Archive of ‘choices’ category

Transient.

Mandala-001

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” 

―  John Lennon.

Do you know what a mandala is? It’s an intricate design made with colored sand created by Tibetan  Monks. Each one holds a different meaning and at the end of a certain period of time, the monk who created it(taking hours and days) destroys it. Why?(here)What is the lesson we can draw from it?  It is one of the impermanence of our existence. Although short, it’s important to make something as beautiful as you can before it is wiped away. This speaks to the temporal state of life and is wholly encouraging. Because, since things are generally temporary, this also means there is no way you can be stuck in bad circumstances forever. In fact,  it is assuring to know that there is an end. One can draw an admirable parallel, that despite these monks knowing their creation will eventually be destroyed, they painstakingly create it anyway. As easy as it would be to make one in a hurry or be lazy about it, they choose to break their backs(and maybe cross their eyes) over the intricate design of a mandala. These humans don’t simply give up or  become laissez-faire about it but rather, the opposite! No endeavor is neglected in spite of its impermanence. In the midst of struggle this creation and symbolic destruction of a mandala brings hope. It points to focusing on the positive, creating  something beautiful while you can, and the eventual  end to  a bad situation. In that vein I’d encourage you to “ Make something beautiful while your here, because it’s temporary.”  Use the  bright colors  that dwell in your  heart   to make a beautiful pattern  with your life.

don’t forget to add color!
bleu
 
 

The invisible Equator.

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“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

-Frank A Clark.

There is a line that runs across the globe of my life, and you can’t see it. It’s  the day of October 12th, 2012, a space in time that has forever separated  my life into a “before, and after.” Well, the before and after the massive stroke that is. Everything gets compared to and measured against this timeline continually. The closer I can get to the before measurement, the better. I used to think that my life was the most valid on the before side of this line. However, as things improve the after side isn’t looking as doomed. If you’re a psychology buff as I am, you will know that we often misremember our past as well as our futures. This has been proven by numerous studies. In my search to nullify my own psychic pain from all the struggles of recovery I have discovered this fact, as well as the fact  that 85% of our worries do not come true (read here).Combined, these two mental objects set in the landscape of time have helped  the “after,” side of the equator  become as sunny as South Florida. The blindfold blocking your mind from this view is that we often believe our futures will be like our present. We can let bad circumstances settle upon us and bury us, or choose to be enlightened  by them like a flint being struck against stone. When push comes to shove, those bad circumstances have to go!  Your life is as valid as you choose to view it. Surprisingly, all those traits that doctors worried the stroke would take away have survived. I’ve just had to work very hard to uncover them. The point being, that no matter what the tragedy, few things can take away your spirit.  My personality has not been lost(or re-shaped) by the seven blood clots that threatened to make me brain dead. Rather, the human spirit proves to persevere.

fight on!
bleu
 

The Work of Your Hands.

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“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him.” positively. -Bob Marley.

Whether you’re considered an artist or not, we all create something. What ever that something is, be it cooking, painting, playing an instrument, taking care of a loved one, or simply doing your menial job well, all of it matters.  Ensure the legacy you leave is one of love,  hard work, and one that leaves an indelible mark on  those around  you. Even the most simple tasks done well can  give a sense of pride. Since I have not been able to work in my busy fast paced  career since the stroke, I’ve learned to channel that energy elsewhere.  Now I put  much more care and effort into everyday tasks. None of which are recognized on a stage, by the public ,or sometimes even my own family. However, when I know I’ve done something  to the best of my ability or taken extra care, I’m satisfied. Because, whether it’s folding towels, washing dishes, or organizing my desk, I aim to leave a trail of excellence, and that’s how I’ll be remembered. No job is too small,  or too big.  When you start by tackling the “small things,” with ease, the big things  get a whole lot easier. At one point I struggled to even dress myself, it was utterly exhausting! Afterwards I felt as if I’d just had a work out and be angry at the fact it took so much more effort then it did prior to the stroke.  As I lay huffing and puffing on my bed, my Mother assured me with a laugh“It’ll get easier.” And you know what?  One sock at a time it did. Now it takes me no more effort then it did before to get dressed. At  one point I balked at therapists who assured me doing the dishes would pay off. Even though I once thought all these menial things made no difference, I was wrong. By starting with washing one dish, putting on one incredibly tight pressure sock(with one arm), folding  that little washcloth, and organizing a drawer… Those things have now become getting fully dressed with ease, doing full loads of laundry, ALL the dirty dishes in the sink, and organizing an entire office. Since I have discovered this secret of starting small,  I’m continually up to something. After all,  every Neil Armstrong has had to start training down on earth before they can  take their first steps on the moon.

one step for man….

bleu

Crooked

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Even crooked trees grow up to be as strong and mighty as the straight ones.

We’ve all felt like the crooked tree in the forest at one point or another, not quite fitting in.

