Monthly Archives: February 2013


When I woke up this morning I noticed the scars under my left eye – several small pink slivers running in parallel lines.  Sometimes they look more apparent when I first awaken, when my skin is paler from sleep and under the harsh lights of the bathroom mirror.  They seem to fade as they day unravels or sometimes I don’t even notice them at all.

These scars are some of my numerous collection, some from mishaps in my childhood – falling off my bike, scuffles with my siblings, nicking a razor against my knee – and others earned later in life.  Come to think of it the scars in my adulthood are from similar fates – many of them bike related – an errant tree branch as I tear long the trail, an unfriendly chain cog grabbing my shin, gravel embedding itself in my elbow as I slide along the path after losing control.

The "scar" of this path on the landscape reminds me of the one on my right arm.

The “scar” of this path on the landscape reminds me of the one on my right arm.

I realize these scars are gained from doing.  If I wasn’t so adventurous, then I wouldn’t have many of them.  There is a tradeoff, an opportunity cost – by putting oneself in a situation to get hurt, that might just happen – you get hurt.  I think there are likely more injuries and scars in Park City, where I live, than other parts of the world.  But that is because people are out there, testing themselves, defying gravity, pushing the limits – skiing, biking, hiking, sailing – doing.  Would you want to pick the alternative and limit your adventures to stay scar free?

Scars may be physical signs of imperfection, but I think they can be beautiful.  They tell a story, they become part of you.  I remember reading in the book Little Bee, by Chris Cleave “…I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”

I think this is powerful.  In the book there were instances of scars being inflicted by others.  Whether inflicted, accidental, or self-inflicted, and physical or emotional, I think it still stands true – a scar means you’ve been through something and come out the other side.  A scar is survival and strength.  My friends have a variety of scars, some of which I have heard the stories about, and others not, some are from playing – swimming pools, golf clubs – and others from things such as the removal of suspicious looking moles.  All the scars distinctive and beautiful, like each of us.  I’m learning to love my scars and the skin I am.  They are part of who I am.  They tell my story and make me uniquely me.



Have you noticed that when you first start dating someone you are showered with compliments, and yet as time passes so too does the praise?  I suspect in most relationships an inverse correlation between time and appreciation – as one goes up the other goes down.  But this does not need to be the case.

Do you recall the early days with your spouse or significant other?  Gushing with all the wonderful things about them, both physical and internal – they are so smart, funny, attentive, attractive.  A friend recently began dating again and shared how good it made her feel to receive such accolades.  And rightly so, we all like to be given compliments.  When others value and appreciate us, it makes us believe in and value ourselves too.

However, once we have sealed the deal, and wooed our partner into a long-term commitment, so often the appreciations dry up.  We stop trying as hard or sadly even noticing those things that first drew us to our mate.  In the marriage book, The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman, he speaks of this initial phase as “the honeymoon phase”, and once this has passed, which it invariably does, we have to try harder to do or say the nice things we did for our partner when we first began dating.

If, as human beings, we yearn to be praised, complimented, and appreciated, then we are drawn to those who share it with us.  I want to be the one giving appreciation to my spouse.  I want to be the one to tell him all the things I love about him – his humor, zeal, dedication, warmth.  If we receive the things we desire within our marriage, then we won’t need to seek it elsewhere.

A heart representing appreciation

A heart representing appreciation

I was reflecting today also on the law of diminishing returns.  It is an economic theory that states at a certain point in time you get less additional reward from something the more effort you put in (the continuing application of effort toward a particular goal will decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved).  Sounds like pretty technical stuff.  As an Economics major I would hear about it all the time in relation to business, efficiency, and success.  While the theory stands true for many things, with regard to our relationships my theories differ.

I believe in our relationships the more effort you put in, the more rewarded you will be – indefinitely.  Don’t stop the appreciations after the honeymoon phase is over, if the words are genuine and said with sincerity you can never be told them too much – keep those compliments coming!  You might be pleasantly surprised by what you hear in return.



Visualization is a powerful thing.  Conjuring up images in your mind’s eye.  Seeing certain outcomes and eventualities.  A combination of hope, desire, drive, and ambition towards a goal.  But is this powerful tool underused by many of us?

