Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Enjoying a Snail’s Pace

Doing Things Slowly

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel
obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our
productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves
cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of
time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just
to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the
next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it
allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at
hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more
efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your
relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate,
and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the
opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go
of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to
remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully
savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an
uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be
luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel
tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information
will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and
writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets
you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you
eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing
around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we
choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice
rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our
fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough
to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic
living at this pace can be.

Monday, September 22, 2008

About this economic crisis and bailout

I wrote this today and emailed it to my Senators and my Congresswoman.

I do not support this bail out and I am looking to you to be my voice in Congress.

One, this transfers far too much power to the Sec of the Treasury. How on earth is the answer to the financial crisis to vest more power and authority in the hands of the same people who allowed this mess to happen?

Two, this is not a bailout for the taxpayers. This is a huge burden for us to bear while those who caused this mess continue to reap the massive profits.

Vote against this bailout. There must not be a blank check for failed policies, bad business decisions, and an absence of proper oversight and regulation.

Recognizing Our Own Abundance

Planting The Seeds Of Generosity

The most difficult time to be generous is when we ourselves are feeling
poor. While some of us have experienced actually being in the red
financially, there are those of us who would feel broke even if we had
a million dollars in the bank. Either way, as the old adage goes, it is
always in giving that we receive. Meaning that when we are living in a
state of lack, the very gesture we may least want to give is the very
act that could help us create the abundance that we seek. One way to
practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed. Giving money
to a cause or person in need is one way to give energy. Giving
attention, love, or a smile to another person are other acts of giving
that we can offer. After all, there are people all over the world that
are hungry for love.

Sometimes when we practice generosity, we practice it conditionally. We
might be expecting to “receive back” from the person to
whom we gave. We might even become angry or resentful if that person
doesn’t reciprocate. However, trust in the natural flow of
energy, and you will find yourself practicing generosity with no
strings attached. This is the purest form of giving. Remember that what
you send out will always come back you. Selflessly help a friend in
need without expecting them to return the same favor in the same way,
and know that you, too, will receive that support from the universe
when you need it. Besides, while giving conditionally creates stress
(because we are waiting with an invisible balance sheet to receive our
due), giving unconditionally creates and generates abundance. We give
freely, because we trust that there is always an unlimited supply.

Being aware of how much we are always supported by the universe is one
of the keys to abundance and generosity. Consciously remember the times
you’ve received support from expected and unexpected sources.
Remember anyone who has helped you when you’ve needed it most,
and bless all situations that come into your life for the lessons and
gifts they bring you. Remember that all things given and received
emanate from generosity. Giving is an act of gratitude. Plant the seeds
of generosity through your acts of giving, and you will grow the fruits
of abundance for yourself and those around you.

Hidden Treasure

Finding Another Vantage Point

The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are
standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath
its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to
where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its
unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what
looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view
of that tree’s leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a
massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking
at the same tree.

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily
seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is,
unless you are willing to see what’s in front of you through
different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether
spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden
treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding
another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to
insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may
seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving
silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like
colored jewels.

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point
may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that
look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing
them from another point of view. Bury your face in the grass and look
at the world from a bug’s vantage point. Explore your home as if
you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience
the world from a bird’s eye view. Just as kneeling down sometimes
helps you see more closely when you are looking for lost treasure, so
can standing back help you appreciate the broader picture of what you
are looking at. In doing so, you’ll experience very different

Friday, September 19, 2008

Get Over It

"Get Over It"

I turn on the tube and what do I see

A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"

They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else

Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves

Victim of this, victim of that

Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it

Get over it

All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit

Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash

But you might feel better if I gave you some cash

The more I think about it, Old Billy was right

Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight

You don't want to work, you want to live like a king

But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it

Get over it

If you don't want to play, then you might as well split

Get over it, Get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak

You're makin' the most of your losin' streak

Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain

You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain

You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown

Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down

Complain about the present and blame it on the past

I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it

Get over it

All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit

Get over it, get over it

Get over it

Get over it

It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit

Get over it, get over it

(Courtesy of the Eagles)

Ten Ways to Make Someone Smile

There’s nothing better than knowing you’ve made someone happy – especially if you can do so in some simple, thoughtful way. Here’s ten easy ways to make someone smile today: I guarantee you’ll be smiling too!

I’ll start with the most straightforward and work up to ideas which need a little bit more planning.

1. Write a note to say “thank you”

This is such a simple thing to do, but can mean so much. Write a note today to say “thank you” to someone who has helped you or done something for you. It could be to a parent, a child, a colleague, a friend, or even the helpful assistant in your local store.

