Thursday, April 12, 2012

A to Z Challenge the letter K = Kindness

I have been trying hard to increase the kindness I release to the universe lately.  So, after reading a story about a woman (and several blogs by others that did this after her) about doing a certain amount of random acts of kindness by her birthday, I decided to look at this closer.

Random Acts of Kindness are just that, a kindness that you do for someone totally unexpected. Some of the stories were inspiring. One lady put quarters in the candy machines inside a large store and taped a little note about Random Acts of Kindness to them. One man ran around the bookstore and placed dollar bills in different books.

Performing a Random Act of Kindness can be as simple as an anonymous encouraging note left on a bench or leaving books you have read at a coffee shop. You may do dozens of these acts and give no thought to it but, out of all of those people receiving them, one of those people could experience a helpful and encouraging moment during a bad time in their life.

These lovely cards and the artist’s inspiring story can be found here! Some other sites to help get you in the spirit are listed below:
Mike Swanson designed some business card sized cards here.
SpreadKindness.Org has awesome stories and printout cards as well.

Today's challenge is to do a random act of kindness for someone. I'll give you a hint about mine, I bought a bag of 300 lollipops today. I'll try to post the results this weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ALL NEW Writer's Wednesday and the A-Z Challenge Letter =Juvenescent

This is just a quick post today due to startup of Writer’s Wednesday. I can’t wait to write a short piece depicting this photo and using THOSE words, what a challenge!

After researching positive words for the A to Z challenge I came across Juvenescent which means becoming young and I decided to claim that word for myself.  I thought this is a great alternative to old, which I do not feel. I am in my forties and in the best time frame of my life I believe. I am healthy, active in roller derby and other activities, and have the time and resources to enjoy life. Well, not enough resources to move to a tropical island and write full time, but to indulge in occasional new gear, software and of course books.
Embrace your Juvenescense!!!!  

So, for the past few weeks, I have not run my weekly post of Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. For a couple of reasons, first being that it wasn't growing and it was requiring a lot of effort to promote the posts to get very little traffic.

And for a few weeks, I thought maybe I would just permanently discontinue it.

Until now.

But, I'm trying something different. And I'm so glad to say that joining me is Carrie K Sorensen at Chasing Revery and Jane Bussey at A Writer's Muses!

Utilizing photos I found that are out of their copyright protection and five randomly generated words, we are going to ask our fellow blog hoppers to write posts inspired by these two elements. And today is my first attempt at this, so we'll see how this goes.

The Photo (Taken from This Link)

Words (Randomly generated from this link)

  • Ham

  • Spike

  • Parity

  • Girders

  • Sale

  • Now, you can create a dialogue, short story, a brief scene, description, poem, or anything else you can think of, but it has to be less than 500 words and you have to use the five words above. Oh and it has to relate to the photo in some way!

    And you have until the blog hop next week to make up a post. So, feel free to come back to this post between now and then.

    I will post my own little something following this, and to be fair, I won't actually start writing this until the blog hop is posted.

    And as usual, feel free to take a button to promote the hop:

    Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Button!

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    A to Z Challenge the letter I = Intuition

    Wikepedia’s definition of INTUITION is that it “provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify. “
    In psychology Carl Jung defined intuition as "perception via the unconscious". There are many times throughout the day we are called upon to make decisions, but how often are these decisions based on intuition? I think in some cases our subconscious has been ”trained”  so that we automatically make the decision based on how the training has gone.

    “Mother’s intuition” is often joked about, but I have had a case that proved true for me. I was due to fly over 6 states away for a week long conference one Monday morning and received a phone call from my son the prior Friday morning. He was attending college several hours away and wanted me to find out which doctors there accepted our insurance. He asked if I would make him an appointment for the following Monday. He did not seem to take the symptoms as seriously as I did but after a few moments of thinking the situation over, I asked him to have his roommate drive him to the emergency room. He protested that the pain was not THAT bad, but I was persistent.  Knowing my son’s tolerance for pain and abhorrence of doctor visits, I knew this had to be serious. My “mother’s intuition” kicked in and told him I would leave work and drive there to take him myself.  He promised he would wake his roommate and have him drive him, but for some reason, I just knew I had to get there. I informed my boss and called my sister who was off that day and she volunteered to go with me. By the time I had picked her up, he had called back and said they would be doing an emergency appendectomy and he was being admitted to the hospital. We arrived about 20 minutes before the operation took place.

    We often use our intuition when a place or experience does not feel right and sometimes we will ignore our intuition and the experience ends up making us miserable. I like to think that intuition is the “voice of reason”  that is there to assist me as I go through life. I have an impulsive nature so I am thankful for that “little voice” many times. 

    A to Z Challenge the letter H = Happiness

    In researching this post, I came across many websites touting “10 Keys to True Happiness”, “5 Laws of Happiness”, “You can be Happy Forever”, well that last one I just threw in, but you get the general idea.
    The psychology websites tout words like validation, statistically testing, neuro-scientific studies and so on. I have read where your birth order can affect how happy you are and all sorts of probably very sound research initiatives but that does not give us a simple answer.

    My opinion of happiness may differ drastically from scientists, psychologist and just everyone else in general. As someone has experienced depression, I can vouch that it can be harder work to feel happiness at times.  I came across an author who decided to chronicle a year of experiments and following different paths to achieve happiness. Her blog is divine and just reading the posts can lift your spirits. I just ordered her book and I will review it here later this month.

    I am at my happiness when I am doing something for others. This almost goes back to the Five Languages of Love post, but my language of showing love is acts of service. (Receiving love however is a whole different language.) I have always been a volunteer of some sort throughout my life. Scouting, 4H, and other community related events can count me in. Though I am an unpublished writer, I volunteer to host blog hops, twitter chats, etc. whenever an author I know has a project going on. 

    For the word Happiness today, I am going to suggest Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project website and also challenge you to do a small act of random kindness today. I sometimes leave change in a vending machine or drop a quarter into a gumball machine for a lucky kid. I like to do things anonymously though, as I am doing it to help make someone else’s day as well. Being anonymous just gives me a greater satisfaction.
    If you want happiness for an hour ? take a nap.

    If you want happiness for a day ? go fishing.
    If you want happiness for a year ? inherit a fortune.
    If you want happiness for a lifetime ? help someone else.
    Chinese Proverb 

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    A to Z Challenge the letter G = GRATITUDE

    Wikipedia defines Gratitude as: “Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling,emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.”  The article went on to discuss studies that suggest people who cultivate an attitude of gratitude are more often happier and less stressed that others.

    As a interested student of the “Law of Attraction” , I understand gratitude is one of the keys to living a happier and more balanced life.  It is hard in this modern age to get bogged down by the “don’t haves” and forget to be thankful for the “haves”.

    Most major religions practice a form of gratitude, but even for those who do not have a religious background, gratitude is a universal practice.   As children, we are taught to say thank you when someone does something for us. We grow up automatically saying it, but how often do we really feel it when we say it?

    There is no way for me to come close to summing up the practice of Gratitude as did Leo Babauta,on the Zen Habits blog. It is a marvelous piece that I have printed and have hung it on my vision board.

    I also have a truly inspiring and helpful application on my phone. It is called the GratitudeJournal. Daily quotes and the ability to add a photo of something that I am grateful for that day really help keep me stay focused on cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude. 

    Whether you record your gratitude for today in a journal or not, I challenge you to think of the things you are thankful for right now this very moment. 

    Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.
    William Faulkner

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