Links Less Ordinary 5

Ox Alice Open

Can you believe that this is the 5th edition of Links Less Ordinary already? Where does the time go? The weeks pass by so quickly, but thankfully they bring with them some truly inspirational writing. Here’s what I came across on my internet travels:

  • The lovely Miss Gala Darling always writes such fantastically upbeat, passionate, positive posts that visiting her blog is like stepping out into the sunshine. This week was no exception when she shared a wonderful piece called The Constant Gardener:

Allow the Universe to be your gardener. Sit back & have a cup of tea. Watch as new seeds are planted in the fertile earth. Your gardener is making room for even more fabulous things to sprout & come to fruition.

She’s also recorded it as a podcast which you can listen to here.

And somehow, I feel a weight has been lifted. I don’t need to worry, fret or be fearful. I don’t need to be there, at all. Here is enough. There will be there when its time has come.

  • Karen Swim was also pondering moments; however, she was focusing on the power of a moment, and as always, she articulated her experience, her thoughts, and her conclusions so very beautifully:

Like the thunderstorm, our thoughts, attitudes and actions impact the landscape and people around us. As we rush about through our days we may forget that we are connected to the world and people around us. Every small encounter has an impact. In other words we matter, so our words, actions and attitudes matter too.

  • Lodewijk had another fabulous post up at How To Be An Original. This one is called How To Get Unstuck and contains some suggestions for a range of completely fabulous creative activities to get you unstuck:

In this post you’ll find a handful of actionable things to do that will help you change that perspective and may inspire that breakthrough thought.
If they don’t…well then you had a lot of fun anyway )

The last 3 links I want to share with you this weekend all helped to promote last week’s photography series, The Fire of Images. However, they actually did a lot more than promote my series, as all 3 added something wonderfully precious to the conversation: their unique perspectives.

An appreciation of editing: I haven’t edited my photos up to now but I am keen to learn and experiment, both to produce better results and to learn the read-across for the writing process. What are we editing for? The techniques are different but the answers might be similar: clarity, impact, emotion, power, resonance.

  • Secondly, Bo, over at her lovely blog, Seeded Earth, has put together a list of three blogs, Lives Less Ordinary included, which have had a recent focus on photography. She’s called it Everyone’s Doing Photography! With inspirational photographers such as Bo around the blogosphere, I’m pretty sure they will be 🙂

Crouching down, standing up, zooming in and out with a telephoto lens, moving to different parts of the same field…….not only does all that let you see what you’d miss if you just walked or drove by, but it let’s you see the world differently, let’s you see it as if for the first time.

So, there you go – another wonderful haul from just a few of the blogs I visit every week. But before I go, I’d like to give you just one more link, which is to my guest post over at Joyful Jubilant Learning called Whale Rider: Homeward Bound. I do hope you like it!

So what have you been reading on the internet this week? Any inspirational posts you would like to share?

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May 24, 2008. Links Less Ordinary. 9 comments.

Links Less Ordinary 4

Stepping Stones

Looking for some great links to follow up? Links to posts that inspire and enlighten? Links to blogs that invite us to look at the world with fresh eyes, to appreciate, to engage, to respond? Well, look no further, as I have collected some great links for you to view over this weekend!

  • Chris Garrett had a very inspirational post this week called The Magic Ingredient in which he addresses an issue which effects many of us. Does this sound familiar to you?

Whenever I achieve something in my life, two things often occur. One, the first, is I have to silence that small voice in my head that says “If I managed it then it can’t have been all that hard”. The second is I seem to attract people who say to me “I could have done that if only I _____” or “You see it’s easy for you, because ______”.

  • Ellen Wilson, of Wilson’s Words and Pictures, had a wonderful post, Bringing Your Daughter to Work Day, about encouraging children’s creativity. Reminding us of just how important it is to support our children’s artistic endeavours, Ellen writes about her own daughter’s burgeoning creativity and shares one way in which Ellen actively encourages her:

And I did mention to her that I would be displaying her artwork online. She is really excited about that. It seems she was born with a crayon in her hand, and being only 8 years old she is a top notch artist.

  • Next up is a post I missed from last week, but it really does deserve sharing here. It’s by Jo(e) who, if you don’t know, you really should. This post, If Every Woman Had A Cape, is an excellent introduction to her blog, Writing as Jo(e):

It was a comic book movie, except with human actors and actresses instead of drawings, and I couldn’t help but analyze the corny dialogue as we listened. The movie was a wonderful illustration of the black-and-white thinking in which people fall neatly into the categories of villain, victim, or hero. Even with all kinds of cool special effects, it’s incredible how tiresome those narrative can be. And more than tiresome; it’s downright sad. I know real life people who get stuck in those narratives.

