Random acts of “whimsy”

Photo credit – L Meyer

You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life

Mary Oliver

Have you ever stopped to reflect on how many aspects of our lives are governed by work, productivity, money, politics, etc. As opposed to spontaneity, creativity, and playfulness. We often believe that we lose our ability to play as we develop into adulthood. But it doesn’t need to end there. There are many ways that adults can play, be creative, and share this wonderful trait with others.

I have walked by this collection of magical bird houses in my neighbourhood for a number of months without recognizing just how precious and rare this whimsical creation really is. Our ability to engage in playful, fanciful pursuits is often curbed by being too busy, too stressed, or taking ourselves and our lives too seriously.

Indeed, as we move forward in our lives, we also seem to lose our natural abilities to live in the moment. This causes many of us to ignore the simple joys that exist in our daily surroundings. And right now this all seems to be complicated by the many potentially destructive and harmful forces in our lives that are currently impacting so many people around the globe.

How do we find our way back to those moments in our lives where we can play, where we can simply be and briefly take time to step back to enjoy a chance to see life through a more playful lens. Seeking out the whimsical in our lives can be inspirational and bring meaning into our daily routines. By looking around our neighbourhoods and communities, we may be pleasantly surprised by the creations of others designed to bring small pleasures into the world for all of us to enjoy.

The more I walk mindfully each day in the area where I live, the more amazed I have become by the creative actions of others. Whether it is an art installation, guerrilla gardening on unused patches of land, or a whimsical birdhouse collection in a back alley. These playful creations underscore our positive and real connections to each other.

Now more than ever, we need to either seek out random acts of whimsy in our part of this world or to create them ourselves and share with others. We can’t underestimate the healing power of play and creativity!

Stay healthy and safe!

Achieve your dreams at any age

Photo credit – L. Meyer

It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop

Confucius

I find myself collecting stories about elders in my community who break through barriers after many years in order to follow their dreams. Each of these stories reveals that perseverance and passionate persistence can culminate in some amazing achievements. And each story comes with unique hurdles that must be surmounted and overcome.

This past week, I have been following the story of Jackie Arnason who published her first children’s book later in her life. The launch of this published book took place this past Sunday on “Book Lover’s Day”. In an interview with local media, Jackie described how reading and writing stories helped her while growing up in the 30’s. A time of immense challenge for most people growing up in the Canadian prairies.

Like many of the writers that I know, Jackie spoke of her passion for story telling and the fact that she finally came to terms with her fears which kept her from following that dream for decades. Finally, with encouragement from a family member who had connections in the publishing industry, she was able to push forward and realize her desire to see one of her stories in print.

What makes this journey even more noteworthy is that it occurred at age 87, which many of us can’t even quite imagine living to see, let alone being the age in which you finally begin accomplishing your long held goals.

Now energized by this success and with a new direction for her creative pursuits, Jackie is hard at work on her second children’s book to be published in the near future. As I listened to an in depth interview about this fascinating late in life journey, I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been different about this woman’s story if fear hadn’t intervened and kept her from moving forward.

How often do we find ourselves stuck or stymied because we are afraid of taking a risk? Afraid of being judged or of failing or of not measuring up to what we believe others can do. Fear holds many of us hostage and as I have been learning, it is never too late to stand up to our fears and overcome them.

It is remarkable to see the tenacity of the creative spirit. By seeking these amazing artistic elders out, it gives me courage to formulate my own later in life goals. By following our dreams at any stage of life and finding the courage to shed the chains of fear, we can only move forward.

Be healthy and safe!

Making a difference, one decision at a time

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try

John F. Kennedy

Imagine if our world was led by leaders today who encouraged each of us to make a difference like strong leaders have done in the past. There has never been a more urgent need around the globe for strong leadership encouraging compassion, collaboration, and co-operation. We are surrounded by crisis and chaos and need to think of others during all of our day to day interactions.

Misinformation abounds and we need to carefully reflect on where our information originates from and consider the influence it has not only on ourselves but on others prior to sharing it.

When we put our personal needs and desires above the health and safety of others, it will eventually circle back to hurt us. Tragically, it may harm those you care about as well. Treat everyone in the same manner in which you would like to be treated. Globally, our lives depend upon a collective push forward to follow the golden rule.

Stay safe and healthy!