquido Active by way of my yoga instructor.  I am a big fan and the customer service is fantastic.  I have gotten some funny looks as a result of the crazy pants I have been wearing and that works for me.

That’s all I have for now.  Thank you for reading my blog!


Name Your Journey

“Purpose is a journey.  It doesn’t come as a revelation from above but from living life awake and seeking new experiences”  Aaron Hurst

What is purpose? What is the purpose of each person this earth? Before I read Aaron Hurst’s book The Purpose Economy, my definition of purpose was very basic – something you are meant to do.  I have heard people say they want to find their purpose or others who say they have always known their purpose. I guess I figured either you are born knowing your purpose or eventually your purpose becomes obvious like a great epiphany.  I thought purpose was very specific, however, it may never be specific and is different for everyone.  Aaron Hurst describes purpose as a journey.  It is about finding direction, not a destination.  Purpose may not be one true calling but the approach we take to shaping a meaningful career and life.  He quoted Marcel Proust in his book to reinforce the concept of purpose as a journey:  We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

If purpose is a journey then so is life.  Maybe purpose is the compass to help us figure out where to go in life.  The choices we make in our lives will either direct us to our purpose or drive us away from it.  Life is full of opportunities and choices. How we act on our choices will influence where we end up.  Perhaps we do not always make conscious choices and instead follow a feeling whether it be intuitive or fear based.  Fear is probably the biggest obstacle any human will encounter and fear is the link to resistance.  Which to choose: “This is the right thing for me”
or “I know I should be doing this but (insert excuses here).”  It is up the individual to identify the journey, pay attention to signs and to trust instinct as a guide.  When fear plays into a decision, anyone will likely intentionally or inadvertently resist an opportunity.  There is always choice in any situation. Run in the opposite direction.  Play out the worse case scenario and move forward anyway.  Brush fear aside and head in the direction you know is right for you.  When I think of people who have started careers in traditional corporate environments and end up on a detour with a start up business they never believed possible, I believe choice, purpose, and destiny are involved.  Any journey is a process – step by step, piece by piece, like building a puzzle. In some situations, resistance may be futile and in some situations it may stymie success.  Whatever the case, when the inclination to let fear and resistance rule is pushed aside, grabbing a parachute for the leap of faith will result in growth, change, perspective and more insight into purpose.  A journey is about reaching the milestones to begin the next leg and less about a specific end result.

The journey through life towards purpose is an exercise in patience.  Timeline is unknown.  Obstacles unknown.  Opportunities may or may not be predictable.  As we figure out what we want in life, we weed out those things that fail to aid in growth and new perspective.  We were put on this earth for a reason. For some, knowing purpose from day one means the journey may have fewer milestones.  For others, it may mean overcoming hurdles and doing things that may require time before the picture becomes clear.  How many people say (or have said), “I am just going to do this and see where it leads me.”  If you feel passionate about something or feel something is truly important – even without a cogent explanation – grab your parachute.  You could fail or you could find yourself exactly where you belong or you could find yourself somewhere you never expected.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Should Have….Yoga?

Should: used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.  I have been thinking about the obligation we place upon ourselves when we say things like “I should” versus “I want”.  I often use I should when I am resisting or avoiding something.  I should turns into I had to.  I want turns into I wanted to.  The latter sounds so much better.  Until should turns into “I want to”, it is hard to move forward willingly.

For years I have said I should start going to yoga classes.  I was reluctant to make the effort even though I knew there would be benefit.  I had a lot of excuses as to why I kept putting off the inevitable.  There have been many days following a tough workout at the gym when I have thought, “Boy I bet this would be a good day for yoga.”  When I finally got tired of persistent back problems and muscle aches and the fear of falling on my face, I took the advice of friends and my orthopedist and took the plunge. I signed up for some private yoga sessions to start off on the right foot.  The instructor I am working with owns her own studio and is incredibly knowledgeable.  She was a nurse and a gym rat and took a yoga class one day years ago.  She told me she “totally sucked at it” – and kept with it. Even the most graceful can have a rough beginning which is reassuring to know.  Yoga is a learning process.  Learning is what inspires me and changes my ‘should’ to ‘want to.’  I find working with someone who has a great knowledge of the history, the practice, and the muscle groups associated with poses means there is much to be gained from every class. Self awareness, mindfulness, strength, knowledge, courage, grace are just a handful of things.

