Stop watch.

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“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” -Steve Jobs

For most of us the  moments in our lives blur together like water color and form one large painting. It’s easy to forget that a lifetime is made up of a series of separate moments. It’s  within these moments that what makes life worth living can be found. It is also within  these moments that we can forget where we are. Not recognizing this, we take a lot  for granted. One of my bigger  frustrations was the realization that like many of you, I missed my moment. Before my life was inexplicably changed  I was letting everything blur together. If I had but for a moment stopped to consider my circumstances I would’ve been filled with enormous gratitude. Not unlike Scrooge on Christmas morning when He realizes He is alive and the value of that life. It’s a wonder that more of us aren’t skipping down the street showering gifts upon everyone we come across. Because, quite simply had I realized the magnitude of blessings that I was living in, I never  could justify being sad(or selfish)about anything. In fact quite the opposite, I’d be that annoying overly  giving and happy person all the time! How little do we know what a gift our lives are. Even now, though my circumstances are less  than desirable I am still blessed. When in times of self pity, I often consider those less fortunate than myself. While I was in my little corner of the world being angry my left arm was paralyzed, there was a young man(I met him) wishing He had an arm to feed himself with. Because by a freak accident He had  become quadriplegic.  Many years ago I scribbled the quote “The best thing to do with the best things in life, is to give them away,” on my bedroom wall. At the time I didn’t  know how true this was. Had I known how truly fortunate I was before the accident, I think I would’ve very well done this!  After all, you can’t take all those prized possessions with you. You can always make  more money but you can’t aways  make more time. Therefore, use your time well, and value experiences over material possessions. While I was bed ridden and trapped in a  hospital, my previous life circumstances seemed like a dream. In many ways they still do. Little did I know at the time, that I  was  living a dream!  And somewhere in the world, your life is like a dream to someone else too. Maybe at one point like me(but hopefully not) it will  seem like a dream even to you. All I wanted in the hospital was for my life to be the way it was. To  think  that I ever spent even a day of it depressed  or sad was a travesty. Because, in comparison to my current position  the girl I had been had everything and then some. She was physically able to do everything, had an incredible job, lived in an amazing place, and most importantly was independent. From where I was standing,or rather, laying She was all I wanted to be. I used to gripe about the traffic, now simply driving at all would be a huge  joy. I lived for the weekends when I was  off  from work, now I’d happily put in extra hours. Sometimes I wished I was somewhere  else, but now I’d do nothing but take in my present surroundings. The point is, I had it all and didn’t realize it. Even now, you have it all too, even though you may not  think so. I promise you do.

stop to consider!

bleu

 

The finish line.

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  “If you don’t have wings, create them.”

― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom.

Today, a new  record was quietly accomplished  in a corner of the globe rarely heard of. Three once unrelated strangers gathered in friendship, and one  amazing  personal journey was thrusted ever forward to the “finish line.”   While the rest of the world hummed along minding its own business, I was excitedly(and happily) checking  one more daydream off my to do list.  Just like most personal goals it was of little importance to everyone else, except in this particular case I  was accompanied by others that understood  the importance of such a day. Many of us are skilled at rationalizing our way out of doing something. When in truth, we need to be rationalizing our way into more things! There is no reason you cannot accomplish what you dream of. As they say, where there’s a will there is a way.  By working through seemingly insurmountable circumstances with gritted teeth and a rock solid resolve, I have found that to be absolutely true. You see, what we aren’t told enough growing up is that we can do anything.  Be weary of those who tell you  any different. Ultimately, the people that believe in you as much as you believe in yourself, will walk right alongside you during the race. 

                                                                    above: My  two pillars of  support during the race  Early on(when I was injured) there were questions of my ability to walk well again if at all, and much less  trek a mile! However, with tremendous support and blessings I’ve done just that  twice now. Both times  were events that originally had been dreamed up in my mind.image

         above girl in tutu:Tropicolor, color run. the happiest 5k on the planet!

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

Even  if I completed each goal slowly, the point was to complete it at all and soak up the fact that dreams do(and can) come true. Especially when you put your best foot forward and your mind to it. Therefore, be careful of what you tell yourself and who you listen to. Because, whatever words are spoken get eaten up by our heart. Certainly, your heart deserves only the best things that life has to offer, so don’t let it consume words that  will harm it!  Find wind  to carry you where there is none, and fly high even when others want you to stay low.

soar!

bleu

They tell me I'm pretty.

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“Everything has  its  beauty, but not everyone sees it.” -Confucius.

