The Hide Inside

“You can keep as quiet as you like, but one of these days somebody is going to find you.”
Haruki Murakami

I have wondered how it is to try to understand me when I sometimes do not understand myself. I have put up a barrier between me and the rest of the world. I can and do retreat into the small quiet place inside where no one can get to. I would hide there as a child whenever the world became too big, too bright, too loud. I would retreat there whenever my heart would break at the smallest of upsets, when I could not understand that there were things I just couldn’t understand. Whenever I realized no one understood me, I would go there. When I would do or say the wrong thing, this became my protection, my wall, my shell, my sanctuary. I have never let anyone in.

To be honest, there are times when I like it in there.

In my adult life, during the 17 years that I lived with an emotional abuser. I would go to that place inside myself. In my imagination I created a nice place in the sun on a sandy beach that I had frequented in real life as a teen. I would sit back and watch the river flow, listen to the birds and bury my toes in the warm sand.

This sustained me during the times I could not defend myself because I was not strong enough to even realize I was worthy of defense.

I seldom go there now; that protected place as my life has changed, I left the abuser and definitely I have grown stronger but that barrier remains, the bubble that protects, the facade that makes me seem just like everyone else.

It is only through words on this screen that I type to you through my keyboard that I am able to say this much. My brain is somehow connected better this way than verbally. The words flow right from the source, actually speaking words is not my best thing, but I try.

It has taken me forty odd years to find someone I feel a deep enough connection to not only want to share myself and my inner world with.It is a thirst long overdue sating.

I try to imagine the way I must come across to him. I don’t think he realizes how different I am with him than with other people. I know he knows that I can shut down, he has seen the blank look come across my face, he has watched me instantly withdraw, he has felt my body become limp. He has seen my at my worst, he has seen what I have been able to hide from others, he has seen the exhausted me that can’t speak, he has seen the burned out me that jumps at the slightest sound. He has never judged me or made me feel bad about who I am. He has held me tight and loved the pain away. He has loved me and has tried to understand more than anyone including my own Mother. I still can’t let him in fully and I still can’t tell him in words what I am writing here about I feel. This is a curse and a blessing to me.

It is said that Asperger’s is developmental and I do continue to develop everyday. I have worked on myself my entire life. Writing this blog has certainly helped me in an abundance of ways. I hope to inspire others in this way; you matter–you are loved –you are not alone–although you are special and unique there are others who feel like you–and you can change your life.

♥SBI

Fresh Quotes for Fresh Writing

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~ E. L. Doctorow
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~ E. L. Doctorow
"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on" ~ Louis L'Amour
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” ~ Louis L’Amour

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. Ernest Hemingway

 

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” ~ Ray Bradbury
 

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ― Franz Kafka

 

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~ Anais Nin

 

 

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~ William Wordsworth

 

There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick. -Robert A. Heinlein
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

 

Ray Bradbury’s Greatest Writing Advice

The world between two pines

A mystical magical foray through the foggy forest

“The richness of a moment comes when it’s both full and empty at the same time. The truth is, we live simultaneously in time and timelessness.” ~ Ram Dass

Where does reality leave off and imagination take over? Does it matter?


All at once the light of overcast day turns to fog as we step between the two tall pines and descend into into darkening wood.

I proceed with an uncharacteristic reverence, my steps slow and deliberate.  

The air is damp. Tufts of fogginess elongate, curving and curling between the trees trunks like an asp lending an air of mystery to the atmosphere. Although I am inside a natural area that’s inside a large park, I could be anywhere. 

There is a sense of timeless here, of ancientness. I can smell it. The pine needles, the mud, the old leaves, the moss. Ancestral memories encoded in my DNA have been awakened. I feel oddly at home, every twist and turn takes me deeper and deeper in. 

My usual gleefulness is gone, replaced by a watchfulness. Where my causal romp through the woods has become more than causal. I notice my steady breaths and I notice the birds are quiet. It seems as everything is at a standstill, but me.

It’s as though I am walking through a dream. The haze grows murkier with every step, my footing has been lost in the fog. The path twists and turns and suddenly I find I have lost the path altogether. The mossy floor feels like soft clouds and I imagine I am high in the sky feeling the cool fresh air. I feel so relaxed and at ease , I am compelled to sleep…

Then I spy glossy black wings in the corner of my mind’s eye and hear the cawing of the crows…
…suddenly I’m back on the ground slipping in the mud, catching myself in dreamland and jolting myself awake. 
Better watch my step…haha.

 

~SBI
All photos taken by me on The Wildwood Trail in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon. 

 

 

 

 

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Taking back my Mojo

 

Oh how I stumble and bumble, oh how clumsy I have become. Once I glided upon air like a bird in flight. Now I stagger across a concrete landscape like a glazed-over drunk in need a cup of strong coffee to wake me the hell up.
Once the thoughts flowed out like chocolate cake batter; smooth, concise, beautiful. Words would combine to make a confection of sorts, an image, an idea, a feeling that would be felt by the reader. It was a gift I possessed or at least I though I did once…

Being a loner who was good with words I felt at home with them and would be able to convey whatever I wanted, It was so natural, so easy. I took this for granted I knew no other way …now I struggle for the right words , the right combination of them. It is frustrating, there is much locked up behind me ,  behind the facade; the face(s) I show to the world. I ache to use words again how I used to, I ache to be able to walk along the beach and listen to the ocean, taking in everything in that moment and giving it back to the world…in words..in images…making art of life and inspiring others to do the same…

This is not what I do know and I don’t dare call myself a writer, writers write, I talk about writing. This makes me a talker.

So here I am writing my first post in a zillion years, Stumbling over every word. Pissed at myself for allowing the excuse of not having enough time to take away from myself one of the greatest pleasures I have ever known.

Although I have lost ground in skill and effectiveness and definitely in refinement I have gained  a courage I did not know before. I’m not only able to grow a beautiful garden I am tough enough to protect it with my shovel and I will.

I have learned that one can stay too much in the middle and that my fear of offending someones effected my writing. It effected my creativity and it effected my effectiveness. While I could say something very nicely it did not make what I was saying very important. In that I have changed because I believe there are things we should stand up for in this crazy world. I am finished being afraid. I will speak my truth , how I see it and to hell with anyone who wants to attack me for it.

And with that I will bid my adieu for now, I think I have broken through, thanks for listening.

Nancy

aka

Strawberryindigo.

Taking back my Mojo. #Strawberryindigo

 

Plague Everyone with Joy

I wasn’t always so sunny and happy. People were always telling me to smile. I have noticed that my face will typically give me away and that when I’m lost in thought, which is often, it looks like I am angry.  I’ve made it a point to watch this. I have also made it a point to watch my thoughts.
For much of my life insecurities and doubt have plagued me. I have hurt myself with negative messages that became my mantra that ran constantly inside my head. This made me miserable. My negative energy attracted even more negative energy from others. I struggled with not being understood but it never occurred to me at the time that I also needed to try to understand others.
I decided to be kind to myself and forgive myself for being so very imperfect. I thought I could change my inner dialog to something positive and I looked for the good in me and told myself good things about myself, even if I didn’t believe them.  More importantly I took this same love and understanding that I was finding for myself and turned it outward. I made it my “job” to reach out and say something kind or supportive to people especially those who seldom hear that sort of thing. I made sure my compliments were honest and true. I learned that I could find something encouraging and positive to say to almost everyone.
 Not that this is easy all the time for everyone. I am a naturally shy introvert. It has taken many baby steps to get to where I am today. I have tried to plant tiny seeds of sunshine wherever I go.
And more and more I find these seeds have sprouted.
By spreading the love it comes back, absolutely. 
 I don’t mean to sound trite or come off with some well worn out syrupy platitudes.  I have heard people complain about the unauthenticness of the idea that thinking happy thoughts and that an attitude of gratitude is a cure-all. It is perfectly normal;  healthy, in fact to have a wide range of emotions including sadness. Emotions are colors on a palate and life is art. We as artists can make our lives masterpieces when we use a full range of hues.
That being said:
I find touches dark blues,  patches of deep purples and deep black hues to be in beautiful contrast to the soft pastels and sunny oranges and yellows, it is in that contrast that I find beauty in, but a little of those darker shades goes a long way. Life provides us enough of those. If I can, it is the sunshine I will spread.  Makes me happier anyway.
I can make the conscious choice of letting the darkness that hits me in life stop at me. This is how I cope with the crap that hurts me; with my refusal pass it on.
I am so blessed.
So if I seem a little pollyannish or silly remember I didn’t start out that way and that really, no one can be blissfully happy all the time.   Happiness requires the decision to be happy. Just the simple act of smiling is powerful magic in itself.  Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can boost your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
 I think to stay happy we need to spread that joy around like it’s the damn plague especially on those days when we do feel like crap.
So get out there and plague everyone you meet with joy.
Watch its boomerang effect come alive.

 

 
♥ Nancy

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We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.
― Swami Satchidananda
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Related and Unrelated Articles
 JOY to the World–Three Dog Night

 

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Garden of the Mind

 

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece

~Claude Monet

 

We all engage in self talk. A running inner dialog that writes the script of our lives.

Seldom are we completely aware of just how influential we are on ourselves. We definitely live up to our own expectations. Positive or negative.  Problems arise when insecure feelings begin to dominate the conversation. And rarely do we share these dark thoughts with others. They are hidden behind a wall of bravado we put up between each other. This causes us to see only the exaggerations put together by our imaginations not the full scope of reality.

Insecurities are kept in a secret place locked inside ourselves in that dark closet of pessimism, where fear lives. It is fear that leads us to lie to ourselves in the first place. Much of the negative crap that our own insecurities whisper to us is not accurate or realistic at all, but these hidden feelings do have a profound effect on our behavior. Only when we can forgive ourselves for not being perfect can we begin to rebuild and replace all that negative crap with good crap.

I liken a life to a garden. What grows in our garden is what has been planted.

 

 

The lives which we are living now are the result of our past actions and those past actions were the result of our past thoughts. The seeds we planted long ago are sprouting now.

We truly are what we have cultivated. We can thrive in a colorful vigorous and sunny garden or we can wallow in the dark. and it is that simple… of course surprises can spring up

Life is random and certainly not fair. We are subject to the whims of that randomness…

…and no matter what we do surprises can spring up…

Sometimes squirrels can dig up your tulip bulbs and plant them in your neighbors backyard…sometimes a spring hail shower can wreck havoc on your tender pansies. There have been times when a black cloud descended into my garden and left it cold and dark. There have been times when I thought that the sun would never shine again…

And then I found the sunshine within myself and lit up my garden with hope, faith and blind determination.

 

 

These are the times when we have to rely on that sort of sunshine to make our gardens grow.

…that’s why you need a good dose of it stored up in your pocket for a rainy day.

 

 

Determination: Yes. Work: Most certainly. Anything worth anything takes work and belief. That is your sunshine and nothing will shine without it.

Gratitude is like water. It nourishes life in our garden. It makes what grows grow. Without gratitude we will never find the happiness and contentment we seek.

Attitude. How we frame the picture we see.

What some may interpret as a raging storm can seem like a gentle shower watering a summer flower.

 

Seeds are the ideas we present to ourselves. We can plant what we want.

 

Being afraid; having social anxiety…the alien-ness I felt being on the autism spectrum…my alcoholism.. these were symptoms of a greater problem these were/are my challenges. I on instinct planted seeds to counteract the ones planted many years before which led me to feel so sad.

How do I do this? I change my inner dialogue. I forgave myself. I saw myself as a poor damaged thing that needed sympathy, love and understanding.  I began to treat myself more kindly; I began to lie to myself but in a good, encouraging way.

I told myself wonderful things about me; things I didn’t believe. But I kept planting and counting.

I counted reasons to be grateful. I thanked God or the spirits that be. I thanked the universe for my good fortune. I embraced mindfulness and tried to enjoy every passing moment for what what it is without expectation. I found worthiness in contentment and strength in humbleness.

 

I wrote words like”optimistic” ,”happy”and “Yes” in bright colors and tapped them around the house.

I found solace in the colors of music and the sound of the rain.

I refused to be daunted by a reluctant sun so I made my own.

 

What began as a tiny spark has grown larger and my garden is growing with colorful, green, growing wild things.

