How to Reap the Benefits of Meditation Without Meditating

Thought-clouds

 

The benefits of meditation are far reaching and have been well known for centuries. However, the idea of formal meditation doesn’t sit well with some of us.

The idea of sitting cross-legged for extended periods and delving inward puts many of us off before we’ve even got started. Even the word “meditation” can be a very real barrier to entry for some. What a shame, as the many benefits of meditation can be good for us all.

Those benefits can include:

  • reduction in the stress we feel
  • A deeper sense of calm and relaxation in our lives
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety
  • A better understanding of what we truly think/feel/want
  • Less feelings of anger, hurt, or disquiet
  • Being more present
  • Being more content
  • A better understanding of who we really are

This little list is just starting to scratch the surface. Meditating can be that powerful.

If meditating in a more traditional way for extended periods feels right for you, all power to you— please continue with your journey. If that isn’t you, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.

If you recoil a little when meditation is mentioned but still want to reap some of the rewards, I hope to offer several ideas that might work for you. But first, a bit of personal reflection.

I Confess I Do Not Have a Formal Meditation Practice

As someone that writes books and a blog all under the broad umbrella of simplicity and that can often be found leafing through books and words by Thich Nhat Hanh, Bruce Lee, Sun Tzu, and Lao Tzu, it may surprise you to know I do not consider myself to have a formal meditation practice.

Perhaps somewhat out of step with the trend of our time, my morning routine (if I even have one) does not have time carved out for sitting cross-legged in a quiet room, reflecting on the universe at large.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire that others do this, but it never really felt like a fit for me. I’ve tried to make it a habit, at a few points in my life, but it just hasn’t stuck.

If I’m honest, I think the word “meditation” itself intimidates many of us. We perceive it to mean we need some special point of entry, or skillset, to reap the rewards.

All this said, perhaps paradoxically, I am also totally sold on the benefits of meditation and I want them to be a part of my life. I just happen to believe you can get those benefits in other ways. Your formal practice doesn’t have to be formal, and you don’t even have to call it a “practice.”

This is where the art of meditating without meditation comes in.

Meditation without Meditating in Action: My Top 6

Here are some of my favorite ways to achieve some of meditation’s powerful benefits without actually feeling like I am meditating.

1. Walking

Walking is my ultimate reset. It blows away the mental cobwebs that can accumulate. It provides new stimulus and re-energises a tired mind. Complex problems I’ve been struggling with can suddenly feel like they fall into place on a good, long walk. A fresh perspective can somewhat magically drift into view.

I like to walk early, before the rush and before the noise of human traffic drowns out the birds singing. Depending on where I am, I like to walk as close to nature as possible (a nice park, a beach, a hike over rolling hills). This is as close as I consider I get to a formal meditative practice.

2. Being at one with the outdoors and nature

The natural world is a passion for me. Something that breathes life and color into any day, if I just make time to stop and notice what is going on around me. I find it grounding and uplifting all at once.

Nature presents us with a constant wonderland. It’s easy to take this for granted. We can fix this by spending some time just being at one with nature and reconnecting with the great outdoors, and we’ll feel so much better for it.

Be amazed by that spider’s web glistening with the morning’s dew.

Take in the sun rising and setting.

Make time to watch the clouds moving overhead, soak up the inspiration that comes from the view.

Be endlessly in awe at nature’s ability to evolve, adapt, and deal with challenges.

Enjoy the offerings of new life and renewal each and every spring, by making deliberate time to stop and notice.

3. Losing myself in music (art)

Some would say this is cheating, as you are using outside stimulus to get a response; I say call it what you will. The benefits that people claim to get from meditation, I have and feel from losing myself in music.

Music is transformative. It can lift our mood on our darkest days, it can ease anxiety when we feel on edge about something, it can shift our mindset.

We can leverage different music at different times to support our state of well-being. Music is one of life’s true pleasures for me, one of the very last things I would want to give up.

