Dog poop on my shoeStepping in poo is a frequent occurrence when you have a dog or a puppy, and it made me think of this amazing TEDx talk about gratitude I just watched.

The talk—Gratitude, Gifting, and Grandpa—was by John Halcyon Styn, who happens to live in my neighborhood.

John drives this Hug Nation RV and is a regular at Burning Man. He, his significant other, and their chihuahua all sported bright pink hair and/or accessories, and we used to see them at dog park often enough that we nicknamed them The Pinks before we knew who they were and connected them to the RV.HugNation RVI was completely blown away by John’s talk, and felt a little TEDx curator envy, wishing I had been the person lucky enough to put him onstage at our event, TEDxSanDiego.

The part of his talk that grabbed me was this phrase, “Cone or crap?” John says that throughout our lives we have a metaphorical ice cream cone in one hand while our other foot has just stepped in dog crap. It’s all about where we put our focus.


I had just cleaned up the yard today, and was rejoicing that Daisy’s super-soft stools were greatly improved. Then I walked into the house, sat down, and started smelling something… poopy. I looked down at my shoe. Bleck.

As I headed outside to clean off my shoe, I caught myself thinking, “Wow, I’m so lucky she got over her diarrhea! What a mess that would have been!” The shoe cleaned up easily, there didn’t seem to be any poop tracked through the house, and I realized that my natural inclination (after many years of intentional meditation on the positive) was to focus on the cone.

Ice cream cones from Berthillon Paris

A wonderful cone memory, from Berthillon in Paris after visiting Notre Dame

How have you made the choice for Cone?