I used to  wonder how will I (a self professed crooked tree) be remembered?  At some point or  another we all question how others will  remember us after we pass on. Well, I got to find out, except I’m still living. After I nearly died  and  throughout my  miraculous recovery from it, I’ve heard the memories and impressions that people had of me.  It’s been a mixture of surprise and  incredibly surreal. However, it also bears the marks of sadness because  as much as I’d like to I cannot revisit and relive the past. Therefore, I  also can’t go back and change it, but I can change the future. Although, none of us truly have control we do have the power to make choices. In fact we make thousands each day(knowingly and unknowingly) however small they may seem. This begs the question “How would you like to be remembered?” For being strong, tenacious, brilliant, ambitious, or kind? Rather than  unkind, lazy, or at a stand still in life I’m sure. I’ve been more than surprised(and blessed) to hear that the last memories of me would’ve been greatly positive. This confirms that I’ve had a great life and left the kind of mark on it I want to thus far(and I’m not finished! You too can leave the marks you desire, and there’s no time like the present in which to start. Sometimes, life can be daunting and it seems better to take the path of least resistance, but I promise there’s more rewards  to be had from the  path less traveled. You can start today planting seeds for the future(whether straight or crooked) that will grow into trees looming in a forest comprising the memories of you.  There are hardly words to describe how truly wild life can be. Since this whole event occurred to me(ie  the massive stroke)  hardly a day has gone by where I’m not in awe of the things that I’ve seen since. Just as a huge wave of love, and the best came out of New Yorkers after 9/11; I have witnessed much of the same from people after my own disaster. This has left me a better person and  with the conviction, that it shouldn’t require a disaster to bring out the best in us. We can  choose   to be our best selves everyday.

grow in excellence trees!

bleu

What a World of Whimsy

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“The secret of genius is to carry the  spirit of the child into old age,which means never losing your enthusiasm.” -Aldous Huxley.

Those of us who manage to hold onto our childlike wonder, become like a  magnet,and light to others. It is with the simple joys of a child that life becomes and remains magical. Why is it that imagination(or creativity) is so often scolded  rather than fostered?  It seems that the World is uncomfortable with the daydreamers. However, before We are able to do anything we must imagine it first. No great feat(personal or otherwise) has been accomplished by following the rules,playing it safe,or  by thinking within the box. Unfortunately people like to see others fail, rather than flourish. Therefore, they try to negate the  grand ideas of dreamers. Whether it’s by telling you that you cannot accomplish something or children in  school(a rigid place) teasing  the often aloof daydreamer of the group.  The more opposition you’re met with is a clue that  your on the right track. Although, it’s unwise to be bullheaded  and stubborn.  At any rate, just don’t give up on your dreams.  It is known that fear and doubt only serve to derail you,so ignore those  false  directions!  Surround yourself with that which is good, and turn a blind eye to  the doubters.  Life is far too short to waste any time   with  the fears of someone else. Fill  your mind with encouragement and positive thoughts. It helps tremendously to fix your thoughts  on  what is  true,honorable,right,pure,lovely,and admirable(Phil 4:8). Personally I’ve found that  by   just having  lovely thoughts and objects around me, it makes a difference. More recently I acquired an old 1960’s vanity, which I filled with lovely objects that lift my spirit,either  with memories or simply their aesthetic. We(family) refinished it back to it’s original splendor, and then I proceeded to  decorate it with what makes me  feel good(see below). Some people create shrines to a specific God,but I think it also worthy to  create  a  shrine to all that makes you feel good(an idea here)whether, you choose a physical collection of objects, or a vision board you cannot go wrong. Before something can manifest in the physical, it’s imperative we visualize it,and this is why imagination is so vital to the human experience. Dear friends,don’t be swayed by the cares of this world,because if you  let it,it will choke the dreams from behind your eyelids. Therefore, keep your eyes set  on the sky above,and shoot for the moon!  

No doubts,

bleu

Here is a peek at my “shrine.” 

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEusoSyYK7k&w=560&h=315%5D

Defying Death

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“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”

-Khalil Gibran.

Not too long ago a friend asked me if I was afraid of death, and She was right in supposing that I am not. In coming so  close to  dying  and surviving, any fears  of it were removed.  Although I cannot completely take the credit. Many doctors,nurses,friends,family,and certainly angels were present. There is no reason to fear death because We are immortal. It has been scientifically shown that, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, our energy(or soul) must simply be transferred somewhere else. This  life is a transient plane. If your circumstances are bad, it helps to remind yourself that nothing is forever. This reminder also helps us to savor the present moment.While no one knows what happens to us when We pass,there are many theories. Some people have actually surmised  a weight for our soul( 21 grams). There is no reason to fear. Through my recovery, love has  continually carried me through. Each day We have a choice, there is no “wrong side of the bed.” Were not  at the mercy  of  our emotions. This certainly  doesn’t mean  be robotic,just that We have a choice. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy  having some semblance of control. Even though the World seems random or out of control it is oddly enough quite orderly. The Earth obeys laws of nature, the sun rises and sets each day, and even the stars are  in patterns that create constellations. Each day your lungs inhale oxygen,you open your eyes, and move about freely(some cannot) We are not like a Fall leaf carried by the wind, so this is actually  good news!  You can make a conscious decision to  be happy(and share it with others)or not.  As Yoda says(nerd alert!). Do or do not, there is no try.Hope deferred makes the heart sick, if you  follow the ways of love, you can’t go wrong. Each of us have options(yay options!) We can choose life(positivity) or choose death(negativity) Both have been placed before us. To my knowledge you’ll always win  when you choose life.

LOVE,

bleu