Saturday, November 2, 2013

Silly Dinosaur Might I Be (Musing) (please edit by commenting! Disjointed so far.)

I've been called an old soul.

I've been caught calm in situations where I should be alarmed. I've walked with strangers and plunged into oceans and bottles alike. Maybe just once or twice. 

Let me explain.

I'm 21, and headed to a party, of volleyball women hosting, and men shorter and posing. The only thing for which I was unprepared, was that I suddenly had little man complex, come out of nowhere.

I arrive to this party, cute as 21 can be, with my eyes robed in color as curtains, and my hair done naturally. I'm wearing leather pants, and a purple crop top. I'm accompanied by my male buddies, who before getting me, made only one stop.

They grabbed a 1/5th of something toasty, and headed out to get me. We arrive, them holding my hands, and ready to party. I head in first, followed by my friends. However, the problem I fast realize is that I feel short, and for this I'm not happy. I'm looking up to everyone I see.

My boyfriend, he looks at me, and he knows it's time to go. When I was younger, I used to think that maybe I could break my legs a couple of times, just so that I could grow taller, and look more the part of the athletic side that was me. We head out the door. Hand me that bottle, I say, I'm thirsty.

I gave up that dream of tallness and grace; when I realized I wouldn't heal completely by breaking my bones, it's not practical, and long-distance runners are smaller in stature and not tall, generally.

Suddenly, Im 28, and I've just moved to LA. I'm starting over after moving from Palm Desert, quite spontaneously. 

Now real quickly, here's a synopsis of 3 years, living life silly. In the meantime, I've never been seriously hurt, or concerned for my safety, and I don't watch t.v. What kind of world did I live in where I don't watch t.v.? Because I'm not ruled by what I'm 'supposed to be', and upon hearing I don't participate in strip-clubs or drugs, I'm made out to be a dinosaur, by whomever I meet. I'm an old-fashioned girl who dresses quite fashionably. I move about in a word, where I live eyes closed to danger, and do so happily.

I drift around LA, looking for fun. I'm in front of a restaurant, staring aimlessly, contemplating if this is the place to be. A limo drives up, crazy enough, and asks me where I'm going. He asks me, 'do you need help? Where are you trying to go?" I say I'm new to Los Angeles and I have no idea what to do. He graciously offers me a ride to the Standard Hotel, where he says, no charge, he'll take me, and get me in so that I can see. It's the hippest place in LA, and for a girl like me, it's the place to be.

I go, with the limo driver, who takes me on an adventure, to play at place I've never been. He pulls over, talks to the gatekeepers, and they place a band on my arm, and lead me to the party. It's an amazing party, and I notice everyone's dressed up, in contrast to me.  I'm wearing jeans, a nice sweater, and Diesel  "tennies". 

Wow! How exciting!

A couple hours later I'm walking into mid-downtown to find my car, wherever it may be. I have to check the meter, and then decide how to find the next amazing thing I might see. As I hop out of my car, I'm greeted by two rather proper guys my age, who ask me where I'm going. I say that I actually have no idea, and they invite me to a birthday party, invite only, at the Edison. I say, why not, and skip my way with them to this party. It's a blast! I see fairies and hear of absinthe, and many things that are new to me. Then they offer for me to come to Pasadena and they can drive me to get my car in the morning. I actually go, and my suitor, he's a  perfect gentlemen, while I get a perfect night's sleep! On his wall are action figures, shape-shifters, and fantasies. Oh, and he does bring me back in the morning. Then, upon arriving to my temporary home, my very good friend is worried for me. He's both amazed at my fearlessness and yet warns me. Be careful out there. You live like nothing bad's ever happened, and while it may be okay right now, it's probably because, well you're quite innocent and they can see. You're lucky, that you get away safely, all while being quite silly.

I once was a silly dinosaur. So now, what might I be?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm not a Cat. Are you a Cat? (Musing)

Musing about felines.

They say cats are like dogs. No, that's not what they say.

Cat's are finicky. Cats are particular about who they like. The plural they, walking amongst others they may or may not know, ready to strike if they like.

The cats, they like when you feed them, and they might like when you pet them, today. They might also scratch you if you pet them on a day they don't like to be pet. They also (generally speaking, mind you), are quite indifferent towards you, when you don't do what they like. If that cat was bigger, it would eat you, rather than waiting to be fed.

They say cats are like women, or women are like cats.

I know dogs operate differently.
They like you if you're nice. They're loyal if they have reason to be.
Sometimes they like everyone who comes by, because that's just who they are.
They're pretty stable as far as mood, unless you really push their buttons (yea, the big red button in plain sight!).

They say women are cats, and men are dogs.

Who's they?

I'm not a cat.

Are you a cat? If you want to, you can make friends with dogs.

What kind of cat are you?

I'm not a cat.
Does this invariably make me a dog?

Are people animals, and are genders that easily defined?

I think not.

Although, I don't understand cats, and I love my pup!

I'm not a cat person, but if you're a cat, you can change my mind.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


What is discipleship?

Is it following a leader in whose teachings you believe or with which you are in agreement? Is it emulating the leader of whom you are the disciple?  What does emulating their ways, their actions, their way of thinking look like?

If you emulate a leader, then you aim to think like that leader, as if you were them, moving the way they moved, as if it were you that believed what they do (it would be you believing). Wouldn't you then believe what they say, since you would (ideally) say the same? Would you repeat the words and have the mindset of a leader who is misguided, misleads others, speaks untruths, and has a god-complex? Hopefully not.

I think what this means is that an individual has one choice, whether to believe, when it comes to Jesus in particular. If he's a great leader, a visionary, a good man; if one leaves it at that, and concludes he's not the son of God (one in purpose, thus one in mindset; God & his will in fleshly form, with and of his purpose), then he must be a false teacher or witness. If he claims he is essentially one with God (because he lives his purpose and he has his mindset - he emulates his essence), and if it's not true, then there's no point in believing the other things he says. Why choose to believe parts of what a liar teaches?

Jesus was a great leader, a compassionate man, and an amazing & pure example of how to love; he lived life showing us how to love others, and how to live life while honoring God. Even those scholars who don't believe in Jesus as more than a man, and/or don't believe in God (or they aren't sure), they believe in Jesus' legitimate existence based in historical fact. This is because Jesus, like all other historical figures, leaves behind witnesses and places that fit into the timeline he was there. This is the same as others who's lives are recorded.

So, because he existed, then I think it's worth examining what he said, and deciding whether he lives a good life, one of an honest person. Whether the fruit that he bore was good, and according to his teachings. I think it's worth deciding, whether he's teaching truth or lies.

Then, if he's truthful, if one judges his life to be good and noble, then what did he say?
If we believe what he said, and how he lived to be good, and we want to live like him, then we must also learn to think like him. This brings us to a place, where we examine ourselves, what we believe, what we want to believe, and what inevitably we must believe if we believe him.

If we decide his life is worth following, and his attitude worth emulating, then we are his disciples. Teaching his ways is part of discipleship; living his life is part of being his discipleship.

Discipleship today looks like a person living a life that looks the life Jesus would live in todays world. I don't know many of us who can do that every day. But I do know it's worth doing our best, and aspiring to it. I do know that being his disciple means standing out, being different, and realizing that he offers simply a better way of doing things. He does this in a way that welcomes others, doesn't alienate them, gently corrects and shows what's good and better. He does this not by beating others down, or telling them they're bad, but by being different and living different, and inviting them to join him.

Discipleship is living in today's world, and doing it differently. Loving others, and never stopping.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family is for fun, and friends are forever.

Maybe it's not true, but it'd be an interesting approach. What if we treated our family (and closest friends) like we didn't necessarily just expect them to be there forever? What if we treated our friends or our acquaintances like they mattered; like they weren't just convenient or only good for fun. What if...when we related to our families, engaging with them just for fun, it changed the dynamic?

Try it out on a stranger. It might be easier, safer, when no one you know is watching. When you're not as vulnerable to the feelings that a close one can bring out, upon their impending rejection of you (or your thoughts or ideas).

Wait for someone to walk by, and then say hello. Now say hello, to the next person, and the next, until you count 20 people. Did it change you, even for a minute? (You thought it would be about their reaction, didn't you?) What did it do for you, inside you?

The next task might be only for those a bit more brave. Come on, you're brave!
Stand in the same place, or pick somewhere new. It doesn't matter. Tell people to have a wonderful day. Smile at them. Keep smiling, even if they look at you funny. Do that with 20 people again.

How do you feel?
Experience your feelings.
Think about them, and where your confidence comes from, or where it is not present.
Would only their responses change your feelings, or can you change them, by perceiving things differently. Think about the different thoughts you might have, or prejudgments, about why someone might be saying hello to you, if the roles were reversed, If you were the passerby.

Lastly, pick a place to sit; a public place.
Talk to one random person. Say hello. Ask them how they are. Find something nice to say, something encouraging or complimentary (if it's true).
Take note of how they react. Take note of how you react.

Go home (or to your immediate family member's home). Ask them how they are. Say hello. Say something encouraging. Show up just to have fun. Go somewhere. Listen. Laugh. Treat them like friends. Maybe they'll be fun.

Go to your friends. Pick a few, with good hearts; maybe ones you haven't been close to, but have fun with. Tell them they matter. Ask how they are. Find something nice to say. Maybe they'll be family forever.

Go to a stranger. Ask them how they are. Tell them they're worth something. Find something nice to say. (Rescue Missions, Retirement Homes, Orphanages, Cancer Hospitals - these are great places to find these people.) Maybe these people will become friends.
(*Caveat: sometimes this invites insult or injury. Don't let a few bad seeds get you to throw away the whole fruit.)

How are you feeling? I hope we can become friends. I know you're worth something, and I hope you have people who tell you so. If not, start with telling them. Sometimes breaking the ice is the hardest thing.

Good luck!!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'm late, I'm sorry, and I'm sorry I'm late.

Life is full of expectations, and I'm one of my biggest expectants. I expect myself to deliver the goods, get the 'stuff' done, and to do it happily. I have hopes for doing it on time, even though it'd be a miracle to not get behind, or even to get everything on this list done today (at least in the time allotted). Somewhere between this and that; somewhere between stopping to say hello (and staying an extra hour just to add a smile to someone's day), and getting to the gym, came an opportunity to stop by and grab that certain lovely thing that is finally on sale! Oh, and I've been waiting for what,  ever(?!) to stop by the farmers market, and there it is. Trying to fit in that extra small task somewhere after getting my career work done, working out, making dinner, phoning a friend a need, working on my individual business goals, and getting some writing done. Then ultimately, I'm saying sorry to myself for one of the chores that must be prioritized for another day. Or I'm sorry I just couldn't do it that happily.

Sorry. Sometimes, I'm know it's late, but I'm happy just for getting it done. Some other times,  I'm just saying sorry, that in fact I am late.

Is this really a problem, if I know that in order to get as much done as I can, that sometimes I'm late (with my tasks that don't fall into the work realm)? Or does it really mean I try to fit too many things into a day? I don't even have kiddos yet, and I can only imagine that I may have to divide my list up across the days in order to make it happen; the kids might not really be happy if I'm often times late.

This blog is late (according to my own expectation of what my frequency in publishing would be), but guess what; it's late and I'm still doing it.

I think that sometimes, you have to take what you can give. You have to give what you have.

While it's beneficial to practice making realistic goals, sometimes the greatest things happen when you're not realistic; when you're a dreamer! As long as I'm not too busy being sorry, why not try for as much as my day can handle (knowing my limits, and not expecting the impossible, but hoping for it!)? Why not make two lists, one that has time constraints (business or professionally related), to fit in today, and one that belongs to tomorrow. Or the Hope List?! Then I can aim for the best, and Hope for the rest!

Practically speaking, I will admit, I've divided my days into musts, and should, and can. I have my list. But don't think I'm not aiming for more than today! I encourage all of you to make your lists, and prioritize them, and then aim for more (within reason).

I have so may things on this list. Things I need to get done. Things I really want to get done, and things I know may take me longer than I wish. But, I have goals, and I'm plugging away one by one. I have my check boxes, but sometimes they're dashes. I know that I can write this contract, and set up the review in two weeks. I know I can write this blog entry and leave it in draft. I know I can even publish the draft before I come back to edit. Because for me, getting it written is half my goal, and it's one part of it off my list. The writing is the must. The editing is a nice to have. :)

At the least, I'm emptying the page, because there's some big stuff on this continuing page! It's not just tasks, it's bigger goals broken into mini-goals, and even bigger goals than that! I think the process of writing it down, building the plan, and managing your time (for the most part [wink]), gets you used to the process and prepared for the work. Each time you accomplish the mini goals, you come closer and more practiced.
Each time I get something done, I have one item less, and am one item closer to my bigger list. If you haven't yet, try it!

