Hot Tips to Self

<on Jan 11/19.>

  • Show up

  • Clean up (this can have a few different meanings…)

  • Speak up

  • Be brave

  • Get your ego out of the game

  • Slow the heck down, Woman!

  • Remember the 4 Agreements

4 Agreements.jpg

  • Stay firm (when you need to)

  • Be flexible (when you need to)

  • Hold to your principles / Be true to yourself

***** Reminder: Life is not a popularity contest!

  • Don’t be ashamed of being right (with thanks to JB Handley)

  • Own who you are.

Orwell on staying human.jpg

Singing in lifeboats copy.jpg

A Few Quotations (only a few!); just because I can…

“In the long run there is no more liberating, no more exhilarating experience than to determine one’s position, state it bravely, and then act boldly. Action brings with it its own courage, its own energy, a growth of self-confidence that can be acquired in no other way.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“We are blind to the future. We can barely hold on to our strange versions of the past. We see only a little of what is directly before us. We know almost nothing. The only way we can stand it is not to care. I care and I can’t stand it. I should just breathe in and out and be brave. But not knowing what is going to happen next and living with the hope that whatever it is it won’t be too difficult to understand is like driving at top speed with the windshield completely painted over with a picture of where you used to live.” – character David in the Scott Spencer novel Endless Love

“Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, in a speech in Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966.

“Withholding love distorts reality. It makes the people who do the withholding ugly and small-hearted. It makes the people from whom things are withheld crazy and desperate and incapable of knowing what they actually feel. Don’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word love to the people you love, so when it matters the most to say it, you will.” – Cheryl Strayed, quoted in the collection Brave Enough

“I didn’t mean to be brave, it just happened when I panicked.” – allegedly said by Piglet (a character in the A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh stories)

“Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.” – sign spotted at Kingston Road United Church (June 2016)

“Damn what anybody thinks of you – do what’s right. It’s really fun.” – Lucy Lawless, N. Z. actor & activist arrested with 6 Greenpeace activists on Save the Arctic campaign (from Sierra magazine Jan/Feb. 2013)

“If you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself.” – sign at church

“Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.” – Joanna Macy & Molly Young Brown in Coming Back to Life – Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World (New Society Publishers, 1998).

“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it, and once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet and saying nothing becomes as political an act as speaking out.  There’s no innocence.  Either way you are accountable.” – Arundhati Roy

“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.” – Thomas Henry Huxley

Talk – Action = Zero ……… ad in Jan/Feb. 2009 ‘Watershed Sentinel’ magazine

“Say what you know, do what you must, come what may.” – Sofia Kovalevskaya, 19th century Russian mathematician (spotted on a sign in a subway station, as I recall)

** many quotations about courage here

Christmas Eve Day 2018: Small Christmas Miracle?


I’ve been feeling pretty melancholy lately. 🙁

No need to enumerate the reasons.

They’re numerous – & some of them, a little on the heart-rending side.

But after all, why go there?

Knowing this, that what we focus on expands.

So I went out for a walk.

My main piece of life advice?

Go for a walk.


Go for a walk.


Go for a walk.


Go for a walk.


Go for a walk.

In other words, whatever the heck you’ve got going on, people


Walking is magical/miraculous/transformative, even (the latter especially if you make it a regular practice).

I was feeling grinchly / grunchly / a little hard-done-by (maybe even a lot)

& now, I am transformed!

I walked along (thinking grinchy thoughts for the first while), then a gift idea for a friend sprang into my mind – the perfect idea, actually! (Why did it take me so long to remember she’s crazy about my chocolate chip cookies?? Easy enough for me to bake a batch, later today…)

I spoke in a friendly way to a stranger on the street (how this happened: I was on my own way to the library. Spotted a fellow walking up the street, carrying 4 or 5 books. Said to him “Enjoy your books!” & that made me feel good. Human contact, you know? Sometimes it’s good.)

I feel resurrected!

Christmas is always NOT my favourite time of year.

I have my reasons.

For me, it’s maybe a bit like slogging through a gymnasium flooded with molasses.

One painful, effort-ful step after another.

So. Much. Effort


You understand?

But, we DO do life one day at a time, do we not??

I sure managed to transform this one easily!


Happy holidays, everyone!


p.s. a little gratitude never hurts either, of course. We do NOT focus on what is lost. Or wrong. We focus on what we have, on what is good. Even if today, it’s just that the cat just barfed on a bare floor, as opposed to on the carpet. Yes. 🙂

There is always something to be grateful for! The more we practice gratitude actively, the more we find to be grateful for. This!

