Hartjesdagen 2012

Every year in August I love going to the Zeedijk for Hartjesdagen (Days of the Heart), which are celebrated with a lot of humor, cross dressing and fun. Hartjesdagen are famous for an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere with Amsterdam’s gay community taking a leading role. Here is one of my favourite characters this year! The full set can be found here.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Hartjesdagen 1

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My Instagram: Prinsengracht concert rehearsal

Super excited! This year I got tickets for the Prinsengracht concert! Look out for me on TV! :)

princengracht rehearsal

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The Life Less Bullshit Manifesto, by Nicole Antoinette

A friend posted this on Facebook and I just had to share. Read this, internalise it and practice it. These are incredibly powerful and wise words…

The Life Less Bullshit Manifesto

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and start being more you.

Find what inspires you, and mainline it. Find what moves you, and move. Find what keeps you up all night, and stay up all night. Get worked into the frenzy of being who you really are.

Decide what’s of ultimate importance, and ignore everything else. Only do work that you believe is great work. If you feel lost, join something bigger than yourself. Appreciate being a part of something, instead of stressing to be all of anything.

When you don’t know where to start, just start. If you don’t know where the beginning is, start in the middle, or start at the end. Just start, and keep going. Take the biggest risk you can think of. Take another. And another. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough time, or enough money. What’s “enough,” anyway? Forget about the big picture and let yourself wander aimlessly among the details. You don’t need a plan or a treasure map or a neon street sign, and you certainly don’t need to be the best. All you need to do is start, and then make one good decision after another. Being the best never comes right away.

Pay attention to the moments in which you feel pure joy. Express gratitude, out loud and often. Stop checking your email in bed; there are better ways to start the day. Read memoirs. Read fiction. Read poetry. Never stop reading. Go outside, even in bad weather. Buy yourself a present, even without an occasion. Wear pink shoes, even if they don’t match. You never need a reason to do what you truly feel like doing.

Stretch your mind, and your body, and your soul. Move and bend and jump and push; be faster and stronger and healthier than you were yesterday. Pursue growth. Listen to all the reasons you shouldn’t go, and then go anyway. Let yourself fall into the hole – there’s always a way out. Let other people help you out.

Choose a personal anthem and give yourself a lapdance. Make up words, and use them. Identify what you need to say, and say it. Be loud about the things that matter.

Set healthy boundaries. Work with people you respect. Value your time and your work and your creative energy. Put a price on what you create, and charge it. Show up more often. Ask interesting questions. Share more than you’re comfortable sharing. Write down your core beliefs and read them every day.

Find your people, the ones who make you feel good and beautiful and whole. Treat them like they matter, because they do. Treat yourself like you matter, because you do. Don’t be afraid to let people see that you are messy and flawed. We’re all messy and flawed.

Stop wanting what you don’t want. Define life for yourself. Decide what it means to you to be happy and dedicated and alive. Live by your own definitions. Pick something to perfect, and perfect it. Pick something to stop caring about, and refuse to give a shit. Don’t waste your energy on things just because other people do. Spend less time obsessing and more time actually doing. Forget about yesterday. Stop over-planning for tomorrow. Yesterday and tomorrow are just romanticized versions of today.

Choose today.

Source: http://nicoleisbetter.com

International left-handers day!

Ha! Apparently we lefties have our own day to celebrate! Today is International Left-Handers day! After all… only left handed people are in their right minds, right?! :-p

This reminded me of an old Mercedes-Benz print ad series that beautifully illustrates the contrast between the left and right sides of our brain through some really great artwork…

mercedes_paint-72dpi

mercedes_music-72dpi

mercedes_passion-72dpi

Agency credits: Y&R Israel, February 2011

2012 London Olympics street art

Last day of the London 2012 Olympics today and a good opportunity to look back at some pretty cool, thought-provoking street art that was created for the occasion by artists like Banksy, Criminal Chalkist, Code FC and more. Enjoy!



50 years without Marilyn Monroe

It’s been 50 years since the death of American actress, singer and model Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) and her memory is still alive…

Here are some quotes of hers that are close to my heart:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” 

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” 

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” 

“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” 

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” 

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” 

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” 

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” 

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” 

“You never know what life is like, until you have lived it.” 

