Although I don’t work in a scientific field, I enjoyed this amusing bit of word-art sent to me in a coworker’s email recently, so I decided to share it for today’s post:
 

Word-art showing an atom that says "Think like a Proton and stay Positive." 

And while we’re on the topic of atoms, I couldn’t resist adding a music video of “Atomic Dog” to this post. Just go ahead and sing along with that old-school funk, and forget all about being a responsible adult; that’ll give you a smile for Nurturing Thursday. Bow wow wow…
 


 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

This week’s rare February warmth made it possible to get an early start on the rowing season, so my husband and I made plans to meet at the boathouse after work. The weather didn’t turn out to be as warm or sunny as the forecast had predicted, but it was still fun to get back on the water, clouds or no clouds. Although the water is still cold and there is bridge construction going on nearby, I didn’t mind—that made it more like an adventure.
 

Double scull at the dock on a gray February afternoon. 

I must have been secretly longing for some bright sky after the cloudy winter, though, because the picture that I put on my art display today is a photo from Sri Lanka. Next best thing to a real tropical vacation.
 

Trees at the shore and golden clouds in Sri Lanka. 

Don’t the colors in that sky look yummy enough to eat?

I had a conversation with my manager this afternoon about the company’s plans to encourage employees to develop more skills. She said that because of automation and other rapid changes in the workplace, people will need to be more flexible in moving to new tasks and positions, instead of expecting to do the same job every day for years.

Of course, that wasn’t really news; it has been going on for a while now, all throughout the economy. Millennials change jobs all the time and think nothing of it. For those of us who aren’t quite that young, it can be more of a challenge to picture ourselves in a different work environment. Either way, we’re likely to end up in a future that is very far from what we imagined. The most important skill for this uncertain future may simply be the ability to live in the present and take one breath at a time, without fear.
 

Word-art that says "Inhale the future, exhale the past." 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

February 15, 2017 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

This curious title (which isn’t really a word, of course) showed up in a dream I had on Monday morning, as the title of a book. I was the author, and somehow I also had a magical superpower of flying. A tiny lucid corner of my mind looked out, complete with a judgmental frown, and decided to play the party-pooper by informing me that I’d better not get too happy because it was nothing but a silly dream.

My dreaming self came up with a snappy comeback—so what, it’s real enough now, dream or no dream, who cares? Then the alarm clock settled the argument by beeping to wake me up for work. I had to be at the office bright and early for a Six Sigma training class, so I didn’t have the option of trying to snooze for a few more minutes and perhaps go on with the conversation.
 

Alarm clock displaying 7:00 AM and "beep" indicator. 

Looking at this dream as a message from my subconscious (as dreams often are), the main points seemed simple enough: Fun and imagination are good, my inner critic needs to shut up, and being present in the moment is what really matters.

But what might the book title have meant? I pondered that for a while, and only just now realized that it was a title because it accurately sums up the entire dream. When I freely enjoy fun and imagination in the moment, then I am not at a distance from myself; I am undistanced. As for the word’s appearance on a book, I would interpret it as a symbol of success. Take THAT, all you nagging judgmental voices, it’s not just silly stuff but a real, published, bestselling book, what do you have to say for yourself NOW?

Yes, it’s always satisfying to tell off the inner critic, even in a dream!

It’s not easy to keep a cheerful outlook when it seems like we are constantly surrounded by news about political chaos. Still, I would say that in such times, society can benefit the most from our efforts—however small—in simply going about our lives and letting go of the drama. That does more good than we know, helping the many people who feel afraid and overwhelmed to get their minds in a healthier place, so that they can begin to do something constructive.
 

Word-art that says "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." -Maya Angelou 

That’s not to say we should pretend everything is perfectly okay when it isn’t. We all have a responsibility to work toward a better society, however we might define that. But the key word here is WORK. It is not, as the prevailing narratives in the media would have it, “fight” or “war.” We are not literally on a battlefield, or anything close to it; and if we really want to solve our problems, we can’t keep on going through life with all that overblown drama getting in the way. It’s time—and past time—to let it go.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Sometimes showing enthusiasm can feel a bit scary. Maybe there was a time when something felt really exciting, but other people complained it wasn’t useful or laughed at it. Even if that happened very long ago, those memories are still swirling around in the subconscious mind, just waiting to pop up at the first stirrings of enthusiasm. And if they have been deeply buried for many years, they could be sucking the excitement out of life without it even being apparent why.

We shouldn’t judge ourselves as weak for having such fears. After all, most people have had them at one time or another. Trying to bury them deeper doesn’t help either—they’re sure to work their way out eventually. Simply acknowledging that they are there, without judgment, can be a first step toward calming the mind. Finding little things to feel enthusiastic about on a daily basis is a concrete way of demonstrating to the inner doubter that it’s safe now. After a while, those draining old fears will naturally fade away, replaced by much healthier thoughts. Then we’ll end up surprising ourselves by how much we can accomplish!
 

Word-art that says "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I am not sure if this winter has been much more cloudy than usual or if the lack of sunlight is just getting to me more, but I’ve been looking to cheer myself up by putting pictures of sunlit forests and lakes on the art display on my dining room wall. Today’s photo is of Lake Valhalla in Washington, with sunlight on the hills in the distance. I’ve never been there in real life, but it looks like a beautiful place to row or hike.
 

Photo of Lake Valhalla in Washington, with forested hills. 

And yesterday’s image was a mossy waterfall with sunlight coming through the trees in the background. I love how the green and yellow shades swirl together in the reflections on the water.
 

Waterfall in a forest with sunlit trees in the background. 

After writing this post, I’m feeling more cheerful and appreciative of how modern technology can fill every day with joyful spots of beauty. Wishing my readers in the Northern Hemisphere plenty of lovely sunny images to brighten the winter days, too!