Friday, August 4, 2017

Embrace Change . . . REALLY

I've heard the phrase a lot, as well as have it on the vision board that's hanging on my wall. Whenever I look at the board the component that jumps out at me first - hands down - is 'embrace change.'

[You'd think it would be the giant 'healthy,' right?]

Weird. Is there a reason for that? I think, yes, as I'm going through a career/life transition and figuring out what I REALLY want, what I enjoy, what makes me happy. And then the easier part of figuring out how to apply these things and make a living. I'm not joking about application being the easy part. I mean, it's hard, but the introspection that has to come before it is REALLY hard! Which is probably why I still haven't passed through that phase . . .

With a fluid and ever-changing life state and an overwhelming number of possibilities before me, yes, I think there's a reason 'embrace change' jumps out at me.

However, I discovered that I might not be viewing the 'embrace change' philosophy through the best lens. Last night, I realized that I associate change that needs to be embraced with change that is not necessarily the result of one's choosing. Therefore, I subconsciously attach a slight negative connotation to it, I think. That's not to say I think change is a bad thing, but in my experience embracing change typically contains elements or situations where there is pain or great uncertainty before glory and excitement. For example, moving on from a relationship that's no longer suiting you or getting transferred to a different team/project at work. These changes are definitely good, and more often than not you know they are - or will be - good for you, but what if there's more to the whole thing?

Maybe embracing change is really about actually feeling all of the emotions we have as we are experiencing them, in an effort to REALLY take in the moment - and life. With this thought in mind, you could totally apply the 'embrace change' mindset to fantastic, planned changes that take place. They are changes, after all, and you do need to embrace them fully. Let's flip the previous examples. Maybe this joyful change results from working on a relationship to now positively benefit all parties, or acknowledging and getting excited about the new things you'll learn in your new team or project at work, added responsibilities you might have, greater ownership, and an overall new experience.

We can all embrace change:
- in times of struggle and uncertainty: trusting and working hard so that things work out in our favor (however that may be - even if unknown to us)
- in times of joy and clarity: celebrating achievements and direction you are traveling, expressing your emotions and sharing them with others, and then paying it forward to help others do the same.

The Google dictionary tells me that embrace means:
"accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically"

That sounds pretty good to me!

What changes are you dealing with right now? Are you embracing the more difficult changes with an open mind and sense of adventure? Or the easy, joyful changes by allowing yourself to truly feel your emotions at this time and sharing them with others - helping to inspire and motivate?

I hope so. 
I'll certainly be adding this to my list of things to work on. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Day 52: Broken Buzzer :(


A broken buzzer is mighty unfortunate. But I certainly enjoyed seeing the notification as I passed by! I really enjoy pictures like this. There's always so much more going on than first meets the eye. Let's see how much you see with a [fun] counting game.

How many doors do you see?

How many cars?

How many trees?

How many windows?

Can you see any lights?

How many locks?

How about straight up layers to this photo?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day 51: Hop, Skip & A Jump

Why is it that we get so caught up in what other people will think of us that we limit our actions, expressions and emotions because of that? Simple example, reading a funny message or story on the train or at your desk at work. Personally, I know I've been trained (through continuous observation of others' similar situations) to try to keep it in and not make a scene. Rather than bursting out with loud laughter, I try to keep it sealed in, maybe only a tiny giggle escaping. Why do we do this? It doesn't make a difference on anyone else's life, so why not just let our emotions flow? Darn societal pressures and unwritten rules ...!

On a slightly different note. Let's talk about skipping. Once I was with my friend downtown and we were hurrying to catch a green light to cross the street. She asked me "should we run for it?" I responded, "yeah, but let's skip!" So we did. Across the street and down the block. And you know what?


Seriously, smiles were plastered to our faces and we couldn't stop giggling. Today, I was watching a short webinar and one of the presenters discussed that when she is excited about something and wanting to celebrate, she skips. "That's so awesome," I thought. "I love skipping!"

Hearing that made me recall skipping across the street with my friend, as well as the conversation that followed:

Me: Oh man, that was great.
Friend: Yeah! I'm a bit out of breath.
Me: Me, too! Wouldn't it be so great to see people out skipping instead of running or jogging?
Friend: Haha, yes! '...I'm just going to go for a quick skip after work...'
[Giggle, giggle, giggle]

But seriously, how great would it be to be going about your business and all of a sudden someone passes by you skipping?! That would make you smile probably, right? Or laugh? Or at the VERY least pull out your phone and take a quick video! I think this is something that needs to catch on.

