Why You Should Say Yes to Red Umbrella Days

Why You Should Say Yes to Red Umbrella Days

When local photographer, Pete Saloutos, invited me to model for a yoga shoot a few years ago, I had no idea that it would lead to a dear friendship and a regular gig moonlighting as a model. 

In fact, I was pretty sure that it would lead to a polite and potentially embarrassing encounter with a photographer who would figure out in short order that I was not really worth his time and talent.

Not because I’m insecure about my self-worth or my appearance. I’m actually surprisingly comfortable and content in my own skin. I just didn’t think of myself as a model, a word I grew up associating with the youthful, long, lean, leggy, unattainably attractive other-than-me-ness of those paid to influence cosmetic and fashion trends usually irrelevant to my personal brand of quirkiness...

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A Prescription for Happiness: Seven Steps...

A Prescription for Happiness: Seven Steps...

If you could change your life for the better in seven weeks by following seven steps, wouldn’t you want to do so?  Here, for those of you who haven’t already discovered these, are seven things that you can do to experience more happiness in your life.  Do these for seven weeks, and see how your life changes for the better.  Better yet, let me know how your life changes—I would love to hear your stories...

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Finding Our Way Through

Finding Our Way Through

If there was a conversation that could begin to ease all sufferingwithin yourself, within others, and within the worldwouldn't you want to join that conversation? Earlier this year, I received an invitation to work with Ashley Cooper and Melanie Wroe to produce aguide for Seeds of Compassion, an initiative to nurture kindness and compassion in the world.  We were asked to create a simple process that anyone could use to engage in meaningful conversation about compassionwhat it means, what it looks like, and how we can embody it more fully in our world.

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The Bright Door

The Bright Door

Another marvelous post entitled "The Source of Rainbows" by Bob Brady at PureLand Mountain...

"It comes to me in the knife-edge cold of the winter night, out here on the deck for one last look at the stars before sleep, that what we all need, what we all seek in the streets and rooms, meadows and museums of our ways, is a place to wonder. Not to be taught, but to wonder...

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Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

When I was a child living abroad, my birthday almost always coincided with a visit to my mother’s family in the States, which meant that any friends I had the good fortune to have were almost always an ocean away on my birthday.  Every year, my mother whose parents bestowed upon her the blessing of being raised her entire pre-adult life in a charming seaside New England town—rather than the altogether different blessing bestowed upon me of vagabonding around the globe—would invite the children of her childhood friends to gather at our lake cottage for my birthday.  It was for her, I believe, an attempt to ensure that I felt celebrated on my birthday and continue the tradition of her upbringing, which involved summer birthday celebrations with friends at the lake...

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Conspicuous Contentment

Conspicuous Contentment

I like stuff as much as the next person, maybe more than some, definitely less than many, but lately I've been wondering what it would be like to live in a culture of conspicuous contentment rather than conspicuous consumption.

At the heart of the average American discontent is often an unquenchable desire for more—to have more, do more, be more. We want more money, more time, more meaning, more connection. We want more of what matters to us—and of course, what matters is often in flux. But the wanting—well, that seems to be constant...   

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The Answers to our Prayers

The Answers to our Prayers

About seven years ago, on my daily commute, I passed a woman from my neighborhood walking her dog. As our paths crossed on the sidewalk, I smiled and said, "hello." She glared at me and said nothing. I figured that she was just having a bad day, and let it passuntil the next day, when the same thing happened. I smiled and said hello.  She glared at me and said nothing. 

Shocked and a little miffed by her obvious lack of common courtesy, I carried that glare and the self-righteousness it inspired within me most of the day...

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An Amazing Place to Be...

An Amazing Place to Be...

On the way home from the airport the other day, my cabdriver, a charming man from Ethiopia, asked me where I'm from--a seemingly simple question for which a suitably simple answer still eludes me. Where am I from? My birthplace? My heritage? My nation? My current place of residence? Born in Rhode Island, the child of an American mother and European father, living abroad most of my childhood, moving frequently as an adult, and currently anchored on Bainbridge Island, I often feel as if I'm from nowhere and everywhere...

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Stillness in Motion

Stillness in Motion

Training began with children who were taught to sit still and enjoy it. They were taught to use their organs of smell, to look when there was apparently nothing to see, and to listen intently when all seemingly was quiet. A child that cannot sit still is a half-developed child.

Standing Bear, Lakota Indian Chief

I read this quote years ago, and have recalled it often in idle moments, sometimes as a reminder to quell mindless doing...sometimes as an invitation to rejoice in endless being. Sometimes, I just wonder what Standing Bear would say about a world filled with so many half-developed adults...

 

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