“When you see somebody taking a photo of their friends, offer to take the shot for them so that they can be in the picture.”
—David Perell, writer, podcaster, and writing instructor
Image from Unsplash by Cristina Zaragoza
With the availability of better and better smart phones, I have been seeing far fewer actual cameras.
The days of family portraits seem like a thing of the past. Except for weddings and other significant celebrations, our cell phones do a pretty good job.
To be included in photos with our friends many folks lean on a selfie strategy. Even with very long arms and those awkward selfie sticks, the results can often fall short.
How would offering to take a photo for others or asking for some assistance yourself create even better memories with family and friends over the holidays and in the coming year?
Veterans Day 2022
Image from Unsplash by Sir Manuel
Who among you—or who do you know—who has served in the military? Today is Veteran’s day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring the veterans with us right now. Most of us have celebrated it our entire lives, but it was not originally so.
This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service in World War I, and was originally called Armistice Day—in honor of the official signing of the Armistice that ended “The War to End all Wars,” at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1954, it was changed to Veterans Day to account for all veterans, in all wars.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has declared “honor” as the theme for the celebrations this year. Honor reflects the military value and tradition of answering the call to duty.
My family and I honor all those across this great land who have served our country, and ask that you will, as well.
Who can you reach out today to a friend, neighbor, or family member who has served? Let them know that today you are grateful for them and their service to the country.
Aging mindfully and gracefully involves embracing the law of impermanence. Each thought, emotion, and sensation can be a portal to all kinds of new discoveries.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
It’s funny the experiences we store in our memories.
One that stands out for me is getting my first-grade report card from Mrs. Gray. I received an “E” in work habits with the comment Barry is a nice boy but he needs to pay closer attention. Distractability seemed to follow me and other students—mostly boys—throughout grade school, until I applied to my dad’s alma mater, Central High School. I distinctly remember buckling down to be eventually accepted, which made my dad very proud.
At that time in my life, I realized being mindful and focused was a source of accomplishing the things I desired. What has been your experience of the passage of time?
To what degree have you embraced the law of impermanence over the years? How is the aging process and your mindfulness efforts opening new portals of discovery?
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
—John Muir, 18th Century Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher
Wendy, Ella, Barry, and Weston
For most of my life, my family has spent at least one week in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It’s a place I experienced as an infant and camper — each summer until I was eleven — when the camp was purchased by a development company.
This year our daughter Rachel and her two children — Weston and Ella — came along.
Our week included plenty of swimming, walks, playground adventures and even a snake and animal farm.
Sharing the star-filled skies, hearing crickets chirping, and the sounds and smells of fresh air after a rainstorm are some of my happiest moments.
Where and when have you traveled dirt paths in your life?
Where and how can you bring even more of the natural world into your life?
“When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing to say.”
Image from Unsplash by Hadija Saidi
Or maybe it does.
Most of us have had the experience of meeting with an old friend or former schoolmate, in which the stories and discussions reoccur like Groundhog Day. It’s like a record that keeps skipping back to play the same old tunes.
In such situations, we often tune things out and feel our lives wasting away because we’ve already been there and done that.
Alternatively, what if the lessons of the past were never fully learned and they present themselves again, hoping you have new lenses to see what you may have missed on the first, second, or third go-around?
Discovering what’s new might actually be more up to you than what appears frozen in time.
What would be the value of not always using your caller ID when you see a call from your past? How might you listen differently to discover new value in their messages?
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
—Nelson Mandela, late S. African political leader and philanthropist
Image from Unsplash by Meg Boulden
Last month Wendy and I had dinner with a long-lost friend — Mitchell, and his wife Terry. Mitchell and I were schoolmates from first grade through high school.
Although many of the stories we held from so long ago have not changed, we found great pleasure exploring how we have both grown and altered in pursuing our individual paths.
Our discussion reminded me of visiting my grade school and former teachers when I was a college freshman. I was amazed at how small the desks, hallways, and students were.
Select and read one of your favorite books from your youth. Note your thoughts, feelings, and emotions regarding how you have growth and altered into the person you are today.
“Always have old memories and young hopes.”
—Arsene Houssaye, 17th century French novelist
Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson
We are moving. After 34 years in beautiful Michigan, we are moving back to our hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be closer to family.
Recently, our two adult children — Daniel, 35, and Rachel, 33 — came to Wendy and my rescue for a week, helping us stage our home for sale. In the basement, we discovered tons of memories in the form of old toys, keepsakes, and virtually every homework assignment, report card, dance costume, and trophy they left behind.
Although a tear or two was shed reminiscing about the good times together, that week was filled with much youthful hope for the next phases of our lives.
Take some time this week to engage your family and friends in a trip down memory lane to rekindle some of your best times.
Open a dialogue about your individual and collective hopes for the future, which will provide you more happy times to reminisce over in the years ahead.
“Love, like the ocean, continues beyond the horizon. And life, like the sun, shines where we cannot see.”
Image from Unsplash by Aaron Doucett
A friend and client named Doug sent me today’s quote in a condolence card upon the passing of my father, Marvin, in early March.
Since my dad’s passing after a remarkable 94 years, I have noticed many significant signs that it was only his body that died. His spirit and soul are still very present beyond the horizon we can see with our mortal capacities.
As I was preparing my breakfast the day after Dad died, I looked out the window and saw a cardinal.
I’ve been told that when God sends a cardinal, it’s a visitor from heaven. Cardinals appear when loved ones are near. When you keep seeing a certain type of bird, it is usually a heaven-sent messenger of love for you. `
Take some time today to reflect on some of the important people in your life who have passed away. Note examples of how they continue to shine and show their love in your life.
Please reply to this post if you wish to share your own perspective and experiences.
“A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful.”
Image from Unsplash by Charisse Kenion
I’d like to take you on a trip back in time.
After you read this post, close your eyes and reflect back on your life. Go back as far as you can to those memorable and meaningful moments, starting with your days as a child and all the way up to today. Take your time and visualize yourself and those who shared the moments with you.
Exploring old photo albums, yearbooks, and social media images and posts can expand your recollections.
Which events do you consider to be of greatest significance? What are the defining moments that shaped your values, beliefs, and character to have you become the person you are today?
How can and will you more consciously capture and appreciate more memorable and meaningful moments as you head into the days, weeks, and years that lie ahead?