I continue to plant seeds whenever I can. My garden is a work in progress. Always planting something, digging, weeding, taking it all in.

Despite changes and setbacks I am here to encourage other gardeners who may be discouraged. Maybe to make myself feel a bit better too.

 

As Ram Dass once said: We’re all just walking each other home.”

And I say that it’s damn good to have a friend to walk through the rain with. 

 

~nlm

 

 

 

Related Articles

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

Mister Rogers Remixed | Garden of Your Mind

Words Can Change Your Brain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Rock

tranquil mountain strong

When I think of strength I think of my Dad. He wasn’t the bodybuilder or lumberjack type. He was a man with little education who came from another country and started a small business. He always provided for his family, he was there and he never wavered, even after he and my mom broke up when I was 11, even after my brother, sister and I had grown and moved out. He was the steady rock of our family. He never complained, he carried a mirthful attitude with him wherever he went. He had a smile and a kind word for everyone despite living with decades of chronic pain. I am ashamed to admit I never really noticed this until after he was gone…funny how that works…funny how my image of what it is to be strong changes as time goes by…

Big muscles don’t always equate with strength, there is also another kind of strong. The inner strong. A person’s will, resolve, resilience; that which endures and continues.  It is a quiet and powerful. It’s sublimely subtle, not flashy at all. It declares itself not. It just is.   It’s what enables us to hang on one second more, hold out hope one more time and this very thing can save us when all else fails. It is born of necessity and it grows in jagged stages marred by pain and shaped by experience.

 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” ~Ernest Hemingway
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”
~Ernest Hemingway

We grow stronger by allowing ourselves to be weak, to fail, to fall. We gain strength by getting up again and again…and again. Our eventual redemption is not only made of this, it depends on it. It is at the bottom of that dark abyss of hopelessness that we can find that very hope that can sustain us. Those who have been thrust into this abyss know full well there is a light in the dark; it is wondrous and strong, it is beautiful, it is divine and it is in each and every one of us.

We are stronger than we believe. We need to believe this. We need to be honest with ourselves and listen to our hearts–therein lies strength; it is in the almighty power of love.

Strength does not lie in oppressing others, or by putting them down. The illusion of superiority does not make anyone stronger or better or more deserving than anyone else. Good fortune and adversity alike mold us into what we are today. The “protection” of privilege cannot purchase anything of any true value. This must be earned by our experiences and our reactions to circumstance.  

To show compassion and kindness is strength. It is the strong that are big enough to see beyond themselves to the greater picture that includes us all.   It is by giving away that we gain. It is by being the steady rock for others to hold on to we can find the strength to hold on ourselves.   I am learning this slowly, like a rock.

 

~NLM

 

we can do it strong

 

“Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity. When you don’t think you can, hold on.” ~James Frey

 


 


Gallery of The Strong

 

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai

 

Salt March led by Gandhi, India, 1930
Salt March led by Gandhi, India, 1930

 

"Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children.
“Migrant Mother” is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children.

 

Londoners shelter in a tube station during the Blitz.
Londoners shelter in a tube station during the Blitz.

 

Mother Teresa in her hospital. 1971. Credit Getty Images
Mother Teresa in her hospital. 1971. Credit Getty Images

 

 

My Dad, brother and sister and me on my 2nd birthday. :)
My Dad, brother and sister and me on my 2nd birthday.

Related Articles

 

9 acts of individual defiance that changed the world (One.org)

When Being Strong Is Weak (Goodmenproject.com)

Malala Yousafzai – Facts (Nobelprize.org)

Civilians on the frontline (Theguardian.com)

Brave – Sara Bareilles (Youtube)

Paul Simon – Loves Me Like a Rock 

 

Seeds of Love

Every action or non-action we take have repercussions that run like ripples in a still pool, constantly moving and changing. Out of randomness comes a chaotic sort of order we call life.

Life is a journey with twists and turns, offshoots, detours and about-faces.  We skip merrily, or unmerrily, planting seeds along the way.

Some seeds get blown away and never come to fruition, others find the right landing spot and with a little luck, care and attention erupt out of the ground bursting into life, red, ripe and beautiful like a shiny apple.

Most of the time we don’t know where they go. A small kindness is a seed that can travel far, farther than we realize. I’ve learned to appreciate the small and the seemingly insignificant.

Seeds are like that; small and seemingly insignificant. We all know that looks are deceiving and that a seed however tiny can pack a wallop. The potential of one tiny seed is incalculable.

apple-with-leaf

 

 “We can count how many seeds are in the  apple, but not how many apples are in the  seed.”

   ~Ken Kesey

 

We are always planting seeds whilst we know it or not. I like to think that every action I take however small and seemingly insignificant most likely has repercussions: good, bad or somewhere in between. The results of some of our actions are immediate, other results take longer, others longer still. Seldom does life work on our timetable, nature works on it’s own and we are a part of that greater whole.

flower nature determination dandelion crack

We are a part of the web of life. We take part in the dance of the seasons; springing forth with a rush of light and energy. We burst up through into the living world, bright, trusting and full of potential thrust into the wilderness of existence, a life with gardens and tigers and people and trees and owls…so much beauty and wonder…

…and indifference, greed, Monsanto and war…

box dark war explosion trinity-shot-nuclear-test-explosion-july-16-1945-us-government-photo-in-the-public-domain_thumb

The world is our garden, the garden of our making. We grow here and there is no other place for us. We must take care to plant the right kind of seeds.

maxresdefault girl children kid love

If we plant seeds of love and compassion and altruism and trust, if we plant a respect for all life and the environment, if we plant peace and understanding and tolerance with care and watering, luck and a lot of hard work, we could grow a beautiful garden with enough wonderfulness to sustain us all.

Of course this is all so easy to say….so lovey-dovey and some may say unrealistic. Yes, I know the world is an ugly place but it is also a place of beauty. It’s up to us to cull out the badness and plant the goodness. If not us, who? And if not now when?

Any farmer will tell you the best time to plant is yesterday. Get those seeds in the ground and pray for sunny days…the more seeds we plant the better.

~NLM

Flower petals spelling LOVE

“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.”
~Steve Maraboli

 

 

 

Related Articles

Eric Clapton - Let It Grow (2011 Remaster)
Johnny Appleseed Song (Youtube)

SEEDBOMBS (How to)  (Guerrillagardening.org)
List of edible seeds (Wikipedia)
Star seed (Wikipedia)
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault,The doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world (theguardian.com)
The Complete History of Monsanto, “The World’s Most Evil Corporation”

We are Art

life beautifully quote

We are art.

Uniquely us and uniquely beautiful.

Living, growing, changing.

Becoming and unbecoming..

The way we do this says more about ourselves than anything.

It’s the way we live our lives and how we impact others–this is our testimony. 

What we share with the world becomes our art.

We can inspire and enlighten. We can encourage, empathize and understand.

We can shine a light for others and become all the more beautiful.

It is the soul. The heart. The essence.

This is the best art. The loveliest. the most divine. The closest to heaven.

 ~NLM

emerging_monarch butterfly

 

“Your brokenness is the universe’s way of realizing that perfection is not complete.
Your wounds and flaws, however inconsolable and unforgivable, are a conspiracy of a finer consideration, the triumph of an inexpressible art form, the urge of the cosmos to love herself more intimately. More profoundly.”

~Adebayo C. Akomolafe

butterfly on finger

Related Articles and interesting tidbits

LIFE is ART   (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Stéphane Grappelli – Stardust (youtube)

Artie Shaw- Stardust (youtube) 

Vincent Van Gogh Gallery (www.vangoghgallery)

I Believe

shinebright sunset in hand shadow

I believe in magic.

The magic that lives inside each and everyone of us. I believe that our belief in ourselves in the single most important factor in determining our present and our future.

I believe in the almighty power of LOVE and that the meek shall inherit the earth…if we believe.    

I believe in unity and understanding, in tolerance and compassion. I believe in the power of a smile and that a little kindness can go a long way. 

I believe that diversity is beautiful and inclusion makes us strong.  I believe we can stand together for what is truly important and I believe we have the wisdom to know just what that is.

We are all in this together. We are an intrinsic part of the greater world around us.

unity big-wave

Drop by drop, like rain falling into sea–there is an incredible force in that which is

WE.

I believe in UNITY

and that it’s our right and responsibility, our duty to ourselves and future generations to make this world a better place.

WE have more power than we know

unity peace people

 It is we who create our own reality

We need to love more and judge less. We need to listen and hug like there is no tomorrow. We need bravery and character and backbone. 

We need action and work and planning and focus.

We need HOPE

and dreams…we need one another.

We need to believe. That is what I believe more than anything; we need to believe. 

~NLM

 Wizard's Hat in Bandon on the Oregon Coast
Wizard’s Hat in Bandon on the Oregon Coast

That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been….Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”

― George Saunders

Wisdom from Unlikely Places

I have found wisdom in unlikely places. In places some would say there is none to be found. In long dark hotel hallways at 3 am and brightly lit hospital corridors at seven fifteen. I have heard it come from the mouths of sweet innocent children and raving lunatic drunks…whispered by the howling wind, written in misspelled curse words scrawled on subway walls.

Wisdom can be hard-fought and long won over the ages. It can be found by standing on the shoulders of giants. It can be located in the deep dusty corners of one’s mind patiently awaiting attention. Wisdom can take flight into insight and explode into enlightenment. It can descend into fire and chaos and emerge like the Phoenix. Wisdom is golden. It is the light.

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Wisdom is like stained glass. Cracked and beautiful, letting the light shine through. Breaking into a million pieces…

 I carefully pick up the broken shards. Each one unique and beautiful in it’s own way. The truth is not always beautiful but the seeking of it is. I accept each begotten piece, judging them not but embracing them for what they are; glimpses of knowing and experiencing. Windows into the heart and the soul and oh yes. an open door to glorious understanding.

Credit: Copyright © Janet Hince and Heart To Harp, 2010 – 2014.

The truth does not question me, why do I question the truth? It remains in the eye of the beholder but I seek a more unblinking eye of logic and find none exists.  Whatever we are and whatever we do we cannot separate ourselves from our very human feelings and these feelings can cloud our vision and effect our reality, at times to our detriment. It’s easy to doubt the validity of a message due to the doubtfulness and dubiousness of it’s messenger but in all rationality can the truth cease to be the truth if comes from something or someone we dislike? Something bad or wrong or evil?

 

eye evil dark scare fear

 

Can we learn from wickedness? Can a exquisite flower spring up from frozen lifelessness? Can a seed of understanding be gleaned from a stark and abandoned field? Can adversity, fear and pain teach us anything? What about dark and horrible things? What can beauty learn from ugliness?

flower snow crocus purple

Some of the most beautiful people have suffered and they understand; knowing firsthand the power of love and compassion. Being in the position of having to rely on the kindness of strangers is apt to make one a kinder stranger…a kinder person…

Rose Meaning quote thorns

As so it goes. All we can do is gather our pieces of wisdom, saving some for a rainy day or to chew on later on some idle Tuesday. We can store them in forgotten boxes under the bed or we can bring them out and use them for the good and betterment of us all.

Stuff to ponder I suppose…

~Nancy

 

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Stephane Grappelli & Michel Petrucciani – Misty

YOU are not alone and neither am I

 

shadow woman waiting dark

I have wasted too much of my life being afraid. Afraid of sharing my unique self with the world. Keeping my little jokes to myself for fear of someone not getting them, not getting me. Afraid to speak up, afraid to say anything at all. I blended into the background as best as I could. Trying not to be “discovered”.

I kept in my own little world for fear of living in the real world. And that is what that fear was doing to me; it was preventing me from living at all. I responded to events, I never initiated them. I never tried my best at anything for fear that my best wasn’t good enough.

Fear is isolating. It self perpetuates; feeding on doubts and insecurities. My fear kept me away from people, from getting to know anyone. Even my own family. I would don a placid and vaguely pleasant mask that I wore for the social events I couldn’t get out of.  I was labeled shy and thus ignored, and I liked that for a time… but as my life passed and I found it more and more difficult to convince myself that I enjoyed being alone in a crowd; never sharing my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my opinions. It never occurred to me that others could feel the same. I think loneliness has a way of making one think they are the only person in the world who has ever felt the way they do.

stars shadow lake night

Perhaps it was my loneliness which caused to to reach out.  I have discovered that loneliness is quite common, many of us are lonely. Some hide it well but it shows in the eyes. It shows in the constant seeking some people do; the restlessness, the looking for that something they can’t seem to find.

I have found that something and that is this glorious truth;  by reaching out to others, others reach out to you too. I have been encountering such beautiful souls…wonderful people who shine like the sun. Some of them don’t think they shine at all but they do and that light warms us all in this cold world.

We need more of this. This world is dark and cold and we need those special people out there, the quiet ones out there in the shadows, hiding…waiting perhaps for someone to notice them and beckon them out into the light. I understand you. I am one of you and you are not alone.

 

Contemplation

Part of me wants to shout out from the rooftops: I am here!  I exist!  I yearn to make a difference in the world!

(Another part of me wants to run and hide and blend into the background.)

This time I won’t allow it.  I will wear my heart on my sleeve and I won’t give a damn what some may think or say. I won’t let fear run my life, rule me. I won’t be afraid of opening my heart, my mind, of freeing my soul to something wonderful that I cannot yet see. I will free myself from fear…those of you who fear like me, you can too…

You can. Take my hand… We can come out into the light together and together we shine like a million suns…

 

shadow kids-in the sunset

 

Thanks for being there and listening. Thanks for reading my blog and for commenting. Thanks for accepting me as I am. My confidence grows daily.  It is through my writing and because of it that I can come out into the light and be the person I’m meant to be.  

 

~Nancy

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The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby

Aspire to Inspire

ASPIRE:  To seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle Frenchaspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, fromad- + spirare to breathe.

To aspire is to dare. To dare to want more. 

Aspire is the desire to propel oneself skyward. It is born in the heart like a flame that burns hot with the passion of want. Dreams fuel aspiration. Passion drives it and hard work makes it so.  With care and feeding  aspirations can grow wings and set flight to all points amazing…

 

Mount-Haleakala-Hawaii

 

We are what we aspire to. Our dreams define us.

I have a dream; one I never knew I had until fairly recently. I found it huddled under a pile of forgotten hopes that I had neglected to remember I’d left it in the back of my closet.  I could exaggerate and press upon you this jive about a noble truth that propels me. I might confess a deficiency I have and this need to make up for what I’ve felt I have lacked in my life. The truth is I did not purposely seek this road.  In the beginning all I sought was my own salvation.

I had walked in darkness for many years and yearned to find my way back into the light. I knew fulfillment and happiness lives there but in the dark it’s difficult to see.  It’s lonely out there, at least it seems so…but I learned something important. I realized I wasn’t alone and there are others out there in the dark reaching for the light just the same as I… and not knowing where to find it. This simple truth eluded me for years. It is my truth but not mine alone….

By helping others we help ourselves.

It is tempting to take credit; to say that my stirrings to inspire are purely unselfish but the truth is; I aspire to inspire because it feels so damn good..besides I really don’t know any other way.

I have found that people who have struggled, who have fought something bigger than themselves…who have had life hurt them have a yearning to light the way for others, to say: “I’ve been where you are now and there is a light at the end of the tunnel…I know because I can see it.” 

peace friendship-63743_640

 

We all need help from time to time…

I believe greatness abounds. There is greatness in you and there is greatness in me but the greatest greatness lies in we. Our fullest potential is alive and well and it is just within our grasp. Sometimes all we need is a pat on the back, a smile and a reassuring voice.  Everybody needs this..no one is above it. It is basic. It is human and it is beautiful.

 

We are the content creators; the writers, the artists, the dreamers. We are a unique breed who yearn to inspirit and inflame others with that magic spark that burns so bright in our hearts and souls.

 

quote happy women

 

This wonderful planet of ours is teeming with inspiration. One just needs to know where to look and one need not look far. I have found much inspiration in the words of many of you in this wonderful creative community of ours.  Through your posts and comments I have learned so much!  Time and time again I’ve experienced firsthand that no matter how different we may seem on the outside, we are alike on the inside. We all need insight and inspiration from time to time and I have surely gotten this from you. Thank you for sharing your world with me.

 

 

Wishing you an inspired day

Nancy

woman sitting on rock sunset shadow contemplation

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” 
― Louisa May Alcott