After a recent session, I went to Starbucks and one of the Baristas asked where I had been before my latte stop.  When I shared I had come from yoga, she said, “I should do that.  I should go to yoga.”  I explained I took up classes because of annoying back problems.  She said, “That is what I need! I should really get into yoga.”  When a friend of mine recently asked, “What’s new?” I replied, “Yoga is new for me.”  He said, “I should try yoga. My Dad has been telling me I should try it for years.” It makes me wonder how many people want to try yoga and have yet to do so for no good reason?  My friends who have been too busy for yoga tell me how much they miss it.  It seems to me most people may benefit from a little yoga.  Chances are quite a few people have thought about it yet resist, do not want to or maybe feel uncomfortable or embarrassed?  I think learning to enjoy embarrassment is part of yoga. Wobbling, shaking, losing balance, sweating your brains out are all just part of the practice. I am discovering it is a learning experience each time I roll out my mat.

The interesting thing about yoga that had never really clicked for me is: you can practice anywhere, anytime! I never realized how easy it is or why it is often called a ‘personal practice’.  The mat, the studio and the instructor are nice to haves. If you are without those things – have yoga, will travel. I now add a little yoga to the end of my gym workout every time I go.  Today at the gym, I was unable to find a space for a little yoga so I left before I finished my workout. I came home and threw down on my porch.  Why not?

I tend to promote things I really enjoy or really believe in or from which I see benefit.  I am still a newbie yet have already given thought to people I know who would benefit from yoga.  There is so much to learn whether physically, mentally or spiritually.  Yoga has something for everyone regardless of age.  It can be as challenging or as relaxing as you wish.  If you want to get started, talk to someone you know who practices yoga. I feel it is worth investing in a lesson or two with a good instructor to learn technique but a class is a good start too.  There are many ways to investigate yoga including instructional videos on Youtube to see how it works.  It is worth trying without a doubt – only if you want to though!

Thank you for reading this blog!

Making Changes – Part 2

My other most recent change is adopting the practice of yoga.  For years I have been saying I will take it up.  I have been told countless times it would be a good addition to my workout routine.   I have more or less put yoga on the bottom of the pile for many reasons.  As it happens, persistent back pain, my preference for high intensity workouts, and repeat visits to my orthopedist resulted in a prescription for physical therapy short-term and yoga long-term.  I dragged my feet starting up yoga because I seem to injure myself in every new athletic activity.  Plus, I found it hard to believe anyone can walk into a yoga class and know what they are doing.  Though I resisted getting onto a yoga mat, reminders kept popping up.  Friends would ask if I had tried yoga yet.  Articles would appear in my inbox about the benefits of yoga. My Mom and a few friends started telling me how great yoga is for back problems. One friend sent me examples of poses from a yoga book her Mom recommends for back issues.  It was sort of like yoga was all over the place.  I was avoiding yoga and yoga was not avoiding me.

Yoga is not for the faint of heart.  If you are doing it right, it can be quite challenging.  I mean the fundamentals can be challenging – I am not doing anything crazy like balancing on my pinkies.  I have had moments when I have wondered if I would collapse onto the mat.  The good news is I love a challenge and I love the process of learning.  I overcame my initial injury concerns by taking one on one classes with an instructor to learn the right way versus diving in without any experience.  I am so glad took this approach because it immediately revealed how disconnected my mind and body are when I exercise.  I discovered I have been using my back muscles groups improperly (oh yes, that happens).  I became aware of sore muscles that were probably last used when I was a baby learning to roll over.  I am pretty sure my body is always running after my head.  Yoga is teaching me how to reattach my head to my body (now there is a visual) and to develop awareness of muscles, joints, limbs and use of breath.

A few yoga classes have taught me I have needed to change the way I exercise for quite some time.  Yoga  is a good balance to weights and cardio in the gym.  It is sort of a commitment to myself to strengthen what has been neglected and to gain different perspective on health and well being.  I read an article and I cannot recall when or who wrote it but this stood out to me: Lifting weights builds muscle, yoga builds strength. Strength is a loaded word really.  Yoga involves physical, mental and spiritual strength. All of those things are valuable throughout life and I am amazed how many AH HA moments I have in yoga sessions.  I have dropped down to practice downward dog during conference calls because why not? You can take yoga with you anywhere you go.