Skipping provides:
1) Excellent cardiovascular benefits
2) Boost in mood
3) Brings joy to basically everyone who sees it

It's a win-Win-WIN! Personally, I can't see a single argument that could counter how great skipping is.

Skipping is WAY underrated - let's bring it to the level of recognized greatness it deserves!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 50: Nature's Perfection

Have you ever observed nature? Like REALLY looked at it to see all of the smallest details? I try to do this, and I think I'm pretty observant, but it's tough to do on a consistent basis. However, there are times when I really tune into what's in front of me to take it all in.

I'm a details person, so this is probably easier for me than other. For example, one day many years ago, I observed a beetle in front of me. It had a decorative shell so I took the opportunity to not just note that the shell was eye catching, but to specify what exactly made it up to be so mesmerizing.

I also did this exercise with a peacock. I know your mind immediately jumped to the beautiful tail of the male, but I'm not even thinking about the tail! Allow me to illustrate - or at least try...

Here are [most of] the colors found commonly on peacocks . . . I wouldn't necessarily combine them all in one creation . . .

. . . but in nature, they are perfect.

Now let's look at some of the different patterns and textures!

Again, not what I would think to pair together . . .

Here, you see how the colors actually look together on the real creature:

And now for the whole bird - 

Magnificent!!! And you're probably not even looking at the tail!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Day 49: It's A Jungle Out There


"Please, get me out of here! I've been kidnapped and put inside this glass and wood box. I won't hurt you, I swear!"

'H-how did you get kidnapped? Who kidnapped you? What even IS this place??'

"I don't have time to answer your silly questions!! I need to get out of here!"

[Shocked face, tense body language]

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to snap at you it's just people walk by every day and night and no one has ever stopped. I've been trying to get out for 3 months now and I'm starting to get desperate."

'. . well how did you get here? Maybe if you tell me your story I can understand better and know who to go to for help.'

"Alright, alright. My story is - the short version - that I used to be free, at a carnival in Indiana. My brother and I were the most popular beasts on the carousel. There was nothing we loved more than feeling the wind in our manes and the children's laughter as we circled round and round, rising and falling with the best melody in the world . . ."

'And then?'

"And then the carnival couldn't make enough money and sold everything. It's amazing my brother and I are still together. We tried to get away with our friends - it was such a brutal sight when they came-"

'When who came?'

"The men. A group of men with crowbars and hacksaws, screw drivers and wrenches. They came one day and then our lives were changed forever. Maria, the chimpanzee, was in pieces by the time they were done with her. Gustav, my favorite giraffe friend, was tortured for 5 hrs before he gave in and let them take him away to who knows where. I heard something in the chaos that most of us weren't likely to make it out alive . . . I have no idea what happened to Peter, Gabriel, Tina, or Loma . . ."

'That's terrible! So . . . if you escape, then what?'

"I'll go to Texas. They have the biggest carnival in the country. I won't have to worry about getting taken again if I can just get there... You have to come back! First thing tomorrow, and talk to the owner. Tell him you have a vendor in Texas that will pay top dollar for a pair of li-"


"What was that?! Someone's coming! Come back tomorrow! [whispers] You have to come back tomorrow!!"

[Lights turn on]


Monday, July 17, 2017

Day 48: Ninjas are Everywhere

And here's your proof . . .

I found this ninja on my walk to a friend's house. She (or he) popped out of nowhere and onto the side walk right in front of me. Before I knew it she was circling me with her flying fists and powerful kicks.

Not sure what to do, I stayed in place, waiting, until she was done and once again back in front of me.

She sat.

I stood.

Then she said "Bye!" and disappeared in the blink of an eye!

I continued walking toward my friend's house and through an open window I spotted an active Karate class.

Ninjas in training . . .

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Day 47: Fun Family Vacation

While riding the bus I got to witness the joys of family road trips. We were approaching a stop light and as we got closer to the stopped vehicles ahead, I saw a woman getting back into the passenger side door of her car that was in the middle lane.

"That seems weird," I thought to myself.

Then we get even closer and I see the license plate - green tree in the center, blue lettering, mountain in the background: Oregon.

Once the bus finally stopped, my seat was positioned right next to the Oregon car. I peer into the car and everything made sense. Dad is driving, mom is turned around in the front seat, and in the back kid #1 looks on as kid #2 screams at the top of his lungs.

Nothing beats a family road trip.

I sure am glad it's not mine.