Bonus points: Post or hand-deliver your note – don’t just send it by email.

2. Set a fun screensaver or desktop on their computer

If you’re in an office, why not switch a colleague’s screensaver for something fun while they’re away from their desk?

Or at home, sneak into your partner or parent’s office to set up a new desktop background for them. Make it something that you know will raise a laugh.

Bonus points: Find a screensaver or desktop picture from their favorite [1] TV show or movie.

3. Buy them their favorite candy

Even once we’re adults, candy can still make us smile. If someone’s a bit down, buy them their favorite candy – you could give it to them with your “thank you” note. It needn’t be anything expensive: a well chosen chocolate bar might be just the thing.

Bonus points: Find out their favorite candy from their childhood, and buy that. (I’m very fond of [2] Kinder Surprise…)

4. Send them an unexpected card

One step up from sending a thank you note is sending a card. A “congratulations” on a job well done or on a big life change (such as graduation) will always raise a smile. You might have to be a bit creative, but there’s always some special occasion to offer an excuse to send a card.

Bonus points: Hand-make the card. Don’t worry if you’re not great at craft; just keep the design simple – if possible, making it personal to the recipient.

5. Do their chores

There’s nothing nicer than coming home to find that someone else has cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed! Roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with the chores: this goes down especially well with partners and parents.

Bonus points: Do a chore which you know they hate – cleaning the oven, perhaps, or ironing.

6. Make their favorite breakfast

Breakfast is an often-neglected meal – yet there are so many tasty options. One morning, get up early and prepare breakfast for one of your family or housemates. This could be as simple as nipping out to the bakery for some really nice pastries.

Bonus points: Set the table and get everyone to eat together, or lay out a special tray for the breakfast person!

7. Wrap up a surprise present

Receiving birthday gifts is always fun – but it’s more of a surprise to get a present on an ordinary day. Buy a book, DVD, card game or other small gift that you know the recipient will love, and wrap it up for them.

Bonus points: Try making this into a game that you play on a regular basis, perhaps each surprising the other with a small gift once a month.

8. Make a mini photo album

Collect some photographs of friends and family, and put them into a mini photo album. You could either try making your own from card and ribbon, or use an online service such as [3] PhotoBox to upload photographs and get a mini album printed.

Bonus points: Dig out some old childhood photos (you might have to use a scanner if you’re making the album online).

9. Give them a day off

If you know someone with children, offer to take the kids off their hands for a day. It can be really hard for busy parents to get a break to rest and recharge – and if you pick some fun things to do, you’ll have a great day too! (Theme parks, kid-friendly museums, ice-cream shops and leisure centers are all good options.)

Bonus points: Combine this with theater tickets or another “activity” gift that the recipient can enjoy without the children around.

10. Put together a book of their achievements

This requires quite a bit of planning and preparing, but it could become a treasured gift. Get a nice scrapbook and fill it with photos, newspaper clippings, graduation programs and anything else you can find that relates to special moments and days in the recipient’s life.

Bonus points: This makes a great 21st birthday gift, with a page for each year from 1 to 21 (my mum made one for me which included things like my first postcard home from camp).

Hat tip and thank you: Written by Ali, a writer and website creator (

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Canes for Disabled Veterans & Active Duty Personnel

Something as amazing as this deserves to be shouted from the rooftops.

Brad Gramberg is a close personal friend of mine, and he is crafting handmade wooden canes for Vets and Active Duty types who need them. They are made and shipped free of charge.

If you or anyone you know is need of a cane, please feel free to contact Brad at Note: the subject line should read "Canes", or he may not read the message.

He said that orders have dropped off recently, and he couldn't believe
it was because of a lack of need, but more a lack of information
getting out. He has fliers at Walter Reed, and several other hospitals,
but most of his contacts are with the Army. He asked me to publish this
to the Navy and Marine Corps, if I could.

*Hat tip to my Marine Corps brother, Jon Crask, for sharing this with me.

This is real. These canes are free. And Brad Gramberg is proof that one person can truly make a difference in this world.

Comments or questions? Send them to me at

You can also forward this link:

What I'm Listening To Now...

Falling By The Wayside

by People in Planes

It's OK
To be safe
Cos I'm on top
Of my game

But I'm losing control
Falling by the wayside

Dive right in
Take a drink
Enter it
Try and win
Make sure you call
Before you leave

Keep on top
Of the game

I'm losing control
Falling by the wayside

It's OK
To be safe

People In Planes - "Falling By The Wayside" Official Video

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ok... I laughed.

I just read Governor Sarah Palin described as Caribou Barbie.

Yep. I laughed.