Awesome Stories 206

This week Awesome Stories brings you magic gardens, grace, cosmic perspective, beauty, mastery and love.

Magic Gardens
garden magic, Awesome Stories

This is a wonderful story of a teacher who nurtured her vision to create a place of learning and community in what was once a barren school lot. When asked why she wanted to work at Oakland School, Mary Schriner answered “because your school looks like a prison yard and I’d like to change that.” I love the way she inspired and guided her students to become leaders in the school’s gardening efforts. Six years later, her program has become a model for ecoliteracy and creative learning, helping to transform both the food and teaching programs in the Oakland area.

Grace Under Pressure

Anne Lamott is a gifted writer with a talent for wise and poignant reflections on life.This article on grace nudged me to explore her latest book called Small Victories. Her reflections help us find grace in the midst of challenge as we live our messy and fragile lives. Here is one of the many poignant quotes in the book. This one is from a young woman who is dying of cancer.

I have what everyone wants, but no one would be willing to pay. “What do you have?”

The two most important things, …loving myself, and not being afraid of dying.

Pale Blue Dot

Here is a great video from the Sagan Series. When we step back to take the grand cosmic perspective, it helps to see the beauty and grandeur of life. A bigger perspective also shows the futility of wars, tyrants and fighting for a moment of glory on our tiny home in the vast universe of galaxies! Maybe this should be required viewing for all world leaders.  XD

Mastery Through Action

In building on my commitment to action for 2015, here is a helpful article on using consistency to stop procrastination. James Clear writes about the power of consistent action to build the habit of accomplishment, which over time will build the mastery and results we want. His article is based on the life of Jerry Steinfeld, one of the most successful comedians, writers and actors of our generation. Jerry’s tip for comic success is to write jokes every day. James extrapolates that advice to suggest we need consistent action with tasks that are meaningful, yet simple enough to accomplish. To mastery through action!

Ancient BeautyAncient trees, Awesome Stories

I find these photos of trees to be breathtaking. Such beauty and majesty is captured by photographer Beth Moon. She obviously has great passion and patience. Beth Moon has been photographing the world’s oldest trees for 14 years to create a book that honors their ancient beauty. Visit and enjoy her beautiful portfolio.

Champion for Love

In overcoming his own pain, Marc Mero has become a tireless champion for empowering kids to make better choices. He has dedicated himself to helping kids understand the power of choice by creating a non-profit called Champion for Choices. Mark openly shares the impact of his good and bad choices, to show kids a better way to live based on love and empowerment. Watch this touching video that will likely bring tears.

This week I’ve been paying attention to making better choices. May your week be filled with beauty, love and better choices.


29 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 206

  1. Oh, Brad — The Pale Blue Dot really struck a chord after my Cuban experience (blog post coming soon…), and I really enjoyed/needed Seinfeld’s procrastination/productivity advice, but it was Marc’s video (and the way the kids responded) that left me a blubbering mess. Thanks for another inspiring week!

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  2. Great great stories again this week Brad! I love the magic garden story, and of course the ancient tree photos were amazing, but I was also very moved by both of the videos… The Pale Blue Dot really puts things in perspective doesn’t it? And anyone who works with youth is a champion in my book. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these Brad!

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  3. Brad, I enjoyed the way some of the stories in this week’s edition seemed to build on one another. In particular, when I read the description of Mastery Through Action, and then read how Beth worked for fourteen years to create her book, and then thought as I watched a Pale Blue Dot of how much repeated effort on the part of every human was required to develop civilization and culture, it was kind of staggering. The way those stories created echoes through one another was lovely.


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  4. Old trees are really something special … as they get older, you get such a strong sense of their energy. I lost the oldest tree on my property, and still miss it!

    I also love Anne Lamott–so honest! And the side benefit is I feel so together after reading one of her rants 😉

    As far as action, I think the key is to decide what is essential, and commit to doing those things. (Like Nike says …) Every day except Sunday, I have a to-do list of the top 3 things I need to accomplish that day–and at least 95% of the time, they are done by 10 pm (my cutoff time for work). I have also committed to writing every Sunday–or to substitute another day unless I’ve traveling. I wrote 44 Sundays last year, and never missed a week unless I was on the road. This approach works for me 🙂

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  5. The ancient trees are simply beautiful Brad. It is amazing how a photographer has a unique connection with her subject. It’s as if the photographer’s eye looking through the lens of a camera adds a bit of her own life to a still object. You can almost smell the grass and fresh blossoms, feel the cool summer breeze, and see the clouds gently parading across the sky. Beautiful!

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    • Beautifully expressed Dave! I would love to see, feel and photograph some of these places. I miss traveling, exploring and finding beauty to share. I entered a zone when looking for those special “shots”. Thanks for your thoughtful replies Dave. I’m glad to know you. 🙂


  6. WOW Brad… this was an Awesome Post.. and I am still mopping up tears along with those students from your last Video … It was a tough one for me.. You see I tried continually to reach out to my own Mother, who stopped speaking to me.. But I stopped as I was only re-wounding myself..
    She and I were given one last chance to mend the rift one November as we bumped into each other as we rounded a bend in Town.. I spoke.. She didnt and ran in the opposite direction.. The following April, she died..

    We should all remember to Love those around us.. for in a blink of an eye, all can change.

    Exceptional Post Brad..
    Enjoy your weekend my friend..
    Sue 🙂

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  7. Thanks for your open heart Sue. ❤
    I admire you and your efforts with your Mom. Your comments hit close to home for me. My dad and I were not very close growing up, but in my 30's I made an effort to reach out and was able to see more to my Dad than I had previously. For the first time, I had a glimmer of hope for a relationship, but 2 months later he went into a coma and died a few days later. So I totally agree with you on remembering to love and reaching out.

    Thanks for sharing in this precious journey with me. Have a nurturing weekend my friend. 🙂


  8. Just have to thank you for the “Pale Blue Dot” video…it is my all-time favorite, and this evening it is just what I needed (although not knowing it until I saw it here). Beautiful…simply beautiful and no surprise I found it here 🙂

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