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In a Day, Inspiration

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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In a Day, Inspiration

Find the Inner Superhero

A little reminder for you and me.

Your life is not little,  and your playing small doesn’t save the world.  Your living large, on the other hand – your being  your true self despite fear, fatigue, doubt and opposition – will serve the world more than you can imagine. In fact, it may help save it. And saving the world, after all, is what all heroes (including you) are here to do.

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Artisan, Behind the Scenes, How Shoes are Made, In a Day

Behind the Scenes: Spring Summer 2013

 

I’d like to share some behind the scenes photos from the shoe factory where I work on the samples and production. I spend many hours here and it’s my favourite place to be. For the coming collection, I worked on a new double-padding insole for extra comfort, improved the cutting and shape of some earlier shoe models, updated the color for the coming season and hand picked some of the finest quality leathers available. Of course I did not manage this alone – there were the manager’s assistant, the pattern-cutter, the sewing guy, the uncle who closed the shoes (lasting), the cleaner and the boxer. 

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In a Day, Inspiration

Eleanor Roosevelt on Happiness, Conformity, and Integrity

Roosevelt writes:

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively. After a short time, a very short time, there would be little that one really enjoyed. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.

[…]

It is easy to slip into self-absorption and it is equally fatal. When one becomes absorbed in himself, in his health, in his personal problems, or in the small details of daily living, he is, at the same time losing interest in other people; worse, he is losing his ties to life. From that it is an easy step to losing interest in the world and in life itself. That is the beginning of death.

I have always liked Don Quixote’s comment, ‘Until death it is all life.’

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: ‘A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.’

But there is another basic requirement, and I can’t understand now how I forgot it at the time: that is the feeling that you are, in some way, useful. Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive. And it is its own reward, as well, for it is the beginning of happiness, just as self-pity and withdrawal from the battle are the beginning of misery.

You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else or a community or a pressure group, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

My weekly read: Brain Pickings.

 

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