As you can see, I’m not at my desk right now. I’m up in the tree (house). It’s where I do my best thinking—where ideas take root and branch out before I know it. It is here where the magic happens. Who knows what my imagination will come up with next. What little thought will get my attention and become worthy of words to express it. Thank you for going “out on a limb” with me to share the adventure of yet-to-be-determined motivating messages. Ta-da!
P.S. For those curious whether ta-da is a word, indeed it is according to Webster’s Dictionary. In the formal sense it means an imitative sound of the musical flourish or fanfare of a French Horn. In the more urban usage, it means a final proclamation, an exclamation to substitute a lot of words, especially when excited, happy, surprised. One source claims it was first used in 1926 although it doesn’t state how, and other info states its origins go further back with a connection to yoga and a certain pose called Ta-da-sana. Some consider it slang. I consider it the most magical verbal punctuation. On a grander scale, I like to think of life as one big ta-da.
Did curiosity really kill the cat? Probably not. Fueled by the desire to know more, some of the most intelligent and innovative figures of the past were insatiably curious—Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci. Today, countless others would agree that curiosity has a wide range of benefits from personal growth to professional success. Why be curious? Because curiosity keeps the mind active and strong, and it enhances focus, productivity, and motivation. It also boosts listening skills for better conversations and reduces...read more
You know what M & M’s are…and you’ve probably used a 3M product. How about the 4M’s formula for pandemic stress relief? During recent segments on the Today Show and MSNBC, psychiatrist Sue Varma presented a 15-minute mental health habit designed to motivate and energize caregivers with the practice of mindfulness, meaningful engagement, mastering and movement. Right now, we’re all caregivers—to ourselves and for our families. We’re also keeping an eye on neighbors, friends, and coworkers albeit at a distance. The stress of...read more
Hi there! While your regular columnist, Cheryl Russell, is out on one of her many walks above and beyond the usual, thought I would jump into her desk chair and share a few words on her laptop before she returns. Best if I start with an introduction: I’m Cheryl’s Laughter Yoga class T-shirt. Until this thing called sheltering, for more than 11 years, I was out like clockwork every Monday morning…that is me or one of my look-alike cousins. Now suddenly I’m stuck in her closet with no place to go. Getting pretty bored just hanging out. Bet you...read more
Think the genius genes passed you by? Think again claims Tina Seelig, internationally best-selling author of the book, InGenius. “Creativity is not magical, rather, it’s the result of a clear set of processes and conditions.” Historically, people looked outside themselves believing that goddesses, muses, and great writers were the rare ones gifted with creative inspiration. According to Seelig, “It’s an inside job to ignite inborn inventiveness.” Being creative is not just for artistic endeavors. In today’s world of record-speed advancements...read more
The heart is an amazing organ. It works on demand; that is, it adjusts itself to our body’s needs. During exercise or high stress, the heart rate increases and conversely it slows down in times of rest and relaxation. Depending on a person’s heartbeat rate, the average daily heartbeats range from 80,000—100,000. Heartbeats are also described as a personal metronome that nature gave us to mark time. Something to consider then is how we spend our daily allotment of heartbeats. Research suggests that each heartbeat reflects many complex...read more
What was I thinking weather-wise to plan a mountain getaway Thanksgiving weekend? When I booked the cozy cottage in Idyllwild, I believed our usual SoCal fair weather would prevail. Instead the 10-day forecast had a snow icon for the onset of my stay. The Airbnb hostess assured me that chains are easy to use and to see the opportunity as an adventure. My life has been one BIG adventure. Why was the idea of spending time in the snow tripping me up? Well, plans to be out hiking each day weren’t an option without proper gear. With a shift in...read more
Do you have winter on your holiday gift-giving list? While you may be questioning my reason for asking, I believe every season has its own unique characteristics and gifts. And, winter is no exception even though it can bring more challenges than other seasons typically do. For example, just as we reach for heavier clothing such as jackets, gloves and hats, some plants keep their dead leaves for insulation and use excess snow as a blanket to help withstand the cold. Though we may be miserable out in the freezing cold, exposure to cold winter...read more
Without the formality of a survey, think it’s safe to say that for most people, leftovers have a place at the table so to speak, especially at Thanksgiving. With all the preparation fuss over the turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, many look forward to transforming those ingredients into a mouth-watering sandwich the next day. Veggies and turkey broth are the makings of soups and traditional pies and other tasty desserts become perfect additions to late-night snacks or coffee breaks. Where would we be without leftovers? Prior to...read more
Well here goes…a column about age. Not aging. Why? Because this month I’m having one of those decade-changing birthdays and admittedly, I’m not feeling anywhere near this new number with a goose egg behind it. Recently I mentioned to someone that the first number of my soon-to-be “new age” is my favorite and luckiest. However, it’s the zero behind it that had me pondering. I loved the lighthearted response telling me to just put the zero first. Now, that’s my kind of problem solving! If age is “just a number” then why all the comebacks and...read more
Our bi-annual lunch date was well overdue. One thing and another just kept getting in the way of Bethany and I meeting at Café 50’s in Santa Monica. Even missed her 80th birthday party with friends. In August, we were finally face to face sharing delicious food and delightful conversation. That’s when Bethany planted a robust file in front of me filled with photos, poems, and articles about trees. You name it, she had it in there. What touched me the most as I went through it was her enthusiasm to share it with me. She knows my love for trees...read more