Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring break

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, and to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” 

-Bill Bryson


A little bit of Paris in Delray Beach / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Living with intention

"May your life preach 
more loudly than your lips." 
~William Ellery Channing

Make it a beautiful day / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Creating an oasis

"You can invent your world. 
Surround yourself with people, color, 
sounds, and work that nourish you." 
– Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy


In Debbie's garden / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Chilling out

"Praise and blame, gain and loss, 
pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. 
To be happy, rest like a giant tree 
in the midst of them all." 
~The Buddha

 Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Sparkling moments

"Our brightest blazes of gladness 
are commonly kindled by 
unexpected sparks."
~Samuel Johnson, The Idler

Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Showing up, standing up

"Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. 
It means to show up and be seen. 
To ask for what you need. 
To talk about how you're feeling. 
To have the hard conversations."
~Brene Brown, Daring Greatly


In Susan's garden / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Letting go of "everyone"

"You do not need everyone. 
What you do or create isn't 
for or about 'everyone.' 
Finding those who are believers 
in what we believe is what matters.
~Seth Godin

Cindy La Ferle

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At a dinner party recently, some friends and I discussed a few topics that are creating a cavernous divide in our country. As it happens, those friends are kindred spirits who share my political and cultural views. That night, it was a comfort to be able to discuss volatile issues "in a safe place," as one put it.

We also agreed, later, that it's a shame we don't feel safe enough to have open, civil discussions with family and friends who don't see things the way we do. These days, we tip-toe around the hot-button topics and try to avoid offending others. Not easy.

In the midst of all this, I've grown to accept the reality that while we humans are created equal, we're not exactly alike. And most of us are proud of what makes us unique. We have different ethnic backgrounds, educations, vocations, values, religious beliefs, culinary tastes, lifestyles, personalities, and experiences -- all of which contribute to our individual character. 

No wonder we can't agree on every socio-political issue that's up for debate. 

Lately there's been a lot of talk about how Americans have become so tribal. I believe there's real danger in giving up the hope that we'll ever get along again -- but I also think it's unrealistic to ignore the fact that human beings are encoded to seek validation from like-minded folks. Just as I did last week at my friends' dinner party. Just as you do when you attend a particular church, cheer for your favorite baseball team, or volunteer for a cause you support.

We can't possibly be all things to "everyone" and it would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Which brings me around to the Seth Godin quote in today's post.

At one time or another, most of us have aimed to please everyone, or twisted ourselves into different shapes to fit in with people we admired or needed in some way. 

For instance, I used to spend hours writing columns and essays that would impress the majority of my readers -- or, at least, wouldn't hurt or offend them. To that end, I chose non-controversial topics, convincing myself that I was covering universal themes. I wanted people to like me and I wanted them to like my work. Of course, even then, I'd still get mail from readers who were put off by something I'd written. 

As Seth Godin suggests, it's not about "everyone." It's foolish to expect everyone to love what we do, what we create, or what we believe. The ultimate goal is to do what we do best, find the peeps with whom it will resonate, and try to coexist peacefully with others.  ~Cindy La Ferle




Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Privacy

"Privacy is precious. 
It is the last true luxury: to be able to live your life 
as you choose, without having everyone 
comment on it or know about it." 
~Valerie Plume

It's good that I'm not on Facebook 

Blank journals from Hollanders, Ann Arbor / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The promise of spring

"Spring is when you feel like whistling, 
even with a shoe full of slush."
 ~Doug Larson

Ready for spring / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Playing your hand

“Fate is the cards you were given 
when you were born. 
Destiny is what you do with them.” 
~ Gina E. Jones

Have a heart / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The company of pets

"You know, sometimes the world 
seems like a pretty mean place. 
That's why animals are so soft and huggy." 
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

My buddy, Jack B. Nimble / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Integrity

"The supreme quality for leadership is integrity. 
Without it, no real success is possible, 
no matter whether it is on a section gang, 
a football field, in an army, or in an office." 
~Dwight D. Eisenhower


Has integrity become a relic? / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Self care

 “When I loved myself enough, 
I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. 
This meant people, jobs, 
my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small.  
My judgement called it disloyal. 
Now I see it as self-loving.” 
~ Kim McMilllen


 Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

A path of one's own

"If you can see your path laid out in front of you, 
step by step, you know it's not your path. 
You make your own path with every step you take. 
That's why it's your path." 
~Joseph Campbell

 Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Literary arsenal

“Speaking personally, you can have my gun, 
but you'll take my book when you pry my 
cold, dead fingers off of the binding.” 
~Stephen King

Armed and dangerous / Cindy La Ferle

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Today's post is in honor of the courageous students around this country who are standing up, walking out, and protesting gun violence. My heart, prayers, and respect go out to each and every one of them. They represent my hope for a safer and more peaceful future. ~Cindy La Ferle 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Feeling seen and heard

"A friendship is a mutual relationship between two people 
that is satisfying, safe, and where both people feel seen. If you have a friendship that isn't feeling meaningful or healthy, I can guarantee it's because at least one of these three requirements is lacking in that relationship."


On Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle

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How often do you find yourself in the company of people who treat you more like an audience than a friend? 

Given a choice, most of us gravitate toward people who make us feel seen, heard, and emotionally supported. We want to spend time with friends who value and validate us for being ourselves -- not because they want or need something from us. 

Addressing this topic in a recent newsletter, wellness author Kris Carr recalled a long walk she took with a friend who "talked at" her the entire time, never letting Carr get a word in edgewise.

"It would have been one thing if this gal had been sharing critical, life-altering news with me, but she wasn't," Carr wrote. "She was repeatedly weighing me down with her issues -- and more important, not giving a crap about hearing my stuff or anything at all about me." Having tolerated this treatment one too many times, Carr decided to end the one-sided friendship.

Sadly, this isn't uncommon. Ours is a culture in which social media exposure is valued more than real conversation. Sites like Facebook and Twitter provide instant forums for all-about-me monologues and knee-jerk diatribes, encouraging us to spill what's on our minds without waiting for a response. We've forgotten how to talk with each other.

I know I'm guilty of talking too much sometimes, especially when I'm feeling ill at ease. When I catch myself trying too hard to impress -- or droning on about my issues -- I remind myself to shut up and refocus on the person with whom I'm conversing. 

The late Dale Carnegie, who wrote the book on how to build relationships, stressed the importance of cultivating a sincere interest in other people. That can only happen when we're not preoccupied with ourselves -- when we stop competing for attention or regaling folks with stories of how brilliant or funny or successful we are. We can start by asking a few questions, such as, "How's your job going?" Or, "Tell me about those cool red shoes you're wearing." 

As my parents used to remind me, if you walk away from a social interaction without having learned something new about your companions, it's likely you were talking too much about yourself.

Simply put, good conversation and happy relationships are never one-sided. As Kris Carr points out, any friendship that consistently leaves us feeling more drained than uplifted isn't really a friendship. ~Cindy La Ferle    

The quotation above the photo in this post is from Friendships Don't Just Happen, a helpful guide to creating meaningful friendships. To learn more, click here.



Monday, March 12, 2018

Seeing clearly

“Do you aim to defend your own beliefs -- 
or do you yearn to see the world 
as clearly as you possibly can?” 
~ Julia Galef


Dusting off the old lenses / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Letting go and moving on

“The truth is: Unless you let go, 
unless you forgive yourself, 
unless you forgive the ones who hurt you, 
unless you realize that the situation is over, 
you cannot move forward.” 
~Steve Maraboli

Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Wishing upon stars

We are all in the gutter, 
but some of us are looking at the stars.
~Oscar Wilde

Make your own magic / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Loving where you are

“Instead of wondering 
when your next vacation is, 
maybe you should set up a life 
you don't need to escape from.” 
~Seth Godin

Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Taking a news break

"In the midst of movement and chaos, 
keep stillness inside of you." 
~Deepak Chopra


Even if it's only in your mind, find a happy place.

The Cove, Leland / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Garden dreaming

"To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh 
at what we normally take for granted." 
~George Kneller

Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Teaching by example

“Who we are and how we engage with the world 
are much stronger predictors of how our children 
will do than what we know about parenting.” 
~BrenĂ© Brown, Daring Greatly


Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Patience and persistence

"Never give up, for that is just 
the place and time that the tide will turn." 
~Harriet Beecher Stowe

Sailing in Key West / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Perfectly simple truths

"You must love in order to be loved. 
You must be inclusive in order 
to feel yourself among the included. 
You must give in order to receive." 
~Cheryl Strayed


Beach treasure / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Action versus inertia

“The world can be a dangerous place to live, 
not because of the people who are evil, 
but because of the people 
who don't do anything about it.” 
 ~Attributed to Albert Einstein


Wandering through the fog / Cindy La Ferle

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