Reviewed: Big Eyes

I didn’t get a chance to finish a book this week so I’m sharing a movie. This was a random pick by my family and I knew nothing about it – other than it was directed by Tim Burton.

This true story follows Margaret Keaene, a San Francisco painter in the 1950s. After her first marriage fails, she meets a fellow painter – Walter Keane – who she quickly marries. Margaret is thoughtful and shy, while Walter is outgoing and willing to do almost anything for a sale. Very quickly Walter takes credit for his wife’s work, which is devastating to her on many levels. His strong personality and outright lies control her life and (almost) break her spirit. She spends 10 years creating paintings while he takes the credit.

This movie will resonate with anyone who has a passion for their art. She is a very sympathetic character and this movie was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.

Happy Bunsen Burner Day!

National Bunsen Burner Day is celebrated on March 31. It celebrates the birthday of the Bunsen burner creator – German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen – in 1811. The Bunsen burner is used for heating liquids during chemistry experiments and for analyzing materials during a flame test. Bunsen Burners are used in classrooms and laboratories around the world.

How to write about Bunsen Burner Day:

  • Have you ever used a Bunsen burner? When did you use it and how was the experience?
  • Are you familiar with a Bunsen burner? Describe how it is constructed and the importance of its adjustable flame.
  • Write about science education. Do you believe that using Bunsen burners get students excited about careers in chemistry? Is there something that we could do better?

What is the favorite part of your business?

I have a friend who is a surgeon. Not surprisingly, he loves surgery. His best days are the days he spends in the operating room performing surgery. The rest of his practice – meeting patients, following up and marketing – are secondary to the joy of operating.

I feel that way about writing. I’ve spent much of the last two weeks developing a course on email marketing. I’ve been in a happy place where I combine my loves of writing and teaching. Days I spend writing and teaching make up for the more dreary aspects of running a business (such as bookkeeping and paying taxes).

Today, write about your happy place in your business. What do you love to do? Do you spend enough time doing what you love?

(PS: The email marketing course will be available shortly – so stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more!)

Review – Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta

Loving-kindness (also known as loving-friendliness) is a form of Buddhist meditation. Metta is the practice of feeling and extending love to yourself, to your friends, to your enemies, and to all beings. I first learned about Metta a few months ago and firmly believe that engaging in this practice will make our world a kinder place.

You start the meditation by offering Metta to yourself. Here’s what you say: “May my mind be full with loving-friendliness, compassion, appreciate joy, and equanimity. May I be generous. May I be gentle. May I be grateful. May I be relaxed. May I be happy and peaceful. May I be healthy. May my heart become tender. May my words be pleasing to others.”

The next step is to offer this meditation to people you love, to neutral beings, to difficult people, and to all beings. The author, a Buddhist monk, describes the benefits of loving-kindness. He also provides many examples of practicing loving-kindness from both his life and from Buddha.

Although Metta is a Buddhist practice, it can just as easily be seen as a form of prayer or a secular meditation. It is a lovely alternative to the hatred and divisiveness that I see happening in our country.