Inspiration! Roundup: Obvious happiness, 7 billion days, Celine Dion, and more!

This Week's "I want to go to there":
Can I dress EXACTLY like this (but in my adult self), sit down with this girl
and have an ice cream bar? While protesting for women's rights? This is the dream.

12 Very Obvious Facts That Will Make You Happy

They say it's the little things in life, and sometimes we need reminders of what those "little things" are. Here's a list to help you do that.

Something Different

It's easy to get caught up in what is happening in our lives. Thank you to PostSecret for the reminder that something different is happening in someone else's life. In fact, there are 7 billion "something differents" happening right now.


As if I Could Love Celine Dion More...

...she goes and turns down the invitation to sing at Trump's inauguration. (So did a bunch of other singers, too.) It's always heartening to see people standing up for their beliefs, especially when their beliefs happen to match your beliefs.

Darkness is the Canvas

Artist Hannu Hutamo creates the most stunning in-camera art using light and darkness. The most incredible part of this to me is his ability to visualize the image in the darkness, creating surprisingly intricate pictures, one flash of light at a time. How does he even keep track of it all???


How to Grow

My yoga teacher posted an excellent piece on Facebook recently, countering our tendency to constantly affirm everything. Affirmations are great, but when you're trying to improve, perhaps you need something different.

Below is an abridged version of what he posted, which is still a bit long for a blog quote, but stick with me. Read it through, even if you don't care about yoga at all. The principles apply to everything we could possibly want to succeed in: relationships, spiritual practices, career, whatever. We don't grow, improve, or succeed by only focusing on the things that we are already doing well.

Affirmation?

When diagnosing an issue with your car, a leak in your roof, or consumer debt, we don't focus on the positive. If you car stops running, you don't tell yourself the seats are comfortable anyway...

So, when trying to become more successful (which to me means competent and also well compensated for your time), in the business of yoga, it is not always the best course to affirm the things/behaviours that are not problems.
The question "Am I a good yoga teacher" is too broad to be helpful. Instead, break the general question into components.

"Good" breaks down into:

Agreeable personality, but able to encourage disciplined practice.
Conscientious - showing up on time, self-practice dedication.
Skill - verbal cueing and observation skills.

Honest self-reflection to improve areas of teaching that necessary, yet not your strong suit...

You could then place a value (1-10) to indicate your level of "goodness" within these categories. Then take the category with the lowest score and break that category down into further components. For example:

Conscientiousness:
Shows up on time - 10
Regular self-practice - 8
Reading/study - 4
Listens well and responds to critique - 8

These are just examples, and there are more sub-categories you could think up and score - or better yet ask someone who knows you to tell you.

Then take your lowest score (Reading/study as an example here) and ask yourself if you are not high in that category because you don't have time, it doesn't interest you, you think you already know what you need to know, and so on. Then determine if you really want to change that - when you think about it, do you get energized or depleted? - that's usually a good indicator...

This is what you can do on your own to maximize your potential.

-Daniel Clement (full text here)
I'm going to start applying this principle of reflection to other areas of my life! I am excited!

Shut it Down

I didn't even know this was a thing, but apparently, people like to go to Holocaust memorial sites and take fun-loving, silly pictures of themselves. Artist and writer Shahak Shapira was up on this insanity and thought of a brilliant way to shut it down: she has photoshopped them with the historical images from the Holocaust in that spot to help show how offensive and horrible it is. Some of the images are pretty brutal, but really worth looking at.

9 Good Things That Happened Last Week

Just because it's good to remember some good things, like the fact that some people knit sweaters for elephants to keep warm.


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