In the search for a purposeful and passionate life you start to look for the important things. You take a good look at your life (the jar) and identify a couple of them. Some are real clear, some are only barely visible. There are all kinds of pebbles and blocking your view. And then there’s that strange mud that smells of beer…

  • Bob of Heroes Not Zombies, who some of you may know is my dad, had a post up this week which I really wanted to share with you all here. It’s called Making Sense of Life and it looks at the role stories play as we attempt to gain understanding and construct meanings:

How do you know what another person senses, feels or thinks? Through the sharing of stories. Our key tool in organising all these elements and conveying these experiences to others is narrative. We put things together in our heads in the form of stories. Remember, a story is created by telling of the present as it is emerging from the past in the light of future possibilities.

  • Last for this week is Joanna Young‘s post, Powerful Writing in 30 Words Or Less: E-Book of One-Liners in which she announces that she has compiled all the entries that she received answering the question, ‘What does powerful writing mean to you?, and that she is making it available as a pdf download. The e-book is free, but she is requesting donations for a very special charity:

It’s in support of MAD About Art, a small educational charity that works with young people in South Africa whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Using a mix of narrative and art therapy they support the young people to tell the most powerful stories. Find out more about MAD and the connection with powerful writing

Well, that’s it for this latest edition of Links Less Ordinary. What posts really inspired you this week?

P.S. David Masters shares some link love over here and there are some great posts to check out there too!

May 17, 2008. Links Less Ordinary. 7 comments.

Links Less Ordinary 3

Tree-Lined

Welcome to the weekend and to the 3rd edition of Links Less Ordinary. Why don’t you grab yourself a mug of your favourite beverage and settle down to some really great, inspirational reading?

Hey wait… nothing spectacular? Do you see that blue sky? the green grass? The air is clear; the land is litter free. There are no obnoxious odors, loud noises, traffic sounds. The trees are beginning to green a bit, the grassy path is a spongy cushion under tired feet. Not spectacular?

It was three years ago today that they wheeled me in for emergency surgery, and I said goodbye to my wife, not quite three-year-old daughter, and newborn son. I knew that sometimes people don’t wake up from brain surgery, and this might be the last time I saw them.

  • Every time I head over to David Masters’ blog, Be Playful, I find something that makes me think in a new way and it is always so exquisitely written. Believe me, you’re going to want to add this blog to your feed reader!  Just check out this great post, How To Be An Everyday Clown:

Clowns are brilliant. They bring joy and laughter to the world. They’re larger than life, clumsy, confused, very silly, and full of nonsense. I’ve been reading a lot about clowns and jesters recently, working out how to be a clown in my everyday life

  • A longtime friend of Lives Less Ordinary, Damien Riley, has recently refocussed his blog, Postcards From the Funny Farm, to concentrate on the topic of psychology and inspiration. It’s a topic Damien writes really well on as this post, Free Your Brain, illustrates:

I’ve become inescapably fascinated with the brain in the past decade. I’ve begun to see our thoughts in a new way: organic. Just like fertilizer helps a tomato to grow ripe and delicious, so our brains are in a cyclical process of bloom and wilt all the time.

  • Last, but by no means least, Wendikelly from Life’s Little Inspirations has a great post up for Mothers Day (US), A Mother’s Gratitude,  in which she shares a beautifully moving poem written by her then-16 year old daughter.  Why don’t you head on over and read what she has to say about motherhood:

I learned about unconditional love. I learned about commitment. I learned about priorities. (You learn about that sort of thing in the middle of the night with an asthmatic child who can’t breathe and you haven’t slept in three days.) I learned about money. I learned about not having any.

Well, those are just some of the posts I enjoyed reading over the last 7 days.  What posts gave you inspiration this week?  Or maybe you wrote a post that you’re particularly proud of and would like to share it with the rest of us here?

May 9, 2008. Links Less Ordinary. 11 comments.

Links Less Ordinary 2

Linked Hearts

After the success of last week’s edition of Links Less Ordinary, I’ve brought it back for another run. This week has been a fabulous week for blog writing. Why don’t you spend some of your weekend following up some of these links? I promise you, it’ll be time well spent!

  • Daz Cox is a wonderful artist and a really thoughtful blogger who often makes me think about my own views on art and its place in my life.  This week’s post was no different:

What is essential, especially to bloggers is to have your own opinion on what is art. What kind of “as art” have you made?

  • One of my favourite singers at the moment is Donna Maciocia who sings with the band Amplifico.  She has a relatively new blog of her own where she is very generously sharing her new songs.  She put a new one up just this week which makes me smile every time I hear it!  Here’s the lyrics from the chorus:

Just want you to feel beautiful
I wanna fill you up with feeling good about yourself
And to be unstoppable!
If you can’t love yourself
Then how can you love me at all?
Just want you to feel beautiful
I wanna fill you up with feeling good about yourself
And to be unstoppable!

Life has its ups and its downs. As human beings, we feel love and hatred and we even feel apathy at times. Pain and suffering and pleasure and ecstasy are all a part of it. Shakespeare was only half right; it is better to have loved and lost, but it is best to have loved, lost, and then loved again. It’s only more intense when it happens again.

