Friday, Fun, Phones, and the Fourth

Today, I’m changing the ring tone on my mobile to a song that will amuse me. I’m investing a minute of my morning to click on a couple keys and change the sound my phone makes when someone calls me. Who cares? Me. I care and I know (from my past experience) that even if the phone doesn’t ring, I will periodically SEE the phone and remember that I have a funny song selected as my ring tone. A smile or smirk will crawl, uninvited, across my face. Funny feels good. I think my brain “likes” funny. And if it only “costs” me a minute, why wouldn’t I make that little change on the settings of my phone in order to put a few more smiles on my face? Right?!

So what’s the ring tone? (I’m SO glad you asked!) It’s the Imperial March from the Star Wars movies. For most people that song has all of the typical geeky, nostalgic feelings associated with it.

But for me, it ALSO has a very particular, very spectacular memory attached to it. You know what’s better than the Imperial March? – The Imperial March played on the Tesla coils at the Boston Museum of Science after the wedding I officiated for a really sweet, really nerdy couple. Near the end of the ceremony, they stepped up into the Faraday cage and it began slowly rising until it was the nearest metal object to the ginormous generator. As I pronounced them legally married, their Faraday cage was struck by a bolt of lightning!!!

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Here’s a selfie I took just before that happened, and here’s a photo of the life-size T-Rex sporting a bow tie for the big event.

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His/her bow tie actually matched mine!

So yeah… this song will ALWAYS bring a smile to my face. And I get to revisit ALL of that simply by changing the ring tone on my phone. I think that’s a great way to add a little fun to my Friday! I hope you will too!

Oh yeah, in case you hadn’t figured out why I picked that specific song for today… check out today’s date! So I guess this QuittersWin video is appropriate today as well.

#MayTheFourth

#FridayFun

#MayTheFourthBeWithYou

 

 

Text Support Matters

Staying in touch means staying on track, so if you’re on a journey and you aren’t getting text message support, you only need to ask!

Email your first name and mobile number to TJ@QuittersWin.org or visit our Facebook page and send a private message.

Thanks for taking good care of you and thanks for letting us help!

Quick Reminder

Quick Reminder:
Try not to let yesterday or tomorrow take up too much of today!

Quick Call:
Every Friday at noon (EST) QuittersWin holds a brief (20 mins?) conference call that’s free and open to all. It’s easy too!
DIAL: 712-775-7031
ACCESS CODE: 581592 #

Be well and have a wonderful weekend! http://ow.ly/i/EUMlw

Of Grackles, Labradorite, and People Too!

Over the weekend on three occasions in three different places, I saw grackles. Of course, at this time of year, seeing birds is not unusual, but grackles aren’t that common around here. This week I rediscovered a small collection of labradorite stones that I had stashed away.

I observed a similarity between grackles and labradorite. Both, upon casual glance, appear quite unremarkable. Depending upon the lighting, grackles would be easily mistaken for a starling or any number of medium sized dark colored birds. In its natural state, labradorite seems much like many other rocks, and even when polished, can appear as gray.

But from certain perspectives, one can discover and appreciate the true brilliance of a grackle’s feathers. When the light and angle are just right, deep, shimmering jewel tones shine, beautifully offset by the dark black feathers!

Now if all you see is ‘black birds,’ I respectfully suggest that you look more closely. Maybe a change of perspective will help you appreciate the true beauty of these creatures. Maybe slowing down will help too.

Rediscovering the labradorite made me realize the traits shared with grackles. Again, the stones looked pretty much like stones, even when cut into deliberate shapes and polished.

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Only a closer look, a more thoughtful or mindful contemplation, allowed me to see all they have to offer. From a different perspective and in a different light, labradorite has ‘magic’ hiding inside!

labradorite

I attempt to stay open to any messages that the universe may be sending my way. I’ve been accused of finding significance in the insignificant (and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.) But if the universe was speaking to me this week, it may have been to remind me that I should assume that every rock is a gem. I should expect that every dull colored bird may have a secret sparkle to share under the right circumstances.

