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Posts Tagged ‘thought-provoking questions’

January, 30, 2015 Edition My camera lens focuses on the distant reaches of my backyard. Trying to capture an image of a particular bird, I’ve been sitting motionless on a rock for about 10 minutes. I sense movement to my right and turn my head to see a squirrel perched on a nearby rock. The squirrel sits and stares at me as if to say, “What about me? Aren’t you going to take my picture?” I chuckle and say out loud, “Well, if you give me a smile, I’ll take your picture too.” Lo and behold, the squirrel smiles.

#1 – Connections Between Man and Nature
Artwork by Elicia Edijanto Indonesian artist Elicia Edijanto creates simple, yet emotional juxtapositions of humans and nature. More specifically, her delicate black and white watercolor paintings portray connections between children and animals. There is a certain vulnerability displayed in her work – not just that of the children, but also that of the majestic animals. Check out Striking Black-and-White Watercolors Depict Children and Wild Animals to see examples of her work.

#2 – Developing Gratitude
Squirrel in Tree Living a life of gratitude keeps me in the present. One of the things that I am grateful for right now is having the time and the wherewithal to pursue my hobbies – like sitting and photographing wildlife in my backyard. I appreciate that to do so is a luxury not afforded to everyone. What are you grateful for? Developing an attitude of gratitude does not come easy to everyone. If you need a little help, read 5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude to get you thinking and start the process.

#3 – 36 Questions
36 Questions The title of an article in Psychology Today Want to Get Closer to Your Partner? Try These 36 Questions is slightly misleading. Sure, if you were to ask your partner any of the questions from the three sets of 12 questions, you would learn more about him/her and possibly become closer. But, I think the 36 questions are good thought-provoking questions that would shed light on anyone you want to know better – a friend, a co-worker, your children, etc. Try answering some of the questions yourself. Maybe in the process, you’ll learn something about yourself that you didn’t realize before. To provide you with a brief preview, here are the first questions from each set:

Set 1, Question 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Set 2, Question 13: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?

Set 3, Question 25: Make 3 true “we” statements each. For instance ‘We are both in this room feeling … “

#4 – Valentine’s Day Food and Crafts
41 Heart-Shaped DIYs To Actually Get You Excited For Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day brings smiles to the faces of so many people. In a little over two weeks that special day will be here. For inspiration, take a look at these 41-Heart-Shaped DIYS to Get You Excited For Valentine’s Day and let the fun begin!

#5 – A Smile Is . . .
“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.”
Tom Wilson

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
Phyllis Diller

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Now go and spread joy!

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Early Morning Calm Like angels ascending to heaven, the morning mist lifts ethereally from the lake. A lone skiff floats through the mist and breaks the stillness of the glass-like water. The world is quiet and I am lost in my reverie. Fishermen arrive and set up their gear, but they do not disturb the peace I feel. The lake soon hums with activity, but the calm I felt during those precious early morning moments still flows through my blood and into my heart, setting the cadence of my heartbeat for the rest of the day.

#1 – A Small Portrait
Miniature Paintings by Lorraine Loots It takes calm nerves and a steady hand to paint paintings that are no larger than a small coin and are painted in a photo-realistic style. For each day of the year 2013, Cape Town-based artist Lorraine Loots painted a miniature painting. The paintings were for her project 365 Paintings for Ants and she is now working on a project called 365 Postcards for Ants. Watch the video to learn more about Lorraine and her work.

#2 – Making Clouds
Decorating With Clouds The introduction for this project from Oh! Crafts states, “Let your children fly their imagination in their own room with these great clouds hanging on the ceiling.” Forget about the kids! Adults need all the help they can get to fuel their imaginations, so go ahead and put up soft, billowy clouds in your home and make no excuses for them. And remember that clouds don’t always bring rain.

#3 – Your Green House
7 Easy DIY Green Home Solutions Get your head out of the clouds and start living a greener life. Follow these 7 Ways To Make Your Home a Greener Place and live with a “clean” conscience.

#4 – Answer These Questions
25 Questions To Ask People (And Yourself) “What does a perfect day look like to you?” I could easily answer question #24 of 25 Questions to Ask People, but I would have to stop and ponder my answers to some of the other questions. Whether you ask others or yourself these questions, the important takeaway from this article is not so much about asking the questions, but it’s more about learning to be a mindful listener. Listen to yourself, too.

#5 – Morning Thoughts
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

Now go and spread joy!

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I was telling a friend that I should be a cast member on the hit television series Glee. Not because I can sing, because I can’t, but because songs are always playing in my head. Not just the latest catchy tunes, but songs that describe how I’m feeling at the moment. Like this morning the Mamas and the Papa’s song Monday, Monday was playing in my head as I sat down at the computer. Except in my head it went like this, “Friday, Friday, so good to me . . . .” Don’t you think that sounds better than the original? Who doesn’t prefer Fridays over Mondays?

#1 – Thought-Provoking Questions
Here’s a beautiful photo series with thought-provoking questions for all of us to ponder. Which ones hit home with you?

#2 – Food Dyes
Here’s another thought provoking question. Are food dyes safe and if not, why are they still allowed to be put in our food? I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite monthly reads is the Nutrition Action Health Letter published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. This month’s featured article is titled, Color Us Worried which questions the continued use of food dyes in America and their related health risks. To read the report Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks and to look over a 1,300 dyed foods list, click here.

#3 – Signs of Dehydration
In another health education newsletter that I received from my community hospital, there was an article about dehydration. Since thermometers in my neighborhood hit triple digits this week, I thought it might be a good idea to refresh everyone’s memory on the signs of dehydration. Initial signs of dehydration are obvious – increased thirst and decreased urine output, but if dehydration continues these additional symptoms may occur, but are not limited to:

Lack of perspiration
Confusion
Increased body temperature
Fatigue
Nausea, vomiting and chills
Dry mouth
Eyes stop producing tears
Muscle cramps
Heart palpitations
Becoming lightheaded
Loss of appetite
Dry skin
Skin flushing

Obviously, a doctor should be called if you have any questions or concerns about any of these symptoms or if you suspect dehydration is a possibility.

Athletes, please remember to hydrate adequately during hot weather. Dr. Gerry Lee, a family practitioner interviewed in the article, recommends that if you must exercise in hot weather you should, “Drink two to four glasses of water or sports drink per hour during activity.”

#4 – 100 Ways to Live a Better Life
I accidentally found this site and so enjoyed reading the author’s list of 100 Ways to Live a Better Life. Many entries on the list are things that I am personally working on to improve myself. Maybe we need to print this list up and reread it every morning as a reminder of the potential we all hold and the promise that each new day brings.

#5 – Bird Songs
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
Chinese Proverb

“Use the talents you possess – for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.”
Chinese Proverb

Take time to listen to the birds sing this weekend. Have a good one!

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