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There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. -- John Ruskin

>> 29 December 2009

Do you like bad weather?

Do you like rain, fog, gray drizzle? Do you like humid and cold weather conditions?

I used to dislike that kind of weather very much.

It curls up my hair. I have to carry an umbrella, which tends to always be in the car when I'm in the office or vice versa.

People are aggressive on the street hurrying, trying to get past me into the dry and warm safety of the next shop. Malls are over filled with people escaping boredom at home. I am cold and wet when outside and too hot and sticky when inside.

People are often in a bad mood. And even when they are not, they are still complaining about the weather.

I used to be one of them.

Now I have come to like this weather. I don't love it to pieces, but I really appreciate it.

How come?

Well, I started running.

And with a busy schedule and hence limited time to run, I have the choice sometimes between running outside in the rain or in the basement on the treadmill.
I used to choose the treadmill: no need to put on 3 layers of clothing, no coming home all wet and muddy, being able to stop when I felt like it (which is usually a lot earlier than what a good exercising plan recommends), being able to watch tv or listen to an audiobook while running... The advantages are numerous.

But it is also very boring to run inside and especially on a treadmill.

And I have come to like the diversity of running outside in all kinds of weather.

I ran through a snowy landscape a few days ago. The wind was blowing snowflakes in my face. The fields were a different kind of white depending on whether they were pure soil, or grass, or left over weeds.
It smelled like winter. Like Christmas. Like holidays when I was a kid building igloos in our back yard.

I ran through icy rain today. Just a slight drizzle, putting a layer of little droplets on my lashes.

The ground was still frozen solid in certain places and I sometimes had to walk, or escape onto the grassy and less slippery side of the road. I could not run at my usual pace, but it gave me a whole new and different workout.

In the forest it was dead quiet except for those big raindrops that gather on a leaf and fall off when the load becomes too heavy. When they hit your face it's like someone dropped a goblet of water on you.

There was absolutely noone around and I felt alone, but in a good way.

When I get home from a run in the outdoors, I feel good.
The kind of good you felt as a child when you had been playing outside, climbing trees the whole afternoon.
The kind of good you feel when you have accomplished something and are proud of yourself.
The kind of good that can make you go on for another 5K, climb a high mountain, master an almost impossible task, do what you thought was impossible.

Yes, that kind of good.

And that is why I like bad weather, because in some weird way, it makes me feel really good.

Oh, and it also has the added advantage of making you less bored and aggressive :-)
And we could all use that...

So next time the weather is bad, and you're bored and feeling kind of edgy, go outside and brave the elements.

I guarantee you that you will like it. And if not, if it did not make you see things from a different angle, let me know and I will send you a free gift that will.


Laugh a lot, and when you're older, all your wrinkles will be in the right places

>> 23 December 2009

Laugh, and your day will be brighter,
laugh, and your burden will be lighter.

Laugh, and make it contagious,
laugh, and become courageous.

Laugh, and the pain becomes bearable,
laugh, and anything is wearable.

Laugh, deep down from your belly,
laugh, till your legs turn to jelly.

Laugh, and tell something funny,
laugh, and don't worry about money.

Laugh, and create joy around you,
laugh, and touch if only a few.

Laugh, and create an instand bond,
laugh, and even pygmies will respond.

Laugh, and if you don't remember how,
click here and it will teach you now.

Laugh, and if you need some inspiration,
laugh, and try this anti-frustration.

(c) Mindful Mimi - December 2009

Thanks to Weekend Wordsmith for triggering this post with their Laugh prompt.


It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see -- Henry David Thoreau

>> 18 December 2009

-- or, Does Seth Godin bike to work?

Seth Godin, Purple Cow guru named 'America's greatest Marketer' (by American Way magazine), writes a very atypical blog.

He writes a post almost every day.
And from reading them you can just see him biking to work every morning (I don't know him well enough to know whether he does this or not but he seems that kind of guy to me) thinking about something someone said last night, or about the funny kid he sees in the street or the ad he saw on tv last night.

Sometimes his posts are just that, thoughts. Or thought provoking statements. Or questions.

Sometimes I don't get it.

Sometimes I do - and I have one of those A-ha moments (no, not the Norwegian band!).
And I think 'shoot, I wish everybody else got this too'.

Anyhoo, he just published a free e-book about What matters Now - which should be really all we care about anyway.

It's 80 pages of his tribe writing about topics ranging from Generosity over Strengths and Consequence to Neoteny.

And if you don't know what any of these mean, or just want to know what some influential people have to say about what matters NOW, go get that free e-book.


Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple -- Dr Seuss

>> 15 December 2009

Today I would like to ask you 3 questions

  1. What 3 things are you proudest of accomplishing in 2009?

    They can be big things, small things. Things that are important just to you, that made a difference to your family or made the world a better place.

  2. What 1 new thing do you want to accomplish in 2010?

    This should be your number one priority, the one thing you focus on every day and that you want to have finished by the end of next year.

    It can of course be something intangible like being a good partner to your loved one, or being a good parent. But I presume this is something we all strive to achieve.

