Mindful Mimi's blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

I've learned that it's ok to be flawed - Winona Ryder

>> 30 January 2009

If I participate in prompts or memes, they are usually the writing kind. Because I seem to be able to write more, faster and create something with words better than I do when I need to draw or paint something.

Painting takes time and you have to set up for it. And my drawing skills are very, very rusty. Ahum...

That is why I am usually reluctant to participate in art prompts. I have always liked the concept of Illustration Friday and visit them regularly.

Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It's a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art.

This is the first time I dare take part. Today's subject is FLAWED, which I though perfect in two ways.

  1. My cup of tea is awfully flawed from a drawing perspective...
  2. My cup of tea moment was flawed as well, for it did not succeed in quietening my mind and for that matter get my right brain to work and draw correctly...
This is by the way sketched into my One Year of White Pages book that I wrote about recently.

So, please bear with me:


Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art. - Ansel Adams

>> 29 January 2009

I have just uploaded a bunch of Children photos onto my Red Bubble gallery.

You are herewith invited to come and have a look!


In order to act, you must be somewhat insane. A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking -- George Clemenceau

>> 28 January 2009

Working on a dream

I am working on a dream:
it is sensible,
not ostensible.

I am working on a dream:
which makes sense
to make compensable.

I am working on a dream:
it is significant,
not dispensable.

I am working on a dream:
it is perceptible,
but hard to reach.

I am working on a dream.
I am sensible:
satisfied with thinking.

I am working on dream:
which I have to wake up from
in order to be insane enough
to make it come true.

Working on a dream by Bruce Springsteen

Poem and image (c) Mindful Mimi - January 2009
Thanks to Weekend Wordsmith for triggering this post with their Sensible prompt. And thanks to The Boss for helping us dream.


Imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering - Brenda Ueland

>> 26 January 2009

In a recent post, I talked about my year of white pages and my process of trying to fill them with daily creativity.

Yesterday I had a bad conscience because I was 3 pages late. And I knew that the more I procrastinated, the worse things would become and the more guilty I would feel.

So there I sat, completely devoid of inspiration, desperately looking for something to fill at least a page with (I would deal with the other two later).

I had received a baby announcement card from a cousin of mine which had a little bear on it. So I just started drawing and coloring this bear into my book. The result was horrifying.

My left brain, the one that still had my to do list blinking, the one that was listening to the tv downstairs, the one that thinks in details instead of the whole picture, the one that knew I was going to fail, was still very very active. (see right brain versus left brain characteristics and do the test here).

I was courageous enough to turn the page and let the horrible bear be.
On my desk lingered a photo of me which I did not like and was going to throw away. Instead I cut out part of the photo, glued it in the book and started doodling around it. The result was still no art, but I was slowly switching off from the world around me.

On page 3, and catching up on my delay, I wrote a title of what we had been doing that day 'A walk in the woods' and little things popped up: little red boots of my son, leaves, a blue bonnet, my camera, footsteps. And my right brain was on a train.

Looking at it now, it is still nothing to write home about, but it taught me two things:

  1. Even when you're not in the mood, mind, setting or atmosphere to be creative, the simple fact to just start doing something in that direction (or as Brenda Ueland puts it, moodling: idling, dawdling, puttering), gets the creative juices flowing.

  2. Even if the result is still of meager artistic value, you might be able to take away a little idea that can be combined to another one you considered useless, thus creating something better, and better, and better...

Brenda Ueland books:
Christine Kane write about Why moodling is good for you


The energy of the mind is the essence of life - Aristotle

>> 23 January 2009

Although the days are getting longer again, the winter blues is still looming.

Here are some energy booster tips to get your body through winter. For a healthy body speaks of a healthy mind.

  1. Dream body:
    Looking for a way to empty your head, get back into shape and trim your body? Start to run. After some weeks of training you will have no problem running 5 kms.

  2. Little by little:
    Paying bills, cleaning, ironing... Don't leave those chores until the weekend when they will take up your free (family) time and get you frustrated. A half hour every day is the solution. It gives the work structure, keeps your closets organised and gives you a good feeling.

  3. An apple a day...:
    Each occasion is good to set your teeth into a healthy apple full of vitamines. Get your company to have a basket full at reception for employees every morning.

  4. Talk positive:
    Avoid negative sentences. You will realise that people not only listen to you better but that your message comes across as well. Say 'If you agree with this.' instead of 'If you don't mind'. 'Could you stay on the line please.' instead of 'Do not hang up please.'

  5. Energy wash:
    After a busy day take the time for a relaxing bath or revitalising shower. Concentrate on the water, the feel on our skin, the sounds of it splashing. Close your eyes. Really be there and enjoy.

  6. Green energy:
    Green tea has many advantages for your health. The drink prevents tiredness, improves concentration and simulates our brain. After you make your cup of tea, let the teabags cool off and use them on your eyes.

  7. Massage minute:
    Place your index and middle finger in the middle of your forehead and rub slowly towards the outside. Repeat as often as possible.

  8. Feel lighter:
    Winter depression often happens in autumn or winter when days become shorter. You can prevent light forms of depression if you try to benefit as much as possible from the (day)light. So go outside for a walk.

  9. Omega here and omega there:
    Did you know that our brains consist of 60% of fats, of which 20% essential fatty acids? That explains why the famous omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids improve brain function and fight depression. You find them in flaxseed oil, nut oils, soja oil and products that contain these oils (such as bread for example).

  10. Wondrous water:
    A beauty product that prevents aging. A drink that quietens our hungry feeling and cleans the body. Water not only quenches your thirst. Drink before you feel thirsty. Add bubbles if you find still water bland.

  11. Umbrella breathing:
    Whenever you feel stressed try a few moments of umbrella breathing: close your eyes, arms loose along your body. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and let your lungs expand and your arms lift slightly. Imagine an umbrella opening. Hold for a few seconds. Breathe out through your mouth, empty your lungs, lower your arms. Close the umbrella. Hold for a few seconds and repeat a few times until you feel fresh and calm again.


Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness - Seneca

>> 22 January 2009

Yesterday I was in town for my Pilates class. We live in a tiny village, so venturing out into the city is a nice but also stressful change.

Traffic lights that seem to turn red just when you get there.
People, everywhere: coming out of shops, going into shops, crossing the streets, bumping into you.
Cars: fuming, honking, trying to take priority over pedestrians.

Finally I made my way into the parking garage. Phew.

My class relaxed me and deleted all the stress I had built up coming - besides improving my posture...

I went back to the parking garage, which is close to the train station. The station area is usually not the best district of a city. So I tend to become one of those anonymous people that just go from A to where they have to Be, without noticing too much or looking up.

I was fishing for my parking ticket, when I noticed a small man with a paper cup talking to the guy paying his parking fee. And I thought 'Great, a beggar. Do they come into buildings now? Do they follow us everywhere?': gut reaction of the person who just walked through town ducked into her coat in the hope to be invisible.

I put the ticket in the slot and looked at the machine telling me 3,60 Euros. I hesitated to take out my purse to pay, quickly looking up at the supplicant to evaluate my risk of being mugged.

Meanwhile, this guy is rattling down his pleading speech about his large family, his sick boy... And I found myself thinking: who am I to judge him? Why do I think he would mug me? What makes me assume that his story is fake? Why do I have these prejudices?

And I felt a small wave of kindness wash over me unanticipatedly.

I looked into my wallet, took out the coins to pay for the parking and was ready to drop a few into the guy's cup, when I noticed a 5 euro bill. And my hands just took it and gave it to him.

My eyes were still cast down but I did get a glimpse of his huge smile and the sparks that lit up his eyes, while he was thanking me profusely. I mumbled something and went off inside.

By the time I was safely back in my car, the wave of kindness had taken me over completely and I felt elated. It also made me start to think about my reactions: why did the city make me want to become one of those anonymous passerby? How and why was the city able to influence my mood in such a way?

But above all: why was I so reticent toward the beggar? Where did all these prejudices come from? Why am I able to donate money online with not so much as a blink, when I seem to be unable to look the needy person in real life in the eye? And who the hell was I thinking about when I thought 'do they follow us everywhere?'

My random act of kindness made me feel warm and fuzzy inside all day. And I am asking myself why I don't do this more often, more naturally. I am not talking about giving money to every beggar on the street (remember, I live in a tiny village which has no street persons - and they are even scarce in our city).

I am talking about being kind in general, doing the small things that we are able to do, the things that Lance at Jungle of Life calls 'small gestures of love'. Whether it's a simple thank you, a touch of a hand, or a compliment.

Let's spread kindness and make the world a better place, one baby step at a time. Because small is the new big.


Information: a source of learning or a burden?

>> 21 January 2009

Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.

-- William Pollard

There is a huge amount of information thrown at us on a daily basis.

There are studies that show that it is stressful to have to assimilate too much information. Ads on television and in magazines, information on the internet, even the content description on a tube of toothpaste has exacerbated our body's evolutionary ability to handle it.

Watch this interesting illustration of the problem:

I invite you to visit this site on The Information Explosion which illustrates the evolution of the information explosion, tells us about the effects and how we break information into manageable chunks and shows the different roles of Media and Technology for example.

You may also want to read this very interesting article on Information Overload, its effects and how to fight it.


The touch of a hand...

>> 20 January 2009

In Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan dreams of meeting the man who will bring her a feeling of peace and security by the simple touch of his hand.

Each human seems to secretly aspire to such a feeling. Is it a Hollywood fantasy or is there some reality behind this idea that a simple hand contact is able to 'talk' to our inner being?

Over the past 20 years, sociological studies have shown that people who live - happily - in a couple are in better health. They have less colds, cardiac illnesses and even cancers (1). Some studies suggest that this is thanks to the effects of physical contact.

At the University in Zurich, Switzerland, researcher Beate Ditzen has asked women who are happy in their marriages to pass a test in public and in front of a jury. As in 90% of the people this generated a high level of stress. Some of the women did not have any contact to their partners before the 'test'. Their cardiac rythm and level of stress hormones (like cortisol for example, principal biological indicator of stress) increased brutally. Those who had received words of encouragement before the test did not escape from the effects of stress either.
However, those women who had received a little shoulder or neck rub (ten minutes with a little oil) from the partner they love, passed the test with much greater calm. Their cardiac rythm and cortisol level stayed normal as well (2).

In another study, the same team followed 50 couples very closely for a week. The more men and women touched each other or made love, the lower their cortisol level was. Here again, it was not the quality of spoken emotional exchanges that made the difference, but the time spent each day touching each other's hand, embracing each other or rubbing the skin. The more stress they had at the office, the more noticeable these protective effects of touching were on cortisol increases (3).

Monkeys, dogs, cats and even children seem to know better than we how to take care of their physiology in this way. Animals are continuously seeking physical contact with those they trust. They feed from it like from other energies: air, water, food, a log fire, the sun...

For us adult humans, it seems to be an aspect we neglect often. How many men and women are in a couple with someone who, deep down, they can't smell, let alone stand to touch? Other couples on the contrary, surprise us sometimes in that they seem completely odd and unmatched in their interests or origins, but one sees immediately that they are 'settled' when they are near or very close to each other.

Without a doubt they answered this 'animal' call from deep down that made them feel that something - their cortisol? - reacted to the physical presence of this partner.
And here we have another energy, an inexhaustible and free source from which we can all profit and give as a present before each exam, important meeting at work or simply like that, for no reason, like one breathes or bathes in the sun.

To feel, through the softness of the hand, the sweetness of life.

Freely translated article from Psychologies.com magazine Jan09.


We all have the drum major instinct - Martin Luther King

>> 19 January 2009

We all have the drum major instinct.
We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. ...
And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct.
It is a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it.
Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important.
Keep feeling the need for being first.
But I want you to be the first in love.
I want you to be the first in moral excellence.
I want you to be the first in generosity.

