American Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square
(Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets)
New York, NY 10023-6214
T 212. 595. 9533
F 212. 595. 6759
How awesome is this 1800 distillery renovation? You have to click through. It’s really cool. Keeping the facade was such genius design.
CATS: Does your cat sleep with the person in the family that is under the most stress or sick? Our cat Karen does this all the time. They are such remarkable pets. Here’s an explanation that made sense to me about their behavior.
“Here’s an unknown tip inside the secret life of cats. All cats are empowered to remove accumulated negative energy from your body on a daily basis. While you are sleeping, they absorb it from your body.
If there is more than one person in the family, and only one cat, it may accumulate an overload of negativity from absorbing energy from so many people. When they sleep, a cat’s body releases the negativity that it removed from you.
If you are extremely stressed out, they may not have had enough time to release this negative energy, therefore it is stored as fat until they can. Therefore, they will become overweight — and you thought it was the food that you were feeding them!”
This morning I found this beautiful cicada. I thought it was dead and I wanted to photograph it with various backgrounds. I lifted it up and it moved. I had to adapt to how I reacted to my discovery. As I got on the ground to take photographs I thought about how different it looks with slight shifts in my perspective. 1) I was close enough that I could see the intricate detail on the wings. 2) When I stood up and took photographs of it, suddenly it didn’t even seem very interesting to me. 3) When I walked across the yard it basically disappeared to me. This made me think.
In our lives when we’re so close to something we can lose perspective and get lost in whatever it is. It looms so large. Simply can’t be ignored. However, when we step back a little bit and try to look from slightly different angles, we can start seeing other possibilities. And when we pull our observation away even further we can get a greater understanding of what is happening all around us. Here’s an example.
1) Your teenager always leaves dishes in the living room. When you see them it really makes you angry. It feels disrespectful and you want to make your feelings known. Loudly.
2) Your kid then steps in the door—Hi Mom, I had a great day, X happened and I’m hungry and I have homework, (A step back. A different perspective.) OK, my child has a lot on their plate too.
3) Sitting at dinner your child shares something they are concerned about and you have a discussion. (A step even further back. Hummm, maybe in light of these other things happening in my teenager’s life, fighting about a glass or mug left in the living room has me focused on the wrong things right now.)
NOTE: I am not saying I am always good at this. However, for so many events in our lives, stepping back keeps us from taking things so personally. This can help us see events through a different lens and open us up to seeing other options.
This morning I went to an “innovation breakfast” in Burlington, Vermont. The speaker was Warren Berger talking about his book “A More Beautiful Question” inspired by e.e. cummings. “Always the beautiful answer / who asks a more beautiful question.”
Here is the link to the author’s website: http://amorebeautifulquestion.com/
I am looking forward to diving into Warren’s book. Everything he talked about had no parameters—this is applicable to all of our relationships-kids, partners, friends, family or business. Thematically I am a sucker for far reaching messages.
The discussion was great and it confirmed something I’ve been telling my kids, mostly my 14 year old daughters a lot lately. The smartest person in the room is always the person asking the most questions. Genuine inquiry is where true connection resides. I also remind them that a few of their favorite grown-up women in the entire universe ask questions all the time. These women don’t let things hang in a conversation that they are uncertain about. They ask. They don’t worry about looking foolish, or being too personal—they are genuinely inquisitive and interested in people. These remarkable women are storytellers and have taught me so much about drawing people out and allowing people to feel safe to open up or share information.
I think this is a very good question to ponder today:
After a wonderfully dense four hour conversation this morning with two very smart thoughtful friends over coffee, pastry and strawberries I learned of the book: The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. I wanted to give you a quick visual for the basis of the book. I personally need to use this pie chart as a quick visual reminder for my own happiness and choices.
“But what precisely can we do to hasten or bolster such increases in happiness? The answer lies in the pie chart theory of happiness. Recall that 50 percent of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10 percent by life circumstances, and the remaining 40 percent by what we do and how we think-that is, our intentional activities and strategies.” Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside
OUR HAPPINESS IS WITHIN OUR POWER TO CHANGE not an entirely predetermined way of life. Let that marinade in your brain a while OR put that in your pipe and smoke it. Whatever resonates more for you. It might sound ridiculous, but some little changes could net big gains in your happiness level. Maybe worth a shot, huh?
Here’s the link to the book: