The importance of being dreamy

Dreams are nebulous. They are intangible. They lie in the murky depths of our subconscious where they travel between various layers, blinking in and out of reality. Like tiny universes, changing and growing, fading and dying only to be reborn. They entertain us at night and manifest themselves as successions of images, emotions, and sensations that occur in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Our dreams tell us much about ourselves. They speak of our true nature and are a source of inner wisdom. They possess some importance but it is the other sort of dreams that are by far the most significant and it these dreams that will have the most bearing on our current lives and our future.

sunsets ocean clouds horizon dark waves photography skyscapes 1680x1050 wallpaper_www.wallpaperfo.com_17

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

It is the dreams that haunt us in the daytime; our hopes and ambitions. our wants, needs and desires. These are the ones we can direct and it is these that can come true…but essentially the power of dreams do not lie in their fruition.

Having a dream is much more important than having a dream come true.

star-jump-331284560366vhlk

To dream takes courage. It means listening to what our heart tell us is the truth. Our own personal truth. No one knows this but us and no one but ourselves know what we can do if given the chance to do it.

To dream is to risk.  And the road to the realization of a dream is often a long and strenuous one. There are twists and turns and pitfalls along the way. To dream is to dare. To dream is to dare to want more than what there is. It comes from a part inside that can not only see what is, but what can be.

Dreams allow us to become more than what we are, adding color and life to life. They come from our heart’s desire.  They can be whimsical and beautiful, they can be practical or imaginative. Seldom at the time of their creation do they seem realistic at all and history is full of success stories that began as mere pipe dreams.

A dream realized can occur in a flash of an instant; in one dramatic and fluid motion. Life-changing events often happen that way. It is tempting to see these breakthroughs as occurring spontaneously and naturally like rain.

Dreams do not just happen, they are made to happen.

To follow ones dream not only takes courage but tenacity, perseverance and plain hard work. We seldom see the effort that lies in the protected shadow of success, but more often that not…the only way to having a dream come true is to make it true by never giving up.

Never let negative forces tell you “No”.  Don’t allow the words of others cloud your blue skies. Only you know what your true potential is.  You are more substantial than you believe. You have the right to dream. Dreams make us great and all greatness begins with a dream.

Do you dare to dream?  If so what is your dream?  Let me know, you are fascinating and I’d love to hear it.

Strawberryindigo.

saturday SunshineClouds3 cows

“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

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 I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King (short version)  (YouTube)

Dream a little dream of me by Mama Cass Elliot (YouTube)

We are allowed to wish (cosmicastaway.wordpress.com)

I believe in my dreams (ideasforimagine.wordpress.com)

Jumping off cliffs

It is now that I sit here tapping away. It is way past midnight. I am snuggled up in my fuzzy purple blanket, drinking strong hot coffee and living in the moment like a breeze. For me this is one of the bestest and funnest things to do;  in words I dance in this moment. At times not knowing exactly which word will be…next…it is a journey of sorts and I tend to end up in places I never expect.

My mind is the octopus. The ship is logic. Let's see who wins out?
My mind is the octopus. The ship is logic. Let’s see who wins out?

My mind is like a hungry octopus, its tentacles awry, making a wild grab for this and that. Storms form. Clouds rush in only to be ushered out by shards of brilliant sunshine.  I am here amid swirling thoughts and ideas that play themselves out atop a blank page… it is here floating on this stream of consciousness where I feel fulfilled and engaged…so alive…huddled over a keyboard like a maniac, tapping away into the night…

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

― Franz Kafka

There are many reasons why I write; the most obvious being that I generally go crazy if I don’t. It is an essential outlet to me. If I were the only person on this planet I would still write it…even if there was no one to read it.  There are feelings I have that would never see the light of day if I didn’t get them out in a such a way. In a way, writing is my friend….and at times in my life, my only one. It is a big part of me. I have allowed it become a big part of my identity.

Writing has become an open window to the world

I started this blog over two years ago with an idea. Simply put; I planned to be myself and write whatever I felt passionate about and see what happened.  Now 190 posts later I am a different person than when I started. I feel as if I have gone on a long journey and I’ve seen and learned much. I’ve met some amazing people along the way; others who share this wanderlust of the mind and spirit.

I am happy when I am writing and I enjoy the results. What blows me away is how others enjoy the results as well. I am the happiest when  I  hear that something I wrote brought a smile to someone’s face. There are worse things. And as dreams go; being a writer isn’t all that impractical, is it?