-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Find his Drum Major Instinct sermon and audio excerpts here.


Our society teaches children that in order to succeed in life, they need get noticed, get admired, lead the parade, surpass others and achieve distinction.
Our school systems reward the best in class, try to keep the cream of the crop and relegate in other directions those who do not fit in or abide by the rules.
In social life, children are pushed towards a need to fit in, to belong to a certain group or else they are ignored or worse, bullied.

Love, moral excellence and generosity are meant to be taught at home.

But how can one feel that these values are the most important, if the rest of the world seems to rotate the other way around?

Why is there no class in school teaching children what love really is?
Why is the system still insisting on success in math and physics while having to fail half the students that happen to be far better at languages or art?
Why does our society expect us to improve our weaknesses when it should focus on the strengths we have?
Why does the system not teach us to succeed by giving instead of taking?

You can't change the system in one day, but you can start by improving your strengths today by taking this free workshop by Markus Buckingham which I found very enlightening.

And maybe it will allow you to major in something different from drumming...


What do women talk about when they know they don't have forever?

>> 18 January 2009

Yesterday I finished reading a book that moved me deeply.

Elizabeth Berg's Talk before Sleep is a tale of what women talk about when they know they don't have forever.

Ann and Ruth have always talked as only great friends can - honestly, and about everything: husbands and marriages, sex lives and children, their work, their hopes, their disappointments, and their dreams.

Both women are very different in character. While Ann is cautious and conventional, Ruth is outspoken and eccentric. This difference give each of them something they long for and need to learn.

Then everything changes.

Faced with a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship, they begin to share something more profound than either of them might have predicted.

It is the story of these two women and their friends, talking, laughing, crying together that lures you into the pages, makes you part of it and leaves you breathless and crying at the end, but at the same time assured that you are part of this womanhood of the universe.

Today I want to share with you two quotations from this book which struck me with special meaning.

I saw that every person is a multifaceted and complex being, worthy of respectful exploration and discovery; that this longing we can't name and try to cure with relationships might only be us, wanting to know all of our own selves.

What matters most is only who you were to someone else.


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe - Carl Sagan

>> 17 January 2009

Since the beginning of this year I have been trying to be creative once every day. Small or big, it doesn't matter.

For that, I have bought one of these wonderful little books from Nava called 'Hole in Twelve' which is one notebook with one one page per day. I also like their 'One year of white pages' notebooks (one book per month).

So I try to fill that one little page every day. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes I have no time and the next day I have to do two... Some days I just doodle, draw something really crappy or write a poem. Some days I do a page and get inspired and out comes a painting, like this one.

Something seems to have shifted though. By doing it more and more often, the desire to be creative increases. I am not saying the quality does too...but hey, at least I am creating. Yehay!

Twyla Tharp on the subject of Motivation and Creativity:
Ira Glass on the Motivation to Create


The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

>> 16 January 2009

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.

You don’t have to actually answer the questions….just ponder them.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.


How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the ‘headliners’ of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But, the applause dies..
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.



The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..the most money…or the most awards.
They simply are the ones who care the most.


Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!


The first principle of success is desire - knowing what you want. Desire is the planting of your seed - Robert Collier

>> 15 January 2009

Another painting with seed pods I just finished . These are from our local woods and last weekend's walk.

I seem to have this thing for seed pods lately.

Which makes me think about something Christine Kane recently said on a tele-seminar.

"When we plant a seed, the first thing that comes up is not the sprout, it's the Dirt."
I have set the intention of painting more. That intention is my seed. So bear with me while I share my dirt with you :-) I hope it will sprout eventually.


Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished: Europe on an art map

>> 14 January 2009

Each time the EU presidency changes, the country in charge mounts some form of national display at the Brussels EU building. The French, which held the job until January, presented a giant balloon in its national colors.

