Lists of social virtues generally include kindness and honesty toward others, but it’s all too easy to overlook the importance of being kind and honest with oneself. Pushing too hard to get things done, while acting like everything is okay and the stress is not really a problem, often gets mistaken for being responsible. Then, before you know it, the real you ends up suffocating under heaps of phony pretense and desperately screaming to be let out.
 

Word-art that says "Be brave. Be silly. Be your own magic. Be present. Be full of surprises. Be adventurous. Be kind. Be free. Be you." 

I was going to write more about the value of authenticity, but I just read an excellent post on the blog Nuggets of Gold about what happens as a result of not wanting anyone to see the real you; so I’ll just finish with a link to it.

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.

Yesterday morning was rainy, and by the time it cleared in the afternoon, the river was very muddy. My husband and I had to wash our boat thoroughly after we went rowing. We had more rain overnight, followed by a damp and cloudy morning. I put an animated image on my art display today that shows rain falling in puddles in a muddy country lane. It’s clearing now, though, and the real-life puddles are drying up.

I would say there’s a simple but useful lesson in there: No matter how rainy, muddy, and messy everything looks at a particular time, it’s probably not going to last very long.
 

Word-art that says "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." -Eleanor Roosevelt 

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.

Last weekend my husband and I participated in a rowing camp with traveling coaches who visited our local rowing association. The coaches gave useful advice, such as showing me how to lean at a better angle so as to reach farther with the oars, and telling me to have more patience and not rush.

Patience is something that I need to work on, generally. I wrote another post on that topic for Nurturing Thursday three years ago, and Becca helpfully reminded me that we are exactly where we are supposed to be when we are there. Keeping that in mind and letting things unfold naturally isn’t always easy, though… so I decided that I could use another reminder.
 

Word-art that says "I am exactly where I need to be, right now." -Janine Ripper 

No matter what the situation, there is always something that can be learned from it; and usually, taking more time makes those opportunities for learning a lot easier to find.

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 received the word-art shown below from a coworker who sometimes gets a teeny bit too enthusiastic in her self-appointed duties as team morale booster—she sent it along with an image of Tony the Tiger from those old cereal commercials. Although I have to admit that brought up happy memories of being a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons in blissful ignorance of the evils of eating too much sugar, I decided Tony didn’t need to be part of my Nurturing Thursday post.
 

Word-art that says "A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life." -Mandy Hale 

Tony didn’t get completely dissed, though, because I just can’t resist wishing everyone a gr-r-reat weekend! Along with a happy Thursday to all.

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.

As those of us in the Northern Hemisphere go into the summer season of picnics, parades, beach parties and other seasonal fun with our friends and family members, we should cultivate a habit of putting kind acts on our schedules too. No matter how much kindness we share, it never runs short—there’s always much more to go around!
 

Word-art that says "Throw kindness around like confetti." 

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 hope that all my readers got off to a good start on a Thursday filled with wonderful things, and that there will be many more to come!
 

Word-art that says "May your day be filled with positive energy, positive people, and positive experiences." 

And if you’re around people who talk too much about politics, it helps to keep in mind that because the world has been changing so fast, everyone on both sides has gotten anxious and afraid. What’s needed is more understanding and love. The song “Lotta Love” comes to mind; I have to admit, I’m fond of those ’70s songs with all the horns playing.
 

 

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 didn’t get my Nurturing Thursday post up earlier because I wasn’t sure what kind of entry would best suit my feelings. I had been in kind of a dithering mood this week generally; and with several different items of positive word-art saved in my WordPress media library, I couldn’t make up my mind which to use, or whether I should try something else instead.

Then I decided that I’d better just go ahead and pick something from my media library and get a post written; so, here’s this one, which actually turned out to fit my mood today with a fair degree of accuracy. Funny how things work out sometimes—but, generally, I would say that when we go ahead and take some constructive action, they do seem to end up working out.
 

Word-art that says "The most effective way to do it is to do it." -Amelia Earhart 

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.

May 4, 2017 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Usually I don’t discuss politics on my blog. The main reason for that is because I prefer to look more broadly at the underlying cultural stories rather than getting into the battle du jour. Framing political issues in terms of battles and other war metaphors is, of course, one of those stories itself. Although there are many other ways to look at the process of governing, in our society just about everything in politics is routinely described as a fight. It’s not easy to step outside that cultural box and find better alternatives.

Still, we shouldn’t give up on changing society for the better, even (or perhaps especially) at times when there is nothing constructive happening in politics. The culture is not under anyone’s control; rather, it develops organically, based in large part on the words and choices that make up our everyday lives. Even the simple decision to talk about working to improve society, instead of using the language of battles and fights, can have far more impact than anyone knows. We don’t have to be wealthy or powerful before we can set those constructive changes in motion.
 

Word-art that says "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank 

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.

When I was a child, I had an umbrella with panels in different colors of tinted plastic. That umbrella made it great fun to go out in the rain, holding a panel of a particular color in front of my face to see everything around me in that color, while pretending I had traveled to the Purple Planet or the Blue Planet for the day.

The world didn’t seem as colorful after I got older and spent most of my time just getting things done, rather than letting my mind wander wherever it liked and having fun playing pretend. It took me a while to realize that they are not in fact mutually exclusive options. There’s no reason why we can’t get things done and have a playful mindset too, whether it is a rainy day or not.
 

Word-art that says "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." 

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.

Okay, I haven’t really gone exploring in the desert recently; but the way I see it, a little prodding in the direction of a more adventurous mindset is all for the best.
 

Word-art showing a hiker in a desert that says "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 

Comfort zones do have their benefits, in that having predictable routines helps us to avoid stress and be more productive. Still, it’s important to find a healthy balance and not get stuck there!

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.