I feel fulfilled and enlightened and I feel my journey has only just begun…

The Grotto in Portland Oregon. Credit: SBI
The Grotto in Portland Oregon. Credit: SBI

There are so many more reasons not to do something than to do it.   All action brings risk but then so does inaction. Much of the time it is this inaction and the result of such that can be the most damaging and corrosive. Fear can cause one to freeze like a deer in the headlines and do nothing. I have been guilty of having this response for most of my life.

I can’t say that I’m not conflicted. There is the artist part of me that feels and yearns and all that. It is that side of me I have chosen to let dominate, at least for now. Then there’s the other side. The one that doubts, the one that looks over my shoulder at the cold cruel world , the one that sees the bottom line. The part of me that pays attention and knows how difficult it can be to make a living being a writer. It reminds me that in no uncertain terms; if one wants a job writing, one must make writing a job and go to work.

I admit it.  I am hesitant to want to make something I love so much into work….and really…to be honest, I’m scared.

I suppose a lot of it is the fear of rejection. Do I have what it takes to be rejected over and over? Writing is very personal for me. I put my heart and soul into everything. It is much more than just a simple act to me. It is something  akin to extraction. The possibility of a million rejections and then subsequent “failures” truly hits home here. In writing that’s where my safety lies. This is my safe spot that I protect. My soft underbelly.  Much of my new-found self-worth is found here in this freedom of expression. Perhaps it is here I will find my answer as well.

I am reaching a point to where my fear of inaction is greater than my fear of action…

There is this voice inside me.  It started as a whisper that’s grown to an insistent tap on the shoulder,  it borders on the desperate, begging and teetering on the edge of a scream…

There is never a better time than now…do it!

Jump off cliffs

One of my favorite writers, Ray Bradbury once said,

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

Life is full of risks. without risk there can be no reward. Without jumping off cliffs, how are we ever to learn to fly?

I made a promise to myself that I would start submitting writing pieces in 2013, I have yet to do this. Now I’ll have to. Keep you posted. Wish me luck.

 

Strawberryindigo.

blue butterfly

“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.” 
― William Goldman

Free Hugs

I came across a picture today.  It was a drawing made by a someone I don’t know. I saw it online, I think it was in my Facebook inbox.  The artist’s name is written in the side. It is basic but genuine and to me conveys the most achingly beautiful sentiment.

and it sparked something…

I will sometimes get an idea for a post, but I won’t know actually how it will turn out.  It starts with a message I want to convey, whether it be simple or complex. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months even. it just rolls around in that crazy head of mine waiting for something… a spark?  Something to give it life. Incidences will happen; little things, really of no significance but then one day–wham! It all fits together. This picture was a catalyst.

Love will show us the way by Art the System on Facebook

We share a collective consciousness. The good, the bad, the everything contained therein.

The best and worst of us is inside us all. We share so much. One important need is to give and receive love. We are an empathetic species that thrives on mutual understanding and cooperation. We need togetherness.

Newborn babies can die if denied love, it is ingrained in us, the need to reach out and be held. It is a basic and human need we first receive usually from our mothers and fathers. And it this need to touch to be touched lasts through our lifetimes. It is beyond sexual desire which in itself is powerful. It is grounding, it is humbling and uplifting.

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety.  Hugging relaxes muscles; releasing tension in the body. They can take away pain and soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.  Hugs balance out the nervous system and boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

~ Virginia Satir

FREE_HUGS';_Tokyo

Hugs are wonderful. They are warm and innocent expressions of affection.  To me hugs are magical events.

free_hugs_2_by_dastalisa-d3adynw

They are hopeful. They are happy. They spread happiness.

'FREE_HUGS',_Notre_Dame_de_Paris

We have a human need to be wanted and valued and accepted. A hug is a demonstration of that.

There is much to be said about the power of a hug. I have noticed a trend as of these last few years of people with signs giving out free ones. It is a novel thing. it creates a bit of a spectacle and maybe it isn’t all that serious but it does make people happy. and it sends out a terrific message.

I have noticed with the passage of time that hugs are becoming more freely given and socially acceptable. When I was a child one rarely would see two men hug, these days it is commonplace. This is a wonderful thing.

It is such a wonderful thing and so is a kind word, a pat on the back and a smile.

Sometimes we don’t know the burden another may be carrying and cannot fathom how one simple act of encouragement from someone; a stranger even and what sort of positive impact that it can have.

If we all made a point of doing this;  reaching out to others even sometimes going  the extra mile to tell another person you care; whether it’s just an ear to listen.  Sometimes all people need is a release; someone to talk to and a little sympathy.  Sometimes it is a stranger, a person you will never encounter again, this does not lessen the quality of the interaction. Every positive interaction we have with another person makes them feel good and makes us feel good. it’s all good!

And just like rabbits these positive interactions spread and before you know it the room is of full of rabbits.

Try it you’ll like it. Hug someone today.

Strawberryindigo.

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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile
English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

References and Related Articles

Why we need at least 8 hugs a day (mindbodygreen.com)

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

5 Ways to Hug  (wikihow.com)

 Miracle/soulmate (helioshub.wordpress.com)

The Magic of Youth

This post is designed to make you feel younger and if you don’t feel younger after reading this I promise to refund every penny you paid to enter this lunatic asylum.

What is eternal youth and how do we attain it?  This thought brings to mind Ponce De Leon and his futile search for the fountain of youth. This poor fool wandered all over Florida hoping he’d find this all elusive thing. A billion dollar industry is based on it. In our youth obsessed culture many are looking for this very thing; this endless and eternal youth. Well my friends I know the secret and I will share it with you now. You will be astonished and amazed to hear that just like Dorothy and her Ruby Slippers, you have had the power to go home all along.

Just what does make one young? How does one do it?  For me with each passing birthday I get younger and younger. So much so I will need a babysitter soon (or at least a keeper) and so what if there are enough candles on my birthday cake to start a 5 alarm fire?  It’s chocolate dammit!

I have found that youth isn’t on the outside..it’s on the inside. Youth is the way we feel and the older we get the more important it is to be young.

Would you believe?...this man is 96 years young...how does he do it? He credits a daily cigar, a shot of whiskey each and every morning and simply put; a love of life!
Would you believe?…this man is 96 years young…how does he do it? He credits a daily cigar, a shot of whiskey each and every morning and simply put; a love of life!

It is the joy of living that makes us young my friends. It is that intangible something that is born in our hearts and lives inside our souls. Youth cannot be found in a bottle or a jar of face cream. Youth is the happiness we derive out of being alive.

Youth walks barefoot in the dewy morning grass. It is whimsy and breathless awe. It is hope and dreams and fanciful schemes.  Youth is an ice cream cone with two scoops. It is fun and laughter. It is sweet music and tasty treats. It is cozy friendship and drinking hot tea by the fire on a cold winter’s night. Youth is tinged with the green of trees and colorful leaves. It is a red rose with soft petals. Youth is anticipation and excitement and trying new things. Youth is looking forward to tomorrow. It is the companionship of a beloved pet. It is kindness and warmth.  Youth is a boisterous red balloon. It is sunshine and a newly moved lawn. It is a tall glass of lemonade that packs a punch. Youth is a wide and open smile. It is making silly faces in the mirror. Youth is allowing ourselves to be ourselves.

Youth is chocolate and kittens and a good book. Youth is holding hands under the pale moonlight. It is hugs and tender kisses. Youth is watching butterflies flutter by and laughing at life’s ironies. Youth is love; love for the sake of itself…love that extends out to the whole world. Youth is forever!

It is that simple. It is pure and it is yours for the small price of just believing in it.

Forget what these naysayers say; youth is not wasted on the young. Go forth my young friends. Enjoy it!

Strawberryindigo.

play happy old man arthur%20ritis%203

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We are Young by fun (YouTube)

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Happy Distractions and Frivolous Nonsense

Canned Nonsense. Please have some...
Canned Nonsense. Please have some…

You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.~

Tom Kite

A-ha…yes, I am now back to more serious matters. I have had a good rest and now have woken up on the sunny side of the bed.  I promised this next post would be something lighter and hopefully I will come through on that…so far all I have is the title but as you can see it is a damn good one. So I am talking to MM about this. “So what will I write?” I ask. I seldom do this, I usually am full of ideas but today, well…lets just say I am open to anything.  MM doesn’t say a word, he is asleep so I must look elsewhere for inspiration and there he is. Who is he you ask? Why it’s Mario my famous cat.  He has just sashayed through the door from another night of carousing and now has the nerve to demand breakfast.  Just where has he been?  I wonder if he has a secret life?

Ever wake up to find  a scene like this?
Ever wake up to find a scene like this?

7 SIGNS YOUR CAT HAS A SECRET LIFE

  1. He stays out all night.
  2. You find lipstick on his collar.
  3. You get strange phone calls in the middle of the night consisting of heavy breathing and insistent mews.
  4. He has taken to wearing cologne–Salmon flavored. (there is something fishy here alright)
  5. He spends a lot of time grooming himself.
  6. He seldom has time for you anymore.
  7. You find that he has erased his text message history.

I know what you are thinking…Yes, I know my cat is famous and he is very busy. I realize this. You should see the amount of fan mail he receives but something has changed. We just don’t talk anymore like we used to.  I can’t remember the last time he took me out someplace nice. I asked him point-blank ‘What are you up to?”  He just stared at me with his big green eyes and then just plopped over and went to sleep. I don’t know what to do about this. If anyone has any ideas let me know. I will keep you posted.

Mario
Mario
Now on to more pressing matters…let’s play a game shall we…

In an effort to get back to some serious journalism. I googled the word “cute” and the word “disturbing” can you tell me which photos were featured under cute and which were deemed disturbing?

CUTE or DISTURBING?

This one is easy. Obviously cute.
This one is easy. Obviously cute.

CUTE OR DISTURBING?

nonsense monkey and bird cute love
I took liberties with this. This was actually under “cute monkey love”
This was listed under "cute"
This was listed under “cute”
This was also listed under "cute"
This was also listed under “cute”
Believe it or not, this was deemed "disturbing"
Believe it or not, this was deemed “disturbing”

smile random fact

😀

3 Little Birds by Bob Marley (YouTube)  A Happy Song!

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World Happiness Report 2013 (unsdsn.org) Do you live in one of the happiest places in the world?

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♥ Spread the LOVE!  Sign up to write love letters to people in need at MoreLoveLetters.com 

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Sometimes I just need to bury my head in the sand for a while and just let what is to be…be.  Time passes and events will occur, much of it is beyond my control.  It is a good thing to let out all the rage and dissatisfaction with events and writing has always been a therapeutic activity for me. I have appreciated the ongoing dialogue with you.  It is nice to know that I am not alone in my feelings about events in the world.  I will not be silent about my thoughts and feelings but there is a point where it becomes counterproductive .

While it is healthy not to keep feelings inside it is also healthy to know when to let go and turn my focus on what I can change.  Thanks for all the support my friends.

Strawberryindigo.

 

The Easy Way

 forest-rocks-waterfalls-rivers-rapids-2048x2560

Beware of the easy way.

Most of my life I have taken the easy way. I convinced myself that the path of least resistance is always better. I attempted to justify my inaction to myself with excuses and feel-good sayings but in actuality I was letting my fears take over my life. This is no way to live.  Where has this gotten me?  Nowhere. Fate let me drift along. At times I would be lucky and float into good fortune.  I believed that just being good in my heart was enough. I meant well but I never stood for anything. I let others take the wheel. I lied to myself and have learned the hard way that the easy way is not always the best way. In many cases the easy way will lead you downstream into a false sense of reality and sooner or later you are left high and dry.

I have learned that what is truly worthwhile is rarely easy and that anything worth anything takes hard work and perseverance. Most success stories are about people who never gave up; people who had fallen time and time again but always got back up.  It hurts to fall and sometimes it hurts even more to struggle to one’s feet.  History is full of stories of inspirational people who succeed beyond all odds and it was perseverance and plain old-fashioned hard work more than anything that was the cause of their success.

Many never try because they are afraid of failure. This is the easy way. Thomas Edison didn’t take the easy route.  Once called “addled” by his teacher, Edison only had three months of formal education. This self-taught man called “The Wizard of Menlo Park” went on to hold 1,093 US patents in his name; Including a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.  His most famous invention; the first commercially practical incandescent light took 10,000 tries to perfect.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

This river we call life is tough and it is not fair.  As someone with Asperger’s I have struggled with this one; the supreme unfairness of life. Nelson Mandela the anti-apartheid revolutionary who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 could teach us about the unfairness of life.  He certainly did not take the easy way. As a lawyer and leader he fought his own government’s policy of apartheid and because of that in 1962 he was arrested, convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.   This great leader served 27 years in prison and was finally released in 1990 after an international campaign lobbied on his behalf.

