"I recently read an article by Trudy Boyle entitled The Art of Moodling. Here is an excerpt – “I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged, damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.” - Poet May Sarton Source: Journal of a Solitude on the Importance of Rest"
There is a lot to her entire piece, but my big take away is about giving ourselves permission to not be productive or doing things all the time. The messages I was getting for most of my life were there is always something that needs to be done whether work related or household chores. The question is, how is that good for us? Maybe not so much.
Taking a day or a few hours for a walk in nature, having a favorite cup of tea or coffee while pondering the wonders of the universe, reading something just for fun, etc., etc., etc.
I speak of this as it applies big time to myself. Due to those messages I referred to, I have found it difficult to take a day to do nothing of consequence other than enjoyment. Whenever there is a day with seemingly nothing needing to be done, I don’t fully flow with it. In the back of my mind is the thought, I can’t just do nothing. There must be something around here I can tend to.
Trudy’s article seemed to give me the permission to give myself permission to spend the day moodling or noodling (my word). Moodling activities can be rejuvenating, invigorating, fun, joyful, healing. They can give us a burst of vitality and inspiration.
To paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, it might be time to go along doing nothing, listening to the things we cannot hear, noticing new things and not bothering or bothering if we choose. Really, it’s good for us.
Comments are welcome.
After listening to my morning dose of news – some Canadian, some U.S. some world -my thought was, “Good grief! What has happened to us (meaning the universal us)? While it seems that parts of the world have hit all time lows, there is still goodness if we notice. So many questions ran through my mind. What can be done? How can some of the atrocities be fixed? What can one person do? Then a number of “what ifs” occurred to me.
What if people decided to live true to their values and virtues? What if these values included tolerance, respect, kindness, compassion, good will, peace, gratitude, helping others? What difference could it make if only one person or a small group of people lived that way? What if living that way activated the Butterfly Effect? A man named Fichte in 1800 wrote,
“You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.” So, then, what if we change the question from what if to “why not?”
Comments are welcomed.
Have you ever considered the usefulness of a pause? That pause can come in many forms and sizes. They may be taking a break from a busy, stressful schedule or as big as a life changing event like the pandemic. How we perceive, manage, deal with these “pauses” from our usual lives is the point. What if we looked at these disruptions in our lives through a different lens, from a different perspective? We might be able to see the lessons, the positive, the good that is waiting for us to notice beneath the surface of immediate reactions. When life happens, when stuff happens, it just might be the time for a useful pause.
“As the earth tilts toward the sun, in the northern hemisphere at least, the daffodils are blooming and there’s a freshness in the air. It feels natural to fling open the windows, let in some fresh air—and maybe vacuum under the rugs. This “feeling” is part of a worldwide phenomenon known as spring cleaning. With roots that trail through neurochemistry, religion, spirituality, and healthy living, spring cleaning is a popular practice that, given its prevalence, could even be considered a global rite.
Biology may play a role in the human urge to spring clean. During darker winter months, the body produces more melatonin, a hormone that increases sleepiness. As days lengthen, this natural lethargy lessens and we literally feel “lighter.” With greater energy, we're more likely to want to clean our homes.”
There is much more we can learn about spring cleaning which does go back to biblical times. Various cultures throughout the world have their own unique traditions for this annual custom.
Besides opening the windows, sweeping out the dust, decluttering, I find it also a good time to clean out some bad habits, negative thoughts and concepts that keep us in a less than desirable state.
A.A. Milne noted a plus side of being disorderly is making exciting discoveries when decluttering. Those “exciting discoveries” can be a form of noticing new things . Noticing new things leads to mindfulness and being in the present. So many pluses to the spring cleaning ritual. Guess I’d better get out the broom and vacuum and get going.
Comments are welcomed.
