When I was in Crystal Lake, Illinois in July for the picnic-style book launch of The Business of Being, my friend, Lisa Krupp, gave me this pin:
A bit of online research reveals:
“To the Finnish people, SISU has a mystical, almost magical meaning. SISU is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. SISU is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated.”
Tick-tock, tick-tock… I can choose to let the demands on my time and attention overwhelm me. Or I can decide to slow down and take a break.
In the midst of my daily calendar, I schedule times for me to stop throughout the day. I have a mindfulness bell on my phone that’s set for specific intervals of my choice. Thank you Sheila Glazov for recommending this App to me. The sound of the singing bowl is my signal that It’s Time.
Time for what? You ask.
Time to put my shoulders down and take a deep breath. Time to take Willa for a walk. Time to eat. Time to stretch. Time to be grateful. And time to watch the bees on the hummingbird feeder enjoying the sweetness of life. They teach me how to fully be in a moment without a care about anything else in the world. They teach me that sometimes the greatest joys come in the smallest things. They remind me that life is sweet. It’s especially sweet when I’m fully present, fully aware, fully engaged, and fully enjoying it—joie de vivre!
Len and I live in a carriage house (circa 1865) in the Warm Springs historic district of Boise. The main house and carriage house are separated by beautifully landscaped grounds that are lush with flowers, foliage, and trees.
This year, one of the trees enjoyed a pair of peregrine falcons as residents. They subsequently had babies. It was fun to listen to their screams for “food, Food, MORE FOOD!”
All of the human observation to potentially catch “flying lessons” and other fledgling antics, caused the owners of the main house to notice some dead branches and decide to have the deadwood removed. But not until after the feathered family had safely flown the coop.
Deadwood — before and after. In the top photo (before), notice one of the peregrine parents perched on an upper-most limb.
Deadwood is a threat to tree health. Infestations thrive in the decaying wood, which can ultimately lead to the death of the tree—not to mention, it can make a tree structurally unsound.
Deadwood pruning is the removal from the tree of the dead, dying, or broken branches and diseased branch wood. This can be significant for the health of a tree—allowing the tree to flourish.
Certain people, places, things, events, and opportunities can drag individuals down—deadwood. Maybe they’re time or energy thieves, or perhaps they’re a financial drain. Regardless, they can weaken an otherwise sound structure.
What deadwood needs to be removed from your life so you can flourish?
After sharing a gelato with Len, I loved the polka dotted cardboard container so much that I washed it out and repurposed it — now it’s home to office supplies.
The terms repurpose, recycle, and upcycle are often used interchangeably:
REPURPOSE: adapt for use in a different purpose.
RECYCLE convert (waste) into reusable material. Return (material) to a previous state in a cyclic process. Use again.
UPCYCLE: reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Give an unwanted or waste product a new or enhanced lease of life.
I’m a huge proponent of repurposing, recycling, and upcycling. One of my favorite places in Boise, Idaho is Blooms Flower Studio. You can see in the photo below, that back in the day it was a service station. Today, it’s a gorgeous (inside and out) floral shop that also delivers impressive customer service.
What have you repurposed, recycled, or upcycled for reuse at your home?
You’ve heard of mind-numbing. How about mind gnawing?
Recently our son and his family relocated to a place just around the corner from us. Yay! We’re excited because it’ll make visiting with our granddaughter extremely convenient once she arrives in September.
Len and I got to help them with their move out/in process. If you’ve ever moved before, you know that event requires simultaneous spinning of several platters:
Change of address at the post office? Check!
Key duplication? Check!
New driver’s license to reflect new address? Check!
Update address with employers? Check!
Even though I’d written tasks down, a move still leaves things gnawing at the edges of one’s mind. My brain felt like the beaver-gnawed tree in the photo below! I kept thinking we’d forgotten something…
Well, I’ll be dammed (pun intended), there’s beaver activity along the Boise River!
One night I sat up bolt upright in bed and told Len, “Bicycles! I never saw the kids bicycles during the move! I think we forgot about them.”
Sure enough, their bicycles were still in the rack at their old location.
With the publication of The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace just two weeks away, I’ve used the month of June to enjoy a much slower version of life before I hit the ground running:
July 11, San Diego, The Book Catapult
July 27, Boise, Rediscovered Books
Aug 12, Crystal Lake, IL, Veteran Acres Park
When I was in Joshua Tree, CA I saw this “hammock roundup” that five people can enjoy simultaneously.
On Eleuthera Island, the neighbors across the way enjoy a solo version of quietude.
And while we don’t have a hammock where we live, there’s a multitude of gentle choices. My three favorites are reading (dive headfirst into a book and don’t surface for a good, long while), restorative yoga, and walking the Boise River Greenbelt. We’re also just a stone’s throw from an arboretum, nature center, and park.
While walking through an airport during a longish layover, I realized that I was hungry. Stepping off the main walkway into a restaurant, I suddenly became discombobulated. Whoa—just look at that floor!
Click on the photo to enlarge
I’ve never had vertigo, but I think I came close to it walking on this flooring that has the optical illusion of being three dimensional. A female diner who was watching me tread lightly smilingly said, “Take baby steps; I had to.”
While waiting for my meal, I too started watching other people who entered to see if they had the same reaction as me. Sure enough, it only took moments, but other patrons—men and women, alike—began walking with caution too. The funny thing is, children who entered didn’t bat an eye!
When I was in Minneapolis to speak at ModernWell, I rode the Blue Line train and was mesmerized by the giant, bellows-looking contraption that I sat near.
A bit of research informed me that they are accordion diaphragms, and their purpose is to ensure passenger safety between railway cars.
Much like a giant playing the accordion (think Jack in the Beanstalk), the membranes gracefully push together and pull apart as the train rocks, sways, and rounds corners.
Further research revealed that back in the day (the early 1900s), the spaces between the cars on a freight train were often occupied by migrant workers or vagrants—many people referred to them as hobos—who were “riding the rails.” Tucking into these in-between spaces kept them out of sight from the police and train crew, but thousands of people were maimed or killed by this dangerous practice.