Time for some Karoo kudu medicine

JH shared an incredible video showcasing the power and agility of a Kudu as it jumps over a fence from a standstill position to drink water from a sheep pen. Despite the bold move, the Anatolian sheepdog calmly watches over the sheep, allowing the thirsty Kudu to take a much-needed water break on a hot day in the Karoo.

Stunning Emerald Diamond of Northern California’s Spring Bloom

Thanks to the ample rain in California, we are now experiencing a stunning spring bloom. Just last year, the Presidio in San Francisco was parched and dry, with the normally misty and cold path down Lover’s Lane through the Eucalyptus trees transformed into a dusty and dry trail resembling a sand dune. However, it looks like the state is due for some relief as a dry spell is forecasted. For now, Northern California is a breathtaking emerald diamond, showcasing its natural beauty for all to enjoy.

Thanks JH for sharing the pic

The Power of Intentional Breaks for Sparking Creativity

It’s easy to fall into a routine that leaves little room for reflection and creative thinking. However, taking intentional breaks can be a powerful way to clear our minds, spark creativity, and generate new ideas.

So, what makes a break intentional? It’s about creating a space and time for specific activities that help clarify thinking. Here are some factors that can help you create the ideal environment for sparking creativity:

Sunshine: Exposure to sunlight is a natural mood booster and can help you feel more alert and energized. Take some time to sit outside, go for a walk or hike, or even just open a window to let some natural light in.

Saltwater swimming: Swimming in salt water can have a calming effect on the mind and body. The sensation of being weightless and surrounded by water can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Fitness: Engaging in physical activity can help release endorphins and increase blood flow to the brain, leading to improved cognitive function and a clearer mind. Find a form of fitness that works for you and is fun, whether going for a run, doing yoga, lifting weights, or swimming. The upside is you look good and feel good when you are fit.

Stepping away from “busy work” stress: Sometimes, we must disconnect from work to give our minds a break. This could mean taking a day off, setting aside dedicated time each day for personal activities, or finding ways to disconnect from work-related technologies.

Take a brain break to think: It’s important to have dedicated time and space for thinking and reflection. This could mean traveling and reading without distractions, one-on-one conversations where you play with ideas and let them percolate.

New stimuli: Exposure to new environments, people, and ideas can help spark creativity and generate new insights. Try traveling to a new place, attending a conference, or reading science fiction on a topic that interests you.

Finally, remember that creativity is a process that often has a long tail. Ideas and epiphanies may not come immediately but rather after you’ve returned to the routines and rituals of daily life. Give yourself the space and time to let ideas germinate and develop, and be open to new connections and insights that arise along the way.

Incorporating intentional breaks into your routine can profoundly impact your creativity and overall well-being. Creating a space that allows for clarity of thought and exposure to new stimuli allows you to tap into your full creative potential and generate new ideas that enhance your personal and professional life.

Cheeky Cockatoos

This photo of a cockatoo was taken in Manly, Australia. Noisy, cheeky, and delightful, these birds bring a unique energy and charm to the bustling beaches and cafes of the area. Cockatoos have playful personalities and impressive acrobatic skills, making them a favorite among both locals and visitors in Manly.

During the day, these birds roost in massive fig trees, traffic lights, and eucalyptus trees. The massive fig trees, in particular, are a popular spot for these birds to hang out, but they make way for visiting fruit bats that feed on the figs when the sun sets.

While these cheeky birds may seem to be begging for food, resisting the urge to share your snacks with them is essential. Not only can feeding wild animals disrupt their natural behavior, but it’s also not the healthiest option for our feathered friends. Instead, why not enjoy the spectacle of these lively birds as they squawk, duck, and dive all over the place? Watching them interact with the visiting fruit bats in the fig trees is a remarkable experience that can provide a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature. So, let’s keep these delightful birds wild and let them continue to bring joy to visitors and locals in Manly.