What value does being pretty really have? Is it financially gainful?  In some  cases, yes. Is it morally upright?  Does it validate your existence?  It would appear that in many societies it does. Especially if you’re of the female persuasion. There was a time, when I felt validated only by my pretty face. Coming to the conclusion that if nothing else, at least I was pretty. However, I’d much rather have a functioning left arm than  big pretty eyes! Another important question, “What really matters?” I found myself resigned to a  wheelchair, a cane,bulky(heavy)braces, and at one point the ugliest shoes I have ever seen in my life. Where there was once  freedom of movement, cute little  shoes, and fashionable clothes I found myself stuck with the opposite at the time.  Being in these unwanted and unfavorable circumstances made me question my self worth and even  sexuality as a  Woman. I  no longer felt attractive. In turn this effected how I felt and perceived the world around me. It brought with it the question  of, for many other Women who are(or have become) disabled, how do they feel? Because, until certain aspects of your “normal,”  life experience  change, there are so many nuances you don’t realize or perceive.   Sure, it’s quite nice to be told how pretty you are. But really, in the big scheme of things, what does it matter? I remember one comment I received  in particular(though funny at the time) was quite telling of our  general attitude towards physical appearance. “Well, at least it didn’t mess up your face!” In regards to the stroke, although I’ll readily admit I’m thankful it didn’t. However, what if it did!?  Would I find myself relegated to the forgotten  in  the  world’s population?  What a sad  truth this is for our  society. We place value  on things where there isn’t a whole lot and no value on things where there is much. In fact for some time I had to be stopped from giving away all my  belongings, because after what I went through, the value  of them dropped!  At one point in time where I would spend  frivilously, I now carefully(and delibrately) saved. We all know beauty is only skin deep, but how often do we act on that truth? If we actually did, the cosmetics industry would plummet, bank account  balances would rise, and eating disorders would be arcane. Therefore, take care of your physical  health and appreciate the body you have. Especially since it’s on loan and you can’t take it with you!

respect yourself,

bleu

Heart Conditions.

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“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.”

― Chuck Palahniuk.

We’ve got to look forward and keep moving, not  delving  into the past.  This is especially hard if you  have fears about what the future holds.  As a  stroke survivor I found that  even my worries had worries.  It was  that much harder to think of the future not only because of fear, but  also because my heart was stuck in the past.We  must not let our hearts be offended. Why? Because,  taking offense(at someone or something) keeps us in a place of pain and inhibits our growth. If we choose to live in a place of unforgiveness we’ll become  that much more cold,  and hardened, the good things of life cannot grow or flourish in  rocky soil! Therefore, we need to let go of the past and of those  things that hold us back.  For what seems like ages I’ve lived in my past. Because quite frankly, having my independence was far better than my current   bleak reality.  However, I am no longer the person that I was, in fact none of us are. To remain the same would be to stunt our growth and limit ourselves. No matter what happens to  you remember that “ You are not a victim but a victor!”   In trying times it’s easy to get stuck in the former “better,” situations of our past. However,  you must continue  swimming forward or even in some cases treading water. Because, if you stop to consider the past too deeply, the weight of it will not only tie you up but cause you to sink. By remaining in my past I missed the good things in my present. The good news is, it’s never too late to begin moving forward. Indeed the sooner the better, and making a habit of it isn’t a bad idea either. Therefore, do not stop to consider your past for too long or too often. Far greater things lie ahead!

Cheers!

bleu

 
 

A life imagined.

Imagine…-This

“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand… Adventure is a state of mind – and spirit.”- Jacqueline Cochran

We all want control and have visions  of what our future will hold. However, usually  while we’re making plans life  just happens. In these “derailments,” we find things we didn’t know were there. Such as strength, love, purpose, dreams, and new goals. Whatever your vision is, with perseverance, hope,faith  and determination that life is definitely possible! Sometimes we fly above these visions to revisit what we thought our life would be, before coming back down to earth  to what our lives actually are. When we’re looking down from above time  will reveal it’s perfect timing in  our life’s narrative. While some realities seem better than others, none are completely perfect. After all life really is what you make of it.  We feel as if we let go of the steering wheel that we’ll crash;but sometimes the opposite is true. Oddly enough, it is when we let go that we’ll find ourselves going in exactly the right direction. While life can certainly be a cruel mistress, She also has the capacity for grace. A grace that lends itself when you feel undeserving, a grace that finds you in your most trying times, and a grace that never ceases to surprise you. In these surprises you may come to find that the fork in the road was a detour you  needed to take, before reaching the final destination. I’d like to believe that my own detour of a massive stroke not only nearly killed me, but also gave me life. Because without it, I would not have discovered my true strength, seen the beauty of true love, and even more so learned what having faith can accomplish.

