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


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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

 

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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 


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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


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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  
 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Sleep

I love sleep.
 My life has a tendency to fall apart 
when I'm awake, you know? 
 ~ Ernest Hemingway 

Friday, 7 April 2017

April 7, 2017 Chautauqua




Beth's Ponderings

   Earlier this year, I was watching some old movies, including some great cinema classics. Almost each one had the following line somewhere in the movie: “If you really love [him/her], you would...”

   While that line is great for creating tension and drama in movies and books, it is extremely dangerous when used in real life.

   The line gives the impression that the speaker loves, and is concerned about, an individual (or in some instances, it refers to themselves) and it is out of this love and concern for that individual that they are addressing the other person. However, what the line really reveals is the speaker's fear.

   If they truly cared so much, they wouldn't be trying to manipulate another person into making a decision, or taking an action, that the person obviously doesn't want to make, and that would only be in the perceived best interests of the speaker, not the other people involved.

   By manipulating others out of fear, the speaker tries to either keep the status quo, or ensure an outcome that will make the speaker - not the other people - happy and feeling secure.  In fact, the true feelings and wishes of the others are not even a consideration for the speaker, despite what they may profess, because this line is usually brought out during a “secret” conversation between the speaker and other person that must be kept hidden from the individual in question.

   Now, the speaker could fear any number of things, depending on their relationship to the individual: that the individual will abandon them for someone else, that the individual will make a horrible mistake, that the individual is growing too independent and doesn’t need their guidance or assistance any more, that the individual is not willing to fulfill the speaker’s dream for them and their life.

   Any time that line is used, and fear prevails, it is to the determent of all parties involved, and creates more problems than whatever the speaker is trying to prevent.

   “If we did not believe in fear in the first place, no one could control anyone.” - James van Praagh

Beth


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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Now

The most meaningful life experiences
 don't happen in the “when” 
they happen in the “now.”
 - Rachel Macy Stafford 
 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Path

If you are on the path you are meant to be on, 
everything falls into place; the Universe is telling you that.
 If you are not on your right path,
 you will experience roadblocks along the way,
 and this is also the Universe telling you to stop, look and ask
 if this is where you are supposed to be.
 - Dolores North  
 

Friday, 31 March 2017

Forward

I'd rather look forward and dream
 than look backward and regret. 
 - Anonymous  

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Good

Go for good 
and all that's not the truth of you 
will fall away.
 - Meleah Jacobs  
 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Poop

If you've got to eat a plate of poop,
 hold your nose and do everything you can
 to make the best of a lousy situation. 
But don't compound the problem
 by telling yourself you should enjoy it 
as much as Haagen-Dazs.
 - Jason Blume 
 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Unnecessary

If you mind isn't cluttered by unnecessary things, 
this could be the best day of your life. 
- Ethan Hughes
 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Motion

All of life is in constant motion, and we are, too.
 On the upside, since we are constantly moving
 that means problems can be temporary too.
 Our feelings and our circumstances will always change. 
 It's important that we allow them to flow
 through us and around us, and deal with pressing issues
immediately and fearlessly.
 - Robb Armstrong
 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Friday, 17 March 2017

March 17, 2017 Chautauqua



 
Beth's Ponderings

   Because humans are social animals, we have a deep need to belong.  Whether it is in an ethnic group, a religious organization, a particular political party, a fitness club, a gang, a preferred customer club, a social cause, or any other possible group or organization.  It doesn’t really matter what the group is as long as it keeps us from feeling like we are alone, or worse, outsiders.  And, usually belonging to just one group isn’t enough, and before long, the group identity becomes our sole identity.

   The irony is that in order to “belong” and be a member of a particular grouping of people, we have to isolate and separate ourselves from other people.

   Because, at the end of the day, that is the purpose of any grouping of individuals - no matter how altruistic their motives, ideals and actions - to separate themselves from others in some way, to show how different they are from the mainstream, and to give its members a feeling that they are more special than non-members.

