Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What If?

My friend, Maegan, sent me a list of a few famous What If's. I thought they'd be fun to share:
What if... ?

"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."                   -- Eden Phillpotts 

"What if you were to pretend that you were healthy, wealthy and wise? What if you were to decide to be happy, no matter what else was happening?

Take the power of ‘what if...’ seriously, and you will grasp the power to create a world of your own design. Everything, EVERYTHING begins in the imagination. Put it to work constructively for you."   Unknown

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes."                   -- William James 

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."                   -- Lewis Carroll

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Animated imagination

I am looking forward  to baby sitting tonight! There's nothing I like more than coming up with fun things to do, and stories to create.

I was thinking I'd buy a pulley and some rope and we'd try sending favourite toys, stuffies, and dolls through space on their own zip line. Of course, the temptation is there for us to make one for ourselves, but since we'll be playing inside, we'll have to use our inside imaginations.

What I'm aching to try is to make an animation like Ms. Beveridge has in her incredible video. Maybe we'll be inspired by one of the stuffies to animate his/her likeness on a bike tire...such anticipation my day will fly by!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Quote

I was watching reruns of Bones, one of my fave TV shows, and a character, the Watcher, delivered this in a monologue.

“There is an infinite thrumming, unseen web that joins everything. Everything is connected to everything else. This fact is nearly impossible for us to grasp because we are just mollusks, shut up tight at the bottom of a dark, cold ocean trying to make sense of stars we cannot even see. I challenge everything because when I do a quick bolt of electricity jolts through between two elements that otherwise seems unconnected. You call it paranoia, I call it epiphany."

Love it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pay It Forward for Yourself

It's a great book to work through with a partner or close friend. Thanks to Angela for recommending it to me
More on the power of thought, not in a "the Secret" kind of nebulous way, but in a "you are what you think" or "you become what you believe" kind of way.

In her book You can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay writes that self criticism will only  perpetuate negative feeling and behaviour. She says, "The place to put the mental energy is into releasing the old and creating a new thought pattern." She suggests constructing affirmations that counter your negative thought. Affirmations are a way of reprogramming your brain's thinking tracks. Affirmations are a way of being pro-active as well as reactive to negative thought patterns.

I really like Hay's encouragement to focus on what you wish to retain in your life as constructive and what you are willing to release as destructive. An example of an affirmation she gives, "I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it."

I found it helpful to make a list last year of the things I wanted to release and retain as I entered 2011.
Different from a New Year's resolution, but with the same intention for positive change. I was amazed, looking at my list in April, how I'd released all already! Incredibly potent the brain is.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thoughts on Thoughts

How to manage your thoughts?
  1. Notice them: see if they are constructive or destructive
  2. If destructive, call that thought back, rework it, and send a constructive version back out
Dr. Badri Rickhi MB, BS, FRCP out of Calgary researched the effects of meditation on controlling emotional states. Dr. Rickhi proposed that monitoring thought was crucial to healthy emotions. In his 8-week programme teaching spiritual principles and practices to counter unipolar depression, he talks about "calling back" the energy of a negative thought. He says we awaken each day with only so much energy, so we must reclaim and recycle that which was squandered in destructive thought.
Dr. Rickhi & Dr. Hal receiving Dr. Rogers $250,000 award

Simple as that. Notice the thought. Call back the destructive ones. Upcycle the negative and send it out.
You don't cancel the thought so much as flip it around. Be purposeful with your thinking. Not purposempty.

The abstract from Rickhi's study may be found here. Worth a read--especially if you find yourself in a rut of negativity. Good for athletes and children. Good practice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vulnerability & Safety

Parents yearn for children to be safe. Safe in a world where uncertainty hides under every bed and evil crouches behind each and every closet door. We teach our kids how to manage volumes of information, how to embrace diversity, how to extend empathy and compassion to others. But we equip our children little to fight the invisible monster that is the truest threat--their own thoughts. The incessant bombardment of  thoughts in our heads which measure us as lacking or adequate, weak or powerful, broken or brilliant attack us or fortify us. It is our thoughts which rule us and our place in the world more certainly than any learning we might aquire.

I have been working on the Maverick Project, assembling the stories of people who have crafted original lives for themselves, because I believed that they could be talismans of what is possible for those just starting to carve their trail through the forest of possibilities. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe mavericks' tales don't illuminate the way through darkness, but rather obfuscate the truth. 

Our kids are most vulnerable when they leave school "ready" to take on the world. In fact, each of us is most vulnerable when one foot is in the old world, and one in the new. Transitions are where we need to watch that the flying monkeys of doubt don't come and smother our babies in the night. Our thoughts can give us wings or paralyze us. Our thoughts can be seeds or graves.
Julian Barnes photo by Luke MacGregor/Reuters

On CBC's  Writers & Company (at @43:05min),  Man Booker Prize winner, Julian Barnes, recalled his time at Oxford, "There is a vulnerability at that age when you go out into life for the first time, when you leave behind the institutions where rules and companionship and everything protect you...I remember when I was a student, there was always one or two students a year who would kill themselves and it always came as a surprise. And yet,  it shouldn't have done."

Our kids walk a slackline strung between worlds. Have they hope, confidence and helpful self talk as their companions? Or have they doubt, rampant fear, and self blame or loathing? We are all "students" transitioning through different stages. We've never been exactly "here" before with this set of experiences, skills, knowledge and awareness What do we believe to be true? What ruts have our thoughts worn into the road ahead? I have to be constantly vigilant that my thoughts are creative and buoyant, focused on possibility finding rather than doubting and sinking. As they say, "Think you can or think you can't and either way you'll be right". We each need to teach and model possibility thinking. How do you do that?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Comfort Food

I recently moved into a new place with a GREAT kitchen. It's moved me to cook. My friend Vicki called me and we were talking about chicken pot pies. I was inspired. Only thing, I had no wheat flour, butter or lard for the crust, and no milk or cream for the sauce.

Instead I used some homemade Boursin (soft cheese) for the fat mixed with rice flour for the crust. Tasted very cheesey & peppery. Then I ground up some roasted root veggies along with white wine, chicken stock and water to make the sauce, flavouring it with thyme and rosemary. I added in remnants from a roasted chicken, frozen peas, onion and garlic, and shazam! I had me a chicken pie. It was soooo delicious!

Why do I mention it here? Because my intention was to make a chicken pie and my momentum was not stopped by an idea of what "perfect" ingredients were in order to create the vision in my head. Sometimes we have to create using what we have, and in so doing, find a new and better way.