What are the tipping points in our life, society, environment, and economy? Can we tip things for the better?

Can we tip things for the better? What are the tipping points in our life, society, environment, and economy?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Malcolm Gladwell

Yesterday I was in Home Sense looking for a jar to brew my second batch of Kombucha. They didn’t have one but I browsed their book shelf and saw The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. As I was about to buy it, it hit me that I might already own it. They had three copies so I could come back. True enough there it was sitting on my book shelf.

One of the findings in his book that surprised me was a sociologist at the University of Illinois has looked at the number of role models in a community – the professionals, managers, teachers whom the Census Bureau has defined as “high status” – has on the lives of teenagers in the same neighborhood. He found little difference in pregnancy rates or school drop-out rates in neighborhoods between 40 and 5 %, the problem exploded as the high-status workers fall just 2.2 percentage points – from 5.6% to 3.4% – drop-out rates more than double. The rate of pregnancy which had hardly moved up at all – nearly doubled. We assume, intuitively that neighborhoods and social problems decline in some kind of steady progression. At the tipping point, schools can lose control of their students, and family life can disintegrate all at once.

If what he says is true then tipping points are very important but we are unlikely to know where the tipping point is. How much negativity in our life – is too much? Where is the tipping point in our health? What are the tipping points in our society that move us up which we like or down which we don’t want at all?

What are the few things we absolutely have to stay away from to have a good life, because they tip us into negativity? What are the decisions in our life that are the tipping point for what kind of life we’ll lead? What is the tipping point that makes something become the “new thing?”

My sister brought me the starter for kombucha a few days ago. Why am I brewing kombucha now? It has been brewed for thousands of years by different cultures. What is the tipping point that brought it into my kitchen, now?

The idea that epidemics can rise or fall in one dramatic moment – is the most important, because it is the principle that permits the greatest insight into why modern change happens the way it does. Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell tells us there is a law of the few he calls them connectors, mavens, and salesmen these are the people usually at the center of any kind of epidemic be it a positive or negative one.

In the late 1960’s psychologist, Stanly Milgram conducted an experiment to find an answer to what is known as the small world problem. The problem is this: how are human beings connected? Do we all belong to separate worlds, operating simultaneously but autonomously, so that the links between any two people in the world are few and distant? Or, are we all bound up together in a grand interlocking web?

Milgram’s idea was to test this question with a chain letter. He got the name of 160 people who live in Omaha, Nebraska, and mailed each of them a packet. In the packet was the name of a stockbroker who worked in Boston and lived in Sharon, Massachusetts. Each person was instructed to write his or her name on the packet and send it on to a friend or acquaintance who they thought would get the packet closer to the stockbroker. The idea was when the packet finally arrived at the stockbroker’s house Milgram could look at the list of those whose hands it had gone through to see how connected someone chose at random was to someone in another part of the country. Milgram found that most of the packets reached the stockbroker in five or six steps. This experiment is where we get the concept of six degrees of separation.

This is a book that makes you look at things differently, both the good and the bad. What will make society better? What will make society worse? What can be the tipping points in our own life? What is the small thing that will give us big results? What is the big thing that gives us small result? Are we focusing on the right things? Do we know what the right things to focus on are?

We have, in short, somehow become convinced that we need to tackle the whole problem, all at once. But the truth is that we don’t. We only need to find the stickiness Tipping Points.” Malcolm Gladwell

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Paperback – Jan 7 2002

by Malcolm Gladwell (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews


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Luck, preparation, and opportunity. Will we be prepared when opportunity knocks?

Will we be prepared when opportunity knocks? Luck, preparation, and opportunity.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca

Last night I had a dream that Oprah and I were at the same social event. The event was moving to another venue and somehow I missed a cue that she wanted to give me a ride to the new location.

One of her executives at Harpo said he would read my novel over the summer if I could get a copy to him. I had a copy with me on the trip, and I was thinking I would go get it and pass it on to him. I did not get his email, phone number or address to get in touch with him to forward my novel. As if he would still be sitting where I left him after I took taxis and got the copy I’d brought.

The dream is telling me I am not prepared for the opportunities that may present themselves. The work is mostly done, what is holding me back from doing the last editing? I have a copy to send to a cousin I’ve been waffling on. Why? What if she doesn’t like it, what if…

There comes a point when we have to release our creativity to the world. At a Writers Group, the head of an Arts Council asked me what my novel was about. I stammered and stuttered and came up with something. He told me I have to develop an “elevator pitch” that encapsulates the story.

