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This Batshit Crazy Suggestion is Guaranteed To Make Your Life Better … Immediately

One of my yoga instructors, Ruth, teaches me an invaluable lesson every time I attend one of her classes. It’s why I make it a point to attend as many of them as I can.

The lesson is about finding joy even when you think you can’t.

It serves as the inspiration for this post.

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Choose Serendipity

‘Serendipity’ has always been one of my favorite words.

This is true in part because of how it feels on the tongue when you say it. Not many words make love to the mouth and cuddle the ear like ‘serendipity.’

But an even bigger reason why I love the word so much is because of what it represents: a happy accident; an unexpected bit of good fortune; a surprise blessing from out of the blue.

Yet, to simply ascribe serendipity to accidents or happenstance is to miss an essential element of the concept itself.

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A Eulogy for Sushi … And a Celebration of the Greatest Creatures on Earth

A friend of mine lost one of her best friends today.

Sushi was her name.

I’m told that Sushi’s favorite song was “Angel” by Jack Johnson, that she was the quintessential trooper even in her final days, and even without having met her I know that she was loving, loyal, and beautiful inside and out.

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Sushi, loyal friend and companion, moved on to her comfy bed in Doggie Heaven today at age 13.

Unfortunately, Sushi was epileptic, had a heart murmur, and suffered from growths that occasionally bled out. It was this latter malady that reared its ugly head yesterday, forcing an emergency visit to see Sushi’s cardiac specialist to find out if she could make it through surgery.

The answer, perhaps inevitably, was no.

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How Many Have You Loved?

How many have you loved?

This can be a tricky question to answer, especially when posed by a current love interest.

But should it be?

I don’t think so. I’ve just never seen it explained so perfectly as it is in the video.

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The Power of Positive Expectations (Or Why You Should Always Stop at Wal-Mart and Buy a CD On Your Way to Austin, Texas)

“You spilled the salt, that’s what’s the matter! Spilling the salt is very bad luck! We’re driving across the country, the last thing we need is bad luck. Quick, toss some salt over your right shoulder.”  ~ Lloyd Christmas

We determine so many future outcomes simply by what we expect to happen.

No, not everything will turn out the way I expect it to. Nor will everything for you. But more often than not, our experiences will be heavily influenced by our expectations going into them.

And this is why I purchased a special 3-Disc edition of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours at 11:30 pm Saturday night at a Wal-Mart in Waco, Texas.

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In Praise of Valentine’s Day

A lot of people think Valentine’s Day sucks.

There are the tired criticisms about how it’s really just part of some sinister plot hatched by Hallmark and flower companies to get us men to spend money on cards, flowers, and chocolate.

There are videos espousing the many reasons why Valentine’s Day, supposedly, sucks.

There is even a Facebook page called “Valetine’s Day sucks” that has 10,703 likes.

You, reading this right now, may very well agree. You may hate Valentine’s Day. You may consider it gratuitous or – if you’re among the conspiracists alluded to above – nefarious even.

Well I am here to tell all the Valentine’s Day haters that you’re wrong.

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Some (Mostly) Positive Thoughts After a Car Accident That Could Have Been Much Worse

“What the fuck just happened!?”

When I think back to last night – actually, the wee morning hours of the very day that is now drawing to a close as I type this – shouting those words is the first thing that comes to mind.

The impetus for the exclamation was the sudden, jarring impact that left my car looking like this:

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Lessons For Posterity: John D. Rockefeller Jr. on Having a Sense of Responsibility for Bettering Humanity

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting lessons learned from the book Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children. Read the intro post here.

When you hear the name Rockefeller, you most likely think immediately of money. And lots of it. (Or NBC, I guess, but probably money.) And with good reason. The Rockefeller family is one of the most wealthy in our nation’s history, with patriarch John D. Rockefeller amassing quite a fortune as the tycoon of Standard Oil.

And if you don’t know much about the Rockefellers, you might also think of greed, simply because money and greed often go hand in hand. However, you’d be wrong. John D. Rockefeller was renowned for his charitable giving, doling out more than half a billion dollars – and that was back then. Amazing.

Clearly he passed this generous spirit onto his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., who in turn proved committed to passing it onto his sons and ultimately to his sons’ sons.

“In other words, you have shown the same sense of stewardship and the same sense of responsibility that Grandfather, by his example, inspired in me. It is, therefore, with confidence and satisfaction that I am planning to share with you still further, from time to time, this trusteeship reposed in me by Grandfather. The wise course you are all pursuing in the use of your resources and your deep and earnest desire to make your lives and your means count as fully as possible for the betterment of humanity would, I know, give Grandfather as great satisfaction as it gives me.

In the meantime, it is not too early for you to begin preparing and training your children to bear their share in these responsibilities.”

It is said that Grandfather Rockefeller’s motto was “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Clearly he walked the walk, and he passed the same commitment on to his future generations.

The letter also tells of how John D. Rockefeller began giving money to charity as soon as he got his first job, at 16. It wasn’t much – three cents here, five cents there – but it got him in the habit of giving, and his contributions grew as his resources grew. The man clearly knew how to manage – and maximize – his money.

Rockefeller’s lifetime commitment to using his money to lift up his fellow man should serve as an inspiration, a lesson, and a call to action for us all.

*****

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Last Night Was My First ‘No Light But Candelight Night’ … Here’s How It Went

How often do you get to the end of a week and just feel…tired?

Your body is tired. Your mind is tired. Your eyes are tired. Maybe even your spirit feels tired. You don’t feel like yourself.

Maybe you can’t even define exactly what is tired, or perhaps even why. You just keep saying to yourself, “Damn, I feel tired.”

That’s how I felt yesterday.

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Video: “When Love Arrives” by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye

My friend Jen, who also just happens to be the apple of one of my best friend’s eyes, just tweeted out a link to this video. Her comment accompanying the link: “Perfect & true. They inspire me.”

Indeed.

There are no perfect definitions of love, but the words spoken here by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye do a remarkably good job of summing up the many expectations, nuances, and ultimately the realities of what real love is.

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