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke, quoted in Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World, by Marshall B. Rosenberg *** more quotations about gratitude here

p.p.s. you won’t even believe what happened after I wrote this! (Which I did, btw, partway along in my walk. At the library, I’d stopped & sat down long enough to draft this.) THEN – I headed out to continue my walk. Was going to head down to the lake & walk some more along the Boardwalk. Began heading down. Smelled cinnamon in the air. Thought, “Whoa. Where is that cinnamon smell coming from? That bakery that’s near here?” & went along to the bakery a block away. Walked in the door. Whoa; what a line-up!!! Never seen the place so crowded! (Well hey, it’s December 24th, right?) I get up to the counter, & say to the girl behind it,

“Well this is kind of crazy. I wasn’t planning to come here, but I smelled cinnamon. & there are so many people in here right now, I can’t even see the display case to tell you what I want! Do you have cinnamon buns??” & she says “Yes.” & goes & gets me one (& they’re big mothers!) Puts it in a little box. I ask her to tape the box shut so I can put it in my knapsack. She is standing by the cash register, & there are so many staffers back there, & it’s so darn busy, she can’t get her turn at the register to ring up my purchase. (I did mention it was busy in there, yes?) So after a bit, then, she says “Call it a Christmas miracle!” & hands me the box. A honking big cinnamon bun – for free! Another pleasant human exchange with a stranger. 🙂

May whatever spirits there are, around us & in us, bless us all in these so-very-challenging times.

& may we all use our own voices – for our own good, & that of so many others.

p.p.p.s. lots of quotes & postings about walking here.

Nailed to the Present Moment

I’m an Aries person. Born between March 21 & April 19.

Aries people are said to be the “infants of the Zodiac.”

Infants live absolutely in the Now.

No future.

No past.

Just this moment.

Hot, cold, tired, hungry, hurting. Whatever is happening right now.

Me? I’m relatively good at living in the moment. Possibly a bit better at it than most? For this, I am grateful.

Yes, I have a few regrets. (I think most of us have a few, no??)

Stuff that’s happened – or maybe didn’t happen. Mistakes I’ve made.

I’m merely human, after all!

The future? I definitely do pay attention to what may be coming down the pike – in a global sense. What the consequences of human activity on the planet may be. I guess that’s why I chose a life of (mostly environmental) activism.

Trying to persuade humans to change our ways before our own extinction became 100% inevitable. No regrets about that choice! It’s been a challenging, interesting, very rich life indeed – though there have definitely been “unintended consequences.” Most of them unexpected. Some of them no piece of cake, to be sure.

But you know? You can’t fight Reality.

(Well, of course you can try. But #ResistanceisHell, hmmmm?)

Reality = Reality.

Sagan on truth copy.jpg

Now, it seems to me, we are kind of not just flying over the cliff

Human Lemmings.jpg

Feels to me like we’re hurtling faster & faster & faster – like the water as it speeds up going down the drain, maybe? – toward an unforgiving … well, end. (End, with a capital E.)

Sagan on extinction.jpg

Some of us have accepted this seeming inevitability – made what I think of as a “hard peace” with this very inconvenient (to us humans) truth.

But even for us “doomers” (as some call us), it seems harder & harder to deal with it all. (To quote a fellow Near-Term Extinction Facebook Support Group member: “Despite my staunch assertion of acceptance, there’s some creeping dread as the days and events pile up.” Rather well-put, I’d say.)

I saw a piece of news yesterday that really rocked me on my heels. (I will spare you.)

& right now?

I’m sitting on the GO train.

Recalling how a grandmother lady who is very deep into dementia helps nail me to the present moment when I see her for a couple hours every week.

Like an infant, R. knows no past, no future.

She is soooo Here & Now

There is no connection for her, even, between this sentence & the next.

She needs constant care.

Constant monitoring.

Oddly, for me, when I’m with her, I’m able to enter her reality.

By which I mean, exist in the world of

Just This Moment.

It’s surprisingly free-ing.

Surprisingly Zen.

Peaceful. Relaxing.

For sure I have to let go of any agenda of my own that I might have had in mind.

& surrender.

Surrender utterly to the present moment. **


I know that it’s a good thing to become a master at this.

Or rather, a mistress.

Mistress of the moment.


** I know, of course, that her full-time caregivers can’t just hang around in the relaxed way I can. They have much else to do! Jobs. Meals. Laundry. Cleaning. Personal care for an individual who resists such efforts. Etc. Very different ballgame altogether for them!

p.s. truth-telling & grief kind of go together. I’ve written a # of items about grief, & some of them have some great resources - links to other musings & wisdom about our time, & grief, in them. Bunch of them listed in this ‘Collections’ posting.

Pema Present Moment.jpg
Human Guest House.jpg
Pema on Chaos.jpg
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Singing in lifeboats copy.jpg
Vonnegut amber of the moment.jpg
RELAX - nothing is under control.jpg
Orwell on staying human copy.jpg
Be silly honest & kind.jpg