Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Joy in harmony


"Happiness results when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~Mahatma Gandhi


 Fish Town, Leland, MI / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Original voices

“The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.”  ~Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way


Night fog / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Fair play

"You should have standards for the way people treat you. Whether you've known them your whole life or for five minutes, you're entitled to set those standards for yourself, and walk away when they're not being met." ~Kat George


Children of the World, sculpture by Kirk Newman

at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids / Cindy La Ferle 

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fearless communication

“We’ll never solve the problems we don’t talk about.” 
~Justin Young

At Greenfield Village / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Funny Friday: Humor without hurt

"Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else's expense. And I find that that's just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else's feelings." ~Ellen DeGeneres


Cat's in the bag / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Holistic living

"The idea that everything is purposeful changes the way you live. Everything you do has a ripple effect: Every word that you speak and every action that you make affects other people and the planet." ~Victoria Moran


Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Good manners

"I think the thing I miss most today is etiquette. It sounds so old-fashioned, in a way. But even bad people had good manners in the past. Manners hold a community together, and manners hold a family together. In a way, they hold the world together." ~Nancy Friday


Vintage lifestyle guide / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Morning clarity

"Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are." ~Anne Lamott


Good morning, Vinsetta Park / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Low expectations

“Lately I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations.”  ~Bill Watterson


"...And you might be pleasantly surprised." / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

The power of consequences

"Nature reminds us that there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences." ~Robert Green Ingersoll


After the storm / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Moment of happiness

“It's about living in the moment and appreciating the smallest things. Surrounding yourself with the things that inspire you and letting go of the obsessions that want to take over your mind. It is a daily struggle sometimes, and hard work, but happiness begins with your own attitude and how you look at the world.” ~Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project


Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Speech class

"Before you speak, let your words pass through these gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" ~Lao Tzu

Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Brave hearts


"Don't be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word love to the people you love, so when it matters the most to say it, you will." ~Cheryl Strayed


Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Facing dragons

"An honest enemy is better than a false friend. Pay attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake." ~Zero Dean


Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Recipe for comfort

“Never underestimate the lingering effects of a dash of spontaneous comfort." ~ Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road


Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

No competition

If you are driven by fear and pride, you will feel forced to compete. If you are guided by courage, your strength and a peaceful nature will serve you.” ~Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power


Cranbrook Gardens, Bloomfield Hills / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Unexpected gifts

"Some people give us gifts of such beauty that we remember them as long as we live." ~Thomas a Kempis


Cindy La Ferle
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Character clues

"Watch other people for clues about who they are -- not just clues about how much they are or are not like you.” ~Patti DighWhat I Wish for You


Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Setting goals

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." ~Andrew Carnegie


Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The right outlook

“The greater part of our happiness, or our misery, depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.” ~Martha Washington

Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Doors

"I have a thing for doors. I always think of them as thresholds to something new." ~Jada Pinkett Smith


Scarab Club in Detroit  /  Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

WEEKEND COLUMN: Looking for what's not wrong

"As you go through the day today, ask yourself this question: 'What's NOT wrong?' Notice it. Take it in. Allow yourself to be filled." ~Geneen Roth

Sunrise on the St. Joseph River / Cindy La Ferle 

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Lately I've gotten into the dismal habit of focusing on everything that's negative -- and I'm trying to change that. 

I'm like the teenager who obsesses about the new zit on her cheek and doesn't notice that the rest of her skin is healthy and good. I've become the person who watches cable news and wonders if the entire country is taking a nosedive to hell because of some ridiculous thing the president said. And as I write this, I notice there are dead branches on the tree outside my window -- when I could just as easily admire the healthy foliage in the rest of the garden.

Focusing on "what's not wrong" -- as author Geneen Roth advises in today's quote -- can be a challenge for some of us. We trick ourselves out of joy and pleasure whenever we sense there's something to worry about. And we can't fully enjoy the life we have unless things are absolutely perfect, or, at least, problem-free. Which rarely ever happens. It's like trying to keep the whole house spotless when you've got small kids around.

So we drag ourselves along our little path to happiness and wait for another shoe to drop -- or trip us -- in the middle of it. 

But there's a better way. Remember the gratitude journals that were so popular a decade ago? Roth's quotation borrows a page from those books. Roth is suggesting that we all look for the things that are right in our lives, to take them in, and allow ourselves to find peace and satisfaction in them. Doing so will shore up some positive energy when we need it.

And it could be that I will need some positive energy this coming week. 

Just when I was poised to enjoy a summer free of medical drama, I got the dreaded "call back" letter from the hospital. The letter informed me that something doesn't look right on my mammogram; additional testing is required. 

This is not uncommon. Of course, radiologists like to deliver dubious and cryptic test results on holiday weekends, when there's nobody available for discussion or reassurance. I have to wait until Monday morning to call the scheduling department for my next round of diagnostic procedures. 

Ironically, it also occurs to me that the purpose of a mammogram is to pinpoint anything that looks wrong; to target a problem with the goal of repairing it. There is a gift in this -- a gift in knowing we have the technology to practice such proactive healthcare. 

This too shall pass, I know. I've been through it all before -- additional testing, surgical biopsies, waiting for results -- and I will get through it again. My close friends are trying to calm me with their own call-back stories, admitting that they, too, were privately freaking out while their lives were on hold. 

Meanwhile, I'm trying to put this out of my mind; to focus instead on "what's not wrong." And there are so many things that really aren't wrong, just waiting for me to notice. ~Cindy La Ferle


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Paying compliments

"Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. Seek out others who do the same for you." ~Joyce Meyer


Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Steering toward peace

"Nothing important ever comes because you feel desperate to get it. Find peace first. Everything you need will meet you there." ~Martha Beck

Key West / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

True freedom

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." ~William Faulkner, American author


Cindy La Ferle
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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Expressing affection

"If you love someone today, tell them. If you appreciate someone today, tell them. There might not be a tomorrow. Today is the day to express your love and admiration." ~Marc and Angel Chernoff


Sunset on Lake Michigan / Cindy La Ferle
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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Positive people

"Surround yourself with positive people who reflect who you want to be, how you want to live, and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious." ~Rachel Wolchin

In Debbie's garden / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, July 1, 2019

The right tools

"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." ~George Herbert


Old friends / Cindy La Ferle

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