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” 

“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”

“I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.”

“All a girl really wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same.” 

“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”

“I restore myself when I’m alone.”

“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”

“What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”

“Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.” 

The fantastic world of Fab Ciraolo

I love looking at the world through Fab Ciraolo‘s eyes. The Chilean artist re-imagines famous icons from the movies, art, politics, history and fashion as pop idols of today with an added surreal, dreamy, vintage spin.

If you like this series you most surely will appreciate his ‘Old School Heroes’ series too, where he revamps childhood cartoons from the 80’s, like Jem and the Holograms, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, in the same whimsical fashion.

You can follow Fab on Twitter or Facebook and keep up with his latest amazing creations.

My instagram: Rainbow on Kerkstraat

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My instagram: Introducing Blue

The new member in my typewriter family. Isn’t she beautiful?

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On assignment: Juju and Jordash

This weekend I got to do a shoot for electronica music duo Juju and Jordash and the German magazine, Groove. Here’s a sample of my work.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The joy of reading – A photo set by Joel Robinson

I love books. And no matter how many I have, I can never get enough. Only yesterday I went to a bookstore with the intention of getting one, only one, but ended up leaving with five… They are just so beautiful… The way they look, feel, smell. And there is so much knowledge out there, so many words to be read, so many intellectual paths to follow… My desire to learn is just insatiable. E-books may make reading a bit easier, but call me old fashioned, when it comes to books, I love the weight of all that knowledge in my hands. :)

So, when one of my favorite sites, Brain Pickings, featured the work of Joel Robinson on the joy of reading, I was completely taken away. What an abundance of imagination, creativity and inspiration… Whether you are a bookaholic or not, you will immediately feel mesmerized by this set of photos. Stephen King said: “Books are uniquely portable magic”. I could have said the same for Joel’s pictures. They evoke those amazing feelings you experience when you enter the magical sphere of reading .

Visit’s Joel’s flickr page for even more concepts and themes to tickle your imagination or buy some of his work on etsy. What an amazing talent!


Timeless Vienna

I visited Vienna to celebrate Christmas and my birthday in 2011 and I finally got round to sorting through my photos 7 months later! Here is a taste of my trip. For the full set click here.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

On assignment: Vrouwenruimte De Kat

I’ve had the pleasure of doing some portraiture for the organization “Vrouwenruimte De Kat” in Amsterdam East, which helps women from diverse backgrounds build their self esteem and feel empowered. My pictures will be featured in their 30th anniversary book. Here are some of my favorites.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

My instagram: Catching bubbles

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Happy Birthday Gustav Klimt

Before my trip to Vienna in December last year, all I knew about Klimt more or less was his famous masterpiece “The Kiss”. I always thought it was beautiful and delicate, although a bit too commercialised. It wasn’t until I visited the Belvedere for the exhibition: Gustav Klimt / Josef Hoffmann: Pioneers of Modernism that I really got to know more about his stunning work and the Viennese Art Nouveau movement. It totally swept me off my feet… The colours, the subjects, the eroticism, the sensuality, the technique, the mystery were spellbinding and timeless…  I remember standing in awe in front of his work thinking that this man was truly a visionary and pioneer of his time. He is now one of my favourite artists…

On the occasion of Klimt’s 150th anniversary, many special exhibitions are taking place in Vienna. You can find out all the details on Klimt 2012 here.

Below are some of my personal favorites from all phases of his work.

Portrait of Johanna Staude (unfinished), 1917, oil on canvas, 70 x 50, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Lady with Fan, 1917, oil on canvas, 100 x 100, privately owned

Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl (unfinished), 1917, oil on canvas, 128 x 128, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

The Girlfriends, 1916, oil on canvas, 99 x 99, destroyed by a fire set by retreating German forces in 1945 at Schloss Immendorf, Austria

Lady with a muff, 1916, oil on canvas, depository unknown 

The Virgins, 1913, oil on canvas, 190 x 200, at the National Gallery Prague

Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi, 1913, oil on canvas, 140 x 84, privately owned

Portrait of Mäda Primavesi, 1912, oil on canvas, 149,9 x 110,5, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Kiss, 1908, oil on canvas, 180 x 180, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907, oil on canvas, 138 x 138, at the Neue Galerie New York

Poppy Field, 1907, oil on canvas, 110 x 110, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Water Serpents II, 1904, oil on canvas, 80 x 145, privately owned

Portrait of Emilie Flöge, 1902, oil on canvas, 181 x 84, at the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna

Judith I (and the head of Holofernes), 1901, oil on canvas, 82 x 42, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Hygieia (detail from Medicine), 1900, oil on canvas, destroyed by a fire set by retreating German forces in 1945 at Schloss Immendorf, Austria

Nuda Veritas, 1899, oil on canvas, 252 x 55,2, at the Österreichisches Theatermuseum, Vienna (the quote in the painting says: If you can’t please everybody with your deeds and your art please only few. To please many is bad. -Schiller).

“I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me -as an artist, the only notable thing- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do.”  

– Gustav Klimt

*Source of images: Gustav Klimt museum 

A tasty piece of art

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Piet Mondrian‘s geometrical and abstract art. A proponent of the “De Stijl” movement (which means “The Style” in Dutch), he only used primary colours and non-colours, squares and rectangles, straight and horizontal or vertical lines in his work, which to me personally, isn’t very engaging or inspiring. A bit too rigid, confined and rational for my liking, I would say.

However, when I stumbled upon a photo of a Mondrian cake made by Caitlin Freeman, the pastry chef at the cafe of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the reduction to the essentials of form and colour didn’t seem to matter any more. Art-inspired food is genius!

Now, the artoholic in me just wants to try this tasty piece of art! Which means that I will have to wait till my planned trip to San Francisco next year, unless I try to make it myself…

Given my baking history though (which is practically non-existent), perhaps I should start with something easier until I get better acquainted with my new Kitchen Aid mixer! Something like the Mondrian sandwich, which I also found after a bit of research into edible art. And yes, the sandwich in the photo contains some green, which Mondrian would never ever use, but you could replace that part with blue cheese, if you must stick to the rules. Although a bit of artistic freedom and thinking outside of ‘the box’ wouldn’t hurt, don’t you think?

‘Women Are Heroes’ photo project

“Women Are Heroes” is a massive, truly inspired, photo project by French guerilla street artist, JR, who traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India and Cambodia to seek out women struggling in their everyday lives and, in his words, “take their stories around the world.”

He convinced hungry, traumatized women in conflict zones to let him plaster their mural-size portraits into their own communities, on the sides of buildings, on trains, on bridges, thus bringing a haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict.

He photographed them and recorded their stories of rape, poverty, HIV, alienation, and loss. He asked them about their hopes and dreams, their regrets and desires. He shared these photos and stories in a video and a book.

A simple, yet so impactful idea that celebrates the worth of the individual, turning photographic portraits into a powerful medium for change and outdoor spaces into art galleries for people, who may never have set foot in one before.

JR won the 2011 TED Prize, where he voiced his audacious wish for art to “turn the world inside out”, inviting people to take part in his project Inside Out.

As the website mentions, this is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually…

What are you waiting for? ;)

My instagram: North Sea Jazz 2012

See you again next year! Till then, i’ll be listening to this year’s cool playlist on Spotify!

Follow me on instagram: @carolinaki

Madonna concert!

My third attempt to see Madonna live was successful and she didn’t disappoint! Sure, I would have liked a few more of her old songs and I did think the concert ended a bit abruptly, but overall it was quite an impressive show. There goes one more thing off my bucket list! :)

One of the best parts of the concert was when she sang “Nobody knows me” with a very artistic video in the background that puts the spotlight on current world issues, like intolerance, violence, prejudice and discrimination. Using the power of music she got a very strong message across, with the added bonus of a nice creative touch.

Beautiful Stockholm

Stockholm had been on the top of my ‘European cities to visit’ list for a long time. I finally got to visit this past April and it didn’t disappoint.

Here is a sample of photographs I took. The full set can be found here.

Enjoy!

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Outside Central Station 

Gröna Lund

City view

Outside the Moderna Museet

Lego creativity – Part 2

After its success with cartoon characters and the print campaign called “Imagine”, Lego and the advertising agency Jung von Matt did it again with the Euro 2012 teams that made it to the semifinal!

My favorite is Italy and the Balotelli lego character!


Lego creativity – Part 1

I have one word for you: Brilliant! This is what I call creativity at its best!

Can you guess who they are?

Credits: Lego print campaign “Imagine”, advertising agency Jung von Matt, Hamburg, Germany








Scroll over the images for the answers! ;)

Techtiquette

Can you spot the social media faux pas? (Illustration: Kyle T. Webster)

Let’s face it. Technology has become an indispensable part of our everyday life. The thought of losing our smartphone creates instant panic, forgetting it at home brings on deprivation symptoms and it is hard to imagine how life would be without the internet. Well, at least for most of us.

And yes, we’re still learning and adjusting to this new reality that has radically changed our society and the way we think and act, but there are rules. They may be unwritten, but they exist. We’ve all witnessed improper techtiquette and gotten annoyed by it.

My personal pet peeves are people who talk very loudly on their phones in public spaces, or who play games/listen to music on their  device without using headphones…

But what about social media and party techtiquette? What happens when Facebook, Twitter and Instagram crash your party? What rules do you live by, and wish others lived by?

Here are a couple of tips from the Wall Street Journal:

1. Don’t clutter up serving areas with smartphones.

2. Avoid capturing bad behavior and tagging the person on Facebook.

3. No elbows on or Skyping at the table!

4. Stack smartphones on the table to force everyone to participate in dinner conversation.

5. Send signals—or scold—to discourage loud phone conversations if you’re the host.

6. Designate a party hashtag to help keep track of party tweets and photos on Instagram.

7. Suggest that guests leave phones in a basket by the door.

8. Ask before creating a public listing of a private residence on Foursquare.

Any more to suggest?

Spencer Tunick: naked photography tales

Photography by Spencer Tunick © for Dream Amsterdam Foundation in 2007.

Artist Spencer Tunick has been documenting the live nude figure in public, with photography and video, since 1992. Since 1994 he has organised over 75 temporary site-specific installations in the United States and abroad. Tunick’s installations encompass dozens, hundreds or thousands of volunteers; and his photographs are records of these events. The individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance. These grouped masses which do not underscore sexuality become abstractions that challenge or reconfigure one’s views of nudity and privacy. The work also refers to the complex issue of presenting art in permanent or temporary public spaces.

Conquer your fears. Dare. Change.

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I get inspired every time I watch this video. I just found out it is actually a TV commercial called ‘Miedos’ by the agency Leo Burnett, made for Saga Falabella, Peru in 2007.

Great photography, spectacular music* and a very strong message.

Conquer your fears. Dare. Change.


*Music: ‘Summer’ from Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’

Chicago in sepia

One of my favorite photos from my most recent album Chicago in sepia with highlights from my trip to the windy city in May 2012.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The Hello Cube: where art meets social media

The Hello Cube is an inspired project where art meets social media, bringing a whole new dimension to the word engagement. The cube-shaped installation, displayed at Tate Modern in London, changes color and pattern seemingly without rhyme or reason. However, strangely enough, the cube is being controlled by people all over the world.

The cube  draws upon the ever-expanding power of social media to create art, responding to twitter commands sent to @thehellocube by any twitter user. Users can tweet what they would like to see on the cube, such as “purple” and the cube will change accordingly, thus allowing them to participate in the artistic process.

The Hello Cube, designed as a part of Infinite Kusama, is an art event created by TateCollective, ReCreativeUK.com and the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project.

Can’t wait to see it when I visit London this September!

My instagram: Woman in red

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My instagram: World Press Photo 2012


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My instagram: Little girl

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Word as image

A brilliant and creative way to have fun with letters!

This project started nearly twenty years ago as an assignment in Ji Lee’s typography class at art school. Students were encouraged to see letters beyond their dull, practical functionality. They played with their unique shapes and tinkered with their infinite possibilities. The challenge was hard, so the reward of “cracking” a word felt great. This became a lifelong project for Ji Lee who also published a book that showcases nearly 100 word images, along with tips to help you create your own and share them at www.wordasimage.com.

The Holstee Manifesto

Words to live by…

My instagram: Winter wonderland

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30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

I read the following blog post on ‘Marc and Angel hack life‘ and have decided to repost here and spread the word. Not only because they are great suggestions and put things into perspective but also because, even though deep down we know all of them, we tend to forget and need to remind ourselves often… Enjoy!

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.

4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.

24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/

Ten suggestions for a brighter future, by Barbara Cage

1. Realize that life isn’t always fair. Accept what you must and change what you can.
2. Think before you act. A moment of carelessness or anger can cause years of anguish and regret.
3. Look for the beauty in life, in people, in nature, and in yourself.
4. Appreciate what you have: the people, the opportunities, the material possessions.
5. Make the effort to have fun: it is a great way to bond with others, and it makes some of the best memories.
6. Set aside some time for yourself. Do something you enjoy without feeling even a little guilty.
7. Accept others without judgement. Everyone is unique, and it is okay to be different.
8. Forgive. Bitterness and resentment hurt you more than the person you direct them at.
9. Learn. Open your mind to new ideas and activities, and don’t be afraid to try.
10. Dream. Make plans, believe in yourself and go for what you want.

A manifesto for curiosity

This video was made by Skillshare, a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. Their mission is to transform education by empowering teaching and democratizing learning. Either teacher or student you can chose a topic ranging from the creative arts, culinary arts, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and/or technology. It is currently mainly in the US, but cities like Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Toronto, Sydney and Singapore are less than 500 votes away from entering the process.

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out. Are you one of them?

Under your spell – Desire

My most recent musical discovery & obsession… I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. I do nothing but listen to this song.

From the soundtrack of the movie Drive. The whole album is amazing by the way.

How to be alone

This video is a beautiful testament to becoming your own best friend. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Seek it out from time to time. Enjoy it. You will learn so much about yourself, you will be surprised…

The poem is written and performed by Tanya Davis.

Jeff Harris: 4,748 Self-Portraits and Counting

A beautiful project and an amazing story by a truly passionate photographer… An inspiration. You can see all his portraits since 1999 at http://www.jeffharris.org/.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

I came across this video today and it immediately brought a smile to my face. I remember reading Dr. Seuss when I was a kid but the truth is that his books are timeless and resonate differently every time you read them. In “Oh, the places you’ll go” he writes about the good and the bad, the ups and downs, giving a balanced, realistic view of life and filling us with hope & determination to be the best we can be. It’s not all daisies and roses, sure, but despite the bumps, the difficult decisions and the lonely, scary moments at times, it’s a beautiful and magical ride overall… Even when you make mistakes, even when you don’t like what life gives you, you still control what you do with it. You are the master of your ship. You are what you believe you can be. And it’s 98¾% guaranteed that you will succeed! Enjoy!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

New Year’s resolutions

My New Year resolutions for 2012 are best expressed by Bob Tschannen-Moran’s poem “Passion” (2003). One of my serendipitous discoveries…

Passion

I want to live.
No more half-hearted efforts
No more half-baked ideas
No more half-full glasses
Just wholehearted, fresh-baked,
overflowing life.

I want to live on purpose.
No more aimless wandering
No more squandered existence
No more squelched ambition
Just on-target, death-defying,
carpe diem courage.

I want to live in connection.
No more superficial engagement
No more destructive pleasures
No more cold rationality
Just bone-deep, life-affirming,
stream-fed intuition.

I want to live with joy.
No more sour grapes
No more jaded cynicism
No more inflated self-importance
Just awe-filled, enthusiastic,
openhearted passion.

I want to live
on purpose, in connection, with joy.
I want to live
filled with courage, guided by intuition,
centered in passion.
I want to live.

Happy New Year!

Before I officially launch this blog, I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year. May 2012 wave its magic wand and sprinkle a little stardust around the edges of your heart. May the new year overwhelm you with moments filled with love, happiness and luck and color your soul with passion and inspiration. Always remember… we are only as big as the dream we dare to live!