Devil’s Peak in the morning

This picture of Devil’s Peak from Claremont is like a time machine. I can smell, feel and hear this picture, which transports me back to a specific time and place.

I know the morning smell of Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, with the oak trees and the distinct aroma of fynbos drifting down from Kirstenbosch gardens. I can feel the cold, sticky dew on the Kikuyu grass, and I remember the misty vale of morning heat on Devil’s Peak that signaled a hot day and strong South Easterly wind.

As I look at the picture, I can hear the noise of the M3 from morning traffic near Rhodes Drive and Claremont Main Road as the city wakes up and gets ready for school and work. It’s a memory that’s etched into my mind and triggered every time I see this picture.

The picture captures the essence of this time and place, and I’m transported back to those moments every time I look at it. It’s like stepping into a time machine and experiencing that morning’s sights, sounds, and smells all over again.

This mountain reminds me of the beauty of Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs and the memories tied to this place. It’s more than just a snapshot of a landscape – it’s a portal to a time and a place that will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thanks @Maven_Insights, for sharing the Cape Town morning 

Make the ordinary come alive

‘Do not ask your children to strive by William Martin

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.

Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.

Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.

Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.

Show them how to cry when pets and people die.

Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.

And make the ordinary come alive for them.

The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Morning workout routines

Morning exercise has many benefits, such as higher motivation, more energy, and kickstarting your day. It’s important to note that avoiding coffee before a workout is best.

Breathing exercises and high-cardio exercises are effective stress relievers. One great way to achieve this is by swimming, a low-impact, high-cardio activity. Using props like kickboards, pull buoys, and snorkels can help keep things interesting and vary your routine. Open water swimming in the ocean is an excellent option as the natural surroundings, and potential wildlife encounters can add an extra layer of excitement.

After your workout, consider sitting in a sauna, similar to monkeys in the Himalayan hot baths. A quick cold shower after the sauna can refresh you.

To finish your routine, it’s essential to stretch on a mat. Focus on exercises that strengthen your back, lower body, and core, such as squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. Adding in 26 Bikram (aka hot yoga) poses can help activate your heart and thyroid while also building strength.

Sauna benefits: https://twitter.com/thejackbly/status/1617522666168279043?s=46&t=xvXeIOHkdSr2AGjJ9PAPXg

4-7-8 breathing tutorial https://youtu.be/p8fjYPC-k2k

Lung capacity breathing prescription: https://twitter.com/erwanlecorre/status/1611087162312646661?s=46&t=xvXeIOHkdSr2AGjJ9PAPXg

Sneaker waves

Thinking about something from a couple of years ago after reading about surf conditions in Northern California this week. I was at Rodeo Beach in Marin, California, after a storm had passed. The waves were huge, crashing near the lagoon. I was on higher ground, and I could see where the wave wash was coming in from my vantage point. It was like walking on two levels – the higher, drier, safe beach area that had yet to be hit and the lower level that was smooth, wet, and steeper. As someone who grew up near the water, I knew to never walk on the lower side.

I watched an older woman and her dog walk on the lower level. Suddenly, a sneaker wave hit quickly and unexpectedly. I was up high and could only bear witness to the event. The wave ran up the beach like a freight train, and the old Labrador saw it coming. It quickly surrendered as the water engulfed it. The older, overweight woman walking the dog tried to run up the beach, but the panic of a slight uphill run and water coming from behind caused her to stumble and fall. The water took her quickly. Fortunately, neither she nor the dog was swept out to sea. They were so lucky.

Highs and lows

Life is full of high-stress moments where your cortisol spikes and anxiety peaks. There are also moment os total downtime, boredom and low stress. These moments are unpredictable. Too much stress will make you sick, and too little stress do the same as your brain and muscles atrophy. You need to handle both

Set up a system (financial, mental and physical fitness, lifestyle, community, to manage the highs and the lows so that there’s flex in the system to be malleable.