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Posts Tagged ‘self-improvement’

August 21, 2015 Always looking for ways to improve myself, I’m attending a workshop today. Check back next Tuesday for a new What About This? post. In the meantime, I leave you with this thought:

“The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful, but that it is also tragically short.”
Homaro Cantu

Now go and spread joy!

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Friday's Fresh Five! Oh, we’re going to a hukilau
A huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau
Ev’rybody loves a hukilau
Where the laulau is the kau kau at the big luau

Oh, we’ll throw our nets out into the sea
And all the ama ama come a-swimming to me
Oh, we’re going to a hukilau
A huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau

Words and music by Jack Owens

The Hukilau Song can be heard throughout my home, as my husband and I practice playing our new ukuleles together. It all started when my husband asked for a ukulele for Christmas, so that he could sing to our granddaughter. He began taking classes at a local music shop and started spending a lot of time searching for instructional videos on the internet. I felt left out, but being already overextended, I had no intention of learning how to play a new musical instrument. Seeing the joy it brought him, however, I itched to get my hands on a ukulele and try playing its happy music. A few weeks ago, he surprised me with an early Valentine’s Day gift – my very own ukulele. Our mastery of chords and strumming patterns is progressing well, but our singing definitely needs work. Besides learning a new skill together, filling our home with music, and having a ton of fun, we’ve also discovered that it is a great stress reliever. The moral of the story is: the couple that strums together, hums together!

#1 – The Nimble Brain
Ways to Exercise Your Brain Whether you are learning how to play a new musical instrument or learning a new language, your brain thanks you for keeping it nimble. Want to learn more ways to exercise your brain? From mental_floss comes this list of 11 Ingenious Ways to Exercise Your Brain When You’re Stuck Inside.

#2 – Love Is All Around
Hearts In Nature When looking for love, it’s a matter of perspective. See if you can find the hearts in the captivating Hearts In Nature photo series.

#3 – Repurposing Photos
30 Creative Ways to Repurpose Photos If you have boxes of photos taking up space in your home, you might want to repurpose them. I like to use them to make photo mosaics, but so many other clever ideas exist on the internet. To get started, check out Brit + Co’s 30 Creative Ways to Repurpose Photos.

#4 – Rules For Being
12 Rules for Being a Beautiful Human Being “This moment is a gift” is rule number 11 of the 12 Rules For Being a Beautiful Human. They are good reminders for all of us, as we journey through life.

#5 – Making Your Own Music
“Play with your heart, sing with your soul.”
Unknown

Now go and spread joy!

 

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Twisted Oaks

It’s the golden dappled sunlight that dances on trees.
It’s the gnarly twisting branches that beg to please.
It’s the patches of lichens that soften the hard.
It’s the music of leaves scattering in yards.
It’s the warmth of friendship and much happy talk.
It’s the many pleasures of a lovely autumn walk.

Linnell Chang

#1 – Self-Improvement
The Only Way to Improve Your Situation Is to Improve Yourself In the article The Only Way to Improve Your Situation Is to Improve Yourself, the author offers easy and helpful suggestions of ways to improve your mind, body and soul. In my opinion, a long walk works on all three areas, but it must be done briskly, with frequent acknowledgements of the miracles around, and all the while living in the moment.

#2 – There’s No Substitution for Good Health
Healthy Recipe Substitutions It can be daunting to wade through the whys and hows of healthy eating. Thanks to this list of 83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions, all of that has become a little easier. Yes, the list is long, but that’s good. That means we have options. The list is broken down into these categories: baking, stovetop, meals, snacks, seasoning, alcohol, and cooking methods. Why not try green avocado puree in lieu of butter?

#3 – Kermit the Wise
Kermit the Frog Quote Speaking of green . . . Motivation and inspiration can be found in all sorts of places and from all sorts of people. In this case, it’s coming from the Muppet’s character Kermit the Frog. Check out these 12 Kermit the Frog Quotes for Your Bad Days. It will make you smile!

#4 – Never Too Old to Finger Paint
Painting by Iris Scott If you’re not too old to learn something from Kermit the Frog, then you’re definitely not too old to finger paint. Artist Iris Scott accidentally stumbled upon her technique of painting with her fingers. Wearing surgical gloves, she applies oil paints to her fingers and paints in a post-impressionistic style. I love what she says about her method, My fingers dance rapidly across the canvas – some say it reminds them of a piano player in action. The colors collide and meld into my composition, raw oils are squeezed straight from the tubes, the texture is thick and juicy. This chaotic scene goes on well into the evening. To stay focused I dance, I sing, I stretch. Her art is incredibly rich in colors and textures.

#5 – What Life Is About
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
~Gilda Radner

Go and spread joy!

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During our lifetimes we make many vows and take many oaths. Some are official and spoken out loud such as wedding vows and oaths of allegiance. Others are silent vows made to God or vows of love and protection that mothers say to their newborn babies when they are put in their arms for the very first time.

A couple of nights ago, while I was waiting for my computer to install updates, I decided to explore a new “magnetic” poetry application on my iPad. Like on a Ouija board, the words seemed to move and form groups magically by themselves. When all was said and done, I found myself staring at the the screen. No ordinary wordplay transpired here, as I noticed the messages behind the words. Then the impact of the words hit me and I realized that these thoughts were significant and were vows I needed to make to myself. When was the last time you made a vow to your true self? So from the depths of “magnetic” poetry, I share these vows with you.

Create Joy – I must create joy for others, to find joy in myself.

Breathe Hope – Hope is a force inside of me like the air I breathe in out out. As I inhale the power of hope from others, I must also exhale it to share with others.

Grow Imagination – More than ever the world needs people with imagination. I will nurture mine in every way I can.

Accept Love – I give love freely, but also open myself to accept love in all of its forms.

Thank Nature – For all the gifts that nature bestows upon me, I thank her by taking pleasure in them and by taking great care of them.

Applaud Gifts – I gratefully acknowledge my unique gifts and, like a super hero, will find ways to use them to make the world a better place.

Remember Dream – I will keep my dreams in the forefront of my consciousness and will work to make them a reality.

Feel Passion – To really live, I must feel passion or be passionate about something.

Shine – There is a light inside of me that shines through my whole being and is reflected in my thoughts and deeds.

Become Thought – If I am the sum total of my thoughts, then my thoughts must reflect the person I desire to be.

Show Heart – I will show compassion for others. Mother Teresa once said, ” Let us not make a mistake – that the hunger is only for a piece of bread. The hunger of today is so much greater: for love – to be wanted, to be loved, to be cared for, to be somebody.”

Live Life – With only a finite number of breaths in my life, I will breathe deep and live my life to the fullest!

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