The Czech seem to have chosen a more controversial way of manifesting their presidency. The exhibit "Entropa" comes in the form of a giant child's model kit. The 27 EU nations are each represented by a piece in their shape.

Czech deputy prime minister, Alexandr Vondra, says he supports freedom of expression, that it's a piece of art and that it would be a tragedy if Europe is not strong enough to look at it.

Italy is represented by a display illustrating its "autoerotic" obsession with soccer.

Sweden is portrayed by a flat packing carton by the country's furniture giant Ikea. Luxembourg is presented as a golden nugget with a "For Sale" sign attached. Germany appears as a series of nine interlocking motorways.

More risky, Poland's contribution pokes fun at the Catholic Church, showing priests mimicking the iconic pose of soldiers raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima in 1945. The Netherlands is submerged beneath the sea with only the minarets of five mosques visible.

Bulgaria, which was once under Ottoman domination, is portrayed as a "Turkish toilet" made up of footmarks and a hole in the ground.

France has a large 'on strike' sign pinned to its outline.

Reuters informed that the artist David Cerny was condemned for duping the Czech government into thinking it was made by 27 artists from each country.


We think fast food is equivalent to pornography, nutritionally speaking. ~Steve Elbert

Not convinced about the benefits of organic food? Watch this funny Grocery Store Wars video.

Check out these sites:


A fistful of dollars: the story of a Kiva.org loan

>> 13 January 2009

In 2007 I discovered and wrote about what I think is one of the greatest charity ideas ever: KIVA.
Since then I have made loans, followed the development of the businesses I supported,been repaid and re-loaned the same money.

If you want to know what really happens behind the scene, I suggest you watch this very interesting video of  one guy who followed a 25$ loan from beginning to end.

Very enlightening. Well, I'm off to the Kiva site now...

And if you want to help without giving money, you can go to the Small Things Challenge, click on a button and help donating 5 cents to the cause.

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, while 75 million children worldwide are not in school. By pooling surprisingly small investments, we can help to significantly improve educational access and economic development. It’s called The Small Things Challenge, and it’s a campaign based on the premise that every small action can make a big difference to ensure quality education and economic opportunity for all. We challenge you to join us in becoming a part of the solution. Your help will make a difference.


Philosophy - A Guide to Happiness

>> 12 January 2009

Happiness is like a butterfly;

the more you chase it,

the more it will elude you,

but if you turn your attention to other things,
it will come
and sit softly on your shoulder

-- Henry David Thoreau

Today I want to share this video with you on philosopher Epicurus' view on happiness.
According to him we don't know what we need.
We only needs three things to be happy: Friends, Freedom and An Analysed Life.
He also explains why shopping does not make us happy...

This video is part of a six part series on philosophy presented by popular British philosopher Alain de Botton, featuring six thinkers who have influenced history, and their ideas about the pursuit of the happy life.

In the same series:

Socrates on Self-Confidence
Seneca on Anger
Montaigne on Self-Esteem
Shopenhauer on Love
Nietzsche on Hardship


Take the power to make your life happy.

>> 11 January 2009

This life is yours.

Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well.

Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly.

Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature.

Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you.

Take the power to make your life happy.

-- Susan Polis Schutz

At 10 am this morning, Loïc, my 2 and half year old son and I were having tea and a cookie. The baby is usually asleep around then and Loïc cherishes this time he can spend alone with his mother. The sun was shining outside despite the -10 degrees Celsius.

All of a sudden Loïc asks me to go play with him outside in the sandbox (his favorite activity since summer and no matter what the weather conditions are). I usually get him dressed and let him out to play by himself but he was very good at insisting that I came along this time: drooping, pleading dog eyes, slight pull at my sleeve, 'pleeeaaaase Mommie'. How could I resist?

We got dressed - which took a while, what with the -10 outside and hence the need of multiple layers of clothing - and stumbled outside into the sunny cold. Loïc rushed to the sandbox and immediately started pulling out stuff to show me: a bulldozer, a bucket, a small rake and shovel. 'Come Mommie, help me'.

And I thought 'Uggghhh, why can't he just play and I watch him? Do I have to do this?' (it was 10 am and -10 degrees I have to repeat). I sat down - what else could I do? - and started raking the half-frozen sand.

It got me thinking. When we are little, we love to play in the sand, in the water, in the woods, in the barn - you name it. We can spend hours doing something repetitiously. And we hate it when our parents call us inside because it's dinner time. We have the feeling there is never enough time to play the games we love.
And when we get older and are finally allowed to decide about our own time, how come we have stopped loving such little, silly games? Now that we can have all the time in the world, why are we not playing in the sandbox or in the woods all the time instead of watching tv or surfing the web?

My mindset shifted and I started enjoying raking the sand, heaping sand into the truck. We started running around the garden, aimlessly (another favorite occupation of my son - which I usually get him up to because it tires him out and he will be ready for a nap :-).

There was still a thin layer of snow in the garden and we got out these big plastic shovels they make for sliding down the hill on your bum with. I showed Loïc how to do this and after a few failed attempts, he finally managed to keep his feet in the air and slide down the slope. What a joy to hear that laughter, coming from deep within a child's heart. 'Again Mommie, again¨!'. And off we went for about 15 minutes (typical time spent on one activity before getting bored and needing to do something else) when we switched to the swings. I hadn't sat on a swing since summer and I can tell you it's a whole different experience when it's cold. It's great!

When he was ready to go off into the sandbox again I had to stop him because it was lunchtime. He moped and didn't want to come inside. But I had my secret weapon: the lure of home-cooked food and he was running to get inside and out of his playing clothes.

So this morning I chose to play with my son and did it well and loved it. I was part his game and of nature.
I took the power to control my feelings and hence the direction of the morning. I took control to make my life happy.

It seems such a small, unimportant step, but deciding to really be there and enjoying it was the best thing I did today.


Painting is just another way of keeping a diary - Pablo Picasso

>> 9 January 2009

Below is a painting I finished yesterday. Unfortunately the picture does not render the 3D effect of this painting.

The brown poles in the middle are seed pods brought home from a trip to Guadeloupe.


A laugh a day...

>> 8 January 2009

keeps the doctor away. Trust me.

You gotta love Billy Connolly. OK, he is Scottish and hence hard to understand for some. OK, he does not watch his language. But he cracks me up.

Watch him tell you what he thinks about Opera (which is the video with the least foul language I could find :-)

Another one of my favorite laughter resources is The Fast Show. Gotta like British humor. And if you like Johnny Depp and British humor, enjoy the Suit You Tailors (unless you mind filthy language and sex-obsessed men... don't tell me I didn't warn you).

If you prefer Robbie Williams to Johnny, click here.


It is rewarding to find someone you like, but it is essential to like yourself - Jo Coudert

>> 7 January 2009

It is rewarding to find someone you like, but it is essential to like yourself. It is quickening to recognize that someone is a good and decent human being, but it is indispensable to view yourself as acceptable. It is a delight to discover people who are worthy of respect and admiration and love, but it is vital to believe yourself deserving of these things.

For you cannot live in someone else. You cannot find yourself in someone else. You cannot be given a life by someone else. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave or lose.

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.

- Jo Coudert


What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

>> 5 January 2009

Today one of my articles was included in the Carnival of Personal Development.

This is where I came across The Path to Purpose posted by Erin Pavlina (wife of Steve Pavlina).

Now I am not a supporter of the paranormal, but her article struck a cord.

Last year in July I wrote about having a bucket list. It made me thoughtful to see that I have realised two of the things listed (I visited my friend in Spain and painted, a little). Should I say only? In a way yes, because I have not done much in order to achieve the other things. I have been thinking a lot about writing a book, having my own bookshop and starting a charity. But thinking doesn't get me anywhere unless I DO something with it.

Erin wrote that she asked her husband for help when she felt stuck in a rut. His answer was a question: "What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?"

