the pulse of life

great words for a Wednesday, from one of the new books I bought this weekend called Five Good Minutes, 100 morning practices to help you stay calm and focused all day long (by Jeffrey Brantley MD and Wendy Millstine)

Nobel peace laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu imparted in his writing an ancient African term to our Western culture, "ubuntu," which encompasses the concept of who we are within the global community. Ubuntu is the essence of all humanity. Western culture thinks almost exclusively in temrs of "I" at the unfortunate loss of "we." You can learn to expand your notions of "I" to include "we." Take the next five minutes to see yourself in the greater web of life, intertwined with each and every person, plant, and species on earth. Your existence is inextricably interwoven with their existence. When we can step out of our individualized and compartmentalized lives, we free ourselves to see the bigger picture, to feel  more connected with the intoxicating pulse of life and all its wonder. To belong in the greater goodness of all life can bring perspective and compassion to your spirit on a daily basis.

ok, Wow — good stuff.
Trey wanted to know why I only shared a Taft picture (oops)
Here’s one from my other "artist." Think about it in terms of the words above. My kids are learning about rain forests, so we’ve been reading books on the topic and I just think Desmond is right, "we" are all connected with all creation, dependent on it and responsible for it. Chase’s field trip was to "the outdoor learning center" and it was such a nice wake-up call for Spring and the little things we can do to preserve and protect our natural resources.

and … can’t believe so many of you are taking me up on the challenge (yay!!!) Click here to send me a photo (jpeg) put CHALLENGE in the subject line and indicate your level and the individual components you are accepting. This will be FUN.


  1. Lisa A. says:

    Oh how fun! Sending my photo and challenge items now!

  2. Kristen Butler says:

    Beautiful parrot picture … I’m impressed!

  3. Ann Mabee says:

    Your boys are artists! Keep fostering that enthusiasm and talent in them!!! Good job, Mom!!!

  4. both of your boys are awesome artists!! how fun. good job trey & taft!!! thanks for sharing your talents with us. i love the colors.

  5. I love your boys’ drawings. Great work, boys! My son is in Year 6 here in Sydney, Australia, and he is studying rainforests too: a great example of how we are all connected…children all over the world learning about the same things.

  6. Another awesome Julian artist. WOW! what a talented family.

  7. Katherine McKamey says:

    You have some talented artists in your family! Wow!!! My 6yr olds would love to meet your boys – I think my daughter has a crush on Trey. LOL!! My son just wants to hang out with the guys. I think he’s tired of Barbies and stuffed animals in dresses. : )
    Love the flowers and the cool parrot! (Or Pirate Parrot, as my son called it on sight!)

  8. Meredith Greene says:

    Funny “ubuntu” came up in your blog today, as I was reading “I am Proud of You” by Tim Madigan last night (trying to own up to the challenge myself!). Tim wrote this little book about his friendship with Mr. Rogers, and I remember your Mr. Rogers layout from “The Big Picture”, so I immediately thought of you when I saw the book. So far, it’s very inspirational, and speaks of “ubuntu” in the first chapter.

  9. I love, love, love these words. I’m working on my Master’s in Family Therapy and we tend to look at people in relationship to others. We call it systems theory but it’s really the same thing as Desmond is saying – we are all interconnected and we all impact and are impacted by all the systems in our lives – partners, families, work systems, communities, etc., etc. I’m definitely saving this quote!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Inspirational and right on the pulse of what I have been trying to do lately! This is going to be the extra push I needed to help me on my way. WTG Stacy! This IS going to be fun!
    PS. I love that parrot by your DS!

  11. Greetings,
    I am so happy to see you spreading the meaning of Ubuntu! My sister is a scrappin queen and directed me to your post and it has made my morning! I am the founder of a non profit called “Ubuntu Village” and we have a Ubuntu Ambassador program which is FREE and encourages people to commit 3 UBUNTU Activities or Humanitarian activities that I am sure you and your scrappin folks will find interesting and relevant to uplifiting humanity. I am sure you can find creative ways to incorporate SCRAPPIN into a UBuntu Activity! Please check it out at click on projects Ubuntu Ambassador or call me 240-351-4198.

  12. lisa slocombe says:

    i am just trying to gear myself to spring into action and do some self improvement. it’s been a slow and cloudy winter and spring, so i really need to start motivating myself to get excited for summer too. just wanted to say a couple things… i’m LDS as well, and at first when i read about your book today, i thought, well, all we really need to do to stay calm and focused all day is to start the day with a prayer, and just keep praying all day! but as i thought a little more about it, yes, being more spiritual will help in the other areas of my life, the other areas (like physical, mental, emotional) all need some specific help too. so thank you. i’ve requsted the 100 things book from the library and can’t wait to get started.
    you’re awesome, you’re so inspiring and great to ‘be around’!!

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