Week Three Celebrations

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Week three celebrations are done and week four is underway. The celebrations for week two felt challenging and definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. This week, with a major holiday imminent, the activities were perfect…fun, playful and quickly carried out.

Check out this post, for an overview of how I am celebrating as I approach my 62nd birthday in January . And then scroll down to see which activities I drew out of the jar this week.

Week Three Celebrations title meme

Week Three Celebrations

As a reminder, I wrote 62 activities on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day. This is a game that I play frequently, for various reasons. My trust and playfulness have both deepened greatly as a result.

Here we go…week three.

Drive to Scotland…Missouri

I’ve lived in Joplin for almost 39 years. Many times I’ve driven by a sign on East 7th Street with the word SCOTLAND printed on it. I have Scottish ancestry and I dearly love that country. And yet, I’ve never driven down that side road to see where it goes.

Scotland, Missouri is an unincorporated community located near Joplin. The post office opened in 1873 and operated until 1903. I didn’t know if anything existed still, in this tiny community. Drawing that slip of paper meant a short trip to discover what, if anything, remained in Scotland, Missouri.

The sun neared the western horizon as Greg and I drove east out of Joplin. I literally had minutes to get to the community before darkness fell. To my delight, a small cluster of houses occupies that space. The post office is long gone, however there are several streets laid out in a simple grid pattern. Woods encroach on one side of town and pastures surround the rest of the community. There is one business at the far edge of the little town, a trucking company.

I can officially say that I have driven to Scotland! I didn’t see coos or sheep, but three horses dwell peacefully in one of the pastures.

Week Three Celebrations Scotland
Week Three Celebrations – Driving to Scotland, Missouri

Listen to Music from a Different Country

This was one of two music related activities that I drew for week two celebrations. The country of Brazil immediately came to mind. I love Google. Typing in Brazilian music brought up a list of musicians and bands from that country.

On YouTube I listed to Michel Telo. Michel is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and actor. He’s been the lead singer in various bands, including Grupo Tradicao and has a solo career now. Michel’s biggest national and international hit is “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”, which happened to be the first song of his that I listened to.

Find a Role Model Who is Doing What I Want to Do

Meet the Accidental Icon. Lyn Slater is a professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services. She started a style blog in 2014 after not finding one that offered an “urban, modern, intellectual aesthetic”. Her intention was not to become an icon. However, her fresh voice on fashion, politics, society and the world draws followers…and companies…to her.

What I find most encouraging about Lyn is her authenticity…and her age. She is 65 and discovering new adventures and opportunities every day. Just by being herself she encourages me to do the same. Lyn advises women to do the work they need to do, so that they are okay with being who they are, and to focus on the content they create.

Check out the Accidental Icon Blog.

Week Three Celebrations Accidental Icon

Lyn Slater, the Accidental Icon. Photo by Calvin August Lom.

Listen to a New Genre of Music

At first I thought I’d find it difficult to listen to a genre that is new to me. However, I discovered there are more than 50 genres of music! I chose House Music.

This genre of electronic dance music was created in the 1980s by disc jockeys and music producers from Chicago’s underground club culture. DJs altered disco dance tracks to give them more mechanical beats and deeper basslines. They began to mix in synth pop, rap, Latin music and jazz into their tracks as well.

The genre expanded internationally to London and to major US cities such as New York City and Detroit. Over the years numerous subgenres developed. Today House Music remains popular on radio and in clubs.

Leave Encouraging Sticky Notes Around Town

My granddaughter Aubrey helped with this day’s activity. In fact, I supplied the sticky notes and a pen and she busied herself writing all the notes. In a few minutes Aubrey created a pile of encouraging notes with saying such as You Can Change the World and Don’t Give Up and Follow Your Dreams.

We had errands to run and a family dinner that evening. As we visited different locations, Aubrey and I left behind encouraging sticky notes. It was a fun shared activity! I hope we brought joy to the recipients.

Week Three Celebrations Sticky Notes
Week Three Celebrations – Leave Encouraging Sticky Notes

Research a Topic I’ve Never Researched Before

When I selected this activity out of the jar, the first topic that came to mind involved water. In the new Frozen movie, a plot point involves water memory. Does water really retain memory?

I decided to research it.

Water memory is the purported ability of water to retain a memory of substances previously dissolved in it, even after repeated dilutions leave no molecules of the original substance. It’s an intriguing theory initiated 31 years ago by French immunologist Jacques Benveniste. The scientific community does not accept Benveniste’s findings, which have been duplicated occasionally, but not consistently, since his initial claims that water does retain memory.

Water is fascinating. It can occupy three states…liquid, solid and gaseous. Water is essential for all life on Earth. Japanese author Masaru Emoto demonstrated that human consciousness affects water molecules. And Professor Bernd Kroeplin at Aerospace institute in Germany discovered that an image of a flower remained in drops of water, after the flower was immersed in a container of water. He studies the drops of water on slides under a dark field microscope.

I intend to do more research on this interesting topic.

Check out an interview with Kropelin  HERE.

Week Three Celebrations Research
Week Three Celebrations – Research a New Topic

Make a Heart Ornament for Christmas

For many years I’ve purchased a heart shaped ornament every December, to place on my Christmas tree. The ornaments remind me of the importance of my own heart and how necessary it is for me to keep it open and whole.

I was excited to draw this activity yesterday, until I realized that none of the craft stores were open on Thanksgiving Day. My choices for materials were limited to what I had on hand at home. Chatting with my daughters about my dilemma, Elissa suggested I make one out of a vintage handkerchief. What a brilliant idea! I have at least a dozen vintage hankies that belonged to my grandmothers and to Greg’s mom.

Looking through my collection later, I found a very delicate handkerchief that belonged to Leta Moore. To my delight, it even has a Christmas motif, with bells and holly embroidered on it. The thin material and embroidery gave me pause though. I’d have one chance to create a heart ornament from this keepsake. And the thought of cutting into the silky material bothered me.

Greg came to my rescue. He brought me a stack of white handkerchiefs that his father never used. I felt relief. I now had plenty of material to use. I’ll save the Christmas hankie to use in another way.

Making the Ornament

To make the ornament I drew a heart shape on card stock, cut it out and traced it onto the handkerchief, tucking the point of the heart into a corner of the folded hankie. After cutting out the heart, I pinned the edges together, adding a loop of narrow silver and white ribbon to serve as a hanger.

I’m grateful Granny Grace taught me hand sewing as a child. It didn’t take long to sew around the edges, right sides together, leaving a small opening to turn the heart right side out. The rest of the handkerchief became the stuffing for the ornament. I cut the material into narrow strips and stuffed them into the heart, then sewed up the opening.

Finally, I tied strands of white, purple and turquoise ribbon around the loop hanger. It turned out so cute! I love my heart ornament for this year.

Week Three Celebrations Heart Ornament
Week Three Celebrations – Make a Heart Ornament

A Week of Play

I loved the playfulness during week three celebrations. Curiosity led me to new discoveries and my creative side got to play.  My granddaughter joined in and we had fun doing an activity together.

Fall decor is coming down and I’m ready to transform my home into a Christmas wonderland. I’m excited to see which activities show up, as December arrives.

Week Three Celebrations

Week One Celebrations

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations

 

Check out Masaru Emoto’s book on water:

 

 

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Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Perhaps you are looking for a unique gift this year for a friend or loved one. Or you wonder how to encourage someone as they learn and grow.  Maybe you want to show your support for another’s life journey. If any of these reasons are true for you, check out these gifts that inspire an enchanted life.

Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life title meme 2

 

What is an Enchanted Life?

For me, living an enchanted life means living with a higher awareness of all that’s going on around me. I notice synchronicities…those seemingly coincidental experiences that carry significance. Signs and wonders are common. Challenges become opportunities for growth. Gratitudes abound. And living in the flow of life takes me where I need to go.

Enchantment has been my theme for 2019. How perfect to wind down this year with a list of great gift ideas, to inspire enchantment in others.

Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life

Click on each photo, for more info or to order.

Gratitude Journal

Expressing gratitude, on a daily basis, can be life changing. The more grateful you are, the more you find to be grateful for. Capturing gratitudes in a journal allows energy to flow…and brings joy when you read back over your blessings.

Gratitude Journal
Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life – Gratitude Journal

 Daily Affirmation Calendar

Keep an affirmation calendar, the kind with pages that flip daily, on your desk or in the kitchen. Read the affirmation to start out the day…and read again before bed. Bonus: fall asleep thinking about that day’s affirmation and let the subconscious absorb those powerful truths.

Daily Affirmation Calendar
Daily Affirmation Calendar

Books

From living more creatively to living more soulfully and courageously, these books definitely inspire an enchanted life.

 


Encouraging Quotes Wall Art

I love finding encouragement all throughout my house. Inspiring quotes are one of my favorite forms of art to surround myself with.

 

Not all who wander are lost wall art.
Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life – Wall Art
Life is like a camera wall art.
Life is Like a Camera wall art.

Coloring Books & Colored Pencils

Coloring is not only a way to express creativity, it is meditative. Gift the creative person in your life with one of these beautiful coloring books. And don’t forget the colored pencils!


Prismacolor Colored Pencils
Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life – Colored Pencils

Instant Camera

Seeing the world through the lens of a camera focuses attention. Capture beauty, broaden perspective and memorialize enchanting moments with one of these.

Instax Instant Camera
Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life – Instant Camera

Edison Bulb Hanging Light Fixture

This gift is just fun. I have one hanging in my studio. Beneath it is my thinking chair. How inspiring to sit beneath this light and come up with creative ideas.

Edison Bulb Hanging Light Fixture
Edison Bulb Hanging Light Fixture

Meditation

The practice of meditation enhances awareness, lowers stress, improves health and boosts creativity. Give the gift of meditation with any of these products.

 


Tea Set & Herbal Teas

Tea parties aren’t just for children. Indulge in one of the best practices for daily rejuvenation…afternoon tea. From a simple cup of tea to a full high tea, give the gift of self care with a tea set and herbal teas.

 

Teapot and teacups for afternoon tea.
Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life – Teapot and Cups

 


Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life for the Holidays or Everyday

I hope these gifts bring inspiration and enchantment into the life of someone you love. Or, give yourself the gift of enchantment and inspire an amazing 2020!

Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life

Check out these Gifts for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Growing through week two celebrations seems like an apt title for this week’s update. As I approach my 62nd birthday in January, I am celebrating by randomly drawing daily activities out of a jar. Read about the creation of this fun game HERE.

It’s been an interesting week! More than last week, the activities the past seven days challenged me while upping my trust level.

Check out the next seven celebrations.

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations title meme

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations

As a reminder, I have 62 activities written on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day.

Make a Request So Crazy That I’d Expect a No

More than once this week, I’ve drawn out a slip of paper that’s made me question why I included this challenge! Last Friday, as I began week two celebrations, I drew out this slip of paper that made me take a deep breath.

Okaaay, I said out loud.

As I took a shower and prepared for the day, I opened to possibilities. I not only found my request, I came up with an idea for a future blog post as well. (Hint: have you ever wondered why so many good ideas surface in the shower or during a soak in the tub?)

The process of getting to the request so crazy I’d expect a no led me from idea to idea, with progressing degrees of outrageousness, until I reached the “crazy” level.

And here it is. I reached out to a cruise line, and asked to work together on a Solo Travel Series.  In exchange for a cruise, I offered a sizable package of posts, videos and social media shares. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers solo cabins, a lounge and excursions, which are perfect for those who wish to travel alone without paying for double occupancy.

I actually worked on the proposal for several days, after doing my research, before hitting the “send” button.

This was a huge push beyond my comfort zone, reaching out to a big company with an idea for working together. The point of this activity isn’t receiving a yes or a no…it’s getting beyond feelings of discomfort and inadequacy. What a crazy and fun celebration to kick off the week!

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations Cruise
Growing through week two celebrations – crazy request

Apply to a Writing Fellowship

Immediately on the heels of the crazy request came this activity, applying to a writing fellowship. Fellowships are programs offered to artists. The recipients work on writing or other creative work in beautiful and often isolated areas, for a designated period of time. Most fellowships provide the basics such as shelter and food for one week to three months.

Imagine the freedom to focus on creating art while expenses and needs are taken care of.

What I didn’t know, when adding this activity to the jar, is that this is not the right time of year for applying to writing fellowships. Most accept applications twice a year, in spring and fall. However, it’s been a great experience researching writing fellowships and dreaming big a bit. I found a fellowship in Massachusetts that accepts applications from December 1, 2019 until February 1, 2020. So the timing is perfect actually. I’m researching what I need to do to apply. And then I let that desire go and see what happens!

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations Writing
The Mastheads Writing Fellowship in Massachusetts.

Make Eye Contact and Smile at Everyone All Day

This sounds like a fun and easy activity! However, on the day I drew out this slip of paper, I spent most of the day at home. The only time I left the house, I walked at a nearby park and saw TWO people. I made eye contact and smiled. Both smiled back.

I’ve learned so much about trust, playing this type of game. The right activity shows up on the right day. So what to make of drawing this activity, on a day when I had contact with very few people?

I grew through this activity by making deep and strong eye contact and smiling…at myself. Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and really looked into your own eyes? Do critical thoughts arise? Or do you even like to look at yourself?

I found that the longer I gazed into my own eyes, the more tender I felt toward myself. Negative thoughts were not allowed. Nor did I let my mind wander or create stories. I simply looked into my own eyes and opened my heart to feeling love and compassion. When tears filled my eyes, I knew the activity was over, having led me into myself in a way that I would not have experienced otherwise. The smile that curved my mouth was so genuine and sincere.

Smiling at Myself

Travel a Different Way to a Familiar Location

Along with this 62 day birthday celebration, I’ve challenged myself to walk every day. Mercy Park, located about half a mile from my house, provides the ideal setting for walking and enjoying the beauty that the park offers.

And it’s the only place I traveled to that day! Greg went with me to the park and drove. He’s a good sport about my games. Playing along, he asked what route he should take to the park. Jesting really, I suggested he get there by only making right hand turns. He accepted that challenge and proceeded to make right turns until we arrived at the park!

We definitely traveled to Mercy Park via a different…and longer…route. The only hitch to following such directions presented itself when we needed to park the car. The parking lot lay to the left of the street. Greg solved that problem. He circled to the right in the street until he could pull into the parking space. I’m sure people walking by wondered what we were doing!

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations Driving
Growing Through Week Two Celebrations – Traveling a different way.

Watch a Movie/TV Show in Another Language

This Netflix series came highly recommended to me. Dark is a German series. Dubbing in English is available, which I dislike, or English subtitles. I chose the subtitles. It makes me pay close attention, which is important for this drama with a supernatural twist.

Set in a small German town, the story follows the disappearance of two boys from the community, and the connections among four families. Beyond those connections are similarities to events that happened in the same town in the 1980s.

It’s an intriguing and suspenseful show that has hooked me completely. After I finish the first of two seasons, I’ll do a proper review.

Netflix Series Dark
The Netflix Series Dark, presented in German.

Storyboard Ideas for Online Products

This activity worked well with the brainstorming I did last week, for the blogging business. I used my notes from that session as a springboard for fleshing out the ideas.

Using two large foam boards and sticky notes, I enjoyed letting my ideas grow. I used one board for Cindy Goes Beyond and the other one for Journey With Healthy Me. I’m excited to develop these ideas and create freebies, videos, products and online classes.

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations
Ideas covered by virtual flower stickers. Like flowers, these ideas have growing to do.

Have a Midnight Picnic

This activity, drawn on a day of heavy rain, gave me pause. When I wrote out this celebration, I envisioned drawing the slip of paper on a weekend of mild weather. I saw a fire roaring in the fire pit and a dark velvety sky sprinkled with stars.

Instead I drew the activity on a cold, wet day, making an outdoor midnight picnic impossible.

On Thursday evening, I spread a quilt on the floor of my creative studio. I added pillows and a metal tray holding a cup of hot tea and a bowl of sliced bananas and wild blueberries. Instead of starlight I enjoyed candlelight. And rather than the sounds of a crackling fire, my iPod supplied music. In keeping with the theme of randomness, I set the iPod to shuffle.

As I carried in my tray, the thought arose, “Let go of your expectations. Enjoy what is, right now.” Something shifted in my heart and my attitude. I opened to the experience, as it was, and let go of what wasn’t.

After enjoying my midnight snack, I lay back on the quilt, staring up at the shadows flickering across the ceiling. Such deep peace washed over me. The moment was perfect, in every way. Letting go is a lesson I’ve encountered before. What a gentle reminder to trust that everything in my life…everything…is designed for my growth.

I know now, when I draw out the “camp indoors” activity that I will create a blanket tent in my studio. It is magical by candlelight.

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations
Midnight picnic in my creative studio, with plants, candles and a healthy snack.

Growing Through Week Two Celebrations…and on to Week Three

What an amazing week of activities and celebrations. Did it go the way I thought it would? No. Did it go the way it was supposed to go? Absolutely. And because of that, I grew through the experiences. Trusting…and letting go. Opening to new ideas and thoughts…and moving beyond my comfort zone. Seeing the possibilities in situations…and accepting what is. These are the treasures I gathered to me this past week, the joys that I collected.

I’m excited to see what week three brings!

Week Two Activities

Read about Week One Celebrations

and Week Three

Create your own indoor picnic, with these finds from Amazon:

 


 

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Doctor Sleep Movie Review

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The 1980 movie The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson as writer Jack Torrance, is considered a classic. Who can forget the dark events that took place in the isolated Overlook Hotel?  Jack, his wife and young son Danny stayed there alone as caretakers of the property. Only, there weren’t really alone. The strange happenings in the hotel slowly drove Jack to insanity and violence. Danny, gifted with “the shining”, uses his intuitive abilities to reach out for help, beyond the snow bound property.

If you’ve seen The Shining, you know it doesn’t end well for Jack.

Doctor Sleep is the long awaited sequel to the story that began in the Overlook Hotel. Danny…Dan…is grown. However the events from his childhood greatly impacted the adult he grew into.

Check out this Doctor Sleep movie review, for a look at the continuation of The  Shining story. Mild spoilers included. The movie’s ending is not revealed.

Doctor Sleep Title Meme

Doctor Sleep Cast

This horror/thriller stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Zackary Momoh, Carl Lumbly, Alex Essoe and Jocelin Donahue. Mike Flanagan directed and wrote the screenplay, based on the novel Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King. Doctor Sleep carries a well deserved R rating, for violence, language, nudity and intense scenes, and has a run time of 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Danny Torrance grows up
Danny Torrance grows up.

Overcoming a Difficult Childhood

Doctor Sleep opens with flashbacks to Danny’s traumatic winter at Overlook Hotel. Danny (McGregor) and his mother Wendy (Essoe) attempt to move on with their lives, settling in Florida where it never snows. Danny does not speak for months until he receives a visit, in spirit, from Dick Hallorann (Lumby). Hallorann offers Danny techniques for containing his fear. Dick, who befriended Danny at the Overlook and recognized his shining, tells the troubled boy to mentally build boxes to trap the ghosts who bother him.

Danny grows from troubled boy into troubled man. Alcoholism, and the tendency to drift from town to town in an attempt to shake the past, bring him to New Hampshire. In a small town there he finds people who encourage him, offer him work and help him enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous.

As he heals, Dan works nights in a hospice unit with the cat Azzie, who instinctively goes to the rooms of those about to die. Dan uses his intuitive gift to bring comfort and peace to the the dying in their final moments, earning him the nickname of Doctor Sleep.

Doctor Sleep Movie Review Dan and Dick
Dan as Doctor Sleep and his friend in spirit, Dick Hallorann.

Abra Shines

During his years in New Hampshire, Dan connects with an unseen presence who leaves messages for him on his blackboard wall. Abra (Curran) is a young teen girl with powerful psychic abilities that she hides from her parents (played by Momoh and Donahue) . She reaches out with her mind to find Dan and alert him to group of people who are murdering children gifted with the shining.

Members of The Knot are energy vampires who have lived for centuries by feeding on the “steam” or shine of gifted youth. Led by Rose the Hat (Ferguson) and Crow Daddy (McClarnon) the group comes into Abra’s energetic awareness when they kidnap and kill a boy with the shining. Horrified, Abra locates Dan and meets with him in person. She asks for his help finding the baseball glove of the murdered boy so that she can use it to track The Knot and stop them from harming anyone else.

However, The Knot is aware of Abra too and they are drawn to her incredible gift.

The hunters become the hunted. And Dan finds he must return to where his horrors began as a child, if he is to save Abra and others like her.

Doctor Sleep Movie Review Abra and Rose
Abra and Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep.

My Thoughts on Doctor Sleep

I recently watched The Shining again, in preparation for this film. Other than seeing a couple of previews, I avoided learning anything about the sequel. From the brief movie trailers that I saw, I knew the story continued with Danny as a grown man.

It’s difficult to write a sequel to a classic. However, I feel that Mike Flanagan, well known for the recent remake of The Haunting of Hill House, created an excellent follow up film.

Rather than focusing on ghosts and jump scares, Flanagan examines the human element. He shows us how Danny is affected by post traumatic stress syndrome and dwells in the shadow of a problematic, albeit deceased, parent. In addition Flanagan reveals the difficulties caused by dulling pain with alcohol  and carrying the burden of living with a unique gift.

Be warned, however. There are extremely intense scenes in this film. One in particular is excruciatingly painful to watch and impacts the viewer with an emotional punch to the gut.

Redrum
A familiar word from Danny’s past.

The Message for Me

I like the ties to The Shining, which brings continuity to the story. And I appreciate the deeper message in Doctor Sleep, which it this: shine.

As an intuitive who hid my abilities for many years, I identify with Abra. Her gifts are more powerful than mine. However, I understand her desire to hide what she can do. I understand her hope that others think her normal.

It does me good to see Abra accept who she is in the film and embrace her gifts. That’s a journey I’ve taken as well. I accept who I am. And I embrace my gifts. When Dan tells Abra to shine, as herself, I take those words to heart too.

Isn’t that a message for all of us? Shine. Accept who you are. Embrace your gifts, whatever they are. How amazing to receive this encouragement in a Stephen King thriller. Then again, this King of Horror is a master storyteller…and a keen and thoughtful observer of humanity.

He's back...
Ewan McGregor is Doctor Sleep.

Check out these Stephen King finds on Amazon:

 


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Week One Celebrations

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Week one celebrations occurred, as I move through 62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday. Check out that post HERE, to see what the celebrations are all about.

I’ve chosen to do a weekly update every Friday, as a way of sharing the fun and also to hold myself accountable. Accountability is actually what led me down the blogging path back in 2014. That year I did something new every day, 365 days in a row. Blogging helped me to stay focused and be transparent in my accountability. In the same way, posting weekly updates keeps me on track with the birthday activities. It’s a big undertaking, this time of year, to add an extra activity every day. And yet, that’s part of the fun, challenging myself to “go beyond”.

I hope you benefit as well, from following along with me. May you find new ideas and be inspired to create your own magical games.

Week One Celebrations Title Meme

Week One Celebrations

As a reminder, I have 62 activities written on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day. This is a game that I play frequently, for various reasons. My trust and playfulness have both deepened greatly as a result.

How does this game deepen trust?

Some activities work better on different days, depending on what else I have going on. My trust develops because I can see the correlation between the free time I have on a given day, and the activity I randomly draw out. And as you will see in the week one celebrations, I sometimes begin an activity and then draw it out of the jar. This simple game shows me that I am part of a much larger “game” playing out. The more aware I become, the more magical my life is.

Here we go…week one celebrations.

Watch a Movie in a Different Genre

I’m an avid movie watcher. Movies, like music, speak into my life. So this activity, the first one I drew out of the jar, is more of a challenge than one would think. I watch films across a broad range of genres.

After consideration, I chose the category of Documentary. I’m not sure why, but I rarely watch anything in this genre. The next task was to choose one to watch. Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story snagged my attention because Eduardo is a chef and outdoorsman who found a way to combine those two loves into a budding career. However, during a hike in the wilds of Montana, Eduardo came across a dead bear within a large metal box. Curiosity drew him to investigate, resulting in an electrocution. 2400 volts of electricity shot through his body and erupted in four places. Eduardo survived but he lost his lower left arm and hand, four ribs and muscle mass from his torso, leg and scalp.

More important than what he lost, is what Eduardo found as he began a life changing journey through recovery.

What an extraordinary documentary, about an extraordinary man. His former girlfriend, who journeyed with him through recovery, and his supportive family are just as amazing. I loved Eduardo’s zest for life and how he grew through his challenges. And I appreciated his desire to offer back to the world.

Rent the documentary HERE through Amazon, or watch for free if you are a Prime member. (Not a Prime member but want to be? Click HERE for a 30 day free trial.)

Mental note to self…watch more documentaries!

Week One Celebrations Charged
Week One Celebrations – Watch a movie in a different genre.

Spend 30 Minutes Brainstorming Ideas

This appears to be a simple and easy to do activity. However, 30 minutes seems to drag by while writing continuously. I set a timer for this activity, grabbed a pen and notebook and settled into my bedroom to write.

The intention is to write quickly and allow energy to flow, without editing thoughts or words on paper.

I didn’t limit myself. Instead, I jotted down ideas and didn’t stop until the 30 minutes was up. I had a momentary pause about halfway through. Fortunately, the ideas flowed again and on I went. I ended up with FOUR pages of ideas, so I was quite pleased with this activity and I’m excited to develop what I came up with.

Week One Celebrations Brainstorming
Brainstorming ideas are intentionally blurred out. These need development.

Have a Mini Afternoon Retreat

Oh how I love any excuse for a retreat! I “happened” to draw this activity on a Sunday, which worked well as this day is my self care day. I brewed a cup of peppermint tea, grabbed my Lord of the Rings Coloring Book and my colored pencils and retired to my room.

As I colored I caught up on recorded Poldark episodes from the current season. I intended to color for an hour or two. Coloring is so soothing for me, and meditative. The act of laying color onto a page releases a flow of creative energy and all kinds of ideas flow too. Three and a half hours later, I declared an end to the mini retreat. I felt so refreshed.

Week One Celebrations Mini Retreat
Coloring as an activity during week one celebrations. I have more coloring to do.

Design Shirts for Blogs

This is an idea I’ve had for a while, that I have not acted on. Hence the reason this activity went into my jar. I’ll enjoy wearing shirts with Cindy Goes Beyond or Journey With Healthy Me  and their tag lines printed across them. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law and her sister make shirts as a side business.

I’ll share my ideas with them and discuss logos for the shirts as well. My intention is to offer these shirts for sale on the blog sites. Watch for those in the near future!

Week One Celebrations Shirts
Week One Celebrations – Design shirts

Take a Class

This is the activity that I started BEFORE I drew the action out of the jar. As I checked through social media feeds, shortly after waking up, I caught a notice for a class on copywriting. It’s a free four part class, offered via videos sent daily through email. I keep returning to the idea of copywriting as a side business, so the class interested me.

I signed up. A short time later, I drew my activity for the day.  Guess what it was? No, really, guess. Right! It was Take a Class. I love when such synchronicities happen. They show me I’m in the flow of life, exactly where I need to be.

The class is called 6 Months to 6 Figures with Copywriting…which sounds amazing. It’s taught by Sarah Turner and I’ve watched two of the videos so far. You can sign up for the free class HERE.

Week One Celebrations Class
Week One Celebrations – Take a Class.

Watch a new TED Talk

Like watching documentaries, I rarely watch a TED Talk, even though I know there are some amazing topics discussed. The few TED Talks I’ve watched were via YouTube.

When I drew out this activity, I decided to go directly to the TED Talks website and join. I’m glad I did. After selecting topics I’m interested in, the site chose my first TED Talk for me.

The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage was perfect for me. Susan David begins with the word Sawubona, which is the Zulu word for “hello”…and I knew this was the right talk to listen to. Sawubona carries significance for me. It literally means, “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” A dozen years ago I came across this amazing word and realized the importance of really seeing people.

I loved the TED Talk and plan to watch many more.

Week One Celebrations TED Talk
Great TED Talk

Eat at a New Restaurant

My last activity for this update posed a challenge as well. Having lived in Joplin for 37 years, I’ve eaten at most of the restaurants in town. The second difficulty is the fact that I am plant based. That lifestyle limits which restaurants are suitable.

As I considered and discarded possibilities, one restaurant that I’ve not dined at popped into mind and remained there. Infuxn is a restaurant and cocktail bar located downtown at 530 S. Main Street. The interior is fresh,  contemporary and welcoming. They state on their Facebook page,

“Passionate in everything we do whether it be customer service, culinary creativeness or the art of the cocktail. Please enjoy yourself.”

I took that as a personal invitation! Plus, Infuxn offers vegan choices on their menu and according to the manager, that menu is expanding.

Greg accompanied me to Infuxn, where we enjoyed a huge Asian hummus platter with baked naan, carrots and celery. The Asian hummus was amazing. It was seasoned with spices, including ginger, and topped with sesame seeds. The chef changes out the flavor of hummus each week. I’m excited to visit this classy restaurant frequently, to see what they have to offer. We opted for water with our meal, however I want to try some of their creative cocktails too.

Week One Celebrations Infuxn
Week One Celebrations – Eat at a New Restaurant
Week One Celebrations Hummus
Amazing Asian Hummus at Infuxn in downtown Joplin.

A Great Week of Celebrations

Seven days down, on the march toward my 62nd birthday in January, and 55 to go.

I’m loving this game and the way it opens me up to possibilities and opportunities.

I drew out a doozy of an activity today, one that made me say “ooookay, I can do this”, as I took a deep breath. And I did. I had to think about it for a bit and amazing ideas arose as a result. What I so appreciate about this game is that playing it requires me to follow through.

I’ll share that activity next Friday, in the weekly update, and let you know how it all turned out!

Week One Celebrations
Week One Celebrations – Seven Activities, randomly drawn.

Check out Week Two Celebrations.

And Week Three

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Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Review

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I love indie films. So although I knew very little about the Amazon Original Brittany Runs a Marathon, when my daughter invited me to go watch it with her, I happily agreed. I expected a comedy, with an inspirational twist. It was that…and so much more.

Elissa and I met at Bookhouse Cinema, Joplin’s wonderful indie movie theater, for some amazing vegan food before the film.

This is a spoiler free review of Brittany Runs a Marathon, meaning I’ll discuss key plot points but I won’t give away the ending or discuss every detail.

Brittany Runs a Marathon title meme

Brittany Runs a Marathon Cast

This comedy/drama stars Jillian Bell, Alice Lee, Patch Darragh, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Paul Downs Colaizzo wrote and directed Brittany Runs a Marathon. Events in the life of his friend, Brittany O’Neill, inspired the story. The film carries an R rating, for language and adult themes, and has a run time of 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Meet Brittany

Brittany (Bell) lives and works in New York City. In her mid twenties, Brittany feels her life isn’t going anywhere. Her friend and roommate Gretchen (Lee) has a boyfriend and a great job and a life plan that relies heavily on social media.

However, Brittany works in a low paying job and her social life consists primarily of late night bar hopping and brief encounters that can’t in any way be called romantic. Struggling to find motivation to even get out of bed in the mornings, Brittany seeks medical help.

She hopes for an Adderall prescription. But her Yelp recommended doctor (Darragh) surprises her. He prescribes getting healthy by eating better, drinking less alcohol and exercising regularly.

Brittany’s first attempts at exercise fail. The gym proves too costly and she suits up for a run but barely makes it out the door before giving up. Her fit upstairs neighbor, Catherine (Watkins), encourages Brittany to try again…taking baby steps…and invites her to join a Saturday morning running club.

Brittany manages to run for one block. However, when Saturday morning arrives, she joins the running club, determined to do better.

Brittany Runs a Marathon First Steps
Brittany Runs a Marathon – First steps

Training for a Marathon

Among the club members, Brittany connects with Seth (Stock), a newbie runner like her. They wheeze and commiserate with each other as they bring up the rear of the pack. Something shifts in Brittany though as she completes a two mile run. Running gives her direction and purpose and a way to change her health. She eats better. Drinks water rather than wine. And she stops the late night partying.

Running with Catherine and Seth becomes a weekly practice. The three friends set a huge goal: run the New York City Marathon.

They have one year to train. Brittany commits to this new chapter in her life and realizes the cost, literally, of training.  To pay for the gym membership she takes a second job, dog sitting for the wealthy. At her first assignment she meets Jern (Ambudkar), a quirky, artistic young man who works the night shift dog sitting in the same house. Jern annoys her…initially. However as Brittany’s life continues to shift the two declare a truce and a relationship blossoms between them.

As the months count down toward the marathon, Brittany transforms. The weight loss is noticeable and she runs with greater ease and endurance. It’s the inner changes though that create the different outer reality. And it’s the old, inner hurts and insecurities, working themselves out, that create new challenges. Brittany’s greatest obstacle to the life she desires is herself. Will she be there at the marathon starting line…or will she take herself out of the race before it ever starts?

Brittany Runs a Marathon Training
Brittany Runs a Marathon – Training with Seth

My Thoughts on Brittany Runs a Marathon

I enjoyed this fun and thought provoking film. The health aspect of the story line drew me in immediately. I appreciated the no meds approach to improved health. Brittany took responsibility…or not…for her own health and I loved that. She made choices about food, drinking, exercise and partying. And she either benefited or suffered as a result.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is so much more than a health transformation story. The real changes began to occur within first, and that’s the element that touched me deeply. Brittany had more than health issues to work through. Her excess weight was a way of hiding who she really was. She also hid behind a sarcastic sense of humor and resigned herself to the role of flatterer in her friendships. At her core, she didn’t accept herself. Brittany’s self criticism became the lens through which she viewed others and life.

As much as I enjoyed watching Brittany’s health improve, I strongly appreciated seeing the deeper transformations that occurred. And I applauded the important topics that the film touched upon including self worth, toxic relationships and how the world perceives those who carry extra weight.

By the end of the film, which does contain many laugh out loud moments, I found my eyes full of tears and my heart charged with the desire to stand up and cheer. For me, that makes Brittany Runs a Marathon a great film, worthy of recommendation.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Running
Jillan Bell lost 40 pounds during the making of the movie, mirroring her character’s improved health.

Catch Brittany Runs a Marathon at your local theater or indie movie house, or see it beginning November 22 on Amazon Prime Video.

Check out my recent movie reviews:

Joker

Rocketman

Yesterday

 

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack. Click on photo to order.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

On January 9, 2020, I’ll turn 62 years old. As far as birthdays go, it’s nothing special. However, my granddaughter Aubrey made an awesome suggestion. Her clever idea was this: celebrate my birthday by doing 62 special things, one on each day leading up to it.

