Take the Blue Test Now

Take the Blue Test Now

Take this test. Grab something to write on and a pen. Look around you.

Notice everything that is blue: the sky, the calm scene of water in a print on the wall, a shade of blue on a bedspread, the cool reflection in a mirror across the room, a blue dress of an actress on the TV, the dark spine of a book. Spend a few minutes really taking in everything blue around you. Commit it to your memory.

Close your eyes and think about the blue objects you just noted.

Can you picture all of the blue objects?

blue icing






Now, without looking around again, write down everything around you that’s orange.

Don’t look up. Can you do it?

Chances are, after concentrating on your environment through your “blue” filter, your memory of all the orange things surrounding you is sparse. This is how most of us see the world–through our own filter, crafted through personal experiences, lessons and memories. Our individual point of view helps make us unique and shapes our purpose in life.

But think about how much we miss if we only ever look through our own lens. It’s valuable to remember that there are many ways to look at everything, and it’s not just one way that has to be valid.

Courtesy of oliver zelinski

Appreciate Imperfection, Slow Down and Just Be

I’ve started a new post at least a dozen times today. I just don’t have it in me at this point. It’s been a long week and my working hours have taken over the time I take to run, write and even sleep.But I love what I do, the connections I make and the projects I dedicate my time to in hopes of creating positive change. So for now, that’s going to have to be enough.

My to-do list will never be short and while my constant desire to push for improvement is a strength, it can also be a weakness. This is the post for the day. It’s nothing spectacular but it’s my Friday evening therapy–a reminder to myself to appreciate imperfection, slow down and just be.

Green Heart Be Thankful

Puppies & Mountains: Facebook Engagement

“Never forget your beginner’s spirit.”  That was the message of the night at the Central VA AMA talk with John Freeman who manages the Charlottesville Albemarle CVB‘s social media and online marketing. He and his team have transformed the Experience Charlottesville page on Facebook in to the one of the most engaged in the world.

The common thread to all of his suggested Facebook tactics for businesses: Simplicity. Remember that social media is supposed to be engaging and fun; don’t take everything so seriously.

  • Post pictures. Pictures created 39% more engagement on FB.
  • Look at your pages’ demographics then speak to those people.
  • Pictures of what? Local! Puppies and landscapes always steal hearts, when in doubt.
  • Social Media Policies: necessary? The Charlottesville pages’ demo is overwhelmingly females in their 40’s. Their policy? Don’t post anything Mom wouldn’t approve of.
  • Where do you get images without hiring a full time photographer? There are tons of pictures online taken by local people.Stay relevant. Post about the “right now.” Use what’s going on in the news and add the local flair.
    • One suggestion: go to Flickr. Create a “wish-list” of images. Email those people and ask to use their pictures and credit them.
    • Do the same for pictures posted on Instagram, Twitter, FB.
    • Engage clients to post pictures on their own business pages and then ask to use their content as well.
  • Ask for the interaction: Like if you love it, Like if you agree, add your own caption, give us your best memory, what’s your opinion?

Social media is about engagement and anyone can do it. The wonderful thing about it all is that no one expects perfection. Remember to create happiness, do it everyday and “never forget your beginner’s spirit.”

JMU Duke Dog

Photo Courtesy of AJ Schuster









*Never Forget Your Beginner’s Spirit was painted on the bike Lance Armstrong used during the Tour de France Annecy time trial stage by Japanese modern artist, Yoshitomo Nara.

Google is a Verb

Google is a Verb

It’s a Brave New World and there are more powerful tools than ever at the average person’s reach. Here are a few ways technology has changed our lives.

  1. Google is the go to for a business phone number or address. Yellow Pages are a distant memory.
  2. Not only do we text our friends and family, we now text many business contacts.
  3. A company’s website is expected to be easily found, useful and easy.
  4. We expect an immediate response.
  5. We no longer believe that just because a company is large or has been in business for a long time, it will continue to be in business.
  6. A carbon footprint is not the only impression we leave behind. Today, even two-year olds have digital footprints.
  7. The word can be spread faster and wider about missing children thanks to Social Media.
  8. Taxes can be filed online. We can also create a will, start a business, renew our driver’s license and refinance our mortgage.
  9. Nearly anything can be bought online. There’s a good chance that we’ll get our tickets to the movie faster on our phones than by standing in line.
  10. Smart Phones have become our go-to multi-tool. Amongst other things, they are our alarm clock, wrist watch, timer, calendar, GPS, camera, notepad, shopping list, flashlight, radio, food journal, babysitter, Rolodex and even wallet. Oh yes, they make phone calls as well.
Baby at a computer

Photo Courtesy of ram reddy

Live in the Moment, There’s No Need for Black and White

Live in the Moment, There’s No Need for Black and White

My colleagues and I have taken a personality test to identify not only our own attributes, but to better identify the attributes of the people we wish to communicate with. The test not only reminds me to look within and identify the driving factors for my own thoughts and actions, but to look at every relationship in my life and actively recognize the differences. In short, I am reminded to communicate with others based on their needs more so than my own. 

Like many people, I get caught up in the way that I personally see the world. My world is filled with goals, change, plans and action. But it’s so beautiful when an “aha” moment comes along and slows me down. In retrospect, my favorite memories are the ones in which I have pushed myself to see things as someone else sees them. And the best way to do that is to live in the moment, which is where I am right now.

Blue Door in Richmond VA

Forgotten Memories Wait in a Book

Forgotten Memories Wait in a Book

I sat with my best friend’s girls last night at bedtime. They pulled every book off their bookshelf and we rifled through the thick cardboard pages filled with furry, rough and silky objects to touch, with shiny mirrors and bright moons and even with some trees that smell like pine when scratched and sniffed.

Before the girls were born almost a year ago, we had a party where everyone brought a copy of their favorite childhood books. Written inside many of these books are words of love and wisdom. The words show familiar handwriting, emotions and memories. I pulled a book from the pile and knew, before I even opened it that it was from my mother; it was her favorite book of versus that her father read to her and her brother growing up, in a silly Scottish brogue.

Today, we can take with us endless counts of digital books, blogs and articles anywhere we go. There’s never a shortage of things to read. But never forget about the magic of a beautifully bound book filled with pages that turn and feel crisp between the fingers, with thoughts and dedications written on the pages by someone who held the book long before. These beautiful, tangible, collections of words and pictures can be felt and touched and we can leave our own thoughts and pass them along.

Grace and Suzie

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