This Man Has ALS, And His Ice Bucket Challenge Will Make You Laugh. Then It’ll Make You Cry

The first time I (the bookworm, yes) heard, I mean, really heard about ALS was by reading “Tuesdays With Morrie” (have read the book to pieces by now, over and over again).
The wonderful Kindness Blog shares Carbajal’s Ice Bucket Challenge Clip and I recommend to watch it. Every minute of it.

Kindness Blog

Over the last few weeks, social media has gone berserk with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, as celebrities, tech moguls, politicians, and people everywhere grab buckets of ice water and dump them on their heads

All this is in the name of raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Anthony Carbajal

There’s been such a deluge of videos made of these ice bucket challenges (some of which have been hilarious, others more serious) that you might be tempted to skip this new video that was uploaded Monday by a man named Anthony Carbajal. But as Upworthy put it, this is one clip that “you really should see.”

The video begins humorously as Carbajal, aphotographer, dresses up in a neon bikini top and soaps up a car before being doused with ice water. “OK, that was probably the most embarrassing thing that I’ve ever done in…

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The August Break – Day 13 to Day 16 – “my guilty pleasure”, “hands”, “blue” and “look down”

the August Break - Day 13 - my guilty pleasure

Vanilla Muffin, chocolate frosting, chocolate M&Ms on top, and a Café crème with chocomel in it.

 

what my Hands like to do... picking my favourite guitar pieces....

what my Hands like to do… picking my favourite guitar pieces….

 

the August Break - Day 15 - blue

Detail shot of my Longboard – leaning at my Petrol coloured wall. This colour combination makes me outright happy. As much as taking the board for a stroll along the Rhine 🙂

 

the August Break - Day 16 look down

a blurry shot of my old yellow chucks… I like them because they help forget about rainy days.

Categories: colours, photo blogging, photography, The August Break | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The August Break – Day 11 “handwriting” and Day 12 “on the table

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the August Break – Day 11 – a Rumi Quote: “Be Ground/ Be crumbled, so wildflowers/come up where you are/You have been stony for too many years/Try something different./Surrender” -On a personal note, ahem, after having watched “The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey”, just last night, it sounds a bit like what Gandalf says to Bilbo in his Hobbit house 😉 – no offence to wonderful Rumi though…

 

The August Break - Day 12 - a very delicious rhubarb lemonade, Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing Down the Bones' and my Journal, in which I copied several lines of several chapters. Enjoying the last few days of my summerbreak as much as possible...

The August Break – Day 12 – a very delicious rhubarb lemonade, Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down the Bones’ and my Journal, in which I copied several lines of several chapters. Enjoying the last few days of my summerbreak as much as possible…

 

This morning the sad News of the passing of Robin Williams were all over the media – rest in peace, Robin Williams, you are the first actor I ever mentioned as “favourite actor” and you brough so much emotional intelligence into the films.

Categories: contemplative photography, creativity, photo blogging, photography, The August Break | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The August Break – Day 1 to Day 10 – catching up, being happy…

Lunch

Lunch at Anne&Max in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. http://www.annemax.nl

 

 

 

 

The August Break - Day 2 - Pattern  Went for a natural pattern  of beautifully textured tree bark....

The August Break – Day 2 – Pattern
Went for a natural pattern of beautifully textured tree bark….

 

the August Break - Day 3 - window

Café-houseboat belonging to Anne&Max, Alkmaar, NL (ahemm, anyone knowing me just a teensy bit will not be suprised to hear that I payed this place a second visit…actually even a third ^^)

 

Orange - well, it figures, right? :)

Orange – well, it figures, right? 🙂

 

the August Break - Day 5 - three

“Three” – taken at the dutch coast while cosily resting in a beach chair, considering to book the next (short) vacation right before even finishing this one 😉

 

The August Day - Day 6 - reflection

Reflection of the fairy lights in the Loggia window, almost heart shaped …

the August Break Day 7 - Today is...

 

the August Break - Day 8 - selfie

Selfie with picmonkey filters – yep, bad hair day all over ^^

 

the August Break - Day 9 - in my bag

Revealing a bit of my love for colours of the aqua-Family. Just a teensy bit 😉

 

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coffee from my favourite Cup – I even love the Sound it makes when putting the Cup on the saucer (nerd? yes) – then two of my yummiest coffee pads, the Hema regular coffee pads and then my vanilla flavoured ones (best enjoyed with chocomel in it ^^ again: nerd? oh well)

 

So this what I would call proper catching up. The first ten days of The August Break which is just as much fun and fulfillment – at minimum – as it was last year. What makes it so Special this year is that I know myself accompanied by wonderful friends from Germany, France, England, Australia, Canada who are doing this year’s August Break, too.

Sherry Galey, I wouldn’t want to miss for the world having met you through photo Blogging just one year ago…thought it seems so much longer!

