Like some of the tastiest recipes, the best moments in life have few ingredients.
Savor the simplicity of family and friends. Relish water, sun and trees.
Best when marinated in love and sautéed in the spirit of felicity.
Remember the Analog!
My husband posted this clever and thought provoking statement on Facebook the other morning and it perfectly ties together the theme of this blog which has been bouncing around in my head for weeks.
When contemplating the reasons why I miss the experiences of the 1980s so much, it comes down to some pretty basic things- some simple human needs that that time satisfied for many in my generation.
I often ask, Why do Gen Xers love the Netflix Stranger Things series so much?.
In my first blog on the topic, I discussed four things that the ST characters and plot exemplified:
Upon further reflection, I realized that these things are all analog and are supported by in-person, live connections and relationships. In short, most analog activities make us happy.
I also discerned that my four reasons where also closely aligned to the five basic human needs outlined in William Glasser’s book “Choice Theory” which are:
Choice theory psychology posits that almost all behavior is chosen and we are driven by our genes to satisfy these five basic needs.
I find myself longing for more analog activities like riding bikes, playing board games and socializing with friends because it brings me more joy and relief from the bitter and angry world of social media.
The positive memories of growing up in the 1980s is a safe and happy shelter for many people and this is why period pieces like Stranger Things and GLOW are so popular. Plus, the clothes and the music of the 80s were just so funky and hilarious.
For me, the feeling of being part of a group where I could have free, fun, empowering adventures was an amazingly strong and positive gift that I wish I could replicate in the world today.
So how can we get a piece of that happiness back in our lives without having a TARDIS or a flux-capacitor fitted DeLorean?
When looking at these activities through a psychological lens- they do seem to satisfy the human needs of Freedom, Fun, Power and Control ( with #19 & 20 clearly being for Survival).
I am a huge fan of the series Stranger Things and GLOW on Netflix and I hope that these thoughts and ideas can help bring you a bit of the fun, happiness and adventure I had growing up in the 1980s.
What are we waiting for?
Time is a funny thing. It passes so slowly when we are doing things that are hard, painful or unpleasant. But boy does time pass in the blink of an eye when we experience things that are fun, exciting or pleasurable.
This strange and relative perspective on time has been on my mind a lot lately as I reflect on the frequent news and Facebook posts about friends and family who leave this earth too soon. What about all the things they wanted to do- all the things they had planned but will never have the chance to now?
So as I ponder the idea of our pending expiration date, I ask again- What are we waiting for?
For words of wisdom, guidance and inspiration I went to my iTunes library and fired up one of my favorite bands, Pink Floyd and listened to the great song “Time” from the Dark Side of the Moon album. The lyrics are universal and powerful and include lines such as:
“Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.”
Yes, time waits for no one and keeps marching on.
The question is – are you doing everything you want to do and are you everything you want to be right now or are you “ waiting for something or someone to show you the way”?
I love Pink Floyd’s message and call to action in “Time” when they warned us “no one told you when to run; you missed the starting gun”.
Well here I am with my starting bell [Ding], prompting you to get started right now with one small step to get you closer to where you want to be or what you want to do.
This is the final post of My Compelling Blog series and the letters are WXYZ.
Words have power.
As a speaker, mentor and now writer, I have a great appreciation for the strength, meaning and impact of words.
How you ever noticed how many quotes, rules and words of wisdom there are that refer to watching what words you use and how you speak?
Be impeccable with your word.- The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
Be precise in your speech. 12 Rules for Life, Jordon B. Petersen
Silence speaks when words fail.- Unknown
Xenophile– I like this word better than the more commonly used antonym, xenophobe. A xenophile is a person who has a love of foreign people and cultures. I like that.
Yoga– Some of my best friends have shared their zest for yoga with me.
Here’s a wonderful quote by Amit Ray that frames yoga and words.
“Exercises are like prose,
whereas yoga is the poetry of movements.
Once you understand the grammar of yoga;
You can write your poetry of movements.”
Zest- I’ll end this compelling blog series like I started it- with great enthusiasm and energy.
My zest for writing and sharing thoughts, ideas and images is what keeps life interesting and I am glad that you have joined me on the journey!
For those of you who love lists, here are the 26 words I have featured in my last 8 blogs:
This week millions of people around the world celebrated the Lunar New Year. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is the Year of the Earth Pig.
Fun searching on Google tells us that “A pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity, symbolizing a hard working, a peace-loving person, a truthful, generous, patient, reliable, trusting, sincere, giving, sociable person with a large sense of humor and understanding.”
Part 5 of My Compelling blog series continues with the letters MNO & P which stand for Molding Novel Outlooks and Perspectives.
Scroll past the pigs to see some new ideas.
Random Thoughts and Suggestions
Life is a crazy rollercoaster and sometimes you just have to laugh at the absolute insanity of it all.
This is why Part 4 of my compelling blog features the phrase “Just Keep Laughing” for the letters JKL. I thought this was more helpful and inspirational than “Just Kidding Loser” or worse yet, the dreaded “Just Kidding LOL”. Is it just me or do you find LOL to be annoying?
My Mom’s favorite express was “Live, Love, Laugh” and I always admired her warm smile and jolly laugh. She had a tough life with many challenges but she never let it get her down.
So when the crazy/mean/rude/obnoxious people in this world start making you feel like your head is going to explode, remember Just Keep Laughing!
Plus, as an added bonus, laughing has many health benefits for you, including:
Welcome to Part 2 of my Compelling Blog series where the featured letters are D, E and F with the phrase of: Don’t Encourage Faceplants.
Part 1 began with A, B, C: Action, Bold and Creativity.
Here’s an excerpt from a speech I gave on Jan. 29, 2019 at my Toastmaster club’s International Speech contest.
“In these troubling and turbulent times my serious and solemn advice for you is: Don’t encourage faceplants!
Why, might you ask, am I focusing on faceplants? Well for one, faceplants are not fun. In fact, they can be quite humiliating and are often times very painful.
Thus, they should be avoided at all costs!
How do I know this?
Well after 25 years of mountain biking, I’ve taken a tumble or two and lived to tell the tale.
I also believe that many important life lessons can be learned while mountain biking.
I experienced one of these painful lessons many years ago while biking in the mountains of southern California. The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a beautiful area and I was enjoying the warm, sunny weather. As a young and inexperienced rider, I was struggling to keep up with the older more skilled cyclists in my group and I fell behind and started to tire. The trail had many climbs, stunning views and numerous fun and swooping descents. But after many miles, I started to lose my confidence in my technical skills. My speed decreased and I lost some of my nerve. And then I came across a new and scary part of the trail- a long, extended rocky stretch. There were big rocks, small rocks and everything in between. My experienced husband glided over the section with ease but at the first sight of the rocks, I seized up inside and slowed to a near stand still. I was pedaling so slowly that my front wheel wedged between two of the larger rocks and I endo-ed onto a huge, flat boulder to my right. I face-planted on my cheek and it cracked. There was a flash of blinding white light and I knew that my ride was over for the day.”
Here are my 3 Tips for a better, smoother ride:
In life, not all the paths we take are smooth, flat and easy. Sometimes the downhills are treacherous and frightening with obstacles and sudden drops offs. Sometimes, the ascents are steep and seem to last forever. Remember to keep moving with your eyes focused on where you want to go and you will dramatically increase your chances of getting there unscathed.
It is my hope that this turbulent tale from the trail can help you remember these tips for a better, smoother ride no matter where the path of life takes you.