50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#27

“Even though we are all different, we are all the same.  We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are.”


One of the greatest challenges in life is cooperative interaction with others. We hit walls we don’t want to climb and cross bridges we don’t want to meet…half…way. We guard our personalities and beliefs with our life.

Why? It took a long time to figure out who we are and no one is going to mess with that…right?

However, sometimes we have to step out of our deep rooted convictions and venture into neutral territories. It is in this place that we will find one thing in common. When we look underneath egos and actions, we will find the vulnerability that makes all of us human….the need to be validated and loved.

This is where hearts will align.. in spite of ourselves.



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There are no walls in the forest

Where eagles rise with the tailwinds

And chlorophyll canopies shadow dance

Over moss carpet floors


Morning glory knows no barriers

Roots of the gnarled oak

Venture out in every direction

Baring their bones to the sun


Willows welcome the lark’s sweet song

Arms reach out without thought

Embracing those that walk peaceful paths

Embracing those that do not



Sustainable Equilibrium

A thoughtful post by Brenda Barrett discusses the possibility that restrained growth may be the new normal.

I tend to agree and believe that it is very important that we as individuals, communities and countries embrace new models of living based on sustainability. This is what I am calling sustainable equilibrium. 

In other words, will we live in harmony with our precious planet, exercising balance and constraint?


I hold hope and vision for a sustainable future based on gentler ways of living with more sharing, cooperation, focus on quality of life and the good of all society and planet as our guides. May we move away from focusing on the accumulation of wealth, economic growth and individual gain as our main guides and gods. They have proved to be false gods. Much like the ego, they don’t embrace the power and potential of the whole. -muse brad

Brenda refers to the ideas of Nate Hagen about our current situation. He believes that economic growth may be fading away due to over-consumption of resources, negative environmental impacts like climate change, and excess debt. He argues that we have maxed out on economic growth and resource consumption. She also sites a book by Tim Jackson who believes that we need to re-define prosperity as something that is more meaningful, less materialistic and less reliant on growth.

Japan gives us clues as to how we might face this new model of living. Despite little to no economic growth for two decades, Japan has adjusted and continued to bring quality of life to most of it’s citizens.  Of course, it helps that they have a cultural bias toward living for the good of society. Brenda also quotes Junko Edahiro who suggests the need to live for happiness and higher purpose. A higher purpose that can replace the goals of personal gain and country economic growth with ones that benefit all.

As we evolve individually and collectively toward more holistic ways of living that include the good of each other and the planet, we will be inspired to design new and better ways of living sustainably. I’m game. Are you?

Here are two fun videos on whimsy to remind us the joy of creativity well applied.

Let’s use our creativity to design fun, sustainable ways of living for a sustainable equilibrium.


Writing to Freedom

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We Speak

We speak
We soothe, we comfort,
We bring hope where there is despair
We bring life where there is death
We speak

We speak in the voices of our ancestors
We strengthen, we encourage
We bring passion where there is apathy
We bring wisdom where there is confusion
We speak

We speak in the voices of our future
We enlighten, we educate
We bring guidance where there is no direction
We bring light where there is darkness
We speak

We speak to raise new voices
We speak to tell different stories
And so we speak

© Shery Alexander Heinis

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i think everything in life is art.



i think everything in life is art. what you do. how you dress. the way you love someone,
and how you talk. your smile and your personality. what you believe in, and all your dreams.
the way you drink your tea. how you decorate your home. what fonts you use. how you express yourself.
your style. your minimalist ways. the food you share. the way you feel. your expression of emotions. all of that is art to me. I see you as art.

i love the art that is you.

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A Cry for Peace: What Did We Do Wrong?

  • Joe


Cry For Peace

Laughter is one of the great joys of life. But it’s hard to laugh when so many people are suffering. The world cannot exist solely on jokes. I do not feel like being funny today.

A person is molded by their experiences, by their family and friends and upbringing. I also believe that the culture of the times shapes us. Although my birth coincided with the birth of Rock and Roll, something for which I am forever grateful, I would have to say that the 60’s was the decade that affected my personality the most.

The 60’s was a turbulent, violent time. The Middle East was a hotbed of conflict; and wars could be found at many places across the globe. The Cold War was at its apex, nearly brining up to the brink of nuclear conflict. And people fought for equal rights, decency and fairness. Does this sound familiar?

I cannot turn on the television set without shedding a tear every time I watch the news today. The Middle East still smolders with hatred and fighting. Blood is being shed on soil, both foreign and domestic. And the Cold War is dangerously icing up once again.

The miraculous thing about the 60’s was that this violent time spawned the peace movement. That movement took hold in our young people and spread.  It seemed to be everywhere: in the movies, in the music and in our collective consciousness. But where is it now?  What changed, and what did we do wrong? I would have thought that the “peace generation” would have raised an even more peaceful one; one that did not have to fight for equality or a just world. I thought that by now we would have achieved this, but clearly we have not.

What has changed? Information.  We are bombarded by every negative event, picture and thought that happens worldwide. It is “the nature of the game.” It sells newspapers, keeps us glued to our screens, and keep the fear-mongering politicians in office. The world as a whole may be a safer, more peaceful place than it was, but we would never know it by the type on information that flows.

So, what did we do wrong? Nothing. One can never be wrong when trying to do what is right.  The ONLY thing we can do wrong is to give up, to stop trying to achieve peace all over the planet. We may never get there: peace may be an impossibility, but we must never give up. For if we do, that is the time to hang our heads in shame.

Don’t give up!   Peace!


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Are You Looking the Right Way?



Here we are, in the depths of winter. The snow is falling and at least half of the country is frozen solid.  So I ask this question: how are you doing?

We are all roughly in the same boat.  We experience similar things over the course of a lifetime.  No one is exempt from hardship, sickness, or struggle.  Yet some of us flourish, while others spiral into depression. What is the secret?


I found myself in a strange position yesterday. I found myself bathed in a peaceful euphoria.  No matter what happened or what I did, I felt good. Naturally, being a curious person, I wondered what had changed.  Surely, I thought, I there must be something in my life that helped me feel this way – and there was. The answer is so ridiculously simple: lately I had begun doing a lot more things for other people. I was giving, not receiving.

Why Does This Work?

The answer to this, too, is simple. When we feel bad, we think about ourselves and the emotions that run through our hearts and minds.  We think of what we need, and what we would like to happen.  This is our ego controlling us.  The ego is “self” and when we are self-centered, we are not thinking thoughts of love.  Does the word “selfish” ring a bell?

As soon as we draw our focus to others, we change our lives. And the more we center our thoughts around love – helping others, doing for others, improving the lives of others – we build our life upon the light that it brings to the world.


It has been said that the greatest gift is to give, not to receive. This is completely true in every sense of the word. How many people have you touched?  How many lives have you improved? How many smiles did you put upon the faces of others?

Think about how you felt when you did this.  Wasn’t it the best feeling that you ever had?


My thought for today is this: bring love into your equation.  Make it the center of all that you do. If you do, you will be amazed at how things change: the people around you, the world, and even yourself. Share your love.

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