Take a new path and see where it leads

I’ve been thinking about routine and habits. I have been taking the same route on my morning walk for the last month. So this morning I decided to mix it up and reverse my walk.

It’s interesting to see what you notice when you go in the completely opposite direction. Here’s what I discovered.

A fence library

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Driveway mosaics

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A rainforest

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Street art

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Somewhere to sit

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The road less travelled

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A new path

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I’m not keen to do this every day (so many more hills in the opposite direction), but it was good to mix it up.

What can you change in your routine? Find a new path today.

11 songs to play on a rainy day

The weather outside is frightful, but the playlist is so delightful. There is crazy, chaotic weather in Sydney today. It’s time to stay indoors, grab a cup of coffee and kick back with some musical greats who just happened to sing some songs with rain in the title.

1. Come Rain or Come Shine – Ray Charles

2. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival

3. Here comes the rain again – Eurythmics

4. Set Fire To The Rain – Adele

5. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

6. Rainy Days and Mondays – Carpenters

7. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan

8. Fire and Rain – James Taylor

9. I Can’t Stand the Rain – Tina Turner

10. Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbra Streisand

11. Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly

If you still can’t get enough rain, here’s 127 songs about rain to keep you going until the sun shines again.

What are your favourite rainy day songs?

Main photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

Talk to the trees today

All our wisdom is stored in the trees – Santosh Kalwar

There is something truly remarkable about trees beyond the fact that they keep us healthy and alive. I’ve always felt grounded and centred around beautiful old trees.

This morning I stopped to take a #shoesoftheday video of a tree in the park. It reminded me of a trip to the Muir Woods National Monument. I gazed up at the giant sequoias and California redwoods and a perfect leaf fell from one of the trees into my open hand. The tree was communicating with me.

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Muir Woods

After I took my video, I stretched out on the bench under the tree and studied the branches and the leaves. This tree did not talk and a leaf did not fall, but simply stopping to acknowledge the tree today was enough.

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Balmain East

Talk to the trees. They may not talk back, but the silence may be just what you need to hear.

Main photo of the Muir Woods taken by yours truly.

Follow the cracks and they will lead you to the light

This morning I got up at before dawn to experience the sun rise. I watched for an hour as the light of a new day filtered through the cracks in the clouds.

It got me thinking about cracks and the lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

There is the Japanese art of kintsugi, where flaws in pottery are not hidden but embellished with gold. These broken objects are celebrated and cherished, rather than being thrown away.

We can look at the things in our lives as negative and flawed or we can see them as opportunities to grow and learn and let the light in.

Have a spectacular day.

Main photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash

Are you looking for the right signs?

There are all sorts of signs – stop signs, shop signs, street signs, warning signs and those ones you get from the universe. I tend to ignore the universal ones and keep trying to open the locked door. Finally after days (sometimes weeks) of hitting my head against the door, I realise that it’s closed because it’s just not my door. Move on dot com.

I’m always looking for the right signs – both universal and physical. Here are some of my favourite signs and adverts that I’ve collected over the years.

Ch…ch…ch…changes

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Maurizio Nannucci at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Live your dreams

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New York City

Keeping up with the times

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St Ambrose, Sydney

Glass half full

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Booze Exchange Ad, Sydney

Hair raising philosophy

My kind of payment

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Metro St James ad, Sydney

The perfect marriage

Evil mobile phones

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Subway ad, Tokyo

Oh hello

Zero calories

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Somewhere in London

And remember…

Photo by Key Tags by Various Projects

Keep looking for the right signs. It’s so much fun and will keep you in the moment.

Main photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

5 things to help you be in the moment

It’s hard to be in the moment when life is busy. There are hundreds of articles on mindfulness. Of course I meditate (but not as often as I should) and attend my weekly yoga classes, but sometimes I find my mind is so busy that I’m not really present.

Here are 5 things that can help anchor you in the moment.

#1: Looking for cats

On my morning walk I set myself the task of looking for a particular thing. It might be a blue doors, the number 27 or red triangles. This morning I selected cats. I find that if I focus on one finding one particular thing, I’m really present on my walk.

This is to do with the reticular activating system in the brain. When you tune into a particular frequency, you only notice what you’re focusing on. It’s that whole thing of buying a red car and all of a sudden everyone is driving red cars.

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Duke Street, Balmain

#2: Taking pictures

Apart from the fact that I really love shoes, I take my #shoesoftheday on Instagram because it anchors me in the moment. I see something that might look cool with my shoes and I snap a picture. I spend the next few minutes coming up with a quirky tagline. My pictures are not staged. It’s just things I come across in the moment.

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Bird with shoes #shoesoftheday

#3: Playing on the swings

Be a kid again and jump on the swings in the park. If you have a child, you can take them to the park or simply hang out with kids. They make their own fun and are perpetually in the moment.

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Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash

#4: Being near water

Go for a walk by the water or simply look at the morning clouds reflected in the water. I find that being near water really grounds me.

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Ewenton Park, Balmain

#5. Kissing

Bet you didn’t see that one coming. It’s great to have someone to kiss. But if you don’t, you can always kiss a frog (you never know) or your crafty new boyfriend.

I came across this brilliant quote the other day. It comes from Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive.

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Source: Pinterest

 

If all else fails, release time and take a deep breath. You are here. You are now. You are perfect.

I’d love to hear some of the ways that you anchor yourself in the moment.

Main photo by John Baker on Unsplash.

This man is a living, breathing disco ball of happiness

What a joy to come across Jeremy, the HAPPY Street DJ, in Martin Place, Sydney last week lip-syncing to Michael Buble’s Everything.

I first saw Jeremy a few weeks ago outside the Queen Victoria Building on George Street with his disco ball, boom box and Mickey Mouse ears belting out Kylie’s I Should Be So Lucky.

At first I thought he was a little nuts, and then I realised he was just doing it for fun and to raise a smile and for no other reason than to make people happy.

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The HAPPY Street DJ, Martin Place, Sydney

Jeremy describes himself as a “living, breathing billboard for happiness”.

The HAPPY Street DJ says, “I’m not crazy, I’m not lazy, I’m not homeless and I’m not hope-less, but I am hope-filled. I’m chasing a dream of simple ultimate happiness”.

“Most importantly, I love music and just like your favourite radio station, I want to lift people’s mood and hopefully get you singing, dancing and feeling good, if only for just a passing moment”.

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What a joy for someone to be spreading happiness just because they can.

You don’t have to grab the old boom box and party like it’s 1999, but you can find something to brighten someone else’s day.

How will you spread the joy today?

Here’s more on why the HAPPY Street DJ does what he does. If you want to catch the HAPPY Street DJ live on the streets of Sydney, follow the HAPPY Street DJ on Facebook.

Get lost this weekend

The Holstee Manifesto is a beautiful reminder as we start our weekend to remember that this is our life right now.

There are so many good lines in the manifesto. I love the suggestion to ask the next person you see about their passions and to share yours. Everybody has a story and you can learn so much from the people you meet.

And my favourite line, ‘Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself’.

Get lost this weekend my friends and you may find yourself somewhere remarkable.

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Learn more about the Holstee Manifesto.

Main photo by Joshua Coleman on Unsplash

The value of female friendships

This week one of my good friends arrived back in Sydney after a long sabbatical. We caught up yesterday and it’s like no time has passed at all. It got me thinking about how much I value our friendship and all of my beautiful women friends (you know who you are). There is something magical about catching up with a girlfriend over a cuppa (or a gin) and sharing everything and nothing.

“I have my friends, therefore I am. They make me stronger, they make me smarter, they make me braver, they tap me on the shoulder when I might be in need of course correcting…” – Jane Fonda

In this TED Talk, Lily Tomlin talks about the Harvard Medical School research that found the more women friends you have, the less likely you are to develop health issues as you age. So your friends are warding off illness while they’re making your heart soar.

It’s worth watching the beautiful dynamics between Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. This interview really does celebrate the joy of what it’s like to have truly beautiful women friends.

How can you celebrate your female friendships today?