Typically when the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is used it’s because someone’s perspective doesn’t quite line up with someone else’s. For instance, one person might say, “Look at my new haircut, don’t you love it?” While the other person is thinking, “Oh my goodness, have you looked in a mirror?”
Then there are times when our perspective matches up beautifully with another person’s. Last week we enjoyed a visit from out-of-state friends. It was their first time in Boise so we gave them a tour—areal and ground level— to show them first-hand what we’ve been bragging about.
We enjoyed every one of their ooh’s and aah’s as they snapped photo after photo and drank in the luscious Boise-area landscape.
What’s your most recent “eye of the beholder” experience?
By the way, if you haven’t dropped by my Facebook author page, please take a moment to check it out. I think it’s pretty cool. Once you visit, if your “eye of the beholder” experience aligns with mine, I hope you’ll click the “like” button.
Boatloads of exciting behind-the-scenes things are taking place as we—publisher, publicist, and author—ramp up for the November 1 release of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path for Gratitude and Growth. It’s exhilarating. One might even say, breathless.
With this in mind, Crystal—my publicist at BookSparks—sent me a visible reminder to breathe. In turn, I’m sharing a breathing exercise from Note to Self that has never failed to produce calm for me:
- Place a hand on your lower belly to ensure that you’re breathing past your chest.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
- Hold that breath for a mental count of 7.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth while mentally counting to 8. Notice that the exhalation is twice as long as the inhalation.
- Pause briefly, without inhaling, and then start another round. This natural pause is therapeutic and relaxing.
- Once you’ve established a rhythm, identify a replacement attitude. Imagine that with each inhalation, you’re breathing in the color orange and the feeling of that new attitude—increasing joy.
- When you exhale, imagine that you’re releasing the toxins associated with the unwanted emotion—offloading baggage.
- Repeat for several minutes, drawing the orange breath and replacement feeling down into your lower belly to anchor the new feeling.
When was the last time you focused on your breath?
A fly-in is an event where pilots, people, and airplanes show up to celebrate aviation. In Idaho, the closest one to us is in Garden Valley. Even though it’s a mountainous location, it has a maintained grass strip. By contrast, Oshkosh, Wisconsin hosts the largest fly-in in the world.
In addition to good food and good company, there are games. I’ve attached two short video clips that capture the flying spirit. You’ll notice that in both cases—“tossing the bean bag” and “spot landing”—it’s vital to slow down to win.
BEAN BAG TOSS
The closest aerial-dropped bean bag to the orange cone wins
The tires that touch down closest to the chalk line (on or after, not before) wins
There are many instances in life when speed is beneficial, but sometimes it’s detrimental.
When was the last time you slowed down to win?
Recently we enjoyed an overnight trip to Twin Falls, Idaho, home to three waterfalls:
- Shoshone Falls — known as “Niagara Falls of the West”
- Pillar Falls — 1.5 miles upstream from Perrine Bridge pictured below
- Twin Falls — the city’s namesake
Twin Falls became the center of national attention in September 1974 when daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a specially modified rocket cycle—a perfect segue for “water under the bridge;” an idiom cliche used to refer to something that’s over, done, and not given much thought.
A similar phrase “much water has passed under the bridge since…” works equally well. Forty-two years have passed since Evel’s failed attempt, and trillions of gallons of water have flowed under the Perrine Bridge.
How much water has passed under your bridge?
Heeding travel guru Rick Steves’ advice regarding Venice, Italy: “Don’t plan anything, just go with the flow and get lost!” we set out to do just that. And no matter where we went—the highly populated squares and piazzas, or the paths less traveled—we encountered pigeons.
A quick internet search reveals that “Pigeons once rivaled cats as the traditional, if unofficial, mascots of Venice.” Further, I learned that many people around the globe believe that to be hit by a “bird bomb” is a sign that good luck is just around the corner; it’s even in the 2003 movie Under the Tuscan Sun.
What you can’t see in the photo below is the agitation on the face of the proprietor of an off-the-beaten path outdoor restaurant that’s frequented by locals—families on a Sunday afternoon.
Note: the child in the background is not about to be airlifted by a giant pigeon. It’s somewhat of an optical illusion in that the pigeon is only about 8-feet from me, while the child is about 25-yards in the distance.
As a young couple left their table, pigeons descended en masse to snatch the left-behind crumbs; their fluttering wings tipping the wine glasses precariously. The proprietor rushed out, flapping his hands to shoo them away before any glasses crashed to the ground and broke.
What was the last thing that exasperated you?
Last week we talked about decisions, decisions, decisions. This week we’re looking at potential difficulty levels of that process. Decision-making involves choosing between two or more possible options/solutions. We can make it easy, or hard—the choice is ours.
The Karavolades stairs on Santorini, Greece — 588 steps that lead from base-to-top on the cliff side. (click on photo to enlarge)
On the island of Santorini, Greece you’ll find the old Karavolades stairs—588 steps that lead from base-to-top on the cliff side. To get from point A to point B there are three levels of difficulty to choose from:
- The easy route is to take the tram.
- The tolerable (odiferous) route is to ride a donkey.
- The difficult (stinky and slippery) route is to walk.
Have you ever made things more difficult than necessary?
For the purpose of creating memes, I’ve been asked by my publicist to pull 3 “quotable quotes” from each of the seven selves that are detailed in my soon-to-be published book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.
The three I pulled from the second self, self-gratification, are:
- “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
- “Individual choices have universal consequences.”
- “Life is an expression of the choices we make.”
Who to call? What to wear? When to speak up? Where to go? Choices and decisions—some crucial, some seemingly insignificant—each of us makes them every single day.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?