Posts Tagged ‘life’

struggle

 

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“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”- Abraham Lincoln.

In the ever present stay calm and carry on posters they forget two words, and on. Therefore, they should read  Stay calm and carry on and on and on! Why? Because we are  creatures of great resolve when we’re pressed against the grind stone. Everyone struggles at some point, and no matter what it it is every struggle feels  daunting and like it is specifically yours. However, there are many people struggling with the same thing, it is your reaction to that struggle that makes it individual. Not to mention, our struggles have a funny way of making us strong where we once were weak. At times when your looking for answers in the midst of trouble you are met with silence. Yet we mustn’t forget that when you’re  going through something difficult, the teacher is quiet during the test. Even amidst the silence you  are not alone. It is within these hardships that our determination and perseverance really shine. I have been asked how I am able to continue and remain so optimistic in a situation many would find bleak. The fact is, I remain optimistic because I  believe there is more to this world then only what I can see. There is no solid explanation for  our existence, just as there is no solid explanation as to how I survived death.  One can only assume that there must be a teacher out there helping me(and you) along the way. It is because of this  we keep on going and do not faint or crumble at the first signs of trouble. Rather, we buckle down to withstand the storm and reach our goals that lie just on the other side of them.

reach for the other side,

bleu

Life Boat

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“Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?”

― Scott Turow, Ordinary Heroes.

Stories of triumph, stories of success, and stories of dreams coming true. These are the kinds of tales that keep us alive and keep us going. For me, these stories were a life boat in the middle of a dark and stormy ocean. The stories you and I tell ourselves make a tremendous impact on how we feel and in which direction we go. The difference between a good story and a bad one can  put into motion either success or failure When every avenue seemed bleak, I could always pull  positive stories from my memory library to serve as an escape. My current life circumstances(post stroke) were a sinking ship of titanic proportions. However, reaching back into my memory banks, I could pull a story from a happier time. Without these invisible books I was headed for the bottom gasping for air, another casualty of life’s  bad circumstances.  While these books seem imaginary, the life lines they offer are very real. These stories told me I could accomplish my dreams as I had before, that the impossible was possible(as possible is part of the word itself) and gave me a reason to get up in the morning rather then languish in bed. A good story will motivate you and give you confidence, while a bad one will take away all of your hope. Do you suppose that the  legends of our time told themselves stories of failure?  I’m certain it was just the opposite! I posit they reassured themselves that their mountains could be conquered. In this way we need to do the same thing. Whatever your goal, tell yourself that you can and then  pull examples of all your past successes. The longer you ruminate on past or current(perceived or real) failures, the longer you’ll remain in unwanted circumstances. By dwelling you effectively anchor yourself in shallow waters. Therefore, use positive stories to  put  the wind  in your sails and venture to deeper waters. It is there you’ll find more to explore and myriad possibilities. Furthermore, surround yourself with people that add to the positive stories rather than help anchor you in shallow waters.

row, row, row your boat,

bleu

Pieces of me.

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“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”

― Roman Payne.

I am not the sole creator or proprietor of my own life. For example, my Mother  gave me a creative  nature, my Father a strong work ethic, friends helped me learn some life lessons along the way, and my intelligence was(is) God given. Therefore, I am not merely one thing, but many pieces that create a whole. However, I am certainly responsible for which direction I head in, but I cannot take all the credit. It’s actually difficult to pick one singular direction because life offers so many. It’s as if we’re perpetually at a  five way street crossing, or fork in the road. This is compounded by the fact that we have so many different parts to us. This is what happens when you exist in a world  that contains many different outside influences. It is neither small nor  closed off, but in fact it is endless! Since we are made up of so many aspects, why then,  do we only live for ourselves?  To be selfless over selfish is more rewarding and beneficial. It has even been shown in nature, that the most selfish creatures are less likely to survive. Apparently this didn’t cross over too much into human existence, or so it seems. However, if you  pay attention it absolutely did! People and societies that exhibit high levels of selfishness, often don’t do as well, and are least liked. On a  large scale  it would make sense if the world were more  giving(and forgiving) but even more so on a personal level we need to be more giving(and forgiving) to one another. After all, it has to start somewhere. Not to mention, each large and obvious movement(be it physical or societal) begins as a small quiet seemingly invisible  action. A sweep of your arm is first triggered by tiny signals  in the neurons of your brain. What you eventually see and feel  physically, starts out somewhere unseen. The same  applies to social movements, dreams, and hopes that you have for the future.Therefore, go forward with confidence and be the change that you want to see in the world and in your own life.

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

 
 

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

Staring Contest

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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
– Harvey Fierstein.

How often  do you feel the unexpected gaze or stare of  a stranger? Well, I do quite  a bit. So much in fact that my usually non-violent  cute little cousin spouted off frustrated comments about one such incident. I believe the statement, “ I would kick Her in Her big dumb face,” was  actually used. As mean as that sounds it was very sweet because She was upset about the gawking of one particular Woman. I, on the other hand didn’t even notice it. I’m sure people wonder what in the  heck  happened to me, which is fine. It took a good while to feel okay about going out into public after the hospital due to the potential(and  actual) gawking. However,  I was told to hold my head high no matter what, and haven’t looked back since. Whether you feel particularly good  or awfully different that makes no difference. Because, either way you should carry yourself with esteem.  Your story is unknown to a stranger and certainly not their story.This is where unknowingly the Ray Bans tagline of “Never Hide,” is actually brilliant. At some point I decided people were staring because I’m so damn pretty, so there. This allowed any rude gawkers or gawking to quickly fade to black in  my  grand play of life. Understandably, my cousin is thirteen years old and has yet to learn this. Yet, people of every age could benefit from such an attitude! You don’t have to resemble a piece of beef jerky and wear stretch band waisted pants, and “special shoes,” before you stop caring what other people think. You can start doing that  right now and it is  freedom!    Just imagine it like when kids   pick their noses in public, “ We just don’t care people.” To  have that feeling  of freedom is pretty awesome. It means you can focus more on the important things and less on other people. Because, it is extremely likely the rest of the population is far too self absorbed to pay so much attention to you anyway. In those odd moments when they do, whether it’s for something spectacular(I do have Prada on, thanks!) Or  something a bit embarrassing, it’s totally okay just breathe and move on. Granted, we’d rather be thought of as mostly spectacular the latter happens sometimes too. It is in those moments, whether occasionally or perpetual, we learn to just get back up. Besides, what  somebody else eats does not give you a stomach ache unless you let it.  Therefore, focus on what’s on your own plate. This isn’t to say you should be self absorbed,  certainly not. Except, that sometimes what’s on your plate is more important than what they have on theirs. After all, they’re not living your life for you that’s  in your hands.

go pick your nose!

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

Go Sailor

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”– John F. Kennedy.

You may not be the Captain of a ship, but you still need to know in which direction your rudder is pointing! Except in this instance the ship is your life and the rudder is your thoughts. Your life will go in the direction of your dominant  thoughts. However,  if you’ve aimed your ship at the cliffside rocks, there is still a way to turn it around. It’s possible to take your thoughts captive and replace those negative  thoughts with positive ones. Because, whether you’re aware of it or not we all have an enemy whispering  into our ears trying to derail us from the great  and fulfilling future  we have ahead of us. All it takes is a steady stream of “you cant’s,” “ it’s not going to happen,” and    this is impossible,” to derail your  ship from reaching its destination. Nowhere  in your life   did  anyone ever tell  you that you simply could not do something, besides your Mother when you were a child, yourself, and guess who else? The enemy!  The one who comes to  kill steal  and destroy your dreams. Therefore, we need to recognize when we’re being lied to. Because, if we fall prey to these lies the cost is too great. The cost is the future you were(and are) meant  to have. What many of us have not been privy to our entire lives is the truth about who we  are.  We are beautiful, capable, strong, intelligent, and  first and foremost LOVED.  You see, this enemy of ours  who loves to tell us the opposite of all those things celebrates when we actually believe them. In nearly every instance of  human failure you can find a place where  someone believed those lies. Because if you believe them how could you succeed!? By convincing you that you’re weak when your actually strong, you’ll let life and its challenges run right over you. However, once you have  the enemy’s  tactics on lock down you’ll easily overcome them. Why?  Because you’re capable,you’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re loved, and that’s the truth! Now go out there and make the enemy  be scared of you.

Sail on strong!

bleu

keep pushing

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I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

-Thomas A. Edison

 
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If a little seedling  can manage to grow through cement, why can’t you do the same with your difficult  circumstances? The world worships at the feet of the God of success, but what do we do with failure and catastrophe? Rather than meet these challenges with a smile, We crumble and fade from them. When you’re going through a hard time keep smiling. Make people wonder where  that smile came from, and how it got there. Meet life dancing with your hand in the air rather than lying down. Imagine what you’d do if the floor was pulled out from beneath you, because that’s what happened to me actually! In one fell swoop, I lost my high paying job, my apartment, a significant other, and my left arm and leg were paralyzed. I went to bed expecting to go to work and then home to New York City, but instead woke up in a Hospital back where I started with even less than I had   as a child. In this situation you can either give  up  and fall into the arms of a suicidal depression or   get up  even when you don’t feel like it. Despite my desire to bury myself under the covers in my bed,  I  forced myself  to get up and go to rehab every week. Because, regardless of how I felt, life wasn’t going to hand  progress over to me  I had to push back to achieve it. I can assure you , that if I can  do it, so can you! Just as trout swim miles upstream to spawn, sometimes  we find ourselves swimming upstream as well.  Perhaps  we aren’t swimming upstream to spawn, but  our reasons are not so different from the trouts. That reason is simple,  both of us are swimming towards  Life and not away.

God speed!

bleu

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