We’re always happy to support our fellow positive news bloggers so today, our spotlight shines on Meg Willis and her Simple Pleasures blog.
Some of Meg’s simple pleasures include:
- Being able to wee with the door open in my room at university halls
- Wearing clothes fresh out of the tumble dryer
- People unknowingly creating sexual innuendos
- Those times when it is highly inappropriate to laugh
- Finding more left over vodka than I remember
- The realisation that a horrendous spot is finally disappearing
- Observing mildly disliked people telling a joke and getting zero reaction apart from a large dose of tumbleweed
- Mass spooning
- Cooking the perfect dippy egg
Keep up with Meg here.
I listened to this TED talk a few days ago and have been thinking about it ever since. Dan Pallotta discusses the problems with charitable organizations and just nails it. In order for charitable or non-profits to succeed, they need to shed old, limiting concepts that don’t allow for these companies to compete with for-profit companies.
Since much of our readership has ties to charitable organizations, this TED talk is a must.
Even if you don’t sail, you probably understand the freedom and magic that comes with such an airy pursuit. Sail in your mind today, even if you’re stuck somewhere with nary a breeze!
If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn’t worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it’s life or death. - Morgan Freeman
I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full. - Arthur Ashe
I use filming as an excuse to take classes. I got my certification in sailing for ‘Wedding Crashers,’ and now I can handle a 26-foot boat. I played a seamstress once, so I took sewing classes. I love dipping into these other lives. - Rachel McAdams
I have no interest in sailing around the world. Not that there is any lack of requests for me to do so. - Edward Heath
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous. -Thomas Merton
Have you heard of the Burning Man festival? It’s held once a year in the desert of Nevada. Thousands of artists and computer geeks and just plain freaks gather and show-off their most outrageous work. People who attend it are pretty serious about it; its a definite sub-culture. And it’s certainly a fun party.
But more than that, hundreds of Burning Man attendees have formed a special group called Burners without Borders, where they help demolish and build around the world. In particular, they are helping Hurricane Sandy vicitims with my needed labor.
It’s rewarding to see smaller groups, not affiliated with any big companies or political groups pitching in and making a difference!
As I get ready to board an airplane later today, it got me thinking about flying. Some people hate it, some people love it…but most of us have to do it at some point or the other. So here are some quotes on airplanes and flying, to inspire you to journey into the sky and travel to new places:
If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
Before we had airplanes and astronauts, we really thought that there was an actual place beyond the clouds, somewhere over the rainbow. There was an actual place, and we could go above the clouds and find it.there.
The century of airplanes has a right to its own music.
Airplanes may kill you, but they ain’t likely to hurt you. - Satchel Paige
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci
The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.
What a great way to start your Monday! For some, January 7th represents the real return to normal life, after the holidays. The work week has started, the festivities have finished…time to look at inspiring images from 2012 to motivate you and not pressure you.
Caine Monroy is a nine-year-old kid who runs a homemade cardboard arcade out of his dad’s used-auto-parts store in East Los Angeles. When filmmaker Nirvan Mullick posted his 11-minute film about Caine’s arcade in April, millions watched it—and they contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars for a scholarship fund.
Learn more about Caine’s Arcade.
Often people become overwhelmed when it comes to making eco-friendly changes in their lives. Where to begin? How hard will it be?
But giving up storebought wrapping paper is pretty darn easy, right? Can you make a pact with yourself to no longer use that cheap crap, I mean product, anymore? It’s a pretty easy adaptation to make, right?
Here are some simple alternatives that are simply for eye-catching and creative anyway!
- Save paper shopping bags from stores.
- Ask for plain brown paper bags at stores.
- Save interesting newspaper, magazine pages, and newspapers.
- Save your child’s art work.
- Save some of that plain white paper you’d otherwise recycle.
- Old scarves, t-shirts, thin towels, and washcloths are great for wrapping oddly-shaped gifts.
- Bottles and tins are wonderful for packaging edible gifts.
- Small baby food containers are great for jewelry.
Keep these on hand for decorating wrapped gifts:
- Crayons (great for drawing on gift wrap)
- Small ornaments
- Little pieces of art work (to cut and glue to gift wrap)
As I get ready to go on a trip early this morning, I take a moment to stop and look at the stars in the sky, not quite dawn. They speak to me. We see stars frequently, but perhaps we’ve forgotten just how magical they truly are.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. William Shakespeare
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.
If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Doesn’t it seem as if we’ve forgotten how to play sometimes? Sure we play sports…but often that becomes about competition or fitness and less about the joie de vivre of p-l-a-y. Yet its so important to lighten our spirit and bring us back to life. Here are what some expert “players” have to say:
G. K. Chesterton
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.
Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good.
Roger von Oech
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
If you aren’t playing well, the game isn’t as much fun. When that happens I tell myself just to go out and play as I did when I was a kid.
It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Henry Van Dyke
Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
Okay, you think we’re stretching it. But of course, spiders are vastly positive. (I’m trying to remind myself of this fact, after seeing one rather large spider in my bed this morning!)
“Spiders so large they appear to be wearing the pelts of small mammals.”
“Spider venom comes in many forms. It can often take a long while to discover the full effects of the bite. Naturalists have pondered this for years: there are spiders whose bite can cause the place bitten to rot and to die, sometimes more than a year after it was bitten. As to why spiders do this, the answer is simple. It’s because spiders think this is funny, and they don’t want you ever to forget them.”
- Neil Gaiman
“There are spiders living comfortably in my house while the wind howls outside. They aren’t bothering anybody. If I were a fly, I’d have second thoughts, but I’m not, so I don’t.”
- Richard Brautigan
“If anyone wanted ter find out some stuff, all they’d have ter do would be ter follow the spiders. That’d lead ‘em right! That’s all I’m sayin’.”
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion” - Ethiopian Proverb
“The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes” - Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” - Pablo Picasso