Friday, August 31, 2012


I have an idea...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

just begin

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it!
— W.H. Murray

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Life is largely a matter of expectation. 

for heaven's sake

“The arts are not a way of making a living. 
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
 Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. 
Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. 
Do it as well as you possibly can. 
You will get an enormous reward. 
You will have created something.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

learn it again, and again ...

“Whenever something negative happens to you, 
there is a deep lesson concealed within it.” 
~Eckhart Tolle

This quote by Eckhart Tolle is something to keep in mind... especially while reading Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson*. It's a book about cognitive dissonance, self-deception, and how slight differences can polarize us.

Tavris and Aronson explain:
"Self-justification has costs and benefits. By itself it's not necessarily a bad thing. It lets us sleep at night. Without it we would prolong the awful pangs of embarrassment. We would torture ourselves with regret over the road not taken or over how badly we navigated the road we did take. We would agonize in the aftermath of almost every decision... Yet mindless self-justification, like quicksand, can draw us deeper into disaster. It blocks our ability to even see our errors, let alone correct them. It distorts reality, keeping us from getting all the information we need and assessing issues clearly."

Elliot Aronson explains Cognitive Dissonance as the uncomfortable-at-best feeling you get when things you do, or things that happen, contradict your beliefs - about yourself or the world (two conflicting beliefs - I'm smart / I made a mistake). The book addresses the unconscious justifications, rationalizations, and other defense mechanisms we use to keep that dissonance at bay. It's about the ways that these rationalizations perpetuate and entrench themselves... become habit.

In fact, the book sums up the mechanics of self-justification in one quote by British politician, Lord Molson: "I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come."

Have you ever made a mistake? Have you ever blamed it on someone... your boss, your spouse, your dog, your in-laws, your neighbor, the receptionist, the government, etc...?

If we are here to learn lessons, then mistakes will happen. Once the lesson is learned we can move on to the next lesson or (heavy sigh) if we fail to learn a lesson, we will find opportunities to learn it again, and again, and... you get the idea.

It's a well written book with tremendous insight into how our brain reacts to dissonance. Perhaps when reading it alongside The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, it can even become an enlightening experience.

*I found this book on Brene Brown's 'favorites' list: books that changed my life

Remember, the Ego celebrates being right. The Spirit celebrates being kind.

Friday, August 10, 2012

they slink out of books

Where Dreams Come From
by Marge Piercy
A girl slams the door of her little room
under the eaves where marauding squirrels
scamper overhead like herds of ideas.
She has forgotten to be grateful she has
finally a room with a door that shuts.
She is furious her parents don’t comprehend
why she wants to go to college, that place
of musical comedy fantasies and weekend
football her father watches, beer can
in hand. It is as if she announced I want
to journey to Iceland or Machu Picchu.
Nobody in their family goes to college.
Where do dreams come from? Do they
sneak in through torn screens at night
to light on the arm like mosquitoes?
Are they passed from mouth to ear
like gossip or dirty jokes? Do they
sprout from underground on damp
mornings like toadstools that form
fairy rings on dewtipped grasses?
No, they slink out of books, they lurk
in the stacks of libraries. Out of pages
turned they rise like the scent of peonies
and infect the brain with their promise.
I want, I will, says the girl and already
she is halfway out the door and down
the street from this neighborhood, this
mortgaged house, this family tight
and constricting as the collar on the next
door dog who howls on his chain all night.
“Where Dreams Come From” by Marge Piercy, from The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

Listen to Where Dreams Come From HERE (it starts at 2:16)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

where the learning happens in between moments

Sarah Kay, a master of words.

unless and until...

today in the Ketchum Towne Square, Idaho.

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

 R.J. Palacio, Wonder

Sharing #thewonderofwonder

Monday, August 6, 2012


Most people imagine things are real, not illusory. 
It's this that differentiates contemplatives with ordinary people. 
~ Shantideva

If you are in a reflective mood,
listen to Jeff Tyzik's moving "A Call to Worship"
part of his Pleasant Valley Suite.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the Wonder of Wonder

today in Sun Valley, Idaho.

“The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder