30 June 2009

Putting Good Advice to Good Use: Part II

Judith Orloff is another smart person. She teaches that one’s own mind and intuition can be rich resources for growth and guidance. In her article, The Art of Remembering and Interpreting Dreams, she explains what I call the dream question method. Basically, you think about a question or problem before going to sleep, and then write down and interpret your dream/s as soon as you wake.

It sounds easy enough, but be warned: You might get answers you don’t expect, don’t like, or don’t understand. You might even get misleading info, since dreams tend to speak a language of symbolism not easily understood by the conscious mind. But that’s where your intuition comes in, and that’s why I recommend you read Dr. Orloff’s article (above) and Prevention Magazine’s How to Solve Problems in Your Sleep before trying this method.

I do think it’s worth trying if you have a stubborn problem, and especially if you’re a lucid dreamer. Dreams can be so spot-on accurate, illuminating, and inspiring, they make you wonder where they come from, and what they’re tuned in to. Is it something greater and wiser than ourselves? It’s pleasing to think so, but whatever it is, I’m listening.

23 June 2009

Putting Good Advice to Good Use: Part I

Brian Tracy is a genius. After listening to his Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible on CD, I ordered the print version in case I had missed something while driving. The CD/book is full of great insights and ideas, but I especially like Brian’s method of writing your top ten-or-so goals daily, in the personal, present, and positive. This means your goals should use the word “I,” be in the present tense, and be positively stated (“I am...” instead of “I will not...”).

I haven’t been rewriting my goals daily, but I have been reviewing and editing them daily, which seems to be just as effective, for me. I’m also taking some sort of action daily toward achieving them, as Brian recommends. Plus, I’m planning to focus on one area each month, such as health, wealth, relationships, projects, etc, which I’ll write/manifest in more detail than my daily goals.

So far, I’m amazed at the effectiveness of Brian’s methods. Things are already changing, and I haven’t even tried his mindstorming technique yet. Like I said, genius.

16 June 2009

Painting on a Communal Canvas

This year’s Social Canvas event, held on Sunday at the Morris Museum of Art, brought artists and musicians together to create art, play music, and inspire each other. There was also an actual social canvas on which visitors could leave their marks. It was huge, and it looked surprisingly good when I saw it. In fact, it looked so good I decided not to add anything to it, since I haven't painted since, oh... '95, maybe? But I enjoyed this event because it reminded me how enlightening and exciting it can be to watch the creative process—to become part of it, just by being present.

Although photography isn’t allowed at the Morris, I did see some fantastic art I was able to photograph that day. I walked over to a nearby park and, lo and behold, I discovered two Richard Hunt sculptures I hadn’t seen before. One, called Tower of Aspiration, is shown here. The other, which reminded me of the Alien films and gave me the jeebs, is not shown here.

By the way, these impressive sculptures are located directly across from the closed-but-no-longer-overgrown Augusta Botanical Gardens. It’s nice to see the Gardens looking presentable these days, thanks to Growing Augusta the GreenWay volunteers. They recently gave the place a sprucing up and plan to keep it that way. I don’t think it’ll be open to the public any time soon, but I’m telling you, if a garden could smile, that one would be smiling.

09 June 2009

Reading by the River

Since I missed First Friday this month, I decided to have my own First Saturday the following afternoon. My celebration was missing a few hundred people, but I did have live music, thanks to an event on the Common that day. (Speaking of outdoor shows, I’m amazed and pleased by how many there are around here.)

I began my First Saturday with a meandering browse of several shops and galleries on Artists’ Row and a curious air sniffing outside the New Moon CafĂ©. It smelled like a delightful place, but I was in a walking mood, and it was too hot to walk around with a cuppa. (I’ll have to go back when I’m in a lingering mood.) I saw many treasures during my tour but, being a lover of words, my most delightful discovery was the June issue of Verge, which is a local alt-monthly focused on promoting downtown Augusta. With my new treasure clutched to my chest and my camera, snacks, and water almost as close, I headed over to Riverwalk to find a comfy, scenic reading spot.

Now, I love to read outside, but it usually happens in my back yard, which is quiet and surrounded by a privacy fence. At Riverwalk, which is nothing like my back yard, my interest was easily diverted to the people walking, the dogs socializing, the sun shining, the water flowing, the band playing, the kids stealing coins from the fountain, the people taking touristy photos of the fountain, my wanting to photograph the fountain too... which I did, as you can see here.

Verge is a great publication, and I got to savor my copy later, but on that particular day, I didn’t need to read anything to see there’s a lot going on in downtown Augusta.

02 June 2009

Free Stuff!

This week, I serendipitously caught an episode of the Tyra Show about getting things for free. Tyra’s guests offered lots of good suggestions, including clothing swap parties and freecycle.org. Although I haven’t yet tried those ideas, I am enjoying free samples and contests from several web sites:

· Free Samples Blog
· Shop4Freebies
· Sweetie’s Swag
· Sweetie’s Sweeps
· Wal-Mart’s Free Samples Page

Free must have been in the air this week, because my July issue of Kiplinger’s mentioned a free, online option for backing up 25 GB of PC files: Windows Live SkyDrive. I've been using it, and so far, I like it. If you try it, be sure to download the software it offers for transferring files, which allows you to drag and drop groups of files, rather than having to upload each individual file. Also, it’s best to copy your files in chunks, rather than all at once. I have cable broadband, and it took about three minutes to copy 15 MB of files (a fraction of the 4.5 GB I need to copy). I wouldn’t call that lightning-fast, but it’s fast enough, and it’s better than buying an expensive external hard drive, which is just as vulnerable as a PC’s hard drive.

That same issue of Kiplinger’s also mentioned AT&T’s GoPhone mobile service. I discovered I can pay a flat rate of $0.25 per minute, or $3 on the days I use my phone, with no charge for minutes. For someone who barely uses her mobile phone, this is exciting news. I hippity-hopped into an AT&T store all set to convert my service, only to learn I have two months left on my $40-per-month contract. Blargh. Well, I’ll just put a reminder on my free online calendar, courtesy of MyYahoo.