Up from tomorrow, it’ll be less overwhelming for you guys, as I’ll shift to a day to day posting Habit 🙂 –

 

Happy Sunday everyone – and happy August Break !!

Categories: colours, contemplative photography, photo blogging, photography, The August Break | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The August Break 2014

Hi everyone,  
yes, it’s been a while…but back I am indeed and what could be a better reason to re-dive into Blogging than the wonderful August Break? Due to technical issues I am a bit late – so it’s about catching up the next few days. For now let me happily present this year’s list of prompts and see you off with this for tonight.

 

 

augustbreaklist

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Your Gentle Reminder

I keep going back to this outstanding blog post by my inspiring friend David. And I feel like telling you that I made such an altar almost right away after reading it …and it’s so so worth doing this! more on this to follow soon. Thank you David to share this wonderful Inspiration in words and visuals.

smilecalm

matchbox altar D matchbox altar D

If we want to enter Heaven
on Earth, we need only
one conscious step
and one conscious breath. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Make a simple, personal reminder
of our sacred existence
of this sweet, short life
of the web of life’s interconnection of all things.

On the surface
these matchbook mini-altars
appear as cut and paste
magazine and ribbon
arts and crafts.

But as a reminder of who we really are
they become powerful tools of transformation.

Try it with friends!
Place it where it most needs to be seen.

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Looking at my hometown with fresh eyes

It is by far not the first time for me to do a photowalk in downtown Aachen, and this morning I didn’t even change much of my usual paths but yet there were new impressions to be caught with the camera or different angles …

Some looked best in sepia and some in colour. Let me take you on a visual walk through the city which is only a few minutes from two other countries, namely the Netherlands and Belgium.

This redbrick building is a theatre, it offers mostly alternative plays, or at least very alternative Adaption for the 20-30somethings

This redbrick building is a theatre, it offers mostly alternative plays, or at least very alternative Adaption for the 20-30somethings

IMG_2989 (640x427)

at the theatre window.

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…on my way to the cathedral and Muensterplatz (~ cathedral square)

 

Looking up does pay off from time to time

Looking up does pay off from time to time

 

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love the colour combination

love the colour combination

 

You have to know the quarter to find this passageway. Love it. So much charme there....

You have to know the quarter to find this passageway. Love it. So much charme there….

 

 

swirly

swirly

 

a shop selling wool. Yes, it's Aachen. Quite unusual for the City though...

a shop selling wool. Yes, it’s Aachen. Quite unusual for the City though…

 

A violin builder

A violin builder

 

Italian Food and such an artsy sign. Note to self: Make a sign series. :)

Italian Food and such an artsy sign. Note to self: Make a sign series. 🙂

 

 

cathedral...

cathedral…

Magnolia and Saints

Magnolia and Saints

 

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Don't those angels get dizzy? Actually I have never paid Attention to those sculptures...might have been distracted by the magnolia tree

Don’t those angels get dizzy? Actually I have never paid Attention to those sculptures…might have been distracted by the magnolia tree

 

Mr Duck Swimming in a small fountain. He looked a bit lost there... and attracted lots of children

Mr Duck Swimming in a small fountain. He looked a bit lost there… and attracted lots of children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: contemplative photography, photo blogging, photography, springtime, sundays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

song lyrics

This guitar is 25 years old. My dear grandpa gave it to me. Love to play it, and playing it means touching it...of course.

This guitar is 25 years old. My dear grandpa gave it to me. Love to play it, and playing it means touching it…of course.

As I am planning a series of smaller paintings bringing visuals to Songs I feel inspired by I had a closer listen to my all-time favourite Songs.

Jack Johnson has quite a few to offer… and “Symbol in my driveway” is one which got stuck with me. the past few days… 

If it turns into a painting or Collage I will post it here. For now listen to the song and find the lyrics underneath.

Would love to read about your favourite song lyrics, dear reader, if you feel like sharing them in the comments.

 

“I’ve got a symbol in my driveway

I’ve got a hundred million  dollar friends

I’ve got you a brand new weapon

Lets see how destructive  we can be

I’ve got a brand new set of stencils

I’ve been connecting  all the dots

Got my plans in a zip lock bag

Lets see how unproductive we  can be

I’ve got a light bulb full of anger

And I can switch it on  and off I

n situations it can be so bright

I can’t believe, how pathetic  we can be

I’ve got a perfect set of blueprints

I’m gonna build  somebody else

Might cost a little more than money

But what’s man without  his wealth?

I’ve got a phosphorescent secret

But don’t you tell nobody  else

Next thing you know, the whole world

Will be talking about all the  clues they got

They just ain’t no use, they’ve got us fooled”

Jack Johnson – from the Album “On and On”

 

Categories: music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Morning (de-)light …or …how the simple things in life contribute to my happiness

Brush bouquet

Brush Bouquet

The good thing about being an early bird is to being able to walk around the flat when it’s still so quiet outside,

when the light is very Special and therefore my camera is silently begging to be picked up.

