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)

The Neon Cheesy Dust of Self Importance

ego photo credit carolina engman in public domain
Say “CHEESE”

It all started with an idea. A grandiose crazy idea, some of which I am about to tell you, most of it I must keep to myself for now but suffice to say it will be my first big move into the fast paced grown-up world of freelance writing.

So I got this idea; a flash of brilliance that almost blinded my cat Mario. I was so excited by this that I started to jump up and down and instantly without thinking, I plunged my dainty hand straight into a bag of Doritos and started to consume it’s overly cheesy contents. I am a mom and I preach ad nauseam against this sort of activity but there I was munching away; my eyes ablaze waiting for MM to come through the door and then suddenly: there he was, and there I was, and then I just blurted it out: “I want you to be my manager.” I managed to stammer, eyes wide, mouth full of chips. “You’d do what you’re doing now except that you could call yourself my manager…of course, I couldn’t pay you” I added sheepishly.

As you may have guessed; he jumped at the chance!  So there we were jumping up and down like lunatics in the kitchen. By then Mario, my famous cat, had darted out of the room, but we didn’t care. We were hugging and I was getting neon cheesy dust on his back and I didn’t care and he didn’t know, but that’s OK–I do all the laundry. It was an amazing moment for both of us…

… It is also amazing how a person can pump themselves up with a basically unearned  and certainly at this moment in time, worthless highfalutin title. Just like that.  It is at these moments that I am proud to be an American!

american cheese public-domain-american-way-

And that reminds me…did you know that Americans are the most narcissistic people in the world? Well…I bet you knew that but did you know that I am NOT one of these narcissistic Americans?  HA!  I bet you didn’t know THAT! Yes, it’s true. I was a bit curious about the subject so I started reading a book on narcissism; its fascinating stuff. The book contains a short test which I took, and to my surprise and embarrassment; I scored pretty low…so low that I think I may suffer from low self-esteem with a shot of delusional over-thinking and obvious long-windedness. Apparently just thinking I may be narcissistic may disqualify me.  Well I guess I still have some work to do….

…but now I have a manager and a goal…it’s nothing to choke on your Dorito over, but it’s a start.

Wishing you a fantastic day full of big dreams and junky neon cheese!

Strawberryindigo.

DORITOS_NACHO_CHEESE__Flavored_Tortilla_Chips in public domain

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Narcissism Personality Disorder Traits (mayoclinic.com)

Narcissism Test (personality-testing.info)

How Narcissism Can Be Good for You (psychologytoday.com)

What’s Really In Nacho Cheese Doritos (eatthis.menshealth.com)

The Art of Ridiculousness

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”

 
~Dr. Seuss,    The Cat in the Hat

  fun Laughing_ChimpM

The art of ridiculousness?!  Yes, it is an art, and I try to practice it daily.  What is life if one cannot have a little fun? I didn’t always used to be this way. I used to take myself much too seriously but I learned that it made me too old for my time.  I was too worried about what others thought about me. As I age I’m realizing that for the most part most people are too self-absorbed to notice what anyone else is doing anyway.

At some point in our lives we are expected to stop the art of play. It is something we spent our whole childhoods perfecting. We are to put away childish things and join the adult world that takes everything so seriously. Whimsy and original thinking is, at best, frowned upon. It is as if on one fateful day, we look around and notice society is looking back with the look of distaste and expectant urgency “Now you’re one of us,”  it says, and our magical world is pushed into the back of a dark closet; never again to see the light of day.  People tend to think responsibility and whimsy cannot coexist, and work and fun are total opposites.  I beg to differ.

fun happy-laughing-people in public domain

There is much fun to be had in this world.  One needs an open mind and a mirthful heart to find it; having fun is healthy. Numerous studies have proven the health benefits of fun and laughter.

I think the rebel in us pushes back sometimes, at the wrong time and, in the wrong way.  We spend time, precious time, looking for that we have lost. The child inside of you is alive. Youth has not abandoned you: you have abandoned it. It is then…we not only grow up…we grow old.

