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September 2012

Rekindling Possibility

 

A recent dinner with dear old friends conjured more than just catching up.  Sure we did a quick rewind through the last three years since seeing each other.  But, with this particular family of friends I always leave much more grounded and inspired than I was at hello.  And, we echoed many stories being told around many dinner tables right now, stories of challenges faced, jobs changed and upcoming choices being made.  There was a shared rekindling taking place. It's the same theme after every encounter with my friends, the Googasians. 

I left them after dinnSanta Monica ferris wheeler and walked across Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica to gaze out over the ocean.  It was vast and dark and  mysterious.  But, stealing the scene from the ocean was the ferris wheel whirling on the Santa Monica Pier which was bustling with activity.  The ferris wheel was a sight to behold.  At night it glowed with a vibrant spinning kalaidescope of color. 

As I marveled from a distance it hit me what the theme of the evening was.  "Rekindling Possibility."   And, at dinner we sparked in each other a kaleidoscope of possibilities. We challenged each other with thought provoking questions about life, career and love.  I wish I saw them more often; I'd be a better person for it.  

A kaleidoscope is a cylinder of mirrors reflecting colored objects resulting in a surprising, ever-changing and magical vision.  A possibility is an unknown potential outcome that holds promise of success.  So, it's intriguing to think about rekindling your possibilities by looking at them through a kaleidoscope lens.  

  • Kaleidoscope1Be limitless - what have you always wanted to do or create in all the areas of your life?
  • Brain noodle - ask yourself open-ended questions, then allow yourself to not answer them right away. Write down what comes to you over the course of several days.  I call this noodling.  I'm amazed what comes to mind sometimes when I set the question in motion and then noodle it around for awhile.
  • Let the colorful ideas flow - turn the kaleidoscope around and look at trying something in a completely new way.  
  • Keep learning - take a class or read a book to expand your horizon of possibility.
  • Believe - it's important to have full conviction behind your possibilities.  When you believe it can really happen, energy shifts toward making it a reality.
  • Embrace the mirrors - your possibilities are mirrors reflecting your truth. Be honest with yourself and let your heart be your guide.

Finally, stir up your possibilities on a daily basis.  Reflect on them.  Shine a light of curiosity on them. Expand on them.  Accept their promise. 

And, breathe as they become reality. 

 


When Something Doesn't Sit Well - Authenticity Rules

 

Something doesn't sit well. And, when something doesn't sit well, you can feel it, right?  It goes against the grain. It can wake you up in the middle of the night. Why is that?

That happened recently, believe or not, when I posted a photo of the new Mars skyline on the Thought Changer Facebook page.  A friend sent it to me and I was so blown away by the awesomosity of it that I just had to share it.  The photo went viral with over 3300 people seeing or sharing my posted photo over the course of a couple of days.  What I loved about it is that it brought new visits and members to Thought Changer, the place where we share authentic views and ideas to expand the mind.  Very cool! 

Then, I found out the photo is counterfeit.  A fake.  And, I didn't remove it from my page.  And, it didn't sit well.  And, it woke me up in the middle of the night.  And, then it hit me.  Keeping the photo up on my page became about something other than what Thought Changer, and me for that matter, stand for.  It became about being popular or more well known.  It became inauthentic.

It got me thinking again about core values, standards and principles that guide our lives. Your core values are the lens through which you gaze when making decisions, large or small.  It's intrinsic and organic. 

Authenticity is one of my most important core values, as is Transparency.  This incident went completely against both of these core values, and it just didn't sit well.

So I did some investigating, looking through my authenticity and transparency lenses because I wanted to address this in a way that opens and expands the mind.

Authenticity and transparency are cut from the same mold, they share the same DNA.  Transparency is the mother of authenticity.  Interestingly, I would say that transparency is also the mother of inauthenticity because transparency shines a bright light on both. 

Boy, when you see the authentic and counterfeit photos next to each other it becomes transparent very quickly which is which, like the good and evil twin.  The counterfeit suddenly looks really fake, too colorful, too perfect, too cartoonish.  And, the real one looks multi-dimensional, mysterious and full of possibility, way more cool than the fake in my opinion.

 

Authentic Mars Photo
Authentic Mars Photo
Earth Jupiter & Venus from the Mars skyline
Counterfeit Mars Photo

I'm certainly no planet expert, but iDigital Magazine did an informative piece on how to tell the difference between the fake and real photos, as did Discovery Magazine writer Phil Plait, who first broke the story about the shameful counterfeit.  The authentic photo came straight from NASA, where you can check out more Curiosity Photos from NASA.

Whew! Now, I can sleep better.  The lenses are clear and the mind expanded!

When something doesn't sit quite right for you, take a moment and examine the feeling.  Look beyond the face value of whatever is in front of you.  Look at it through the lens of authenticity when deciding what works for you. What feels right.

Pretty soon it will become clear what to do.