However, if music isn’t quite as powerful a force in your own life, perhaps there is something else that is. Literature can, and does, serve the same end. Or a beautiful painting or sculpture that really moves us, or even a really great movie. All of the above can be transformative, life-affirming, and even life-changing ways we can apply ourselves.

4. Seeking stillness

Seeking stillness may sound like a total contrast to the earlier suggestion to listen to music; maybe it is or isn’t, but this time is necessary for me. This is time to let my mind just drift without expecting too much of anything from it. Letting it wander where it wanders. In a results-orientated culture, we can spend too little time here.

Cut to the core, this is actually what meditation is all about. For me, all it really means is taking the time to get in touch with our own thoughts and finding a point of reflection. It’s cutting out the external world for a while and tuning into frequency us. It’s about reconnecting with the signal, amongst the noise.

This is time to turn off the phone, unplug from the internet, and make space for some calm in our day.

Disconnecting a little from the busy world around us, to reconnect with ourselves.

No special cushion necessary, unless you want one, no special seating position necessary unless it helps trigger the state. Just make a commitment to be mindful and find some stillness in your own way.

5. Creating

For me this means writing and playing guitar.

Writing, in particular, is something I spend much time on. I feel better on days and weeks that I have made time to write creatively. Ideas flow freely and come out on the page. I make sense of thoughts and words and try to communicate as effectively as I can, then I refine (edit). When I am truly in a writing flow, this creative process can definitely feel meditative.

6. Exercise (calisthenics, yoga, and breathwork)

I am a fan and practitioner of calisthenics (working with one’s bodyweight as the weight). I find this form of training both physically demanding and endlessly interesting. I enjoy the raw simplicity.

Learning new moves or practicing well-worn moves, trying to perfect them, also has a meditative effect. I’m totally in the practice, and often have to be if the move in question is getting hard or has a balancing element. Trying to create whole body tension for some moves also means I need to be aware of where my breath is (am I holding it somewhere or letting it flow?).

Yoga is relatively new to me and I have been slow to embrace it, perhaps somewhat surprisingly as my wife is a yoga practitioner and teacher and has encouraged me to give it a proper go for years.  Knucklehead that I am, I finally took note and I’ve come to really enjoy this time. I now make time for working on the mat through my week, amongst other exercise I do.

As I am new to the yoga poses themselves, and how different teachers teach, I find I have to be totally present for yoga. No time to think about what comes after or what has just happened; to keep up with the class I have to listen. This has a calming effect on body and soul on the best days.

The breathwork, and constant queues to focus on breath, have also made me aware of where I tend to keep tension (physically and mentally).

Reframing Meditation

What’s great about this list is that you can use these practices interchangeably, and they can happily co-exist at the same time.

I think the “meditation” label puts as many off as it attracts. In busy and distracted times, this is a missed opportunity for us all to feel the benefits.

When we forget the labels, all we’re doing with the practices above is resetting a little. The art of meditating without meditating if you like.

Give it a go. String these resets together on a regular basis and feel the benefits for yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll even be open to further experiments in formal meditative practice after doing so. If not, just find your own way. Keep what works for you, discard what doesn’t, and call it what you want, or call it nothing at all.

GOODBYE 2019 AND WELCOME 2020 THE NEW DECADE!

It’s now time to say goodbye to another decade.  We enter the new decade with great anticipation of things becoming better. This New Year and new decade creates an atmosphere of renewal for all of us. Regardless of what mistakes have been made in the past year or what projects might remain unfinished; the New Year provides an opportunity to make things better. As with all beginnings, however, getting started can be the most challenging step.  Strive to have a better understanding of yourself this year.  The most important person in your life is you!  The only person that can change you is you!  So work on yourself this year spiritually and at the end of the year look back and see all the changes you have made.

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Now, you will enter the unseen, and you can enter a New Year equipped with an arsenal of heavenly energies.  It requires your taking time to be quiet and feel the energies of the angels all around you.  Look for their guidance throughout this coming year and decade.