fly above and not below!

bleu

The bonds

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*This post was inspired by my best friends*

Stretching out over many miles and through space and time there exists invisible threads that hold us together. What is it that keeps us close despite time and distance? There are those places in the heart reserved for a special unforgettable few. If you’re lucky those few will be many. It  never ceases to amaze me that even if far away  someone can have a  profound emotional impact on us. This holds true for  you too, and for  those of you that have experienced your heart shift inside of your chest, or a tear has welled up in your eye  because of the impact  of  another person on your particular piece of the world. This bond seems to only be strengthened by the  shared experience of trauma. When we go through inexorable circumstances, be it with friends or family, those invisible bonds become solidified. Because, when you come across  those who willingly(and happily)hold you up during  life’s disasters  your more then happy to never  let those storms steal  them away from your heart. In fact surviving a disaster together only brings us closer!  Without the darkness and shadows that life  sometimes presents us with, we couldn’t then see the sunshine and light  in life.  The shadow proves the sunshine. It is because of those dark moments that our light ones  are able to shine even brighter. Within the light we’ll find those unforgettable  few. They inhabit the depths of our hearts, the caverns of our memories, and remain on the other end of our invisible thread.  After  suffering the event of almost dying and losing it all, I have gained and found more love then I ever knew previously. Nearly all of this love came from the people on the other end of those invisible threads. They were always there it just took an act of darkness to bring them  to light. A bigger tragedy than what actually happened is that I didn’t see them sooner, and so many of us don’t. Therefore, even though the threads are invisible, when you slow life down enough to consider it, they will become more clear to you. Don’t go too fast and miss them.

Cheers!

bleu

 
 

My Generation

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MnDbWqe_kQ&w=420&h=315%5D

 

“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Each generation wants to think they’re better  than the last. It’s  at the point when you start seriously noticing the differences between your generation and subsequent  ones  that  it makes you feel old. Well, my friends  I guess I’m “old.”   I’m considered part of the annoying  millennial generation, which has been watched by the world most of our lives. However, as a millennial  I have noticed some things about the yet to be officially named generation of current 20- somethings. Not to be confused with baby boomers, the millennial  generation as well as  current 20- somethings  could easily  fall under the  same umbrella, the “Me Generation.”  With the rise of social media, apps that do  almost everything, and new technologies,  self absorption has never been easier. Unfortunately, along with self absorption comes  a lack of ambition, laziness, and a  near complete disregard for other people. It’s far too easy to think(and talk, and Instagram, and Snapchat,and Facebook)  about yourself all day, rather than more outwardly consider the rest of the world around you. Therefore, if you are an individual that hasn’t been  brainwashed by social media, get out there, do something, and help someone other than yourself! I promise it feels really good to help someone else. This leads into the question of “ Would we be more fulfilled if we helped each other more?” Not only would a movement of selflessness  make our lives more enriching, but collectively easier. If we were able to count on someone other than ourselves it would lead to a lot  less stress and a lot more breathing room. Having less stress means less physical ailments and even  many  diseases!  Everyone wins. We don’t have to imagine a world like this when we easily have the  power to start  a  movement like this today. All it takes is one person and one  act of selflessness , simply just do it , and help start a chain reaction of kindness, love, and helping.

step out!

bleu

 
 
 

Impact

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“You can’t get rid of fear, it’s like  Mother Nature.You can’t beat it or outrun it, but you can get through it, and find out what you’re made of.”  – the good dinosaur(Pixar)

Whether your influence is of the dark or of the light, both really matter. Because like  in bumper cars, sometimes life hits us  and  we get  sent in all sorts of directions, but after the initial impact we can usually choose in which direction we’re  going to go. We all deal with things differently, and over time like butterflies, we experience a metamorphosis. Where one person can turn  a bad circumstance into good, others mistakenly follow or choose  a darker path. The world expertly presents us with things that are  “good,”  but are  actually cloaked in darkness. For example, all that yummy processed food that will eventually kill you, or the allure of tarot cards and the occult.This was pointed out to me in a dream recently.  No matter what  your trial  is you have a choice in how to deal with it. Oftentimes our trials  change  us,  like water running over rocks and changing their shapes and textures. Not only do trials and time change us, but they also show us what we’re made of.  Some of us will be pleasantly surprised by our resilience, while others bitterly disappointed by our brokenness. The fact is, we all have the potential to be either built up or broken down. That’s why it’s so important to choose the paths that lead you into  the light of happiness, faith, love, and hope. Rather than  the darkness of negativity,hopelessness, and depression.  Whatever your going through there are many positive resources available to you, you just have to do some foot work! Not only that, but pay attention to and remind yourself of all the things that  give life beauty. Whether it be in nature or in human kindness(like the video below )

