Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Notebooks for Historical 2020 Journaling

AT HOME ASSIGNMENT: Write in a notebook and describe your ordinary life, your emotional changes, your environment, your connection to nature, family, life.

How do you spend your day? What interests do you hold while you are at home? When do you feel the lowest? When do you feel fine? What have you learned about yourself during thee times?

Be sure to date each entry so you can look back with some clarity. When you don’t feel like writing, sketch your reactions to the day, doodle. Try to enter something each day until you have filled the notebook.

To help you, we’ve designed Labradoodle covers for your notebooks to keep you inspired, happy, upbeat and heading in the direction that is most helpful to you. You can even design your own cover, using a personalized template. Enjoy your life now. It is the only one you have. Be kind. Have fun. Stay happy!

Saint Bernard Puppy: Let’s Have Fun Today.

We can do this!

Never Give Up. We can do this

There is no doubt, our entire world is experiencing an historic event. We are sheltered into isolation and we hear mixed messages until we become shaken.

Manny’s Favorite Subjects for Painting

Don’t give up. When you feel anxious, take a nap. Listen to music. Paint a picture. Call a friend. Refresh yourself. Remember you have rebounded before and this new experience will be no different. We will get through this! Listen to the news that serves you and leave news that does not serve you behind.

Stay busy. Do chores you particularly enjoy. Make cookies. Perhaps washing the dishes instead of using the dishwasher will become your favorite gift to yourself.

Be kind to yourself and to others. Let fear fall away. Replace fear with love. All you need is love. Be strong beautiful people! We will get through this together.

Remember, never give up. You, no we, can do this. We are not alone.

Peace

3 Insights: Why People Discredit Other People

It did not start with the current, constant social media bantering. Discrediting other people has existed in our culture for as long as I have lived. Here are three insights as to why.

LOGIC REQUIRES CATEGORIZATION

From our earliest years we have played games where we sort out what’s different, what’s the same, what belongs, what does not belong, find the things that match. These were (and continue to be) little puzzle books, pre-readers, and children’s magazines. It was and is thought to be the foundational activity for preparing youngsters to read.

But have we thought about the behavioral impact these activities instill into our little child’s psyche? What is on the paper, can also be played in real life. Have you ever heard kids play question games, like who’s your favorite teacher so far? Who do you like best, your brother or me? Who runs the fastest, Tommy or Susie? Who do you like in our classroom? Who do you think is smart? Who do you think is stupid? …and so it begins.

It is obvious why categories play an intrinsic part in the structure and order to our lives: to sort, pick and choose, move forward with new entries into categories. If we are not conscious of the impact of our choices, however, we can stagnate into an imploding rather than expanding lifestyle.

Have you ever started a new job and given a tour of the office? As you are introduced to your future co-workers, are you somewhat surprised to be taken aside to hear negative tidbits about the person you are going to meet? It usually goes something like this, “Betty is our accountant, She is a real rule keeper, so be careful of her. She takes no prisoners!” (…And then a knowing laugh). Betty’s reputation begins before every meeting her in person. Or, “Now let’s meet Tom, he’s just broke up with his girlfriend. I think it was because she thought he was cheating on her.” Tom will be categorized by you with this information.

It just seems we have a tolerance for putting things, places and, yes, people in categories, even items to discredit another. Why would we do this? Well, this leads to my next observation..

WE CARRY AN URGE TO BE IN THE KNOW.

We like to feel important. In first grade, the teacher would say to the class, “Look how Barbara is sitting up straight with her hands folded on her desk. This is the perfect way to be attentive in our class.” I would feel so important … and smart. It only took sitting up straight and putting my hands together to get her attention. School is going to be easy! My second grade teacher seemed to be on the same track, because from time to time she liked to point out the fact that I was a great student who knew how to sit up straight. But by the third grade, I was totally ignored and the students who knew answers were pointed out as the perfect ones! I lost the spotlight, but I did not lose my graving for the spotlight!

I changed my direction because I liked being the center of praise. I liked being in the know. And, sometimes being in the know is demonstrated by talking about other people. We talk about people like we are the ones who have a special inside track. We feel more importance when we can talk about people. As we speak, though, we begin to notice speaking in with negative connotations receives a bigger audience.

NEGATIVE TALK GETS THE MOST ATTENTION

There used to be a thing called newspapers. (…they still quietly thrive but you might not be aware of them.) And, within our San Francisco Chronicle or Berkeley Gazette, (or both) was found Ann Landers. She answered and offered solutions for her readers. In high school I wrote to her and asked why news articles were always focused on death, murder, robberies, all bad things that happened to people If we teens weren’t allowed to see them in movies, why did we have news stories on television. I asked her to please write about this and offer suggestions for writing more uplifting and inspiring news that I was sure was being actuated on the same day as current news horror stories. She sent a letter back to me. It was so many years ago, but I remember being delighted to receive a letter from Ann Landers. In a nutshell, I interpreted the letter as an explanation: unfortunately people like to read about what surprises them.

So, negative talk is what gets our attention, isn’t it. I may be thought of as a more powerful person if I can talk definitively in negative terms. I really know this person and I can protect you from them. I am the patriarch! I am the matriarch!

It may be the old stand on the heads of others to get ahead syndrome. Yet, when I tell you that this person is an idiot, or psychopath, or lazy, or ugly, or a number of other senseless things, I project my disavowed traits and actually am talking about myself.

It will take some time to change the culture of discrediting people, if in fact, we even wish to change. It’s something to consider. The only real power we have is to locate and accept ourselves. …all that is within. It may be time for a change..

I am reminded of early writings by Gary Zukav:

Authentic power requires that we choose:

* Harmony over Discord

* Cooperation over Competition

* Sharing over Hoarding

* Reverence for life over Exploitation

Addendum: There is lots to say about this topic. I’ll save my thoughts for another day, but I’d love to hear what you think. Smile whenever you think of it!

Getting To Happy, My Journey

It turns out, a book is often judged by its cover

I am conscious of vast new ideas, internal powers, an infinite array of selves from within. It has been another year of discovery and adventure!

One of the discoveries within my self-publishing world is the importance of a cover. The new ideas, internal powers and infinite array of selves from within respond to the cover and make a split decision to open and explore pages. I realize this now.

Old cover

The first cover showed a couple who appeared unhappy, in search of happiness. It was not something appealing to someone who wanted to improve their levels of delight. The new cover is a photo of a rhododendron in my garden. It’s a beautiful yellow variety! It is huge after years of growth in my front yard.

The closeup of one blossom is soft, warm, gentle, open, generous (to the the bees). To me, it suggests an invitation to continue along the road of happiness, to find ways to cultivate happiness rather than gloom and hopelessness.

At any rate, I am finally convinced covers matter. I am sure this thought holds power within my life and how I allow others into it. In a nutshell, here are my thoughts:

  1. Symbols, pictures, photos, etc., hold messages of energy and are received by others.
  2. Everyone places meaning to these energy messages according to their interpretation.
  3. The closer I am to my inner world, the more I can relate to the world around me. In other words, the more helpful I can be to others.

It’s a great world, if you stay on course! What do you think about covers? Happy day!