Learning to Fly

AttitudeCourageCreativityHappinessLife

I used to think that I could fly. I also slept on the top level of a bunk bed, which–as you can no doubt imagine–was a risky and high-stakes combination. Fortunately, I emerged from this period of my life largely unscathed. In fact, I found that the best time to fly was when I was asleep and could soar anywhere I wanted in my dreams.

I was thinking today that perhaps, though I know that I am unlikely to successfully take to the skies without the assistance of an airplane, hot air balloon, or related contraption, I still yearn to fly. Wouldn’t it be amazing, I find myself musing, to swoop high and low alongside the eagles? To hover quietly beside the hardworking hummingbird, admiring the flowers? To skim over the surface of the ocean and dive in and out of waves, only to return–salty, refreshed, laughing–to the air, out of reach of the tossing water? read more

Thank You

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I have been feeling a bit negative recently. So. This post is a little gratitude power-up refuel session based on the knowledge that turning my attention to those people and things for which I am grateful helps me to shift my attention in a more positive direction. So here goes:

Thank you for supportive friends and family members who remind me of the beauty in the world.

Thank you for mentors and counselors along the way.

Thank you for all of the dogs in Alamo Square Park who remind me that running can be fun. read more

It’s Enough to Show Up with An Open Heart

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It seems not quite right to write a blog post on New Year’s Eve and not at least mention New Year’s resolutions. So I’ll get to that. But first, an anecdote.

Last year, I entered an art poster contest through an organization called Health Through Art in Berkeley–a fabulous organization–and I ended up being selected as one of the winning artists. (Pause for applause.)

Now, my poster, done in vibrant colors, stated that “The world is better when YOU are in it,” and then, in bold letters along the bottom, the poster read: “Empower Yourself.” read more

My Brain is Plastic

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In general, I think of myself as a pretty confident person. But every once and a while, anxiety strikes and I freeze up. It usually happens when I’m trying to do something that I consider very important, and when I am trying to do it well. And the anxiety makes it so that I am either paralyzed or I flub up on whatever it is that I am trying to accomplish. So basically, anxiety is a real drag.

I recently had a realization, however. It sprang in part from having watched Shawn Achor’s TED talk on positive psychology, and also from a conversation I had with a friend about the neuroplasticity of the human brain. Neuroplasticity refers to the fact that our brains are constantly changing throughout our lives due to factors in our environment, and (most importantly for my purposes) due to our choices and actions. The way we choose to act, and the way we choose to react, to our circumstances affects the synaptic connections in our brain. In other words, we are capable of contributing to major rewiring of our very own brains. And that, my friends, is nothing short of revolutionary. read more

Today is a New Day

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Today is a new day. That may seem a trite or obvious statement, but I don’t view it that way. I view it as nothing short of revolutionary. I view it as one of the more empowering statements on the planet. Yesterday happened. And it may have sucked. But today is a new day. Let’s start fresh, wipe the slate clean, and begin again.

Last night, after a discouraging day, I had a discouraging thought, and I sank into a discouraging mood. “I know what tomorrow will be like,” I thought glumly as I got ready for bed. “It will be just like today.” read more

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