If “Professional Blogger” were a job title, Monica would claim it. She’s loves to write about the environment, spirituality, women’s issues and parenting (most notably for Care2.com, OwningPink.com, and FemmeTales.com) She is the Spiritual Columnist for FemCentral.com and finishing the final copy edit of her novel, The Birthing Grounds. Here are her good things.
Good things to read.
Body language- Our bodies do not lie. Ever. Not only can we pick up the truth in someone else’s body language but in your own. Like a car engine, I regularly run a diagnostic check on my physical body each day. It takes only a few seconds and will improve your health, energy and overall awareness. Close your eyes, take a few deep breathes, relax your shoulders and do a cat stretch. Now take note of the sensations flowing through your body. Is anything tight, hot, itchy, numb or in pain? If there is anything negative or uncomfortable imagine letting it go. Allow it to slip from your body as if you were taking off a black coat. If it persists, don’t ignore it. Your body may be sending you a signal that something is wrong.
Heron Dance– Described as “The art and words of wild rivers, wild nature and the Tao”. My parents got me hooked on this nonprofit literary journal and art studio in 1994. Heron Dance was created by artist Roderick Maclver, who touches thousands with his nature inspired art, poetry, and introspective musings. Rod regularly interviews and quotes many of the greatest philosophers, artists and explorers of our time. He’s a man trying to connect to life’s flow through nature, relationships and art. I particularly love and recommend his daily A Pause for Beauty emails.
Old Diaries- They remind us that today’s mountain is tomorrow’s mole hill; today’s crisis is tomorrow’s growth curve. There is nothing like the day-to-day trials of our ancestors to make us appreciate how much life has changed. Reading about the hours it took Great Grandma Bertha to do the wash makes you want to kiss your washer. Knowing Great Grandpap left his kids to manage the farm for five weeks while he drove the cattle eases the guilt off your latchkey kid situation. The personal stories of the past can whitewash our perspective on the present.
Good things to watch.
People- Children playing, dogs wrestling, gentleman playing chess, butterflies feeding: life is motion. As a writer, I appreciate the power of observation. Watching two elderly girlfriends on a park bench reminds me to call my lifelong best friend. The squirrel stealing birdseed reminds me to find opportunities in unlikely places. Toddlers running in a fountain conveys the power of fun. Our species is fortunate; we don’t have to experience every situation ourselves to obtain value from it. Being a witness is enough.
The Universe– or any other T.V. program that will take you a few galaxies beyond your understanding. Who cares if you don’t have a full understanding of astrophysics, you’ll gain an appreciation for how small we are in this grand Universe, and yet, how rare and perfectly positioned the Earth is for life. One hair closer to the sun, one percentage point less oxygen in the atmosphere, one more degree of gravity and YOU would not be here today. It’s a good thing to be in a state of awe on a weekly basis.
Patterns- Being consciously aware of our life gives us the power to see, break or strengthen the patterns forming within it. When the same events begin to play out in my life, but my responses to them change, I know I have grown. Patterns are an opportunity to learn something new. If the same undesired pattern keeps playing out in your life, you can bet an alternative action will be required to break it but you have to SEE the pattern before you can cut the threads.
Good things to use.
Patio decks- Eating, reading, writing, drinks, visiting, thinking: it doesn’t matter much what you do on it, just get a seat. Years ago I found the energy of our family dinners was more relaxed and cheerful when we ate outside. Since then I strive to have as many meals on our patio as we can. It’s easy to forget that drywall is not a natural setting. The blue sky, fresh air, curious birds, creeping spiders, twirling seeds, potted plants and towering trees make for a relaxing space. Never give up a seat on the deck!
Optical Transformers- Cameras, binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, kaleidoscopes: actively use any tool that will alter your view of the world. A camera is a perspective changer. Forget the point and shoot, challenge yourself look at your surroundings in a new way. Take pictures of the textures you encounter in a work day. Shoot images of anything smaller than your palm. Take shots of the color purple. Try Vine and see what kind of magic you can capture in a 6 second video. Check out an eclipse. Study an ant pile.
Pinterest- Since social media is an unspoken requirement for writers, I’ve become proficient on a number of sites. My best advice is to stick to the sites that bring you enjoyment. What I love about Pinterest is its feel good energy. There are no “this dog will die if you don’t adopt it now” stories. No drama. No one complaining about their Big Mac. Pinterest shares the best of the human experience in bright, colorful pictures. It’s a line up of the best recipes, decoration, styles, nature scenes, cities, art, motivational quotes, crafts and animals. This is my go-to site while I’m waiting on the grocery store clerk, the bank teller, my kids and spouse. It’s also a great way to meet others who share your same interests.