Connect with self, Happiness, Learning, Mind, Nature, Uncategorized

Ask Me About Something Good

sunflowers

Several months ago, I took the picture above and shared it on Instagram with the caption: “This sunflower has a mind of its own and seems to be facing the wrong direction.” A non-conformist flower. Fun. At the same time, I had the nagging suspicion that there was something unnatural, something not-quite-right about that sunflower.

Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning that they move and grow in the direction of the sun. There is a theory that people are heliotropic too and that our natural tendency is to turn toward the light. We are drawn like a magnet toward positive energy. Except, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes, like our little sunflower friend, we turn our faces away from the light. We are lonely and confused.

Our focus determines the direction we grow. The path of our focus becomes the path of our future. One of the many ways we can shift our focus is through the questions we ask. By being mindful of the questions we ask of our selves and others, we can gently guide our attention in a more positive direction.  Questions are seldom neutral. The questions themselves influence our thinking and feeling about our responses. You can use questions to build from your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Why questions? Questions show that we are curious, open, and willing to learn. Sometimes we need more questions and fewer answers.

Think about the difference between asking, “What’s going to go wrong today?” and “What am I excited about today?” or “What can I learn today?” Where are the sparks, the glimmers of light that dance through our day?

At the end of the day, try asking your family (or yourself):

  • What was the best thing about your day?
  • What was funny or surprising today?
  • What was something exciting that happened today?
  • What did you learn today?
  • What made you happy today?

Try harvesting your day for its blessings and see if that changes anything.  See if it makes you a little more heliotropic. xx Tara

bits and bobs, Learning, Mind, Try this at home

Bits and Bobs- June

abstract water

Hello, beautiful friends. How is it June already? I found some interesting things around the internet that I wanted to share with you.

  • Ambassadors recommend one book to read before visiting their country.
  • English writer Raffaella Barker tells us how not to be an invisible woman.
  • The United States of Japan: Japan’s cultural influence on the U.S.
  • “Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark.” Wow. This segment on This American Life was so powerful.
  • Apparently June 1, 2018 was a special day and I missed a golden opportunity to celebrate. The date- 1/6/18 (using European conventions)- lines up with the first four digits of the golden ratio.
  • 25 Ways To Kill The Toxic Ego That Will Ruin Your Life. While I don’t love the violent rhetoric around ego-killing, I thought this piece had some interesting advice.
  • If, like me, you’re fascinated by the Pygmalion Effect and the way expectations influence performance, you’ll enjoy The Pygmalion Effect: Proving Them Right. Fun fact, I wrote a one act play in college that was basically a retelling of the Pygmalion story. Have you heard of Pygmalion’s opposite effect, the Golem Effect? Your expectations, high or low, can have a huge impact.
  • After reading my post on Perception, my wonderful friend KKaye sent me this fascinating piece on 200 Years of Blue. Explore the “cerulean splendor from Goethe, Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Rachel Carson, Toni Morrison, and other literary masters.”

P.S. I am looking for a fast-paced, binge-worthy, gripping podcast or audiobook. Basically something that will make me want to go on more walks and runs just so I have an excuse to listen. Nothing too violent and no true crime, please. Any suggestions?

Body, Connect with self, Home life, Learning, Mind

Shaking Off the Blues

clouds

This week wasn’t my best week ever. There was nothing truly wrong, just a series of little annoyances combined with runny noses and scratchy throats all around.  As a result, I felt pretty blah. We all have those moments from time to time, right? Some days, despite my best efforts to stay positive, I still feel a little yucky and it’s hard to shake it off.

Continue reading “Shaking Off the Blues”