Every day someone lives in pain. Sometimes it is physical torment, and sometimes it`s mental agony.
Our blog tries to cover varied topics, but the underlying theme is that we want to inspire and give people hope. One of our goals is to do our part to make the world a better place, and maybe somebody else will want to do the same? We see people around us everywhere, and we don`t always know their stories.
Today was a good day for the blog. Some weeks ago, I ordered business cards, small post-cards and a cup, and today it finally arrived. I was very happy with the result, especially the business-cards that look gorgeous. What do you think? If readers of this blog would like to help me with distributing them, feel free to send me some contact information, so I can mail some business-cards you can give to people you know, or even complete strangers (thereby also getting extra stars in the «kindness project».
If you don`t want to do that, it`s perfectly fine.
I hope our readers like what we`ve produced so far. If not, we really love concrete feedback on how we can make the blog even better. We can only deliver high-quality content if readers tell us what could be better.
I want to thank all the readers, contributors and people who`ve been involved so far. Without you I would be nothing.
No matter what you see when you open your eyes: A man snoring happily in his sleep, a roof from 1953, bottles from yesterday, a terrible mess that have to be cleaned, a stylish expensive room, thin greasy paper walls, or just your dreams lingering on, it is your life. Right now, this is what it consists of. But what you don`t know is how the rest of the day will be. Sure, you might have plans, but do you know who you might smile to? The things you can see along the way? The friend you could call, the words you can read ? The idea you might get? The food that will touch your taste buds, nerve cells bringing the news to the brain so that you can react with glee or disgust?You get up, start doing what you must: Making breakfast, awakening your sleepy children, getting the paper, making plans, fixing or maybe it is to carefully be sure that you don`t burn the last rice, to ignore the beetles on the floor, or to try to not to think about past regrets, looking after your sick child or hoping your mother-in law won`t be up, making her special waffles.
No matter what you do, if you take a long or short shower, if you brush your own or someone else`s teeth (or don`t even own a toothbrush), if you must go to work or will spend the day on a white beach, if you say hello to noone, the man/women of your dreams or someone who used to be, you have small choices all the time. You can feel the drops from the shower. How they touch your skin, how they look on the wall, how warm and cold they are. You can feel how good it is to brush away yesterday`s news, or brush so hard that the toothbrush looks like a tornado afterwards. You can look at it this way, or that way. Your choice. Your life. And sure, some things are harder to change than others, but that doesn`t mean you can`t drag new air into your lungs, let the smell of fresh coffee enter your nose, that you think about a pleasant memory or dream about what you can do with your situation. Your choice, your life.
No matter where you live, the sun goes up, and goes down. Sometimes its cloudy, but it`s still there, preparing for a new show, resting its rays or just reminding you that there is something worth waiting for.
So begin the new day the way you want. Like they said on an old computer game: “What are you waiting for. Christmas?”
I cannot. Cannot tell you about the amazing conversations I had yesterday, just say that I had. Just say that magic never has been more clear or vibrating in others. I have seen it in shocked eyes, unusual movements and habits broken.
An alive connection, an umbilical cord filled with nutritious experiences that bind us all together. Our stories are the blood vessels that keep it connected through every storm. The cord doesn`t stop transferring, only we do. We clip it, pinch it or send something poisonous away, or we don`t shield it from what it needs to keep pulsing. It needs iron for the blood, steadiness to not twist and food to build its walls. When we neglect given ourselves energy, we neglect being alive. Lack of self-preservation have the direst consequences people can think of.
Not getting what you need is like putting the shiny film over your eyes that blinds you even if it`s transparent. Your children are there, tugging your leg, and you pat them on their head, while that shine cuts away any other thoughts or feelings. It`s better that way, it’s better to avoid it all. Just not for the child, seeing the vacant look that so skillfully create small holes. When there is not enough space, for more of them, they devour each other. Black holes inside black holes. That`s when the amazing thing happens, that`s when magic comes. Magic has the power to find plugs that stop energy from leaking out of the holes. It might even reverse the process, since a filled hole will brim over, spread its contents and neatly cement other cracks.
Coincidence or not, the power of new experiences and daring to jump into a different carousel, one that goes slower, is more controllable, and might even give time to watch what`s going on, is like nothing else. Wind is a powerful as the speed in which it proceeds, and it won`t help for me to blow any more life into it. It happens inside the weather system, the trick is not holding back. Inhibitions and fear, the mountains that push your existence away, can be crushed. Again with magic hammers and explosive that was in your pocket all along. Just find them, install the dynamite and let it blow, until you fly with your flapping wings.
If you need inspiration: Start learing. Everything. Expansion is part of the explosion, and the expansion of a mind can really move mountains.
Jane Austen‘s Mansfield Park is a complex, challenging novel read by millions. And now a recent collaboration between Stanford neurobiologists and English Postdoctorate Natalie Phillips suggests that complex novels such as Mansfield Park can activate key brain areas.
Casual versus critical reading
Researchers from the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging took brain scans of several literary PhD students as they read a chapter from Mansfield Park. First, the PhD students were asked to read the book casually, for fun. Then students were asked to switch to a critical reading mode similar to how they might analyze it in a literature classroom
This switch in reading modes created a significant shift in brain activity patterns on fMRI scans. Casual reading activated pleasure centers while critical reading increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the executive functions heavily involved in attending to tasks like reading.
Executive function is responsible for more than just attentive reading: this brain function helps moderate how you divide your attention, use your working memory, and generally direct your brainpower. It plays a powerful role in decision-making.
While the findings of the Stanford study are preliminary, they make a good case for further research on the impact of reading on cognition. Philips posits that critical reading could serve as a type of training, “teaching us to modulate our concentration.”
There is other evidence that reading can be good for your brain. A 2007 study from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Neurology found that avid readers benefited from increased cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve is the concept that challenging intellectual activity — like reading or brain training — can protect the brain against negative cognitive impacts later in life.
Sometimes when I’m doing my re-blogging on Tumblr, and endlessly scrolling through the dashboard, I come across something that makes me feel – ‘yes, this is important.’ It’s a simple way of saying – ‘I’m here, and I’ll listen.’
This is for everyone who stumbles across my blog, or reads it regularly, who makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when you ‘like’ my blog posts or even – hey – comment. People who need someone to vent to or who need a friend, just for a moment, or forever. No matter how far away you are. I’m a good listener. I won’t judge you or think any less of you if you’re going through something.
So without further ado, I introduce Hopebird, the brainchild (or heartchild?) of Rubicon’s Art, a blogger and artist on Tumblr. This is what Hopebird is about:
The events in USA lately has gotten to many of us. We start to think about evil and unjustice. If you think to much about that, it`s easy to feel helpless and scared. Completely natural and reasonable, but just remember how many good people there are. I have personally talked with one of them this week, and she actually lives in Boston. If you read this, thank you so much for everything, and I wish you the very best tomorrow!
I know you also know a lot of good people out there. Put you`r imagination on fire, and let them mentally hug you. For people who still need more inspiration, read about more good people (relevant for the latest events) in the reblogged post!
A lot of my posts have been rather dark and gloomy, but now I want to light that up a bit with some pictures of places I dream about. I will probably not go to them this year, or maybe never, but the point is to remind myself of the good things out there, and I hope it inspires some of you too. I have so many places to still see, even if I have travelled as much as I can to countries in Europe, Asia and some in Africa (Marocco and Egypt, not sure if the last counts as it was in Hurghada). I am going to America in the autumn, and then have South-America and Australia left. Can`t wait!
Do people have recommendations for places to visit?