Showing posts with label inspirational quotes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspirational quotes. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Musing on 2020

My 2020 Mood Be Like...

Despite losing my aunt (another mother to me, basically) last year, I'm optimistic and in an okay place entering 2020.  Therefore, needless to say, 2019 was heartbreaking and incredibly hard to make sense of.  I'm learning how time, doing your inner work, and focusing on your goals helps with the healing process.  But, most importantly as well, being strong enough to get real help when needed.  Either way, I don't believe there's a such thing as "healing" after a family member's death.  That's something you'll carry forever.  Every.  Day.

While 2019 was tough, I had many personal rewards and soaring highs come my way via my platform/interactions.  Many of those highs I didn't expect.  Like the time someone hacked into my domain account to try to steal it from under me.  Nice try, though.  I shelled out that $90 (no problem, boo) and now comictowel belongs to me until I renew again in 2023.  I've created/owned it since July of 2013, and it'll remain so, honeybun.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Regina Brett and God's Hiring

I ran across Regina Brett’s (new to her, but she has many advice books) God is Always Hiring: 50 Lessons for Finding Fulfilling Work back in April.  At the time, I was hunting the bookstore for Toni Morrison’s front-of-store latest, God Help the Child.  I was also trying to distract myself from the troubling thoughts of my wrecked car parked in my driveway.  As well as distract myself from a 9-5 that just wouldn’t let up.  And it’s the 9-5 job situation I speak of which drew me to God is Always Hiring.  No, seriously, I considered it a sign from God when the book's bright yellow color captured my attention.  I circled the new release tower and–POW–there it was.  One to wage my coins on impulse buys; in that instance I grabbed the book (along with Morrison) and headed to the checkout without question.  As far as I was concerned, God really was trying to tell me something.  This time I would listen.
Funny how things work.
But to be extensively honest, I thought God is Always Hiring came with job-related stories I could identify with.  Particularly from the first-hand experiences of individuals who’ve found themselves frustrated by their jobs as well.  And what they did about it.  Think: Chicken Soup for the Soul, motivating struggle, adaptable tools, and eventual triumphs.  Even so, while the book contained tidbits of story essays from various individuals and their 9-5 challenges, it was mainly 50 lessons from the author's experiences.  Valid lessons, no doubt.  Only I have no idea what it’s like to have a resume as broad and bright as hers.  Or one crammed with growth opportunities in a field closer to my own desires themselves.  I would even stretch to say I would trade my current job for some of her previous experience.  Personally, working as a columnist is far more rewarding and field engaging than a gas station attendant.  Trust me.  I know this. 
Still, I suppose the feelings of finding yourself unfilled are relative yet all the same.  (I would probably only go so far as a columnist before my entrepreneurial spirit starts grumbling back up.)  Which is why I want to share a few of my favorite lines/lessons/advice provided in the book.  These are the moments that truly resonated within my personal situation.  The lessons I did identity with and heard God "calling."  In turn, if you haven’t read the book, I hope they resonate with you as well so you can go buy God is Always Hiring.  And get hit with the inspiration to make those changes in your life that you know you must seek out.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cashier Confessions | WEEK 2

Here we are with WEEK 2 of my "Cashier Confessions" (formerly "On Break... Motivate") series.  This week I talk about sharing your ambitions with co-workers.  Should you share them?  Or should you not.  I lean toward no.  Be discerning if you feel the need to.  Or move in silent.  I also talk about being grateful for you job underneath your own terms and not the fear others slip into your mind frame.  It's perfectly okay to want better and to feel it.  By Thursday I wanted to talk about arguing with co-workers.  So not necessary, but often we find ourselves in those situations.  If you know you deserve better and strive for it outside of your 9-5–let your co-workers have the place.  And Friday I leave the work week encouraging everyone to take pride in having a vision.  Because many people don't.  

Monday (12/7/2015)

Wednesday (12/9/2015)

Thursday (12/10/2015)

Friday (12/11/2015)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lost Quotes #2

I was clearing out my phone when I ran across another set of lost quotes.  Allow me to share them with you, as we move into the final month of the year and on into 2016.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lost Quotes

Listen to this mess. My computer has been going slowwww these past two or three months. Like, too slow for me to care about booting her up some days. So I decided to investigate the issue and noticed my C Drive’s MB was screaming in the red. Last time I checked, it was blue. Confused, I did the first thing I knew to do: Disk Cleanup. When that was ineffective, I decided to delete some useless files. And here comes a few of those not-so-useless treasures I rediscovered. I thought it would be best to share them here, so the Internet could continue to hold them. Hopefully you’ll find these little quotes inspiring.

By the way, it was my Norton Backup that was killing my C Drive.  I've since fixed the issue and everything is running smoothly.  Now if I can get a new DSL camera, I'll really be good to go.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kelly Cutrone Says!

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Kelly Cutrone. You’ve probably seen her first on the MTV shows The Hills or The City (my personal favorite was The City; never got into The Hills). Perhaps you’ve seen her as a judge on America’s Next Top-Model. Or maybe you were introduced to her via her 8-episode Bravo reality show, Kell on Earth (I think you can still binge watch it on Netflix). Wherever you were introduced to Kelly, it has to be clear by now that she’s the CEO and founder of People’s Revolution.  You know.  One of the most acknowledged fashion PR establishments ever. Furthermore, should you be familiar with her, you've already realized she’s a no-bullshitter who doesn’t appear to have an ounce of hesitation as it regards speaking her ballsy mind.

No seriously, she gets in people’s asses quite frequently if you haven't noticed. So wherever the platform or media of your discovery, you’ve witnessed how she has a strong opinion and a will to match. She’s often condescending to others, and can be interpreted as a bully. However, she also works her ass off with a tide of people–both clients and employees–to support. Let’s just imagine what it would take to pull off five fashion shows for New York Fashion Week. Once visualized, it’s apparent that she doesn’t have time for flip-flops and BS. And Normal Gets You Nowhere couldn’t be a better window into why Kelly is the way Kelly is. This works for me because I respected Kelly's drive and outspokenness, previous to Normal Gets You Nowhere.  Besides, I'm drawn to people I feel I can learn something valuable from–and Kelly Cutrone is definitely one of those individuals. Therefore, for the most part, her book satisfied; Cutrone shares her advice on society, sex, religion, death, motherhood, and careers in one swift go.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rhonda Byrne's Hero

Okay. So let’s keep it 100% funky. You all know about Rhonda Byrne. If you were alive in 2006, and well outside of pre-school, then you’re familiar with this lady. She’s the creator of The Secret–both the film and book. And while her philosophies, ideas, and self-help methods were nothing new (start by looking up Ester Hicks); it ushered in a tsunami of law of attraction seekers looking to reclaim their lives with the power of positive thinking. From Oprah to the New York Times bestsellers, Byrne and her Secret were everywhere. She became global, with her book translated in over 50 languages while selling double-digits by millions. Naturally, when someone reaches an audience this wide and varied with a belief so nonconformist, controversy comes intact. Therefore, while those following Byrne believed they could create change in their lives with positive thinking (financial or otherwise), there were those who felt Byrne's belief created harm by deluding those who followed it.

When it comes to self-help and positive thinking, I take a more Louise Hay approach. However, that’s not to negate that I didn’t find Hay via the popularity of The Secret. I was working at Borders in 2006; I saw the crowds, processed the orders, stocked the shelves, and shared conversations with excited consumers of The Secret. I even fought with a manager about The Secret’s relevance and system. So, yes, I indulged in The Secret's fame and ideas.   I believed that maybe I could find my way into an art school, own a reliable laptop, and find a better job by applying Byrne’s borrowed principles. Except for one other desire, that I shall not name, I can say eventually the things I wanted to create happened. Was it The Secret? I can’t say because they all happened in their own time.

Nonetheless, I lost touch with The Secret as I moved into Louise Hay’s territory. I even sold my copy of the book to put gas in my car for a trip home. A couple of years ago, I restocked my shelf when I found it at a used bookstore. Just for safekeeping, I suppose.

I don’t like to make any claims without specific examples. I don’t like to push, but rather suggest.  But what I will say, and stand behind as it concerns The Secret, is that life is so much better when you at the very least give yourself some kind of hope and will to believe. So I may not quite realize whether positive thinking can bring me a bouquet of flowers, but I can appreciate rearranging my thoughts and emotions outside of the doldrums of negativity.  Negativity is poison.  And if you dislike being around someone who wallows in it, then chances are that sometimes include yourself.  

This leads me to Byrne’s latest (I think out of four publications), Hero. It became my bedtime read, or something to relax with.  What Byrne and her new team of influential people do in Hero is map readers along a path headed toward his or her personal idea of success. It’s nowhere near as industrial or even utilitarian as it sounds, so don’t expect anything close to something written by Robert Kiyosak or Napoleon Hill. No, Hero is a lot softer; but, frankly, heavily clichéd. That’s not to say it isn’t inspiring–as the true gem comes from Byrne’s success team sharing their personal stories. However, as the material goes, I would file it under a “heard it all before” heading. Though worth the retelling, I should add. Seriously, this stuff never gets old.

Byrne splits Hero into parts, and uses the Hero’s Journey monomyth as the layout to deliver. So there’s the induction of you–the hero–being called to adventure (realizing your dream).  From there you'll refuse the call, take on tests and tasks, gain allies and make enemies, and then hit the road back home to help others. All of this, once again, implemented with stories and ideas relating what we face on the path toward our dreams. And like I said, it’s all very cliché. Anyone picking up this book should know by now the importance of being true to yourself. Or following your bliss toward success. The same can be said for the importance of practicing gratitude in the face of adversity. As well as believing in yourself when the “chips are down.” (See what I did there?) The chapter on naysayers and allies breeds the same overused message of ignoring those pesky negative Nancy people, and fostering good relationships with those who are in support of you.  So like I said, all of this and more are present and in use here.  Also, there are no definitive tools and exercises given to either combat obstacles or uphold your stance on staying on the "hero’s path."  However, there are suggestions–though what I saw as light and apparent ones. 

There are no degrees to reading and applying self-help books.  So I saw Hero as something more for those dedicated to Byrne post The Secret, or those new to self-help as a whole. Then again, it’s perfect for people like myself that need a burst of motivation during a trying time.

And in saying that, I must share my favorite passages from the book before I have to return it to the library.

When we see someone follow their dream, we can get the mistaken idea that they must have had privileges to be able to do it.  In fact, it happens the other way around; it's when you decide to take the leap into the Hero's Journey that the privileges come.  When you commit to your dream, it's as though any person who can help you with your dream is summoned by the Universe to be right there for you with everything you need at the exact time you need it.
If your commitment begins to waver at any time on the Hero's Journey, through disappointment, rejected, or something that didn't go the way you thought it would go, those are the times when you need to remind yourself that you are always being moved to your dream in the way that will bring about the greatest outcome.
Unless you want to wake up and do the same thing every day, you need to be a fighter.  You need to be a warrior if you want to make a difference, if you want to be significant.  I wanted to be significant.  I wanted to do things that would change my life, and would change people's lives.  I cannot be ordinary.
When your work is your bliss, you will be happy.  Doing a job you think you should do instead of doing what you love is leading a false life.  So many precious people are living a life that has been put upon them by well-meaning parents, teachers, or society, or even by a friend or partner, and they're miserable.  We're seeing the evidence of the misery in people through the alarming increase of mental health problems in the world.  Shut out what everyone else thinks, have the courage to follow your own bliss, and you will be immensely happy.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking and don't settle.
Many people give up on their dreams or don't even begin to pursue them because from where they are standing they can't see the whole path to their dream.  You will never see the whole path ahead, and so you will never know how your dream is going to come true.  No successful person has ever known how his or her dream would happen.  They simply believed that it would happen, and did not give up until it had.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Reads

I’m about 60 pages from the end of Elizabeth Peter’s Naked Once More; and considering I'm off tomorrow, I have plans on sitting down tonight and finishing it. That means no PS4. So… I wobble a bit. 

Nonetheless, I do want to share the newly purchased books I'm following Naked Once More with. As seen, that'll be the latest by Toni Morrison, God Help the Child. Many of you know how I feel about Morrison’s writing post-Beloved. Therefore, I won't get into all that. The subject of brevity of style in place of coherency within scenes just won’t be discussed. But I feel like God Help the Child is going to be a good fit.  At 178 pages, it'll be the perfect weekend read. And that’s exactly what I plan to do with it. Just to be certain of my decision, I stood in the front of the bookstore for a good ten minutes reading a couple of pages.  I wanted to make sure Morrison's scenes bubbled up into my imagination effortlessly.  I say that in contrast to a wall of prose I have to sift through to gather my bearings on what exactly is taking place within the story.  Luckily, I got scenes.

On the opposite side of Morrison’s display was a newly released book called God is Always Hiring. It’s written by Regina Brett, and is subtitled with the statement, “50 Lessons for Finding Fulfilling Work.” I ached over it, while squeezing my coupons in my pockets. Then I answered that little voice inside of me telling me that this was exactly–in this right moment and time in my life–what I needed read.

It wasn't until hours later that I realized both titles contained "God" in it.  Hmmm.  I take that as some kind of sign.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fresh Start with You Can Heal Your Life

It’s the New Year and I still want to stress (well, I should use a better term) the idea of giving ourselves a fresh, positive jolt for 2015. In doing so, I want to share one of my favorite books on creating favorable changes–both the outer and inner kind. It’s the book that brought me some much needed comfort over the years, because there‘s nothing exciting about dealing with those dark nights of the soul we all unavoidably must face.  And you know those nights, when it feels like Life is trolling you like a Whack-a-Mole game.  So unless you're like a few people I used to know who'd rather ride Life until the wheels pop off, you may have cause to focus on a little personal development. Nevertheless, the book, as seen to your left, is Louise Hay’s self-help debut, You Can Heal Your Life.

I was moderately familiar with Louise Hay back in my Sylvia Browne days (found somewhere in the headache of my early twenties).  Still, it wasn't until The Secret powered on 2006 with its quantum-ness talks on the law of attraction that a slew of related authors came blinking on my personal development radar.  Louise Hay, obviously, was one of those authors. Working at Borders, I checked You Can Heal Your Life out for a couple of days.  And I wasn't deterred by a manager who asked in subtle disgust whether or not I actually believed what you think/believe influences the makeup of your life. He was an adamant skeptic (and ain't nothing wrong with that) and thought I was crazy.  But really I was just searching for answers. I needed some mental and emotional healing; and to be perfectly honest, he, at the time, was part of my problem.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't truly appreciate You Can Heal Your Life until years later–after watching the video shown somewhere below this post. I mentioned in a past post what incident compelled me to seek out Louise Hay again.  Since then I've collected many of her books, audio lectures, DVDs, and even went to see her live in Atlanta during one of her I Can Do It tour stops.

See, I fell in love with You Can Heal Your Life because it is simple and uncomplicated with its purpose, while addressing multiple areas of personal development.  In an easy and comprehensible way, it covers relationships, jobs, aspirations, and spirituality (to name a few).  It leaves aside all of the quantum and scientifically researched talk for the fundamentals and basics.  It doesn't try to prove much of anything, while teaching you why you shouldn't sell yourself short as it concerns Life and the one you were given.  You learn how to recognize those bad thinking habits, and shift them from the inside out. And if it’s hard to drill your way through to change and giving up old, discouraging habits and attitudes, the affirmations given in the book are there to guide you in the right direction.  And say inner peace still doesn't come so easily, well you'll at least know that control how much of it you'll give yourself.

Nevertheless, I think ultimately (as it’s boiled down and compressed into my subconscious), You Can Heal Your Life reminds me that everything is going to be okay, and to trust the God/Universe. I went into picking up the book the second time because I needed to understand how everything is working out for my highest good, and from each experience only good will come. And that I am safe. And that I have to love the Self. Anytime I feel like things are clouding up around me, I pick up this book to beat it all back. It’s like an emotional beacon toward getting myself out of the rut of obsessing and over-thinking situations that are out of my hand. It allows me to let go, even just for a moment.

Lately I haven't been picking the book up as much as I feel like I should, so I will myself to keep it front and center and off my bookshelf. Next to my bed will do.  Just like the audio lectures/books of Louise Hay that I listen to when I just can't seem to fall asleep on my own.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Universe... Again...

Yeah, yeah and yeah!  I took this from Mike Dooley and have to agree.  I see and talk to a lot of people who seem to be in limbo, waiting on something or some reason to do something.  And you can only talk to them so many times about gathering the resources they have available, and to at least try to make an effort no matter how small.  But one thing that happens when you continue to do that, you start to wait alongside them.  You start to take them on as a frustration within yourself.  You start to soak in those vibes.  It starts to infect your progress–your thinking.  It begins to make you angry.  Then you realize it's not worth it.  None of it.  Especially if you can see that you've come too far in your own progress.  Especially when you've been showing up to your own Life.  Give yourself a pat on the back and realize that you're outside of the 95% margin of people who wait.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Oprah Knows For Sure

My personal journal nor this blog has yet to be a place where I can unload about the saddening event that took place on September 6th. It’s all so fresh that I haven't the words to put both my thoughts and the circumstances together. Conversely, to find the purpose in it (that‘s God‘s thing). Or cope with the truth that it was unavoidable. Personal guilt is somewhere stained in the equation also, though divinely speaking it‘s considered too toxic to muddle over. Nonetheless, the grief involved is real, just as the insurmountable faith I have that all is happening for a higher good. 

Understandably, much of what I just wrote may be vague and opaque to some, so one day I'll be able to share it properly.

The fact is that after a slow week filled with roaming thoughts and bouts of sorrow, I turned to Oprah Winfrey's recently released What I Know for Sure for comfort. I didn't pick it up to cope per se, as that’s something that takes time and time alone. No substitutes. Nonetheless, I picked the book up to re-energize my spirit as I coped. To not go too deep into the darkness, and to understand that I still have a responsibility to myself (and the one that’s gone but not gone), to keep showing up to Life.

What I Know for Sure is a collection of Oprah’s revelations regarding Life and living within it. It shares the mistakes she’s made, the lessons she’s learned, and the Truths she’s kept. All the essays were previously published in O, The Oprah Magazine.  I just wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes. Or as Oprah calls them, “aha moments."

"You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt."

This is what I mean by showing up to Life.  You may not waltz boldly into it, but dammit, you got to at least be there and out of the shadows.  Maybe sticking out a foot is all you need to get started.  And definitely don't be afraid to try even when you don't have any answers or securities.  Matter-of-fact, forget those things.  Have faith that they'll come to you as you dance.  Because they will.

"Like me, you might have experienced things that caused you to deem yourself unworthy.  I know for sure that healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life.  It's important to know when and how you were programmed, so you can change the program.  And doing so is your responsibility, no one else's.  There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life."

While I understand that I still have childhood (and so forth) imprints and issues that require a level of therapeutic and spiritual healing (as you can see, I'm working on the spiritual part), the older I get the more I understand that I can't blame my past for my current being. It really just gets exhausting after so long, thinking about the things my mother and father did or did not do that I feel would've made things easy for me now. Or relate those incidents to how I would be in a better place currently. They are tired and useless thoughts, and they won't necessarily go away. However, what they have done is encourage me to take control–as much as possible–of my life.

Recently, my mom and I were leaving the mall. I brought up a broccoli, rice and cheese casserole recipe I found online, and how I made the dish twice in the past two months and enjoyed it both times. I further mentioned how I try to make large dishes early in the week, so that I can have something to eat off of throughout each day. This keeps me from spending money eating out after I leave work in the afternoon, as I find it comforting to know that ready-made food is in the house and ready to be devoured.  Her reply was the equivalent of how smart of an idea that is. Then she added how my sister frequently complains that she never has anything to eat, and how it's our mom's fault because she didn't teach us how to cook. I can attest that while that is more or less truth, I recall that I got cooking pointers a lot less often than my sister. But that's my point; I looked at my situation and took responsibility for it. If I wanted to eat and save money from dining out, I had to find a way to do so.  Blaming someone else for otherwise never even crossed my mind.

"One of my greatest lessons has been to fully understand that what looks like a dark patch in the quest for success is the universe pointing you in a new direction.  Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity if you choose to see it that way.  Had I not been demoted from my six o'clock anchor post in Baltimore back in 1977, the talk show gig would never have happened when it did."

I don't lie when I say that the message behind this quote is one that I'm still working on. I believe I'm a lot closer to its realization than the lost and frustrated person I once was. Nonetheless, it's still something I'm working with. The truth is that I grasp the occasional moments of clarity where I feel the universe at work. Sometimes they're obvious moments, sometimes they're so subtle that I don't comprehend what happens until after the fact. Even so, between all of those moments are the moments where I feel like I'm just floating and alone in uncertainty. However, what I've learned is whenever I feel like the universe has abandoned me, I take myself back to gratitude. You absolutely cannot miss your miracles and blessings when you sit back and recall what's there to be thankful for. As well as how gratitude always brings you more to be grateful for.

"Talking with thousands of people over the years has shown me that there's one desire we all share: We want to feel valued.  Whether you're a mother in Topeka or a businesswoman in Philadelphia, each of us, at our core, longs to be loved, needed, understood, affirmed–to have intimate connections that leave us feeling more alive and human."

True enough, right?  No further discussion necessary other than I believe in this, and like thousands, long for the same.

"... The job that you admit makes you miserable demands so much of your time.  But what happens when you work hard at something unfulfilling?  It drains your spirit.  It robs you of your life force.  You end up depleted, depressed, and angry."

"I've learned that the more stressful and chaotic things are on the outside, the calmer you need to get on the inside.  It's the only way you can connect with where your spirit is leading you."

All of this I've known since I started my first paying job at 18. It was fast food. It was slinging fried chicken. For three years I screamed for release–for change. I knew that if I wanted money, I had to be there to earn a check. So I worked, and always harder than I should (I attributed that to my upbringing). When it comes to how jobs ("just over broke") make me feel disconnected and sometimes sick to my stomach, nothing has changed from then and now. Sure, I've learned to handle my inner self a little better. Sometimes putting myself damn near catatonic during the middle of a shift. It's a way for me to slip out of the place and into my head and where I will to be. Often I sing out loud, which usually comes out as noise used to depressurize the anxiety that builds in my chest. Still, it's partly no different than a tiger trapped in a cage, enclosed from his nature and natural instinct to be free at doing what he wills. Nonetheless, my point is that I relate and identify with Oprah's words here. I should, considering I've lived and fought my way through them long enough. Nevertheless, to me, the fact that I can write all of this down–in this moment–is a means of me listening to my inner calmness and not the chaos.  Therefore, I am guided slowly... from my cage.

"Move in the direction of your goal with all the force and verve you can muster–and then let go, releasing your plan to the Power that's bigger than yourself and allowing your dream to unfold as its own masterpiece.  Dream big–very big.  Work hard–very hard.  And after you've done all you can, fully surrender to the Power."

I think I'll leave this post on this quote–though there are plenty more to share.  Nevertheless, it's that "surrender" that took me from where I was two years ago to this point.  And the thought of it was motivated by this inspirational video I came across during that period.  I won't speak to much on it.  You'll just have to watch it for yourself and let it lift your spirit just as it did mine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Go Be Great Without Apologizing

Worth repeating, right!  It's all misconception in the end.  So why not continue to just be yourself and let people think what they want. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

[1] Cameron's Walking in this World

Listen, as I read Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World, I am jumping up out of bed with inspiration.  Trying to close and lock away the awaiting 5am alarm for the beginnings of a 6am shift, I put down the book at 11:11pm, cracked open my drawing tools, booted up my computer, and decided to do a little work.  I managed to ink a picture I sketched two months ago, and I've come to jot down the draft to this post as I work on another post’s draft, as well as put a couple of words to that book I’ve been not-so writing.  Why the sudden burst of inspiration so late at night?  Because of a few encouraging passages in the book woke my creative spirit.  And most certainly in divine order.  So I want to share these first few passages with you.  They're just quick and immediate jot-downs that, while the book is too enormous to contain, I wanted to make a purpose of documenting for my future self as well as you.  I hope they fire up your creative spirit as well.  Let’s go!

“Walking in this world, we do not go unpartnered.  We do not speak our prayers unheard.  There is someone or something listening with the most tender of hearts.  As we open to our inner life, our outer life also shifts.  Lives are transformed by a gentle form of listening that is like walking with a cherished friend who listens and then says, “You might want to try X.  Oh, look at that great squirrel…”

“As we go within, we discover that we are not alone there.  The loneliness we fear finding in art is actually the loneliness of disconnecting ourselves from our creativity and our creator.  As we try our hand literally at the making of something, we do meet our maker.  As we try to make more and more, more and more is made of us and through us.  'Not I, but the Father doeth the work.'”

“Begin where you are, with who you are.  In order to go where you want to go creatively, you have to start somewhere.  And the best place to start is precisely where you are.  This is true whether you are a beginning artist or someone with long miles down the track.  In fact, seasoned artist can waste time and energy mulling the dignity of their acquired position in the field when the truth is, they still need to just start again.”

“Five minutes might lead to ten, just as a tentative embrace leads to something more passionate.  Making art is making love with life.  We open ourselves to art as to love.”

“A small beginning is exactly that: a beginning.  Rather than focus on large jumps--which may strike us as terrifying and unjumpable--we do better to focus on the first small step, and then the next small step after that.”

“One day you just have to start and what you do that day is the beginning of success or failure.”

“Creativity is inspiration coupled with initiative.  It is an act of faith and, in that phrase, the word 'act' looms as large as the 'faith' that it requires.”

“When we do not act in the direction of our dreams, we are only 'dreaming.'  Dreams have a will-o’-the-wisp quality.  Dreams coupled with the firm intention to manifest them take on a steely reality.  Our dreams come true when we are true to theme.”

Let these words encourage you today, just as they have done for me.  Whether it’s to create something you've been pondering upon, or to simply step out in faith toward something that you desire to manifest in life.  Do it.  Wake yourself up and take that step.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Course: Separation, Fear, Conflict

It’s been a while since I've grasped A Course in Miracles.  The truth is that I didn't re-recognize, during some emotionally distressful situations, that I had it available to me.  Nonetheless, through a few recent events, I found myself drawn back to the book.  So as of late I've committed myself to reading a page or two every morning before I get out of bed, to energize my spirit with a concisely positive approach to the day.  Not that I go into each day thinking negatively.  The Course just sets a whole different tone and succinct realization to each morning.  See, I read somewhere that what you think and believe within the first twenty minutes of your day will determine the proceeding twenty-four hours.  I kind of noticed that to be true one morning when I decided to picked up A Course in Miracles to soothe the rumbling in my mind.  Scratch that.  The fear in my mind is more precise.  I’m not a student of the Course, per se.  I don’t believe I have the capability to grasp something as spiritually illustrious.  Nonetheless, I find treasures in simply reading the book and finding that contrast between what I’m going through and what could inspire a positive flip on the situation.  The book is just insightful and penetrative should you take the time to read closely.  Much like Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, I take on A Course in Miracles to help realign myself to the changes I want to see in myself.  It's like a voice, or an invite to do better.  

So in this post I want to share two passages.  I don't read the book out of order, but somehow I came across these two at the right time.  Talk about how the Universe is in resonance…

These are passages from Chapter 2: The Separation and the Atonement.  Just to be clear, A Course in Miracles is not a religion, despite its use of Christian rhetoric or verbosity.  According to it's a "self-study spiritual thought system".  So there you have it.

III. The Altar of God
[Pages 40-41]

"You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate.  An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable.  Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.  Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way.  As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning-point.  This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight.  The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute.  But the outcome is as certain as God.

"Spiritual vision literally cannot see error, and merely looks for Atonement.  All solutions the physical eye seeks dissolve.  Spiritual vision looks within and recognizes immediately that the altar has been defiled and needs to be repaired and protected.  Perfectly aware of the right defense it passes over all others, looking past error to truth.  Because of the strength of its vision, it brings the mind into this service.  This re-establishes the power of the mind and makes it increasingly unable to tolerate delay, realizing that it only adds unnecessary pain.  As a result, the mind becomes increasingly sensitive to what it would once have regarded as very minor intrusions of discomfort."

I think that those two passages can electrify you without a studied explanation.  Especially for those who struggle with trying to live their purpose/passion, while finding themselves separated from doing so by worldly demands.  I find myself truly aligned with these two passages because I have (and still am to be honest) experiencing that tolerance of pain, having to concern myself with those worldly responsibilities that don't necessarily lift my spirit.  Even as recent as last month where I turned my back on something that I knew would only cause me to go backwards in my journey.  While I didn't handle that situation as best as I could, I couldn't ignore the calling that there had to be a better way out of my current situation that didn't require me to go back into my old situation.  With that said, we have to hold on to our visions with the faith that they propel us into our truths.  In a sense, a vision is a kernel to life.  Without one... I could only imagine...

IV. Healing as Release from Fear
[Page 42]

"Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind.  Learning devices are not lessons in themselves.  Thier purpose is merely to facilitate learning.  The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning.  It has no power in itself to introduce actual learning errors.  The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application.  This is not because the body is a miracle, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation.  The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world.  Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated.  However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world."

How often do we hear that we create our life/experiences via our thoughts--our minds?  Often enough.  With that creation of circumstances does your body go out to experience what your mind has created.  While I've always been familiar with this philosophy, and try to utilize it myself, I've never seen it described in the context of how your body does the learning that your mind creates.

VI. Fear and Conflict
[Page 49]

"Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do.  This situation arises in two ways: First, you can choose to do conflicting things, either simultaneously or successively.  This produces conflict behavior, which is intolerable to you because the part of the mind that wants to do something else is outraged.  Second, you can behave as you think you should, but without entirely wanting to do so.  This produces consistent behavior, but entails great strain.  In both cases, the mind and the behavior are out of accord, resulting in a situation in which you are doing what you do not wholly want to do.  This arouses a sense of coercion that usually produces rage, and projection is likely to follow.  Whenever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind.  Your mind is therefore split, and your behavior inevitably becomes erratic.  Correcting at the behavioral level can shift the error from the first to the second type, but will not obliterate the fear."

After my morning reading, this passage struck me the most.  It beat to me like no other.  Almost like a beacon to my current concerns.  This is probably where I'm at the most right now.  Merging my way out of the dilemma illustrated in the passage.  I won't shed the details, but this passage's truth is that profound for me at this moment.

So are you familiar with A Course in Miracles?  What are your thoughts on it, or the passages?  Could you relate to any of them, finding yourself muddled in your own thoughts while searching for clarity?  Comment and share your thoughts below.


Monday, January 20, 2014

(1) Quotes You May Need From Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou is undoubtedly powerful and influential with her words, and thankfully she doesn't come off as too much of a lyrical enigma of sorts.  I say this especially if you can capture the meaning behind her assorted catalog of material.  Still, in that respect, she is like the woman (or even mentor) that I probably needed closely in my youth.  Nevertheless, it takes me a couple of careful readings to grasp the meaning behind her poems, quotes and what have you in between.  Sometimes I find what I am looking for when I seek some advice to calm my over thinking spirit.  Then there are moments where I am attached simply to her story, as discovered after I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings years ago.  Nevertheless, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now was read for answers; for some words I could use at this moment to help clear a couple of clouds or phantom feelings of inertia.

Quotes you may need from Maya Angelou’s Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now...

"Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure."

This quote very much resonates with me.  As someone who tends to feel swallowed up by his current surroundings/location, nothing screams more to my spirit than to be successful enough to have the freedom to choose where I want to go and expose myself to cultures I feel my spirit needs to "download" through hands-on experience.  See, I get a lot of puzzled gazes from people when I express how I wish to clap twice before bowing my head in a Japanese Shinto shrine, or sun-soak near travertine ponds in China--among other things.  Those puzzled gazes then ask why would I want to go visit those countries and do those things.  I tell them because I feel like I can express and be myself in unlimited places.

"I like charitable people and like to think of myself as charitable, as being of a generous heart and a giving nature--of being a friend indeed to anyone in need.  Why, I ponder, did the benefactors not feel as I?"

Like any quote, there are ways to reflect the author’s message onto our personal lives.  This quote in particularly caused me to recall the many occasions in which I’ve done something charitable for a friend simply as a friend.  Never asking for anything in return.  Only acting as a support system to their needs--and sometimes--requests.  The problem with that is sometimes those situations become one-sided, which would be okay if we all weren’t human and would sometimes like to have someone think of us out of common civility.  I experience this often with friends.  Playing the role of support for other individuals but sometimes finding myself disregarded or taken for granted because of that position I took.

"Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.  If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well."

This quote is probably my favorite, taken from Angelou's essay titled, "New Directions".  The essay shares the story of Annie Johnson, a woman during the early 20th century who found herself an entrepreneur after marital discontent, followed by the divorcing of her husband.  Nevertheless, the message of the quote sung so clearly to me, but can appear pretty self-explanatory if not relative to the individual who finds his or her own meaning within it.  For me, it asks me to keep moving forward, boldly and anxious for whatever the future brings even if I have to drop some things (or people) off to reach what I feel is the right path.  I have to take control of this thing called life, and its many directions.  I would like to elaborate a little more, but will stop here.

"Never try to take the manners of another as your own, for the theft will be immediately evident and the thief will appear as ridiculous as a robin with peacock feathers hastily stuck on.  Style is as unique and nontransferable and perfectly personal as a fingerprint.  It is wise to take the time to develop one's own way of being, increasing those things one does well and eliminating the elements in one's character which can hinder and diminish the good personality."

I suppose at one point we've all been known to "bite someone's flavor" without understanding that we should shine and uphold our own.  Whether it's conscious or subconsciously done, it just seems a part of life.  Especially in adolescence.  Still, I think there comes a time when you have to play up on your own, personal strengths; likewise, become accountable for your weaknesses and the consequences they bring.  And if all else fails, we can try to remember that what we put out we get back.  If being yourself consist of you brightening up someone else's day with a smile, you'll get that back.  Should you wallow in misery, that, too, is all you'll get.  So many directions.  So much potential for over-thinking.

"It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.  I cannot separate what I conceive as Spirit from my concept of God.  Thus, I believe that God is Spirit."

I'll be simple and quick with this semi-loaded quote.  It can go in so many directions that I don't care to go to.  I am not religious, or at least fashioned underneath the banner of "organized religion".  However, I believe in God.  Call it God, Universe, etc.  It doesn't matter.  To each his own.  As for me, God is a force that consist of love inside other matters that are complex and unreachable in human form.  To me, God is not this humanized persona many religions stack upon.  Nonetheless, I would be a fool to believe that I can traverse this world without a belief in God.  I'm scared of anyone who is able to move through this earth without such to ground them.  That's why I like this quote.  I also must trust that there is a power larger than me that can push me through the unknown that makes up being alive and uncertain about my existence/purpose.

"Seek the fashion which truly fits and befits you.  You will always be in fashion if you are true to yourself, and only if you are true to yourself."

I am far from being a fashionista or even fashionably conscious.  That's not to say that I have split the link between what I wear and what kind of attention it will attract, as well as how I feel in it.  I still strive to look relatively good and decent, checking the mirror and changing tops and bottoms seconds before I leave the house.  However, one thing is true about me: I don't try to keep up with what is "in".  I like my scruffy slip-in shoes.  I wear t-shirts years old.  And I have several comfortable pairs of jeans stashed in my clothest because I'm too lazy to make room for new ones.  My clothes and shoes aren't big name brands.  Never had a pair of Jordans in my life that didn't come second-hand and out of fashion from a cousin.  I shop at Target and, if I'm out accompanying a friend, Ross.  I like to spend less than $50 on clothes, but I took advantage during H&M's After-Christmas sale where I got $10 off a $20 purchase.  So it's nice to have two really cool t-shirts for the price of one, but the fact is that I rather spend my money at Barnes & Nobles as opposed to Footlocker.  And I'm okay with that.  That's being true to myself.

"One day the teacher, Frederick Wilkerson asked me to read to him.  I was twenty-four, very erudite, very worldly.  He asked that I read from Lessons in Truth, a section which ended with these words:  'God loves me.'  I read the piece and closed the book, and the teacher said, 'Read it again.'  I pointedly opened the book, and I sarcastically read, 'God loves me.'  He said, 'Again.'  After about the seventh repetition I began to sense that there might be truth in the statement, that there was a possibility that God really did love me.  Me, Maya Angelou.  I suddenly began to cry at the grandness of it all.  I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things, I could try great things, learn anything, achieve anything.  For what could stand against me with God, since one person, any person with God, constitutes the majority?" 

I related to this passage and wanted to share it.  I had a similar experience once at work.  On two occasions I found myself frustrated, wrapped in my dreams and stuck hauling trash to the dumpster and sweeping the parking lot clean.  On the first occasions I was sweeping away when a voice inside me said: "I am here.  You are not alone."  The second time I was wheeling away trash when a voice said: "God wants you to be happy".  There was this undeniable Truth in both occasions that I exploded into gleeful laughter.  I realized how right the voices were.  It was only I resisting those Truths by clouding my mind with my current situation.

"There are many incidents which can eviscerate the stalwart and bring the mighty down.  In order to survive, the ample soul needs refreshments and reminders daily of its right to be and to be wherever it finds itself."

This quote is taken from the essay titled, "Further New Directions".  It's here that Maya Angelou share details during her teen years, where she was fired from a job.  Sadden by the incident, her mother encouraged her by reminding her that she will look for another job and survive again should something happen to that one.  What I like most about this quote is the use of the terms "refreshments" and "reminders".  Sometimes, alone, I am not enough to lift my spirits when they are down.  At least my thinking can't remove itself from troubling and anxious thoughts.  That's when I have to surround myself with things that refresh and remind me of how I want to think/feel.  Whether I play a Louise Hay audio book, watch a TV show that inspired me as a youth, or simply come onto the blog, I use those things to pull myself out of muddy thoughts so that I can proceed to survive and move forward.  Truth be told, we need everything we can get to survive when we began to attack ourselves.

Finishing up in the second part...

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