Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Fail

If someone is better than you at something, 
then it is likely because she has failed at it more than you have.
 If someone is worse than you,
 it's likely because he hasn't been through all 
of the painful learning experiences you have...
We can be truly successful only at something 
we are willing to fail at. 
If we're unwilling to fail,
 then we're unwilling to succeed. 
- Mark Manson

Monday, 21 August 2017

Wrong

For any change to happen in your life,
 you must be wrong about something.
 - Mark Manson

Friday, 18 August 2017

August 18, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   I once had a friend express that she was glad to know I got angry after I’d totally erupted in a public venue.  I, on the other hand, was surprised that she would even consider that I DIDN’T get angry, because I most certainly do, and I definitely express it, though not always publicly, yet just often enough to get me into trouble.

   As well, I found some of the reactions to my recent makeover to be in that same category.  One person actually said they were surprised to see me wearing a dress?!?!  Now, THAT should NOT have been a surprise to anyone who knows me in the slightest!

   So, why these reactions?  It seems to be a case of people only seeing me, or interacting with me, in a particular setting or circumstance.  Or, else they just aren’t paying attention.

   Just because you, in particular, have never seen me angry, doesn’t automatically mean I don’t get angry.  Just because you, in particular, haven’t seen me wearing a specific item of clothing, doesn’t automatically mean that I don’t.  And, more important, just because you, in particular, have seen me act or dress in a certain way, doesn’t automatically mean I ONLY act or dress that way.

  While we humans are multi-faceted, our interactions with the people around aren’t always.  We tend to make assumptions about what we think we know about others, and then it is so easy, and very tempting, to look at them as equivalent to cardboard cut-outs - in a static state, never changing. We often do this with people we have limited contact with, but we can even do this with close family members.

   But, life doesn’t work that way.  We have many sides and aspects to our personalities that may, or may not, be expressed depending on the situations we find ourselves in.  As well, we are always changing - even if we don’t think we are - and we bring those cumulating changes into each and every interaction we have with the people around us.  


   As much as we think we know the various people in our lives, we may not know them as well as we think we do.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Monday, 14 August 2017

You versus

If it feels like it's you versus the world, 
chances are it's really just you versus yourself.
 - Mark Manson

Friday, 11 August 2017

Problems

Life is essentially an endless series of problems...
The solution to one problem
 is merely the creation of the next one...
hope for a life full of good problems.
 - Mark Manson

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Despite

[Move] lightly despite your heavy burdens,
 [rest] easier with your greatest fears,
 [laugh] at your tears as you cry them. 
- Mark Manson

Monday, 7 August 2017

Chaos

Chaos is not a bad thing. 
Chaos stirs things up like wind...
it helps things move along. 
- Colette Baron-Reid

Friday, 4 August 2017

August 4, 2017 Chautauqua

 
Beth's Ponderings

   What side are you on?  Are you sure?  Do you even know?

   There as been a lot, and I mean a LOT of media coverage of late surrounding Omar Khadr, who, let me remind you, is a Canadian citizen who, as a minor, ended up in a war situation and survived.  Truly, that is his ONLY crime - he survived the war.

   Now, no matter what your personal feelings are about him and his situation, I would also like to remind you that there was a war going on, and Omar was fighting for the wrong side...or was he?

   That is where things get tricky, and we don’t like to admit that life isn’t as black and white as we portray it, because that REALLY shakes up our sense of right and wrong.

   A war means there are two (at least) sides fighting each other.  So who is the enemy?  We say it was the other side.  But….

   Not so fast.  The Canadians, Americans, and British were not fighting on home soil, so they were foreigners.  We were interlopers in a conflict that was already in progress.  Plus, how many local civilians did our armies end up killing, even by accident, because it was a war situation? 

   Hmmmm, that almost sounds like it could be a definition of an enemy, doesn’t it?  Because it doesn’t matter what side the soldiers are fighting for, or what justifications are used (fighting to impose our values on others doesn’t mean our values are right, or are even wanted by others), to a local civilian, the soldiers are the enemy if they endanger the civilian’s life, the lives of family and neighbours, home, and livelihood.

   In a war situation, which is horrific beyond belief, there are too many casualties, and untold destruction, caused by both sides.  Soldiers on all sides are merely doing their job, and fighting as they are trained to do.  One side is no more completely innocent than the other side is completely guilty.

   So, either EVERY single soldier, of every rank, on BOTH sides is punished because they are ALL guilty of fighting, or...none are. 


   Because, at the end of the day, there are no winners in a war.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Uncertain

Attempt things you are not sure you can accomplish: 
if you are certain you can do a thing,
 this means that there is little to no point in actually doing it. 
The reason you're sure you can do it is
 that you or someone else has already done it...
It is much more exciting, thus creatively energizing
 if you are attempting something where you are 
uncertain of its outcome, where you don't know
 if it will work or not.
 - Alan Moore

Monday, 31 July 2017

Friday, 28 July 2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Medium

We can achieve a degree of importance
 by expressing ourselves in the medium
 which best suits our particular talents. 
- Lajos Egri

Monday, 24 July 2017

Truth

I always tell the truth. 
Then I don't have to remember what I said.
 - Author Unknown

Friday, 21 July 2017

July 21, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   One of my absolute favourite times of the year is the ten days in July when the Calgary Stampede is on.

  While I have never been there in person, I thoroughly enjoy watching the thrilling rodeo events and chuckwagon races on TV - where you can see the action a lot closer, and don’t have to battle crowds to do so.

   The cowboys and cowgirls who compete in Calgary every year are the best of the best - whether they are veterans of the rodeo circuit, or relatively unknown newcomers.  And so are all the animals.

   Because they are so good, it is such a treat to watch them compete.  They make their event seem so easy and natural.  You can tell they love what they do.

   Yet, just because they are so good, doesn’t mean that they can all win, or even that it is smooth sailing for them.

   Things can, and do, go wrong.  Riders get bucked off, barriers are tripped, calves and steers get away, barrels go down, someone ends up being faster, and competitors get hurt.

   Just like in every day life.  

   No matter how proficient we are at our favourite tasks, sometimes things just don’t work out for us.

   No matter how much we love what we do, sometimes we just have a bad day or two, or month. 

   No matter how good we are, sometimes someone comes along who is better or faster.

   No matter how careful we are, sometimes we just end up getting hurt.

   But, in life, as in the rodeo world, we can’t let that stop us.  We need to dust ourselves off, regroup, and get right back in the ring to give it our best shot the next day.

   Cowboys and cowgirls are not defined by just one ride or race, and we are not defined by just one activity or situation.  They are the best because they keep competing and don’t give up.  We become the best in our lives when we keep showing up and don’t give up too. 

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Open Heart

Until we can receive with an open heart, 
we are never really giving with an open heart. 
When we attach judgement to receiving help, 
we knowingly or unknowingly 
attach judgement to giving help.
 - Brene Brown

Monday, 17 July 2017

Path

Knowing that you're working toward something, 
and understanding that you are on a path, 
gives you the opportunity to look at that path
 in order to traverse it more skillfully.
 - Christiane Northrup

Friday, 14 July 2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Choices

It is not necessary to accept the choices
 handed down to you by life as you know it.
 - Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, 10 July 2017

Start

If you want to be more productive,
 then start at the start:
 get there on time.
 - Richard Branson

Friday, 7 July 2017

July 7, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   I recently received a FABULOUS gift.  The end of December 2016, I won a makeover from Lori’s Little Luxuries Salon, Spa & Gifts in Alix, and over four days last week, I was slowly transformed - facial, waxing, teeth whitening, eyelash extensions (most dramatic change as I haven’t had eyelashes since I was 14), eyebrow tint and shaping, manicure, pedicure, hair, makeup and 4 outfits - culminating in a fun mini photo shoot on Main Street, Alix.


   A very LARGE HEARTFELT THANK YOU to Lori, Dixie and Jessica...you gals are the best!


Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dance

Don't look at your feet
 to see if you are doing it right,
 just dance. 
- Anne Lamott

Monday, 3 July 2017

Story

We don't turn to story to escape reality. 
We turn to story to navigate reality. 
- Lisa Cron

Friday, 30 June 2017

Fine

We get so used to things not being fine, 
that we forget what fine is, 
and so what we once recognized as a problem 
no longer seems like a problem at all...
not only does it remain a problem, but...
it gathers force just beneath the surface, 
until at long last it erupts... 
- Lisa Cron

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Change

We're still maddeningly hardwired to resist 
voluntarily making the very changes
 it often takes to get what we want.
 - Lisa Cron

Monday, 26 June 2017

Wall

Nothing is holding you back...
Nothing is standing in your way. 
You don't have to go over the wall, 
or around it, or even through it. 
All you have to do is realize the truth: 
The wall isn't there.
 - Gabriela Pereira

Friday, 23 June 2017

DNF

Choosing to go the way of DNF [did not finish] 
is not a sign of weakness,
 and it doesn't mean you are not smart enough...
you are showing respect for your time and efforts.
 - Gabriela Pereira

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monday, 19 June 2017

Best Practices

Don't blindly follow someone else's best practice. 
You need to test different approaches 
and only adopt the ones that give you the results you want...
The only best practice is the one that works for you.
 - Gabriela Pereira


Friday, 16 June 2017

June 16, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   The other day I was listening to a speaker who informed his listeners that he was the ONLY one with the true facts on the subject being presented.

   I didn’t agree.

   The speaker, as I am at this moment, was merely expressing an opinion, and contrary to what he said, it was solely his, as this is solely mine, opinion, and though there are some who would have agreed with him, his opinion was not that shared by the entire world.

   Even when he quoted the various experts and authorities that he based his premise on, he was still just offering us his opinion, and his version or interpretation of the material, which may have been correct, or it may not have been.

   Was he telling the truth?  He thought he was.  Am I?  I think I am.  Yet, someone else, with a different opinion, and different information, could come along and - with their different viewpoint - reveal something totally different.  It all depends on how the situation is interpreted.

   As for whether what he was presenting consisted of true facts, well, I reserve judgement on that too.  Excuse me...but how many years did the Europeans believe BEYOND ANY DOUBT that the world was as flat as a pancake and the sky was an upside down bowl over their heads?  That was an indisputable “fact” that everyone knew.

   I do have to qualify that it was an European belief because pretty much every indigenous tribe around the globe, as well as the ancient Chinese and some northern pre-Celtic peoples, knew that the world was indeed round, not flat.

   And how many of the “facts” that we learned in school have now been proven to be false, or at the very least, incomplete, in all areas of life?  Just because “everyone” believes something, doesn’t make it right or true.


   As humans we love to create, and then mindlessly cling to, certainties in our lives, yet, there is no certainty, really.  We like to think the sun will rise tomorrow (the most certain event in our lives) - and chances are pretty good it will - but we have no certainly it will till we see it rise.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Know

Don't judge your readiness by the things you don't know...
it's about what you do know.
- Mike Dooley

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ducks

Your ducks will never line up.
If you are waiting for them to line up,
you are going to wait forever...just go!

- Mike Dooley

Friday, 9 June 2017

Bone

To succeed in life, you need three things:
 a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
 - Reba McEntire  
 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Eraser

If you can't be a pencil to write anyone's happiness, 
then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness. 
 - Unknown 

Friday, 2 June 2017

June 2, 2017 Chautauqua

 


Beth's Ponderings

   According to folk wisdom, if you hear a message or song, or read the same phrase in different resources,, or see a particular sign, three times it is very important and you should pay close attention.

   Well, for the last four years I’ve been told I need to slow down, take it easy, rest more, and other variations of that theme.  Okay, to be totally honest, I’ve heard that message longer than four years, but it’s been louder, and more often, in the past four years since I totally collapsed, most particularly in the past year.  Occasionally, the message has been accompanied by an implied, or spoken, “...or else…” statement.

   Now, in my defence, I honesty thought I had slow down, and I have been resting for a good three-quarters of my time, but still it didn’t seem enough as I kept hearing the message to slow down and rest over and over again from various sources.  And, I’d counter that if I slowed down any more, I’d be at a stand-still.

   I wasn’t...it was worse.

   The end of February my mom fell and broke her right elbow (yes, she’s right-handed), and I wasn’t able to physically cope with the situation on top of my own health issues, and my cries for help were ignored.  When I reached a crisis point, I found myself - not standing still - flat on my back unable to stop crying for a month and a half!  Bone-deep exhaustion didn’t even come remotely close to describing how I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally.

   You’d have thought I had hit rock bottom at that point, but no, I seemed to merely be bouncing around it, as I managed to go down even further!  This was, in part, because I was still doing the paper deliveries each time, even though I was supposed to be in bed.

   Resting, slowing down, taking it easy, and stopping became my only option as I had absolutely no energy reserves left to do anything else. I am required to rest for much longer if I want to recover.

   The good news is that this time of rest is slowly giving my body a chance to recover, rebuild, and replenish itself.  And thankfully I do have people helping me out now, which I really appreciate.

Beth

 

Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Tears

There are more tears shed over answered prayers
 than over unanswered prayers.
 - Teresa of Avila  
 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Enthusiasm

Years may wrinkle the skin 
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. 
 - Samuel Ullman
 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Uncle

It is healthy to say uncle 
when your bone's about to break. 
 - Jonathan Franzen  
 

Friday, 19 May 2017

May 19, 2017 Chautauqua



 
Beth's Ponderings

   I’m sure you’ve heard, as I have, that it is better to give than to receive.

   Yet, if there is no one, or nothing, to receive, then the giver isn’t really giving.

   Contrary to how we usually view the process, the two actions are not two separate, and completely opposite actions, but two expressions of the exact same action.

   For, when the giver gives, and the receiver receives, the receiver also gives and the giver receives.

   Thus, you would think that giving and receiving would come easily and naturally to us all.  Unfortunately, while we are born with that ability, it seems to lessen as we grow and mature.

   Because of society’s bias towards giving being better, we are taught to give endlessly, in a variety of ways, even to people - or especially to people - who do not want to receive what we are giving.  And, since the other party doesn’t really receive what we give, we haven’t really given anything, nor have we been able to receive anything, so must then try to give more and more and more, until we are depleted physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

   But, the secret to real giving and receiving, is that nothing is depleted, or lost, in the exchange.  It is an “exchange,” something given and something received, every time, by both parties.

   If asked, most of us would say we are pretty good givers and receivers, effectively balancing the two.  So, here’s a question for you...what is your reaction when someone compliments you?  Do you say a simple “thank you” (truly receiving) or do you brush it off (rejecting)?  When someone thanks you for something do you say a sincere “you’re welcome” (truly receiving) or do you brush it off by saying it was nothing or not important (rejecting)?  Or, we can test this in an even easier manner - how deep is your normal inhalation?  The breath never lies, so unless you are regularly breathing in full, deep inhalations, you aren’t really open to receiving, and thus, not truly giving either.  

   As we tend to ignore ourselves, start fully giving and receiving with yourself, and then share with others.

Beth 


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Somewhere

If God wants us somewhere else, 
He will orchestrate things to get us there. 
 - Author Unknown
 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Encouragement

More people fail from lack of encouragement 
than for any other reason.
 - Author Unknown
 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Hate

You cannot hate your way to anywhere...
Once you give up the fighting energy,
 you will have a new and more grounded starting point
 for yourself.
 - Amy B. Scher
 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Skin

If people get under your skin 
it's because they are not comfortable in their own. 
 - Dennis von Westerborg
 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Things

Animals don't get hung up on THINGS like we do. 
They know that LIFE is the thing.
 - Dennis von Westerborg
 

Friday, 5 May 2017

May 5, 2017 Chautauqua



 
Beth's Ponderings

   I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “think outside the box,” and may have even been challenged to do just that in a job or organizational setting, or maybe even in your personal life.

   How successful were you in that endeavour, really?

   While we can all benefit from getting out of our various “ruts” - whatever form they may appear in, getting “out of the box” isn’t beneficial to us at all.  We’d be further ahead to crawl deeper into the box.

   A panorama view takes our breath away at its majestic beauty, and knowing the big picture, North Star, or “forest,” will help us to navigate, but to really see things differently and move forward in creative ways we need to limit our view dramatically.

   Think about it, it isn’t the forest that moves you as much as the tiny drop of dew glistening on one individual little leaf on one tree.  In other words, it is the things right immediately in front of us, things that we can touch, rather than what’s in our view, yet completely out of reach.

   Artists and photographers know that it isn’t what is OUTSIDE the frame that creates the power of the picture...it is what is inside the frame.  The frame provides a limit, or boundary, yet at the same time it provides endless freedom as you can focus on whatever you want within that frame, and what you choose to focus on will achieve importance.

