8 July 2024         

   

Hello!
We're all still here on this amazing planet of ours, and we want to take advantage
of this new Tuesday in our lives to thank you for being here with us and for
making all the contributions that you make to the world!

    

   

   

The Truth about Play
Jill Murphy Long

The Desiderata
Max Ehrmann

Now
tom walsh

   
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Simple and Profound Thoughts
(from Simple and Profound)

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Sophia Loren

We don't know who we are until we see what we can do.

Martha Grimes

No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helps you.

Althea Gibson

When you know what your values are, making decisions becomes easier.

Glenn van Eckeren

   

  
The Truth about Play
Why We Should (an excerpt)
Jill Murphy Long

Play is part of being human, yet it remains an elusive part of many people's lives.  Studies have proven play is a major factor in the appropriate development of social, emotional, mental, and physical growth for children.  But what happens when we stop playing as adults?  Are we stunting our own growth?  Why do humans play?  Is it a requirement of survival like breathing, eating, and sleeping?

Play introduces the concept of "balance" in a busy life; it encourages people to seek solitude in nature and allocate time for daily laughs.  Humor is needed to reaffirm our humanity and sanity.  Laughter releases tension and stress, and builds rapport among those it touches.  It is through our play that we are reintroduced to both once again.

In this time spent developing, challenging, and nurturing the authentic self, the promise of play--happiness--will be found.

Play encourages interaction, risk-taking, and the use of imagination.  Abstract thinking and creativity are explored, and social, language, and mental skills are mastered, as self-worth is strengthened.  The value of dedication and practice is also learned.  As such competencies are developed, these skills cross over to other aspects of life.

Based on these inherent benefits of play, recess should be reinstated for those over the age of ten.  Until that day--why not decide to make play a frequent event in your life and add an hour or two of active play and creative expression to each week?  It may seem like child's play at first, but once the magic starts, there will be no question that this is what your spirit needs.

Genuine play occurs when you lose sight of yourself and your life for the moment.  You are totally immersed in whatever physical or creative activity with no awareness of the passing of time.  You are truly awake and alive.  For some people, play may be more physical.  For others, it is a creative outlet for expression.  However, both types of play can satisfy our basic need for curiosity, exploration, and fun.

In the choice for a long and healthy life, playing is not just an option, but also a natural element of each day.  Moving the body is as crucial as eating and sleeping.  It is a proven fact that increased physical activity--a hike, jog, or a round of tennis--results in increased "smarts."  Physical activity is an essential part of long-term health.  As play is added to your days, you will begin to see that the amount of time spent playing is in direct correlation with the amount of energy you have.  Your newfound interest will also keep mood swings in check, help manage stress, and build a stronger immune system.

Play is so good for our bodies.  No matter your size, shape, weight, or height, adding play to your life will improve your self-image.  When we become too busy to play, we fall prey to diet fads or bad habits like smoking.  Playing hard and eating well will do wonders not only for your temperament, but for your body, too. . . .

The biggest tragedy facing us today is. . . the missing awareness of the mind-body connection.  This is why play, through both active and creative expression, is so important.  Play is meant to draw us closer to our own reflection, to see what is really inside our complicated yet beautiful selves.  The desire to move, the desire to create, is and should be a required element of every person's day.  It is the truth behind what makes us who we are.

Be yourself.  Be your complete and authentic self--not what you think others want you to be or what society pressures us to be.  Express yourself with your body and your mind by being you, the person who you are supposed to be.  Use your time, energy, and money not on dieting, but on passionate living achieved by body-moving activities and mind-engaging interests.

more thoughts and ideas on play

   


   
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The Desiderata
Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.  Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.  Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.
  

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The finest test of character is seen in the amount and the power of gratitude we have.

Milo H. Gates

   

 
Now

This present moment--what an incredible gift it is!  It has been rightly said that this moment truly is all that we have, for the only time that we truly act in our lives is in the right now--though we may spend now planning to act in the future, the actions themselves come only when what-will-be turns into what-is, and we're in a new present moment.  And once we've acted, that moment becomes the past.

It took me many years to learn that we live exclusively in the present.  I had grown up with my mind often in the future--especially on things that I hoped would happen--or in the past, being upset with something that had happened.  Neither of these strategies did me any good, and I believe that both of them contributed a great deal to the debilitating depression that I used to go through.  While I did a fairly decent job of getting out into the world and seeing and experiencing things, my mind very often kept me from enjoying the present moment because it would focus on what was missing from it.  I could be on a mountain trail in a beautiful national park, yet my mind would be focused on the fact that I was there alone, and how "terrible" that was.  I could be with someone I really liked having and enjoyable conversation, yet my mind would be focused on what was going to happen tomorrow, and how difficult it was going to be.
   

