“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 TibetanMonks. 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 orbecome 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, creatingsomething beautiful while you can, and the eventualend toa bad situation. In that vein I’d encourage you to “ Make something beautiful while your here, because it’s temporary.”Use thebright colorsthat dwell in yourheart to make a beautiful patternwith your life.
“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach.
As with every new year we get a clean hopeful slate on which to scribble our aspirations on. Many resolutions are made, but notoriously not kept. They begin with a vigor only to be abandonedhalf way or later on. Why? Do we have short attention spans, lose focus, get tired easily, or just make goals up for fun?It’s likely a small amount of all of those but mainly what we choose to focus on. Are we keeping our eye continually on the prize and remaining positive or letting fear and doubt creep in on us? Many times in the pursuit of happiness we need to build adefense wall up against fear and doubt. This New Year began with me down in the trenches and feeling hopelessly sad. However, as thenew days of January began to pour in, I shifted my focus and the gloom lifted. I had to consciously choose to look at the bright side of the coming year. Even in the little things like a great upcoming film, phone upgrade(I love new gadgets), or paying down my debts. Those are all good things to look forward to and helped nudge that gloom on it’s way right out of the door. Today, I am hopeful about the future because I’m only seeing the good things. I have eliminated watchingreading or listeningto negative content. Cutting out as much negative(or dark) noise from your reality is crucial. Just like advertising can subconsciously and subtly have an effect on you, so can the negative influences in the world around us. Therefore, keep it light! You may have to cut out a show or certain music, but the resulting clearing of air and your mind is well worth it. The effects of being choosey about what you let in arehuge. Don’t accept those negative things(or thoughts) through the gates of your mind. Be a vigilante! Stop those thoughts from entering before they even begin. Better yet, negate those negative thoughts and give them a dose of their own medicine. When you hear a voice that whispers things like “Your never going to get there.” or “ It’s not going to happen.” and “Why even bother?” Declare out loud the opposite of those statements. After all, even Michelangelo’s masterpiece the David; was formed by diligently chipping away at a massive block of marble. Not to mention, marble is one of the hardest rocks out there. Dare I say it’s difficult just as your circumstances or goals may be. Except, Michelangelo persevered and look what He accomplished? A timeless and breath taking masterpiece! In the same way make your life a David.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
This one is for you single Moms that went back to school and got your degree, to the Dad that finally losthis gut, the young girl who nailed that cart wheel, and the grandma that braved a community college class in a subject She was really interested in. These people have their goals on lock down, and understand that as long as your alive on this earth you can achieve goals and create new ones. WhenI firstdiscoveredThe Sketchbook Project, I immediately jumped on it. However, due to a fast paced lifestyleI never managed to complete it. The projectis a globally concerted effort, with art sent in from all over the world. You can learn more about it —>here.While my blank sketchbooks in 2011 and 2012( I attempted it twice) languished untouched in my apartmentwhile I attended to other matters… Sooner than later(time flies) the year 2016 rolled around and I found myself in the process of a recovery from a near death experience. I alsowas unemployed with considerable stretches of time to fill and in need of some positive distraction. Yet again I found myself participating inthe sketchbook project, butthis time I was going to finish it. The third timereally is a charm apparently. You can’t always wait for the “right time,” to accomplish something, often the right time is right now. Many times you’ll find that somehow things happen at the right time when your patient, positive, and active in working towards your goal. We can’t control or make everything happen when we want,but we can certainlyput the wheels in motion. What thatsingle Mom, little girl, and Dad all understand is that with perseverance and determination you can reach your goals.It doesn’t matter when you start, it’s that you begin and there’s no time like the present. Don’t be afraid of failure because failure is a good teacher, andmost certainly don’t predict that you’ll fail before you evenstart!
Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older(NO!) or maybe it’s because of circumstances.
I have observed in women of all ages and in myself the detrimental effects a low self esteem can have.There are numerous studies done on how low self esteem not only effects you personally but society as a whole.Because little girls are not fed more self esteem boosting material were losing out on future doctors,lawyers,scientists,and leaders.This not only effects people personally but all of us as a whole too.
If We could just love ourselves rightly and realize our value and potentials it would start a social revolution! We would likely see a major decrease in things like anorexia, a spike in grade levels in education regarding girls, and overall society would be better for it.
After being discharged from the hospital to my parents home,I had a huge wheelchair that I got around in.Being in it affected how I felt about myself and was a great social experiment too.
I discovered that people either stared at you,paid no attention, or were super nice.
At the time I felt unwanted,unlovable,and uncomfortable about being in it.I also hardly felt as if I could be sexy! A large part of what I felt made me attractive was seemingly taken away.
I suspect other women that are wheelchair bound(I’m not any longer) may feel that way.
However, to the credit of my Mother in particular, one day She told me “Just hold your head up and be proud of who you are.” She is absolutely right! I felt uncomfortable because of the stares but not after I took that to heart.As we all know, our culture puts a heavy value on physical appearance.The emphasis on outward looks is causing a large neglect on our inner health.Women aren’t the only ones effected by the obsession over youth and beauty. After sometime I no longer cared or felt bad about being in a wheelchair.In fact I later had fun zipping around in it and dancing even!
I decided to choose life and not care so much about what other people thought.In fact as a joke I used to believe that noone would pay any mind to someone in a wheelchair blatantly shoplifting, because they ignored you! Thus I even pretended to steal things sometimes and behold I was never suspected or caught.
Through all of this I now feel more open to being myself then I ever have.
Life is simply too short to limit yourself based on what others think.
Do yourself a favor and once you change your attitude there is no limit to how high your altitude will go!
tell yourself as well as the women in your life that they’re beautiful.We should be applauding accomplishments rather than a lovely appearance in everyone not only young girls.Society and you personally will only benefit from us all holding each other up.
This is not a religious blog at all.However, no matter the name you call it(Brahma,Allah,The Universe,God) I’d like to believe there is something more than only what we perceive.Not too long ago I visited Bethel Church in Redding California.I had heard about some pretty cool things going on there.
Upon walking in I was immediately hit with an altogether different feeling(i.e “vibe.”)the atmosphere just felt very full of love and artistic.Perhaps part of that had to do with the fact that dancing,music,and painting was going on.Already I felt like this is how all churches should be!
Pretty quickly I experienced two amazing “coincidences.”
The first being that I was approached by a young boy who had been looking all morning for who his prophetic drawing was for (a treadmill) upon seeing me it clicked that I was the recipient.Little did He know that just a week prior I had a blowout on a treadmill because I was upset that I was physically having a hard time.
He thought that the drawing meant I was going through something, to persevere,not give up, and that I would be healed soon ( all correct).
The second “coincidence,” if you will was the gift of a print from the church’s art director.
Before I left He decided He wanted to gift me with a print
Of all that He could of chose, and this oneI had missed even though I went thru nearly all of them.. He chose a painting his wife had made about hope.
I was told by family that while I was in ICU this theme of hope kept popping up for them.
It caused my Aunt to cry that of all the pictures He chose, hope!
Personally I like the biblical definition of hope the best
Hope: A confident expectation of good to come.We have a certainty that it will happen, but it is in the future.Faith is in the now.
Needless to say the visit was a good experience for me.
Overall I believe no matter what your “religion.
We can all agree that humanity can only benefit from love, positivity, kindness, and philanthropy.
If any church/doctorine is worth its two cents it should be furthering these concepts.My favorite moments have been when I’ve given unselfishly to a complete stranger.I believe that a simple kindness touched and helped both of us.That’s easily a free two for one deal!
“Be the change in the world you want to see.” -Mahatma Ghandi.
“If your always wishing you were somewhere else, you’ll miss most of your life.” -unknown.
All of us at one time or another focus on what we don’t have. However, when you flip the switch and focus on what you DO have that list of don’ts, suddenly becomes much more positive. Lately I have decided to make a list of don’ts in order to feel better. For example: While I may have had a devastating stroke, I don’t have many of the problems associated with one, thus I made a list of what I don’t have. This is like many positivity exercises, although I’m no new age guru. While I did previously subscribe to some of it, I no longer do. Instead of believing in only myself, I do indeed believe in a higher being. Part of that is still very much positivity,health, and wealth. While your list may be different than mine, I think you too will find your list puts a spin for the better on an otherwise negative view. Furthermore by taking note of what you don’t have rather than be saddened by it, you’ll probably be more grateful.
While wallowing in your own problems it’s easy to get swallowed by them. There are times I’m sure when you’d rather be someone else. Little do you know there is someone who would wish to be you!
I went on for months wishing I was anyone but me. Except one day I met a woman bound to a wheelchair, that really wished to be me.Little did I know the blessings I had because I was too busy looking much farther than my nose. When your studying for a test if your overly concerned with the final grade, you won’t do well in studying for it. I was so worried about where I would end up I forgot to look where I was at that moment. The best advice my parents received while I was in an ICU dying was this: “Don’t look any farther than right here.[ taps nose]
To summarize, if you look too far in the future or too far in the past, those thoughts will eat you alive. Life, for me at least truly is day by day. After all, we aren’t promised a tomorrow. The best you can do is take advantage of your here and now. I am still learning as are all of us, but at least I can share my wisdom in hopes you will avoid your own troubles.
Cheers my fellow friends and travelers! I bid you well on this journey,
It is believed that when you give it comes back to you and sometimes ten fold…..well if that is the case then I have some good news for you,it does!
Recently I received a porcelain Tiffany box wrapped inside a larger Tiffany’s gift box
The funny thing is…….
Not too long ago I nabbed a Tiffany’s gift box from a co-worker,which I then gave away with a gift inside for my Aunt at Christmas,partly because I needed a box to wrap and partly because I knew She may never have Her own Tiffany’s box,especially since you have to have a purchase inside to even leave the store with one….
Even though I would have liked to keep it I chose to give it away, but!
More recently lo and behold that box returned to me even better (porcelain) and guess what!?
In yet another Tiffany’s box so now I have two.
Another example could also be the time I gave $50.00 to church,then later won $500.00 (Hello ten-fold)
I also won a scholarship toBlogcademy Chicago…….A blog post on that soon too!
In conclusion,in my experience,Things come back and usually quite sweetly.