In the wake of the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I’d like to remind myself of the good in the world. As my heart aches for the unimaginable loss suffered by the families in Newtown, I would like to share some moments that restore my faith in humanity. While it may only be a temporary fix, at least it transforms my sadness to joy. Happy New Year everybody
Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed.com unless otherwise stated.
The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever
The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy
The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man
The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital
The man who soothes his arthritic dog that saved his life
Source: johnschoep.zenfolio.com / via: buzzfeed.com
These candidates for Parents of the Year award
And for every single moment anything like this happened.
I’ve always been drawn to meditation. I believe the merits of proper mediation can bring about positive change. In my efforts to start meditating I came across some useful tips I thought I would share…
Start with posture. Your posture must be very comfortable and allow you to stay perfectly still. Ideally, legs are crossed and fingers clasped. Close your eyes. Now if you can… stop the mind from thinking. For me, this is often the most difficult part. And finally, relax. Totally relax.
When we cross our legs and clasp our fingers it allows our energy circuits to flow. And since eyes are the doors to the mind, so should our eyes be closed. It requires my full concentration to perfectly relax. Relaxation is one of the most important aspects of meditation because when the body relaxes the mind can “travel”.
If this is all starting to sound a bit too hare krishna, remember that meditation is a mental journey. According to vibrantenergy, the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts and the trick is not to go behind the thoughts. But rather cut the thought, and come back to the breath..
Always. Witness. The. Breath.
To witness the breath means allowing the natural inhalation (or exhalation) happen on it’s own. This also helps with the whole relaxation process. At this stage of meditation I’m usually done my session. Which begs a final question: How long do I meditate? The meditation guru suggests you meditate for as long as your physical age – if you are 25 you would meditate for 25 minutes.
Happy meditating 🙂
To be creative is a task worthy of mastery. How does one become creative? I spend more time reading about how to be creative, and watching You Tube and TED videos on creative people than being creative myself. There are a heck of a lot of creative people out there.
Take Halla Tomasdottir for example, the Icelandic entrepreneur who started a financial services company in the midst of the greatest financial hardships Iceland has ever seen. Click here to watch how and why she is doing it.
Another creative genius lies in Elizabeth Gilbert’s address (watch here) on the intricacies of finding creativity and how to keep it; and most of all, whether it even belongs to us at all.
And I could not list my favorite creators these days without mentioning Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. Besides advocating a simple, minimalist lifestyle Leo taps the creativity keg by believing the merits of creativity can be summoned by doing fun things you love every day. Shake your creativity tree! – Leo says. Blog! Listen to good music! Dance! Cook!
And go easy on yourself when your creativity is not flourishing. To live a creative life is to find fun when things start to feel stale. Finding new ways of doing things when the same ‘ol becomes routine and monotonous.
Creativity is not a spectator sport, it’s time to join the game. If only I could stop sticking inspiring notes and quotes on my fridge and actually do something creative… that would be something original!
In the spirit of the new year, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on all that we have. It is far too easy to become mired in the illusions of want and need, so I’ve listed a few things I’m grateful for…
I am grateful for disappointment and consequences. For without these we cannot learn and grow.
I am grateful for the chance to enjoy moments when we are at our most vulnerable. Realizing the importance of living through these moments so we can push ourselves to become stronger.
I am grateful to be cognizant. To be aware of myself and my thoughts, however unsettling, intense or afflicted as they may be.
I’m grateful to be here, to be living this life. If we allow it, life has many lessons to teach us each day.
And I’m grateful for personal absolution. For the ability to release myself from past mistakes and move forward into the future with hope and optimism.
Happy new year everybody..
Oh how I miss the Fisher family.
The HBO drama Six Feet Under hosts a brilliant cast (including Michael C. Hall and Peter Krause) who tell the story of the Fisher family who run a funeral home in LA, California. Having won multiple awards (9 Emmy’s!) this series blends realistic characters who live unforgettable and intriguing lives (take for example the role of Brenda, Ruth, or Claire).
Each episode has an unwavering plot on the topic of death. A rather dark series, it explores the after-death on many levels; each funny, sad and strange. It’s black comedy at its finest.
Having watched all five seasons I genuinely miss tuning-in to the eccentric and highly addictive macabre Fishers.
While the snowflakes fall and our world turns white, I’ve pondered the importance of keeping a happy face during the winter months. It’s amazing (and unfortunate) that our social skills shrink to zero in the blistery winter months.
In the summertime, passing a fellow pedestrian often results in a smile – sometimes a nod, and even an occasional pleasantry is exchanged. Not so in the wintertime. While the outside world screams “Hibernate!” “Hibernate!”, I find it much more rewarding to embrace our wintertime.
Bundle up (dressing warm is key to wintertime happiness) and take notice of the beauty of the billowing snow. Wintertime has a way of teaching us to slow down, if we allow it to. Growing frustrated with the knee-deep snow and plunging temperature is easy. But what if we tried to see the good in it? Like taking the time to dress warmly, and watch the falling snow sparkle?
Enjoying the wintertime is beneficial to our well-being. Spread some winter joy this season, and the return will be well-worth the effort. Plus… the more we enjoy winter, the quicker she passes!