You will not believe this. I don’t believe it myself. Yet, there are times the unbelievable, the inexplicable occur. Perhaps there was a wrinkle in time. When there is a wrinkle in time anything is possible. Here’s what happened. It was Saturday before Easter Sunday and I was absorbed working on the NY Times spelling bee. Suddenly the room felt strange. I looked around and there before me was what seemed like an image of a large rabbit. My first thought was that very old movie with James Stewart and Harvey the 6 foot rabbit or Pooka. Only the image was not Harvey and it was the present. I know I have a bit of Pandemic Stress Disorder, but this was not that. Or was it? Things got even more weird when the oversized rabbit spoke to me.
Get this. He wanted me to help the Easter Bunny. That’s just crazy. I’m not hopping down the bunny trail with the Easter Bunny. That’s beyond crazy.
The very large rabbit or Pooka or hallucination laughed and said there is another mission for me. I wondered if this mission, should I decide to accept it, would exhibit some tangible proof of its reality. I wondered if I chose not to accept, would that Pooka thing disavow any knowledge of the mission and self-destruct in 5 seconds? That would be cool.
I did some quick thinking and said, “Mr. Rabbit or Pooka or Hallucination, I am very flattered that you think I am worthy of assisting the Easter Bunny with whatever. I certainly want children to be full of smiles and joy Easter Sunday. However, I must respectfully decline.” He accepted my decision, tipped his hat (yes, he wore a delightfully flamboyant Easter topper) and vanished.
I climbed out of that originally designed rabbit hole and resumed working on the spelling bee.
“Today was fun. Fun is good. Tomorrow is another one.” Dr. Seuss
Comments are welcomed.
The following excerpt by Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening was recently posted in the ToDo Institute’s newsletter. Felt it was worth a share.
All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can't see.
Comments are welcomed.
According to meteorology, astrology and the calendar, we are in Spring. However, the weather over the past few days would make you believe otherwise. Still it is fun to dream on Spring and all the magnificent colors that sprout, bloom and saturate our senses. I await the daffodil yellow, the cerulean sky, the grassy green, cherry blossom pink, fuzzy wuzzy brown tree bark to burst into reality . Then my thoughts totally went to Crayola crayons, the amazing dream sticks. They come in a kaleidoscope of 120 awesome colors.
These 120 colors include 23 reds, 20 greens, 19 blues, 16 purples, 14 oranges, 11 browns, 8 yellows, 2 grays, 2 coppers, 2 blacks, 1 white, 1 gold and 1 silver. Who knew?
Here are a couple of other interesting bits of Crayola trivia. For instance, the first box of Crayola crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel and included the same colors available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.
The use of wax as an artist's material goes back to the golden age of Greek art.... Sometime during the fifteenth century, artists began to mold pigments and binders into colored sticks or "crayons." The name Crayola was coined by Alice Binney, wife of company founder Edwin, and a former school teacher. She combined the words craie, which is French for chalk, and ola, for oleaginous, because crayons are made from petroleum based paraffin.
What caught my fancy thinking about crayons this time is the names of the colors. Some of the more pizzazzy names are atomic orange, battery charged blue, glitzy gold, banana mania, jazzberry jam, laser lemon, scream green, purple pizzazz, razzle dazzle rose, blast off bronze, wild watermelon. Then I decided it would be fun to come up with a few of my own: Flirtacious Fuchsia, Capricious Pink, Garrolous Green, Rapscallion Red, Saffron Sunrise, Sterling Silver, Chocolate Mousse, Mirthful Mauve, Bibbity Bobbity Blue, Mint Julep, Fandango Mango.
Crayons can be quite magical. How else can you have a magenta sky with rainbow colored daisies growing among gold and silver blades of grass? There is even an art to coloring outside of the lines. We are never too old for crayons. With some paper, a box of crayons and no rules we can create anything.
Comments are welcomed.
About 25 years ago Robert Fulghum’s book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten became a best seller. The lessons he sited are inter-generational. They still hold value today. In fact, considering the state of our world, those lessons just might be worth revisiting. Following is an excerpt by Fulghum.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are—when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
Comments are welcomed.