On Mission

Productivity
You will not find your mission by standing still. The only way to find it is by challenging yourself in something - I would almost say it does not matter what. Then by making consistent effort, the direction you should take will open up before you quite naturally, just as wide, new horizons open up before someone walking up a hill. Little by little you will come to understand your mission. That is why it is so important to have the courage to ask yourself what it is that you should really be doing right now, at this very moment. It is likewise important to set your sights high. The greater the tasks you chose to take on - one step at a time - the more rewarding and joyful…
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On puzzling

Personal Narrative, Productivity
So we puzzle. The kids are gifted puzzles for birthdays and what have you, and the four of us sit around at various intervals and piece them together. Our latest enterprise? Tour de la Tour, a 1000-piece Crowd Pleasers that features countless bikers who are dressed alike and are engaged in sometimes similar, oftentimes strange activities. This puzzle is sort of challenging, yet also sort of easy because many of the pieces have tell-tale images: A small red bell on a bike that's otherwise the same as all the other bikes. A black shark fin in a stretch of sandy pathways. A dark sheep in the middle of all the ivory ones, and so on. I'll have to admit, this puzzle has drawn me in more than the others we've done so far. Perhaps more…
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Great beginnings

Productivity
It's a marvelous Monday. Did you start off strong? If not, maybe it's time to revamp your opening rituals. Successful people spend the first hour of their day in preparation and edification. Postpone email and other non urgent tasks. There are more productive ways to begin your day than to see what other people need or want from you. Give yourself some time to gear up before launching into administrivia. The truly urgent messages will make their way to you, but the others can wait. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. No matter where you are in time and space, there's something you can be grateful for. What is it? Bear it in mind as you begin your day. Eat that frog. Determine the most important task for the day and devise…
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What are you creating?

Productivity, Text Talk
I've come across a lot of things worth sharing as of late. Long ago I used this space, not only for musing, but also for sharing news articles or other things of interest. Sometimes a video catches my eye. Other times, it could be a picture. Today, it's a word. Something to ponder: There is no one lonelier or more unhappy than a person who does not know the pure joy of creating a life for himself or herself. To be human is not merely to stand erect and manifest intelligence or knowledge. To be human in the full sense of the word is to lead a creative life. ~Daisaku Ikeda
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…but how do you want to feel?

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Productivity, Temple Building, Women's Health
I'm home, after a day of inspiration. And like I've been for the past few months, I'm tired. I'm not bone tired or weary, but I've just noticed that I'm not as energized as I used to be. There are many very specific reasons for that, but they all boil down to one: change. [caption id="attachment_639" align="alignright" width="258"] One day after work, I did handstands and cartwheels in this grass.[/caption] Over the past several months, I've changed a lot and so has my environment. From my zip code to my job responsibilities, to aspects of romantic and platonic relationships. Personal goals and professional goals have shifted. Exercise habits have changed. Food. The amount of time I spend in the sun or the ways I engage nature. The amount and type…
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Marvelous Mondays

Productivity
As an elementary school teacher, Mondays were my favorite day of the week. I usually stayed late on Fridays - sometimes until 7 p.m. - to close out the previous week and prepare for the one to follow. I finished grading, wrote lesson plans, previewed passages from texts we were to read, rearranged desks and supplies, made copies and teaching aids, and filed everything in hanging folders organized by day of the week. Because of all that preparation, I was clear, focused and ready for Monday. My objectives were unambiguous, and I had done all I could to ensure I'd achieve them. Sure, unexpected things came up sometimes, but with few exceptions, Monday was a high-energy, fast-paced day. This momentum lasted a couple of days before it was time to revisit and…
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Emerging Superachiever?

Personal Narrative, Productivity
I received an electronic newsletter earlier this week.  In it, Dr. Sally summarized the common traits of academic superachievers. She was referring to their level of scholarly productivity - in other words, how much some researchers contribute to a given knowledge base in comparison to others. Those who are extremely productive are superachievers, and they have five things in common: passion, planning, persistence, perspective and partnerships. Academic superachievers are excited about their work. They have long-range plans and short-range objectives. They never give up, they maintain a youthful spirit, and they collaborate. Although I feel good about who I am and what I've done, I'm not an academic superachiever. I'm at the emerging end of the achievement scale, and quite frankly, I've spent more time debating my interest in being…
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Good credit. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
When good things happen, people tend to underestimate how much credit is due to their own efforts, and overestimate the influence of outside forces. That was just luck. It's only because someone else did thus and such. I was in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, when something negative happens, the opposite is suddenly true. They get plenty of credit for the poor outcome, while the external forces are let off the proverbial hook. It's all my fault. I always do thus and such wrong. If only I had done this, that or the other thing. In either case, the scales are always tipped to favor luck for good things, and self for bad. Why is that? We are co-creators in this world. That means just as there…
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Beets and baby steps. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
Baby steps count. I've said it before and it bears repeating from time to time. As I've mentioned, I'm traveling a lot these days. When I'm home, I try to detox to some degree. This weekend I had the great intention to make hot pink smoothies. What makes a smoothie hot pink? One half of one raw beet! My time is limited on the weekends, and I was excited to make it to my local grocer to get beets and the other ingredients. Once home, I unloaded the groceries and immediately departed. No time to clean beets and fire up the blender. I rushed around handling other business, lamenting my unprepared beets. Hours passed in this way. Then one day. Then two. Not until I was just about ready to…
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The Joy Jar

Personal Narrative, Productivity, Temple Building
In 2013, I shall fill my joy jar to overflowing. What, you may be wondering, is a joy jar? It is a piggy bank of sorts. Instead of money, in go notes, mementos, and expressions of joy about the wonderful things that have happened throughout the year. Melanie Duncan explains it this way: A beautiful idea, and a creative twist on the gratitude journal. I am currently in search of an appropriate vessel, and I'm excited in advance, about all the things it will contain. A few reminders are in order: No victory is too small, and every joy is worth documenting. Attention brings awareness to the joy already present in daily life. Look around in wonder and with a grateful heart. It's not a race to fill up the bowl.…
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