As we encounter nature and as we encounter other beings this week, perhaps we can try to recall this lesson. May labradorite and grackles remind us to look for and expect hidden splendor in the world around us, and especially in ourselves and in others! Assume best intentions whenever engaging with others and look for their ‘sparkle.’ Perhaps if we ‘sparkle-seekers’ set a consistent example, the world can be a kinder, gentler place.

#LetsHope!

#DFTYA!

Does Hope Hide?

I guess this may be a continuation of an idea I wrote about recently. Sometimes it seems like the woods woos us to come, to look, to listen, to wander and ponder.

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So does it seem to you that sometimes hope is hiding? Requiring you to move, to go, to stoop, to kneel, to stretch? My yard and woods hold abundant secret signs of things to come. But many of these hopeful clues won’t yield to a quick or casual glance.

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Perhaps we should look at springtime yard work as yoga or dance. I’m walking in the woods today, but I’ll try to remember not to walk too quickly or gaze too casually at my serene surroundings. I’ll try to bring my curiosity along for the walk. I’ll try to be open to whatever stooping, stretching, or dancing as the secrets there may require.

There is always hope

I know it’s there

Wherever I go.

Seek and find

Stoop and stretch

Breathe and believe

No doubt you’ll receive

Whatever your souls needs

Hiding ‘midst the rocks, trees, and weeds.

Namaste

 

Happy Earthday to You

This weekend, countless earthlings will mark Earth Day with celebrations of various sorts. On a personal level, every day the Earth offers us a chance to be still, to seek communion with nature, to be grounded.

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Perhaps it is in the quiet of the woods or the rhythmic sounds of the surf that we can sync our vibrations to those of the creative force of the planet. Maybe when we get ‘out of range’ of the phones and television sets, away from the clamor that clutters our minds, we can again become aware of the natural energy that woos us back into the woods.

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The weekend’s weather forecast even seems to be cooperating. I hope that you will take time or make time to walk among the trees or wander by the sea. Consider reclining on the earth and gazing skyward. Perhaps you’ll even feel the earth’s vibrations re-calibrating that part of you that doesn’t show up on the x-ray.

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Breathe in the energy of this precious planet we walk upon. Revere its majesty and might. Seek the peace within that earth and nature can give. I often remind you to take good care of you. This weekend let’s also take good care of Mother Earth.

#BreatheAndBelieve
#HappyEarthDay

Listen, My Children, And You Shall Hear…

… Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

April is National Poetry Month and this particular April date will always make me remember an epic poem that my mother was required to memorize as a child. My mother was a teacher by vocation and her desire to teach was evident in her child-rearing, even before she became a teacher.

It would certainly be impossible to count the number of times I heard her recite the stanzas of “Paul Revere’s Ride.” The mere mention of ANY date in April would cause her to launch into the rhyme. Her willingness to saddle up and ride into verse became a family joke as we children grew up.

Poetry may be part of some of our oldest memories and ought to be revered (see what I did there?) Poems have sticking power in our memories because their meter and rhyming patterns are easy for our minds to hold. Think about the poems that are filed away in your brain. Pull them out and dust them off today when you have a few minutes to spare.

I’m not a neurologist, but I’m quite sure that remembering and reciting poetry is #GoodMedicine for our brains, and it’s certainly a virtuous way to spend a few minutes today. It may even lower your stress level to distract yourself with a poem. Some of those poems or nursery rhymes may even contain good advice that we should all revisit.

So here’s our #DoubleDogDare for today – spend a few minutes pondering poetry today and notice how it makes you feel. (Extra credit if you use a poem as a tool to distract yourself from an urge to smoke, eat junk food, or some other unhealthy action.)

If you write poetry, what better day than today to sharpen your quill and jot a few lines?

Never tried to write a rhyme?

There’s never been a better time!

