waking up to a new life

Bodhi on one of the new red/orange velvet chairs

One day last week, I was passing by a little second-hand store in Cambridge, and saw these two old velvet chairs. They were stuffed with down, soft and squishy (my idea of perfect furniture). They’re even a little hard to get out of, which invites relaxation. When I got them home, I sat in one and imagined that they were once owned by a happy, fun couple. I could see us (I had joined them in my mind) sitting around with friends, laughing and eating (of course!).

Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) once said, “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living….it wakes up the brain cells…” I have been “playing” with my imagination lately, more like when I was a child, and while this is just plain fun to do, I can also feel it changing me. Something powerful happens when we imagine ourselves, and our lives, in a different way; people, places and things, that we thought were so fixed and solid, begin to change in response to our thought.

I had my coat on Saturday, literally walking out the door, when I had the idea to invite some good friends over for dinner. It felt like the idea just blew in on the wind. I ran it by Jack and he said, “I love it!” Even though this sounds like such a small deal to many, to us it was a huge change. Years of anxiety that our home was too small, and that our cats were too much (for others!), changed in a moment.

That evening we were sitting in our living room, in the new chairs, having the most beautiful, relaxing time imaginable, and even though I never think of our friend Jon as a cat person, he said after that he really enjoyed Fred, who joined us for the meal.

Let’s begin to imagine the lives that we really want to be living, start to play with our wonderful, creative imaginations, and let Life open up even more!

People who lean on logic, philosophy, and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.” William Butler Yeats

29 thoughts on “waking up to a new life

  1. Love the chair, Bodhi seems quite pleased, looking beautiful
    on “his” velvet chair…

    Ahhhh, playing… embracing the 4 year old in me is usually the key to a
    day of joyfilled happenings…however, somedays I hide that key…

    Thank you Mary, for reminding me to open new doors…

  2. Dear Mary,

    This is the perfect time of year to be reminded about not “starving the best part of the mind”, It’s too easy to get caught up in perfection and ignore activities which would lead to deepening relationships.
    I am always delighted to partake in simple activities with friends, but rarely initiate those activities for fear of providing a less than perfect or elegant event.
    Thanks so much for the timely reminder that it’s the company that counts!

    PS The chair is beautiful, warm, inviting, and perfect for Bodhi! Thanks to Fred for nudging Jon toward being more of a cat person.

    Love from Fran

  3. Mary, I love how your mind works!! Your words are inspiring to those who need to take a chance and do something different and spontaneous…to live life. We only get one go around in this life, why not be happy.

    Have a fabulous day, my friend…love, Marian

  4. During this magical time of the year it seems that there is more of everything! More hope, more love, more fantasy, more joy…more of that sparkling spirit in the air. Your wonderful chairs brought more of that into your home at the perfect time to celebrate with dear friends…sounds like a perfect evening, Mary…sounds like a big warm cozy hug wrapped in velvet…and you know how I feel about velvet! Peace…

  5. SO VERY TRUE! Spontaneous, simplistic gatherings are the BEST! No time to develop anxiety and nurture our perceived shortcomings. Go with the flow and tap our powerful imaginations – turn the ordinary into the “magical.” Would like to cozy up (with your cats) in one of your inviting easy chairs. Maybe share a cup of steaming hot Lemon Grass Tea with you!? Blessings galore Mary.

  6. Imagination coupled with spontaneity will take you into great realms! Great post, Mary…..makes one feel more ‘free.’

    P.S. Admit it. You really bought those wonderful chairs for Bodhi. WE know who rules. 😉

  7. Mary, I love everything about this. It’s about joy, friends, comfort, caring, sharing…. life is way to short to care about things being just right and matchy matchy. Add a few cats and it is divine. Heaven on earth, holy.

  8. Mary,

    I absolutly LOVE the orange chairs. Orange is such a happy color!

    So much of the fabric of our lives today was once only in someone’s imagination. Imagination is wonderful but you also have to be fearless in your belief!

  9. I think we may have owned a pair of chairs like these, years ago. Ours were multi shades of green stripes, though. They were always the go to chairs for relaxing. I love the orange, and they are are the perfect showcase for your lovely kitty. Also, why do people tend to classify themselves as cat or dog people? Are we horse or cow people? or robin or raven people? Well, on second thought, maybe there is a reason.

  10. I’m such a planner, sometimes I plan out get-togethers WEEKS ahead. I really wish I was more spontaneous sometimes but I always worry do we have enough food/space/etc.

    This will be our 4th month in our new apartment we have only entertained a few times. I decided the other day I am having our first celebration here for Dave’s 31st birthday in Feb. I dont care if anyone has to cram together on the couch or in the kitchen, I’m doing it! Dave had such a fun time at his party that I threw him last year and I cant wait to see him laugh with his friends and enjoy this next one. It really makes me so happy. I dont care if our place is a little small, or our cat jumps on everyone’s lap…..or if we have a whiny teething baby that night…I’m going big for this one! I always do the exercise in my mind that you taught me when Dave and I got married. When I am worried about how a situation will turn out I picture myself there having a great time, everything going great…gorgeous weather..picturing me making the perfect meal or dessert..and it always puts my mind at ease..

    My resolution for the new year is to live it up, have people over without worrying about the details.

    Love the chairs, Mary, and glad your friend turned out to be a fellow cat person. xoxo

  11. those are happy chairs, they seem to speak “yes” to living! love to live with that energy and looks like bodhi does too.

    i could speak to so much in this post, mary. don’t know where to start. i must get out the door to meet obligations this morning, only 9am on the west coast.

    thanks again, will return to read comments from my wff family.

    blessed days

  12. Love that color. After years of neutral upon neutral, I’ve started embracing my inner orange. The color, not the fruit. (No wisecracks, please.)

  13. Love the message today, Mary! Bodhi looks quite regal on his orange throne. Those chairs have found their voice with you; they say “Yahoo!” to happy living. 🙂

  14. Yeah imagination. That’s one thing I’m really good at. Why not have fun with it. In the past I was so fearful I was afraid to imagine some things.
    Gorgeous photo of Bodhi and on that “red velvet cake” chair.

  15. Bodhi makes that chair “pop”! Love the chair, love that you opened yourself up to what your imagination envisioned. I am learning to do more of this from you, dear Mary.

  16. Mary, Thank you for reminding us to use our imagination and imagine the lives we want. Often we are bogged down with drudgeries of life and forget to play and invite joy. I am making progress with this in my own life and thank you for acknowledging this important part of living. Joy is a gift, we need only to be open to it and embrace it. ( I learned about your website through Jon Katz’s and I am so glad I did.)

  17. The way the “Positive Thinking” guy Norman Vincent Peale said it in the brochure “Things Go Better When You Pray” (interpreting Jesus) was, “The kingdom of God is within you.” He talked of creative responses coming when you work as hard as you can on coming up with a solution, then ask your subconscious. And listen.

  18. Good friends, good conversation, good food, ah life is great! Bodhi looks so comfy on the beautiful orange chair. Thanks for the reminder about imagination.

  19. Bodhi has it down: the official White Feather Farm Christmas Card 2011! Festive colors, golden eyes of hope and love, peace (and God Rest You Merry Cats!), all wrapped up in a loving post from Mary, God Bless All!

    • Thank you Jonne for both your words and for that wonderful TED talk…I am going to post it again today. In gratitude, Mary

  20. Hi Mary, Thank-you for the wonderful Ted talk link. Just what I needed during these Holidays.
    The chairs are gorgeous!(with cat!) I tried to really use alot of color to brighten up our little place.I brought in yellows,reds,purples,pinks and a very bright quilt that Maria made. Our house is tiny,but it’s alive with love.
    Cindy

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