art, Health, motivation, Personal Success

Rumination

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This doodle (exercise from Lisa Congdon’s How To Draw Everything) reminds me of the Korean card game hwatu!
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Hwatu

I used to “meditate” incorrectly. I closed my eyes and focused on being aware of my surroundings and my thoughts. I noticed my thoughts and tried to “let them go.” But my thoughts were either judgments or I was judging my thoughts (!) I assumed I was meditating correctly, because I was quite aware of everything…however, I was placing opinion on all of it.

Being present (meditating) means being aware of everything in the present time without judgment. 

If you’re like me, you’d be shocked at how much you judge yourself and others. With practice, you can minimize placing personal value on yourself and others. I catch myself doing it and am able to correct it.

Criticizing is the opposite of kindness and impedes inner peace.

 

 

 

art, Health, motivation, Personal Success, relationships

Whose Business is it?

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Doodle of grains

“Mind your own business.”  This phrase could be perceived as rude (context and tone would give a clue), but not necessarily. It comes down to facts. I have my business, you have yours. Conflicts can arise when we cross boundaries.

Sometimes, people make other people’s business their own. Why? Because they are judgmental, unhappy, uninformed, or just fearful of change.

Case(s) in point:

This year, I have decided to pursue learning how to draw and paint. I was not expecting comments like, “Why are you taking a class? Just draw! You don’t need a class, that’s silly.”

I also decided to stop doing a lot of extra volunteer duties at work. Response: “But you’ve always done (fill-in-the-blank).” 

These responses are generally directed toward women, by the way. I rarely never see men at the receiving end of such remarks. 

How to react? Just smile and ignore it. Listen to your gut and do what works best for you. As Eric Barker says, the first step to pursuing what makes you happy is to define it for yourself!

 

Speaking of grains (sort of)….

Did you know Doritos is making “lady friendly chips“? (Washington Post)  Read the article, Maura Judkis is hilarious.

An excerpt: 

What do I like about chips? Hmm, I guess I like how they are small and petite, like me! I like how the bags are shiny and have bright colors. Though I know that chips are not technically meant for Ladies like me because their bags are never pink. If only there were chips that came in a pink bag, so I would know that gentle Ladies like myself could consume them with dignity!

Maura Judkis

art, Health, motivation, Personal Success, relationships

Habitats & Habits

I feel sorry for my sixth graders.

When I was in sixth grade, the only technologies to distract me were the TV and radio. I received my beloved yellow Sony Walkman years later. But even then, in order to make a mix tape, I had to listen to the radio on my boombox and catch my favorite song, hit “record” and “stop” at just the right time.

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Now, the barrage of sounds and images are relentless. You can hear the voices of your peers night and day from your phone. You can catch your favorite TV or film or YouTuber or musician 24/7. Filters and editing programs make everyone look slim, smooth and shiny. 

And if you’re one of the very few who does not own a phone, you might be ostracized. You are deemed too poor or your parents are too strict. You’re square (do they say that anymore)! Regardless, laptops are ubiquitous. The temptation to enter fantasy land is everywhere

I just completed reading Eric Barker’s “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.” The book is a compelling read, replete with interesting anecdotes and scientific data to back up his various assertions regarding personal success. One of the most important tips he offers is the adage “control your environment.” A closely linked axiom: know thyself

The most successful and productive people practice this. A few examples:

  • disconnect from the internet while working;
  • place cell phone in the other room;
  • never keep junk food in the house;
  • never hit snooze – get right up (!);
  • work before pleasure;

and so on.

I remind my students that “success” – whatever they define it to be – is within their reach. But they must make a commitment to it and do the necessary work.

Now, more than ever, knowing oneself and taking actions to ensure meeting one’s potential might be the most challenging – yet important – task at hand.

 

art, Health, Personal Success, relationships

Black Flowers

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Do You Drink Too Much?

I only ask because your face is bloated

and you’re distracted much of the time –

you don’t enjoy the things you used to

and the pep in your step is gone

 

 

You say you’re happy

and it makes you relax

but the TV and booze glaze your eyes

and your spirit is in the bottle