I love seeing kids with incredible talent. It’s fun to watch and imagine what it must be like to have an amazing talent at a young age. Today I want to share a couple of videos from VazquezSounds. VazquezSounds is a musical group consisting of three siblings, Gustavo, Abelardo and Angela Vazquez (ages 15, 13, and 10 respectively.) They are very talented, with Gustavo and Abelardo playing multiple instruments and Angela singing like a pro.
Yesterday we saw an epic cello battle. Today we are moving on to another stringed instrument in our YouTube creativity series, the violin. Violin is one of my favorite instruments. I just love the sound that little stringed instrument creates.
Today we are featuring the super talented Lindsey Stirling. She is a classically trained violinist that adds a little kick to the classic sound. I’m sure you’ll love the energy in her videos. The upbeat sound and energetic dancing can really make you feel the good vibes emanating form Lindsey and her violin.
One of the best things about YouTube is the talent that tends to trickle to the top. There is a constant stream of very talented individuals and groups that upload their creative works for the world to see. Every once in a while I like to share some of my recent favorites and today is one of those days. Actually, this week is one of those weeks. Over the next three days, I’m going to share some of my recent favorites.
I love creativity. I especially like it when someone comes up with something new or unique. I often feel that creativity is a impossible to find. On the rare occasion where I watch TV, I see the same tired show ideas repeated into an endless oblivion. Interrupting these tired old shows are the same thoughtless boring commercials.
It makes me wonder if creativity is in short supply.
It’s more likely that creativity is stifled in favor of ideas that are proven to be profitable.« Continue »
A long time ago I saw a sketch comedy segment about being alone. I believe it was from Kids in the Hall, but it could have been someone else. I think about this video from time to time when I find myself alone. I hoped to share it here, but I searched and searched and couldn’t find it. I’m going to attempt to describe the scene because it had an interesting message that really stuck with me over the years. (If anyone knows where I can find a video clip of this, please let me know.)
The scene starts in a bar, with a man sitting by himself. He’s talking about being alone. He goes on to mention that, “if aliens came down and looked at our society, they would wonder why people feel alone.” There are people all over this planet. How can you be alone on a planet full of people? He said the aliens would be able to understand one lonely person, but not two or more. If there are two lonely people, then those two people should get together and then they wouldn’t be lonely anymore.
This brief retelling doesn’t do it justice, but I hope you can imagine that concept. How can so many people be alone? How can so many people in this world feel lonely? I don’t really have the answers to those questions. It doesn’t seem logical, but there are many people that feel isolated and alone. Allow me to share some of my thoughts and experiences on being lonely.
Being Alone is Okay
First, know that it’s ok to feel lonely sometimes. Watch this wonderful video on being alone.
I absolutely love this video. It fully and completely captures the feeling of being alone, and really makes me feel that it is perfectly acceptable to be alone. It is ok to be alone.
Even though it’s ok to be alone, sometimes we want to be around others. Humans do have a very strong pull towards social interaction. We also have a strong pull towards coupling, to find a lifelong partner and mate. I’m not going to talk about finding a love interest in this post, but I do want to share some ways to branch out and meet other people.
The Necessity of Replacing Friendships
One of the reasons that we sometimes feel alone is because our interests change as we grow and mature. This is especially true when we are consciously working to make improvements in our life. As we work on different areas of personal development, we begin to change. You will likely find that as you change for the better, some of your old friends don’t fit as well into your life anymore. Part of our growth often requires us to move away from those friends that no longer fit our ideals.
Over the course of my own life, I’ve had friends that have brought much negativity in. As I work to bring in more positive, I’ve had to let some of those friends go. And as some friends go, I find new ones that bring in more positivity.
I also find that some friends aren’t open to some of the areas I’d like to explore. Things like law of attraction or metaphysics. In cases like these, I find it good to branch out and find people with similar interests.
Finding New Friends
Meetup.com is my favorite place to find people to interact with. Meetup.com is a website where anyone can start a group. These groups are formed around a common interest and are geared towards real life interactions. This isn’t one of those “hang out online and be anonymous” kind of websites. It’s a “meet other people and get out of the house” kind of website.
