The Shape of Abundance

How do you feel about symmetry? The drive for balance suggests the image of scales displaying equal weight. Think about it. Food/Exercise, Work/Play, Friends/Family.

Everything is nice and tidy and a good routine supports our choice for balance.

And yet, we yearn for variety. Indeed our culture is all about tempting us to mess with our precious balance for the sake of introducing something new.

The rule of three is a time-honored method for introducing asymmetry into our daily lives. Adding a little flair to your home or personal attire can brighten your day with a grouping of three. Use the rule of three as a memory device the next time you have a lot on your mind. Your brain will thank you!

Any odd number of items together that breaks the symmetrical pattern of our lives creates need to restore balance– and keeps life interesting! We may not welcome it at the time of course, but rising to the challenge is what living is all about. In the depths of August we can take stock of the summer, ask, what have we done to savor the season? What still needs doing? Did we have enough ice cream? Enough surf riding? Enough hiking? Seasonal activities can be gathered into a mental image to create snapshot of the entire experience. With mental reinforcement we remember it better later.

My image for the summer isn’t the scales of balance or the group of three. They don’t capture the lushness and the energy of this fiery season. Instead it is the cluster.

There is an obvious example in the backyard vegetable garden. There are so many others. So that leads me to ask- what is the shape of abundance for you?

The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney

#alwayslearning

 

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See for Yourself

Last week we combined family with travel in the most delightful way. For me that meant traveling across country to California and sightseeing some unexplored territory. I love noticing the variety in nature wherever I go. The mental shake up in the backdrop to my interactions turns the unnoticed to wow! in hurry.

Shifting yourself out of the reassuring monotone of daily routine into a level of complex uncertainty is healthy even if occasionally uncomfortable. In fact, it’s the discomfort that is so stimulating. In the past year I’ve struggled to change my relationship to pain by strength-building in the literal physical sense, and it’s working. Coming back from injury, whether its physical, emotional or spiritual deserves your mindful attention.

Whether it’s a new destination or a staycation, you can shift your perspective and up your game. Introduce a new backdrop to your day by seeing with new eyes.

On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz

#alwayslearning

 

 

 

How to Fill Your Bucket

MatunuckRI

Labor Day Weekend is almost here. Looking ahead to the turn of the season means most of us shake off the sand and fold up the beach towels. I’m not much of beach lounger myself but I do love walking along the surf’s edge. Fortunate am I to combine beach walking this summer with multiple reunions with dear friends and family. We visited 5 different beaches in 5 east coast states this summer! It is rare occurrence for us to have so much activity and one that coincided with the cosmic event of the solar eclipse. Believe me I cherish each and every memory, stored up to examine again and again in winter.

Belmar1957

One thing I observed about kids and the beach, the play is pretty similar today to when we were kids. Remember that sand pail and shovel you used on the beach as a child? How many different ways did you use that? Not just for sand that’s for sure. It can hold lots of beach flotsam and seawater, the precious bits and pieces to later spark shards of memory. In my mind’s eye I see the roll of the waves, hear the sounds of the surf and cries of gulls, and feel the sand between my toes, smell the briny shoreline. Remember when the shells and stones, mermaids purses, dried seaweed, and driftwood festooned your bedroom and littered the back porch?

MatunukStones

Maybe today you don’t use the bucket, maybe you should. We’re all familiar with the Bucket List, a popular term, made more ubiquitous by the 2007 film, for that list of things to do before you die. It’s no small thing to be made aware of your mortality in such a way. To “kick the bucket” is a bravado term for dying, one that invokes the image of cowboys expressing gallows humor, i.e., that detached coolness in the face of dire odds.

A bucket list is so much better if it motivates individuals beyond their fears and daily to-do lists, spurring them to positive action for their own well-being.

 

FenwickDE

Whether you see your glass half full or half empty right now, I recommend a different kind of bucket. Not the end-times container but one we can carry every day. It’s the container of our core beliefs, a reminder of what we value, and how to put those beliefs into action. Have you thought about yours lately? Why not cultivate a commitment to altruism, the selfless concern for the well-being of others?

Prosocial action is good for you, and good for all. This is how we grow resilience in the face of stress, by reaching out in our own small ways as best we can. We are all neighbors after all and recent events in Charlottesville and across Texas illustrate that in the most graphic and dire ways.

NationalSeashoreCapeCod

Robert F. Kennedy  said, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest  walls of oppression and resistance.”
BelmarNJ

 

In the waning days of summer, ask yourself: What are my core beliefs? How can I bring actions for our common good into greater alignment with my daily life?

Close your eyes and listen to the waves, see if you can hear your answer.

MatunukSurf

 

Be Well — Safe Holiday Weekend to ALL

Claire

 

 

All Photos Claire Mauro