   The best writers, speakers, and other creative types also apply this principle.  They don’t tell you everything they know, or want to share, they limit it down to one thought or theme, increasing its overall impact.

   The inventions that have had the greatest impact on our lives have been items that dealt with processes we use every day, and objects we hold in our hands.    

   In order to make changes and bring something new to your organization, job, or life, you just need to look at what is immediately around you and decide what one item, or area, you want to focus on.  By bringing your focus down to the tangible and visible, instead of trying to create something new out of the nebulous, you will be able to create something lasting, memorable, and more than likely more applicable to your situation, than anything you’ll find in the vast “outside.”

Beth
 
Read the complete issue of The Chautauqua here: https://sites.google.com/site/thechautauqua22/home/May%205%2C%202017%20Chautauqua2.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Blow

When nothing seems to help, 
I go back and look at the stonecutter, 
hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times
 without as much as a crack showing in it. 
 Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, 
and I know it was not that blow that did it – 
but all that had gone before.
 - Jacob Riis
 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Pearl

When small irritations or problems appear in your life, 
see them as blessings in disguise. 
 Consider how the oyster takes an irritation 
and makes a pearl. 
 - Anne Marie Evers
 

Friday, 28 April 2017

School

I guess I can't complain. 
 I had a rich full life before I started school.
 - Arnot Sheppard

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Bitter

If you are bitter at heart, 
sugar in the mouth will not help you.
 ~Yiddish Proverb
 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Giving Up

Giving up something that is making you unhappy
 is not giving up anything worthwhile at all. 
 - Pamela Phillips Oland
 

Friday, 21 April 2017

April 21, 2017 Chautauqua




Beth's Ponderings


   So...is the glass half full or half empty?  Whichever way you answered, are you really sure?  Do you want some more time to think about that before answering?

   We are taught to perceive the world, and all that is around us, in a certain way, and by and large we never ever question those perceptions.

   The drawback is that often those perceptions, and the conclusions we draw from them about our lives, are based solely on an artificially static state that has no bearing on reality, a reality that is in constant ebb and flow, and changing from moment to moment.  Even we are constantly changing, and the you that just read these words is not even the same you that read the first line.

   In our example, we claim that the glass is in a certain state and assume that state never changes, nor can it be changed.  Yet, the glass is never half empty or half full, it is only ever 100% full, perhaps not full of the exact same substance, but nonetheless, it is always completely full.  Even when the glass appears to us to be completely empty, it is still 100% full of air.

   We lock into a particular way of viewing the glass and its contents, and are hard-pressed to view it in any other manner, even though there are unlimited ways of looking at, and describing, the glass and its contents.

   And the state the glass definitely has the ability to change, and is constantly changing.  The glass can be filled with liquid, it can be filled with a solid, it can be filled with a combination of materials and substances, it can be filled with only air, it can be filled an unlimited number of times without changing the essence of the glass at all.

   But, the one thing the glass cannot be is emptied.  We can remove the liquid, solids, or the air, but the glass hasn’t been emptied, its contents have merely been replaced with other contents.

   When we experience a “loss” in our lives, our lives haven’t been “emptied” at all.  We’ve merely had the contents of our lives shifted and replaced with other contents, so that our lives are always filled to overflowing.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Ambidextrous

Everyone is ambidextrous.  If we are able to use both our legs 
with almost equal effectiveness, than why not our hands? 
The answer is – because we don't practice it. 
 It simply is not essential to be ambidextrous,
 so we quickly begin to favor one hand for certain tasks, 
and the other hand for other tasks.
 - Robb Armstrong
 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Book

Some people manage by the book, 
even though they don't know who wrote the book
 or even what book.
 - Author Unknown
 

Friday, 14 April 2017

When

“When” is the ultimate life hack...
Knowing “when” enables you to perform
 “what” and “how” to your maximum potential. 
 If you didn't change a thing about what you do
 and how you do it, and only made micro-adjustments 
to when you do it, you'd be healthier, happier, 
and more productive...
 - Michael Breus   

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Ambiguity

I've learned, the hard way, 
that some poems don't rhyme, 
and some stories don't have a clear
 beginning, middle, and end.
 Life is about not knowing, having to change, 
taking the moment and making the best of it, 
without knowing what's going to happen next.
 Delicious Ambiguity.
- Gilda Radner