Bite-sized Wisdom: Keller

Doubt sneaking in? Remember that you have a powerful tool at hand that is ready to go into action for you at any time. Words from this wise and empowering woman:

imagine

Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend.

– Helen Keller


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The Only Risk of Knowledge is That You’ll Learn Something

Ooo dangerous.
Gujurat, India

Stuck mulling over the same ol’ field of thinking? Getting restless is a good sign.
It means your brain is craving for something more.

Challenge it.

Get that Ivy League education you always wanted. For free. Online. (Welcome to the future y’all)

Devour books old and new like they were going out of style. Kindle, you ain’t got nothing on nostalgia.

Remind yourself of Jefferson’s Democracy in less than 15 minutes with amazingly accessible YouTube crash courses.

The world is only getting larger and more easy to tap into every day.

What seeds of ideas have you planted lately?

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Leggo My Ego: Mindfulness in the Time of Frozen Waffles

How to Become an Egotistical Monster in 7 Steps or Less!

1. Become Ravenous for Online Attention. Base your mood on whether or not someone liked, commented, or championed something you wrote (or that you found and appropriated as your own). Question everything about yourself if you do not receive the stamp of approval you desperately seek.

2. Assume that Other People’s Emotions or Actions Have to Do Entirely with You.  Ignore the fact that others might be caught up in their own lives and that could seep into their exchanges with you. Treat a negative conversation as an excuse to start feeling sorry for yourself indefinitely.

3. Steer All Conversations Back Towards You. You’ve got the most interesting life anyways, right? Act surprised when others are suddenly disinterested in a person who takes no interest in getting to know them.

4. Spend All of Your Time Patting Your Back Over Past Successes. Get comfortable with the idea that you’ve already grown as much as a human being can grow. Rest on those laurels now.

5. See Everyone as a Competitor. Get angry if someone else receives a gift or an opportunity that you have been coveting. Convince yourself you deserved it more and find no possible way to feel happy for that person, let alone inspired by them.

6. Forget that Someone Else May Know More Than You. Be ashamed to ask for help and assume that you can outsmart anyone in a room. Flaunt this God-like intelligence and try to constantly catch others in their folly. That’ll show ‘em.

7. Practice those Do, Re, MeMeMeMeMeMe’s. Sing the song of your own brilliance, hog the mic and never let the spotlight hit anyone else. Barely notice when your world starts shrinking to include just a faint glow around yourself.

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Bite-sized Wisdom: Lawrence

This playwright puts it simply and offers a reminder that there’s always more to learn. Here’s to the endless quest for knowledge.

“The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool.”

– Jerome Lawrence

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Melbourne: Paint by Colors

Melbourne easily earns the title of one of the hippest little cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Artsy, intellectual, sprawling, and fast-paced, this place is truly world-class. A pal of mine moved to Australia earlier this year, and she has since made Melbourne her home.

We ran all around trying to jam pack the “true Australian experience” into a few days and she was an absolutely phenomenal host. We fed wallabies, caught some awesome films at the St. Kilda Film Festival, watched the tiny blue penguins (600 of them!) come in at dusk on Phillip Island, took in some contemporary galleries, noshed on scones while discussing countries’ “Gross National Coolness” at the Next Wave Festival, and got entirely too little sleep. But oh, it was worth it.

And because photos sometimes tell the story better than words can, I give you the full spectrum of Melbourne – in technicolor!

Kiwis and Cafes and Raptors

Home again. What a whirlwind of a week – full of hiking, exploring, getting lost in, and falling in love with two new places: New Zealand and Australia.

Wellington, heart of New Zealand

First off, let’s chat about New Zealand. Can I just say how incredible the little city of Wellington is? A town bursting with brilliant culture and knowledge-hungry individuals, this waterfront treasure is also New Zealand’s capital.