Don’t grow old; embrace your inner child. I’ve met old nine-year olds and young ninety year olds…it’s all in the attitude. Don’t give up on that eternal playmate–he or she has not given up on you!

Wishing you a FUN filled day!

Strawberryindigo.

your inner child is having fun! by public domain

Life must be lived as play.
~Plato~

good news smiley-faces-1920x1080

Related Articles

FUN: “We are young” (youtube.com)

Play for adults  (hitchedmag.com)

Health Benefits of Having Fun: (stress.about.com)

The Importance of Play for adults (stress.about.com)

Perfection . . . is RIDICULOUS. (vicariouslythroughwords.wordpress.com)

A Heartfelt THANK YOU!

festive christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and I feel this is the perfect opportunity to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has liked my work, especially those of you who have graced my blog with your intelligent comments. Your feedback has been invaluable to me.

I am blessed to have such an amazing array of regular visitors from all over the world. I have learned so much from your wisdom and thoughtfulness. You have welcomed me with open arms and open minds and I am so fortunate to know you.

When I started this blog back in August of 2011 I was desperate and alone; friendless and misunderstood, you befriended and understood me. I have learned I can be myself here. That is very precious to me as I am a sensitive soul who has hidden this aspect of myself for as long as I can remember.

I had just learned of my Asperger’s and that set the tumblers in motion that has brought me here today: pouring my soul out in words that I wouldn’t dare to say to myself or even acknowledge, let alone write down for the whole world to see.

Because I hid from the world, alone in the shadows, afraid of everything…even people. Yes, I admit it here and now to you that most of my entire life I have been afraid of people; afraid to show my strange self to anyone, not even those closest to me.

I spent a good many years in an alcoholic daze “brave-facing” the world with a drunken defiant smile all the while hiding myself behind a hard steel wall of my own creation. It wasn’t until I discovered my Asperger’s that it finally dawned that I didn’t have to be alone anymore. This started my writing, first on a small blog on an Asperger’s website then a few months later in this blog. I choose the name “My Life in Color” because at the time I thought that I would write solely about my life on the spectrum to give others a chance to perhaps understand someone like me because I wanted/needed desperately to be understood.  I was ashamed of this and embarrassed that I didn’t have any real friends just drinking buddies who never knew me because I never let them. I never let anyone know me, even my own family.

It was the fear I hid behind: The fear of rejection, of ridicule, of others knowing what was really going on inside of me; how different I was. I hardly ever spoke to anyone.  I just kept writing in my little notebooks and reading and learning. Words were my friends, you see and I knew somewhere deep down in my buried heart that words would someday save me–if I would only have to courage to let those words see the light of day.

But I lacked the confidence, until only recently I had no confidence at all or courage or anything of merit.  I just existed and waited for what…I didn’t know, but I do know now. I waited for this; for a chance to be myself: hidden behind a facade of a fake name and the belief that no one would be reading my stuff anyway. The first month or so no one did, not many anyway, but one by one you came and you told me good things about me. You told me I was a good writer. You encouraged me.  You understood me and you didn’t laugh at me or make me feel small. I don’t know why, but you kept coming and reading and commenting. Some of you for everything I wrote–everything.  You didn’t mind that it sometimes takes me many days to return your comments. You didn’t mind if I didn’t make it to your sites all the time.  You just kept returning and as the months came and went some of you called me friend and then after a while I had to courage to call you friend because I’ve learned about friendship from you and this is spilling out into my offline life. I have the courage now; the courage to look others in the eye and smile and say “I’m really glad to see you” and really mean it. This is because of you my friends.  You saw something in me that I could never see before and I cannot truly convey how much I appreciate this.