My long term goal is to keep up with the practice to ensure I am active and mobile when I am an old lady.  The thought of trying to change my ways when I have hit the years of stiff joints and decreased mobility is really unappealing.  With any luck, in the near term, back issues will be a memory.  That said, I had to step out of my comfort zone to step into a yoga studio, that is for sure.  I still feel really silly when I start a yoga session and then get over it as I progress.  I have yet to put my finger on why I feel so weird about it, however, that will come to me in time.  My awkwardness on a yoga mat is far better than the pain and discomfort I have experienced with my back over the last 20 years.   I show myself time and time again, once I make the changes I need to make, the long term benefits are always really uplifting….even if I have to be smacked in the head (or back) a few times.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Making Changes – Part 1

Change. Life is full of change. Embrace it or ignore it or avoid it, we all have choices when the need for change is staring us right in the face. I tend to think if there is something you really need to change, it will chase you.  Reminders will pop up with persistence.  If you force change before it is time, I believe obstacles will arise and things will often be out of place or fail to go to according to plan. A friend of mine is divorced, has an empty nest, is ready to sell her house and wants to go somewhere else.  She really wants a total overhaul of her life.  She has yet to figure out where or how and is struggling with all of the inconsistency in her life.  She sent me a text with a quote recently (author is Carl Jung from what The Google tells me): What you resist, persists.  My response back was, “What you resist will eventually slap you in the head.”  She agreed with me. Change can be easy and change can be uncomfortable.  I think change is uncomfortable more often than not. I do not mean changing your nail polish color or your shoes. I mean looking in the mirror and embracing the good, the bad, or the ugly; then figuring out what to do about some or all of it.

The same aforementioned friend and I were talking about what it takes to drive someone to truly change their ways.  Based on her observations of others, hitting rock bottom can be an effective driving force.  If you resist change, eventually rock bottom will be pressed up against your face. At that point you can do something or do nothing and just stay where you are, at the bottom. It is the “I can’t take anymore of this” phase that probably pulls the average person away from rock bottom. Personally I try to mitigate any type of rock bottom scenario – except for Christmas cookies.  Inevitably, I eat so many Christmas cookies between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that my body (and my jeans) beg for mercy.  I force myself to throw out all of the junk in my house and then suffer through cravings for a couple weeks.  Otherwise, I try to be objective, try to keep myself in check and pay attention to the winds of change.

Several years ago, my father had a heart attack – he is a-okay.  It was this event that inspired me to make changes in my own life to ensure I am as healthy as I can be.  When you have a major medical event and it is necessary to make immediate changes, it has to be, well, really uncomfortable.  My Dad had to change what he was eating cold turkey, which meant my Mom did too since she does most of the food shopping and food preparation.  I decided to start evaluating what I eat and how I eat to enable a healthier lifestyle as I (gasp) get older.  I want to avoid cold turkey and permanence.  One change I have made (among others) is a drastic reduction in desserts. I love cake, cookies, cupcakes yet have cut back my dessert habit tremendously.  Though I am not 100% sugar free, a stash of cookies no longer exists in my house and my regular visits to my favorite pastry shop have ceased.  I have set guidelines for myself  because I want to live a long life. My goal is to avoid ever being told it is my last day ever eating something I enjoy.

To be continued – thank you for reading Part 1!

Mercury is to Blame

I have been averse to writing on my blog for nearly the entire month of June.  There is no logical explanation that I am able to drum up.  Just utter lack of inspiration and apathy for some unknown reason. At first I thought it was writer’s block and then I realized, I just did not have it in me.  I have been blaming everything on the fact that Mercury is in retrograde since I have been unable to come up with a better explanation. This phenomenon supposedly sets many things in reverse and a lot of things have been out of whack for me.

I recently took my car into the shop for an oil change and a major transmission repair was revealed.  My car is 2 years old so that is really awesome (warranties for the win).  At the same time, my horoscope indicated an upcoming trip would probably get cancelled or have some major delays and to stay home. Who lives by their horoscope?  I left my car at the shop and took a road trip that weekend to visit my nephew with my Mom’s car.  Flat tire on the way home, 2 ½ hours from home – on a highway, with a car full of a stuff, and a large canine in tow. My father taught me how to change tires, however, none of my lessons involved also handling a large dog while working with a tire iron. Hooray for mobile phones, roadside assistance, and thank heavens it was neither raining or Sunday.  My 4 hour drive home resulted in a visit to a tire place, a return trip the tire place and 8 hours total to get myself, a car full of stuff and a large canine home.  Alrighty then.

