Stunning Images of Your Heart

inside

In reality, heartstrings are just a tad different than those imagined in Brontë’s Jane Eyre:

“Because, he said, “I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, – you’d forget me.” 

Although they’re not connected to another’s frame, these closeups show just how stunning our own heartstrings (tendons and blood vessels) can be. Especially when they’re working overtime to pump life & love all over the body.

Macro photo of the Chordae tendineae in h

Image Sources: 1, 2

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The Easiest Way to Make a Million, Fall in Love and Enjoy Your Life

Sick of hearing about get rich quick schemes and the next best things? So is everyone. But there is something that will work, without a doubt, every time. It’s a path that’s not for everyone – in that it requires a bit of courage, gumption and willingness to learn, adapt and grow on the regular. But if that hasn’t scared you off, you may be ready to hear exactly how you can get what you want out of life.

Ready, Set…?

How to:

(click to reveal)live, life, wonder, splendor, wander, joy, love, awesome, giant, kites, beachBody, Yoga, Strength, Growth, Perfect, Health, Tipskids, volunteer, school, Africa, developmentmillion, dollars, money, growth, earning, potential, rich, gainworld, travel, voyage, traveler, backpack, go, action, wanderlust, insatiable, thirst, need, globalpaint, art, create, artist, creativity, expression, emotion, speak, truthlove, soulmate, connection, relationship, friendship, understanding, unconditional, amour, souls, truth

It all has to start somewhere.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Surprising Benefits Hidden in a Cup of Tea

“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hi all, hope your weekend was grand. Mine was dotted with a number of mini-celebrations in honor of a friend’s upcoming wedding. After a weekend full of running around and enjoying all that L.A. has to offer, we capped off Sunday with a much calmer and positively feminine event: a high tea ceremony complete with frilly hats. Feeling like we were caught up in an episode of Downton Abbey, we drowned ourselves in nostalgia and ten different types of tea. If you haven’t treated yourself to a cup lately, I highly recommend it.
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Did you know that each cup contains a collection of essential ingredients for a better life? See below to find out what’s hiding in your next cup:
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Humilitea
Possibilitea
Qualitea
Solidaritea
Abilitea
Equalitea
Individualitea
Serenitea
Insanitea
Confidentialitea
Vitalitea
Creativitea
Claritea
Longevitea
Familiaritea
Humanitea
Puritea
Levitea
Immunitea
Digestabilitea
Electricitea
Sensualitea
and
Festivitea
– Adapted from: Letters to a Young Zentrepenur – The Republic of Tea

But Susan Sontag’s Dead

“so I guess her cancer wasn’t metaphorical after all. Sorry.”
– “Illness As a Metaphor,” Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson tips its hat to Susan Sontag by alluding to her prolific writings on the practice of describing illness through the use of metaphors. She argues that there is a certain set of contagious vocabulary that we employ when discussing diseases:

“We have to wage a war on this cancer.”
“He’s battling a disease.”
“This threat to life must be stamped out.”

and if someone perishes…

“They lost the fight.”

With many illnesses, we treat the way we speak about them as if the host was invaded or caught by the disease. Whereas with injury, we simply say that we are in the process of healing. There’s no great war, only the path back towards health.

Sontag asserts that much of the reason that we use these terms has to do with the mysterious conditions surrounding disease. With cancer, for example, no definite cure has been established. She suggests that once a cure is discovered, the horror, mystery, and metaphors surrounding cancer will dissipate as well. We use the language to bolster ourselves against that which we do not entirely understand.

And although her book came out in 1978, her wish to challenge the victim mentality is still valid and meaningful today. Her goal with her writing was to “alleviate unnecessary suffering.” She believed that wrapping disease in metaphors discouraged, silenced, and shamed patients.

While argument is still a divisive one, I do agree that using aggressive terms and mindset towards illness can ultimately harbor one’s path back to health. This is not to belabor anyone’s struggle with disease – as I know many of them can be just that – a true daily struggle. But instead of “fighting” these diseases, we need to champion health. Each negative thought we latch onto and play on repeat in our heads manifests itself in our body as stress. Only by accepting and supporting wellness can we hope to heal.

Why Wait? Live Now

A few years ago, illustrator Eric Smith was diagnosed with three different types of cancer. Instead of labeling his experience as a negative one and resisting the situation, he embraced it in effort to seek out harmony in his life.

“Having my physical life threatened, provoked within me a strong separation between my spiritual and physical being. Although my physical body was being attacked … my spiritual essence was untouchable.”

Before, he was cruising along through life. His diagnosis challenged him to make a conscious effort to recognize the gift that the situation had given him – the ability to live in and through each and every moment of his life. It led him to launch the Live Now Project – a community of artists that collaborate and share their message through art, storytelling, words of wisdom and more. And oh, what a wonderful message it is.

 

Image Sources

When Everything Goes Wrong, Make Good Art

Neil Gaiman’s trusted words meet the creative mind over at Zen Pencils – Gavin Aung Than of Melbourne, Australia (keeping with the Aussie theme as of late). His admiration for people doing and saying great things led him to start his own business just two months ago. Now he creates “cartoon quotes from inspirational folks” and his work is just great.

10 Ways to Instantly Unleash Your Inner Awesome

1. Smile, sit up straight, look like you want to feel

2. Learn something new

3. Listen to others

4. Appreciate instead of criticize

5. Believe, even if faced with doubt

6. Tell someone how much they mean to you

7. Drink some water

8. Laugh

9. Don’t sweat the small stuff (worrying is like hoping for something you don’t want to happen…to happen)

10. Help somebody out

Not too hard, right?

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I Have a Dream, or two, or three

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of MLK day.

No better way to pay homage than by sharing a dream or two:

I have a dream that the people of this nation recognize that history repeats itself. I hope that we can open our eyes and see that the struggles of the gay rights movement are no different than the struggles of the civil rights movement. Individuals are  fighting to get equal and fair treatment owed to them under the law. I hope we may soon be able to look back and shake our heads over the folly of not recognizing this truth sooner.

I have a dream that we may realize that the “American Dream” never included a provision on blatant arrogance and egoism. I hope that as other nations progress and potentially surpass our status as global superpower, we takes notes on how to improve rather than try to cut down their success. If we attack other nations verbally, physically, or ideologically simply because they stand a chance to rival us, we only promote xenophobia.

I have a dream that future generations may be able to live in a country that champions the health and wellness of its citizens. I hope to see families who ensure that their children stay active, schools that offer vegetables other than pizza to their students, and prescription medications that cost less than the price of  summer beach home on the southern coast.

I have a dream that we all may come to understand that protecting and caring for this earth is a global responsibility. This shared gift is one with an expiration date. If we continue to treat the planet like garbage, that is all it will become.

I have a dream that even with all of the entertainment and ease of communication technology can provide, we acknowledge that there is no substitute for human connection. I hope that we continue to see value in face-to-face conversations, hand-written notes, and random acts of kindness in the future. Even if every three year old starts toting along an iPod to preschool one day, I hope we never forget the importance of forging real relationships and learning from others.

I have a dream that we may finally free ourselves from the shackles of prejudice. I hope we can understand the difference between one “bad person” and an entire community. I hope that we can see that fear begets hatred. And if we allow fear to control us, we will shrink our perspective day by day. We will see only a fraction of options when there are a multitude. May we choose freedom now.

I have a dream today.

Let freedom ring.

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