I love the way this girl thinks! And she knows me well. Aubrey understands that I enjoy trying new things, playing creative games and growing through experiences.

I adopted Aubrey’s suggestion, writing out activities on slips of paper. Coming up with 62 things was a bit of a challenge! However, I prevailed and today begins a birthday version of one of my favorite games to play. I will randomly draw out a slip of paper each day, through January 9, 2020, and do what’s printed there.

Here are 62 outrageous things to do for my 62nd birthday.

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday title meme

A Note about Outrageous

A few explanatory sentences, before I type out the list. I’d love to include items like “jump out of a plane” or “vacation in Paris”, however, I also desired to actually do the activities listed. Having one action per day means I must have the time to carry out the activity.

So these suggestions are very doable, in a few hours or less.

On the other hand, I love trying new things and going beyond my comfort zone. My intention is that most of these activities challenge me a bit…or a lot…and result in personal growth, all while providing outrageous fun.

Following the nudge of curiosity, I looked up the word outrageous, which today means “bold, unusual and startling”. The word originates from outrage, which in turn comes from the Latin ultra, which literally means “beyond”.

How cool is that?? Cindy goes beyond…outrageously…for her birthday. I love it!

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Papers

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

And…here they are, the activities I wrote on slips of paper. I folded the papers up and dropped them into a jar.

Activities 1 – 20

  • Say “yes” 10 times during the day
  • Drive to Scotland…Missouri
  • Start a conversation with a stranger
  • Do a vlog in place of a blog post
  • Download a new tech app
  • Listen to a new genre of music
  • Watch a movie in a genre I don’t typically choose
  • Find a role model who overcame challenges, to do what I desire to do
  • Apply to a writing fellowship, in another country
  • Brush my teeth, while standing on one leg
  • Hike a new trail
  • Create a new recipe
  • Watch a tv show/movie in a foreign language
  • Take a class
  • Take a power nap (I do not usually sleep during the day)
  • Make eye contact and smile at everyone…all day
  • Listen to music from a different genre
  • Read a book in a different genre, that’s way out there for me
  • Work in a different room/spot
  • Travel to a familiar location, via a different route
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Yes
Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Say Yes 

Activities 21 – 40

  • Try a product I’ve never tried before
  • Eat at a new restaurant
  • Make a request SO crazy, that I’d expect a “no”
  • Visit a local shop I’ve never visited before
  • Have a mini afternoon retreat
  • Do an interview
  • Reach out to a brand that I love, for a sponsorship
  • Reach out to a resort, for a comped stay
  • Outline Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Record Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Write chapter 1 in House Haunting book
  • Storyboard ideas for online products
  • Meditate for one hour in a new place
  • Try a unique vegetable
  • Experience a new fruit
  • Do a 24 hour water fast
  • Order biz cards for blogs
  • Design and order t-shirts for blogs
  • Change theme for Cindy Goes Beyond
  • Change theme for Journey With Healthy Me
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Notes
62 Outrageous Things to do For My 62nd Birthday – Write Encouraging Notes

Activities 41 – 62

  • Spend 30 minutes brainstorming ideas, as rapidly as possible
  • Plan a 10 day trip to a country NOT on my Travel List
  • Write a travel piece and submit it
  • Have a midnight picnic, with candles and firelight
  • Go to a thrift store, with a $20 budget, and buy a cool new outfit – wear it to lunch or dinner
  • Have an indoor campout – sleep in a blanket tent
  • Leave encouraging sticky notes all over town
  • Watch The Lighthouse at Bookhouse Cinema
  • Attend Birth of Darkness book launch
  • Attend Return of the Christmas Kid at Joplin Little Theater
  • Make a heart ornament for my Christmas tree
  • Create a fresh Christmas vignette
  • Decorate my live pine tree, instead of purchasing a cut Christmas tree
  • Send a message of appreciation to an actor or actress that I admire
  • Listen to a podcast that I’ve never listened to before
  • Give something away today
  • Research a topic I’ve never researched before
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Sign up on Quora and offer advice
  • Watch a TED Talk that I wouldn’t normally watch
  • Write down 62 things that I am grateful for
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Gratitude
62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Write Gratitudes

Celebrating One Day at a Time

There they are, my 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday. I’m grateful for Aubrey’s idea and I’m excited to play this fun game. The rules are that I randomly draw out a paper each day and do the activity listed. No missed days. No excuses. My only exceptions are the three activities that are connected to events that are available on specific dates.

It’s been a very busy week and this day has been full. Nevertheless, I drew out my first slip of paper this evening. This is what I got:

Watch a movie in a different genre

I love gifting experiences for special occasions. I can’t think of a better gift to give to myself, in honor of my 62nd birthday in January, than 62 daily experiences.

I’m smiling at the thought.

And I’m off to watch a movie, in a different (for me) genre. Thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime! I know I’ll find the perfect movie to kick off two months of outrageous celebrating.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

Week One Birthday Update: First Seven Activities

Read about the first time I played a “draw an activity” game in this post, Launching Arrows of Desire.

Curious about Quora? Check it out HERE.

And try out Amazon Prime, so you too can start a movie any time of day, in the comfort of your own home.

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

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