-Must Do’s-

Te Papa: Usually I won’t spend too much time in museums when travelling abroad since I think diving into the country itself is the best way to learn about its history. But for someone who knew very little about the Kiwi culture, the national museum, Te Papa,  was the perfect crash course to bring me up to speed. It gives you a run down on the native Maori people vs. Europeans, explains that a pretty giant fault line bisects the North and South islands (that’s led to about 4 earthquakes in the past two weeks), and shows that the people take great pride in their gorgeous land. That last one was learned through discussions with people at the museum, not off the notes lining the walls, but needless to say, this place was rad. Oh, and don’t miss the Collosal Squid!

Cafe Culture: Wellington’s well-known for its love of good food and even better places to eat it in. Every cafe has a feel all of its own and serves up everything from delicious mochaccinos with fresh homemade marshmallows to breakfast burritos with ridiculously fresh ingredients. Never a shortage of good places to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or grab a bite to eat.

Wellington’s Waterfront: Vibrant both morning and night, the waterfront is the star of the town. Couples stroll together in the early morning, kayakers make their way into the water by noon, buskers come out to entertain with a song or two by mid afternoon, and runners keep the boardwalk alive well after sundown. And as if that’s not enough, the walk is also dotted with these quotes from writers carved into giant blocks of stone. Finding them all along the waterfront was a fun and wonderful challenge.

Botanical Gardens: At the top of the city sits these gorgeous sprawling gardens. You can take an hour or a few to wander through them and catch some of the best views of the entire downtown Wellington below. Little pink flower stamps mark out the way down the hill so you can find your way through the numerous paths.

Zealandia: Guys, this place was essentially Jurassic Park…minus the raptors. A billionaire botanist decides he wants to turn back the clock and restore New Zealand to what it was thousands of years ago, so he creates a park in order to do so. Did you know all the life on the islands evolved without mammalian predators? Neither did I. What this means is that the birds, reptiles, insects, and plants were the only ones duking it out until the Europeans dropped off a few rats and other hairy creatures on their first voyage there. Meaning the birds here, while not super capable in a possum fight, are some of the most intense and unique I’ve ever seen. And only a degree or two away from raptors.

Wellington stole my heart, but it wasn’t the only one. Stay tuned tomorrow for more about Australia!

Bite-sized Wisdom: Ruhl

Feeling a little off or disconnected? Try creating something. It can be tiny. It can be silly. No matter its size or import, it will still allow you to revisit that part of yourself that you’re missing. 

“Art is a way of freezing time, or extending time. … It’s another way to bridge the gaps between us.”

– Sarah Ruhl


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How Do You Measure Success?

Does no good to compare when everyone is on their own unique path to success. Should you lay these paths out side by side, you will see they are all equally fulfilling. Choose your own, mix and match, and remember that your success story may not look a thing like someone else’s.

Bite-sized Wisdom: T.S. Eliot

This man takes a careful lens to the intricacies that make up our lives. Here’s to always finding adventure and sources of wonder.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

– T. S. Eliot

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Love Lessons from Stoppard

From “The Invention of Love,” a play in which Stoppard focuses on Latin-scholar Housman’s life and his relationships with his peers and professors (including Pater, Wilde, and Ruskin).

He postulates on the catalysts for this crazy little thing we call love:

“They loved, and quarreled, and made up, and loved, and fought, and were true to each other and untrue. She made him the happiest man in the whole world and the most wretched, and after a few years she died, and then, when he was thirty, he died, too. But by that time Catullus had invented the love poem.”

A great deal of the play concerns itself with the importance of education – even outside of the typical confines of the university. This passage is easily one of my favorites:

“The Renaissance teaches us that the book of knowledge is not to be learned by rote but is to be written anew in the ecstasy of living each moment for the moment’s sake. Success in life is to maintain this ecstasy, to burn always with this hard gem-like flame. Failure is to form habits. To burn with a gem-like flame is to capture the awareness of each moment; and for that moment only. To form habits is to be absent from those moments. How may we always be present for them?—to garner not the fruits of experience but experience itself?”

This play was another one of my gifts from the holiday season. While not as famous as some of his other works (Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), I’ve found it to be immersive and quite moving. If you’re in the mood for an intellectual and imaginative journey with Mr. Stoppard, this one is a good bet.