Fun Finds From the Web

I hope it’s been a good week for everyone! Here are a few sites I visited and enjoyed. Hope they bring a little joy to you.

A short interview with Eckhart Tolle – “The one belief you have to give up on.”

This is right down my alley! “Is There Enough Gratitude in Your Life?”

Who wouldn’t be interested in 11 proven ways to boost your happiness?

Beach, anyone? AFAR offers 24 amazing beaches in the U.S.

Feeling Determined to Change by Leo Babauta

Happy and Content Without Social Media

*Recently I wrote about struggling with having enough time in my life to do all the things I want to do. I was fortunate to have someone ( Lisa Ricard Claro) comment on my blog and say exactly what I needed to hear. I became aware of the fact that I needed to prioritize and spend my time on what’s really important to me. To some degree, I get to choose what to do and how to spend my time.

I have made some changes and I am liking the results. I am basically editing my normal routine to spend more time on what’s important to me and less time on what is not.

My time spent on social media, surfing the net, and emails has diminished greatly. I have found more time, and I am loving it. This new freedom made me think of a piece I wrote about a year and a half ago. I wanted to share it with you.

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May, 2015

Last Friday I attended my daughter’s regional track meet. As it often happens, I am there much earlier than when any of her events start. She likes me to bring her a sandwich from Jimmy John’s or Subway; however, she wants time for the food to settle before she has to run. So, I show up early.

I was looking through the stands, seeing if I knew anyone, and where I might find a good seat for myself and my husband, who would be joining me later. My random seat choice ended up being the best choice I could have made.

I sat by a lady who is a teacher and middle school track coach. She was there for three reasons: 1) She had former students/athletes running; 2) Her son who ran in college was now a high school track coach; and 3) She just loves track.

We sat there for hours. Despite the cold, wind, and rain, we had a wonderful time visiting. My impression of her was that she was genuine, funny, smart, capable, and utterly content with her simplistic lifestyle. Being a teacher, she has her summers off.  She lives in the country, enjoys gardening, exercising, reading, and seeing family anytime she can. She engages in no social media….none. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus+, Tumbler, etc. She doesn’t own an iPhone. She has a flip phone.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was really taken back by all of this. Actually, I was kind of astonished. I have aunts in their 80s who are on Facebook. Almost everyone I know loves Pinterest. Most people I know use some form of social media. Here was an attractive, sharp middle aged woman with no interest in social media.  Not having a smart phone, she doesn’t take any pictures, she doesn’t check her email, she doesn’t participate in any social media, and she has the same ring tone no matter who calls. I know this because her son, daughter in law, and husband all called during the course of our day.

So, I couldn’t help myself,  I did question her about her lack of interaction with the world. How could she not be on Facebook? She really only checks her email once a day?  And, her phone gets put up when she gets home? She doesn’t keep it by her bedside or by her all the time? She was so sure of herself and felt nothing was lacking in her life.

I guess what really got me was: What does she do with all that extra time? How does she not feel like she is missing out? How can she live that simply and be that content? She honestly seemed like one of the most satisfied, content, and happy individuals I have ever met. I was impressed and mystified all at the same time. At the end of the meet (yes, we stayed until the very last race) we had become fast friends. Obviously, we won’t stay connected through social media, but she said perhaps we would see one another at a future track meet and she would look out for my daughter’s future successes in track. They aren’t in our league, but there is a chance I will see her again. And, I believe her, she will remember my daughter’s name and she will cheer her on. She is that kind of person.

This whole experience made me reevaluate how I use social media and how often I use technology. I do think it’s important to have balance, and that is what I am striving for.

*Photo – flickr, MKHmarketing @ startbloggingonline.com

 

Friday Book Review on Monday!

thriveHappy Monday and Memorial Day, too. I usually post book reviews on Fridays, but I finished this book yesterday and I wanted to review it right away. I am very pleased to write my first book review for Blogging For Books! Today I am reviewing Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder  by Arianna Huffington.

In this New York Times Bestseller, Arianna Huffington asks the reader to take a new approach to defining success. She writes that our society is aware of the traditional metrics of success: money and power; however, there is a high price to pay for this success. She persuades readers that we need “a Third Metric for defining success– in order to live a healthy, balanced, and meaningful life….that includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving.”