I still haven’t developed an elevator pitch. What am I waiting for? All I need to do is put together a one-minute speech that says…

Once upon a time (introduce character and context)

Every day, (establish the way things were)

One day (introduce problem/inciting incident)

Because of that (challenge)

Because of that (search for solution)

Until finally (finds solution)

Now (establish the way things are better now)

There is more going on than meets the eye. There are other things that take priority over my novel. One of those things is this blog. I’ve been neglecting my husband I tell myself, so we go for a coffee instead of sitting down and finalizing my editing. It will cost too much to pay a professional editor so I work on doing more editing myself.  There is always an excuse if we want an excuse. I’m afraid to put my work out because…

I saw a book called You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget. Note he didn’t say poor. Broke is when we spend more than we earn, but if we spent it differently we wouldn’t be broke. That is so much different from being poor when we don’t actually have enough to buy the essentials.

Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortunes expensive smile is earned. Emily Dickenson

What if I am doing the same thing in different areas of my life? What if I am the one holding me back? What am I afraid of? What is the payoff? What am I afraid of losing? What am I afraid of gaining?

We will all make mistakes. We will not be prepared for every opportunity. I found these 20 ways to be prepared for opportunity from The Simply Luxurious Life blog.

1. Mind your money manners, but know when to take risks. When you have control of your finances, you can take risks knowing that you have the savings or income to weather the storm should your risk fail.

2. For your health’s sake, eat well. An added benefit is that you’ll look great too. Who knows when the opportunities will be ready for you to find them. It could be when you’re twenty or it could be when you’re nearing middle age and beyond. Remain healthy so that no matter when it arrives, you can enjoy it to the fullest.

3. Make the right type of mistakes – made while being courageous and ambitious, rather than defensive, lazy or ignorant. Mistakes will happen to us all, but make them while striving forward toward something new or challenging, rather than sitting around doing nothing afraid of everything.

4. Look for opportunities, seek them out. Open your eyes. Say yes. Do something new. Ask why. Never stop learning.

5. Be kind and helpful. Helping others out when you can simply because you can and not to gain anything in return creates an environment of support and positive rapport. By creating an environment that is welcoming and uplifting, more of that energy is created. Pay forward what you wish to see more of, even if you don’t see a lot of it at the present moment.

6. Strengthen your self-discipline muscle. Stop spending frivolously. Put down that second helping. Stop engaging with people who are not good for you or your self-esteem.

7. Pay yourself first.  Start saving for retirement and a rainy day today. Create a monthly EFT and forget about it.

8. Wake up early. Don’t waste a minute. The early bird really does get the worm.

9. Continually strive for excellence, not perfection. Never stop learning about the world you live in. Continually try to better understand yourself, your emotions, your job, your passions, your strengths, etc. The answers will come if you keep searching.

10. Simplify and focus. You can’t do everything, but what you choose to focus on can be done well if you let go of those things that aren’t at the top of your priority list.

11. Keep a clean home. Limit your stress, free your mind, create room for opportunities to be found.

12. Master your mind. Freedom lies in choosing your thoughts and not being a slave to anything that crosses your mind’s path.

13. Meditate.  A simple practice that builds mind control, lowers stress and builds appreciation.

14. Create specific goals. If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want, your life will never change and you’ll never know what to look for regarding opportunities.

15. Be authentic. Do not apologize for being yourself. Ignore the laughter, walk away and walk toward those and a world that is appreciative of the gifts you have to offer.

16. Be productive, create something of value. No matter what you choose to do with your day, so long as it is in alignment with your goals, being productive will inch you one step closer to the opportunities you seek.

17. Stop blaming or complaining.  Energy and time and most importantly the ability to see the opportunity is tossed aside immediately when we blame others or complain about something we don’t like or understand.

18. Stop being a follower. There’s already enough sheep in this world. Become conscious of which direction you are going and why. What type of life are you trying to lead? Are your actions and decisions today in line with the life you just described?

19. Choose to initiate rather than react. By choosing to initiate, you are taking the reins and directing life. You may not know how today’s particular scene will play out, but at least you are choosing to lead rather than to follow or be a spectator.

20. Make your own rules. If the rules aren’t working for you and the opportunities are not revealing themselves, do something different. And keep your eyes open.

“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.” –Hugh Allen

We need to give up thinking we are too old, uneducated, poor, broke, and unlucky or whatever we tell ourselves that keep us from going after what we want in life. Maybe we have to ask ourselves some questions about what we really want. Most of all we have to be brave enough to risk failure to risk success.

When opportunity knocks, will we be prepared?

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. Arthur Ashe

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, opportunity, and love.

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The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness Hardcover – Jan 1 2019

by Ichiro Kishimi (Author), Fumitake Koga (Author) 3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews


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Moments of truth. Being part of a group enriches our lives. Finding balance, dancing through life.

Being part of a group.enriches our lives. Moments of truth. Finding balance, dancing through life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. Unknown

Yesterday I visited one of The Toastmaster Clubs in my area to do an “official” report as Area Director. They took the summer off and this was their first meeting back. It is a small corporate club which is about four years old. This is the first corporate club I’ve visited. It is the personalities of the people who make or break clubs. The President is amazing; the club appears to have a strong Executive and great club culture. They don’t have a large membership but it’s a fun club.

The President said in closing that many times he thinks he should cancel a meeting because of low expected attendance, or lack of time for organizing the meeting, but every time he feels better leaving the Toastmaster meeting than he did when he went in.

When being part of a group energizes and inspires us we know these are the groups we should be part of. These are the groups other people want to join.

Last night the book club met, we are not a big club, but we are a fun club who sometimes gets the book read. We are a sounding board for each other, we have ah-ha moments all the time as we discuss life.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another. “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” C.S. Lewis

The more we are involved and engaged the more we enjoy life. If we want to belong to groups we need to be more than seat warmers. When we all do our part we can have wonderful organizations that enrich our lives.

We enjoy our lives more when we are involved, and engaged. The more we put into life, the more we get out of it. We can go too far, we can get so involved in Church, community groups, sports, etc. that we have little time to be engaged at home.  Finding balance is a challenge, and when our spouse feels that everything else in our life is more important than them, it is not good. Sometimes we have to cut back on our group activities to make time for family.

When we are involved in groups we have stories to tell, things to discuss, and our world opens up. We can bring more to our relationships. As long as our significant other doesn’t feel they are on the periphery instead of the center of our lives, being part of a group can be positive. When our spouse thinks everything else in our lives is more important than them it is a problem.

If we are too much just the two of us, we may feel our life is too small, our interests too insular, our view too narrow. We need to take stock of where we are in our life. Do we need more outside interaction or less? Do we need more outside interests or should we develop a shared interest? Are we forging ahead alone into uncharted territory?

Life is a dance, dancing is about balance and rhythm. We need to lead or follow, and we also have to hold our own in dancing and in life. What works in one stage of our life may not work in another. We must adapt to the changes, challenges, and stages of our life.

Do we have enough balance in our life? Do we need to take a good hard look at our life? Is it time for “Moments of Truth?” Where are we out of alignment with our values and goals? What is the tweak we need to make in our lives that would make us healthier, happier, improve our relationships, develop our interests, reach our goals, and leave a legacy?

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life, and the World Hardcover – Sep 26 2017

by Lynne McTaggart (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews


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What if our memories are not as infallible as we think they are? What we remember is impacted by more than we think. Is our memory how we saw it, not necessarily how it was.

What if what we think we remember isn't how it was? We like to think we have infallible memories. What we remember is impacted by more than we think.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Is your life story the truth? Yes, the chronological events are true. Is it the whole truth? No, you see and judge it through your conditioned eyes and mind – not of all involved – nor do you see the entire overview. Is it nothing but the truth? No, you select, share, delete, distort, subtract, assume and add what you want, need and choose to.
― Rasheed Ogunlaru

Have you ever tried to remember something and all you draw is a blank? Have you ever been called a liar because you couldn’t remember something and the other person was incredulous that you didn’t remember something that was so important to them?

Why do we remember some things and forget others?

Some things are relevant to our life. We remember the relevant things. If something is likely to help with our life goals it is more likely to be remembered.

We remember emotional pain. If something or someone causes us emotional pain the event is more likely to be remembered.

Our subconscious mind makes us remember the things that are important and useful to our life. If our subconscious mind makes the deduction that something isn’t useful or important to our life we will not remember it.

It is easy to see that two people could experience the same event and one of them would remember it and the other would not.

My husband thinks I remember everything. I do remember a lot of things he doesn’t remember because they had some relevance to me. He is remembering things I don’t remember, but he thinks I should remember them because they are so important to him. It is easy to see how when people are having disagreements what each remembers can be very problematic.

It may even explain why witnesses do not witness things exactly the same way and all are telling the truth as they see it. When we are upset we do not stop to think that there is another side to the story. Why can’t you see what I see? We don’t trust the other person who doesn’t see what is so plain. How could they not see it? Are they lying?

Memory plays tricks. Memory is another word for story, and nothing is more unreliable. Ann Marie McDonald

It could be that no two people ever see anything the same way. It might depend on their emotional state at the moment, experiences they have had in the past, and how they interpret things. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable, but probably through no fault of their own. I hope I am never called on as an eye witness. I couldn’t tell the little girls apart on the soccer field. Little blonde girls with ponytails all looked alike to me. I can’t imagine a line-up.

Some say the brain does not store information as data but by association. What we do know about memory is it is processed by the hippocampus and stored continuously in our cerebral cortex. We will store a memory if it is important and has emotional value, forever.

The Rashomon effect is a phenomenon where different people have contradictory accounts of the same event. In fact, research shows that implanting false memories can be as simple as asking someone to recount an event that didn’t happen. It also seems that each time we remember something we rewrite it in our brain. If that recollection contains errors, we’ll strengthen those errors until we are positive they are correct.

How can a couple tell who is remembering things correctly? Research suggests they may not be able to. Couples often remember things differently because of cognitive biases and the influence of mood. Experts suggest focusing on the emotions of an argument to move past a disagreement. Couples should accept our memories are flawed and not be so reliant on what we remember is right and what the other person remembers is obviously wrong.

Are we sure what we remember is actually what happened? Do we sometimes have to agree to disagree on how we remember things?

Memory, like so much else, is unreliable. Not only for what it hides and what it alters, but also for what it reveals. Anna Funder

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude and love.

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The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting and the Science of False Memory Paperback – Nov 28 2017

by Julia Shaw (Author) 4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews


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Love at first sight. We build our lives one moment, one thought, and one deed at a time.

We build our lives one moment, one thought, and one deed at a time. Love at first sight.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I believe in love at first sight because I am a mother. Unknown

Yesterday the sunrise was beautiful. I could see it peeking above the houses and trees. When I got to a spot to take a picture my camera wasn’t capturing what was left of the fleeting sunrise. Today there was no beautiful sunrise on my walk. Sunrises are like life, when we see them we need to enjoy them. We need to put ourselves in the place to enjoy them but they are not on our schedule.

Today my daughter turns twenty-eight. What a wonderful twenty-eight years it has been. Even when I was in the hospital and had a cesarean, and she developed jaundice because I’m an O- blood type, we were doing better than lots of the other mother/baby couples. She had no trouble breastfeeding, it was a real challenge for some and one baby got dehydrated. Easy, happy babies are so easy to look after, and when they turn into happy children. and then happy adults we are blessed.

There are challenges in life for those too easy to get along with and also for the disagreeable types who expect too much. We have to learn to deal with who we are. Whether we are an agreeable or unagreeable type there are advantages. When we learn to harness the advantages we were born with instead of trying to work against them, life usually goes better for us.  

We still have a loving close relationship. The mother/daughter angst we’ve muddled through in large part because she is more like her father than she is like me. If she was more like me maybe we would have a harder time.

Father’s are so important in daughter’s lives. They say mothers teach daughters how to love, and fathers teach daughters who to love. Why we are lucky enough to have easy relationships and what turns them sour we may have a problem putting our finger on. When they sour, turning them back to sweet is a challenge, giving up on relationships is what I think we should never do.

If we are blessed to have children, each one is different, special, with their own talents, challenges, insecurities, gifts, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. We have to accept our self and them how they are. Why can’t you be like… Is like throwing acid on their spirit. They will never be like anyone else. We can have aspirations for our children, but it is best if we help them develop aspirations for themselves.

It’s the little details that are vital. The little things cause the big things to happen. John Wooden

We build our families and our lives one small moment at a time. Each thing we do, say, and make important will impact our lives. Over a lifetime we have the sum total of what we’ve done, said, and thought.

If for any reason our relationships are not as good as we think they can be, we can change our thoughts, deeds, and words. Can we soften our tone, ask more questions instead of giving advice, offer encouragement, and do it all with kindness. They say respect is love in plain clothes.

Can we be respectful of others? Can we look after the small things that irritate so we can enjoy better relationships? Can we listen more to understand, instead of worrying if we are understood?

Take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know Paperback – Aug 28 2007

by Meg Meeker (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews


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Unintended consequences of trying to make things better. Can we learn from other’s mistakes?

