Capturing Joy

12 07 2011
Raspberries

Image via Wikipedia

A favorite thinker of mine, SARK, has a knack for maximizing small moments for big effect. Her micromovement system overcomes procrastination in the blink of an eye, and she advocates taking (and making) tiny adventures everyday.

I believe in something similar: capturing the joy in mini moments.

What if your outlook on the day could be instantly improved? I am prone to think this is impossible magic, but I find, if I am open to the change, it is possible.

Here are some encapsulated joys that have made my week so far:

  • The little dip in the road on my commute home that feels like riding my bike down a certain hill from childhood.
  • Standing on the balcony on the final evening of a heat wave, anticipating the cooler air to come.
  • Tasting homemade honey right out of the jar.
  • The moment I looked out and saw the first flower I’d grown from seed since I was a kid.
  • Savoring in-season raspberries while listening to hold music during my chaotic work day.

Each of these moments have made my days better. What if we even went a step further and recorded our captured joys often, or just whenever we felt like it? Then we could live the joys all over again.

What are some of your encapsulated joys?





Summer Joys

19 06 2011

I’m back! Is anyone out there?

Well, whether you are or you aren’t, I’m here and ready to share more GreeningĀ  Tree tidbits with you. Watch the blog for continued changes!

*~*

Summer is upon us, and the solstice will soon make it official. While I’m not a fan of high temps, I do love many of the pleasures that derive their significance from this fleeting season:

  • An ice-cold drink on the patio.
  • Exultant bird song from early in the morning until long after the sun retires.
  • The lazy pace of everything – our western culture’s nod to seizing the season.
  • Farmer’s markets loaded with brilliant colors and interesting shapes.
  • The way the outdoors becomes our second home.

During the workweek, I take a moment to look out the window and smile upon the world outside. It will be ready to greet me at 5 o’clock, and I want to make sure I’m ready to greet it!

This week, why not:

  • Try a new fruit.
  • Stroll in your neighborhood.
  • Notice an insect and the way it lives.
  • Take an impromptu trip to a park – hike, play ball, picnic, and bask in this friendly season!




I heart baby leaves.

26 04 2011
A pink-flowered Cornus florida

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of the many thoughts I have while driving home. I am fortunate to have a pleasing landscape around me on my way to and from work. Perhaps I’m still partially asleep in the mornings, but the evening brings more contemplation.

It has likely been said before, but each Spring I feel that it has never been this Spring, this almost unexpected beauty. I feel my winter self wiping the crust from its eyes and taking a deeper breath. The entire green world is a translucent emerald gem dotted with redbuds and dogwoods in bloom. Grass is a novel, electric smell.

Life is good, even during rush hour, even after a long day’s work. I marvel at the power of nature, even through the glass windows of a car, to calm and reconnect me to a powerful force: Spring.

These are my thoughts on this great season. Oh, and I heart baby leaves – they are so cute!





Spring Awakenings

7 04 2011

Longwood Gardens, Spring 2010

When most people think about spring doings, cleaning and yard work jump to mind. I would like to propose that awakening be on our agenda.

What projects, plans and dreams have you postponed, either since New Year’s or indefinitely? Did winter bog you down under blankets and gray skies? Throw off your misgivings! Today is never too late, but if not now, when?

My own Spring projects include: writing regularly; continued career movement; and reading an educational book on my lunch break.

While I may not be in a job of my preference, I decided that my lunch hour is at least 30 minutes in which to stimulate my brain with continuing education. Besides – and you may not be much different in this respect – I have many “educational” books I mean to read but which, in the evenings, end up playing a sad second fiddle to magazines and fun fiction. First up: Off the Grid, by Nick Rosen. Review will follow!

I’m sure I will throw more cleaning in there, too. After all, there is a reason Spring cleaning remains prevalent – we feel the ancient urge to mimic nature’s blooming with new growth in our own lives. Allow your cleaning to inspire you.

What are your Spring awakenings?





Preparing for Spring

20 02 2011
Garden with some tulips and narcissus

Image via Wikipedia

Some say it’s here. The groundhog said it would come before March 21st, if you can believe him. Others are not convinced by the temporary, even frighteningly warm spell we just experienced.

All I can say is, undoubtedly, things are happening underground. Along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor yesterday, tulips were shooting up, just waiting for the days to lengthen sufficiently for their big debut. I smelled a disgruntled skunk while driving through the countryside. Yes, it’s true: animals and plants are stirring. And so should we!
Do you long for greeness and warmth again? Ever so slowly, resume your springtime self. Wear bright colors. Dust something. Water your long-suffering indoor plants. Turn your face up to the sky and think spring thoughts. It won’t be long now!

How are you preparing for Spring?





Perchance to Dream?

6 02 2011
New Gold Dream...

Image by law_keven via Flickr

I’ve been thinking about dreams lately – the ones we have but doubt they will ever be anything other than that.

We are now in February, the month where New Year’s resolutions often go to die. We are stuck inside, staring glumly at another storm out there, wishing instead for warm breezes and sandals. This can do a number on our resolve to change our lives for the better. We think, what does it matter? I will make resolutions again next year. It’s too cold to do anything worthwhile.

Of course, you know what I’m going to say: Not so! But I don’t want to admonish you to stick to your resolutions. Rather, I want to exhort you to stick to your dreams. Don’t let the fire die, whether it’s the passion you have for your art or bowling, or an actual fireplace you dream of.

Make lists and charts; draw diagrams; write lengthy imaginations of what you desire to be. Not only will you wile away the gray hours of February; you’ll be paving the way for Spring, too. And Spring is never truly far behind.

So, I want to know: what’sĀ  your dream for yourself, for others you know – for whatever?





And so it is New Years . . .

2 01 2011
2008 Taipei City New Year Countdown Party: The...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, actually, yesterday was. Now it is January 2nd, and the resolutions tend to fall away like wrapping paper and party hats. Heaving a great sigh, people return to their jobs and brace for the rest of the winter, thinking about summer or maybe an upcoming vacation. Whether or not it snows, the magic of the season just passsed seems lost in the landscape.

What can we do to prolong the joy of Christmas and the determination of New Year’s Day? Perhaps it is our most subtle habits – our comfortable ways of thinking – that sabotage our best efforts to keep Christmas in our hearts and lose ten pounds this year. Maybe, if we defied the depression, rebelled against complacency and encouraged enthusiasm the rest of the year with the vigor we show in the holiday season, our sometimes empty vows to do so would prove true.

Oh, we should probably post our resolutions where we’ll see them, too. What unique resolutions have you made this year?








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