In seeking the service of others, weeks have gone by with or without responses of any great help.  I am trying to buy something from you, please response to my email?  I have also found myself educating some coworkers on how to better communicate with clients (what?). Not rocket science but ok, I am happy to help?  I am hoping July will bring improved responsiveness and better communication across the board.

Today my garage door started opening and closing on its own.  I was in my house and wondered why my neighbor kept opening and closing her garage door.  When I went to my garage, it was, in fact, my Poltergeist Powered garage door opener hard at work.  I employed my garage door skills and tried to fix the matter myself and finally just unplugged the opener and gave up.  Though I did learn how to reprogram my key pad and door openers, I decided I need a professional.  According to what I have read online the motor in my Liftmaster is likely toast.  Good times.  And finally we may have a tropical storm just in time for the July 4th weekend.  Sweet.  That said, it could be worse.  Nothing horrible is happening in my life, in fact, there are many good things happening.  Technology and machinery are just giving me a headache.  I am reticent to type that because I do not want my laptop to stage any type of revolt.

On that note, here is something fun and light – a commercial starring lion cubs by GoPro. I find it amusing because 1.  I would like to put GoPro cameras on the heads of my nephews 2. Meeting a large cat in person is one of the things on my life To Do list.  C lick here: GoPro Lion Roar Commercial you will not be disappointed.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Mindful Cookies

How to meditate.  After attending a meditation class a few weeks back, I have continued to explore what it is to mediate.  Any given teacher will share a point of view and I tend to explore other avenues anytime I learn something.  I never follow one recipe for anything.  I generally read and try many different recipes to come up my way of getting to my desired end result. Meditation is stillness of the mind.  It is practice to focus the brain on the present moment instead of what you need to do tomorrow and what you forgot to do yesterday.  Another popular description is the practice of mindfulness.  I looked up the definition of mindfulness via my friend Google and found:




  1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Meditation is becoming more mainstream as research continues to show palpable benefits to physical health and well being.  I would venture to say it is as beneficial as exercise.  It is really western culture that is realizing the benefits of meditation as it has been popular in eastern cultures for more years than the U.S. has been in existence.  Common descriptions of meditation lean toward sitting still first thing in the morning and focusing on being mindful.   As a very general statement, with practice, good things will happen – this is how I understand the benefit of meditation.  It is meant to help clear the clutter, manage stress, and open channels of your mind.  A breathing exercise can help in a stressful, angst filled situation without a doubt. I find a guided meditation helps me fall asleep when my brain is overactive and I wake up in the morning without a task list running through my brain.  Getting into the habit of waking up before the sun to meditate is utterly unappealing to me.  My brain neither functions in my favor nor against me in the morning.  It works on autopilot and helps me walk and sustain bodily function until about 9am or when I get coffee.  In all my years, nothing about me has ever been a morning person. At this juncture, I am not forcing the issue since there is an alternative for everything.

Do you remember the stream of consciousness writing exercises in elementary school or at any point in your education?   I had no idea why my teachers made this part of classroom curriculum or what purpose it served.  In retrospect I feel it happens to be a good practice and wish I had kept up with it.  I recently started reading a book called The Artist’s Way.  One of the concepts covered in the book is a daily practice of stream of consciousness writing – 3 pages, no more, no less.  The book likens this practice to meditation.  You simply start writing and rather than focusing on or judging any thought, just let it flow from your brain through your pen to paper – and then put your notebook away.  Very similar to mediation in that you just let things float on by in your head while in your zone – without grabbing onto a thought and letting to steer your mind. I decided my writing exercise is as good as a traditional meditation.  It helps me focus to work through whatever is on my mind and uncovers thoughts in the back of my mind and I actually look forward to it every day.  Meditation opens the channels and creative pathways in your mind – as does writing in a carefree manner.

Another “free the mind” activity for me is baking – or cooking.  I have always found a kitchen project involving preparation of food to be a stress relief.  When I approach a recipe with focus, all goes well – things  just flow.  When I am distracted and unfocused, I usually end up burning myself or something (ever had a smoldering pot holder in your kitchen drawer?), spilling something (once a full jar of spaghetti sauce across the kitchen, all over the walls) or cutting myself .  In those situations, I have to stop myself and consciously shift my attention (to avoid disaster) and redirect my attention away from whatever thoughts are causing a distraction.   Recently my job was giving me anxiety on a Friday night, long after work hours. I decided to try out a recipe I had been thinking about for some time (from the cookbook called Paris Sweets). When I was done, whatever was bothering me was purged from my brain and remember thinking, “Wow I feel so much better!” (The cookies were pretty amazing if you like chocolate and do use the fleur de sel noted in the recipe).  There is something in the process of measuring and mixing and whipping things up that gives me great focus and calms my mind.  It occurred to me I have had some meditative practice all my life and never realized it.   I had this conversation with my Dad while we were painting my bedroom a few months ago.  He shared that feels painting is very therapeutic and calming which I translate into a meditative activity.   A focused, repetitive action that requires focus on the task at hand.

