2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year Resolutions | Happiness through Action | One Mini Habit at a Time

It’s the Winter Solstice as I write this, and a new moon. I posted earlier today a blog https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/happy-winter-solstice-new-moon-be-like-water-aboriginal-dreamtime/ mentioning the fact that it’s a good time to initiate new activities and plant seeds; coinciding with these events on our horizon. Certainly the pagan celebrations of the solstice must be the origins of the tradition of ‘New Year Resolutions’.

At this tipping point, it’s a good time to dive in.

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

Bruce Lee learn to swim jump in the water

As we all are inspired by certain images and have ideals we wish to reach, here’s what I have to say. Happiness is not so much derived by a thing, but by what you do. Sure, having something that is an excellent state-of-the-art tool is great, yet it’s what you actively do, what you craft through your actions, that results in feeling excited, enthusiastic, joyful and a sense of accomplishment. It’s through performing activities and being immersed in them and witnessing the little thresholds of achievement and just knowing the work that was put into it, that we derive happiness.

I’ve recently come across a post of a freelance writer’s guide, in Episode #20 of the International Freelancers Academy. The topic is to forget goals, and focus on habits instead. Ed Gandia states that more than 40% of the actions we do every day are not due to conscious decision making, but habits! When we are doing something habitual, we are not using all of our brain; we’re sort of on autopilot. Our minds are hard-wired that way. The mind chooses neuropathways that are already developed, the path of least resistance. That means that as we develop new habits, we’re already on our way to effectively driving change.

Specifically, he talks about creating new mini habits.

Charles Duhigg has a TED talk about his book The Power of Habit.

You can not eliminate a habit, you can only change it for a better alternative.

Though we all have various goals, often they are out of reach because we are holding them out there in front of us, and not actively participating in them. And like standing on the edge of the diving board frozen with fear, the longer we wait to dive in, the more the fear envelopes us. With this in mind, the smaller the better, so as to not intimidate yourself.

I’m working on this right now; forming new mini habits which I gradually embrace and do more of: stretching, reading, writing, composing music, contributing to the book I’m writing.

The other side of the coin, is just being present and mindful of what you are doing at that time.

Language is important as well, because this is how we  visualize and conceptualize. Eliminate ‘trying to, would like, wish to’…and

Just Do It.

We All Know This Slogan.

 

 

 

The point of developing Mini Habits, is that when we bring an action down to a small size that isn’t intimidating, we can easily jump in. Notice my change in words! Certainly, diving, jumping or just sliding in to an activity rather than looking at it from a distance, is enough of an action in itself, to push through a threshold; to consistently build new habits – gradually raising the bar of quantity and quality. Whoops, I guess that by virtue of being of western culture, the future concept of goal, slides into the picture. Best thing is to just do what makes you happy and be present as you’re doing it and go with the flow.

Bruce Lee Knowing not enough Apply Willing not enough must Do

Bruce Lee Knowing is Not enough, We must Apply, We must Do

Don’t ask me why I’m on a Bruce Lee kick, so to speak,

Steven Ho, flying kick

Steven Ho executing a flying kick

 

it just so happens that the meaning is the important gesture 🙂 Focus on what you wish to aim for, not on what you don’t want.

 

 

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”  — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Among many other achievements, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is the author of the fabulous book “The Little Prince“.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Image from The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Canadian Geese Vocalizing | Fluid in ever-changing formation

Living presently in central Pennsylvania, in the autumn and winter time, one can’t help but notice the flocks of local geese flying by overhead. They tend to fly at dusk, and I presume dawn, but I’m rarely up that early !-)

flock of geese

flock of geese

They are in fact Canadian Geese. http://www.arkive.org/canada-goose/branta-canadensis/

Canada Goose, Wikipedia, Branta Canadensis

Canada Goose Wikipedia Branta Canadensis

flock Canada Geese, duck.org

flock of Canada Geese

They continuously communicate vocally with one another as they’re flying, each one of them calling out simultaneously. They are extremely loud. Here’s a sample of how they sound, no kidding, multiply that by 9! Hundreds fly by daily in large flocks, sometimes as large as 60 or more. You can hear them coming, believe me. At dusk, typically one after another flock flies by – just a few minutes apart from one another. Their formations are ever changing; continuously altering their positions in relationship to one another, gracefully and fluidly adapting in their formation.

The funny thing I’ve noticed a few times now, is the occasional small flock that flies by, in silence. What? How strange! I’ve seen this only a few times and believe I’ve figured out why. Those small groups flying overhead that are astoundingly quiet, are in the periphery of a larger flock nearby – which as always, are exceedingly loud.

geese, northwest

geese on the horizon moving northwest

My theory is that these small separate groups are deliberately remaining silent, in order to clearly hear the adjacent larger flock nearby, which they haven’t yet caught up to.

It’s funny, I imagine them saying to one another, “shhhh, shut up…” so that they can keep their attention focused on the direction of the larger flock; keeping them within their radar.

geese

geese flying above tree in their arrow formation

I like to draw analogies between different animal species and humans. The tactic of the geese is not unlike humans, they want to call out attention to themselves, chatting, talking and listening to any cues. And the most successful way to navigate through any path, is to remain flexible and resilient.

According to wikipedia, the Canada Geese are

extremely successful at living in human-altered areas, Canada geese have proven able to establish breeding colonies in urban and cultivated areas, which provide food and few natural predators, and are well known as a common park species.”

You see them in local farm fields and parks routinely. I see them flying overhead daily, you can hear them coming!

geese, dusk

flock of geese at dusk

pair of Canada Geese, Branta Canadensis

pair of Canada Geese
Branta Canadensis

Penn State University Extension campus describes these local Canadian Geese. http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/wildlife/wildlife-nuisance-and-damage/birds/wildlife-damage-control-6-geese-ducks-and-swans

Excerpted from this link above:

Canada geese mate for life, with both parents caring for, and aggressively protecting, their young. Canada geese in Pennsylvania consist of both migratory and nonmigratory populations. Migratory populations are the Atlantic Population and the Southern James Bay Population. These two populations nest in Canada and migrate south for the winter.

By contrast, the nonmigratory, or resident, population in Pennsylvania has grown from approximately 2,400 from 1955-60 to more than 150,000 in 1993. Adults in this population can begin breeding at age two and have a higher survival rate than migrating birds. The resident population consists of nonmigratory birds that nest and reside in the Mid-Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania, throughout the year.

I notice one of the links mentions them as a nuisance. I think they’re adorable, and enjoy listening to them and watching them! And I laugh to myself when I spot that occasional flock that are ardently silent.

As an avid writer of blogs, who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously to please donate, if you are able.

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Carol Keiter, blogger

Carol_Keiter_blogger_laughing_2014

carol_keiter_blogger_contemplating_2014

carol_keiter_blogger_contemplating_2014

I contribute writings to each of my blogs, often in the same sitting. Hours later, I’ve finished this one. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/marijuana-out-of-the-closet-the-cannabis-cure-cbd-tincture/

“Man” | animation by Steve Cutts | rEvoLuTioN

I just saw this video for the first time a few moments ago (December 8th, late night 2014). Every once in a while I publish the same content on each blog, when I feel that the information is potent enough. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/man-animation-by-steve-cutts-revolution/

This is one of those times. It is an exquisite telling of the story.

In his 3 minute animation, “Man”, Steve Cutts reveals the stark reality of man’s cruelty throughout history. Not representative of all cultures, but most.

It’s a scary bunch of images, that we really need to wake up to.

Something’s gotta change!

Time for an evolution, for a revolution.

Man, animation, Steve Cutts

“Man” animation by Steve Cutts displaying the history of human beings’ cruelty towards life forms in 3 minutes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfGMYdalClU