“Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration & you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.” — Francis Lucille

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Meerkat in Paris

Urbandon is sharing his photos of some beautiful street art in Paris, France!  
The meerkat is definitely my favorite ^_^ Click here to see more graffiti.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The REAL Motivation Behind Great Employees

I have noticed a definite and exciting increase of stepping away from the boxy corporate model towards improved, enlightened perhaps, ways of running a business.  This entertaining video illustrates (literally!) why more money doesn't always motivate employees to do better work - it actually makes things worse.  Thank you, finerminds, for sharing yet another wonderful discovery.

Please share your thoughts or personal experiences on this!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Spirit of Gift

We have learned much from the native Americans, the Australian Aboriginals, the indigenous people of India (adivasis) and the Bushmen of Africa. We have been guided by Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Mohammed and Mahavir. We have been inspired by Valmiki, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Jane Austen and many other writers. We have benefited from the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. 

They were not motivated by fame, fortune or power.  Buddha claimed no copyright on his teachings, and Shakespeare received no royalty cheques. We have been enchanted by music, paintings, architecture and crafts of many cultures, from time immemorial. We have received a treasure house of traditions as a free gift. In return we offer our work, our creativity, our arts and crafts, our agriculture and architecture as gifts to society to present and future generations. 

When we are motivated by this spirit then work is not a burden. It is not a duty. It is not a responsibility. We are not even the doers of our work. Work flows through us and not from us. We do not own our intellect, our creativity, or our skills. We have received them as a gift and grace. We pass them on as a gift and grace; it is like a river which keeps flowing. All the tributaries make the river great. We are the tributaries adding to the great river of time and culture; the river of humanity. 

If tributaries stop flowing into the river, if they become individualistic and egotistical, if they put terms and conditions before they join the rivers, they will dry and the rivers will dry too. To keep the rivers flowing all tributaries have to join in with joy and without conditions. In the same way, all individual arts, crafts and other creative activities make up the river of humanity. We need not hold back, we need not block the flow. This is unconditional union. This is the great principle of  'dana' (offering). This is how society and civilizations are replenished.

When we write a poem we make a gift. When we paint a picture or build a beautiful house we make a gift. When we grow flowers and cook food we make a gift. When all these activities are performed as sacred acts, they nourish society. When we are unselfconscious, unacquisitive, and act without desire for recognition or reward, when our work emerges from a pure heart like that of a child, our actions become a gift.
--Satish Kumar, in You Are, Therefore I am

Challenge yourself to give more gifts this week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Anger Management

Here is a great story from FierceBuddhist regarding anger management:

A Zen student came to Bankei and said, “Master, I have an ungovernable
temper. How can I cure it?”
“Show me this temper,” said Bankei, “it sounds fascinating.”
“I haven’t got it right now,” said the student, “so I can’t show it to
“Well then,” said Bankei, “bring it to me when you have it.”
“But I can’t bring it just when I happen to have it,” protested the
student. “It arises unexpectedly, and I would surely lose it before I
got it to you.”
“In that case,” said Bankei, “it cannot be part of your true nature.
If it were, you could show it to me at any time. When you were born
you did not have it–so it must have come to you from the outside. I
suggest that whenever it gets into you, you beat yourself with a stick
until the temper can’t stand it and runs away.”

It is our true nature to be joyful and loving and happy!  Don't let anger keep you from living life the best you can!  


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summertime! (haha a little random)

We've been spending our weekends in the pool :-)  My kids aren't taking official swim lessons right now, but it's important they are at least comfortable in the water.  C (age 6) just likes to watch or hang on to the ledge, while D (age 3) is a little fish and loves to be in the deeper water while I carry/drag him back and forth like a baby otter.  Here are some tips and fun suggestions for little kid pool time:

(courtesy of Cheerios and Lattes)

  • Blowing bubbles- The purpose behind teaching children to blow bubbles is to get them used to blowing air out of their mouths in the water rather than sucking water into their mouths. (I often wonder why we call it “blowing bubbles” because the act of blowing bubbles is really humming in the water.)
    • Begin, by working on teaching your child how to hum.
    • Next, teach your child to blow into a straw in their drink cup, having them notice the bubbles that form.
    • During the ‘Tub Swim Time’ give your child a straw and let them play around with blowing bubbles. Once your child understands that blowing air into the water creates bubbles you can remove the straw and teach them how to blow bubbles by placing their mouths into the water. Model for them how to blow bubbles and then stop and raise your mouth out of the water when you need a breath.
  • Holding on to the side- Place your baby’s hands on the side of the pool. Place one of you hands on top of both of their hands to secure them. Then, extend their legs with your other hand to give them the sensation of swimming on their tummy. You can also gradually move your hand securing theirs when they learn to hold onto the side by themselves. *You will later use this position to teach your child to swim, so this is a great activity to begin with young children to get them comfortable on their tummy.
Singing with Water Motions:  The best part about singing with water motions is that you can adjust or tweak any song/motions to best fit your child and their water comfort level. Here are just a few ideas to help you begin:
  • Wheels on the Bus: This is a favorite of most babies/toddlers! When you sing lines like: “up and down” raise and lower your child into and out of the water, “round and round” swim or gently swing your child around and around, etc. I have also been known to add verses or adjust a few to fit better with water motions (ex. “the wipers on the bus go back and forth, back and forth”).
  • Ring Around the Rosy: Have everyone stand in a circle and walk/swim around in a circle while swimming. When you get to “all fall down” practice lowering your child a little further into the water, or submercing your child (if you feel they are ready) under the water . You can also set your baby in a baby float and hold their hands as a family and swim around in a circle, tossing them up into the air (in their float) and letting them gently splash back down on “all fall down”.
  • Humpty Dumpty: This is a great song to sing as a ‘verbal entry’ activity. When you get to the words “have a great fall” gently pull or have your baby jump into your arms.
  • Motor Boat: (fun, active chant) “Motor boat, motor boat go real fast. Motor boat, motor boat go so slow. Motor boat, motor boat stop right now”
PLEASE always watch your child closely and never leave them unattended!  Have a wonderful, super fun summer!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wow, how cool is this?!?  Using empty plastic bottles as lightbulbs - recycling, reusing, solar power, reducing electric usage... awesome!  It would be great for so many areas without electricity!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Sorry I suddenly POOFed into thin air!  I had some things to deal with and didn't make blogging a priority.

But now I'm back, more positive and and dedicated and stronger than ever before!!!

I am still adjusting to a new schedule and trying to figure out the best time to blog (when my children are happy/asleep and I am awake!) so for now, explore some wonderful sites that inspire me :-)

1000 Awesome Things the author was thankful for, listed in a cool countdown

Even if you enjoy your career, gives great insight into goal setting

Like Facebook, but without the drama and ads!  And because practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25%

Thank you for reading my blog!  Light and Love Always!