Vincent Van Gogh: String of Failures

vincent van gogh

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.”

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.”

“In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically.”

“Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.”

All quotes by Vincent Van Gogh


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Is Your Mind Dirty?

dirty mind

A dirty mind is like a dirty glass.

What if you never washed your glass before drinking your next drink?

Or your bowl/plate before your next meal?

Can you visualize how your leftover green smoothie would contaminate your tea or coffee?

Or how the juicy melon salad you had for breakfast would not mix well with the savory curry noodles you’ll be having for dinner?

If you don’t clear out and complete your previous experiences, you will not be able to fully enjoy the present.

What is presently happening is something totally new and different, but if it’s viewed or created through the filter of your past, it will look like more of the same — or worse — a muddy mess, because it’s smothered by your past.

Ask yourself if you struggle with the same things you have been working with for years.

Clean your mind. Don’t be afraid to wash the glass until it is completely clear. You’ll now be able to pour in something new and savor the experience fully.

Be the space for something amazing to happen. Accept this moment for what it is (unique and special) and completely let go of what was.

This blog post was written in 2011. I thought it would be great to share it again.


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Change Your Focus, Change Your Life

road in a rural area with a nice blue sky

Want your relationship to fail? Focus on what isn’t working.

Want your life to feel like drudgery? Focus on what isn’t working.

Want to feel like there’s no way to win? Focus on what isn’t working.

When Mario Andretti (super-famous race car driver) was asked, after all of his years of racing and success, what his greatest lesson and piece of advice was, his answer was very simple… “Don’t look at the wall.”

If you are blazing down a racetrack at 200 miles per hour — don’t look at the wall! Keep your eyes on the road. Don’t waver, don’t worry. Keep your focus on where you are going, and where you ultimately want to be.

Your car is like an extension of your body, and your body follows the same principles as your life — your focus leads the way.

If you focus on what isn’t working, or what you don’t want, or what you don’t have — that’s what you’ll get! And lots more just like it.

You have to put your horse blinders on and have faith. Focus on what’s working for you. Focus on what’s great. Focus on what you love. Focus on what you want. Hold your attention there, repeatedly. Trust where it’s leading you.

Where your attention goes, it grows.

Like begets like.

Someone asked me once what advice I have for people that are going through a bought of depression. I said there is only one thing that works to swiftly change a negative mind-state… Gratitude.

As quickly as you can, begin to move into a state of appreciation. Even if it feels contrived at first. You have to immediately change your focus to what is good in your life.

Maybe your girlfriend left you — but the couch you are sitting on feels so soft!

Maybe you lost your job — but your still have your legs!

Try as best as you can to embrace and love what’s working in your life.

How does the perfect temperature water feel on your skin when you take a shower?

How good is a cold refreshing drink on a hot day?

Get your mind off of what isn’t working and keep it on what does work. As best and as much as you can.

Your attention really matters.

If things are really hard for you right now, what’s soft? What’s good? What do you want more of?

Focus on the road you want to travel. Focus on where you want to be. Focus on what’s good. Focus on what you love. …You’ll get lots more of it.

I know this advice seems silly or super-simple, but people thought the same thing about Mario Andretti’s advice. What! After all those years of racing, and all of that success — all you have to offer is, “Don’t look at the wall”?

Yep. Believe it or not. Sometimes the very answers we are looking for are the ones that we completely ignore. Because they seem too simple, too good to be true.

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Love to Ferment? Sorta Techy? Great!

ferment kefir water

Fizz, foam, bubble, froth. It seems like there is always a new adventure brewing in my life — but this time it’s literal.

I’ve been wanting to work with fermented foods for a long time. Because of travel (living in 3 U.S. states in 3 years), I was never settled or spacious enough to begin the exploration. Now that I’ve finally established a home in Northern California (in the Napa Valley), I’m finally getting around to it.

This month I started two batches of water kefir (not milky yogurt, just bubbly water) and two batches of kombucha (simple black tea, with a piece of a 28 year old mother scoby.) Next I would like to explore kimchi and sauerkraut. And after that, I’m sure there’ll be much more!

If you are a fermenter or know someone who is, or know of great books/blogs/websites I should check out — please let me know. I would love to connect! You can leave a message below, or you can email me directly. We can build a little fermenter buddy community!

In general, I’ll update everyone as the process and adventure unfolds. Ideally I’d like to post weekday updates on Instagram. This way, for those that have absolutely no interest in making any of these foods, but would love to see updates of the process, or simply see what I am up to — they can still be part of it. I’ll be working on an Instagram account in the coming weeks.

And while were on the topic, I’d love to connect with Instagram hobbyists (or pros) as well. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the pics from my digital Canon camera on to Instagram (because I rarely take photos with my iPhone.) I’ve tried numerous ways, and so far, no luck. So if anyone is really good at this sort of thing (Instagram hacking, etc.), or is super-techy in general — please reach out. Maybe we can work out a trade? I can send you some handmade gifts, in exchange for your help. Another option would be online meditation. I could teach you to meditate, or if you already have a meditation practice, we could schedule some fun meditation sessions. The possibilities are endless! I’m open to whatever would be a good trade for your Instagram help and encouragement.

Wishing everyone a happy summer. May it be your best one yet!

Feel free to message or email me with what you have brewing this summer. Maybe it’s not a drink with something floating in it, or a high-tech Instagram account — maybe it’s something totally different. If so, that would be great! Just keep the adventures rolling & unfolding. And reach out if you’d like. I’m always happy to hear from you. :)


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You Are Amazing

you are amazing

Today I sent my mom an email, thanking her for the great idea/helpful tip she had a few days ago. The subject line of the email read; You Are Amazing. After I sent it, I thought of the other people I spoke to or emailed with over the last few days. Then I thought of my Sunday blog, and the readers/friends I connect with there. I thought to myself… everyone should know that they are amazing. I should tell them too! So here I am. I’m here to tell you that… YOU ARE AMAZING.

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Andy J. Miller: You Are Infinite

face the unknown.pngandy j miller pizzaworld view visiondream the futuredream worldyou are illustrationface your fearsobstacle opportunityfreak flag weirdyou can do thisandy creative peptalk

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Viktor Frankl: The Final Wisdom

viktor frankl quotes

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.”

“Even when it is not fully attained, we become better for striving for a higher goal.”

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”

All quotes by Viktor Frankl


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