   As a society, we need to have cooperation between people, a pooling and sharing of resources, to enable us to accomplish more than we could possibly accomplish on our own.  It is not possible to thrive as an isolated individual.

   But, at the extreme end, a group’s good can get overshadowed by the need to prove that its members are better than others, or that it knows the only right way to accomplish something.  Usually what results is a splintering of the group into smaller groups, each vying for new members, which in turn leads to more people being excluded, which leads to more people craving to belong somehow.  And when people feel desperate to join a particular group, they aren’t always thinking straight, and are very susceptible to pressure from peers, or group leaders.

   While it would be so easy to say that we just need to get rid of the extreme groups, that won’t solve the problem.  Instead, we need to remind those around us what belonging really means.  After all...“Breathing is nature's way of saying we belong here. Otherwise we wouldn't be doing it!” - Ofosu Jones-Quartly

Beth


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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lived

Life is meant to be lived 
not managed, not controlled, not screamed,
 not stressed, not hurried, not guilt-ridden,
 not regretted, not scripted, not consumed
 by distractions, big or small, obvious or subtle. 
- Rachel Macy Stafford  
 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Suffering

If we learned from suffering, 
wouldn't the world be enlightened by now? 
 - Josh Radnor
 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Goofing Off

What I now know
 is that goofing off is actually critical 
to my journey in this life. 
 - Cheryl Richardson
 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Monday, 6 March 2017

Same

I am developing the loving awareness 
that everyone is the same, 
only on different paths.
 - James van Praagh  
 

Friday, 3 March 2017

March 3, 2017 Chautauqua




Beth's Ponderings

   How much space do you take up in this world?  

   Now, let me clarify what I mean by “space.”

   I don’t mean the square footage of your house, or your workplace/office, or if you even have multiple residences.  I don’t mean how many belonging you have and the entire square footage they occupy.  And, I definitely don’t mean the size of your physical shape - whether you are tall or short, bigger or smaller around.

   Space, in the context that I am using it, has both a macro and micro element to it.  

   On the macro level, how large an area does your influence ripple out?  Are you known outside of your immediate community, or do you tend to keep to yourself?  How large is your circle of friends and acquaintances?  You don’t have to be “famous” to have lots of influence, just kind.

   Now, the micro level of space is a bit different, and, of the two levels, is the most important.  It is also the easiest to measure at any given moment, and boils down to just one simple observation - how full and deep was your last breath?

   There are only three types of “fuel” our body needs: air, water, and food, and the most vital one is air, yet, because it enters our bodies predominately without conscious thought, we tend to ignore it.  The vast majority of us barely fill 20% of our lungs with each breath!  No wonder so many of us - myself included many days - feel tired and weak all the time, and when we feel threatened in any way, we tend to shrink inward - like a turtle into its shell - to protect ourselves.

   Yet the only way to really protect ourselves is to relax, inhale fully and deeply, and open our chests.  By filling more energetic “space” with each inhale we are able to sense - with our hearts - more of the world around us, and filling more space with full, deep inhalations is also the secret to thriving and living a healthy life.

   The size of our houses, and the number of belongings we own, matters not if we don’t fully inhabit the energetic “space” that we have been given to embody with each breath we take.
 
Beth

Read the complete issue of The Chautauqua here: https://sites.google.com/site/thechautauqua21/home/March%203%2C%202017%20Chautauqua.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

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

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Breathing

Breathing is nature's way of saying we belong here. 
 Otherwise we wouldn't be doing it!
 - Ofosu Jones-Quartly
 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Joy

May peace be your ellipsis
 and joy your exclamation point.
 - Christine Smith
 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Free

The only way to deal with an unfree world
 is to become so absolutely free 
that your very existence is an act of rebellion. 
 - Albert Camus  

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Awesome

Stop being boring 
and show the world what awesome looks like.
- Robby Novak  
 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Creativity

Creativity test:
Q: Are you breathing?
Score: If you answered yes to this very important question,
 that means you are highly creative.
So the real question is,
 are you willing to bring forth the gift
 that only you can give?
 - Pam Grout