Friday, November 29, 2013

listening is an act of love

Kindness, courage, and generosity are all around us…

Happy Holidays!

Listening Is an Act of Love from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Everything that comes to you has a story… give thanks, continuously give thanks.

Worn Wear is an invitation to celebrate and give thanks for what you already have... those things that have contributed to your advancement.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bravo Patagonia! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

middle school… the only way out is through

I may love John Green even more...

… quiet, unique, and miserable in middle school.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

a mandala of sorts

I'm reading a book by Lodro Rinzler: The Buddha Walks Into A Bar… A Guide To Life For A New Generation. Someone on twitter recommended it, and I'm feeling bad that I can't remember who because I would like to thank them.

It's one of those books that came along with a great message … a message that has now been recurring for me in many different forms of media.

Let me explain, or rather, let Shakespeare explain…
"There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so."  - Hamlet to Horatio

What I like about Buddhism is that it is essentially the study of ourselves… of our thinking, of the intentions behind our actions.

In Buddhism, a mandala is like an organizational chart of concentric circles. Whatever is your chief motivation lies at the center of your mandala. By becoming inquisitive about our lives and peeling away our habitual behaviors, we can discover our root motivation and make it central to who we are.
"From there we radiate out. All our activities can be infused with our core belief. When we do that, we live a life we can be proud of, and a life that has a positive effect on everyone we encounter." - Lodro Rinzler

So this idea of a mandala, of concentric circles, of finding our core belief and working from the inside out… all started to look so familiar:

It was looking a lot like Simon Sinek's book Start With Why. I'm also a big fan of Chris Guillebeau and World Domination Summit… which inspires us to live a remarkable life in a conventional world.

Doing 'what' you do is conventional. 'Why' you do what you do is remarkable.

And then I read this quote from George Lucas:
"The sciences are the how, and the humanities are the why. Why are we here? Why do we believe in the things we believe in? I don't think you can have the 'how' without the 'why'."

Living from the inside out… from your 'why', your core belief. If our core belief involves kindness, compassion, inspiration… we can have a positive effect on those around us.

Are you living from the inside out?

What's your chief motivation? Why do you do what you do?

Friday, November 8, 2013

the ultimate equation

Physics told me some crazy stuff...

Why Do I Study Physics? (2013) from Xiangjun Shi on Vimeo.

… and it's funny, I think, how I can live with that.

Aimless Love

You are probably familiar with the poet Billy Collins. He was the US Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004-2006, and he won the Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry in 2005. Or, maybe you know him from his amazing TED talk…

Perhaps, you may have seen Billy Collins last month on the Colbert Report. It was while watching Colbert Report, where the poet laureate joined Stephen Colbert in reading a new poem, that I found out Mr. Collins had a new book of poetry, Aimless Love

Of course, I had to get a copy.

It is a wonderful collection, and the perfect gift for all those poetry lovers on your holiday list.

Along with To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl (the poem read on the Colbert Report) my favorite new poem was Quandary:


I was a little disappointed
in the apple I lifted from a bowl of fruit
and bit into on the way out the door,
fuzzy on the inside and lacking the snap of the ripe.

Yesterday it was probably perfect,
I figured, as I held it out before me,
soft red apple bearing my tooth marks,
as if I were contemplating the bust of Aristotle.

I considered all the people
who would be grateful to have this apple,
and others who might find it in their hearts
to kill me before slipping it into a pocket.

And I considered another slice
of the world's population, too,
those who are shielded from anything
as offensive as a slightly imperfect apple.

Then I took a second bite, a big one,
and pitched what was left
over the tall hedges hoping to hit on the head
a murderer or one of the filthy rich out for a stroll.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

an astronaut's guide...

Chris Hadfield's book is out: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. If you haven't seen the book trailer, it's awesome… and made by Col. Chris Hadfield's son.

Maybe you're one of the 1 million twitter followers who have marveled at Chris Hadfield and his time on the International Space Station… if not, it's time to catch up. Check him out on twitter. Col. Hadfield regularly sent tweets from space, responded to questions from students, and shared pictures of his amazing view.

Check out his interview on Studio Q. He has a great story...

His view of our little planet reminded me of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot...

If you're interested in learning ...  "What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything" read Col. Chris Hadfield's new book.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

be a celebrator

“Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.”

- Maria Popova