The Angels are bringing bright blessings to you and your family this coming year. They ask that you reflect on all the blessings that you have had, as well as the lessons you have learned during this past year. They ask that you reflect on the struggles you have endured throughout the year and question why these times were so hard.

By looking back, you may be able to change your perception of the way you view your life and the world around you. When you look at things differently, the things you look at change. Consciously choose to see things in a positive light in the New Year.

Soon you will see that everything around you is filled with loving energy. You create your reality. Why not choose to have a positive, loving experience this year, and in turn, your energy will add to the collective consciousness and make the earth a better place to live! Life is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.

Many of the events that have happened in 2019 have made people realize how fragile life is and how quickly things can change. Now is not a good time to be clinging to past issues and past hurts. Letting go is a good option because it frees you from heartache caused by going over and over the past.

Bob Marley once said, “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!”

Now is the time to let down the walls that have kept you trapped. If you choose the spiritual path these walls will soon start to fade away and you will get a taste of real freedom. You can become more aware of your connection to everything as you let down your guard and remove the walls. Focus on what has changed for you and what you desire to change in the future. For some of you this will be easy to do. For others who are resistant to change pulling down those walls will be more challenging.

lAItE5

Allow yourself to connect with that spark within that has been glowing inside of you from the beginning of your existence. Sometimes we only get a glimpse of the eternal, but those moments are given to us so that we have the fortitude to carry on.

Happy New Year. May the New Year bring to you warmth of love, and a light to guide your path towards a positive destination.

 

The Best Beaches in Italy

There’s plenty to recommend Italy already: The rolling hills of Tuscany, the canals of Venice, the charm of Cinque Terre, the wine and food of…well, everywhere. After all, there’s a reason it’s consistently ranked among the most-visited countries in the world, with tourism revenue well into the twelve figures.  But add the incredible number and variety of beaches to the equation, and suddenly the country becomes a mandatory item on every traveler’s to-do list.

Ready to traverse the boot? Read on to start plotting the perfect itinerary. And if beach-hopping across Italy isn’t in your future, this list is still worth a look: these places are beautiful enough to cure even the most severe cases of Monday blues, mean reds, or winter doldrums. And after a few glimpses, you may find yourself tallying up your vacation days, scoping out your savings, and planning your next Italian excursion.

 

1) Acquafredda di Maratea Beach, Basilicata

Acquafredda di Maratea Beach, Basilicata

Six miles outside of the hamlet of Maratea, this rugged stretch of shoreline has the same blue water and dark gray sand of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s further north with none of the accompanying throngs of tourists. It’s a prime place for beachgoers in search of rustic beauty: In spite of neatly arranged sun loungers and beach umbrellas placed by local hotels, the rocky shoreline and cliffs jutting up on either side of the cove preserve the untamed feel of the area

2) Marina Grande Beach, Positano

 

Marina Grande Beach, Positano

As if the views of deep greenish-blue seas weren’t enough, the stacks of pastel houses hugging the cliffs make Positano’s main beach feel like something plucked from a midcentury postcard. With over 300 yards of dark sand—large swathes of it dedicated to tidily arranged rows of beach umbrellas and lounge chairs in Technicolor shades of orange and blue—this spot always feels open and roomy in spite of summer crowds. Start in town with a leisurely outdoor lunch overlooking the Mediterranean, then sleep off the limoncello buzz with a snooze on the sand.

3) Camogli Beach, Liguria

Camogli Beach, Liguria

Northwest Italy’s coastal towns tend to live in the shadow of the neighboring French Riviera, but that means beaches like Camogli’s have all the Mediterranean beauty with a fraction of the crowds you’ll find in Nice or St. Tropez.

The beach in this little fishing village is pebbly but picturesque—the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is perched on a promontory at the harbor’s northern end, with mountains rising up behind it. This spot has something for every traveler: swimming lessons to keep the kids busy, beachside drink service for the laid-back crowd, and rowboats, canoe rentals, and diving lessons for the adventure-seekers.

 

4) Scalo Maestro, Marettimo

Scalo Maestro, Marettimo

Just off the western tip of Sicily, the island of Marettimo (population: 700) has the kind of wild beauty that gives every moment here a dreamlike quality. The tiny beach of Scalo Maestro is one of the few you can access from the shore, and its gentle slope and clear, calm waters are particularly swimmer- and snorkeler-friendly. Once you’ve had your fill of beach time, charter a boat for a tour of the island: it’s the only way to access Marettimo’s hidden sea caves. You can’t truly appreciate the magic of the Aegadian Islands until you’ve gone swimming in a sun-dappled Mediterranean grotto.

14) Lago di Braies, South Tyrol
Lago di Braies, South Tyrol
It may not be on the ocean, but this gem nestled in the Dolomites is guaranteed to satisfy beachgoers in search of beautiful scenery and a refreshing dip. The lake boasts clear, blue-green waters and white sand—a striking visual contrast to the dense pine forest and snow-dusted peaks that surround it. A day hike is the best way to see everything Lago di Braies has to offer: Pack your swimsuit, a towel, and a lunch, then venture out on the beginner-friendly footpath that circles the perimeter, pausing to picnic and swim at the first beach that suits your fancy. Be sure to stop at the Braies bungalow—built on stilts over the lake, it’s a cross between an alpine ski lodge and a Tahitian overwater cabana—for photo ops and rowboat rentals.
15) Scala dei Turchi, Sicily
Scala dei Turchi, Sicily
One of the most visually striking beaches in the world, Sicily’s Turkish Steps are a must-visit for aesthetic reasons alone. The bright white marlstone has been slowly eroded, creating a sloping staircase that leads right into the sea. Go at low tide for the best views, and wear sturdy shoes for the journey—the climb is not for the faint of heart. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, pack a flashlight and stay until the sun sets. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better visual than that of the cliffs awash in gold and silhouetted against a fiery sky.

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Piano cover

I have a love song in my heart and its lyrics are a serenade dedicated to you.  

” I Just Called To Say I Love You” 

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Title: I Just Called To Say I Love You

DedicatedYou are the most beautiful love song, the most beautiful music ever created, the most beautiful person in this world.

Lyrics:

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

No New Year’s Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring, no song to sing
In fact here’s just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer’s high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

Can we sing it one more time please
I just called to say I love you (I just called to say, I just called to say I love you)
I just called to say how much I care, I do (I just called to say, I just called to say I do)
I just called to say I love you (I just called to say, I just called to say I love you)
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart, I love you from the bottom of my heart

 

 

 

A Song For Mama

A Song For Mama by Boyz 2 Men –

My family is everything. I am what I am thanks to my mother, my father, my brother, my sister… because they have given me everything. The education I have is thanks to them.

 

You taught me everything
Everything you’ve given me
I’ll always keep it inside
You’re the driving force in my life, yeah

There isn’t anything
Or anyone that I could be
And it just wouldn’t feel right
If I didn’t have you by my side

You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were gray
Whenever I was down
You were always there to comfort me

And no one else can be
What you have been to me you will always be
You will always be the girl
In my life for all times

Mama, Mama you know I love you
(You know I love you)
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars, yes it is
Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul
Yes it is, yes it is, oh, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is oh

You’re always there for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did

And you took up for me
When everyone was downin’ me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on

There were so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you’d come to me and say to me
I can face anything

And no one else can do
What you have done for me
You’ll always be, you will always be
The girl in my life, ooh oh

Mama, Mama you know I love you
(You know I love you, you know I love you)
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart, (You are)
Your love is like tears from the stars
(Your love is like tears from the stars)
Mama I just want you to know (Mama I just want you to know)
Lovin’ you is like food to my soul

Never gonna go a day without you
Fills me up just thinkin’ about you
I’ll never go a day without my mama

Mama, Mama you know I love you
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars
(Your love is like tears from the stars)
Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul

Lovin’ you is like food to my soul, oh yeah
You are the food to my soul, yes you are.

 

 

9 Cutest Small Towns in America

Every year, America’s small towns draw tourists—and new residents—to their streets in droves. They are, after all, reminders of a simpler way of life, where mom-and-pop shops are the norm, everybody knows your name, and the pace is slower than the speed of tweets. To help you get away from the breakneck tempo of your daily routine, we rounded up nine of the cutest small towns for an easy weekend escape, from a picturesque New England coastal haven to a romantic Southern getaway that feels untouched by time.

 

Carmel River State Beach Carmel, California Trip Ideas sky water Nature Beach shore snow Sea Coast horizon Ocean morning cloud River sand landscape loch wave Lake sunlight dusk reservoirCarmel Carmel, California Trip Ideas tree building grass sky house property Town Garden Village brick home mansion château rural area flower old waterway stone cottage castle Villa lush bushes

Carmel Carmel, California Trip Ideas building bicycle ground Town neighbourhood home residential area Courtyard sidewalk cottage Balcony flower yard restaurant Village stone curb

1 – Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

With its local wineries and Pacific Coast Highway views, the Northern California town of Carmel-by-the-Sea is as idyllic as its name suggests. Come for the beach, a mile-long swath of white sand from which you can view dolphins and sea lions, then wander around town to shop quirky independent boutiques and see whimsical cottages that look like they came straight out of a fairytale. The atmospheric gardens and chapels at Spanish-colonial Carmel Mission, founded in 1770 and designated a National Historic Landmark, offer worthy spots for reflection, though you’ll find just as much tranquility after a stay in one of the intimate suites at L’Auberge Carmel. For dinner, nab a table at Cultura Comida y Bebida, where chef Michelle Estigoy serves standout chicken tinga tacos and epazote quesadillas inspired by her family’s Mexican heritage.

Sitka Alaska Outfitters Sitka, Alaska Trip Ideas mountain sky water mountainous landforms Nature mountain range fjord Sea Lake cloud loch vehicle Coast glacial landform alps boating shore day

Sitka Alaska Outfitters Sitka, Alaska Trip Ideas outdoor object totem pole tree ground sculpture plant art Forest woody plant woodland outdoor structure totem path trunk wooded trail Garden dirt

2 – Sitka, AK

Accessible only by air and sea, the fishing village of Sitka is a remote beauty that anyone who has watched the 2009 Sandra Bullock film The Proposal is sure to recognize (filming took place in Rockport, Massachusetts, but sets were built to resemble this port town). Here, you can indulge in the natural pursuits Alaska is known for, from whale watching and kayaking to hiking up a dormant volcano or strolling through towering spruce trees—spotting bald eagles and totem poles along the way—at Sitka National Historic Park.

Taos Taos, New Mexico Trip Ideas grass sky mountain mountainous landforms Ruins Village Town rural area hill landscape ancient history valley fortification monastery dirt ruin highland  Taos Taos, New Mexico Trip Ideas road Town transport neighbourhood residential area house Village home infrastructure suburb travel

Taos Taos, New Mexico Trip Ideas sky house Architecture cloud sunlight temple arch ancient history place of worship clouds

3 – Taos, NM

It’s easy to see why this high-desert town in the Sangre de Christo Mountains has become a haven for artists, writers, and other creative types. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a feast for the senses thanks to its striking adobe architecture, red-rock canyons, and snow-tipped peaks. Feeling inspired? View works by the likes of Agnes Martin and other local painters at the Harwood Museum of Art and more than 80 other galleries. There are also plenty of activities to keep adrenaline junkies engaged year ‘round. Summer brings hiking and hot air ballooning, while winter offers some of the best skiing in the country.

 

El Cosmico Marfa, Texas airstream ambient lighting artistic artsy calm Exterior Glamping Hip isolation Luxury Travel night Night Sky Patio porch quirky remote serene Terrace trendy Trip Ideas sky transport vehicle light evening El Cosmico Marfa, Texas airstream artistic artsy calm Exterior Hip Hotels isolation quirky remote serene Solo Travel trendy Trip Ideas sky property transport trailer home house cottage vehicle shack shed outdoor structure hut

El Cosmico Marfa, Texas artistic artsy Bedroom cozy fire Firepit Fireplace Hip Hotels interior isolation living area quirky remote Solo Travel teepee trendy Trip Ideas bedclothes

4 – Marfa, TX

As art meccas go, Marfa is an unlikely one. Founded in 1883, the tiny Texas town—population under 2,000—has served as a railway headquarters and military training base, but it wasn’t until the 1970s, when artist Donald Judd moved there, that it became a cultural destination for the aesthetically informed. View some of his most iconic concrete sculptures on a sunrise tour of the Chinati Foundation, or make like the Insta glitterati and take a selfie in front of Elmgreen and Dragset’s now-famous Prada Marfa installation, off Highway 90.

The Beaufort Inn Beaufort, South Carolina Balcony Country Deck Inn Lounge Trip Ideas property porch home backyard outdoor structure cottage Villa living room Patio mansion Garden stone The Beaufort Inn Beaufort, South Carolina Bedroom Country Inn Trip Ideas living room property home Suite mansion curtain window treatment

Beaufort Beaufort, South Carolina Trip Ideas tree grass habitat plant Nature park natural environment grove ecosystem woodland botany Forest woody plant leaf Garden flower biome plantation arecales Jungle botanical garden wooded lush surrounded

5 – Beaufort, SC

If this Lowcountry fishing village looks straight out of a movie set, that’s because it is: Beaufort was the backdrop for such films as Forrest Gump and The Big Chillthanks to its sprawling antebellum mansions, moss-draped oaks, and picturesque downtown streets. Located on Port Royal Island in South Carolina’s Sea Island chain, the town makes an ideal base for enjoying simple pleasures and all manner of aquatic diversions, including paddle boarding, kayaking, dolphin watching, and crabbing.

 

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa Galena, Illinois Exterior Golf Grounds Outdoors Trip Ideas Waterfront tree sky property house home residential area Resort Garden yard backyard cottage mansion Villa lawn Courtyard Village suburb plantation plant emptyGalena Galena, Illinois Trip Ideas tree grass road sky transport park horse-drawn vehicle

Galena Galena, Illinois Trip Ideas road building sky street way Town transport scene City neighbourhood sidewalk Downtown residential area cityscape infrastructure vehicle travel pedestrian

6 – Galena, IL

The romantic ideal of Main Street is alive and well in this mining town on Illinois’s northwestern border—think of it as the Midwest’s version of Stars Hollow. Trolley cars still cruise down the historic lane, which is lined with 19th-century brick buildings and cute galleries, boutiques, and craft shops that give it a distinctly small-town feel. American history fanatics, however, will be more impressed with Galena’s status as the home of Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant, a fact illuminated at the U.S. president’s namesake museum.

Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites Edgartown, Massachusetts B&B Balcony Boutique Scenic views Trip Ideas Waterfront sky chair property home Resort Ocean house Villa overlooking cottage condominium Suite living room Deck

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Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites Edgartown, Massachusetts Trip Ideas sky grass shore Sea Coast horizon Beach Ocean cove marina dock Lagoon reservoir Lake tower

7 –Edgartown, MA

On the southeast tip of Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown is the quintessential New England seaside getaway with classic shingle-style buildings, windswept dunes, and a scenic lighthouse. Though the beaches are the draw, the onetime whaling port brims with storybook charm. Tour the 18th-century homes of whaling captains on foot or bike, then try your hand at sailing like a local. All it takes is a short ferry rideto explore neighboring Chappaquiddick Island, where, during the summer, you can play a round of night golf by the light of the full moon.

