Category Archives: writing

Your One Big Thing

by Chris Baréz-Brown

Most people’s lives are busy. It’s so easy for us to get up and plough straight on with the things that need to be done – and the next time we take a breath, the day is over.
 
Being busy is addictive. It is another strategy we use to numb our emotions. Author and researcher Brené Brown explains: ‘We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.’ Being carried along on a whirlwind of tasks makes us feel as if we are needed and achieving something but, more often than not, we are using our energy on the stuffthat doesn’t count, but that shouts the loudest.

Before getting drawn into your to-do list, think of one big thing you need to achieve today. Take your time to get perspective on what’s most important to you. Take a deep breath, smile, and just see what comes to you. You’ll know when you’ve got it right, because you’ll feel excited about delivering it and you’ll know it will create real impact for you and/or those around you. Once you’ve identified it, spend as long as you need to make it happen before getting distracted by the world calling for your attention. What’s your one big thing today?

 
 
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“Dislocation












Dislocation

by Marge Piercy


It’s  that moment when your life
is suddenly strange to you
as someone else’s coat

you have slipped on at a party
by accident, and it is far
too big or too tight for you.

Continue reading

How the ‘School of Life’ Can Help You Find Big Answers to Big Questions

by Amy Maclin from the January 2015 edition of Oprah Magazine

School Of Life

For 17 years, I spent most of my waking hours in school, doodling. I learned the types of clouds, what happens to a banana when you put it in liquid nitrogen. But there were never any classes on how to live. What do we need to be happy? How can we make love last? Why should we keep washing the dishes when we’re all going to die someday? Continue reading

Here’s Why You Look Good Naked


 

A massage therapist has seen more unclothed humans than he can count; all of them perfect.

by Dale Favier

 

People have been undressing for me for a long time. I know what you look like: One glance at you, and I can picture pretty well what you’d look like on my table.

Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: Nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody. Lean people have a kind of rawboned, unfinished look about them that is very appealing. But they don’t have plump round breasts and plump round behinds. If you have plump round breasts and a plump round behind, you have a plump round belly and plump round thighs as well. That’s how it works. (And that’s very appealing too.)

Women have cellulite. All of them.

It’s dimply and cute. It’s not a defect. It’s not a health problem. It’s the natural consequence of not consisting of Photoshopped pixels and of not having emerged from an airbrush.
Continue reading

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Creativity Boost: How to Tap into Right-Brain Thinking

We’ve all heard that we need to tap into our creative right brains.

But how? Martha Beck offers a few fruitful ways to branch out.

by Martha Beck


This morning I sat down to write about how we can all learn to better use the right hemispheres of our brains. For 30 minutes, I tapped restlessly at a laptop. Nothing much happened, idea-wise. Flat beer.

Finally I resorted to a strategy I call the Kitchen Sink. I read bits of eight books: four accounts of brain research, one novel about India, one study of bat behavior, one biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and one memoir of motherhood. Next I drove to my favorite Rollerblading location, listening en route to a stand-up comic, a mystery novel, and an Eckhart Tolle lecture. I yanked on my Rollerblades and skated around, squinting slack-jawed into the middle distance. After a while, a tiny light bulb went on. “Well,” I thought, “I could write about this.”

Duh.

The Kitchen Sink, you see, is one way to activate your brain’s creative right hemisphere. Every writer I’ve ever met uses some version of it, as do Web designers, cartoonists, TV producers—all “content creators” who regularly face the terrifying thought, “Well, I’ve gotta come up with something.”

If you’re not a content creator, wait a while. The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers: In a world where information is superabundant, unique and creative ideas are hot-ticket advantages both personally and professionally. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity. I’ve seen this shift among my life-coaching clients. For instance: Michaela develops financial-planning strategies for stay-at-home moms. Mary runs a long-distance mother’s support group via Skype. Alyssa’s innovative T-shirt designs keep selling, recession or no recession. The demand for creative thinking is both a challenge and an opportunity. It requires us to use more than the logical left-brain skills we learned in school. These days, we all need to get back into our right minds. Continue reading

I’ve found a home in you.

I awoke this morning with you on my mind…

memories of how we met and how someday we’ll part… how I knew you were born for me right from the start. our girls, the miraculous shared, the mundane, the madness, the sadness, our love for one another, the friendship we share… our joy, our sorrow, the tomorrows we’ll share…your hands, your feet, your skin, the way you danced in the rain for me, the memory of you washing my hair, the beach we share, our long walks there, your support when I’ve been ill and loved me still… the way you’ve loved our girls without reservation, your willingness always to do more without hesitation… our intimate moments, the worst of times, and everything in between… our I do’s, our I love you’s… your kindness, your touch, your acceptance, your love, your eyes, your legs your voice, your strength, your compassion, your childhood memories… our walks, our talks, our silence, the places we’ve been, the places we’ve yet to see …because of this and so much more… I’ve found a home in you.

Angela Soelzer Ragosa

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5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick

by Gregory Ciottiy


Illustration: Jenn Kwon

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Sobering words from Aristotle, and an astute reminder that success doesn’t come overnight. On the contrary, it’s discipline that gets you from Point A to the often elusive Point B.

In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways. To alleviate some of those troubles we can examine some academic research on motivation, discipline, and habit building, and break down their findings into actionable steps that any aspiring habit-builder can put into place. Continue reading

7 Types of Creative Block (and What to Do About Them)

by Mark McGuinness


Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

For a creative professional, a creative block isn’t just frustrating — it’s potentially career-damaging. When you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build your reputation, you can’t afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action.

But all creative blocks are not created equal. Different types of block require different solutions — something that’s easily forgotten when you’re feeling stuck. Here are seven of the most common types, and how to unblock them. Continue reading

Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

by Angela Soelzer Ragosa

162984075

Perfect Strangers

Me:

I wish you all the best!

Perfect stranger’s reply:

But you don’t even know me…

Me:

I really mean it; I wish you all the best…

Perfect stranger’s look:

Puzzled…

This exchange brought me to the page this morning. I wondered why this person seemed so unable to wrap his head around the concept of a perfect stranger wanting all the best for him… Was it not plausible in his mind for someone completely unfamiliar to him to feel true empathy and compassion for him? Intrigued, I suddenly found myself weighing all the possibilities… I began to question what happened in his life in order for such distrust to exist.

I wondered who this person is…

I wondered about the shoes he’s walked in and the miles he had walked in those shoes… I wondered what his parents were like and did they embrace him with a loving ease? I wondered how much praise he had received for a job-well-done, if in fact, he had ever received any praise at all… I wondered what made this skeptic tick… I wondered if he could feel and come to know the unconditional love & support for him from a perfect stranger…me. I wonder

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