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires." ~Nelson Mandela
“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”
~Nelson Mandela

Speaking up for the truth is seldom the easy way and the Reverend Martin Niemoller certainly did not take the easy way.  This one-time Nazi turned his back on the Fascist Movement in 1933 and organized the Pastor’s Emergency League to protect Lutheran pastors from the police. In 1934, he was one of the leading organizers at the Barmen Synod, which produced the theological basis for the Confessing Church, which despite its persecution became an enduring symbol of German resistance to Hitler. In 1937 he was arrested for treason and spent the rest of of WW II in concentration camps, narrowly escaping execution. After the war, Niemoller emerged from prison to preach pacifism and reconciliation. He won acclaim and awards and died in 1984 at the ripe old age of 92. He was probably best known for the following:

Pastor Martin Niemöller posthum in den USA geehrt

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I did not speak out;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller 1946

Inspiring words that still inspire today. It takes courage to swim upstream; to go one’s own way. It takes strength of will and determination to stand up for what you believe. This may entail rising up against the tide of popular opinion. This could be a lonely task; standing up for your convictions but soon enough others will join you. It just takes one to start. I recall the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it only took one small child to stand up and speak the truth.  There are many truths and everyone has their own. Sing you song loud and proud, and don’t be surprised if a whole chorus of voices join in.

easy we shall OVERCOME

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Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

 

 

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”
― Terry Goodkind

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**INSPIRING WORDS (Please listen)**

The Greatest Speech Ever Made (YouTube)

We Shall Overcome by Martin Luther King Jr  (YouTube)

Harvey Milk speech-HOPE (YouTube) 

**Related Articles** 

Nelson Mandela’s Release From Prison (YouTube)

The One Thing Successful People Don’t Do (And 9 Famous Examples) (forbes.com)

The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost (poetryfoundation.org)

How do I make a difference (nortonsofholland.wordpress.com)

Untrodden Path (tauqueersvaani.wordpress.com)

**REFERENCES**

Thomas Edison (wikipedia.org)

Nelson Mandela (wikipedia.org)

Martin Niemoller (hoboes.com)

Inspiring Stories–Never Give Up (Brucemuzik.com) 

THE LEAP

Leap-of-Faith blue sky guy

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”  
―     Margaret Shepard

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Come on in….the water’s fine…

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Sometimes one must jump into the cold pool of uncertainty fully and with gusto. Realities of life rarely afford us the chance to dip a toe into the water and slowly emerge ourselves, gradually taking it all in…aware and ready for each step. No. Life is often sudden and in your face. Events can turn on a dime requiring you to act and right now.  Often it takes a leap of faith.  It is then we must put aside all fear and just do it!  Jump in with both feet, eyes wide open ready for anything.  You can never know what is just around the corner.

Life is what we make of it….and our lives consists of a series of choices, each one effecting the next….twisting and turning. The road is unpredictable….but variety is the spice of life. Who wants to be bland and tasteless in a world filled with wondrous and exotic tastes?

It is easy to allow the uneasiness of unknowing to  overwhelm.  Fear is formidable. It is engrained in us. Fear alerts us to danger….real danger.  Fear can drive people to action. That same fear can also prompt inaction. These instincts have served us well in the distant past. But the world has changed. Old fears have been replaced with new ones. Most of us have no need to fear being eaten in the jungle by a tiger or bitten by a venomous snake. Modern fears may not be so immediate, they may be more complex and sometimes not everything is as it seems.  Valid fears of homelessness, joblessness, bankruptcy, war or global warming, etc. These are real fears and the answers are not so obvious. Frequently there are no real answers. Sometimes it is not as easy to see where the danger lies exactly, and we are confused. This encourages inaction. “Look where you leap” is good advice but not if indecisiveness leads to doing nothing at all.  Action is the key.

leap-of-faith fish

TAKE THE PLUNGE

Seize the day! The world awaits. Take control of your destiny. Lest destiny be in control of you.

Change is inevitable. Be that change! Take  ownership of it. Make that change work for you.

Typically when it is all said and done, it is that which you did not do which you will regret.

  We can ride the waves of cliché as far as it takes… mere words only go so far.

Real progress and anything worth anything at all takes work.

and there is no better day to start than today!

Strawberryindigo.

We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”  
―     Marilyn Monroe

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                     Flags amongst the trees

                     FEARLESS by Pink Floyd (youtube)

Walk Confidently Past Fear (borntobeaheroine.wordpress.com)

Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear (janaknmistry.wordpress.com)

A leap of faith (lotushealingsa.wordpress.com)

POTENTIAL

apple-with-leaf

The untried, the new and the different….

You may wake up in the morning with one mindset and by the time you get to bed that night you are entertaining a completely different one.   I wonder how often this happens in life. I’ve noticed in my scant 43 years that change can happen suddenly; just like that. Life is full of these out-of-the-blue blindsides that help shape what we will eventually become.

Every situation we encounter in life has potential. The existence of opportunity is dependent on having eyes that see it.

For most of my life I have played it safe…probably more out of fear than according to any strategy. I would react after the fact, comfortably, out of the fray, never really trying…taking the easy way…which is easy but extracts a hefty price. 

Many times unrecognized potential lies there neglected, waiting in some dark and  dusty corner…waiting for something…some event…some epiphany or an aha moment to bring this potential into the light to be noticed and brought to fruition.

because…

Time goes by and your orbit starts to decay, it’s easy not to notice this at first…it’s dreadfully slow. Akin to the seep of the air out of a balloon..all those lost possibilities…avenues never explored…opportunities left behind…potential never realized.

Everything and everyone has potential. We humans have major potential, we as individuals and we as a cohesive and fluid group.

Life is full of twists and turns, detours and bumps in the road. It is how we react to these conditions is what makes us drivers of our own destiny.

It is easy to fall into a rut…a pattern that is maybe not as productive or happy or creative or whatever…it could be said that ruts are full of potential. Perhaps we should not see them as lows but occasions for positive change..

We are always in a state of becoming…we are changing and growing.  Every day matters and so do you. You matter and you have potential.

This very day has it, this potential for greatness and the wonderful unknown. Today. This very minute. Seize it.

This day has been successfully seized by Strawberryindigo,

Wishing you a Happy Day….

day in the life cherry blossom and blue sky

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” 

―    Muhammad Ali

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How Does it Feel to be one of the Beautiful People?

Credit: Public Domain and air brushing
Credit: Public Domain and air brushing

Airbrushed models stare back with empty looks as I thumb through one of today’s popular magazines. It is chock full of these empty-eyed ones selling this and that. Their long glossy hair and oh much too white neon teeth prompt me to remember to jot down Crest White Strips when I make out my weekly shopping list; something I have yet to try but am beginning to feel bad that I haven’t.

I don’t normally look at these types of magazines. I am more of a National Geographic type but my co-worker had it lying on her desk and I admit I was a bit curious so I asked to take a peek.  I instantly felt bad; too short, too fat and definitely too old. A photo of a 71-year-old actress with no visible wrinkles tells me this.  She looks on top of the world and I …well…I look dumpy.

I’m definitely not sporting the new “it” color which is emerald by the way and I haven’t spoken to my manicurist about this news flash. In fact, as shocking as this may be: I don’t even have a manicurist or an interior designer, who this magazine also says I should be speaking to about custom lighting and the new vivid countertops.

I do like the mega heeled bright fuchsia shoes on the following page, but I’d break my neck if I tried to walk in them. The shiny pants are nice, emerald by the way. I haven’t felt this inadequate since I was 19 and used to read this stuff. Back then I would compare myself to these models and even then, I didn’t stand a chance.

It never occurred to me at the time those models couldn’t compare with their own doctored up photos and that no one who appears in these things actually even resemble themselves.

I went on my first diet at age 9 and stayed on one or another until age 40 when I threw out my scale and gave up on that nonsense. (one of the smartest things I’ve ever done by the way)

It is a shame I felt so inadequate.  It is a shame many other people do; women and men alike. We as a society base too much importance on appearance. It is superficial, shallow, so damn unnecessary and frankly, stupid.  There are so many faces of beauty in different colors and hues. Like in a flower garden, variety of shape, form and color is what lends to the loveliness of a garden. Oh what a boring garden it would be if all the flowers were tall, slender and dainty, pristine white roses.

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

People, especially younger ones are put under so much pressure, so much scrutiny by themselves and their peers. This leads to so many bad feelings and heartache…not to mention health concerns and deaths from anorexia and bulimia.

I remember how bad I felt when my then 14-year-old daughter, who wears a size seven and is a willowy beauty with long wavy hair told me she was fat and didn’t like the shape of her face.  I remember how I felt when was that age and used to starve myself to squeeze into impossibly tight jeans because I too felt fat.  This cycle must stop. Of course I told her the truth;  she is not fat, that she is wonderful, smart and artistic and it’s what inside that counts and how I am so very much proud of her. She didn’t buy it…”You have to say that, you are my mother.”  she said…

I can’t compete with these magazines…not back when I was 19, not last summer when I tried to convince my daughter that she is beautiful and not now as I turn the pages of this all too glossy thick magazine jammed packed of examples of how I don’t measure up.

I know better, I’ve given up on ever being perfect, I am a short middle-aged woman without super whitened teeth and I have fine, straight hair. Although I am well-groomed and take pride in my appearance, I know I am no beauty queen but I am loved by my family and my heart is pure and my conscience clear. I know better and yet this still bothers me. Reading this magazine reminds me why I stopped looking at these things years ago…

We all say that it is what’s inside that counts. We say it’s someone’s heart and soul that is beautiful, many people pay great lip service to this truism…even the media will throw us “common” folk a bone every once in a while; making a big deal out of featuring “real people” in an ad and patting themselves on the back the whole time but how many “Dove women” are there compared to those perfect ones who really don’t exist?

Credit: Public Domain
DOVE soap Ad. Credit: Public Domain

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we the public; the masses, so to speak are the beholders. If we keep buying this hype, they’ll keep selling it.

I got I new National Geographic today and I’ll be taking it to work, perhaps I will pass it around a bit…and while all this was going on I ran across this quote…online, not in THAT magazine…

“Step Away from the Mean Girls…
and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks.
Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.

This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Beauty is contained in the soul. Credit: Public Domain
Beauty is contained in the soul. Credit: Public Domain

Perhaps I’ll print it up and give it to my daughter…

Have a great day!

Strawberryindigo.

Baby You’re a Rich Man by The Beatles

You are Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Imperfection is beauty (jessiemarie19.wordpress.com)

La Beauty Myth (elomazotor.wordpress.com)

Scientists can detect if photos have been airbrushed or not (dailytelegraph.com.)

Emerald is the color of the year  (cbsnews.com)

Perservere

Credit: Public Domain
MT HOOD in Oregon. Credit: Public Domain

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
~Confucius

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Perseverance must begin somewhere…in a cold and dark room in the very early morning in the dead of winter. It is sharp with a hard edge, tempered by a million stings. Perseverance is tired but hears the shrill of the alarm in that damn biting cold and gets up anyway.

Perseverance doesn’t think. It doesn’t moan or complain. It just acts. It never questions, it does….and never under any excuses does it ever make excuses. It is strong, steadfast and true. It is a port in the storm and it can weather it all, from wind to rain and sleet and snow.  Perseverance can outlast any hurricane.

Perseverance is not easy.  It is hard-fought and not easily won.  It comes in fits and starts and twists and turns. At times it flows like the mighty Mississippi, at other times it drips and drips like a leaky tap. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all. It is when we feel low, when we are alone in the pitch black darkness…we shout and plead and scream “please help me!” and our pleas fall on deaf ears, no one comes to help and our despair only grows.  It as if we are at the end of a slippery rope, our hands bleed trying to hold on, we think we cannot hold on but somehow from seemingly nowhere we find the strength to hold on….

Perseverance is a broken foot that walks a million miles…it is a voice that sings a million songs. Perseverance is a heart that loves a million times over and is always ready to love once again.

You can fall a million times, a billion…Perseverance will get you back up…it always does and always will. Cling on to this miracle. Hold it in your hand and never let go and it will never let go of you…

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

Strawberryindigo.

Here Comes The Sun

Cloud- Here comes the sunce

There are people who love to complain.  These people find the worst in everything. To them the glass is not half empty, it’s completely empty. I’m sure you’ve met a few of these bewildered ones in your travels through life.   It can be difficult to be in a sunny mood around them. It’s as if they are standing under a perpetual rain cloud and being in close contact with them is like being drenched in a deluge. It’s no surprise these naysayers are making themselves unhealthy. Negative thinking causes changes in neurotransmitters in the brain and impacts heart health, the immune system and digestion, as well as a person’s overall risk of mortality.

Its dangerous and frankly damn unpleasant to be around such people. They are toxic and the poison they spread is just that…poison.

sun-in-blue-sky.jpg

“We’re in the money, the skies are sunny; old man depression, you are through, you done us wrong!”
~Al  Dubin

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On the other hand there are a precious few, the ones who are the polar opposite of those poor negative souls. These wonderful ones see each day as a brand new start and every struggle as an opportunity. These people see that same glass as completely full and these people are happy to share the contents.

These are a rare breed indeed, they spread their magic wherever they go and to be in their presence is to be walking on sunshine. I don’t have to tell you the world need more of these shining stars. They light our way, give hope and inspire us to do better, be better. They encourage us to shine just as brightly as they do. Think of them as true miracle workers and unlike the empty glass rain cloud people, these sunny supernovas are healthier and live longer and they like their counterparts spread their attitude to whomever they come in contact with. These people increase the health and well-being of those around them because positive thoughts and happiness is good for your health.  Think of positivity as an immunization shot against poor health. Optimistic people have lower levels of depression, a greater resistance to illnesses; from the common cold to cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. Positivity gives one better coping skills during the inevitable times of stress and hardships that come our way now and then.  Positivity increases our lifespan on the whole and life, simply put, is better.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I set out today, vowing to become more like a sunny bright spot instead of a torrential rain cloud, not just for me but for everyone else who crosses my path….and my challenge to you my friends (you knew I was heading for this didn’t you?) is to not only embrace this sunny philosophy, as you probably do anyway, but to fill the glasses of those who are on perpetual empty. Although they don’t know it, they need this and we as a society desperately do. Just imagine if this sort of thing would catch on…positivity is catchy…it’s downright infectious and it feels oh so good!

My cup runneth over…wishing you a splendid day from the sunny side of the street…

Strawberryindigo.

SUNRiderWaite

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

~Anne Frank

😀

***RELATED (YouTube) MUSIC***

Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles

The Sunny Side of the Street by Billie Holiday

😀

The Pursuit of Happiness: Characteristics of Happy People (psychcentral.com)

Positive Thinking  (mayoclinic.com)

Heal Thyself, Think Positive (newscientist.com)

Reframe pain (endoawareness.wordpress.com)

Coping Skills (myjourneywithdepression.wordpress.com)

HOPE Believes in YOU

Credit: SBI
Credit: SBI

“Life isn’t finding shelter in the storm.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” 
~Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hope awaits in the wings. It can be quiet and slow. Whatever unexpected thing that fate has in store for you will show itself in its own time. These things cannot be rushed. I know, I’ve tried. The trick is to be patient and keep busy and always, no matter how many time you fall flat on your face or how many times the cruel wind pushes you down, you must get up. Despite the taunts, the jeers, the doubts and the fears that may pop up in your mind, you must pull yourself up and face that cruel wind with a smirk, a smile, and a fight in your heart.

Sometimes life can be a vast ocean and we are only small vessels traversing through its choppy waters. You say to yourself: I am drowning and I can’t go on–I can’t take it anymore. The seas are too rough and too great and I am so small. You can see the stormy skies and you wonder how you can possibly hold on. You can hold on! Perseverance is holding on when you think you are about to let go…hold on for a minute more. Sometimes that’s all it takes, just a minute more and dawn will break. The ocean will be still and the sun will shine upon it and the world will be a glittering jewel once again.

Sometimes help comes in the most unexpected of places, in the strangest of forms. It is help nonetheless. Never give up, never stop trying. Hope can come in starts and fits. Hope can be a light at the end of a very long tunnel, a light so dim that you cannot see it but it is there. Keep moving, don’t stop dreaming. Keep going forward even if you have to crawl because the light is there, I promise you. I can see it and it burns as bright as the sun.

You are not alone in the dark. We are never truly alone. Reach out into the darkness and hope will be there lighting the way…You must believe in hope….because it believes in you.

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
~ Douglas Adams

BIG red heart

Share hope! (onenotalone.wordpress.com)

Hope’s Enemy – Adversity (hope4usnow.wordpress.com)

Hope Has Wings (hope4usnow.wordpress.com)

The Darkest Of Times (hope4usnow.wordpress.com)

Hope for Humanity (lovinggodinchaos.com)

Fresh Quotes: FEBRUARY SMILES

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

A smile is universal. It conveys happiness, warmth  and acceptance. A smile says I like you!   It is something we all can do and it’s easy to share. It is the gift that keeps giving and it’s free! Share it with a friend or neighbor, a spouse, co-worker or even a stranger. Smiling can improve your mood and it makes everyone look great.

Read the following quotes and just try not to crack even the tiniest of smiles….

I dare you!

Credit: Public Domain

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~Mother Teresa~

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“I WANT TO TOUCH THE WORLD AND MAKE IT SMILE.”
~Charles de Lint~

Marilyn Monroe's smile in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

~Marilyn Monroe~

smile 2 women in public domain friends
Credit: Public Domain

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Smiling Cat in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.”

~Andy Rooney~

Happiness Under His Feet in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

“I was smiling yesterday, I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow. Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.”
~Santosh Kalwar~

classic kiss credit pingnews under creative commons
Credit: Pingnews

“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”

~Mark Twain

Nancy Smiling
“When Irish Eyes are Smiling”

“Smiling is infectious, You can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, And I started smiling too.”

~Anonymous

😀

HAPPY February!

So put on your best smile and start a chain reaction of happiness and good cheer!

Strawberryindigo.

RELATED ARTICLE

Something I wrote last summer

The Smile Factor (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)