Ephemeral Art

 
This summer, people started building crazy cairns (rock piles that mark a trail) all along the bike trails in the mountain foothills above my home.

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At first they would simply gather rocks and stack them tall; then as months wore on, they grew more elaborate. I started adding sticks for arms and turning them into cairn men. Sometimes others would remove the sticks or knock over the piles, but someone else would always rebuild them.

RightNowCairnNow summer has passed, most of the leaves have dried up and dropped from the sky, and despite a long, gorgeous autumn, the snow can’t be too far away. I’ll still run the trails, but the cold won’t let me linger the way I’ve enjoyed for so many months.

Thanks to the change of seasons, every time I pass a cairn, I think about how ephemeral this world is – nothing is built to last. The only thing that will ever endure is the fleeting moment of “now,” and that truth ought to affect your perspective and priorities. Continue reading “Ephemeral Art”

Heal Your Mind

HealYourselfCover2Heal Your EmotionsUPDATE: the book is finished and you can find it here: Heal Your Emotions

I’ve been working on writing my next book, which will be one of the best and most important things I’ve ever created. It’s (tentatively) called Basic Intuitive Energy Healing ::: Heal Your Mind ::: A Scientific Approach to Speaking your Brains’ Languages and Turning Pain into Power and it includes over 50 simple yet highly effective healing techniques that you can use on yourself (or if you’re already a skilled energy healer, you can apply them to others for good effect).

I’ve been wanting to write it for about ten years, but the time wasn’t right until now. In hindsight, the reason is obvious – I thought I knew a lot ten years ago, and I did, but I’ve learned so much just in the past year that the book will now be far more complete and useful than it would have been then.

quittruthHere’s the introductory story which gives a general idea of what the book is about, and stay tuned as I reveal more details soon!

Once upon a time, you found yourself wandering through a deep, dark woods.  You didn’t know exactly where you were headed, but hurried along the path just the same, hoping to escape the unpleasant shadows and the too-cool breeze that made you wrap your arms tightly around yourself and shiver.
Out from the darkness came distant, unpleasant voices in faint, scarcely-audible whispers. “You’re not good enough,” they said, “why even try? You’re a fool if you think you’ll ever be happy again!”
“Nobody loves you,” others murmured. “You’re all alone. You’ll always be alone.”
You pretended to ignore the voices as you hurried along, but deep inside, you knew they were right. Continue reading “Heal Your Mind”

Thank a Teacher

I recently came across this inspiring letter written by a new teacher and she gave me permission to share it here:

So, I’m a brand-new 7th grade English teacher. I work in a school where something like 80% of the kids live below the poverty line. Many of them have families who are barely making it. Many of them wear the same clothes to school multiple days in a row. For many of them, school lunch is the only meal they will eat that day. Many of their parents struggle with drugs, alcoholism, or are incarcerated.

And here I am, some 25-year-old white girl who saw Freedom Writers and wanted to make a difference. Want to know a secret? Some days, I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Continue reading “Thank a Teacher”

Today is National “Talk to a Stranger” Day

trucktimpI just got home from a long trip, flying one way across the country then driving back (to help my sister move from Florida to Idaho <- there’s me driving the moving truck into Provo Canyon), and one of the best things about the trip was talking to strangers.

There were casual chats with flight attendants, asking directions to the beach (when my ride from the airport was a few hours late), sunbathers who agreed to watch my bag while I wandered through the surf, a kite surfer who offered to let me use his other kite (unfortunately, my ride was arriving in a few minutes so I couldn’t accept), other travelers in truck stops and restaurants, one of whom borrowed my phone since she forgot hers at her daughter’s who she had been visiting in St Louis, and so on. They usually seemed surprised and pleased to enjoy a brief conversation with someone they had never met and will never see again.

kidswendysI know, I know, your mom taught you not to talk to strangers; but you were a child then. Now you’re an adult and talking to strangers is usually safe (so this advice may not apply to my niece and nephews, though everyone they talked to along the way smiled especially big). It also brings our world a bit closer together – and that’s a good thing: studies keep showing that connection is one of the greatest sources of happiness and it’s steadily fading from our social-media-infected world. Continue reading “Today is National “Talk to a Stranger” Day”

A Plea for Pluralism

Unity, Pluralism, The Divided States of AmericaPLURALISM. That’s what’s on my mind, Facebook; thanks for asking.

Pluralism means THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES and opinions in our society and if we want to run a successful society, then WE NEED TO RESPECT EACH OTHER and GET ALONG.

This DOES NOT MEAN stamping out all differences! It means CELEBRATING them.

The Great Seal of the United States includes the phrase, “E Pluribus, Unum,” which means, “Out of many, one.” Are we even trying to be one anymore? Or will we eventually change our name to “The Divided States of America”? (“Amer,” means “bitter” in French, which seems appropriate to point out here.) Continue reading “A Plea for Pluralism”

Love Conquers All

We’ve heard it before but we barely understand how consistently love resolves all conflict and solves or improves all problems and circumstances.

Ponder the following examples and ask yourself how you can apply love to improve your own life in ways you never considered:

Who intimidates you?

We feel intimidated when our insecurities get triggered.

  • Do you ever wonder if you’re good enough to be loved and accepted? If so, someone more skilled, attractive, funny, wealthy, popular, or [insert your particular insecurity here] may “make” you feel uncomfortable because it reminds you of your allegedly unlovable flaws.
  • Do you ever feel like the world is unsafe? If so, someone overbearing may seem threatening and dangerous to you. Okay, some people really are threatening and dangerous, but most would never really want to hurt you, and 96% of the world wants you to succeed and be happy! (Deep down, the other 4% do, too.)

The solution? LOVE whoever you feel threatened by. Maybe they will respond with kindness, but that’s not the guarantee.

The promise is that your focus will change to something far more positive and healthy, and once that draws attention away from your vulnerabilities, they’ll stop getting triggered and making you feel bad. Continue reading “Love Conquers All”

What Are You Doing Here, Anyway?

I thought of this poem, one of three written by Amy in Courage, Love and the Meaning of Christmas, and decided to share it with you here. Also, for the next few days, you can download the book for FREE to read on any computer or device here: bit.ly/christmasbook

What are you doing here, anyway?
What do you have to tell the world?
Speak up, boys!
Shout it out loud, girls!
Do not hold yourself back.

Because what are you doing here, anyway?
What’s that thing inside
Scraping
Clawing
Trying
To get out? Continue reading “What Are You Doing Here, Anyway?”

Roots vs. Wings

Roots vs. Wings

Have you ever had wanderlust? Have you glanced through all the stunningly exotic photos online or that your friends pin on Pinterest and wished you could go there?

That’s what I have to say today: YOU CAN. GO!

I once took a spontaneous trip to Taiwan where I taught English and learned Chinese. It lasted five months and ended with a three-week trip to Mainland China. That lasted four months. When I came home and started my master’s program, I couldn’t get it all out of my head and even wrote a book about the incredible experience just to help me process everything that happened.

YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE YOU WANT. If you really want to go, you can find a way to save money, get time off, find someone to go with, and whatever else it takes to get there!  Continue reading “Roots vs. Wings”