Homonyms – Liken or Lichen. Say what?

What’s this have to do with living a happier life?

Southern dialogue is well known for running words and phrases together as to shorten ‘em. It was long said that this was because us’ens here in the south are lazy. Well y’all, I’m just here to tell you that I don’t think it’s laziness. I like to think we’re just efficient. 

Another example is “liken.” It is used in place of “like something or a comparison. Example: I “liken” his temper to that of a rattlesnake, or I “liken” her to a rose, beautiful from a distance but if you get too close you might get an ouch!

There is also a living organism called a lichen. That’s what’s called a homonym – when two words sound alike but have different meanings. Yes, yes, I know “liken” isn’t a real word according to Webster and the likes, but it would certainly be found in any southern dictionary. 

What’s that on the tree?

Back to lichens. Rachel just recently found a very interesting article on lichens.  https://awaytogarden.com/what-lichens-are-telling-us-with-dr-james-lendemer/ Other than a few questions from people asking me, “what’s that growing on that tree?” I haven’t thought much about lichens since biology class many moons ago. Upon reading this article, I realized that there is a lot about lichens I have forgotten or probably never learned. lichen on a tree

For example, lichens are actually a combination of fungi and algae. They live symbiotically, meaning they help each other out. The fungi protect the algae and the algae feed the fungi. Then there’s this other critter that’s often involved called a “water baby.” A water baby is a small invertebrate, meaning it has no backbone (and, we’ll just leave that for the time being lol).

What does this have to do with happiness?

Okay, okay, I know, enough of the science lesson. What does this have to do with being happy? Well, think about it. There is this whole little system going on in this seemingly simple lichen. We see them growing on rocks, trees, soil and almost anywhere. Looking at a lichen, who would ever think that this complex ecosystem exists in this seemingly simple looking thing growing on a rock? To some, it doesn’t even look alive.

Here are two takeaways from lichens to live a happier life:

  1. We live in a vast universe in which we really know so little. Our own individual lives are such a small fraction, yet our role is vital to the entire system. This is why it is so important for you to know your role and not follow the herd. To make your own path.
  2. The fungi, the algae, and the water baby all living intertwined together. Each fulfilling their role. None worried about which is stronger, which is prettier, which is smarter, or which possess more. They just fulfill their role to help each other.

I liken, lichen to the way we aught live!

Soulful Quote: 

Lichen up, and find and fulfill your purpose – life is short!

Song:

One” by U2

Game Exercise/Life Changer:

Go forth and see if you can find a lichen operating near you! And enjoy the outdoors, it’s spring!
If you find some really good lichen, send us a pic!

Smile. Go ahead, pass it on.

You’ll be better off

I am not always a fan of the insta-message posted on church signs, but I am a huge fan of smiling. Forcing yourself to smile can change your mood. Change it for the better that is.

Now I’m not saying that it is always easy, but it is doable. There have been times when I’m having one of “those days” that I literally have to go in front of the mirror, and using my fingers, force a smile. I will stay in that position until I can walk out of the bathroom maintaining the smile. Dale Carnegie in his bestselling book (for decades, I might add) How to Win Friends & Influence People very early on discusses the value of a smile. Here’s a couple of his words:

  • “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I   am glad to see you” p.63
  • “Your smile is a messenger of your good will” p.69
  • “Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it” p. 69

It’s amazing how this simple act can positively not only change our moods for the day but all those who we come in contact with as well.

Change a life one day at a time. SMILE!

The power you posses by simply smiling and causing others to smile: Amazing!

 

Soulful Quote: 

“For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give” Dale Carnegie.

Song:

Smile,” by Nat King Cole

Game Exercise/Life Changer:

This week, find a way to cause someone else to smile. Repeat often! (Also a featured day in Don’t Be a Cow!)

And this will make you smile. Pass it on. (One of our earliest videos, with the original BOOK COVER!)

 

 

Don’t Be a Cow! Makes First Appearance at LIVE WELL EXPO 2019

Asheville, NC, March 31, 2019Don’t Be a Cow! had its hands full this weekend at the annual LIVE WELL EXPO in Asheville, NC. The 6th annual Expo presented by First Bank, Ingles Markets & Mission Health was held on Saturday, March 30 at the Davis Pavilion at the WNC AG Center. There were over 100 vendors and 9,000 plus attendees.

Both George and Rachel Barker, the authors were on hand along with Gary James, web manager, jamesgang creative communications.

“We had a great time, met amazing people … but,  the crowds were overwhelming,” George said. “I’d never seen anything like it.”

People from all over the region and all walks of life attended the event. There were many in health-related professions themselves such as nurses, PTs, and senior living and home-health practitioners. But, many folks who attended clearly are in the demographic who are not fortunate to have the finances for the healthcare and all the services they need. The event drew attendees as far away as Cherokee and Tennessee.

Doors opened at 9am, and the crowds were already lined up to take part in the event. In the past, LIVE WELL EXPO had focused primarily on health-related services such as senior living, hospital care, first aid and nutritional advice. This year, the expo was opened up to include all sorts of “living well” providers including the trending CBD oils, therapeutic massage, Sleep Number®  and there were even seeing-eye dogs-in-training.

Don’t Be a Cow! had a unique position as being the only lifestyle provider promoting “Living a happier life” by offering a 31-day interactive guide to happiness. In addition to the book, there were Don’t be a Cow! mugs, bookmarks, and of course, Jolly Ranchers and dum-dums. Occasionally, folks who visited the booth, who shared their laughs, told their own remarkable stories of courage and journey through adversity, received a complimentary mug or book.

“There were some children whose parents probably struggled to put food on the table,” George said, “and when I would say, ‘here, take a book … and enjoy!’ … well, the smile that crossed their faces … it was priceless.”

Coincidentally, on Saturday, The Washington Post did a story on how we are all overloaded with stress and offered ways to cope. And recently, it was reported the hottest class at Yale is “The Science of Well-being” with takeaways from that class being some of the exercises offered in the book.

“Save yourself the cost of attending Yale,” George joked, “And get our book.”

Don’t Be a Cow! An Interactive Guide to True Happiness, by George and Rachel Barker, is available on Amazon.com.

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