 

Topnotch Resort Stowe, Vermont Trip Ideas tree grass River season autumn flower Garden waterway leaf rural area Nature landscape pond park Lake château Forest lush wooded surrounded Field Guide Stowe, Vermont Trip Ideas grass tree leisure backyard yard outdoor play equipment outdoor structure lawn Playground set

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8 – Stowe, VT

This impossibly quaint Green Mountain town has all the makings of a Norman Rockwell painting—right down to the general store. But there’s more to Stowe than simple pleasures. Not only does Stowe have Vermont’s tallest peak, making it one of the East Coast’s most popular (and powder-friendly) ski destinations, it’s also home to the Trapp Family Lodge, an Austrian-style chalet owned by the family immortalized in The Sound of Music, as well as a stellar culinary scene. Don’t miss the grilled cauliflower steak with quinoa at our favorite dinner spot, Plate. Have a sweet tooth? The Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is nearby in Waterbury.

 

St. Augustine St. Augustine, Florida Trip Ideas grass tree Town neighbourhood landmark residential area plaza Resort arecales town square Village cityscape Garden  St. Augustine St. Augustine, Florida Trip Ideas grass tree Town neighbourhood landmark residential area plaza Resort arecales town square Village cityscape Garden

St. Augustine St. Augustine, Florida Road Trips Trip Ideas color Town road colorful neighbourhood street way scene Downtown shopping sidewalk store colored

9 – St. Augustine, FL

The cobblestone streets of St. Augustine are steeped in history. Founded in 1565 by Spanish conquistadors, the northern Atlantic coast town is studded with colonial architecture, from the 17th-century Castillo de San Marcos fortress to the Victorian antiques–filled Lightner Museum, housed in an 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival building commissioned by Rockefeller business associate and Florida real estate magnate Henry Flagler. If sun and sand is what you seek, there’s plenty of that, too:Anastasia State Park comprises four miles of wildlife-dotted beach and maritime forests.

Peaceful Classic Christmas Music

May This Christmas Bring About A Pleasant Change In Your Life,
May My Wishes Find You With A Smile On Your Face,
I Wish You The Best In Life This Christmas,
Merry Christmas To You And Your Loved Ones.

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This is a 2 hour playlist of traditional Christmas music I arranged and recorded. In the music you will hear flute, cello, violin, piano and guitar along with Irish flute.

These songs cover many of the most popular Christmas songs such as “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “O Holy Night”, “Joy to the World”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, and more.

This music was arranged in Chicago where I performed for Christmas Season Classical Night. Let the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes. In this loveliest of celebrations may you find many reasons for happiness.

Track list:

1. The First Noel

2. Angels We Have Heard on High –

3. O Come All Ye Faithful –

4. Joy to the World –

5. O Holy Night –

6. O Little Town of Bethlehem –

7. Carol of the Bells –

8. O Little Town of Bethlehem –

9. Do You Hear What I Hear –

10. Hark the Herald Angels Sing –

11. O Holy Night –

12. Angels We Have Heard on High-

13. O Come All Ye Faithful –

14. Silent Night –

15. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear –

16. Good Christian Men Rejoice –

17. We Three Kings –

18. The Holly and the Ivy –

19. O Come, O Come Emmanuel-

20. Away in the Manger –

21. Joy to the World –

22. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen-

23. Sheep May Safely Graze-

24. The First Noel-

 

“Angels We Have Heard On High – The Best Christmas Song I’ve Ever Heard

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”

 

Angels We Have Heard On High

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

“Angels We Have Heard On High”

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

Oh shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Angels we have heard
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard

Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high
Oh in excelsis Deo

 

11 Quotes Commonly Misattributed To Shakespeare

1. “When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”

 

Where it's actually from: An 1893 Italian opera, Falstaff, with a libretto by Arrigo Boito. The opera itself is based on The Merry Wives Of Windsor, written by the Bard himself, but the line is not found in the play itself, only in the opera.

Where it’s actually from: An 1893 Italian opera, Falstaff, with a libretto by Arrigo Boito. The opera itself is based on The Merry Wives Of Windsor, written by the Bard himself, but the line is not found in the play itself, only in the opera.

