Improvised Life » signs + reminders If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 To Be Able To Say Yes, You Need to Be Able To Say No Tue, 05 Aug 2014 23:00:14 +0000

Dominic Wilcox

We’ve come to love the word YES, and post it often as a reminder to embrace the opportunities that come along, and go with them.

But we realize that there is a very important other side to YES, and that is being able to say NO. (more…)

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The Time is Now…Stefan Sagmeister on Happiness Mon, 04 Aug 2014 22:43:10 +0000

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...)]]> 0 Reminder: Most of the Stuff You Worry About… Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:00:13 +0000


…never happens.

But as we’ve experienced lately, some difficult stuff DOES happen. We couldn’t have predicted it, or prevented it. It’s LIFE. The best we could do is remember that there are answers and solutions in every moment, there to find.

We think of artist/scientist Thomas Ashcraft’s great sign: (more…)

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May the Mistakes I Make Light the Way Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:02:31 +0000

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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Trees and Ideas (Why Not Plant One?) Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:50:00 +0000

About the time we saw this sign at Hedviggen, we stumbled on an image of a tree growing at an extreme angle by Jaci Berkopec, in the School of Visual Arts’ annual student photography portfolio. (more…)

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On A Wall in Rome: Free Your Mind (Ellen Silverman) Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:23:48 +0000

Ellen Silverman

This just in from frequent contributor Ellen Silverman, spotted on a wall in Rome: FREE YOUR MIND!!!!!

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‘To Come Home to Yourself’, John O’Donohue’s Blessing Mon, 07 Jul 2014 08:17:40 +0000

We learned of Irish poet John O’Donohue when reader Mary Kelly sent us his powerful words in response to our post about Human Error Messages. She wrote:

John O’Donohue, who wrote Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom and who celebrated our wildness and crazy strength, often has words that dissolve hardness inside me – I read this yesterday and it made me feel soft and new . . .

The blessing/poem/prayer is called To Come Home to Yourself.  A reminder we can use daily.



Thank you Mary Kelly and for your own very descriptive word: “celebrate our wildness and crazy strength” (more...)]]> 1 A Surprising Message from the “Still Small Voice Within” Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:28:22 +0000

National Museum, Bangkok

One of the benefits of meditation is that it quiets the mind, allowing us to hear “the still small voice within”.  Recently, our friend Chris Eldredge reported a surprising message that came through at the end of his morning meditation



He said the vibe was simple, nonjudgmental, clear…




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What if? Human Error Messages on Your Screen Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:00:59 +0000

Victoria Siemer

We’ve often viewed ourselves are being computer-like at times, especially when information overload occurs, causing the definite need to SHUT DOWN, which we usually do by taking a nap. When we reboot, it’s usually with a clearer head.

Graphic designer Victoria Siemer, who often goes by the moniker Witchoria, has created Human Error, a series of emotional computer error messages that put such feelings as heartbreak and low self-esteem into easily recognizable forms.

…What is we could just delete the ideas that stop us from moving forward?

For most people we know, the occasional low-self esteem warning would be useful…

Check out more Human (more...)]]> 2 If We Never Tried, We’d Never Know… What’s Possible Thu, 29 May 2014 03:42:05 +0000

Sweaty Wisdom

Today has been a DAY. All morning long we watched as Tinypass alerts came into Improvised Life’s inbox, announcing subscribers to our new Friends with Benefits subscription service. One by one they landed like butterflies. We saw names we’ve never seen before, people who have been reading and following and enjoying Improvised Life enough to help it survive.

We deeply appreciate your very tangible support and good will as we follow a path we know to be true:  Never Try, Never Know. (more…)

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Help Improvised Life Leap…Tomorrow Tue, 27 May 2014 22:00:17 +0000

For the past 4+ years, Improvised Life has published 5 days a week, upwards of 2500 articles and 8000 images. It has been a labor of love, full of pleasures and rewards and, for the past while, serious challenges and demands. Our “reality sandwiches” include 60+ hours a week of Sally’s reporting, writing, and editing original stories, and curating and developing content from over 150 websites… finding, taking and processing photos …paying a part-time assistant, rent, a web programmer, rising server costs: a very long list that doesn’t even include all the ideas waiting to be developed.

Improvised Life is at a crossroads now. For us to continue, we need to pay the bills. We’ve come up with a plan


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12 More Commandments Culled from Commencement Speeches Tue, 27 May 2014 08:11:56 +0000

NPR’S searchable archive of the best commencement speeches has been making the rounds on the internet. When you take a look at the most popular themes or take-home messages in th speeches, you end up with a list that seem like great additions to the “commandments” we started compiling the other day. (more…)

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Question of the Day (Every Day) Tue, 13 May 2014 23:30:28 +0000

Where are we going?

via Fowler Museum at UCLA with thank to who ever sent it our way

Update: A VERY astute reader wrote to tell us it was Proust. Even better!

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2 Ways to Listen that Will Change Your Life Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:03:10 +0000

From Seth Godin:

You can listen to what people say, sure.

But you will be far more effective if (more…)

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