If you are feeling alone, browse around Meetup.com and see what you find. Use the search function and type in any interest you have. Maybe you like hiking or bike riding. Maybe it’s knitting or song writing. Maybe it’s metaphysics or science. You’ll find groups for practically any interest you have. And even if you don’t find it, you could start your own group.
My wife found several moms groups through Meetup.com. She is still a member of a couple of them, and she is able to get together with other moms and let our daughter play with other kids. It’s been a great experience for my wife and our daughter. I found a few groups through Meetup.com also, and one eventually led to the Reiki class I took last year.
You might also try a Google search to find groups you are interested in. When I joined the Orlando Jeep Club, I knew I wanted to find some other people to go Jeepin’ with. Back then I think Yahoo was the search engine of choice, so I just searched for Jeep clubs in my area and read whatever I could find. One group seemed more promising than the others, and I headed out to one of their events to meet some people, get some more info, and to join. I have met some great people through this club and have developed some good friendships.
The Hard Part
The hard part about joining groups is the first couple of meetings. For folks that are more introverted, it’s really hard to meet new people. The only advice I have to give is to be brave and just do it. That’s the only way I’ve been able to do it myself. Once you get there, make sure you announce you are new to whoever might be in charge, and make sure you make an effort to talk to a couple of people. The easiest way to break the ice is to simply walk up to people, introduce yourself, and tell them you are new to the group. Most of the time, the others will welcome you, and chat it up a little bit. If they aren’t very chatty, then say you’d like to meet some more people and move on.
You might think that there isn’t anyone else like you, or that nobody else has gone through your experiences in life. I guarantee there are people just like you out there and that many have gone through very similar life experiences. There are people out there that share your interests. It’s up to you to seek them out. It’s ok to be alone, but when you decide you want some time among friends, then take the first couple steps to seek them out. Find people with like interests and just show up. Showing up to events and meeting one or two people is all you need to get the ball rolling on lifelong friendships.
Will you share with us? Do you have some good experiences of being alone or finding friends? Share with us in the comments section.
Here is the grand finale of Blogiversary week. It’s me in my first video. If you are viewing in RSS or email, you might have to click through to the site.
I have a couple of points from the video that I want to highlight.
Be sure you enter my contest. I”m giving away four fantastic eBooks and one slightly used copy of The Book of Awesome.
I’d also really love it if some my blogging friends would join me in this month’s Personal Development Campfire. The theme this month is Comfort Zone. Posts go live on October 15. Here is the info on how to participate.
Thanks for joining me during Blogiversary week, I hope you had as much fun as I did!
Being an adult can be tough. I remember most of my twenties being (or trying to be) very grown-up and adult like. I didn’t partake in a lot of silly time or playful activities. In my thirties, I became a father and it was finally socially acceptable for me to ride the slide at the playground. I do love a good ride down a slide.
The best are those big huge slides at the fair where you sit on a burlap sack and swoosh down the slide and skitter off the end onto the green outdoor carpet, where you come to a very ungraceful halt. Tied for first is the big inflatable bouncy slide, also ridden on a slippery mat.
Second to that are big twisty slides. It’s hard to find a good twisty slide… well, hard to find a good adult sized twisty slide, the kids seem to do fine on most of them. The problem for adults on most twisty slides is the twists are too narrow, and I end up pushing and scooting instead of sliding. Every once in a while though, I come across a twisty slide that has a good size and slope, such that kids and adults can slide. Those slides are magical. Third on my slide list are just the standard straight slides. I like the ones that have enough slope that I fly right off the end (hopefully landing on my feet, but sometimes landing on my rear.)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some good twisty slides…
I’ve visited a lot of playgrounds in the 4 years since my daughter’s birth. One thing perplexes me is that I don’t see many other adults partaking in the jungle gym activities. The monkey bars, tube tunnels, rope bridges, fireman’s poles, and of course the slides, are all there for the playing. Yet it’s mostly just the kids playing, with the adults plopped down on a nearby bench. Maybe the parents are appreciating some down time, while their kids burn off energy. I’m sure that’s the case for some, and that’s me sometimes too. But other times, I like to jump in and play along with my daughter.
I can’t monkey bar like I used to, but I sure can slide, and cross the rope bridges, and even squeeze through some tunnels. Oh, and remember those things mounted on top of a spring that bounce to and fro? Yeah those were awesome to ride as a child, and every once in a while you can find an adult sized one.
Yeah, I have proof…
It’s good to let go and be silly once in a while. We sometimes lose grasp of that as adults. Next time you find yourself near a playground, go ahead and have a go at the slide and maybe a turn on the swings.
As I kid, I found that people were always telling me to smile. I’ll be honest, I hated it. I was neither sad nor happy, and the expression on my face matched this. It was mostly a blank expression, or perhaps an expression of thought or contemplation. My face didn’t show a frown, yet it didn’t show a smile either. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure why everyone always told me to smile. Maybe I looked sad to them, it’s hard to say. I don’t recall seeing other people smile all the time, but they sure did tell me to.
As time has gone by, I have honed a positive attitude and have found the secret of happiness. I generally feel good all the time, and I have found that this usually shows through in a smile. What’s even better is that when I smile other people smile. A smile really is contagious.
Wait… what’s that?
In a Charlie Brown teacher voice: whah wa waaa whah wah.
You want the secret to happiness?
Wa waa whah wa.
Well I’m not really sure this is the time or the place, I’m in the middle of blog post here.
Whoa, hey, get of my keyboard. I’ll tell you. Are you ready?
The secret is: You Choose to be Happy.
Yeah that’s it. Now, I really need to get back to my post, people are trying to read about smiling and glowing.
Ok, where was I? Oh yes, smiling is contagious. Even those half hearted kinda smiles are contagious. You know, the ones where you smile even though you don’t really feel like smiling. Those kind are mildly contagious, and you might see a few people catching these smiles and smiling in return.
A Contagious Smile
You want a really contagious smile? Then feel it when you smile. Feel all the joy, happiness, and gratitude of simply being alive. Think of how fortunate you are to exist on this wonderful little planet full of feelings and emotion. Be happy that you even have the ability to feel such an emotion. Think of all the things you are thankful for. A roof, food, water, family, friends, and anything else you may be thankful for. Then unleash the smile on the world.
Now you have a highly contagious smile. Someone call the CDC, we’ve got an smile epidemic here. You walk around with a smile that you can feel, and others will smile. You will share your good feelings just by being in the general vicinity of others. People will sense it, they will see your smile and know you feel it, and some of your happiness will rub off on them.
That sounds great, doesn’t it? To lead by example. To get others to smile by feeling happy and smiling yourself. I think that’s a much better method than telling someone else to smile, and from my experience it works a million times better.
Sounds great, does anything top a feel good, happy smile? I think there is a phenomenon that beats it. In fact, it completely blows it out of the water. I know, you’re thinking how can that be? A smile that is felt deep within is so wonderful, how can anything be better. How can we top a contagious smile?
I know… I gave away the answer in the title, but it helps Google find me when I give descriptive titles.
An Infectious Glow
It’s the glow! The most common use of the term “glowing” is during pregnancy. How many times have you heard someone tell an expectant mother that she is glowing? I had heard it quite often even before I knew any expectant mothers. Then one day, a little over 4 years ago, I got to see it firsthand; when my sweetie pie of a wife was pregnant with our first child. WOW! Talk about glowing. I had never experienced it first hand until that time. There is a true glow about an expectant mother. The absolute feeling of happiness and joy associated with bringing a new life into this world shines through every pore of her being. It is so amazing to witness and be a part of this experience; to see and feel the glow.
(By the way, when reading “sweetie pie” in the above paragraph, do it with a French accent. That’s how I say it since everything sounds more romantic with a French accent.)
