Category Archives: Living life to the fullest
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.”
I am taking a summer blog break. While I refill my creative well, enjoy more thoughts advice from Paulo Coelho.
“. . . a system of twelve steps to help people to rediscover their “blessing.”
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.”
“. . . it’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking, and it’s also easier to do little things we know we can do than to start on big things that we’re not so sure about. —John Cleese
I’ll be taking a blog break for the next few weeks—time to refill my creative well. While I enjoy this breather, I will ponder the wisdom of the oh-so-creative John Cleese and his five keys to creativity:
1. Space – a playful a creative space away from demands, an “oasis of quiet”
2. Time – a specific period of time, because play must begin and end, otherwise it is not play
3. Time (No. That’s not a typo.) – all the time the creativity requires to turn a problem into an opportunity
4. Confidence – openness to anything that might happen
5. Humour – silliness
When I return from playing on the open road, I will seek to play in his open mode.
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.
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.
Maybe we should work on making other signs kinder?