The photos are taken at home with a mindful attitude and a thankful heart.

Inspired by Susannah Conway, Tara Leaver and the amazing Project you find on www.3191milesapart.com

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee...

Coffee scent in the kitchen, a heart in the milk foam almost too nice to make me drink the coffee…

 

Tulips ... reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Tulips … reminding me that the next spring is just around the corner

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

Fairy lights warming the atmosphere

berry light (640x597)

closeup of the other “yarnball-style” fairy lights – I love the light spreading through the holes, reflecting on the wall.

friendly and charming roommates ;)

friendly and charming roommates 😉

The reason why I love taking photos of my beloved everyday simplicity, the things I refuse to take for granted although they happen to be around me seemingly “all the time” is that I am making sure to have a Little “vacation mindset” during the week.

I do not want to wait for the next ‘real’ vacation to feel happy and grateful, nor do I think that waiting for a vacation of 5 days could release work stress of 5 weeks for example.

driftwood and circles i

driftwood and circles

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

star shaped tree bark (can it get any better?) and circles on my old table which probably would have a few stories to tell. How I love this kitchen table. It came to me as a gift and I do not want to take it for granted.So much Beauty in its imperfection!

If you haven’t done this (in a while) I invite you to take your camera and look around your house:

-take photos of things which have accompanied you for a long time, which have a story to tell (and maybe write down the story for them if you feel inspired to do so)

-take photos of how the morning/noon/afternoon or evening light makes parts of your place so special

-take photos of little treats which can help to press the pause button during your day…. like a cup of tea or coffee you are enjoying

-take photos of things you once purchased or got as a gift, which mean a lot to you, but which sit at the same place for a while already and might be taken for granted a little  …

And just as important:

  • What do you do with your photos?

  • When do you take time to print them?

  • Do you want to put them into a Journal or Album?

  • Do you feel like making a Collage? Craft a postcard to a dear friend with the help of these photos?

  • Do you feel like posting them in a blog – for example – and possibly inspire others?

  • Maybe even put them into a Special file to go make a photobook with them at a photostore, as a reminder of lots of things to be happy about?

My experience is that it’s of course very nice and precious to first of all take photos with the mindset I have described in here.

But, you know… these days, yeah, sure, you can take zillions of photos with your digital camera, store them in files and even give them captions and names. If you give These photos a Special “presentation”, honour them with your time and Attention, they might serve you as a reminder of reasons to be happy about “the simple things in life”.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." - Henry Ward Beecher

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, coffee, contemplative photography, gratitude, life, mindfulness, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some personal thoughts on contemplative artmaking

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

Mandala doodle over a circle smooshed with gel medium and acrylics

concentric circles. tons of layers, a 'few' spoons of texture paste...and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to "brighten it up" was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

concentric circles. tons of layers, a ‘few’ spoons of texture paste…and a dark greyish purple mud structure getting a brighter existence. the Feeling of having managed to “brighten it up” was similar to a Situation in social life getting cleared up

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills ;) ...) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Two friends and I did this swirl in the Spirit (unlike the skills 😉 …) of Tibetan Monks. Lesson to learn: Patience, being in the Moment, letting go

Working on "Buddha faces" - Stockmar crayons

Working on “Buddha faces” – Stockmar crayons

My major motivation to take a brush/Crayons/pens&pencils out to start creating something is to do something contemplative.

-the movement of your Hands,

-breathing with awareness,  witnessing of what goes on inside while making a particular brush stroke for example

-the choice of colours and shapes

-the choice of style and the activity of building layers, including natural ingredients such as smaller twigs or sand, tiny pebbles or a sea Shell

can be consciously chosen to develop a contemplative mind set – so circular movements are my favourites to deal with my “crazy monkey mind” (as Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche would put it)  – If you haven’t experienced it, just take some colour and a big Piece of paper and start making circles ….but: without the inention to create perfection. Witness the Feelings and sensations while doing so.

The results often are precious to me. And it’s not in the first place because I think the end result is so outstanding and good, it’s more like I have a Souvenir of a process which was unique and very likely to having taught me something about myself.

You see some of the latest ‘souvenirs’ in this post.

kreis_petrol_copyrighted

Kreis_magenta_petrol_copyrighted

‘Life is about using the whole box of crayons’ – (Unknown; source: Pinterest)

Enso - the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn't left ever since.

Enso – the first ever. The love for ensos was born that day and hasn’t left ever since.

‘Art enables us to find ourselves and to lose ourselves at the same time’ – Thomas Merton

Categories: Achtsamkeit, Art, creativity, intuitive artmaking, mindfulness, psychology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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