I do not discount the recommended approaches of the many gurus who have years (or generations) of meditation experience.  It was just a realization that there really are many ways to achieve a meditative-like mindset with activities that create a state of mindfulness.  It is my interpretation and may be a meditation expert would dispute my point of view but it works for me.  If there is something you enjoy that lowers your blood pressure and helps you shut down the hamster wheel in your mind, then you have found a very valuable tool.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Go Simple, It’s Better

Simplicity.  We get tied up in the trials and tribulations of life and tend to forget to pay attention to the simple things.  It is so easy to let stress or worry take over our brains and wander down a rabbit hole that is far from beneficial or helpful.  When I woke up this morning, my brain was sifting  through work tasks that need to be completed which lead to the to dos in my life that need attention. It does amaze me that I am my toughest critic and my harshest task master.  Sometimes I really annoy myself.  I feel like a one of those illustrations of a person with a miniature version of herself on each shoulder saying, “Get to work!” and the other “Go do something you enjoy.”  Balance such always one of life’s challenges.

While I was out walking my dog this morning, I actually considered spending the day on a proposal I have been discussing with my boss and colleagues.  Gross! It is a holiday weekend and I was actually thinking about spending my day on a powerpoint presentation! While I was away last weekend, I bought a gift for my nephew and needed to make time to drop it off to him.  My better judgement sent me off to make a special delivery and all motivation to work on a powerpoint deck dissipated.  My nephew is a toddler and loves to be outside and loves vehicles of any kind. He pretended to drive my car and we watched cars drive past his house.  Then I showed him how to flip the helicopters that fall from maple trees so they spin and fly around and then watched for airplanes in the sky.  It is so easy to enjoy the simple things and really satisfying to see how much children appreciate the gift of time.  My nephew reminded me that simple things are far more rewarding than a powerpoint deck or the worries or stresses we create for ourselves.  The taskmaster in my head was muted and my focus was on the moment in time.  Childlike wonder is necessary in every day life and it is easy to forget to employ it.  My other nephew, who lives many miles away, was found balancing a fork on his head instead of eating dinner the other night.  Who balances a fork on their head?  I have found the thought amusing all week because it is creative and entertaining and I have never thought of doing such a thing myself.  If you have no interest in your dinner, have fun anyway.  It goes for everything else, have fun doing things that would otherwise seem boring or obligatory.

Why is there so much obligation and pressure in life?  Why are humans so inclined to take time and focus away from awareness of the present moment.  Stress and worry take the brain to some place in the past or in the future or to a pile of worst  case scenarios and a mountain of what ifs.  We inadvertently stifle the childlike wonder required to stimulate mindfulness.  Awareness of who and what is in our presence goes out the window and stress or worry result in wasted time.  We lose out on the simple things that are fulfilling and meaningful by opting for entanglement in angst and concern about things likely unworthy of time and attention.  Funny how the mind works and how necessary it is remind ourselves to get off the runaway train and stop and smell the roses.

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The Huffington Post Good News Delivery

It is fair to say many of us spend a great deal of time in front of the computer.  It is probably also reasonable to assume there are times when we all need a distraction and head to the internet.  I recently came across the Good News section of the Huffington Post and thought it was genius.  Personally, I get tired of the doom and gloom in the world and avoid the news more often than not.   This section of the Huffington Post resonated with me because Good News shows there are many good things in the world that are off the major headline radar.  It also highlights the kind things humans do for animals and each other; which is a nice change from other current events.  The stories run the gamut from a 9 year old boy who built a no-kill animal shelter out of his garage to videos showing how much fun a bucket can be .  I particularly like this flash mob .  Good news reminds me that it is easy to be kind and amazing to see what happens when we enable joy in another living being’s life – humans and animals alike.  If you have a chance to check out Good News, you will likely see something that makes you say, “Now that was awesome.”

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