Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Mantra: The Currency of Kindness

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Kindness is the best kind of currency

A while back I was thinking (Again?! I know, I know!) about the crazy things people do for money and power. How those two things are always tied together. How we could find a way around them, if that was even possible. What I came up with will probably never happen, never even be possible, but thinking about it makes me happy.

I call it: The Currency of Kindness Plan

For every good deed and kind action you take, you get currency (aka money in a credit form). It would work like this: If you help someone that dropped something, you get a credit. If you did your job at work and treated your co-workers kindly, you get a credit. If you assisted your elderly neighbor with grocery shopping, you guessed it, cha-ching- credit. Without those kind actions, you don't get anything - simple as that.

Now, some sort of verification system would have to be in place, obviously. Many, many, many details would have to be hashed out, but that's getting into the weeds of the plan...this fake plan that will never see the light of day. Let's just go back to what it could be, if the world could ever work this way...

Let's say you're at work. If you're an a**hole of a manager or terribly rude employee, you're kindness account will suffer greatly. Why is this beneficial? Well, this means CEOs worldwide have to run ethical companies that actually care about their employees. This means teachers who kick-ass in the classroom will finally make what they should. This means kindness - not cruelty, not acts of terror, not crime - mandates how much power you yield. I can get behind anyone that's kind, no problem at all. You want to be president? OK, how many kind things did you do last year?

Clearly, my plan is genius. Flawed and completely unrealistic, but genius none the less.

Anyway, since this idea will never happen, here's a video thing that will bring you some laughs. Shawn Achor has been studying happiness for years (aka Positive Psychology). What he's learned will surprise you, entertain you, and hopefully change the way you view how happiness can be achieved...which is really not about the achieving at all. It's not about dollar amounts or how much is in our bank accounts. Happiness is a much simpler thing than we've made it out to be.

P.S. Listen closely because he talks a little fast, but oh boy, is he hilarious!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Reflection of Shadows: What's Left

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments

What's Left

Of those I love, you’re loved the best,
Yet somehow I still love the rest.
The fractions of my heart are left
To love a little, love them less-
To love a little, little less.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Mantra: Life As We Know It

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: One person can make many differences

I'm sorry I'm late with this. Again. It's just that this time of year makes me want to experience, well, everything. There's the shopping and the eating and the cider and the hot cocoa, the baking and the smells (oh, the smells...pine and cinnamon and mint) everywhere you go. There's the making your list and checking it twice, and my possible career with Santa because I love making lists and checking them twice. There's movie watching to do and friends to hang out with and, of course, the shopping.

There's buying new wrapping paper and bags, then organizing my wrapping paper and bags in my special Wrapping Paper and Bags section of my house, all Monica Gellar like. There's the GF pumpkin bread and cherry pie and Thai soup to make. Then there's the very important eating of the GF pumpkin bread, cherry pie, and Thai soup. There's the music and the singing, the decorating, the annual marathon Lord of the Rings watching to do. There's the puppies to walk and the crisp air to take in and the non-changing of the leaves (damn you, Phoenix!) to watch. Oh, and did I mention the shopping? *big happy sigh*

There's just so much life to live right now, you guys. So. Much. Life. To. Live.

Well, all of that has taken my attention and made me realize at 9:30pm that I still haven't done this other little thing called My Normal Monday Blog Post. So, here we go...

Along with all of my Life Living activities, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how best to live life. There's been some daydreaming, too. For instance, the other night when I was in the land of no technology (Payson) and I only had my weak Wi-Fi connection on my phone to entertain me at 12:30am because I couldn't sleep due to who-knows-what sounds coming from the forest behind my house, I came upon the Instagram account of Jedidiah Jenkins. I happened to find him because he's part of a group of people I deeply admire, the making-the-world-a-better-place crew that consists of Sophia Bush, Lauren and Aaron Paul, and a dozen or so other awesome people who use their platform to not just talk about change, but make change happen. All. The. Time. I love it.

In my semi-sleep lacking delirium, I started to daydream (er, nightdream?) about the group welcoming me in to their inner circle of awesomeness. You know, all of us hanging out around a fire under the stars, talking about life and the world and how amazing it is to be BFFs. It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be good enough to be in their group. I mean, they really do seem to be other-worldly kind and loving. I don't think I could live up to that. I'm flawed. I judge when I don't want to, I compare, I fall short in many ways. Although I right myself when I've gone wrong, I'm...not perfect. For some reason I thought I would need to be, in this daydream. To fit in. To belong.

