Friday, 28 March 2014

The Wrong People

Stop spending time with the wrong people. –"Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends."

This is from Marc and Angel Hack Life list of Thirty Things To Stop Doing To Yourself. Their blog is packed with inspirational, thought provoking posts. I recommend it.

I found it via Subplots By Grace-Grace came to some neat conclusions on what we we learn from life and what she would tell her younger self.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Friday, 21 March 2014


Tomorrow is World Water Day. For developing countries alone $103 billion per year are required to finance water, sanitation and wastewater treatment through 2015. Most of the major NGO's have water and sanitation projects. Please consider making a donation.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Cloud Lift Give Away

Several weeks ago I received a beautiful hand made pin cushion in the mail. In fact there were two, one to keep and one to share. It was a completely unexpected act of kindness and generosity from foxyloon at Cloudmongers and Soup.  Although I'd metaphorically picked myself up and dusted myself off from a miserable experience, foxyloon sensed I needed a little love. There is nothing like the warm feeling of being on the receiving end of goodwill. I keep the pincushion beside my computer, it is just the right size to give a little squeeze when I need a goodwill pick me up.

If you would like to win this goodwill filled pin cushion, and the pretty scarf I chose to go with it, this is what you need to do:
Post about an act of goodwill i.e. kindness and compassion, on your blog and leave me a comment with a URL/link to your post. I'll put the links into a post when I randomly draw the winner of the give away. By entering you give me permission to use your stories in future posts-with credit of course.

Your stories don't have to be about grand gestures and saving the world, just observations on everyday goodwill.

Nicole at  My Garden Diaries wrote the following as part of her most recent post.

"A pot of happy flowers for my daughter. The most fantastic woman works at our local Trader Joe's. Every time she sees my daughter she let's her check out all of the groceries from our cart while taking the time to teach her about being a cashier. She makes her feel so special and on this particular day she let her pick out flowers because my bean had fallen earlier that day and had a bad scrape on her face.
There really are so many awesome people in this world!"

Deadline is March 29th. Winner will be posted on March 31st.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Intentional Acts Of Kindness

99% of us are basically kind but we are often tired and frantically busy. An act of intentional kindness falls to the bottom of our long to do lists without us realising it.

It promotes Acts of Kindness that are deliberate, frequent and a part of our every day lives. One way they do this is by offering cards, like the one below, free of charge to be given out by you as a gentle reminder to be kind. I'm not the kind of person who goes around handing out stuff like this, it feels a "bit holier than though".  I do slip them into library books, and leave them on buses and park benches and seats in the coffee shop.

They will send you cards with eleven suggestions on the back but I prefer to download the image and put my own suggestions on the back. Such as:
  1. Smile More.
  2. Be Kind To Yourself
  3. Encourage someone with a compliment.
  4. Spend Time With Someone Who Loves You
  5. Mail a "real" letter to someone
  6. Mow a neighbour's lawn
Take the idea, make it your own and have fun.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Deep Observation And Tree Following

My drawing teacher stresses observation. Deep observation is harder to do than I expected; I have a regrettably short attention span. It requires a disciplined approach, sustained concentration and a clearing of the mind. I sense it is offering me something beyond the lines on the page and I'm keen to find out what.

The above picture is from GC Himani's collection of quotes, notes & video's made by great people who have been sharing their enlightenment through their words and actions. Her site hasn't had a post for some time but it is an inspiring place to visit.

I have an opportunity for personal growth but how to go about it? Like most things deep observation requires training and practise. Sometimes things just fall into your lap. Like Loose and Leafy's 
Tree Following project. 

 choose a tree and see what it does:
when its leaves appear and when they fall
which twigs grow and which fall off
if it has seeds
and if any germinate and grow into new trees
what its bark looks like - when it's wet and when it's dry
whether anything grows on it - like lichen
whether creatures sit on - insects, birds, butterflies
what plants grow round it and what they do too.

If you choose to follow a tree L and L has a monthly link up to share your observations.

I'll be following my little Cox's Orange Pippin Apple Tree
taken last summer

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cloud Lift-You're So Beautiful

"You Are So Beautiful" is a song written by Dennis Wilson, Bruce Fisher and Billy Preston. It was first recorded by Preston and made popular by Joe Cocker.

More about the song here

Stay tuned for next Monday's Cloud Lift-it's a give away.

Friday, 7 March 2014

"They're always wanting to be together now"

You may have thought this blog was all about sweetness and light but every now and then you will find out just how opinionated I am. This is one of those days.

Segregating children in religious schools while they receive their grade school education is an abomination to me. Nothing does more to foster the us and them mindset. In western countries the children will be following the same curriculum and taking the same exams. The only thing different in each will be the faith based instruction. Do we really need to keep our beautiful, smart, honest and kind kids apart for the most important years of learning, discovering and maturing just to ensure our religious philosophy gets taught?

The day I see no government funding going to faith based schools will be a happy day for me. I went to Sunday school to receive my religious education. I know other religions do provide classes out of school, but not all. If it is as important to you as you say then include your children in your ministry.

In my world I would rather see our kids mixing and learning from each other. All religions and practises would be respected in the community schools. In fact I think it would be a good idea to teach all religions in school. We have drivers ed, and life skills and sex ed, why on earth would something as fundamental and impacting as the world's religions not be taught?

Congratulations to teachers Jessie Claudio from Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy and Shoshana Burton at Jewish Day School for bringing their students together in an event for Random Act of Kindness Week.

"We wanted to go out and do something for our community - not the Muslim or the Jewish communities per se," said Az-Zahraa teacher Jessie Claudio. The students worked together for a week planning and making a brown bag lunch for street people in a troubled area of the city.

Both teachers were thrilled at the response from the students, especially the fact that religion - an all too common barrier in life - wasn't a factor for them.
"Every time we get them together we have to pull them apart," said Burton.
"They're always wanting to be together now," said Claudio.

find out more here

Monday, 3 March 2014

cloud lift 4

File:Greenfield Village July 2013 4 (Cotswold Cottage).jpg

Fertilizer does no good in a heap, but a little spread around works miracles all over.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan