Sunday, April 27, 2008

Movie Musings

Have any of you seen the movie, V for Vendetta? I just watched it for the second time last night and I must say it made some very interesting observations about life, society, the nature of man, etc. I actually sat with pen and paper and jotted down some points that particularly moved me.

A fantasy of sorts, the story takes place some time in the future in a totalitarian England. Personal freedoms had basically been removed. The main character, known only as “V,” has basically one thing in mind.

Having been used a “lab rat” and being scarred from head to toe so that he must wear a mask at all times, he is consumed with a passion for vengeance. But interestingly, his need for vengeance is accompanied by the need for a return to truth, justice, freedom … and a reawakening in the minds of the people that the ability to reclaim their power is within their reach.

These are some of the ideas that made the greatest impact on me:

“Fairness, Justice and Freedom – are more than mere words – rather they are perspectives…”

“Artists use lies to tell the truth …Politicians use them to cover it up.”

“You wear a mask for so long --- you forget who you were beneath it.”

 “A revolution without dancing, is a revolution not worth having.”

I’d really love to hear what you have to say!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Out or In

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - - Robin Williams

Are you an outsider or an insider? What I mean by that is do you typically feel like you fit in with the crowd or do you always seem to be on the outside looking in?

Truth be told, I have always seen myself in the latter category. And depending on whether one is a half-full or half-empty kind of person, seeing oneself as "different" can be a blessing or a curse.

Cheryl Richardson, one of my favorite teachers, says, "...those who are most successful at living true and meaningful lives generally come from backgrounds where they don't fit in." Being different requires courage and personal strength. Originality runs counter to society's aim of compliance. I wish I would have known that a long time ago. It would have saved me from a lot of misery.

Have you ever noticed that every person who has ever achieved greatness, made an outstanding discovery, changed society in any way, went "against the grain" of common practices?

One thing I'm realizing is that one can be a true original, and still retain a feeling of being part of something greater. Just last week I discovered Facebook and I'm having a ball expanding my world.

For those of you unfamiliar, you can check it out at the link above. For the rest of you, let's have some fun together.




Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kaizen

I've been searching through some thoughts, ideas, and articles I have been collecting over the years and just came upon this little item that I wanted to share.

It has to do with the word "Kaizen." It's a Japanese term that has been in vogue in business circles for the last 20 years.

The word refers to the art and science of continuous, ongoing improvement. Kaizen is the magic of taking a good process and making it great. 
It's no great secret, nothing we haven't heard before. It's simply refers to making small, steady, incremental improvements. 
It's only too common for people to become overwhelmed ... intimidated by the idea of making changes ... and especially BIG changes. Take the prospect, for example, of taking your business and trying to improve it by any significant amount 25% - 50% - 100% - 200%.

It's no different than eating an elephant.

So how do you eat an elephant?

Answer: One small bite at a time.

How do you double your sales?

Answer: By improving your process in pieces - very small pieces.

One piece at a time. One bite at a time. One day at a time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Work at Play

"Work at learning to have fun..." - - Melody Beattie


Is it me or that not the most oxymoronic statement you've ever read? Work at learning to have fun?? Oxymoronic or not, I'm very sad to say that for many of us, it's definitely rings true!

I can remember back in the days when I was teaching and leading Artist's Way groups, participants often seemed to have a much harder time with their Artist's Dates (solo adventures purely for FUN) than they did with their Morning Pages (daily writing of 3 free-flow pages.) Interesting, huh?

So interesting in fact, that it motivated me to create a guidebook of ways to have more creative, Play-filled Life. The result: Play or Pay: 77 Ways to Have FUN or Suffer the Consequences and End Up Paying the Price. 


We've all heard the phrase "Guilty Pleasures." Another oxymoron? Or are we just ingrained to feel guilty about doing those very things that actually are good for us??

For too many people, martyrdom trumps self-care. 'Doing unto others' has been taken to it's extreme. And the Self (or is it the Soul?) gets left by the wayside ... neglected ... Starving, if you will.

I've read that as a culture we are "spiritually starved." What do you think? Beattie suggests that, "Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves are the delight of the Universe." Your comments are appreciated.



Sunday, April 6, 2008

She's BA-A-ACK !!

I heard a lot of talk yesterday about blogging and decided that perhaps it was time for me to begin to blog again. I was actually able to find my old blog http://www.empowerhour.typepad.com/ and was shocked to see that my last entry was made in July 2006. Time sure flies--whether you're having any fun or not! And I notice that as the chronological years pile up, the time seems to speed up accordingly.

When I first began the blog back in 2006, it was to compliment my radio show The Empower Hour. I guess when the show ended, so did the blog. Now, I'm feeling called to resurrect my blogging, as I recently did with my newsletter. Unlike the first blog that was primarily focused on the radio show and its guests, this new blog will be more general and will offer you the opportunity to explore new perspectives, new ideas, new behaviors.

heARTmatters is a concept that has always stirred up my passions ... and inspired me to want to share. Maybe, yet another reason, to begin blogging again?

I received an email this morning that made me stop and ponder what the writer had to say. Then, of course, I wanted to share what was on my mind.

It began with a quote by British novelist, Iris Murdoch, "One of the secrets to a happy life is continuous small treats." The author went on to emphasize the importance of those small acts of pleasure we give to ourselves, that can add so much to our everyday lives.

(I know this is definitely NOT what she had in mind but I just couldn't pass this one up!)

Often costing little or no money, these seemingly simple and/or funny actions, can soothe the heart, calm the mind and add joy to your day. Remember ... Pleasure is good for the soul!

When was the last time you remembered to take care of your soul? And I'm not talking about religion here, so going to church doesn't count. What I am talking about here is real Soul-Care ...

See if you can make a list of your favorite joys and pleasures. If you have trouble thinking of things, it only means that it's been way too long since you last gave yourself any Soul Food. More next time . . .