The only time that any of us have to grow or change or feel or learn
anything is in the present moment.  But we're continually missing
our present moments, almost willfully, by not paying attention.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

   
In other words, I wasn't paying all that much attention to the here and now--my mind was on the future or the past, and it wasn't allowing me to fully experience all that was going on.  I can't even begin to estimate just how many present moments I've squandered, just how many times I've missed the chance to get to know someone better--or even just to get to know someone--because my mind has been elsewhere.  I'll never know just how many beautiful or hilarious or precious or rewarding moments I've missed because I have been fully present in the present.

I certainly don't say these things because I'm mad at myself or highly critical of myself--I'm just stating facts.  But I do remind myself of all that I've missed because I don't want to miss any more present moments than I really have to, and by keeping myself reminded of the way that I've missed many of them, I can remind myself in each moment, "I don't want to miss what's going on now, because this moment is the most important moment of my life."

And each passing moment truly is the most important moment of our lives, because each is the only time when we can actually do something, when we can actually take actions that will change and improve our lives.  Yes, we can plan to do something today at 3 p.m., but when the time gets here, that's when we have to act or lose the chance to do so.  Planning is great, and planning is necessary, but it's the execution of the plan that makes the plan worthwhile.
    

What we are talking about is learning to live in the present moment, in the now.
When you aren't distracted by your own negative thinking, when you don't allow
yourself to get lost in moments that are gone or yet to come, you are left with
this moment.  This moment--now--truly is the only moment you have.  It is beautiful
and special.  Life is simply a series of such moments to be experienced one right
after another.  If you attend to the moment you are in and stay connected to your
soul and remain happy, you will find that your heart is filled with positive feelings.

Sydney Banks

    
I also want to notice more all of the opportunities that I have with each moment.  I want to be aware of the beautiful things that fill my life as I pass through present moment after present moment.  If I'm focused on anger for what someone did this morning, though, or fear of what's going to happen two hours from now, then I can be sure that I'm missing a great deal of what now has to offer.  Sometimes, this takes a conscious effort on my part--I stop what I'm doing and I look around, seeing what's there that I'm not noticing.  Very often this is a rather humbling exercise--it's amazing how many things I miss from day to day.

It's a shame that people don't teach us more about being present in the moment.  We do tend to slip into denial about our particular responsibilities in the present if we don't remind ourselves constantly about what life means, and what it means to recognize the needs of the present moment instead of being bogged down by our own needs and wants.  How many times have I not recognized it when someone needed a person to talk to, but I was too involved with my frustration about the past?  How many times have I walked right by something that needed to be done because I was worried about what was going to happen tomorrow?

Enjoying the moment is easy if we're meeting a newborn for the first time, watching a puppy play, or eating our favorite dessert.  But it's not as easy to do if we're not doing or seeing something out of the ordinary--we tend to take for granted the same kid that we see every day, the same foods that we eat often, the same scenery that we pass each morning and afternoon.
   

Not living in the present is a form of denial.  It's easier to
live in the past or future because then you don't have
to be responsible for the present.

Jane Hendrix

   
It's easy enough to say "Open your eyes," "Be present," "Live in the now."  But it's much more difficult to do.  In many ways, most of the entire Buddhist philosophy towards life is a focus on being present in each moment that we live in, and being responsive to the needs and the gifts of the moment.  When we do learn to live our lives this way, many of our cares and worries tend to fade away, for we start to see just how we fit into each present moment.  And when we start to see how we fit in, we see our relevance and our importance to other people, to situations, and to life itself.

The present moment may be full of anticipation or fear, but we can change that when we realize that the future present moments will take care of themselves.  Right now, our only responsibility is to live the moment that we're in right now, and to get all that we can out of that moment, and to give all that we can into it.

   
More on now.

   
   

   

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If I had a formula for bypassing
trouble, I would not pass it round.
Trouble creates a capacity to handle
it.  I don't embrace trouble; that's
as bad as treating it as an enemy.
But I do say meet it as a friend, for
you'll see a lot of it and had better
be on speaking terms with it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

  

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly as it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

   

  

Patience is the foundation of discovering simplicity.  Patience is a gesture
of profound kindness. . . . Patience teaches us to seek an inner refuge
of simplicity, balance, and sensitivity even in the most turbulent moments.
It is about learning to be a good friend to ourselves. . . . Patience is one
of life's great arts, a lesson we learn not just once, but over and over.

Christina Feldman

    

  

Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.

   
    

   

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