Joy is the most enduring cosmetic

“Joy is the most enduring cosmetic.”

—Chip Conley, American hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker

Image from Unsplash by Ian E.

I am a people watcher. How about you? Although I usually look at the whole person, recently I’ve paid far more attention to people’s faces. Beyond features of good bone structure and symmetry, I pay particular attention to their eyes. Perhaps it’s the two years of mask wearing that has us pay closer attention to these windows on how people are feeling to check in with each other.

EXERCISE:

Who are the most joyful people in your life? How can you increase your engagement with them to get a bit more of this enduring cosmetic on yourself? A good place to start is with young children.

I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.

“I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Image from Unsplash by Matheus Ferrero

Who are the people in your life that you can always count on? Those special folks who are there in both good and bad times with just the right amount of support to aid you in your efforts? What qualities do you look for in them, and how do you stack up, given these criteria?

It is fairly rare to have a large list of such individuals in our lives. One way to attract more of these special people is to be one yourself.

EXERCISE:

Who are the people in your life that are counting on you to always do your best? What specific actions are required of you today to not let them down?

The overtrained intellect becomes a buffer from experience

“The over-trained intellect becomes a buffer from experience.”

— Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Alex Block

Who do you know named Sheldon? If you are like me, this list is either small or without any members. I do, however, have a Sheldon that I’ve grown fond of over the years from the TV shows The Big Bang Theory, and more recently the spin off Young Sheldon.

What I find so endearing is how both young and older Sheldon wrestle with their over-trained intellects to dip their inexperienced toes into the waters of everyday life. Their awkward efforts and reluctant “lessons learned” ring amusingly true as we, too, look at our own uncomfortable and often clumsy missteps in life.

EXERCISE:

Where have you withdrawn a bit from the world of experience into the relative safety of intellectual pursuits? What other activities are you using to buffer yourself from living a larger and perhaps louder life?

Reflect on the ways you offer support to others

Reflect on the ways you offer support to others.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Duy Pham

Wendy and I recently spent about a month in Pembroke Pines, Florida, within a community called Century Village. My mom and dad retired there over 25 years ago and loved their active lifestyle with many wonderful people. It’s now our turn to begin our own snow-birding lifestyle, to ease back on our work and enjoy the fruits of our labors.

This slower and more mindful pace has given me the time to observe the people in this community more closely and carefully. Noticing the many ways these welcoming and wonderful people support and celebrate their lives together is very satisfying, like a warm homecoming.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the ways you see people supporting one another in your various communities? What are the ways you can acknowledge this support and offer your own generous deposits to enrich the life of others?

Friday Review: Family

Friday Review: Family

What does “Family” mean to you? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

 

 

 

 

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

 

 

 

“Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.”

 

 

 

The story you tell about yourself is your greatest work of art

“The story you tell about yourself is your greatest work of art.”

Tara Conklin, NYT Best-selling Author

Image from Unsplash by Natalia Yakovleva

Most of us have at least a handful of stories we repeatedly tell ourselves and others.

They may be tales of wit, humor, insights, adventures, and accomplishment, but they are all reruns, and rarely have much to add to our todays.

Although many are comforting and familiar, they rarely move us forward in any significant way and can often limit us from evolving and becoming an even better version of ourselves.

EXERCISE:

What new and improved stories can and will you write with this day to make it a more beautiful masterpiece?

Stories are like little time capsules

“Stories are like little time capsules. They carry pieces of truth and meaning over time.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Reuben Juarez

How old are you? Imagine you have a box containing a time capsule describing each year of your life. They contain listings of the people in your world and a vivid description of the events and stories you captured that year.

Which of those stories carried pieces of truth and meaning that still resonate for your today? How did these stories shape your personality, character, and the core values that continue to guide you?

What stories are you writing these days that you will find the next time you open capsules years from now?

EXERCISE:

Create your own time capsule over the coming weeks or months. Capture in words and Images the pieces of truth and meaning that influence you the most.

Creativity doesn’t wait for the perfect moment

“Creativity doesn’t wait for the perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.”

Bruce Garrabrandt, Artist, Author, Speaker   

Image from Unsplash by Alice Dietrich

Where in your life do you experience the most creativity? Where are you and what are you doing during these special moments? I tend to experience many of these moments when I am cooking, coaching, and more recently, when playing with my grandchildren.

Adapting a recipe with new ingredients and spices, engaging in deep dialogue, and being open and playful during seemingly ordinary moments often generates both positive results and delight.  

Creative sparks are almost always the outcome of various elements coming together in new and different ways.

EXERCISE:

How can you combine seemingly ordinary moments and life ingredients into more creative ones? 

Consider welcoming other cooks into your kitchen to create something tasty today.

What small achievements can you celebrate today

What small achievements can you celebrate today? How?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

What make a good day a good day? How important is it for you to achieve something of great significance to place a gold star or even a check mark in the box for the day?

If our accomplishments need a certain critical mass each day, most of our calendars will appear a bit empty. Take a few hints from clever parenting charts, on which young children get stickers for eating their vegetables, putting away their toys, brushing their teeth, potty training, or simply for saying please and thank you.

EXERCISE:

What small achievements do you tend to overlook on a typical day?

In what ways can you acknowledge your efforts and progress today, and add a few more gold stars and happy faces to your calendar?