2. “Love is a wonderful terrible thing.”

 

Where it's actually from: Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado. Also the quote is actually, "Love--the most wonderful and most terrible thing in the world."

Where it’s actually from: Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado. Also the quote is actually, “Love–the most wonderful and most terrible thing in the world.”

3. “The earth has music for those who listen.”

 

Where it's actually from: The quote is definitively not in any of Shakespeare's written works. It's most commonly attributed to poet and author George Santayana or Oliver Wendall Holmes.

Where it’s actually from: The quote is definitively not in any of Shakespeare’s written works. It’s most commonly attributed to poet and author George Santayana or Oliver Wendall Holmes.

4. “You say you love rain…”

Where it's actually from: A turkish poem titled, I Am Afraid. In addition, umbrellas weren't common in Europe until the 17th century, roughly a 100 years after Shakespeare died.

Where it’s actually from: A turkish poem titled, I Am Afraid. In addition, umbrellas weren’t common in Europe until the 17th century, roughly a 100 years after Shakespeare died.

 

5. “The less you speak of greatness, the more shall I think of it.”

 

Where it's actually from: Sir Francis Bacon to Sir Edward Coke in 1601 during a quarrel in a bar.

Where it’s actually from: Sir Francis Bacon to Sir Edward Coke in 1601 during a quarrel in a bar.

 

6. “So dear I love him that with him/All deaths I could endure/Without him, live on life.”

Where it's actually from: Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Where it’s actually from: Paradise Lost by John Milton.

 

7. “When words fail music speaks.”

Where it's actually from:This quote is paraphrased from Hans Christian Anderson's "What The Moon Saw" (from What The Moon Saw: And Other Tales), roughly two centuries after Shakespeare died. The actual quote is, "when words fail, sounds can often speak."

Where it’s actually from:This quote is paraphrased from Hans Christian Anderson’s “What The Moon Saw” (from What The Moon Saw: And Other Tales), roughly two centuries after Shakespeare died. The actual quote is, “when words fail, sounds can often speak.”

8. “We’re all in the same game; just different levels. Dealing with the same hell; just different devils.”

Where it's actually from: Tumblr staaahp, this is a Jadakiss song.

Where it’s actually from: Tumblr staaahp, this is a Jadakiss song.

 

9. “All glory comes from daring to begin.”

Where it's actually from: "John Brown", a poem by Eugene Fitch Ware.

Where it’s actually from: “John Brown”, a poem by Eugene Fitch Ware.

10. “Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares.”

 

Where it's actually from: The Notebook of Love twitter handle.

Where it’s actually from: The Notebook of Love twitter handle.

 

11. “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

Where it's actually from: While no one is quite sure where this quote sprang from, it's definitively not in any of Shakespeare's works. The quote does closely resemble, and is commonly said to derive from the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism: desire is the root of all suffering.

Where it’s actually from: While no one is quite sure where this quote sprang from, it’s definitively not in any of Shakespeare’s works. The quote does closely resemble, and is commonly said to derive from the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism: desire is the root of all suffering.

 

The Music Played – Piano & Guitar

Mihran Kalaydjian on Piano – The Music Played – Piano & Guitar 

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.”

Artist: Matt Monro
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Location: Coronado Island

 

 

 

Lyrics:

An angry silence stayed where love had been
And in your eyes a look I’ve never seen
If I had found the words you might have stayed
But as I turned to speak the music played

As lovers danced their way around the floor
I suddenly watched you walk towards the door
I heard a friend of yours suggest you stay
And as you took his hand the music played

Across the darkened room the fatal signs I saw
We’d been something more than friends before
Well, I was hurting you by clinging to my pride
He had been waiting and I drove him to your side

I couldn’t say the things I should have said
Refused to let my heart control my head
But I was made to see the price I paid
And as he held you close the music played
And as I lost your love the music played
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