Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Power of Positive Words: Walking for Pleasure

I was walking back from the gym today on the lane that meanders across the Cookridge golf course, my hands shoved in my pockets and my shoulders hunched against the cold wind, when a car pulled up alongside me and the window rolled down. "Are you walking for pleasure, or would you like a ride?" the driver asked.

"Err, thank you," I said, "but I'm walking for pleasure." The window went up and the car drove on, leaving me pondering on this.

Up until that point I had just been walking home. Now I was walking "for pleasure". It made all the difference. Immediately I felt warmer, and stopped hunching. My shoulders went back and I stepped out with renewed enjoyment of the exercise, my mundane little walk transformed.

It reminded me to be careful in the labels that I apply to things. When you attach the right words to an action, it can seem wonderful. Attach the wrong words and it becomes a drudge. I wonder if I can manage to think of enough good words to keep me going through another 100 days of rowing next year...

If you'd like to start supplying me with positive, life-enhancing words by posting a comment to this blog, I would be most grateful. Let's see if we can come up with enough good words to get me from Hawaii to Samoa!

[photo: a shorter-than-usual row, in a smaller-than-usual boat, courtesy of Leeds Rowing Club, Roundhay Park]

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32 comments:

  1. There is nothing like being outdoors, even in bad weather, to brighten my day. Whenever I am depressed or gloomy I need just take a short walk or just step out onto the deck to lift my spirits. The warmth of the sun or the caress of a breeze, the sights and smells of nature, always work their magic on me.

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  2. Your row *to* Hawaii was a constant reminder to me that we can do great things if we don't let our fears get in the way - and that the challenges in my own life were relatively trivial. You make the lives richer of those you touch.

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  3. Dunno how much help it is, but when I was a kid we were taught 'When the going gets tough the tough get going.' After you are remember that, its not really possible to let yourself ever give up.

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  4. Your journey is bringing the refreshing breeze into whoever reads it...and perhaps even those who do not.
    I just saw it featured on

    http://pods.gaia.com/peoplepotential/discussions/view/379290#379290 and will read more.
    Dear Roz,
    Ice melts, oceans swell, sea creatures' world expands. We are of the ocean, and perhaps the primal mother is calling us back? Your skills will be like a beacom.

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  5. Something I told my wife in 2006 to keep her fighting "If that girl can row across the ocean you can find the streight to get to chemo today"

    Tom

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  6. Roz, You are showing the world, by living through example, what we are all capable of. A person simply cannot not live their purpose once they connect to it. Our world is full of people looking outside themselves to find the answers but the answers don't exist "out there". Keep inspiring (!!!) by being who you are and living the way you live. The more people that begin to challenge themselves to connect to and to live their life purpose the more people will tend to do the right thing for themselves, for others and for the environment. When you are out there please remember what a gift you are to the world! Lady, you rock!

    Kristen Westlake

    Nature Photography

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  7. Anonymous3:05 pm GMT

    I'm crazy about quotes, so here are a few ones about Motivation and Inspiration.

    You cannot plough a field by
    turning it over in your mind.
    Author Unknown

    I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
    Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
    But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
    Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
    Dr. Seuss

    Real life is not always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only survive but surmount our difficulties.
    Sarah Ban Breathnach

    When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
    Audre Lorde

    Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. Dr. David Schwartz

    No sure if any of those help but... There you go!!

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  8. Brilliant quotes, Anonymous - thank you! And thanks to everybody else for the words of encouragement. If I ever forget these things while I am on the water, feel free to write and remind me! The David Schwatz was one was especially good. And Dr Seuss made me laugh!

    Meenakshi - I was intrigued by the Gaia site. Are you a member? Have you found it helpful?

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  9. Wow ~ first thanks for the comment on our blog. We are now moving you up from the "Insane people" bloglist to our "Best friends for a day" bloglist. ;)
    We love all that you stand for and have accomplished. Amazing and incredible are words that come to my mind.

    And here are the "Words We Try To Live By":
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

    "Life is either a daring adventure or Nothing." ~ Helen Keller

    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." ~ John A. Shedd

    "Make it happen." ~ Alan Burg of the sailing vessel Toshal

    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away." ~ Anonymous

    “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” ~ Rabbi Hyman Schachtel

    "Make 'someday' today." ~ From inside a Dove candy wrapper

    YOU GO GIRL!

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  10. Individual,
    Stroke. Stroke. Is that motion?
    Yes! Wide oceans crossed!

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  11. Just watch the pics of your arrival in Hawaii and th9nk how it will be in Samoa. I look forward to your's and Leo's podcasts as they gave me hope for my own solo sea adventure aboard my 28' sailboat next spring.
    Alex Nislick

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  12. wow the pages are filling up already! Im sure Winston Churchill (master of so many quotes!) words 'When your going through hell, keep going' will have a place at some stage(s) of your row.

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  13. In those moments of doubt or when I just need some extra motivation, I read my favorite poem by Robert Frost and it helps me get going again. Keep inspiring us and always take the road less travelled!!

    -devin



    The Road Not Taken


    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

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  14. Anonymous6:37 pm GMT

    A word for you to stash somewhere until you need a smile......toast!!!!

    Karen Luscombe

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  15. "I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
    Author:Helen Keller

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  16. Kevin Liddle11:07 pm GMT

    "No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place." ~Zen saying

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  17. Anonymous2:11 am GMT

    preparing for a test during university I was treated by a sprightly woman who was visiting her friend in the same class. Upon her leaving she drew on the blackboard a thumb stretching out toward a star shining and then proceeded to declare that if we had any doubts we should think of this picture, there was the answer. I was amused and took it seriously, I did really well on the test. Was it the thumb? Why not.. I think that constant waves of deep thoughts can be just as troublesome as they also inspire. But if there is any time to practice a belly laugh or let the absurdity show itself to you. We all will be better for it. Good luck and I'm enjoying your determination and cleverness.

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  18. Anonymous3:10 am GMT

    Hi, Roz. Janis here. (Posted as anon. by default.) Don't always read comments -- expected this time worth it. Wow, nice collection. Fine words shared by all. Believe!

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  19. I have this scripture posted above my computer, since this has been a lean year:

    Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18.

    I can look at what is missing, or I can look at what I have, and I choose to look at what I have. Therefore, I choose to rejoice in the goodness of God, even when it is not always visible to to me.

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  20. Theses are all brilliant - thank you! I am going to copy and paste them into a doc that I can print out and take with me (laminated, of course!). So for the sake of completeness I'm going to share one that was posted to my Facebook wall: "smooth seas do not make a skillful sailor". Thanks, Courtney.

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  21. Also used the "smooth seas" for my Twinspiration Twitter today - http://twitter.com/twinspiration.

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  22. This was too long for a tweet, so I will post it here:

    "You do not need to leave your room," said Franz Kafka. "Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen. Simply wait. Do not even wait. Be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

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  23. When I was a kid in Southern California, my family had a boat, and I had my own dinghy. We'd sail into a harbor and I could row around by myself. Your rowing reminds me that it could have grown into something much, much bigger -- if I'd ever been able to see beyond it being a phase of my childhood.

    Nowadays, I think of some of the things I did and am sometimes afraid -- I can't imagine letting a kid do what I got away with! One time, on Catalina, I took my dinghy into the next cove, where it was seal mating season. I rowed in because of the noise, saw there was nowhere to land, and rowed back out to the main cove. At that time, I didn't really have a sense of what kind of trouble I could have gotten into, but I'm still here.

    I've walked over islands with no other footprints (not new to humans, just the wind blew the footprints away), seen small places with debris that had washed ashore from thousands of miles away -- and yet, I've had nothing like the experiences I would have had -- or you will have -- by rowing across the Pacific.

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  24. I picked this one up on a course last week.
    "Life's problems wouldn't be called "hurdles" if there wasn't a way to get over them."

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  25. Anonymous1:30 pm GMT

    The constant human struggle is not with each other,but within ourselves and to overcome this,one will overcome all else.

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  26. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect —Mark Twain

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  27. Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. —Albert Einstein

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  28. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
    —Theodore Roosevelt

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  29. ALOHA ROZ! from Oregon! MAHALO for your inspiration! A few quotes: "BREATHE"
    "Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional"
    "Don't Postpone JOY!" "Be the Change You
    Want to See in the WORLD"
    Hoping you are planning some West Coast tour
    of the U.S.? Keep people posted of any plans...
    Would love to be inspired in person! ALOHA, Carol

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  30. This is fantastic. Just loving these. That Teddy Roosevelt quote is one of my favourites - and the Mark Twain one could well be relevant next year especially, thinking of my environmental mission.

    Carol - thank you too - and I'm hoping to do more public speaking in 2009-2010. There will be a section on the new website with updates on appearances. I'm also going to dust off my old Facebook Group and get that going again with details of upcoming events.

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  31. A traveler crossed a frozen stream
    in trembling fear one day;
    Later another drove across,
    and whistled all the way.
    Great and little faith alike
    were granted safe convoy;
    One had pangs of needless fear,
    the other all the joy."
    - Author Unknown

    "Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic."
    - Jean Sibelius

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  32. Fantastic, Brit - thank you!

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