I hope that each of you gets to witness the glow at some point in your life. The glow comes from a complete happiness and utter fulfillment. It shows when your emotional body is so full of joy that it spills from your physical body. It can be seen and felt. The glow is so powerful that it instantly infects everyone in the immediate area. The swine flu has nothing on the glow. The glow will infect you instantly. The symptoms will be an immediate happiness and a literal feeling of joy. There is nothing more powerful for spreading joy. If superheroes had the glow in their arsenal, there would be no evil villains; evil could simply not exist in the presence of the glow.
How to Witness the Glow
Now, I want to save you some effort and possibly jail time for stalking pregnant woman in your search to experience the glow. I came across something last night that caught my attention because someone mentioned the glow. It’s the only other thing I’ve seen that can generate the glow. This “thing” that I speak of is: overcoming tremendous adversity and achieving success doing something you love. Doing this can culminate in the glow.
I’m going to share with you a clip from “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Some of you may know that I don’t watch much TV, so what made tonight different? I like to believe that everything happens for a reason, and I often find inspiration in the creativity and talent of others. On this night, the reason was to witness the glow.
I’m going to share a video with you so you can witness the glow, and avoid stalking expectant mothers. The video is of Bryan Gaynor, a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Bryan Gaynor has scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine. From what I’ve read, scoliosis can be very painful and can even make it difficult to breath. He doesn’t let this condition stop him from doing what he loves! Check out this video and see the glow. (If you’re reading from an RSS feed, you may have to click through to the site to see the video.) Also, an earlier version got pulled from YouTube due to copyright restrictions, so check it out while this one is still up.
Were you infected with the glow? Did you feel the happiness enter in? I hope you did. When I watched it on TV in full size you could really see the detail he put into his dance and the joy that flowed out. Really incredible.
Do you have any experiences with a contagious smile or infections glow? I’d love to hear them. Just scroll down to the comments sections to share them.
Edit: I just came across a new post on The Jungle of Life. Lance Ekum, of The Jungle of Life, and the folks at The Levity Project are putting together a video compilation of people smiling. I think this is a great idea and will be a sure fire way to spread some happiness. Head on over to The Jungle of Life to read more.
Edit #2: I also just came across another great post that mentions smiling as a way to become more playful. Head to Dragos Roua – Brilliantly Better to check it out.
Edit #3: Annabel Candy at Get in the Hot Spot posted a great article about how smiling helped her daughter succeed in her dance class and make new friends quickly.
First, a little music to set the mood. Go ahead and hit play and listen as you read.
I felt a sense of sadness yesterday. It wasn’t a depressing sadness though; it was more of a comfortable content sadness. It came to me as I was walking across our humongous office building passing rows and rows of cubicles. I had a realization that most of these people were likely not living their dreams. I don’t know of many that dream of sitting in a cubicle all day. Perhaps they are doing work they like, but I felt that many of them are not. I was talking to someone at work the other day, and found that he had been working her for over 20 years. I commented that he must like working here. The response was a shoulder shrug and “It’s a job.” I suspect that is the general feeling of many here, and probably in most large companies.
That brought me to a sadness. I’m new here, so everything is still very interesting to me. I’m learning some new things and meeting new people. And, for now, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. I know this from my defining clarity a few months back. So for me to be happy and everyone else to be merely comfortable at best, I found a feeling of comfortable sadness washing in.
As I left the building and started the long walk to the parking lot, it was raining. Raining hard as it often does in Florida. I popped up the umbrella and headed to my car. I got soaked during the walk, and my thoughts wandered to the rain. Many people dislike rain, but I’ve always like it. I often see people crowded around the exit doors when it’s raining and I think to myself, “It’s just water.” It’s funny how people try so hard to stay dry, especially when they are heading home and can find a dry set of clothes upon their arrival. My head stayed dry under the umbrella, but my feet and legs got soaked in the downpour.
As I was pulling out of the parking lot I tuned the XM radio to Cinemagic, a movie theme song station. I always hope to find a good song playing there, because the songs bring back images of great movies. On this day, as I exited the parking lot, songs from “American Beauty” were playing. These particular songs bring me to a place of content sadness. The instrumental music reaches deep and portrays a very somber tone. I think back to the movie and how sad everyone was, and how sadly the movie ended.