Successful business people, orators, sportsmen and women, often reveal that they use visualization in achieving their goals.  Seeing themselves on the podium, hearing the applause, imagining the outcome that they want so clearly that they will it into existence.  There are many other components to achieving goals, usually hard work and practice being key, but can the process of visualizing what you want make a difference?

Many books lead us to believe just that.  The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, is one such book.  It shares the importance of the messages you send out to the universe.  What you ruminate on becomes what you pull into your life, like a magnet.  Dwell on negative thoughts and this is what radiates from you, and also what you will attract.  But reflect on positive ideas and those good vibes emanate out.  The law of attraction – like attracts like.

Thinking on the positive, puts us in a good mood – I have many talents and attributes, people like to be around me, I can do it.  Taking it a step further, in not just thinking, but seeing.  Seeing the great relationship, the job, the baby, the healthy body, the gold medal, whatever it may be.  And more than that, seeing the steps it takes to get there, all the elements that make up your goal.

Today I heard about the concept of Mind Movies.  I knew of vision boards, and pasting photos, images, and affirmations connected with your goal to create a visual image of what you want to achieve.  A Mind Movies allows you to create a sequence of visual cues, along with music, to create an experience for you to meditate on.  You could make one via something as simple as PowerPoint, or use an online video tool, even ones specific for this purpose.  I decided to give it a go and make a Mind Movie today.

Whether you are a strong believer in visualization or are skeptical of the idea, it can’t seem to hurt thinking positive thoughts, and seeing the successes you want in your life.   Like the athletes I saw last weekend, soaring up into the air on the Superpipe (and Shaun White is a firm believer in visualization, from his belief and affirmations in his success “I know I can do this” to seeing his tricks before he does them), I also have my goal in sight.  Wishing you every success in yours…

An athlete in the Superpipe visualizing his moves before he makes them.

An athlete in the Superpipe visualizing his moves before he makes them.


First Steps

Today is the start of a new journey for me, a journey of discovery, growth, and fulfillment.  Today I leave behind uncertainty, my tendency towards worry, and pushing my own needs to the back of the line.  Today is empowering, exciting, and filled with endless possibilities.  Today I am strong, I am powerful, and I am ME.

Today I am following my innate desire to write about and to photograph the world around me.  To stop and notice, observe and think.  To breathe and inhale it all, the incredibleness of God’s world; from the grand beauty of nature, so apparent where I live, to appreciating the small things that touch my everyday life, a kind word, a smile, a simple interaction with another human that can seem so little, but mean so much.  I want to capture it, to dwell on it, learn from it, and share it with others.  And as I step outside on this first crisp morning, my journey begins.

The stunning view from my house.

The stunning view from near my house which is so conducive to pondering and peacefulness.

Each day I post I intend to set aside a couple of hours, to walk and ponder topics, capture things with my camera, then let my thoughts turn to words.  Today I want to share the stunning view from near my home, which accompanies and inspires me during my time for reflection, and also what I thought about on my walk.  It began with a quote which caught my eye this morning.  It was posted onto Yoga Instructor Sadie Nardini’s Facebook page, painted in it’s blue italics on a corrugated wall in Austin.  It is by America novelist and poet, Jack Kerouac, from his book Mexico City Blues “Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

"Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

“Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

The words jumped out the page to me.  I wondered why.  I reflect on them – Don’t break your tenderness – the letters swirling in my brain.  I think of tenderness as the way we act towards others, of patience, of understanding, of softening your heart and emotions to the way you think of and treat people.   I see myself as tender.  I like to do things for others, to anticipate their needs, and help fulfill them.

I feel I am being told to remain TENDER on my journey, which is important to me.  I want to continue to care about other’s needs and give them time.  But I want this new path to bring me personal STRENGTH too, and the ability to recognize and fulfill my own needs.  Is it possible to possess these two opposing emotions? To be tender and strong?  I try to think of someone who has these characteristics, and the first movie I owned, Braveheart, comes to mind.  I imagine William Wallace galloping alongside his troops embodying both these traits.  I dwell on the words brave and heart, both strong and tender.  And I know it can be done.