This is like magic to me and now because of you and your kindness and acceptance of me I can finally see beyond myself to you and to others.  I have found that I am not so different after all and there are many people in the world who too are alone, even in a crowd as I was. There are a great many people who just want to be understood and to hear someone say ” I care and you matter”

It means so much to me when you say I’ve brightened your day or made you think or smile or even laugh. I didn’t know I could be funny. I didn’t know I could be anything or anyone at all.

You my friends have given me this gift and what a precious one it is, more valuable than gold and it is a gift that keeps on giving because if there is anything I do in this life it will be paying this gift back to anyone and everyone that needs it….and there are so many and I think really, sometimes we all do.

This desire goes beyond my dream to become a writer someday, this silly pipe dream to become the next J.K Rowling. That is nothing. Money is nothing. Notoriety is nothing. I am not alone anymore and that is something and that is because of you!

You have saved me and that is why I am thanking you.

nancy with caffeine another copy

Thank you my friends and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Nancy

Mario wishes you a happy hoilday too!
Mario wishes you a happy holiday too!

Streetmusic

Here I am in the middle of downtown Portland. The city is alive and pulsating with  creative energy and the streets are filled with happy people in a festive mood. I am one of those happy people walking in the fresh sunshine on a noticeably warm Saturday.

It is akin to a carnival atmosphere out here among the sounds of the many street musicians that have chosen this perfect day to brighten the streets with their colorful music.

I walk in time to the rhythm of the beat, jumping off one curb and onto the next. There is a man playing the buckets at the end of the block. He’s putting on a pretty good show and hamming it up for an another, obviously delighted man and his daughter. The man continues; snapping pic after pic of the Bucket Drummer as I pass by.

I head for what I call Portland’s Dysfunctional Living Room.

 If you want to find some strange very Portland events and meet some very Portland people, with a liberal smattering of bewildered tourists, visit Pioneer Square. (It also has a thriving Starbucks by the way, if anyone is interested)

Today a band of teens backed up by giant refrigerators are setting up for what I imagine will be very cool display of teen angst pop accompanied by huge containers of milk. I wish I could stay but I must move on. I make a mental note to return to the Starbucks on the corner later but now I have important business.

I am on my way to The Portland Farmers Market to take in the good food and the fantastic atmosphere under the late summer trees at Portland State University.

It is a lively place with lots of beautiful food and a vast array of impromptu concerts in the park to keep one entertained.

These guys played some wicked bluegrass and I had to stop and snap some shots. They had CD’s for sale, I silently wished them luck and headed towards the glorious food.

l enjoy perusing fresh healthy food out in the open air with lots of friendly people around. Add trees and music to the scene and I am as content as can be. There is something about fruits and vegetables in the sun: the way they smell. The colors can be intoxicating as well and I cannot help but be in a good mood by this.

There is music everywhere! In addition to the market stage there are at least half a dozen acts playing sweet music under the trees in this lovely park on this lovely day in late September.

lt was all good and made a pleasant day even so much more so. I decided at that point that even good things must come to an end, besides it was getting close to closing time and I was looking to mainline some caffeine. I made my way back to the Starbucks, I ordered a tall one and sat outside near the front steps on a bench facing Nordstrom.

I like to people watch and this is an excellent location. I just sat there and took in the atmosphere…

…I did not notice at first. It was as if he just suddenly appeared.  On an empty street corner in front of the Nordstrom and there he was: in a faded and rumpled raincoat, playing on a ragged double bass , strings askew, bow clutched tight. His hair; long, blonde and dirty hanging in matted clumps partially obscuring his face which seemed remarkably unlined. His eyes were closed in deep concentration; each note was deeply felt , I could see it on his face.

The music was beautiful. Funny, I don’t remember the tune. It was classical and I recall it being familiar but that’s all. I do remember the sound. It was clear and sharp and amazingly beautiful. I don’t know how he got such a delicate sound from such a shoddy instrument but he did.

A crowd had formed around him. Maybe 10 or 12 people, each person with the same awestruck look. On another day, each one of us would have passed him by, not giving a moment’s notice to the rumpled and forgotten man huddled behind the bus stop or in some shadowy forgotten doorway.Homeless, probably mentally ill and alone, he had this one gift. This wonderful gift of music. It was likely he didn’t have much else, but he had this one thing and there he was sharing it with whomever would listen.

He played for what seemed like several minutes then stopped abruptly. He never asked for spare change. He had no sign displayed or an empty musical case as many of the street performers had. He had nothing and he asked for nothing.  We watched in silence as he stood up, picked up his instrument and his rickety stool and slowly made his way up the street never once looking back.

I never thought to take his picture. I had been snapping them all day but for some reason I didn’t think to snap his. I guess I thought it would disrupt the moment, that I might have angered him and sent him into a rage. I don’t know. I sound like a chicken but I bet I echo what others were thinking.

“Stay away from the crazy homeless person.”

No matter how beautiful his music may be. No matter that he awestruck a small crowd across the street from Portland’s Living Room.  No matter how his melodies brought tears to my eyes. No matter. He was a crazy street person and I like everyone else will just try to stay out of his way and pretend that he’s no there. I feel bad for thinking this…

I finish my tall black coffee and head out the door. Another has taken the place of the raincoated man. Must be a prime spot.

The new guy seems much more approachable but has yet to draw a crowd. That does not stop him from playing his heart out. I am moved by his pluck, so much so that I gather up some of my own and strike up a conversation with him. Being a shy socially awkward wannabe writer this is amazing and I am rewarded with a story and a song.

Ryan has been playing on the streets of Portland for 2 weeks. He loves it here but is surprised and a bit daunted by the skill level and sheer numbers of his competition. He too has a CD for sale and a blog…this surprises me.  I guess everyone has one these days. If you want to visit Ryan his blog is 16-dollars-a-day.bogspot.com.

Strawberryindigo.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Berthold  Auerbach

You

HEY YOU!

Yes, you.

You know who you are.  You are the type to put yourself last in an endless array of somebody else’s.  Maybe it’s your family or a group of friends or co-workers, maybe its all of the above and then some.

I know you. You’ll say that you are needed and that you really enjoy what you are doing. This is true and it’s just like you to say that.  You might say that doing good has its own reward and to that I must wholeheartedly agree.  You make a lot of sense and definitely you are earning some major good karma points.  You certainly have earned my respect and the respect from many others.

You could even say that I am inspired by you……In all this there is no problem…

You deserve much praise for what you do. In that, again, there is no problem, everyone you know can see this, even if you yourself cannot.

In all that you see as important, in all that you do, how much of that importance is invested in yourself?

Because YOU ARE IMPORTANT!  You are unique. There is only one you……and you can’t be there for them unless you are there for you too.

Take the time for yourself once in a while. Do something you like to do.  Do nothing if that’s what you need. The important thing is that you do it, for you.

This is so important that they created a day especially for YOU.

 HAPPY   MOTHER’S   DAY!

Strawberryindigo.

Diary of a Mad Blogger: The Second Attempt

It has been nine months since I published my first post and joined this wonderful world of the real and the surreal: The Blogosphere. The experience has changed me quite profoundly.  My family has commented on this and with a little trepidation. I suppose it is because they are somewhat concerned with my mental health.

In fact they think me quite mad. They say I’m obsessed with blogging. They say I’ve lost my mind. 

Is this the eye of madness?

Am I mad?  You decide…..

  • I carry my camera wherever I go.  I will whip it out abruptly and snap pictures often of mundane things at strange angles. I will do what it takes to the right shot even crawling around on all fours, getting in someone’s bushes or just lying flat on my back on a neighbor’s lawn to get some sky shots.  I have developed no shame in these circumstances and luckily no one has yelled at me for sprawling out in their yard.
  • I look at the sky and wonder if it would make a good background.
  • “I can write about that” is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of the house.
  • I have 18 spiral notebooks each mostly filled with outlines, notes, quotes and half-baked ideas.

