Category Archives: Gratitude

Forgiveness: Choosing not to drink the poison

cup-of-hope“Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” —Blaise Pascal

In Canada, our summer draws to a close and a new season of activities awaits. In other parts of the world, spring approaches with its potentials for newborn projects. No matter what part of the world we live in, this time of year calls us to cleanse ourselves and begin anew.

Are you holding on to bitterness? Are you drinking poison, swirling it in your mouth, and savouring its flavour?

Can you see it as poisonous only to you and not to the other person or other people?

Forgive, pour out the glass of bitter poison and begin again. 

Name your cows, get more milk: Scientific American

I’m taking a summer blog break. While I am refilling my creative well, ponder who or what in your life could be more productive if given a little one-on-one attention?

“Farmers who have named their cows, she adds, “probably have a better relationship with them. They’re less fearful, more relaxed and less stressed, so that could have an effect on milk yield.”

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“Cows with names make more milk”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post/cows-with-names-make-more-milk-2009-01-28/?id=cows-with-names-make-more-milk-2009-01-28

Let go of materialism, be more content: Scientific American

I’m taking a summer blog break. While I am refilling my creative well, enjoy insights into contentment from Scientific American. 

“The longest ever study on this topic finds that becoming less materialistic leads to more contentment in life—and suggests ways to get to that happy place.”

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“How to Let Go of Materialism”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-let-go-of-materialism/

 

The myth of psyche: Paulo Coelho

I am taking a summer blog break. While I’m refilling my creative well, enjoy the insightful writing of the incomparable Paulo Coelho. In “The Myth of Psyche” he ponders the elusive nature of love, and how he learned to follow the strange language of “signs.”

“Each moment shall be lived and enjoyed, but whenever we try to understand it, the magic disappears.”

________________

“The Myth of Psyche”

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/08/20/the-myth-of-psyche/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PauloCoelhosBlog+%28Paulo+Coelho%27s+Blog%29

 

The examined life: Shaw Woods

I have become an avid fan of the Facebook page of Shaw Woods.

The site posts photographs and information about the plants and creatures flourishing at the Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre. High-quality photographs show close-up views of the flora and fauna of Canada’s Ottawa Valley. The accompanying descriptions give background information about what is in the picture. I’ve learned so much.

When I look at the photographs, I feel like I’m on a walk with a toddler. If you’ve ever walked anywhere with a 2-year-old, you know you don’t get anywhere fast, because toddlers take advantage of their place close to the ground to discover everything along the way. Bottle caps, rocks shaped like hearts, bugs, and flowers must survive the intense scrutiny of the inquisitive mind of a young child.

The Shaw Woods photographs depict a toddler-view closely examined life of Shaw Woods: Every tree, every flower, every insect, every bird, every creature noticed, appreciated, studied and chronicled.

And I have to admit to feeling a little embarrassed. I grew up a few miles away from Shaw Woods. I spent my formative years there, and I didn’t even know that many of those plants or creatures existed in that area. How could I live there for decades and never know about a Goldenrod Crab Spider? How could I have missed a spider that stalks prey in flowers and changes colour to match its background? This spider below had just left a yellow flower.

My embarrassment makes me realize how little I closely examine my surroundings. If Socrates was right when he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” I’ve got some work to do.

The Shaw Woods Facebook page is a good start. Then I think I’ll go for a walk—toddler style. 

Kind signs: Kiss and Ride

kiss-rideThis is how a school in my city labelled the drop off zone for kids.

This phrase says: “Don’t leave your car unattended here.” It says: “If you want to stop and chat with a teacher, or another parent, or with your neighbour from down the street, this is not the place.” It says: “Don’t be a selfish doofus and park here, because traffic in this lane circulates.” The unspoken in this phrase says all of that, but in a warm and fuzzy way.

I can’t say for sure, but I think people might pay more attention to this simple, friendly phrase than they would to an ubiquitous “Drop Off Zone Only” sign.

drop-off-zone

Maybe we should work on making other signs kinder? 

 

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