Awesome Stories 237

This week Awesome Stories brings you kindness, Landspeak, dreamscapes, heart-centered living and gratitude.

Kindness Returned kindness, Awesome Stories

This is a wonderful story of kindness shared and multiplied. When Liz Woodward decided to pay for the meal of two firefighters to acknowledge all they do for the community, she never expected anything in return. The two fireman were very touched by Liz’s note and kindness. Tim Young and Paul Hullings posted their appreciation on social media to encourage folks to visit the diner where Liz worked. Then Tim and Paul found out that Liz’s father was a quadriplegic and Liz was trying to raise money for a wheelchair accessible van. They got back on social media and asked people to support Liz and her father. Within days, they had raised $70,000, well beyond the $17,000 goal.

Do You Speak Nature?

This article is both inspiring and disturbing. As a culture, we are moving further from nature in both our language and actions. Being a nature nut, I sometimes forget that most people don’t appreciate nature as I do. Many words for nature are being dropped from dictionaries each year, while new ones are being added to reflect our growing cultural orientation with the technical and virtual worlds. As Robert MacFarlane reminds us, words have power and rich cultural words for nature (Landspeak) can evoke our imaginations and deeper relationship with nature. Rich words like Blinter, meaning “the radiance of winter stars on a clear night.” I’m putting Robert’s new book, Landmark, on my reading list!

Awesome Artdreamscapes, Awesome Stories

Talk about dedication to her art! Korean artist, JeeYoung Lee, spends months creating fantastical dreamscapes in her tiny studio. The sets are a labor of love when most would choose to use digital creations. She spends weeks or even months creating the scenes to photograph. Lee’s photographs are an attempt to share artistic reflections on her life and Korean fables. I find her images both whimsical and haunting. Enjoy!

Heart Centered Living

I appreciate the author’s aspiration to live a more compassionate and engaged life in service of solving world problems like hunger. Like Kentaro Toyama, I aspire to live a more heart-centered life. And like Kentaro, I fall short. Read his interesting reflections on making difficult decisions in the face of so many world problems and how much we can take on personally. I also appreciate his humility in acknowledging that he hasn’t gotten as far as he’d like, but the willingness to keep improving. As Kentaro stated, ultimately, it’s not about technological solutions, but how much we align our hearts, minds and will with helping others.

Gratitude Practices

I’ve written about gratitude many times and sometimes even remember to practice! There is no doubt that I feel better when I practice gratitude and put my energy toward finding things that I like, appreciate and value. So why don’t I practice more? I don’t really know, but here are four good strategies to practice gratitude. I think I’ll practice #3 with more savoring. What is your favorite gratitude practice?

May we find more to savor and appreciate in our lives. blessings, Brad 

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47 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 237

  1. All of the stories are very inspiring….live the firefighters and the diner!! Gratitude: all four are spot on. Interesting that studies are finding the philosophy of gratefulness so healthy in that it is repeated throughout the bible to give thanks first and foremost. The fourth aspect of saying thank you…..it is such an easy thing to do, yet incredibly powerful! Great post Brad….thank you for what you do!

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  2. Amazing how a little kindness goes a long way and how the ripple effect escalates.. Wonderful how that one act of kindness created more to be brought her way. 🙂
    And I love Nature too Brad.. its sad how many are forgetting we are part of nature and not a virtual reality screen..
    And that Art creation Wow. how clever is that.. Thank you dear Brad.. I am always in ‘Gratitude’ for your posts,, you bring such Kindness, compassion and Love into each of them..
    Blessings to you and Yours..
    Sue

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      • Well, I hear you. I’m actually writing a book right now to help people with their practices …largely because I myself have a hard time sticking with such things! But also because I see how necessary it is – with my clients in my Coaching work – in order to really move us forward. Accountability and support – those are the two main things I find most of us are missing when we try to go it alone. Keep at it though…maybe this conversation planted a seed! 😊

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  3. Looooove the firefighter story — of course, I’m partial to life-saving peeps in uniform! I agree with you, the Korean artist’s work is whimsical…the one with the ravens haunting. As for practicing gratitude, I go with #4. It’s a sad how few people expect to be thanked and how happy they are when it happens. I know when passengers depart my plane and take a second (and that’s ALL it takes!!!) to smile, look me in the eye, and utter that magically transformative word… it fills my heart with joy!!! Thanks Brad! 😘

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    • To my fun and kind life-saving peep in uniform. Please send help. 🙂 I need rescuing from my lack of clarity and motivation to decide and create a new work direction. Thanks for your continued compassion, joy and reminders that some people are living their dreams and values. Kudos to you Shauna. ❤

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  4. I was struck by the “Landspeak” article in Orion Magazine and it reminded me so much of the book “Last Child in the Woods: Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Unbelievable that common tree and plant names are taken out of the Jr. dictionary, making nature even more remote as the language is removed from easy access.

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  5. What great stories this week, Brad. As a fellow ‘nature nut’ I definitely ‘speak nature’ and am sad to hear that many of the words for nature are being dropped from the dictionaries. Dictionaries are things that should only be added to, not reduced. That makes no sense to me.
    I loved seeing the artistic expressions of JeeYoung Lee and think her creations are so amazing, especially in today’s digital age. Just wow…
    I also enjoyed the article on gratitude practices and was glad to hear that you ‘sometimes even remember to practice’ the things you’ve shared on gratitude in the past. 😉 I just filled my gratitude journal this morning and was so amazed to look back on all the entries over the past three years of practicing writing in it each day – so many wonderful things to be thankful for! 🙂
    Hope your week is off to a good start so far my friend…

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    • I’m with you Julie. Why don’t we just add words and let the dictionary get bigger, wiser and more inclusive. How wonderful that you are so dedicated with your gratitude journal. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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  6. Brad, thanks for another batch of inspiration. I loved JeeYoung Lee’s art, especially the rich variety you find when following that link. I’m impressed by the dedication it takes to put together such comprehensive works, and love the way she places herself in them. (At least I think she did… Someone is in there!) They are interesting reflections on the various worlds in which we live… all of them somehow overlaid and intersecting…

    Peace,
    Michael

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  7. Thank you Brad! Again some wonderful examples of the human nature that still exists amidst all these tragic goings on. I look forward to reading Toyama’s work, had a quite look and appears very interesting. These little snippets are like my personal choices I don’t have time to find, eve form website I alway mean to looks at, and I thank you for that!

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