It felt good to wallow in the sadness for a bit. I don’t often let sadness in, yet to do so from a content perspective feels good on occasion. I let it linger for a bit as the music played and the rain beat down on the windshield. It felt good to combine all these elements of sadness; the forgotten dreams of people at work, the wonderfully sad songs, and the sights and sound of the rain as slowly changed from pelting to a light drizzle.
When I arrived at home, the sadness had passed and I was happy to be home. Just as I walked in the door, the power went out. I took note of the hint, and took the family outside to walk around the block, and hopefully find some neighbors outside to chat with. My daughter was excited at the possibility of seeing her friends and playing with them. A funny thing happens when the power goes out. A lot of people go outside. I felt for some it was from a perspective of “there’s nothing else to do.” For me it was an exciting opportunity to spend an evening outside with family, friends, and neighbors. I knew the message for me; tonight is not a night for computers or blogs, but rather for interaction with others and with nature.
I heard a funny thing mentioned a couple of times. People were wondering how they were going to eat. I found this odd since most folks in our neighborhood have natural gas stoves not affected by the power outage. Sometimes I think we get too wrapped up in our comfort and technology. I was a little excited at the potential of cooking by candlelight. As the night grew dark, we made our way back home, and just as we did the power came on. I opted to turn on the lights and cook dinner in the manner I have become accustomed. I also opted to spend the rest of the evening enjoying my family rather than jumping on the computer and writing.
All in all, it was a great day. A comfortable content sadness and an evening outside among friends.
I am a huge fan of creativity. I am constantly amazed at all the creative people in this world. We went to a museum a few weeks ago, and the art was great. So many creative works on display for us to peruse in wonderment. Know what was even better to me though? The kids’ area. Kids’ areas are always full of fun. I believe this is mostly due to the creativity that goes into those areas. Not only that, but it allows the kids (and some of us much older kids) to be creative themselves.
My wife, daughter, and I spent much time playing with a wonderful set of building blocks. This set had all shapes, from your normal rectangles, cones, and arches to fancy blocks like stairs and castle tops. It was a weekday, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves to build and play to our hearts content. Then we made our way over to a magnet wall, where there were magnets of various shapes to place on a wall. They had a book of patterns and ideas for building various works of art. We started with a Greek style building with fancy columns, and I ended up with some space ships, robots, and airplanes. It was loads of fun to just play and be creative.
There are few better feelings than to come up with something really creative, sometimes unexpectedly; then to look back on it and think, “Wow, that was really cool.” It’s a very contented and pleased feeling. Every once in a while I even get that feeling in this little ol’ blog.
As much fun as it is to be creative, it’s also fun to participate in other’s creativity. I especially like to see creativity in areas that are often found boring or unwanted. One of my favorites is creative commercials. I love it when an advertiser puts effort in making their commercials fun and entertaining. It makes that in-between time pass more quickly and can even make it fun. In fact, I’ve seen a few commercials that were actually better than the programming.
In an effort to prove the point and to entertain everyone on this Friday (or whatever day you happen to be reading this,) I’m going to share some of my favorites. First up is a trio of commercials from Outpost.com (which has since acquired been Fry.com.)
“Cute little guy… So close”
“HeHe, That’s good stuff.”
“Excessive? Maybe, but we’re on a mission.”
Next up is a couple of Volkswagen commercials. VW had some great ad campaigns going several years back. I haven’t seen much from them lately, but thanks to Youtube, we can enjoy these classics.
The music and imagery really elicit a feeling of freedom. Almost makes me want to buy a convertible top VW. I went with a Jeep instead though… Same feeling but more manly. 😉
This one gives me chills when I watch it. I can feel the stress and pressure as he’s driving. The looks on their faces at the end is pure perfection.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip into creativity. I’ve got a few more favorites, but we’ll save them for another day. If you have some favorites, please share in the comments section.