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Welcome to Positive Practice Living

Welcome to Positive Practice Living. This is my positive place to take a minute and breathe. I share my thoughts and experiences as I try to understand the world around me. I am a writer, a yogi, a mother, a wife and so much more. I believe in the power of love and I struggle constantly to balance doing too much and then doing too little. I write about all of these things. I do what I can to intentionally find a little bit of inspiration in the everyday.

What I've Been Up To: Instagram @ladyanda

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

{Wordless Wednesday} I Painted A Thing...


I painted a thing...

I don't really consider myself a painter, but I do love getting out my brushes and paints once in a while and being creative. I love the "paint n' sip" studios that seem to be everywhere these days. That is where I got enough confidence to do, basically, the same thing at home.

I created this piece the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day. I call it, "Cat Overlooking a Clover Field." Not that original, but still, I had fun painting and that is really all that matters.

Do you paint, draw, or do other creative endeavors? I'd love to hear how you let your imagination run away! Happy Wednesday!



Now it's time for some Wordless Wednesday Fun!


Link up with the direct link to your post(s) containing photos, crafts and adventures. I love to read through and be inspired by all of the fantastic happenings of the week. Be sure to visit other's posts and share some comment love! Happy Wednesday!

   
   

Check out these other blog hops I link up with!


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Finding Inspiration After a Tough Week


Last week turned out to be a heavy week for me, nothing tragic or anything really bad even happened, but there was a lot going on. It was a week full of "adulting."

I like that word, "adulting." It isn't actually a word. I know that, but it perfectly describes the tasks that require extra planning, meeting with people and often involves some sort of financial transaction.

Last week contained a lot of "adulting."

Like taxes. I know they are joked about being the only other responsibility besides being born and dying, but they are a headache. I try so hard to keep it all straight and make the numbers add up, but I end up asking the same questions I did when we went through this last year. At least that is done now.

My family and I also have a lot of big decisions coming up. We are considering moving, just across town, but it makes a big difference. There is a lot to consider, cost being only one of many. We are also contemplating homeschool for our daughter next year. This would be a big decision for our family because it would completely change how our daily lives function.

I never know how in depth to talk about things like this. It seems boring to hear another drone on about mundane decisions and circumstances. I don't even really know why I'm going on about it other than it is taking up pretty much all of my brain power these last couple of weeks.

Do you ever have this problem? Where upcoming events or something happening in your life uses up most of your creative inspiration. I keep trying to think of topics to write about, but my mind just goes blank.

I usually write this kind of stream of consciousness in my journal. That is my one place where I don't have to censor myself. I use my journal to understand my own mind and try to figure out what to do next.

It's nice to share too.

I didn't write or post for a couple days and I have to admit, I felt a little lost. Writing is something that helps me process the world around me. Being able to share these thoughts is one of the main reason I blog. It is nice to open yourself up and connect with others who share similar interests.

Connection is what we really want in life. We want to feel relevant, like a participant in the goings on of the world we live in. That thought was inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson when he answered the question, "What is the most astounding fact?" for Time magazine.

The YouTube video with the overlay of Tyson's voice is amazing. It is complied with the song "To Build a Home" by the Cinematic Orchestra:



Tyson also says, "When I look up in the universe, I know I'm small but I'm also big. I'm big because I'm connected to the universe, and the universe is connected to me."

This is the kind of inspiration I seek out when I am having overwhelming days like what happened last week. I want to remember my purpose, why I do what I do and why I want so badly to connect. The secret is, we are all connected--to each other and to the world we live in. 

When I can focus on that thought, that the universe is in me, I feel confident in my ability to make important life decisions and take care of "adulting" tasks. Though it still feels like it sometimes, I am no longer a child in my room playing house. 

I am strong. I am confident. I am capable. I am loved. I am at peace. 

That is also my desire for you. 

You are strong. You are confident. You are capable. You are love. You are at peace.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and remember my purpose. I'd love to hear what you think of Neil deGrasse Tyson's quotes, what helps you get through a tough week, or what inspires you to write and share. Have a wonderful week!


Title Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

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Monday, March 26, 2018

{Poetry Corner} Words Are Nothing


Words Are Nothing

Words. Words. Words.
Words are nothing.
When they are gone,
all that's left is the feeling
they hold. 

No glimmer. No light.
Only black and white.
Long or short. Wrong or right.
All that matters is the impression
they create.

We don't remember words.
We remember emotions.
Many moments make up a day,
What words will you say?
What impression will you make?

Will you lift others up?
Will you tear them down?
It's not what words you say,
It's the tone you speak
and the action you take.