 

#NationalPoetryMonth

Below is the full text of Longfellow’s poem (which is in the public domain) just in case there are any history buffs reading this.

Paul Revere’s Ride

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow1807 – 1882

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive 
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified 
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears, 
Till in the silence around him he hears 
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, 
And the measured tread of the grenadiers 
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, 
In their night-encampment on the hill, 
Wrapped in silence so deep and still 
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread, 
The watchful night-wind, as it went 
Creeping along from tent to tent, 
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!” 
A moment only he feels the spell 
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread 
Of the lonely belfry and the dead; 
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent 
On a shadowy something far away, 
Where the river widens to meet the bay, --
A line of black, that bends and floats 
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, 
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride, 
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side, 
Now gazed on the landscape far and near, 
Then impetuous stamped the earth, 
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search 
The belfry-tower of the old North Church, 
As it rose above the graves on the hill, 
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height, 
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, 
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight 
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, 
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet: 
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light, 
The fate of a nation was riding that night; 
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, 
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock, 
And the barking of the farmer’s dog, 
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington. 
He saw the gilded weathercock 
Swim in the moonlight as he passed, 
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, 
Gaze at him with a spectral glare, 
As if they already stood aghast 
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When be came to the bridge in Concord town. 
He heard the bleating of the flock, 
And the twitter of birds among the trees, 
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,--
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,-- 
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

One Small Step

 

Today tens of thousands of marathon runners will brave the cold and the rain (and even the memories of a bombing five years ago) to compete in the 121st Boston Marathon. Ask any of them if one small step matters and you will hear a doubtless and resounding “Yes!”

There are lots of steps to such journeys and every one matters. But that first step has a strange power to move us like no other. All of us are on a journey, whether we know it or not. We can either take that first step (or take that next one) or we can keep making excuses for inaction.

Today as we watch or hear about the marathoners, let’s agree that it’s time for us to make our move! Get prepared, get equipped, get support, and get going. Wherever you are on your journey be sure to take (at least) one small step, and before you it, you’ll see the finish line up ahead.

#MarathonMonday
#FirstStepsMatter
#MondayMatters
#ItsAMarathon

http://ow.ly/i/EAqmI

A Reminder, a Dragon, and a Download

Plenty of folks get a few text messages every week to remind them to stay positive and take positive steps, but QuittersWin is more than just feel-good text messages and blog posts. For people dealing with addictions or compulsive behaviors, QuittersWin can be a game-changer or life-saver.

Over the course of 20 years assisting brave folks addicted to tobacco and other substances, I’ve developed a unique way of looking at addiction. I should add that along with the observations of thousands of those successful quitters, I also have my own lived experience with tobacco and other substances.

When lots of folks look at the idea of their addiction, their ‘foe’ seems too big, too vague, and too hard to define – let alone try to stop! QuittersWin looks at addiction in a manner that may give people hope and direction. By deconstructing the addiction, its five distinct components can seem a little less overwhelming. And even if a person isn’t fully equipped to address all five aspects, they will likely see a few areas where they can start making changes. These five distinct aspects are really the key to the success that QuittersWin participants have experienced! 

We illustrate these five distinct aspects as the five heads of a dragon. Now before you dismiss this idea, let me add that for about 12 of the years that this method was used to assist tobacco users trying to quit, research and follow up showed that 30-35% of people using this approach were still tobacco-free a year after their quit date! When you consider that the U.S. unassisted quit rate is around 5%, I think you’ll agree that QuittersWin seems to be making a real difference for people who are ready to make this journey. 

If you don’t have a solid understanding of the ‘Five Headed Dragon,’ we recommend you learn more about it. Getting to a QuittersWin group or class is a good way to do that. Getting on the phone with a Quit Coach is a fine plan, too. Hop on our conference call on a Friday at noon. Interact with our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. But here’s a step you can take NOW. Click on this link and download BESOCHEMPS. Read up on the five heads and then let us know how we can help you!

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