Tag Archives: Blogging 101

Ten Tips for Not Sprouting Feathers

In the hope that you and I will not add to the number of turkeys present at our Thanksgiving feasts, here are my Top Ten Tips for not sprouting feathers on Thursday.

  1. Ask other people about their life more than you talk about yours.
  2. Say, “It’s good to see you,” instead of, “Wow, you’ve really gained weight.”
  3. Ask the host(s) periodically, “May I be helpful in some way?”
  4. Say, “You look fantastic” instead of, “Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight.”
  5. Ask someone in a painful life circumstance, “How are you doing these days?”  Most people appreciate the inquiry, even if they choose not to share.
  6. Cut up your food, not people.
  7. Advocate for children who are uncomfortable with hugs and kisses.
  8. Stay away from turkeys in the room – except the bird on your plate.
  9. If you become a turkey, apologize and eat humble pie.
  10. Most important:  Put a pebble in your pocket and, each time you touch it, give thanks for something in your life. Gratitude is the best antidote for feathers.

    Photo credit: Hey Paul @ Creative Commons

The Importance of Being Me

According to an old Hasidic tale, a young man asked the elderly, wise Rabbi Zusya, “How can I become like you?”  Zusya said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’  They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’  Then he said nothing more.*

TV producer Shonda Rhimes arrives on the red carpet at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in WashingtonI remembered this story as I watched an interview with Shanda Rhimes and Robin Roberts on Yahoo! News this week.  Early in her career, Rhimes wanted to be “the next Toni Morrison.”  One day she realized “that job is already taken.”  When she began writing in her own voice, she set herself free.  Rhimes is best known as the screenwriter, producer, and director of television’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.In 2007, she was included in Time Magazine’s 100 People Who Shape the World.  Watch the interview 

As for myself, I want to write like Anne Lamott and James Risen, climb the Sierra Mountains like John Muir, preach like Peter Gomes, and look like Crystal Ball, or at least have the energy and health I used to have.  However, as Shanda Rhimes reminds me, those jobs are already taken.

k-and-b-in-play-thing-oz-e1380990308710[1]I am me, the Barbara Anderson of today.  The task now, as always, is to figure out who that is . . . and then live it.

In 2010, I wrote:  

Within us is a whole, beautiful, courageous, delightful person – a creation of  God.  From the time we are born, we have gifts and abilities to be discovered. Our challenge in life is to discover that wholeness and live it, not only for ourselves, but for God and the world.  Check out this post.

My calling was never to be Anne Lamott, James Risen, Peter Gomes, John Muir or Crystal Ball.  My goal is to be the best Barbara Anderson I can be.  That job is mine.

*See Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer.





*See Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer.

Wednesday Wisdom

You say the little efforts that I make
Will do no good:
They never will prevail
To tip the hovering scale where
Justice swings in the balance.

scales of justice[1]I do not think I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
In favor of my right
To choose which side shall feel
the stubborn ounces of my weight.

-Bonaro Overstreet-
Psychologist and Educator