Can we learn from other's mistakes, or do we have to learn from our own mistakes? Unintended consequences of trying to make things better.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The law of unintended consequences is the only real law of history. Niall Ferguson

Yesterday I picked up my oldest sister from the airport, a surprise short visit. We are so blessed we can hop on an airplane and in a couple of hours be together. Today she was picked up by another sister and her spouse and off on an adventure they go.

Last night we watched Black Mirror a show on Net flicks that seems to be a take on The Twilight Zone. One was a man who in a video game is the omnipotent God but in real life is a socially awkward computer genius. He takes out all of his anger on the co-workers whose DNA he has downloaded into his computer game.

The second was about a mother who got afraid when her child got lost. She enrolled her young daughter into a test study and had a chip implanted in her daughter’s brain that would allow her to see what her daughter sees. She could also make anything that made her daughter’s cortisol rise to be visibly unrecognizable. The daughter grew up not hearing or seeing how people looked who were fighting. Barking dogs were not recognizable nor were any kind of violence. When her Grandfather had a heart attack she could no longer see what was happening.

She was very curious about what she couldn’t see or understand and seemed drawn to the dark side of life because she was so protected from it. It appears the daughter had to develop a sense of fearlessness to confront life because she couldn’t see what was there. A therapist told the mother the program was being shut down and although she couldn’t take the chip out of her child’s brain she could and should discontinue monitoring her child.

The unintended consequences of protecting her child didn’t prepare her child at all for real life. Nor could the mother resist watching what her daughter was seeing. What do you do when you see something you shouldn’t have seen? We know over protecting children doesn’t help them grow into competent adults. If they are not able to read social cues, have never dealt with anger, recognize the danger in a situation, or understand people and their motives they are not set up for good outcomes. Too often we get what we fear because that is what we focus on and that was what the mother got, instead of trusting her child’s independence she interfered where she shouldn’t reaping unintended negative consequences.

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. Robert Louis Stevenson

The only thing in life that seems to teach people anything is when we let them experience the consequences of their actions. We can’t save them no matter how much we would like to. We don’t like to see our children deal with consequences; our instinct is to protect them. Do we handicap them by not letting them deal with the realities of life? We learn from our mistakes and if we don’t let our children learn from their mistakes how will they learn? We caution them about the big mistakes, we hope they don’t make them, but if they do, they need to deal with the consequences and learn to make better choices and decisions.

My youngest brother has a saying, “That’ll learn them.” My husband says, “If they won’t see they must feel.” These are different ways of saying the same thing. We need to learn from our mistakes and better yet learn from the mistakes others have made.

We need to be careful that in our hubris we don’t think we are above making mistakes. Just because we intend something for good whether it is in our families, communities, countries, environment, or economy, does not mean the changes will be for the better.

We have economists telling us about the unintended consequences of welfare. We were watching a program on the fall of civilizations and the unintended consequence of money debasement. There are lessons all around us, lessons we could learn from instead of repeating the same mistakes. Often we think we are too smart to make the mistakes others have made. Is this hubris at its worst? Can we learn from someone else’s mistakes?

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. Milton Friedman

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Systems Thinking For Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results Paperback – Nov 3 2015

by David Peter Stroh (Author) 4.1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews


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We are all on the journey of life. What we choose to do on our journey is our choice. Are we happy with our choices? Are there changes we can and should make?

What we choose to do on our journey is our choice. Are we happy with our choices? Are there changes we can and should make? We are all on the journey of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential. Joseph Campbell

Last night I was the Chair at our Toastmasters meeting after taking a month off. It is hard to believe how rusty one becomes so quickly. Names that should have been on the tip of my tongue eluded me. Thoughts seemed harder to put together as I stood at the podium.

We rest on our laurels at our peril. We think it won’t matter if we take time off, but we get out of practice easily and quickly. When I don’t go to the gym for a while it is harder to do exercises that I found easy. I haven’t taken a yoga class in a few years; it would probably be brutal getting into some of those poses.

The Table Topics Master asked thought-provoking questions. What is the one thing we would change in our life if we could? What product would we develop with our name on it? What superpower would we choose?

The speakers were thought-provoking talking about the emotional leader, shrugging off our problems and using them as stepping stones to our goals, staying motivated, and time management is life management.  It is for ideas like these I love Toastmasters. We never know who will inspire us, touch us, and make us think something, or look at things differently.

We are such a varied group in life experience, everyone’s stories are different. I was listening to the radio the other day and the radio personality was saying all of our photos can be categorized into twenty categories. We’ve all taken these twenty categories of pictures with different people in them. We went through the same experiences and milestones. When we bring people together everyone has a different story, their lives unfolded and they learned lessons along the way. Their hero’s journey had different obstacles, the story took place or started somewhere we aren’t familiar with, and we are intrigued.

Everyone has a story and at Toastmasters we get bits and pieces of someone’s story over time. We may feel if we miss one of their speeches we missed a chapter. Rejoining Toastmasters after a thirty-year hiatus was one of the best things I’ve done. It’s true we can’t go back, but we can rejoin groups, or rekindle interests we had in earlier times, and we may even enjoy them more the second time around.

A ship in a harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for. Unknown

My art is like that, I dabbled as a kid, and I dabble as an adult. It feeds my soul. It is about expressing what is inside of us. Sometimes words cannot express what is inside us. As they say a picture’s worth a thousand words.

I was reading something on closure and one of the author’s clients was having trouble dealing with the after-effects of her husband’s affair even though it was long over and they were in a good place in their marriage. After discussing a way to find closure she said she could paint. She painted a picture in rough loud strokes of intensity and passion, then she shot holes in the canvas with not one gun but two, and slashed the canvas with a knife. She brought her painting to her therapist and it hangs in his office. After emptying all her emotional energy regarding the affair on the canvas, she had closure.

The question I want to ask is what did her husband think when she got out the guns? Sometimes if we don’t want to put things into words a picture tells the story. I was listening to someone on YouTube who said his young daughter drew pictures of him with short arms when she was sad. When everything was good she drew her father with long arms because those long arms were the hugging arms. Makes you want to go back and look at your children’s artwork.

As we continue on our hero’s journey the dragons we slay are our own fears, insecurities, outgrown beliefs, behavior patterns, and life situations. Most of us have never thought we were attractive enough, smart enough, good enough, or whatever inadequacy we feel enough. We are who we are, we need to embrace ourselves and our journey, and we need to risk failure to risk success. If we don’t accept the challenge to change, grow, develop, and take risks who will do it for us?

What do we teach our children when we claim authorship of our story? Unknown

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Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now Paperback – Oct 1 1994

by Maya Angelou (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings


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Changing ourselves, changing the world. One change at a time. Are we making the changes we want to see?

Are we making the changes we want to see? One change at a time. Changing ourselves, changing the world.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Four years ago today I took the three-week vegan challenge my son challenged me to. I didn’t think I could do it. Give up my cream with a little coffee. Somehow I drank my coffee half hot water, half coffee. I did not become a vegan, I have never called myself vegan even though I was pretty strict at the beginning of the whole food plant-based starch solution eating plan.

I was strict because I thought it was easy to revert back to old ways of eating. The first three weeks of the vegan challenge I felt good so I extended it to six months. Still feeling good and losing some weight while eating as much rice, potatoes, beans, etc as I wanted I kept it up. I already knew from my days of food combining that starch and fat are a recipe for putting on weight. Starch without fat seems to be the recipe for a svelte healthy body.

I still believe there is a lot of good information in The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. He has tons of information on the internet on how his eating plan has helped numerous people with various diseases.

Most activism is brought about by us ordinary people. Patricia Hill Collins

I believe we are what we eat – how can we be anything else. My mother always encouraged me not to diet. She was right. In my early twenties, I quit dieting and by doing so maintained a good weight. As I hit my forties weight started to creep up and I looked for ways of eating to look after that. Suzanne Somers food combining worked for me but I ate more meat and fat than carbs and no fat so I don’t think I was as healthy as I could be. She didn’t like some of the healthiest carbs not embracing bananas and potatoes.

The Starch Solution is a lot like food combining except he doesn’t embrace eating meat and fat. An all or nothing diet doesn’t work for me. I can be really strict but I can’t live the rest of my life thinking I can’t eat whatever. I watched my son and his girlfriend struggle to find things to eat at the hotel in Jamaica because it was an omnivore’s paradise.  They compromised by eating dairy.

We grew up on balanced meals. We didn’t gorge ourselves on cheese and ice-cream as kids. Our meat was grass-fed, our pigs and chickens free-range part of the year and grain-fed. There were no hormones in our meat and few antibiotics or inoculations were used. My mother still eats this way and is healthy at 94.

I’ve changed my diet again. I’ve done my third fast including bone broth, which my son informs me is not fasting. Don’t just say things Mom,” he says. “Words mean something, when we all put a different meaning to the same words, we don’t know what we are talking about.” He’s right I won’t call it a fast. For twenty-four hours from 6:00 in the evening until 6:00 the next evening or thereabout I’ve only had black coffee, black herbal tea, and bone broth.

My life as an experiment continues. I document how I feel and how this works for me. I’ve kept a food journal for years. I believe I am healthier because of it, I can look back and try to figure things out. Gut health is what I am hoping to increase. Dr. Gundry from the Plant Paradox is my new guide. He recommends we eat at least 5 days without animal foods in a row per month to give us almost the same benefits as a completely plant-based diet.

Bone broth is supposed to be good for bone health. As I said I’m an experiment and I feel our diet is what we can control and what leads to health. If we aren’t as healthy as we think we should be shouldn’t we look to our diet?

Mom didn’t have her gall bladder removed when she had gall bladder problems she changed her diet. When she who ate little fat had high cholesterol and Dad who ate fat had low cholesterol she tweaked her diet. We create our health with our knife and fork. If you think you need to tweak your diet maybe you want to look at Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox.

We have to find ways to preserve our soil, our health, our planet. I think mixed farms do that by enriching the soil through animal droppings. Land cannot be continuously cultivated.

It can take 500 years to create an inch of soil. The management of our soil is one of our greatest concerns. Big business has its ideas, small farmers have theirs. Does anyone know the truth? Some small farmers are taking their depleted soil and enriching it. These are the people we should be listening to.

We need the people who have done it. Who knows what they are doing, and who have made things better to be heard. We need to hear from the people who increase their water table with trees. We need to hear from the farmers who enrich their poor soil. We need to hear from people who have stopped desertification in their location. We need to hear from people who have become healthier by changing their diet. We need to hear from the people who have remained healthy by eating their ancestral diet.

We need to hear from the people who know how to do things. Monocropping isn’t good for the soil or our health.

There are statistics giving the number of harvests that can be expected from our soils if we keep to the current method of cultivation. Destroying our soil is one of the crises looming ahead of us.

National Geographic has steps they think we should take to ensure we can feed the world in 2050.

Step One: Freeze Agriculture’s footprint.

Step Two: Grow more on the farms we’ve got.

Step Three: Use resources more efficiently – they suggest embracing both commercial farming and organic farming.

Step Four: Shift our diets to less meat. Curtail using food crops for biofuel.

Step Five: Reduce waste.

I believe every country should be able to feed its own population. If we can’t feed our own people what will happen in a crisis?

Food self-sufficiency comes down to whether a country could feel its people with its own production, not whether it actually is. Canada is one of the few countries listed as food sufficient. We might not have the varied diet we love but we’ll have food.

Do we need to be the change we want to see in the world, our health, our family? Is changing ourselves, our practices, and our behavior the only change we can make?

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do. Gandhi

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The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain Hardcover – Apr 25 2017

by Dr. Steven R Gundry MD (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 277 customer reviews#1 Best Sellerin Immune Systems


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Changing for the better, growth not decay. Standing still is not an option, we must go forward.

Standing still is not an option, we must go forward. Changing for the better,, growth not decay.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. Arnold Bennet

We all love a little recognition. One of the things with a blog is they tell us where our readers come from, and average posts read per reader. One morning I had one reader that read 49 posts.

We start something we don’t know where it will go. I fantasize that something I’ve written helps someone because isn’t that what we all want, to be significant, and to matter.

Watching the children going back to school they have parents that matter. Someone helped them get ready for school, packed a lunch, walks them to school or sees them off at the door, is waiting for them when they get home, or picks them up. There is no more significant role in our lives than that of a parent. It can seem overwhelming in the midst of it, but it passes by fast.

Before you are ready you are waiting for grandchildren. Our lives pass in a blink and we each have our roles to play. How well we play those roles impacts the generations.

No matter what else we do raising a family seems like the most important thing. Every one of us is an unbroken line of people who have lived through the best and worst of times. They got through whatever they had to, and we are a testament to their tenacity, perseverance, and luck.

We are a thread in the tapestry of life. We don’t know if our thread will have many branches or not. In a thousand years, we may have generations that can be traced back to us, or our line may have fizzled out. We don’t know what the future holds, we only have today.

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. Benjamin Franklin

Each day is ours, we aren’t promised more. What we do with our day will determine our life. Twenty-four golden hours, some of which we must sleep is ours to spend. Are we kind, compassionate, encouraging, inspirational, dependable, and loving? Are we doing the best we can even if we’d like to do better? Is someone’s life better because we are in it? Do we let people know that our lives are better because of them?

Little joys, little problems, little accomplishments, little things end up to be the big things in life. The big things are comprised of little things. Weddings aren’t one big thing, they are a bunch of little things that come together to create a wonderful event. Marriages aren’t one big thing; they are all the little things adding up to something. The special moments, the hard decisions, the disappointments, overcoming hardships, accepting challenges, and getting through today to get to tomorrow. Sometimes that is all we can do, is get through today. If we get through enough today’s it adds up to a long marriage that got through the highs and lows of life.

No one just gets the good parts of life. No one just gets the sweet without the bitter, the easy without the hard, the joy without some sorrow, opportunities without challenges, gains without losses, and laughter without tears. We may think it would be better if we did but it probably wouldn’t be. No contrast in our lives, no up and no downs, no highs and lows, just bland sameness all the days of our life. How boring would that be?

I listen to people talk about retirement. They want to relax and do nothing. Sounds great for about a week, then what? Don’t we always need one more mountain to climb? In retirement one of the joys may be that we get to choose the mountains instead of feeling we had to do what we had to do.

What do we have to learn, acknowledge, experience, give, develop, accept, and understand? Where do we need to grow? Are we getting better or bitter with the years? Do we criticize or uplift others? Is there something we could focus on that would make our life better for ourselves and others?

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. Georg C. Lichtenberg

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Everyday Evolution: Practical Perspectives on Personal Growth, Permanent Changes, and Progress in Life by [Meadows, Martin]
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Everyday Evolution: Practical Perspectives on Personal Growth, Permanent Changes, and Progress in Life Kindle Edition

by Martin Meadows (Author)

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Criticism or encouragement it’s our choice and our choice builds our relationships.

Do we build our relationships with criticism or encouragement?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

We judge ourselves by our intentions and judge others by their actions. Stephen Covey

Do we see through the eyes of understanding or do we look for the worst in others? Do we ascribe meaning to actions, words, mistakes, thoughtlessness that we wouldn’t attribute to our own actions words, mistakes or thoughtless behavior? Can we see where we go wrong and understand it, but make no room for other people’s errors?

We are probably all guilty of this. We know what we meant is not how they took it, but we meant well. In a book, I picked up on the weekend Happily Married for Life 60 Tips for a Fun Growing Relationship by Larry J. Koenig. The author tells us if we take a quiz and we see our partner in more positive ways than negative our relationship is probably pretty good. If we take the quiz and the negatives out-weight the positives we have a very hard road ahead to make it work. Much of this is perception but we can get to the point that even little things annoy us, like breathing. If this is the case how will we take the mistake of walking on our newly washed wet floor, or forgetting something we think is important, or saying something we deem critical?

One of the things the author tells us is we will not remain in a positive relationship with someone who is critical. We may think our insight (criticism) plus their motivation to change should be what our relationship needs. Maybe it should be, but it doesn’t work.

Criticism, like rain should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. Frank A. Clark

We cannot afford to get into the habit of criticizing each other. Millions of couples have lousy relationships, and many of them got that way through well-intentioned criticism. How have people who have great relationships learned to handle their spouse’s faults? Chances are they aren’t married to better people, they only handle things better.

If criticizing doesn’t work, and I totally get that it doesn’t even as I am guilty of it. The author tells us first we need to decide what we want. This may be a bit of the “would you rather be right or happy.” He says to write down what you want and be very clear that you know what that is, and that your spouse will understand what it is you want. Then with a positive attitude and a positive expectation ask your spouse for it. If we can do this without getting into the why, and how they haven’t done it for twenty years, we can avoid conflict.

The bible tells us to ask and we shall receive. Often our spouse doesn’t know what we want, we expect them to read our mind and that rarely works. Thinking if they love me they would know, do, realize, or understand doesn’t work.

The key to solving all marital conflict according to the author is to identify and satisfy our spouse’s most pressing needs. The problem with this is we often want to get our own needs met. What needs to happen is at least one partner focuses on the other person’s needs.

Good marriages have one cheerleader, but great marriages have two.  Encouragement is a great elixir of love. The more we encourage each other, the more our love will grow. If we are lavish with our encouragement our love will grow accordingly, if we are lavish with our discouragement and criticism our relationships will wither and die. It’s our choice.

How can we encourage someone we love? Can we ask for what we want with a positive attitude and expectation we’ll get it? Can we ask them what they want in a positive way and with a positive expectation we’ll give it?

Can we become an encourager instead of a criticizer?

I have yet to find the man, however, exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism. Charles Schwab

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Happily Married for a Lifetime Paperback – Jan 1 2000

by Larry J. Koenig (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review


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