In addition to the preface, introduction, and epilogue, the book is divided into four parts: Well-being, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving. Huffington shares a lot of her personal life throughout the book. She shares experiences throughout her life that makes for helpful, easy reading. The book is filled with tons of research, quotations, examples, information, and even helpful practical steps one can take. She is persuasive, credible, informative, and at times entertaining.

This was not a book I felt compelled to read in one setting. I already believed in the premise of the book, so for me it was not a hard sell. There were times where I felt like she was repeating herself with new evidence supporting the same claim. For me, the book could have been condensed. However, her message is clear, important, helpful, and potentially life changing and life saving. It gives the reader permission to get off the roller coaster of life, or in some cases, a merry-go-round, and get back to what is really important in our lives and others’ lives.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review. My review is posted on their website as well as on Amazon.

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/237250/thrive-by-arianna-huffington/

Friday Book Review

Today I am reviewing a short ebook called “Happsters Guide To Happiness.”

This free guide is written by Kelli the creator of “Happsters,” a fun instagram account I follow.

The guide is broken down into six short sections: Morning Mantras, Acts of Kindness, Happiness Tips, Free Guided Meditations, Happiness Books, and Helpful Social Media/Websites.

Each section is short but carries a powerful punch. There are printable mantras, 5 min. suggestions of acts of kindness, 5 happiness tips, 10 links for free guided meditations, a list of 10 books on happiness, and 20 helpful social media/websites.

Here is a link to check it out.

 

A Poem From the Talented Nicole Thibodeau

On Wednesdays I like to post essays or articles I have written. Today I am posting a poem from Nicole Thibodeau. Nicole is a gifted artist and writer that I have gotten to know through our writing group. She is the founder and leader of High Plains Creative Writing Group.

Axe

The trouble with an axe to grind

is what it brings.

Holding the axe-

spitting virtuous fire,

embers in the air

ignite all who hear.

Sparks fall where they like,

uncaring.

Burn for burn

sharpness-

embedded splinters

charred with the wood,

eaten with the chicken.

Bearing the consequences

after grinder, file, and stone.

Fun Finds From the Web

Happy Monday!

Recently I saw the movie “The Age of Adaline.” I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found Michiel Huisman, the leading man, quite charming, so I googled him when I got home. Here’s an interview with him. Check out the question where he is asked if he has any words of wisdom to share. I liked his answer very much.

I know we all realize the importance of strengthening our core. Here is a link to check out:  6 Must-Do Moves to Strengthen Your Core.

It’s almost summer time! Check out this fun checklist from Real Simple!

Chances are you have heard about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Here’s a short piece on how to meditate.

And, last but not least, what we’ve all been waiting for……. Amazon’s best summer beach reads!

Friday Book Review

true believer = bookRecently,  I stopped by to visit my old neighbors, and before I left,  the husband of the couple offered me a Nicholas Sparks book to borrow. He said Nicholas Sparks had never written a book on a topic like this one. I said, “Sure, I’ll read it.”

*Spoiler Alert – I didn’t cry and no one passes away!

Check out my book review on Amazon.

Fun Finds From the Web

Here’s a five minute ab workout I tried this past week.

Check out 5 Things Superhealthy People Do Every Single Morning

If I were to sum up my outlook on life at this moment it would be this.

It’s graduation time, and if you are looking for good ideas for your graduate or someone you know, check out “The Great Graduation Gift List.”

I love to travel and I enjoy getting emails from AFAR.

 

Friday Book Review

tears of the giraffeI was first introduced to Alexander McCall Smith’s writings through my book club. One of the members enjoyed his books and lent me a copy of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  I enjoyed the book very much and bought the second in the series: Tears of the Giraffe. 

Here is my book review on Amazon. Hope you give his books a chance. I think you’ll like them.

 

Fun Finds From the Web

A little inspiration for any project you are working on, especially a creative one. “Good Enough” written by Bryan Hutchinson of www.positivewriter.com.

An essay from “My Biggest Financial Lesson” from The New York Times – Your Money section.

12 quotes to help defeat worry and anxiety.

Here is the yoga practice I enjoyed this past week.

Have you ever wondered “Can Money Buy You Happiness?”

Check out these gorgeous pieces of jewelry.