Florence and the Machine sing to and for a young girl with cancer in Her hospital room that couldn’t attend  their concert.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uzw7MOBS9lg&w=560&h=315%5D

if you  slow down and look  closer you will find it. I promise you it’s there.

cheers + love + hope!

bleu

Audiophile

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“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen

Music has been my constant companion. It was with me all throughout high school shaping my social life, and it wafted  through my room the entire time I lay in a coma. I have played inside of a sonic landscape since before I was born; dancing to  songs with my Mother while  still inside Her tummy. For the record, my “first dance,” was P.Y.T by  Michael Jackson.  Since then my feet have found the ground and I continue to dance.  I’ve danced through most of school, my family life, and even now during recovery. Without dancing, all these years I’d have just been standing still, stagnant. However, those little black notes have pushed me through to victory after victory. A sure  outward sign that I was improving  was when I started being interested in music again. It  has been entwined  with the neurons in my brain; each song sparking a vivid memory, an imagined music video sequence, or feelings  of elation.  Music has not only influenced my life so much as it has dictated it.  Friends came and went by route of the current albums I was into.  We found  our identities and a common ground contained  within flat round compact discs, or  vinyl if you were “really cool.” Even when there was a  question concerning  the integrity  of my memory  after a severe stroke, I still remembered  everyone’s faces and all my favorite  musical artists. The power of music runs deep my friend. There remains few people that can put into words exactly what music communicates. That’s exactly why our souls need it; Because, it communicates what mere words cannot.  Indeed as an adolescent I held to the belief that a particularly well homemade mix tape could cause you to fall in love with someone, the music you enjoyed said almost more about you then the way you dressed, and to die and become a music note would be of the utmost honor. Because, if your spirit could inhabit the form of a music note, you’d touch people’s lives and live on in beautiful symphonies forever.  Not to mention, once you fall in love with rock n’ roll, it’s difficult to find other people that share your enthusiasm. However, when you do, you know you’ve got an instant friend and you’re  held  together by the invisible threads of  sound.  Therefore, don’t discount its power, and keep on singing even when it rains. Especially when life gets difficult if you continue to sing, those invisible threads will pull you through.

I leave you with a song, enjoy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTOC_q0NLTk&w=560&h=315%5D

sing it out!

bleu

Human Angels

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“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” -Thomas Paine.

I came into his  Emergency Department unresponsive on  a gurney. This man had never seen me before and  We had never spoken. Yet, even  so He took it upon  himself, bound and determined to save my life. The life of a person that had never included  him  until it nearly slipped away. I’m not sure why I was so   blessed to have been chosen as   a  special  case   for him, but I was and I’m sure that I’m alive to write this today  because of  that.  Not too long ago this very man passed away from this world into  the next. It was a loss not only for his family, but for everyone. Because, that day the world lost a unique and special soul. For me, I lost  a guardian angel. Who knows why certain people come in and out of our lives? However, in  special cases not all of them are merely human. Without even knowing it, your  life’s path may very well  come across  an angels. It’s difficult to convey in words how much of an impact a man I didn’t really know had in my life. The fact that a near perfect stranger rushed to my hospital bedside at all hours of the night to rescue me was surely an act of love. No ordinary(and naturally selfish) person would do that. Upon  learning of his passing it was incredible to take into account the impact that this individual had, had  on my life and so many others. It would be a  crime to waste the incredible gift that He had given me.  This triple board certified physician specialist(in ICU and stroke) possessed a brilliant mind, big heart, and a pair of talented hands. The first(and only) time I met him  after the stroke, my Mother observed him quietly staring at me for several minutes while I talked to other hospital employees. We both wonder what He must’ve been thinking. Surely, still working out  solutions for his “ special case,” even then.  Even though our second trip to see him again did not come to pass, his prediction did. “ The next time I see  you, you’ll be walking.”  Indeed I am not only  now  walking  but the next time I see him I’ll be running! In this journey through life none of  us complete it entirely on our own.  As if it were an  iditarod(see here) there is always someone  special that appears and helps you on the way to the finish line.  For me, during the long and  difficult race, I had a  very capable and giant helping hand in   Doctor Devasenapathy, or better known as   “ Dr. D.”     He  not only helped me to complete the race, but to  stay in the race at all. Therefore,  show kindness and love to your fellow man, because you never know when you might be entertaining an angel.

walk in love!

bleu

 

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