What I realized as I went from one trial and tribulation to the next in the exciting adventure that became the LIFE OF WENDI is that no matter how hard things got to be, I was -in fact- in charge of how I felt about it and what I was going to do about it. I learned that I had choices. I could choose how I wanted to react and that the choices I made directly affected the outcome and other people’s reactions.

  • Ellen Wilson‘s post, The Butterfly Effect, really struck a chord with me this week.  It’s all about interconnections and how our words have the potential to effect change in the lives of countless unknown others.

You are the butterfly that makes the change of all our interconnections.  Spread your wings and see where they take you.

  • Cynthia from Original Impulse has started a new blog to chart the progress of her next big adventure as she begins her travels through Italy.  It’s called Journey Juju, where this week she has a great post urging  us to follow her example and to live The Wacky Life:

By wacky I mean adventurous, creative, right-brained. Not being bogged down by details or reined in by fears. Willing to do new things in new ways.

  • Over in Hawaii, Rosa Say has written about Calvin’s Mamaki Tree: a tree which she received at a ceremony to celebrate the life of a friend and work colleague who has recently passed on.  As always, her post is thoughtful and inspiring.

It would be a legacy that Calvin would have wanted, to simply have trees that will continue to grow with his belief that they are good for us. I was awestruck in that moment.

  • One of my new friends this week (well-met through Twitter) is Brett who blogs over at 6Weeks.  He wrote such a moving tribute to his wife, who sounds like such a special lady, that moved me to tears.

The wedding bands, I designed myself, the stone, the most beautiful my eye had ever seen.  Perfect in every way, like my bride-to-be.  I paid cash, of course… and Saturday morning proposed to my lover, as she lounged in her pyjamas.  Her answer was not yes, but a shriek of joy!

  • Last week I included in Links Less Ordinary a post by Diane Cordell.  This week I’d like to share a post written by her daughter who wrote a guest post for Journeys.  It’s all about bike riding, except it’s not: it’s about community, it’s about freedom, it’s about embracing life:

Most everyone I know had a bicycle at some point in their childhood. Your bike summed up freedom and adventure. Once you had learned to ride it- an accomplishment in and of itself- it was you and you alone who made it move, and you who chose where to go.

If you do nothing else this weekend (other than visit this great selection of posts, that is!) get out and explore the world outside your door.  As Audrey sang in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s such a lot of world to see.

What were your best reads this week?

May 2, 2008. Links Less Ordinary. 9 comments.

Links Less Ordinary

Floating Feather 4

I’ve decided to start a new regular weekend feature, in which I’ll share some of my favourite posts from the past week by bloggers who are consciously embracing less ordinary living. I hope you enjoy what you find!

I will stay on this path I have chosen, wandering the trails and hidden lanes, the open paddocks and the mossy streams. And I reserve the right at all times to change my path – to decide a detour has become the route. To change direction and to move with the seasons and the ebb and flow of life.

  • Diane Cordell who blogs at Journeys wrote a post entitled Both Sides Now, which is just beautiful in its brevity. She takes a look at her Tweetcloud, an application I’ve never really understood, but which generates a ‘cloud’ of the words you use most often on Twitter, and she provides such a poetic perspective on it. She also references one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs!

When we speak, I use words like “new,” “time,” “school,” “know,” “love.”

Powerful writing is what makes ME want to write! rich, multilayered, evocative, beautifully arranged words make me want to do the same Captainstardust

Powerful writing is the kind of prose which come from inspired intent. tldtim

The world needs your song, your determination, and your laughter. The world needs you to “Build and Become.” No one else brings your version of clever.

We change the world just by being. Imagine what happens when we do what we’re meant to do.

  • Karen Swim has had a great week over at Words For Hire where she’s written a series of blog posts comparing the setting and achieving of goals to marathon running. Here’s a link and a snippet from the first one, The Long Hot Race, posted on Monday, but I urge you to check out the rest too!

You can run a few marathons of your own (and if you’re up for it, I totally recommend it!) or stay with me this week as I share from my own successes and failures. You may not run the same way, distance or speed but I hope that I can spare you a few blisters on your own run.

  • Robert Hruzek from Middle Zone Musings had a great two-part post up on Getting A Handle On Big, Honkin’, Life Changing Decisions (Part 1 and Part 2). Here’s a taster from Part 1:

Go ahead; ask anybody! Making big, life-changing decisions (flash of lightning; crash of thunder; sound of terrified scream) ain’t easy. We’ve all had to make our share of ‘em. What’s even more irritating is, they keep on comin’, getting bigger and more dramatic as time goes by. In fact, you may be facing, or be in the middle of one, right this minute. Hey, it’s all part of the adventure we call life.

I’d like to know how you define “balance.” Do you believe there is there such a thing, and how do you achieve it? Have you joined the “Gentle Rebellion” of which Beck speaks? Do you cling to the expectations that our society has upon you, or do you make up your own rules?

Well those are some of my favourite posts from this week. Care to share your own favourite online read from the week?

April 26, 2008. Links Less Ordinary. 16 comments.