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator.  She is a writer living in Los Angeles.  For more info: CindyYantis.com

Please visit and "Like" our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  Join in the ongoing discussion.

 


What's Your Born Legacy?

The notion of legacy washed through my consciousness several times recently.  I took in the new flick, THE BOURNE LEGACY, which in my opinion did nothing to add to Robert Ludlum's real legacy as a prolific writer of mysteries, including the Bourne novels, which were full of rich levels of intrigue and character.  This new one, not written by Ludlum, not so much.

CBS Sunday Morning did a profile on the late Marvin Hamlisch, celebrating his life legacy of music. As I watched it I remembered seeing Mr. Hamlisch live in Detroit when he conducted the orchestra for Barbra Streisand. I was moved to tears the way his music transported the audience down memory lane.

It got me thinking about the art of legacy and what that means.  What is a lRipples on wateregacy and how do we decide what ours is to become?  Or are we even the ones who decide our own legacy? 

A compilation of web definitions describe a legacy as: An achievement that lives on after a person dies. 

Hmm.  To my way of thinking, a legacy is more than that.  I would posit that it's born by living a life with a purpose of creating a legacy that has a ripple effect beyond us.  In other words, be a living legacy - live your life in a way that leaves a lasting contribution, while you're still living.

Start by asking yourself the question, "How do I want to be remembered?" 

Your own self-discovery will help answer that question.  These might help:

  • What talents are you known for? Is it a creative talent such as a writer, painter or musician; or a certain knowledge where you're an expert such as a scientist, engineer or economist?
  • What special characteristics do you have that you're recognized for? Are you a wonderful teacher, or parent, or organizer?
  • What kind of impact do you want to make?  Look at the impact you currently have on people in your life, directly and indirectly.  Don’t belittle the significance you have in your world already.
  • Will your lasting impression help or change the greater good? How?
  • What lessons have you learned that you find yourself organically teaching to others, whether it's merely giving a friend, child or parent advice, or whether it's a more global imparting of your knowledge? 

Any or all of these help to comprise what is your legacy, your gift to the world.

Be a living legacy.  And, remember that the actions you take, the words you speak, and the impressions you make launch a ripple that ebbs and flows, continuing long after you've moved on to the next action, word or impression.   Armed with this knowledge, you're empowered to take an active role in creating the legacy you were born to create.  Your born legacy.

 

 


Finding the Path of Least Resistance

One of my favorite photographers, Jennifer Kelley Lublin, posted this mesmerizing photo this week. 

JennKL Photography_190
Photo by JennKL

I could imagine myself on this path and wondered what kind of magic lay just around the bend.  The trees seem to be willing to lend a helping hand or to part their branches to shed more light along on the way. Wherever it leads, I want to go there.

It got me thinking about life's journey and the many paths, full of twists and turns, that are available to us every day.  Which to take? Which way to turn when a fork presents itself?

The big moments and life-altering milestones many times present themselves as these forks in the road, where you have to make a decision.  Sometimes it's scary and really hard to make that first step. 

This is where the magic of the Path of Least Resistance comes in. Have you ever been faced with a change and suddenly, seemingly without effort, the opportunity presents itself?  Then, you flow easily through the change and you know it's right?  That's the path of least resistance.  One of my best friends had been contemplating for many months a big life move to NYC.  Everything in her career, heart and body told her that this was the next thing.  But, it's a big scary decision to uproot everything and bite into a huge unknown apple.  Suddenly, word got to the right person and an amazing rent-control apartment literally jumped into her path.  From there things just fell into place and she's on her way.  That is the path of least resistance in action. 

It's about flow.  And, it's about listening to your own inner voice, which is always your greatest adviser and your greatest advocate.  Whatever your belief system, that inner voice is your divine guidance.  If you're paying attention, the path of least resistance finds you. 

  • Slow down and listen to your voice as well as your body signals.  When the hairs rise on the back of your neck let that guide you to being present with what your body is telling you.  You know when it's right.
  • Don't suppress an inspiration. Encourage it. Nurture it.
  • Pay attention to the yes voice.
  • And, equally important, pay attention to the no.  Is it a 'no' out of fear or a 'no' that feels settled in your bones.  If it's out of fear, take a time out to breathe into it.  Then take the first baby steps on the path. As you go along, if it's the path of least resistance there will be help along with the way, like the trees in Jenn's photo.
  • Keep your eyes open and stay awake so that you're able to see the bubbles of opportunity that float into your vision along the way. 

The path of least resistance doesn't mean the work along the way is always easy.  But, it does mean being aware, recognizing the opportunity and surrendering to the flow.  When you do, the magical path of least resistance is the easiest path of all. 

For more of JennKL's trees, go to: http://bit.ly/JennKLtrees.

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator.  She is a writer living in Los Angeles.  For more info: CindyYantis.com

Please visit and "Like" our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  Join in the ongoing discussion...