Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scattering Joy

"Scatter Joy" Collage by Lani (Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

This morning I worked on my art journal while listening to to the sounds marsh birds scattering joy in the salt marsh near our house (Prospect harbor and Atlantic Ocean is in our back yard and a salt marsh is across the street). Spring will arrive! I just know it! Whew!

On top of the encouraging sounds of birds, I got a particularly encouraging eNewsletter form Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and :mnmlist (minimalist). Have I mentioned lately what an encouraging fellow Leo is? If you don't get his eNewsletter, you might want to consider it, or at least visit his websites every now and again.

The topic was How to Be a Positive Person, in Under 300 Words. Talk about minimalist! Here my favorites from his condensed guide to changing his life (which of course we can use to change ours):

Realize changing your life is possible, instead of telling yourself why you can’t.
Love what you have already.
Be grateful for your life, your gifts, and other people.
Every day.
Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
Surround yourself by those who are positive.
Complain less, smile more.

I thought I'd head over to the :mnmlist, where I found this sweet little Zen story:
A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.

Now isn't sweet? Just eat your rice and wash your bowl! From there I headed to Leo's latest book The Power of Less and the free eBook, Thriving on Less - Simplifying in a Tough Economy. Just reading the table of contents form the free eBook was a real boost! It's all about getting creative in a depressed economy, so it makes a whole lot of sense to read now, immediately!

In chapter 3, "Thriving on Less..." he talks about simple free or cheap stuff to do, making simplifying fun, and making people rather than "stuff" a priority, to name a few of his topics. He also has beautiful quotes sprinkled throughout, like "Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion." (from The Talmud) Now isn't that simple and brilliant? Don't you want to read this free eBook?

Want one more good thing? While focusing on people rather than stuff, I was talking with someone this past week about their spiritual practice and she said she begins every day with a list of things she's grateful for and then goes into a little list of intentions or wishes for the day. And then she reminds herself to treat everyone including herself like gold. Now isn't that beautiful? So simple! So I'll eat my rice, wash my bowl, be grateful, give some thought to intentions and treat everyone like gold. Including myself.

The Secret of Life (morning pages collage) by Lani

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