Later that day, I read about Rosa Parks and how the world has changed, slowly, for the better. How we might not realize that because, thanks to TV and social media and radio, we hear all the terrible things, all the time. We hear about the bombings, the beatings, the murders. What we forget, however, is how bad things used to be. How bad they're not anymore.

Women can now vote. People of different colors are allowed to use the same restrooms. Humans live longer lives than ever before. We, the people of the world, care about each other. We rage against injustice when we see someone in a far off land being mistreated. We rise up and raise money for any and every cause we can possibly think of. We work together, across millions of miles, all the time to make this world a better place. And even though there are still terrible things happening, even though we still have battles to fight, I am proud of how far we've all come. I could say I'm proud to be an American, and I am, but what I'm really thinking is how proud I am to be part of humanity right now. To be part of a world where people like Rosa Parks lived and fought and changed things for the better. To be part of a world that is still flawed, but fighting. Fighting to mend the wounds, to fix the cracks, to find a better way. I am proud to be flawed, too. My flaws make me work harder to be better, to be kinder, to try try try.

I hope you all can see this, too. I hope you can see past the tragedies in the world to the good that also exists. I hope you are doings things and living lives that lead to better things. I hope when you see terrible things on the news you realize that yes, one person can make a difference. I hope you realize you could be that person.

I also hope you don't limit yourself. Not to one cause, not to one action that can make the world better. Not to one goal, not to one path, not to one single daydream. You are capable of many, many great things. I hope you realize this, too.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Reflection of Shadows: Your Presence is Required

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments
Your Presence is Required

Set me free when you pull me back from me,
Take my blindness now - show me possibilities,
Warm my heart; let my instincts know the truth
That with every tingle of your touch your presence is the proof.

Let me speak all those hidden words that cut,
While I bleed my inner secrets, let me find a way to trust,
Take my hand; guide me through my desires
Believe me when I tell you that your presence is required.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Mantra: The Evolution of All Things

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Everything changes

I'm sorry this is so late. I've been trying to think of what I meant when the phrase "The Evolution of all Things" popped into my head. Because it felt right when it showed up. It felt accurate. It felt alive.
It felt like all the things that have ever happened in life summed up in one pretty little sentence. Growing and changing and learning and living - this is the evolution of all things. This is the undying truth to the universe: Everything, absolutely everything, changes.

It made me think of the most recent secret in the Chopra series. Of how we try and resist change at ridiculous and completely unachievable costs. How we lie, manipulate, deceive in an effort to try and control something that is other worldly, free of restraint, incapable of being stopped- change. It made me think of how far I've come and how far I have yet to go. How I have evolved into the person I am today, right this second, yet how the very fabric of my being will alter itself in the next because this is how life works. Shifting, changing, taking action when we don't even notice. How this is the other yin to the yang of what the universe knows, what we forget daily: Nothing stays the same for long.

It made me realize how beautiful it is, this - the changing of everything. How all the fear and worry we carry around is unnecessary, unneeded. How much better every experience would be if we could see past those imaginary boundaries we've built in our minds. Change: The caterpillar into the butterfly. The seeds into flowers, into vegetables, into fruit. The darkness each one experiences - the cocoon, the burial - until the breakthrough. How this life, these experiences, are tiny and continual breakthroughs. How much lovelier life - humanity - would be if we remembered this. If we could remember another universal truth, the one we forget the most often: We wouldn't be here without change.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Reflection of Shadows: You Stay

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments

Here's another one of my "Written to a tune" poem/songs.

You Stay

It’s not okay.
It’s not alright.
Every thought you have is
Gripping you too tight.

It’s all too much.
There’s just no way.
There isn’t anything
 You can do or say.

So you stay.
So you die.
Oh, so slowly,
Every night.

So you lie.
So you fake.
Every moment
You’re awake.

So you stay.

You’re not the same.
You lost your way.
You lost the map that showed
The path you should take.

You’re not alive.
You barely see.
“The person living in this nightmare
 Can’t be me.”

Your heart is weak.
Your head- it spins.
You’re searching, waiting, hoping,
Wishing for the end.

You know what’s right,
Since this is wrong,
But every moment that you stay
You feel less strong.

So you stay.
So you wait.
For the moment
To escape.

So you lie.
So you dream.
Of the day
When you’ll be free.

So you stay.

What will it take?
What won’t you do?
To let yourself escape
This solitude of gloom.

How far’s too far?
How much is too much?
How many times must your heart
Break before you’re done?

What’s one more day?
What’s one more tear?
It’s all just adding up
To multiplying fear.

So you stay.
So you break.
So you crumble
In mistakes.

You won’t go.
Just not yet.
Not until you’ve given
Everything you can.

So you stay.