I feel good today

The objects in our environment can positively influence our mood and this 3D wall art, “I feel good today” by artist Niels Bruschke of Santiago Design does just that.  The whimsical wall decor uses a bicycle as the focal point and gives customers a daily dose of optimism alongside their morning java at erste liebe a popular coffee bar located in Hamburg, Germany.

How are you feeling today?

Love Ever After

Go ahead and call me a silly romantic but I believe in everlasting love.  I enjoy hearing stories of how couples met and I get teary-eyed whenever I see an elderly man and woman walking hand-in-hand. So I needed a box of tissue today when I discovered on Kickstarter this inspiring photography project (which you can help fund) called     Love Ever After:

Inspired by the discovery of her grandparents’ love letters, Lauren Fleischman has spent the last three years photographing and interviewing NYC-area couples who have been together for over 50 years. The resulting collection will make your heart warm and eyes misty: a series of visual love letters that prove, no matter who you are or where you’re from, we can all relate to a little thing called “love.”

“April 14th will be our 68th wedding anniversary. That’s right, you heard it! Friends ask me how I managed to get someone like Jean. So I have one expression. I prayed well.”        Abe Small, March 2, 2011.

“We met when we lived in China. I was on vacation in another town and we only saw each other for three days. We lived very far apart and so, when I returned home, we sent letters. At that time we didn’t even have a telephone! We wrote letters each week but it took about 20 days for our letters to reach each other. We did this for five years.”                              Jin Lin Chen, March 15, 2011.

Sam and Grace Goldstein photographed in Midwood, Brooklyn                                  Grace: “We met Labor Day weekend in September and he proposed to me two weeks later on my birthday. He took me to a French restaurant. My father and my brother and my sister objected because I didn’t know him that well but instinctively as a Libra I felt that he was the right person. So they objected but I felt that it was the right thing. My feeling was that if I made a mistake it would be my mistake and I’d only have myself to blame. If I didn’t marry him and I didn’t meet anyone else that equalled the way I felt for him I would always blame my family. So I took it upon myself to say yes.”

“Everyday my wife expresses her love for me. She says, did I tell you how much I love you today? Everyday. Everyday she says that.”                                                                      Moe Rubenstein, August 24, 2008.  

Can’t get enough true love? Watch the video here. All photographs are copyright Lauren Fleishman.

Please share the love (and this post) with all the happily married couples you know, both young and young at heart. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

p.s. Almost 14 years ago I was blessed with the infinite good luck to marry my best friend and soul mate. Happy Valentine’s Day Rabbit! xox

No regrets

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done

than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Lucille Ball

Last week a friend sent me a link to a blog called Inspiration and Chai by Bonnie Ware. For many years she worked in palliative care and has written a book that explores the 5 most common regrets of the dying. Surprisingly, the most common regrets were not the things people had done, but what they hadn’t.  

With the intention of avoiding having one of these common regrets as my own, I decided to write (and share) this list of corresponding antidotes:

5 Ways to Live Life with No Regrets

  1. Be true to yourself; pursue your passions.
  2. Don’t work too hard; spend quality time with the people you love.
  3. Express yourself honestly; you can’t please everyone.
  4. Make the effort to stay in touch with old friends.
  5. Let yourself be happy. Adults need laughter and silliness too.

p.s. Click here to view the 5 most common regrets of the dying; it’s an interesting read.

More Kindness

On Saturday, January 21st around 10:30pm I was shivering cold waiting for the Spadina streetcar to arrive. I had been standing at the King street platform in the center of the road for just a few minutes when a young man in his early twenties wearing jeans and a gray hoodie loudly knocked on the platform’s acrylic glass wall behind me.  I turned around a little startled and he said: “The streetcar isn’t running tonight. You’ll have to take the bus. I’ve been waiting for over 20 minutes and nobody told me.”

“Thanks for letting me know!” I gratefully replied as the bus pulled up. We both rushed across the street and made it just inside the doors before it pulled away.

That stranger’s small act of kindness left a BIG IMPACT on me. He not only saved me a lot of time waiting outside in the cold, he reaffirmed my belief that the world is a friendly place as long as we each do our part to make it that way.

Please take a moment to watch this uplifting video on Kindness created by the Smart Bubble Society and New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Enjoy and be kind!

Famous Late Bloomers

Have you ever imagined yourself playing the guitar, learning to speak Italian, writing a novel, running a marathon, or starting your own business? Well what’s really stopping you?

These famous individuals were all late bloomers:

  • Actor Alan Rickman (of Die Hard and Harry Potter fame) didn’t begin his acting career until he was 28. He didn’t get his first real break into theatre until he was in his 40s.
  • Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen did not release his first album until he was 32.
  • Anthony Burgess, the novelist best known for A Clockwork Orange, published his first novel at age 39.
  • Clint Eastwood, the oldest person to win the Academy Award for Best Director, directed his first film at 41.
  • Writer Laura Ingalls Wilder became a columnist in her forties, but did not publish her first novel in the Little House series of children’s books until her 60s.
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken icon Colonel Sanders began his franchise in his 60s.
  • Frank McCourt didn’t publish his first book Angela’s Ashes (which he later won the Pulitzer Prize) until he was 66.
  • The classic late bloomer is American folk-artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses (better known as Grandma Moses) whose painting career began in her 70s after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis.

Remember, it’s never too late to start living your dream.

secrets to eternal youth

I believe that the secret to a long, happy life lies in simplicity and beauty and this short film reaffirms that belief.

Shot in Fire Island, New York, this inspiring short film (4 min. 23 sec) created by artist and filmmaker Julia Warr captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old.

 “My secret to long life is simplicity, work and enjoyment.” Maia Helles

Maia’s beauty shines not only from within, but inhabits her home and everything she makes. She’s my kind of role model.

Attaboy!

It’s the first week of a brand new month, in a brand new year and I should be full of enthusiasm, ready to write the next chapter in my life – but instead I’m hesitant.

I know I’m feeling this way because I have high hopes for 2012 and in order to achieve my new goals, I’m asking myself to take an even BIGGER STEP out of my comfort zone than I have before. So for the past few days I’ve been trying to give myself a little positive encouragement.

The term attaboy is often used to express encouragement, approval or admiration. Coincidentally, it’s also a song title on Yo-Yo Ma’s latest recording: The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

For me, this music is pure magic. It has the power to lighten my mood and alter my physical state, so that I can use my imagination in a positive, constructive way. (Note: A book I read recently said that stress is the result of using our imagination to think of negative outcomes).

It’s not surprising that the word HARMONY means both ‘tuneful sound’ and ‘internal calm’. So if you’re feeling on the same wavelength, you might consider finding some new music that makes you feel harmonious.

Go ahead and watch this video for Attaboy and see for yourself.