Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Getting Away

redondo 7 5 16

If you have been reading my posts about daily planning and productivity, you will know that my days are crammed-packed.

I needed to get away today– from work, from chores, from appointments, from people. I needed some unstructured time to pamper myself and be alone with my own thoughts.

So this morning I slept in, then took myself out to a local deli for breakfast.  After that I pulled out onto PCH and headed south. I ended up at a beach and I just hung out there for a good long while drinking up the sun and feeling the sand and salt water stimulating the bottoms of my feet (very energetically therapeutic).  On the way back I stopped at Barnes and Noble.   I didn’t buy anything.  I  just needed to get lost in the books.   Next a stop at Michael’s to get some ideas and to be around art supplies.  (I debated whether to go there or an office supply store which has the same effect in getting my creative juices flowing).    I rounded out the day with a self-made spa experience with a good, long soak in my bath tub while listening to classical music.

So my point in sharing this: get away by yourself every once in a while to rest and get re-grounded.

A bagel, a beach, some books and a bath– that’s what worked for me today.

redondo rocks 7 5 16ljgloyd (c) 2016

Inspired by the Letter G.


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Choosing Fearlessness

fearFear can grip us anywhere.  We just need to turn on the news or look at the circumstances of our own lives.

Fear is useful only inasmuch as it tells us when to flee a situation or shore up our defensive mechanisms to protect ourselves.  However, if the emotion of fear paralyzes us and does not lead to action, then it is useless. Admittedly, it is difficult to not feel fearful at times, especially when fear becomes a thought pattern we churn around and around in our minds.

I attended a class a few years ago conducted by a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy.  Her advice for overcoming the pattern of what she called “thinking errors” was simply this:  Stop.  Breathe. Reflect.  Choose.  She said when you find yourself  feeling fearful stop and acknowledge it.  “Yes, I am feeling afraid.”  This is the first break in the pattern.  Then take a breath– a deep, lung-filling breath of air.  This simple physical act is another break in the  thought pattern.   Then begin reflecting on solutions to the problem, or a plan of action to mitigate it, or simply determine what support you can draw on to get you through if you cannot change the situation.  Finally, choose to not to be fearful.  Make it an act of the will.   Each one of these acts chip away at the habit of being fearful.

Drawing on support systems nearly always works for me.  When something happens, I usually contact close friends or family members to share the problem.  Sharing makes a load lighter, I find.    I also draw upon the wisdom of those who have gone before me.  I read a lot to get through my bouts of fear.   I mostly draw on the words of my faith tradition which tells me that fear cannot exist where loves resides and that the Spirit gives us power, more love and self-discipline when we realize that.

Does this break in the mental pattern make the problem go away?  No.   Will this mental exercise break the habit of fearful thinking?  Perhaps not all at once.  You may have to do it over and over.   Sometimes it takes a while to break one mental habit and replace it with another one.

The thing to remember is this:  if you renew your mind and change your thoughts, then everything changes.

 

ljg (c) 2016.  Inspired by the Letter F.

Image: an detail from The Captives by Evelyn Pickering De Morgan


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There’s a Good Egg

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I could never be a vegan, because I’ve got to have my eggs. I could easily be a vegetarian if I could eat eggs every day, but commonsense and most cardiologists say you can have too much of a good thing– even eggs. One of the cheapest forms of protein, eggs are the original fast food. Dinner can be served in less than five minutes.

I like them in all ways except raw — I draw the line at that. Give them to me scrambled, sunny-side up, poached, or as an omelette. Oh, especially as an omelette. You can make a rustic one in twenty seconds like Julia or make it a gourmet masterpiece like Hassan and Madame Mallory in A Hundred Foot Journey.  Bon Appetit!

 

Yeah, I made the omelette in the picture above.

ljgloyd 2016

Inspired by the Letter E at the Soul Food Cafe

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Voyages of Discovery

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One of my favorite trips was to Washington, DC about thirty some years ago — it was when the Reagans were in the White House because we were in the gift shop when some guy brought Rex, their Cavelier King Charles Spaniel, through on a leash.  I was more excited about that than if I had actually met one of his owners.

As I said, I enjoyed that trip because it gave me a chance to visit the Smithsonian Institute’s Natural History Museum and the National Gallery.   I enjoy visiting museums because they afford me the opportunity to discover the big, wide world without having to deal with mosquito netting, strange food and currency exchange.   Seriously, I don’t mind interacting with Madagascar giant hissing cockroaches when they are behind an inch of glass.  I remember almost salivating over the Hope Diamond in the gem vault. (Curse?  What curse?)   At the National Gallery I saw one of Vincent Van Gogh’s iris paintings and I had the same feeling you get when you see a celebrity at the supermarket:  “Ooooh, ooooh, I know you!”

I have no desire to be a Francis Drake or a Juan Rodiguez Cabrillo since they and their colleagues opened the door to the plunder of an entire hemisphere — but maybe I want to be a Charles Darwin.  Instead of getting sea-sick on the Beagle, I am quite content to roam the hallways of a museum, hole up in a library, plunge my nose between the pages of National Geographic, or travel the wilds of the internet on my own voyages of discovery.

ljgloyd 2016

Inspired by the Letter D at the Soul Food Cafe


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Chaos Theory and Random Acts of Kindness

Beautiful MonarchI have heard the term “Chaos Theory” tossed about.  This has always struck me as a contradiction of terms.  A theory is developed based upon predictable patterns perceived in that which is being studied.   You can’t have a theory about something if there is no order to it.    So the term “chaos theory” suggests that there is order in chaos.  But if there is order in chaos, then it’s not chaos.   Oy, my head hurts already.

As if I had nothing better to do, I started reading about chaos theory.   From what I have gleaned,  chaos theory is this:   it is the belief that innumerable and imperceptible factors effect the outcome of situations.  In other words there is no chaos.  However, these factors are so vast and so tiny that there is no way we can discern them all; therefore, there is no way we can accurately predict anything.  Everything appears chaotic, yet it is not.

I cannot wrap my mind around this.

To help you– and me– understand it a bit more, here is a definition of chaos theory that Dr. Malcom gives in the original Jurassic Park movie:

 

So why is an understanding of chaos theory important for you and I?  I’ll tell you.  Everything you and I do, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant, has the possibility of affecting the wider world.  We may not see it or know it, but it does.  If that is the case, then it would behoove us to behave ourselves.    Dr. Malcolm in the clip above uses a classic example to explain chaos theory:  a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon and causes a tornado in Texas.   To bring this a little closer to home, you don’t want to say or do something stupid that results in the destruction of  your world.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme,  but you get my point:    Watch what you say, watch what you do, because you don’t know how it is going to effect your little corner of the universe.

However, we can look at this from the opposite end:   What if we each say or do something kind every day to at least two people.  And those people do the same to two others.  And so on.  What do you think the global result would be?  Yes, it is naive and simplistic to think that one act of goodness would bring world peace, but change has to start somewhere and somehow, so why not with us doing simply that?

May our random acts of kindness be like the flight of butterflies.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2016

Inspired by C is for Chaos at the Soul Food Cafe

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#OneBookJuly2016

This month I will be participating in a challenge called “One Book July 2016” offered up by the members of the Coffee and Planner Addicts Club on Facebook. Their motto is “First I drink coffee, then I do things.”  These are MY type of people, for sure!

The challenge is simply this: consolidate all of one’s productivity planning into one book, using one pen, for one month. Some planner addicts have multiple journals and planners for different purposes. I have more than one as well.  The idea is to enhance productivity by using one book for everything.

For quite some time I had been using a pocket-sized “faux-dori” notebook for planning and a separate journal for creative planning (I do a lot of mind-mapping and brain-dumping).  I was never satisfied with my “faux-dori” so I recently acquired an 18-month Moleskine Weekly Notebook to take over the planning.   For this challenge,  I inserted the planner into the Oberon Design leather cover (depicting Hokusai’s wave) which I had been using for my creative work.  I also attached a pen holder.

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So here’s a quick flip-through the new set-up:

planner dashboard page
This is my dashboard page. The image is a collage I made a number of years ago when I was a regular participant at the Soul Food Cafe. It is to remind me that I am first and foremost a Creative.  I am not particularly “arty” when it comes to my planners since every last bit of space is used for a note or bullet.  So this image will probably be the extent of any imagery.  I do use Washi tape to affix notes and make separations.  These do add a bit of color.

The front of the Moleskine planner had several pages of information primarily aimed at users who do international travel and interaction: air flight time, international dialing codes, international clothing sizes, et cetera. Those pages are of no use to me so I covered over them and am using them to hold permanent lists such as Books to Read, Movies to Watch, Websites to Visit, Birthdays, Phone numbers, and the like. The front of the planner also has several yearly calendars for overviews and advanced planning and eighteen monthly calendars where I put my long-range appointments. The bulk of the planner is comprised of weekly spreads. The days of the week are on the left with plenty of open space on the right for notes:

Planner weekly page as is

I am customizing the weekly spreads to accommodate appointments, daily tasks, notes, weekly goals, shopping lists, among other things.  The configuration of this customization may change as my needs change.   Here is what this week’s spread looks like:

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To handle my brain dumps and creative mind-mapping, I clipped a pad of lined paper onto the back pocket of the planner.  The pocket has post-it notes, tags, and other loose bits.

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An additional challenge, called OneBookJuly2016 2.0, is to dedicate a place in the book for working on a special project.  For this purpose I used a large rubber band to affix a cahier inside the back cover.  My special project this month is writing a series of essays for this blog.  This is where I will outline the essays and keep research notes.

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We’ll see how this all pans out.  I’m not crazy about the thickness of the planner/journal combo.  If it won’t fit in my bag, that will be a problem.

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 I’ll post again in a few weeks and let you know how it’s working out.

My past posts on Productivity:

Make a Plan, Work the Plan

Brain Dumps and Bullet-Journalling

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#OneBookJuly2016

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