  • I feel strange if I don’t “check in” to my site for over 24 hours.
  • I have been wearing the same yellow shirt that makes me resemble the female Jack Hanna for the last 9 months.
  • I fantasize of being “liked”  by Matt Mullenweg.
  • I chat online with a fantastic assortment of highly artistic animals, people and objects with odd pseudonyms. I myself am called strawberryindigo.  I do get a bit of eye rolling around the house for that one.
  • I strut around like a newspaper tycoon; shouting out orders to the cat, keeping the print department up all night with last-minute changes and totally harassing my editor to the point where he won’t speak to me anymore.
  • I am considering having “Strawberryindigo.” cards made.
  • I am frequently found typing and laughing and swearing under my breath while consuming endless cups of hot caffeine.
  • I sometimes dream in WordPress and that my life is an endless post written in bold italics with accompanying pictures.
  • I will at times during the night wake up and start spontaneously giggling at an especially funny blog post I read earlier in the day.
  •  Two words: “The Forums”
  •  Fretting over the “Publishing Accident” earlier and looking like a complete idiot to 125 subscribers.
  • Doing all of the above and having a blast!

“There is a pleasure sure in being mad, which none but madmen know!”

**John Dryden**

Have a fun day!  🙂

Strawberryindigo.

The power of magical thinking

Imagine the future, I dare you to look the future right in the face.  Imagine yourself 10 years from now….try to imagine.  Pretend you are gazing into a mirror, what do you see?

Are you pleased or petrified?  Does the future you envision make you feel happy and secure or does your future vision scare the wits out of you? Just being a rational person in this crazy world is enough to scare the toughest of us. There is no shame in fear.  Most of us do fear the unknown and the future is jam-packed full of the unknown.  While we have no control over future events, we have power over how we deal with them.  We have control over ourselves, more than some people believe.

What it takes is belief and the rest is easy.

I call it Magical Thinking and it is powerful.

It has changed me personally, profoundly.  Where once I walked in darkness, I now sing proudly in the light.  I have found magic in this simple thing, this simple belief. 

But it is more than a belief, it is much more.   It is a way of looking at the world.  It gives you control over your own destiny because you have that control.  The key is to conquer yourself. That, I believe is the hardest thing anyone can do.

I have spent much of my life in the shadows; shy, withdrawn, silent and lonely.  My self-esteem hit rock bottom and my only solace lie in the cold unforgiving brown glass of a beer bottle. I had a dark night of the soul, well… quite a number of them.  I looked at myself objectively for the first time and I couldn’t stand the sight of me.  How had I fallen so low?  More importantly, how do I crawl my way out?  I had all the reason in the world because by then I had 2 small kids and they needed me.

I needed to be strong for them. For the first time in my life I had to be strong for someone else even when I couldn’t be strong for myself.  I had no one to help me and so I began to help myself.  

I started slow.  I started to tell myself good things about me, even when I had to make things up.  I would set up little challenges for myself and then I would literally pat me on the back for a job well done.  I consumed the knowledge of a growing pile of books. I filled in some gaps and smoothed out my rough edges. 

You are stronger than you think.

I convinced myself of my self-worth and I started to actually like me for the first time ever.  The magical thinking continued.  I finally quit a twenty year drinking habit.  I became more confident and more capable all the while telling myself “Yes, you can.” The more and more I believed the stronger I became.

I started to meditate and through visualization I found that I had more control over my life than I ever thought possible.  I found that often in life you get what you expect and positive thinking can go a long way.  It is we who shape our future by what we are today.  We are all connected and we influence each other enormously.  A kind word or deed may come back to you in ways you’d never imagine.

It is magic and it is ready for the taking. All you need to do is believe. The more you practice it, the easier it gets and the more effective it becomes.  

  I believe that words can hold magic, the following words are a perfect example…..

“Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi *******************

Have a magical day!     Strawberryindigo.