my brain changers: april

'on changing the way i think'

what are my brain changers
come stay share your thoughts

'on how to craft a memorable story'

there’s a continual narrative at work in each of our lives that’s being shaped and honed by our choices. storytelling provides the lens through which we can see those choices more clearly. it gives us perspective and helps us make sense of our experiences. we write these stories down to expose the unexposed, to appreciate our choices, vent our frustrations, sort out our confusions, and untangle threads of our imagination
'how to craft a memorable story' by kacie mcgeary

in her post kacie talks about helpful techniques to craft an engaging story
ones that help to take hold of your audience

'on healing through photography'

lyubov slyusareva celebrates life in its most ordinary and vulnerable moments
imperfect and struggling
plain and beautiful

'on raising a human'

cool is an emotional straight jacket, by brene brown
i must remember these words when time comes for awkward teenage years
oprah's supersoul sundays really are 'emotional chasers' at any age

'on inspiration'


humans who make room
for their passion
whatever that may be
abundant in enthusiasm
they draw they pull me in
despite the usual mortal imperfections
there is a wholesomeness to them
they nourish by osmosis
even if i only know them
at virtual arm’s length

inspired by recently discovered thoughts and writings of quietly uplifting mel wiggins

'on words underlined' 

  • it’s often personal stories that help us see the bigger picture: landscape and history suddenly come alive and ordinary objects take on a new meaning. our personal connection to a place can provide missing links and a new way to look at the world 'a thread in time'
  • you would be surprised at how hard it is to be open to new and different good things. being open to new things that are bad - disasters, say - is pretty easy...but new, good things are a challenge, by amy fussleman
  • i understand getting stuck. i understand wanting to make a change while circling around the same neural cage. i understand that sometimes, when you are at the stage of life when you have given yourself over to mothering and daughtering and you get to keep very little of yourself, it can be hard to live with open doors. yet in an effort to hoard solitude and keep people out, there is a risk that you all you end up doing is fencing yourself in 'the art of noticing the small and significant' by kyo maclear
  • i write because i don’t know what i think until i read what i say, by flannery o'connor

'on good things'

  • a rare sighting of the bottom of the laundry basket
  • daylight still after supper is cleared up
  • her 'can you believe it?' face every time she sees her bean stalk shoot up a little taller
  • a bag that fits my camera and lense
  • way such bag makes me feel a more 'legitimate' creative
  • finally finally finally manually adjusting iso on my nikon
  • daffodils, on kitchen table and all over the garden
  • her declaring our road a 'wedding street' for all the blossom
  • freshly printed smell of new issues, of not one but two, favourite magazines
  • making new memories just her and me
  • familiar pull of an unputdownable book

have a gentle week and thank you again for your company






once upon the happiness project

there once was a woman named gretchen
she had a loving husband, two healthy children, a house and a stimulating job
by all accounts, she ought to be 'happy' with her lot
yet one day she realised she is not
not that she is unhappy, but that she was not as happy as she could and ought to be given her everyday
so she sets about to find a way to remedy that
to cultivate a better than before enjoyment of everyday life over a period of one year
'the happiness project' is born

i first came across it via the wisdomous oprah  
i then got the book and am now half-way through it
it resonates a lot
it is my favourite combination of the everyday, old age wisdom and latest scientific research
it inspires daily habit changes with every chapter
but there is one particular personal commandment that gretchen adopts that has really stuck with me through the pages and since
it makes me recognise anew a particular thought pattern i have had for as long as i remember
it helps to keep the inner critic at bay more often than not since
it helps me notice and hone in on things that fill me up with that good feeling
it permits me to see my old new self in an accepting and nourishing way that is yet to feel comfortable
may be it will help you also

that personal commandment goes like this:
be gretchen [insert your name] (you can't be gretchen)

simple on the surface, yet also one of the great challenges nowadays
gretchen explains that the only way to build a happier everyday is to start from this foundation of your own nature, your own values, your own ways
and this includes letting go of the 'pretend you' you wish you could be if only you tried hard enough

i wish i could be a 'pretend me' often
i wish i liked coffee black (something so alluring when you don't dilute it with milk)
i wish i was pippi longstocking
i wish i liked celery and liquorice
i wish i had photographic memory
i wish my younger self read more
i wish i craved daily physical exercise
i wish i could speed read, recite poetry and imitate accents
i wish i could do a cart wheel
i wish i could cross-country ski out of my front door
i wish my hair would have a wave in it
i wish i could live off chocolate eclairs and mint magnums
i wish i'd stop wishing and accept 'real me' 

my 'pretend me' wish list goes on
and i always believed that if i could make myself be all those things i would be a better person than the 'real me'

gretchen realised that if she gave up the 'fantasy gretchen' idea and instead focused on nurturing the things that 'real gretchen' loves, her everyday happiness levels would by default go up
it suddenly clicked for me also
with every 'pretend me' wish i now try to let it pass before it chips away any more at the 'real me'
the 'real me' is much happier with this long overdue arrangement

does this resonate with you also?