Stand tall. Be bold.
Find heroism in a fearful world. 
Say what you mean,
Mean what you say.
Be kind along the way.

Words are nothing.
Make the impression great.


Title Photo by Alexandru Zdrob─âu on Unsplash

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

{Wordless Wednesday} Keep Calm, Spring is Here!


Keep Calm, 
Spring is Here!
Finally!

I have been waiting, almost patiently, for spring to finally arrive! It did for the Northern Hemisphere yesterday with a beautiful, sunny day here in Seattle. I was thankful to be able to be outside and breath in the fresh air. 

Springs signals a time for me to meditate on the balance I seek for my life and how to achieve it. Just as I begin to go through our house for a much needed spring cleaning, I will also go through my routines and dreams and see what needs to be let go and what simply needs some cleansing. 

Do you have any spring time customs? I'd love to hear how you bring in the new season!

(And Happy Autumn for those in the Southern Hemisphere! I'd love to hear about your transitions too!)



Now it's time for some Wordless Wednesday Fun!


Link up with the direct link to your post(s) containing photos, crafts and adventures. I love to read through and be inspired by all of the fantastic happenings of the week. Be sure to visit other's posts and share some comment love! Happy Wednesday!

   
   
   

Check out these other blog hops I link up with!


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Check out Positive Practice Living at:
Facebook ⬢ Instagram ⬢ Twitter ⬢

Have an inspired day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Welcome Spring 2018!



Time always seems to move incredibly fast, unless you are anticipating something. Then it seems to crawl by. That is how I've felt waiting for spring.

I have been so excited about the chance for warmer weather, blossoming flowers and longer days. Yet, it felt like it would never get here.

Finally the day has come!

Though the morning started cool and overcast, the afternoon has brought the sun, bird's songs and a fresh perspective. The weather will continue get warmer and the flowers have already started to bloom. I am thrilled that it is spring!

photo credit

I find that I am always seeking balance. This sweet moment of harmony during the changing of seasons provides a beautiful opportunity to meditate, reflect and set intentions for spring.

This moment of balance between the day and night, light and darkness lends toward a calm mind. Just as the sun and moon are equal in the sky, we can feel that equilibrium in our hearts, if we can only tap into their energy.

The Spring (Vernal) Equinox begins today, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, for the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the halfway point between Winter and Summer. During this celebration, day and night are nearly the same length all over the world. In Latin, "Equinox" means "equal night," fitting for the event.

Spring is a symbol of rebirth, new life, resurrection and renewal. Spring offers a promise that everything can begin again. It is time to let go of anything that is holding you back and embrace something new.

photo credit

I love to celebrate the dawn of spring by going outside. I love to walk among nature, or even on our city sidewalk. I love to look out over the water and up into the sky and enjoy the fresh air and the changing of seasons.

Meditating is also a high priority for today. It is important to identify things that aren't working or are causing me to struggle and find a way to change the course or let them go entirely. Spending some time contemplating what I want and how to get there will lead to setting intentions, another important part of spring for me.

Though our growing season is still a few weeks away (since it got close to freezing just last night), we will have to wait to get out hands in the dirt. I love planting our garden every year. We live in the city, so we do a lot in pots. It remains a rewarding experience, especially when we reap the fruits of our labor toward the end of summer. We also plant an herb garden that we use all summer and even through winter with our dried herbs.

photo credit

Planting seeds is a physical action, but also a metaphoric one. Along with setting intentions, I take some time to dream. Spring is the season to begin plans and taking steps toward making those dreams become reality.

Spring is such a special season for me because I need that call for renewal, growth and balance. I tend to hibernate in the winter and now it is time to thaw out and enjoy the fresh air and gain a new fresh perspective.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, no matter the weather. For all of your in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Autumnal Equinox!


Tittle Photo by Chungkuk Bae on Unsplash

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Stephen Hawking: A Legend Among Stars



This week we lost a brilliant scientific mind and a delightful pop culture personality. Stephen Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge early morning Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) at age 21, Hawking spent the rest of his life doing all the things he never thought he'd have the chance to do. Even though the disease left him paralyzed, his mind remained sharp until his death.

He communicated through a synthesizer that tracked his eye movement. His only complaint with the device, which was manufactured in California, was that it gave him a new vocal inflection. "Please pardon my American Accent," he would say.


Hawking evolved into an influential scientist and an inspirational public icon. He stated, "I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit."

He spent much of his time involved in disability rights activism. He was an undeniable source of empowerment and reassurance for combating against ablest prejudices. He starred in the opening events of the 2012 Paralympics Games in London. Hawking proved that being disabled did not mean that he could not do great things.

And great things he did.

Hawking's most notable scientific discovery as a Theoretical Physicist was Hawking Radiation. This is a phenomenon that explains how black holes lose mass. He dived into study on black holes, which is defined as a region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter, light or radiation can escape it.

BBC News - Earth

The question Hawking asked was, "do black holes emit heat?" Since he already determined that black holes adhere to the second law of thermodynamics, which essentially states that entropy (a measure of disorder in a system) increases over time. New Scientist explains Hawking's reasoning..."Anything that has entropy also has temperature - and anything that has a temperature can radiate."

By using both Einstein's Theory of Relativity (which describes how gravity works on a large scale) and Quantum Mechanics (which describes how the very smallest components of the universe work), he computed the math that allowed him to basically take the temperature of a black hole. 

Black holes were previously believed to be a system which an object could enter into, but never come out. Hawking proved that even a black hole can shrink and die. He goes on to give us a piece of inspirational advice, "Things can get out of a black hole...So if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up -- there's a way out!"

AZ Quotes

Hawking insisted that his discoveries be available for the public to access, not only in a scientific aspect, but also in a way format they would comprehend. He approached Simon Mitton, the astronomy subject editor at Cambridge University Press, in 1983 with his idea to write a book that would sell in airport book stores. Though Mitton was skeptical, he agreed to Hawking's idea which resulted in #1 New York Times Bestseller, "A Brief History of Time." The novel has sold over 10 million copies and is actively featured in airport bookstores.

photo credit

In "A Brief History of Time," Hawking covers the history of astronomical studies showing how we have come to understand the universe so far, the properties governing space and time, the expansion of the universe and his own personal exploration of black holes. By explaining not only how the universe operates, but why we should care, Hawking accomplishes his aim to get people thinking and talking about these theories and how they affect us as reasoning human beings.

I'd say that if Vanity Fair publishes articles like this one titled, "How Stephen Hawking Helped Change the Way We Think About Science," he accomplished his goal.



Not only was Hawking a brilliant scientist, he was also an adored pop culture icon. He guest stared on numerous television shows including: The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

He along with other scientific personalities like Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson yearn to present mathematics and science in a way to get people interested in the bigger questions. Hawking said, "People have the mistaken impression that mathematics is just equations. In fact, equations are just the boring part of mathematics."


Hawking's passion for science and his ability to reach people makes him an invaluable asset to our society and where we are heading as a human race. Hawking was a strong advocate of space exploration believing it is essential to the long-term survival of the human race.

Professor Hawking received several awards and honors including: Fellow of the Royal SocietyBBVA Foundation Frontier of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences, Presidential Medal of Freedom ( the highest civilian award in the United States), and the Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award (2016). However, he did not manage to procure a Nobel Prize. He didn't seem too broken up by this as he explained, "The Nobel is given only for theoretical work that has been confirmed by observation. It is very, very difficult to observe the things I have worked on."




Though he was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease at a prime age in life, he went on to do great things, paving the way for a whole new generation to look at the stars and at life. He said, "At the time [I was diagnosed with two years to live], I thought my life was over and that I would never realize the potential I felt I had. But now, 50 years later, I can be quietly satisfied with my life."

At the end of a life, isn't that all we can really ask for? 

I always had upmost respect for Stephen Hawking as a scientist and as a person. He had a great sense of humor and a life full of purpose and passion. Stephen Hawking will be truly missed. 


A few more tributes ...








Photo credit: Mitchell Toy, Australian artist @Mitchelltoy




Title Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Welcoming Spring with a Nature Walk



Spring is just around the corner. We are still likely to see some cooler temperatures again before the equinox, but the flowers are starting to bloom and the Earth is once again coming to life.

This natural development is calling me to go outside. I decided to take a nature walk. And the results were amazing for my mood and over all state of mind.

I make no secret of not being good with cold weather. I tend to shut down over time. By the time the spring equinox gets here, I often feel a shell of myself, running on backup batteries. When the frost thaws as spring nears, it is like I thaw out as well.

The Great Spring thaw has finally begun and I am outside to enjoy it. A nature walk is just one way to enjoy the outdoors in spring. I enjoy watching the flowers bloom and the warmth of sunshine on my skin.



Getting fresh air and being surrounded by nature has many benefits. For me, it helps me find my balance between physical, emotional and intellectual ethos. Communing with nature adds harmony and peacefulness to my day as well.

There is beauty in the flowers and how they return each spring after being lifeless through the winter. It brings an understanding to the cycle of nature and how there are times to bloom and times to rest.

It reminds me of one of my favorite poems in Ecclesiastes, "A Time for Everything:"

Photo by Dulcineia Dias on Unsplash, Edits by Amanda McCusker

Throughout life we go through constant undulations. These are the ups and downs that naturally make up our existence. There is no reason to fight these tendencies, they are as much a part of us as the moon rises and falls from the sky. Nonetheless, it does help to understand them to flourish no matter the season.

When it is time to rest, do so with intention. When it is time to be active, give it all you have. There is a time for everything and when you begin to follow your natural flow, you will be amazed at how much more rested and productive you are.

Life isn't about being busy, though it seems that is the expectation these days. The imperative task is to increase the quality of the time you have and let everything holding you back fall away. There is a time to keep and a time to let go.



These are the thoughts I had during my nature walk. It really was a great experience that offered clarification and a perfect time to set intentions.

I am very thankful for the seasons and the intuitive study that contemplating nature brings to me. On this day, it offered me renewal and a sense of purpose.

It is okay that winter wears me down because spring will rejuvenate me just the same. I have been in a long state of rest - a hibernation of sorts - and now, it is time to awaken with the Earth and remember how to shine.


I find I am ridiculously effected by the weather. My moods often mirror the amount of sun I see out the window. Do you feel this at all? Are you ever effected by the weather, even subtly?

Nature walks offer great opportunities to find balance, harmony and peace. Not to mention the exercise will provide energy and possibly even a metabolism boost.

It doesn't matter so much where you go, even if it is just a circle around your own yard. You could go to a park, garden, forest or waterfront simply to enjoy being outside. I challenge you to be in the moment and really listen to the inspiration nature has to offer.

Do you enjoy being out in nature? Are you looking forward to spring? I'd love to hear what is going on with you as we approach the Spring Equinox next week!


Photos by Amanda McCusker

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{Wordless Wednesday} Nature's Beauty




The sunrise yesterday morning was breathtaking. As I walked through the house, I caught the array of colors out the corner of my eye and was amazed. I jumped for my phone to try to catch the ever changing light as the sun ascended into the sky. 

I have some opinions about Daylight Savings Time, but I am able to be a little more positive about the whole ordeal when I can witness nature's beauty in this way. 

For those of you experiencing Daylight Saving Time, have you had a hard time getting going this week? I know I have. This sunrise made me joyful in this moment, have you had anything like that happen recently? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Happy Wednesday!



Now it's time for some Wordless Wednesday Fun!


Link up with the direct link to your post(s) containing photos, crafts and adventures. I love to read through and be inspired by all of the fantastic happenings of the week. Be sure to visit other's posts and share some comment love! Happy Wednesday!

   
   

Check out these other blog hops I link up with!


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Check out Positive Practice Living at:
Facebook ⬢ Instagram ⬢ Twitter ⬢

Have an inspired day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{Music Moment} Spring to Come


"Spring to Come" by John Butler Trio has been playing on repeat this week. 

There is something about the end of winter that is very hard for me to ride out. I begin to be constantly melancholy, and have trouble getting motivated to do anything. I feel as if I'm sitting in the darkness, not-so-patiently waiting for the light to come back on. 

I try to be in the moment and enjoy what comes with the season; however, the cold fights me and freezes my bones. I am just standing by until spring thaws me again.

John Butler's lyrics are great, but what I love about this song (especially the acoustic version featured below) is the musicality. "Spring to Come" dances to a rhythm that makes me feel lighter and swing with the cadence. 

This week it is finally a little warmer and the sun shone all last weekend. We are still expecting rain in the coming days, but warm rain is a little easier to endure.

I saw that there is even more snow falling in the Northeast of the States, so to all of you stay warm! And for the rest of us on the Northern Hemisphere, let's wait for spring to come together!



Spring to Come 
by John Butler Trio

Lost my love, lost my light
I can't find them anymore
If there's something I could give
I would have given it before now...cause
I came back a little broken
Things don't fit anymore
And I wait for spring to come
But how long, tell me how long
'Cause I wither at my post
I'm walking like a ghost, alone
How long tell me how long, how long

Somewhere out there on the horizon

Maybe there's a glimmer of hope
Maybe it's just a mirage
'Cause you never know
And maybe things have changed
Storm clouds pass take their rains

And I wait for spring to come
But how long, tell me how long
'Cause I wither at my post
I'm walking like a ghost, alone
How long tell me how long, how long

Out of the darkness, only light can come
After a lonely long night comes the sun [x4]

Songwriters: John Charles Wiltshire-Butler
Spring to Come lyrics © Spirit Music Group


Photo by Emma Hall on Unsplash

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