Improvised Life » quotes http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:00:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Practice: Ask ‘What’s Not Wrong?’ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/shantytown-homelssness-perspective/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/shantytown-homelssness-perspective/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:16:24 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45304

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The other day a friend sent us this image of a homeless person lying amidst a drawn virtual room. We have no doubt it was staged by an artist (whoever he/she is) but it still has a feeling of randomness, that life could ironically set things up that way.

There are the symbols of a cozy home, something we all want, and the harsh realities of NOT: a mattress on the street. Imagine!

We make a practice of imagining such a reality as a way of unhooking from our own lack of perspective, the “I don’t have THIS or THAT”, or “I’m not where I think I should be”, or other nullifying judgments.  No matter how tenacious those feelings, “perspective enhancers” like the image above automatically cause us to shift, (more…)

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What if Your Life Were a Painting? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/16/paint/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/16/paint/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:14:08 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45334

?

We —our lives — are really a kind of artist’s canvas.

When we take that view, we ask ourselves:

What are we painting?

Do we paint with kindness, generosity, anger, fear, bravado, hatred, curiosity… (more…)

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Practice: Forgive Yourself and Keep Trying http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/forgive/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/forgive/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:51:43 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45288

Just about everyone we know is pretty ruthless when it comes to judging THEMSELVES. And those judgments can derail projects and the creative process in general, stopping us from pushing through to doing what we need to.

We loves this simple practice from wise old Seth Godin. (more…)

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Reorganization as Soul Cleanse http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:54:33 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45132

A 48-hour disappearance into the depths of my studio was finally interrupted late yesterday by a well-meaning friend. He peered in to find me on hands and knees wiping out the lowest shelves with damp paper towels.

“Jeez. Still at it?”

I swiveled and growled like a rabid dog, sweat pouring down, hair plastered, eyes raccooned by melted mascara. “I can’t stop now. This is important. This is soulwork” He faded without a word.

Panting, disheveled, covered in cobwebs, I sat back on my heels. WTF? Why did this reorganization seem like a matter of life and death? Taking a swig of ice water, I collapsed on the floor. Presently, it came to me why it was––and is––such a big deal. (more…)

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Trees Growing Through Obstacles (Like Us) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 23:00:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44854

Fast Forward

Our friend Cara De Silva sent us a link to images of trees growing through concrete, with these words.

…I was startled and grateful when I looked at these beautiful and inspiring photographs.

But not only for the usual reasons. For months now I have been seeing such trees as a metaphor, (more…)

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The Time is Now…Stefan Sagmeister on Happiness http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 22:43:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44777

Stefan Sagmeister

When uber-designer Stefan Sagmeister was asked “If you were to give advice on happiness—and I acknowledge that this is a tough question—is there one thing you’d suggest?”

Write down 3 things that worked for you each evening, things you might be thankful for. I started an ical calendar that contains this and I just spend 5 minutes each night doing it. This is an exercise from Marty Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. It works.

We notice he didn’t say “Write down three things that made you happy” but rather “Write down 3 things that worked for you“: a bit different. “What worked (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/feed/ 0 May the Mistakes I Make Light the Way http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/29/may-mistakes-make-light-way/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/29/may-mistakes-make-light-way/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:02:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43920

hedviggen.tumblr.com

We were really struck by this sign we found on Hedviggen. Burning bridges is a pretty intense thing to do, and it made us think hard about that idea, of being able NEVER to go back because of a bridge we’ve burned.

We do believe that in just about any action, there are always possibilities for redemption, (more…)

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Learning to Fly at Home (Yves Lecoq) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/28/learning-fly-home-yves-lecoq/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/28/learning-fly-home-yves-lecoq/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:49:06 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44124

Yves Lecoq

Somewhere in our massive virtual rambles, we came across the images of Yves Lecoq, one of the best photographic fantasists we’ve seen. His images seem absolutely real.

One of his ongoing themes is humans rigging ways to fly. That, of course, would be us. (more…)

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Kenzo’s FAB “I’m Not Afraid of Losing” + 24 African Dances to Brighten Your Day http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/23/african-dances-z/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/23/african-dances-z/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:05:17 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44389

(Video link HERE.) We love Eddy Kenzo’s joyful “Sitya Loss” (“I’m not afraid of losing”), featuring a group of boys and a girl performing on a dirt road in Uganda. After hunting for the lyrics (which are in Swahili), we found this interpretation from youtuber  jerzeykid2006able:

“In life we do not have to fear losses because we are the bosses of our own life, we have to enjoy the little life we have by shaking our bodies (dancing), as strong youth we have to enjoy our lives to the fullest because when we look at our past lives, we get to notice quite a (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/23/african-dances-z/feed/ 0 When Normal Equals Perfect http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/17/perfection-everyday-normal-gratitude-practice/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/17/perfection-everyday-normal-gratitude-practice/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:51:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44223

Maria Robledo

Most Improvised Life readers know that Sally has been occupied lately with the serious illness of a close friend – namely, myself. Now recuperating, we’ve realized something about perfection: in the case of us human beings, it does not mean being super-human or doing everything exactly right. It simply means being normal. When you’ve been visited by the Death Eaters, nothing is more perfect than a cup of tea.

This revelation was amplified in an e-mail correspondence with our friend Tom Ashcraft of Heliotown, a remarkable artist/science researcher who has been featured numerous times on Improvised Life. (more…)

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Motivational Passwords Are Your Daily Digital Mantra http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/14/tinypost-motivational-passwords-daily-digital-mantra/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/14/tinypost-motivational-passwords-daily-digital-mantra/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:21:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44082

Sally Schneider via Thich Nhat Hanh.

We often think of computer passwords as utilitarian, if we even think of them at all; they’re ugly, unwieldy little burdens that exist only to keep our information safe. Mauricio Estrella decided to shift his thinking and use his passwords as a message to himself that he must think about every day. (more…)

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Moondog: “I’m Not Gonna Die in 4/4 Time.” http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:39:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43830

Photograph by Peter Martens

The documentary The Viking of 6th Avenue, recently funded by Kickstarter, chronicles the life and musical career of legendary New York icon Moondog. As a girl, I used to see him in front of Saks Fifth Avenue and other corners around town, a blind man in full Viking regalia proudly, with seeming infinite patience, standing in the midst of the passersby of the time. Many years later I would discover his music and learn his story… (more…)

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Steinberg, Shrigley and Shonda Rhimes on the Creative Process http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:46:38 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43247

Saul Steinberg/The New Yorker

Saul Steinberg drew his imaginings of what goes on in a person’s daydreams, and David Shrigley made a list* of the kinds of things that can come from that: (more…)

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What Ancient Looks Like in Trees and People http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/05/ancient-trees/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/05/ancient-trees/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 08:46:25 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41553

thinbox.ca

Our friend Chris Eldredge emailed us this image:

A good friend of mine is in Japan researching Bonsai culture. He sent this picture to me today. This tree is over 2000 years old. He spent some time yesterday talking to the man whose family has cared for it for 7 generations.

That same day, we came upon Anastasia Pottinger photographs of people 100+-years-old, nude. From The Dish: (more…)

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