    So, make your goal different from your family. Make it something that is part of who you are, the dream you have. Something like hiking through Nepal and setting up a charity, starting your own business or learning a new skill.

    You do not have to know the HOW. But you should be very clear on the WHAT.

  3. What is your 2010 Word of the Year?

    Since I heard about and met Christine Kane, I learned about how resolutions have a tendency to fail because they only address the DO level of your life (quit smoking, loose weight - the classic to do's for a new year).

    Christine started selecting a word to guide her through the year which puts you and your actions much more in the BE level of your life. The word you choose becomes the guiding force throughout the year - it grows with you, changes meaning and goes much deeper than a simple 'I need to get more organised'.
Think about the above questions for a while and leave me your answers in the comment section.

Here are my answers:

Things I am proud to have accomplished in 2010:
  1. I am proud to have found a satisfactory level of work-life balance. I work 4 days a week, which allows me to be implicated and professional at work without being too stressed. It also allows me to be at home on the afternoons my kids are free. Thanks to my parents who love to babysit, I have one afternoon per week for myself.

  2. I am proud to have finished my first picture book for children together with a brilliant illustrator. It shall be launched as an e-book early next year. You can have a preview here as read by little Elsie who also teaches you to draw Rufus and Lele.

  3. I am very proud to have started two amazing projects:
    • I set up some creative workshops to cater to my own lack of creativity at work. I ended up being asked to set up a pilot workshop on creative thinking with my company's HR. The pilot will take place in February.
    • I worked out a concept to bring the corporate to charity. By organizing team building activities with and for local charities, the beneficiaries are not only the community and the company but also the helping employees.
The one thing I want to accomplish in 2010:

I want to start my own business. I have an idea and it's of course closely linked to the above mentioned two projects. All I have to do now is figure out a way to make it happen. That's what 2010 is all about :-)

My word of the year 2010:


My word for 2009 was serenity and although I am not serene every minute of my life, I have achieved a level of serenity that make me happy. I am still flipping out from time to time and my kids can drive me up the wall. But I also know how to calm down, how to get back to being serene.

The projects I started this year were all about creativity. And I want to make creativity the red thread leading through 2010. All I want to do is create. Whether it's art, photography, a good home, children's books, a loving relationship, my blog, creative thinking workshops, the charity. I want to be the one who creates the way all these things look, work and feel. I want to make them all colorful and individual.

I want to continue creating this world around me that's fun, happy, loving...ME.


In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful -- Alice Walker

>> 10 December 2009


From his birth they knew something was off,
the doctor said so with an irritating cough.

He was slower than other kids his age,
he could so easily work himself into a rage.

His mother told him she loved him every day,
trying to keep others' harsh comments at bay.

When he grew up kids would make fun of him,
saying 'you're weird' and pushing him at the gym.

He talked slowly and walked in a funny way,
hence becoming everyone's easy prey.

They sent him away to live in a special place,
where he was allowed to move at his own pace.

There were other kids who thought he was funny,
making the new place suddenly seem sunny.

'Am I weird?' he asked his teacher after a while,
'Weird and wonderfully beautiful.' she said with a smile.

(c) Mindful Mimi - December 2009

Thanks to
for prompting this poem on the theme of Weird.


To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. -- Bernard M. Baruch

>> 7 December 2009

She is turning 40 next week.

She has been reflecting about what that number means. Whether it should mean anything at all.

It is different from when she turned 30.
Then it was all about finding the man of her dreams or not, about ever having babies or not.

She had made her peace with a life without them.
Until she met the man and had two lovely babies.

Now it's more about finding the right balance between work and family.
About a purpose in life that has to be more than just a 9 to 5 job in sales.
About all sorts of forms of creating: painting, writing, photographing, educating, combining creativity and charity, creativity and the corporate world, and potentially turning all that into a business.

She does not feel 40. She didn't feel 30 either. She never really felt her age.
Forty is middle age isn't it?
She doesn't feel like she's in the middle of her life.

She is a wife, responsible for love, laughter and support in a partnership.
She is a mother of two, responsible for their lives, their education, their happiness, their well being, their health.

Somehow she still can't believe that.

Somehow she still feels like a kid - even more so now that she has someone to jump around with.
Somehow she still feels like a teenager - though she is no longer lost or insecure (well, not that much anyway).

She wonders whether other people feel like this too.
Or whether they have it all figured out.

Forty doesn't seem old all of a sudden. Maybe 55 is when you start to be old?

She feels comfortable, at ease with herself.
She has figured out that life is about the journey, not about getting there.
She has learned that the now is all we have.
She has experienced the positive impact of complaining less, of intending more.

It doesn't always work. She doesn't always manage.
She has a nervous breakdown or a crying or screaming fit from time to time.

The difference at forty is that, instead of hiding and feeling sorry for herself for a week, instead of blaming her life on other people, instead of thinking this is the end of the world, now, she accepts it, notices it, learns from it, forgives herself and gets up again the next day.

What did you realize when you turned 40? or 30? or 50? or...?


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