Improvised Life » signs + reminders http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:57:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Josef Albers Postage Stamp http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/josef-albers-postage-stamp/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/17/josef-albers-postage-stamp/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:44:29 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46020

Wary Meyers

We’re crazy for this Josef Albers postage stamp, circa 1980. Great visuals, inspiring message.

Hmmm. Wonder if the postal service would be interested in making our inspiring SIGNS and REMINDERS into stamps…sending them around the world… (more…)

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An Engineer’s Strategy for Getting Things Done http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/engineers-strategy-getting-things-done/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/09/engineers-strategy-getting-things-done/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 08:30:32 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45868

One of the great gifts of Improvised Life has been correspondence with readers, who are a mightily varied, creative and surprising group of people. Recently, Michigan-based engineer Kevin Neff, responding to the contest/challenge we published a few weeks ago,  has been advising me on how to rig my bed to stop it from transmitting the mysterious vibration that comes through the floor. In addition to the practical solutions — making or buying concrete bed legs of a certain, carefully-calculated weight, and sandwiching them with visco-elastic Sorbothane —he offered an excellent strategy for getting project done. (more…)

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Wise Words from May Sarton http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/wise-words-may-sarton/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/08/wise-words-may-sarton/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 08:43:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45805

Susan Dworski

Susan Dworski sent us this powerful quote from poet May Sarton after we mentioned how helpful reading Pema Chodrun is during times of upheavel, accompanied by this note:

Pema’s book is a standby at our house. Good call on that one.  It reminded me of a quote from poet May Sarton that has always been an inspiration for me when world’s yin and yang seems to be whirling a little too fast. We’re going to print Susan’s lovely design on our color printer and put it on our wall, an essential reminder.  The “world’s yin and yang” has definitely been whirling FAST.]]>
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Noticing Gratitude http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/23/noticing-gratitude/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/23/noticing-gratitude/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:48:08 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45635

Sybille Palmer

A message came in from a reader today that knocked us out. It was forwarded from our friend and frequent contributor Susan Dworski: (more…)

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Poem for Monday: Ode to the Happy Day http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/22/holt-happy-sheet-rock-hole-view-shanty-town-pigeon-view/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/22/holt-happy-sheet-rock-hole-view-shanty-town-pigeon-view/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:11:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45229

Holton Rower sent us this image, and Neruda’s Ode to the Happy Day jumped into our lap right after it.

Although we’ve had some difficult things to deal with lately — everyone we know has had difficult things to deal with — we love imagining “nothing has happened to anyone“, and then being happy “just because I breathe”, if only for a moment…and then another…and then another… (more…)

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Climate Change’s Essential Questions: Why Not? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/21/climate-changes-essential-questions/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/21/climate-changes-essential-questions/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:00:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45621

@sizeofwhales

Due to a family emergency, we couldn’t be at the worldwide People’s Climate March BUT we were there in spirit, checking in throughout the day.  We LOVE these essential Improvised Life-esque questions.

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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

?

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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“Triumph” Writ Large in the Street http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/16/triumph-writ-large-street/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/16/triumph-writ-large-street/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45194

Sally Schneider

We find that as we practice LOOKING on our walks around the city, we really do cultivate SEEING. It happens automatically when we slow down a bit. Look UP! we often write, encouraging a shift of perspective. The other day, we unexpectedly looked DOWN, to find, etched in one of those massive steel plates maintenance crews use to cover road work, this powerful sign.

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Be Alert for Bad Productivity Advice http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/15/alert-bad-productivity-advice/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/15/alert-bad-productivity-advice/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:32:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45033

We are big fans of 99U and have found quite a few ideas that foster productivity. Some of their posts definitely do not. They got us thinking about all the “sure-fire advice” from supposed experts that we find on the internet, and how easy it is to think we’re doing things wrong.

Here’s an example:
“By waking up just 30 minutes early and jumping right into the work, we can block our mental editor from hindering the idea-generating process. “

(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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The Wakeup Message of Little Accidents http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/10/wakeup-message-little-accidents/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/10/wakeup-message-little-accidents/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:53:21 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45293

maria robledo

During many years as a professional cook, I burned and cut myself numerous times. Over time, I came to view these small injuries as a sort of early warning system with a clear message:

Slow Down, Take Care and Be Mindful that you are a bit “off”.

LISTEN to yourself to hear what’s really going on.

Invariably, when I checked in with myself, I’d realize that I’d had a sleepless night, or was worrying about something. There was always a reason I was preoccupied and not on my game.

SMALL accidents —dropping a treasured dish, spilling things, tripping, small cuts — to me are (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/10/wakeup-message-little-accidents/feed/ 7 Gratitude Where You Don’t Expect It http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 08:06:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45106

Joanna Pan/Flickr

Leaving Manhattan on the commuter train the other evening, we were surpised to see a billboard towering above the South Bronx amidst the bleak industrial landscape. It says simply “GRATTITUDE.”

This teeny video —best viewed with chirpy music OFF — captures the expected and somehow remarkable experience. (Video link HERE.): (more…)

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Inspiring Signs Written on a Random Wall http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/wall-messages-first-post-back/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/wall-messages-first-post-back/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:40:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45052

Ellen Silverman

Photographer Ellen Silverman has a particularly fine eye for inspriational adhoc street signs. We love this wall she sent recently, whose messages resonate deeply with where we are right NOW. They are at once like stripped-down haiku, meditations and essential reminders… (more…)

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To Be Able To Say Yes, You Need to Be Able To Say No http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/able-say-yes-need-able-say/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/able-say-yes-need-able-say/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 23:00:14 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44821

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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