WOW! I have read many suggestions, questions and tips and tricks on how to live the life you're meant to live, how to find the purpose you're on this earth for. But nothing has ever hit me like this question.

Steve also suggested an exercise which Erin calls the Heart, Body, Mind, and Soul exercise. Steve discusses this in his article, Living Congruently. The exercise asks you to answer these four questions:

  • What do you want to do? (desire)
  • What can you do? (ability)
  • What should you do? (purpose)
  • What must you do? (need)
Steve writes that when these four areas are aligned, motivation occurs automatically. Thought and action are automatically balanced because you are living your purpose consciously. You won’t feel like you should be thinking when you’re acting or acting when you’re thinking. The line between thought and action will disappear. Being and doing will become the same thing.

He continues to say that when you experience misalignment between these four areas/questions, the natural tendency is to slow down… sometimes to a crawl. You’ll feel like you have all these ideas pulling you in different directions, but you aren’t fully satisfying any of them. Your mind knows that continuing to work hard is likely to be futile and won’t solve the real problem of incongruence. It knows it’s time for you to stop, ask directions, and choose the path of alignment.

The result is: Work = play = love.

That sounded so tempting to me that I have started to write down my WANT/DESIRE list. Tomorrow I will move on to the CAN list...

So, what would you do if you couldn't fail? Are you doing it? Why not?


Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

>> 4 January 2009


Author unknown

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently. 

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.


Tis nothing good or bad/ But thinking makes it so - William Shakespeare

>> 3 January 2009

I invite you to discover below TED talk from Daniel Gilbert, psychologist and happiness expert, author of  Stumbling on Happiness.

He is able to prove that having too many choices - something we consider being positive - can work in our disadvantage and make us unhappy.

I always considered choice to be a luxury, but Gilbert got me thinking... I find it deviously and devilishly interesting to see how humans can be tested into traps they create themselves. I know myself and I would have pondered and worried about having picked the right picture. 

Thus, sometimes, not having a choice actually makes you happier - in the long run anyway.

Quote from Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759

"The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another... some of these situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others, but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice, or to corrupt the future tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse for (sic, printed quote says "from") the horror of our own injustice."


Word of the year 2009

>> 2 January 2009

I have recently written about theWord of the year started by Christine Kane and about the choice of words I was juggling with.

I can now gladly say that I have chosen one for 2009. My word is Serenity. 


1. The quality or state of being serene; clearness and calmness; quietness; stillness; peace.

2. Calmness of mind; eveness of temper; undisturbed state; coolness; composure. 

I believe that serenity will help me with the other issues I struggle with daily (creativity, focus, effortlessness, presence, and other words that popped up in the meantime).

I have read The Power of now  and The Secret and have been thinking a lot about what it takes to live a happy life and not get submerged in the nitty gritty stuff. 

Over the past weeks I have had this in the back of my mind and it has triggered moments where I stop myself to think, to reflect, or on the contrary has made me stop the thinking in order to just look or enjoy the moment. 

I find it challenging because there are so many things to do in a day, so many distractions, so many stressful moments. It is difficult to remain serene. However, I notice that with the little attention I am giving it, things have already improved. My goal is to make it a habit, a way of life. I want to think happy, positive thoughts, do good things and in return attract good things.

Ever since I became a mother two and a half years ago, my life has taken a spin. The days started to be so filled with 'not-me' stuff. Focusing on the baby and giving basically 100% was something I was gladly willing to do, but it also nibbled at me a little bit. So now that I have two boys and that my youngest has passed that 100% needy stage, I am trying to balance my days and time.

I want to be there for my kids, my husband, do my job, take care of the household, continue to cook healthy meals for the children. In order to do that I need to have 'me-time' to charge up my batteries. I need to run, paint, write, read and daydream. And I often feel guilty for it.

So my goal is to find the necessary serenity that allows me to find the perfect balance that suits me and my life.

Wish me luck. And let me know if you have a word of the year for 2009 or some sort of resolution that goes in that direction.


Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP