I just loved the story A Yurt For Winter over at Positive News. If you've ever just wanted to follow a simple dream, or dare find yourself, you'll find Francesca's story a good motivator to get yourself out there and find your own place in the world (if only just for the winter).
"This is a challenging journey and I have become far closer to my original self."
I actually found Francesca's personal website full with video diaries of her yurt living. I am fascinated! Perhaps you will be too.
I also found this article on Jack Kerouac's Buddhist perspective to be really enlightening. Having read many of his works, and being a practicing Buddhist myself, I found this read to be worthy and original.
"The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks don't see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
I also stumbled across an article over at Amazing Women Rock that showed me just how wonderful and free it means to be yourself! And if you've never checked out the site, it's totally worth your time.
Neuroscience Says These Five Rituals Will Help Your Brain Stay In Peak Condition
Who doesn't want to have a healthy brain for as long as possible? According to the studies referred to in this article, one needs not concern themselves with multi-vitamins or heavily memory-oriented brain games. Keeping your brain working top-notch can mean doing something as simple as having coffee while brainstorming new ideas, merely being conscious to sit upright, and remembering to congratulate yourself for small victories.
According to this article over at Psychology Today, Social Media could actually be hindering your sense of happiness and connection!
I actually recently deleted my original Facebook page (for the last and final time, I swear it!) and I'm happy to say I'm done with it. I find it addicting, time-wasting, and the posts are designed to appear by popularity rather than by the pages I like...which defeats the whole interest-oriented idea of pages (at least for me). Social media reminds me of a Soap Opera, or a reality TV show where everyone wants everyone else to think their lives are so picture-perfect and news-worthy. I'm at a place in my life where if it's not real, I'd rather not participate.
An article over at Pick The Brain states that a healthy mind really depends literally on what's going on inside your head. If you're thinking positive, growth-enabling thoughts then your brain function will actually align itself with that positive train of thought! The authors have outlined an easy five steps to begin improving your mind performance today.
Short Literature & Online Journals
The Singing Lesson by Katherine Mansfield proves how deeply fragile and movable the spirit of a woman. I found myself feeling a sort of comrade with Miss Meadows, as I have also allowed the worth of my day to hang onto the words I wished to hear from another. Yet, in the same breath, she repulses me for her selfishness towards her students and how much she lacks a sense of self worth. I'm not sure I would have reacted the same way, given her set of circumstances.
This story touched me like a double-edged sword...I dislike the fiance for his cruelty, yet Miss Meadows seems to forgive easily and invite more assassination to her self esteem.
... "I feel more and more strongly that our marriage would be a mistake. Not that I do not love you. I love you as much as it is possible for me to love any woman, but, truth to tell, I have come to the conclusion that I am not a marrying man, and the idea of settling down fills me with nothing but--" and the word "disgust" was scratched out lightly and "regret" written over the top.
Staring me in the Face by Glynis Gertsch was a story that, although short, had several questionable sub-plots that kept me reading for hope that some of the mysteries would be resolved. Toward the end, the story made me really analyze some of my friendships and ponder upon the reasons why we may gravitate toward the people whom we foster friendships with. The main character, Leanna, was pulled into a friendship with an older man for somewhat of a selfish reason. Yet in the end, I suppose their friendship will prevail, given it seems to have been built upon some solid foundation of trust and a sense of commonality.
After that, Malcolm often sat with us and he and I discussed a lot of things. We spoke a little about ourselves too. I told him how Mom had brought me up on her own at the start of the Hippie Era. He said he had married during that time but divorced a few years later. Mark asked me how come Malcolm and I always had so much to talk about.
I found both of these stories over at East of the Web. They have an amazing archive of short literature ranging from contemporary to classic, horror to childrens. You can also find some fun words games and cool interactive online apps designed to stretch your mind. So click on over and find yourself some new stories!
The poem Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins amused me. Funny how a piece of literature can call to your own memories or experiences. Sometimes the author probably doesn't even mean for us to make those parallels, but such is the magic of words.
This poem reminded me of an ex boyfriend I once had. He asked me what I enjoyed doing, and I answered, 'Writing poetry.' And he replied, with a scoff of disbelief, "So, like, you're sitting around writing poetry? Shouldn't you go out and do something?" I didn't have nearly enough time to school this fool via a telephone conversation.
However, I knew two things ultimately upon that conversation: #1 He had zero appreciation for the written word, or creative work (or play) in general, because if he did then he would have understood that being inside here with a great book and my journal is more amazing than any experience that any bar could ever provide me, and #2 He obviously was NOT the person for me. Um, if you can't appreciate books and words, I just can't honestly entertain company! Just another favor I can thank poetry for having done for me...without my ever really asking!
"But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means."
And now, as a sort of yin the yang above (I like to even out my negatives with my positives), I'd like to share one of my favorite inspirational poems from Rumi, titled Only Breath. A few years ago, I was searching for my next poetic conquest when a friend recommended Rumi. Since then, I have allowed his words to move, inspire, encourage, and enrichen my life.
"My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul."
If you haven't yet noticed, I pulled links from both of the previous poems from the site Best Poems Net. This site is overflowing with great poetic works from classic to contemporary all throughout the centuries. If you register, you can even post your own poetry and bookmark your favorite poems. There's too much to see on there, really. You'll have to go check it out for yourself!