Maybe one day, I won't be sorry, nor will I be late. Instead of saying I'm sorry that I'm late, I'll just be...happy and on time. That's a goal for a later date! For now, I'm happy with -  happy I'm complete. :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Caress you. Caress me.

with words of love and wisdom
at least that's how it's supposed to be

we're brought together here
to help each other thrive
yet when we think to get ahead
empathy takes a nose-dive

when did it become a race
to see if we can win
making sure others fail is futile
yet humanity does is again and again

pick a foe and pick a winner
you're bound to pick one side
but what happens when we pick both
could we allow everyone to thrive

why does being successful
mean hurting someone else
why must another have to fall
to rise above one's self

i'm just a girl with notions
of rising to my unique 'top'
and while i do so quietly
i'll make sure to stop

stop to help another rise with me
i'll push the limit with indignity
to help two of us together find
the wealth of dreams that is infinity

i say they're wrong
there is glory in helping, says me
so if helping is a criminal act
let us be made villains happily

if caressing means passing on words
or helping with one's hands
i caress you;  you caress me
and the world misunderstands

they misunderstand: that happiness isn't only found
in pursuing it for oneself
it can also be discovered when
you see it form on the face of someone else.

(TBD on editing until later. although, so are the rest of these blogs. i know it's rough, but better than none?? okay, that's debatable. anyway - it is what it is, and probably, again, what it's not.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Random thoughts for the day, not quite every day.


We hand down our legacies to generations beyond us. We are the legacy handed to us. Unless...we change it. Think about that the next time something comes out by impulse. Where did that pulse come from, was it given to you, and do you want  that to pulse right into the next generation? If yes, keep it going. If not, seek out change (read more about changing habits in the blog a few months ago); this takes an intentional effort, based on habits, through repetition, for most. It's worth it; believe me. Make your legacy something new! It's worth fighting for! x

If you want to experience joy, be joyful. If you want to experience love, be loving to others. If you want to experience ugliness, be ugly to others. If you want to see what pureness of heart looks like, ask God to clean up your heart. 
I've seen a light shine from within someone, when I didn't know them. I asked if they were a believer, randomly and upfront. They said yes. I yearn to be have the light that shines in me, so that it can be seen by others. I have a ways to go. Kudos to those two people, random strangers, who showed me it's possible, not by words, but by attitude. That's an amazing thing, so see that light!


Beauty skin deep only lasts a while. Beauty inside the person, the soul, character - that can last forever. What's more important to you? Quality or fluffery (i'm making that word up)? Value the one most that you see most beneficial to others (and your own self-worth), and one of which it's possible you can keep. The other is just a "nice-to-have" temporary extra. A quality among a myriad of human qualities, but a fleeting one at best. (It comes with it's own benefits, but it's own repercussions too. :( That's just my humble opinion.

What someone does wrong isn't necessarily all of who they are; it's what they do wrong. If we encourage what they do right, will it encourage who they are to become???

Is being nice to ones friend really being nice? I think it says more about whether you're really nice, if it isn't in reciprocity.

Have you heard "eat rocks'? Did you know some dogs actually do eat rocks, and when someone says that, they mean to imply the recipient is stupid or wrong? I've found most often that those "go eat rocks" message carriers are often the ones who consume too many rocks themselves. That's why they use the term. :)
(For the sake of funny....see:


They say to 'keep your eye on the prize'. Well, I say "keep one eye on the prize, and have the other stay on the lookout for road bumps along the way".

Why try to be good? That's like trying to swim...from a shark. Probably best to settle on will or won't. Trying won't get you there. Trying is good for when you have a chance to 'try again'.
(It's okay to mess up sometimes, but get back on it, as something you're doing, not 'trying'...)

Ever wonder why people use "have your cake & eat it too"? Of course i can have it and eat it! It's cake. It really should be 'KEEP your cake & eat it too' - since that's what it really means - you can't hold onto a good thing (cherish it) and at the same time use it all up - the best of both...

Ever wonder what your dog thinks when he watches your seems-to-be-habit of searching for his poo & collecting it?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slap me in the face, or just give me a kiss.

I think it may be kind of American to think shouting out love from the rooftops, displaying it at times, and so on, makes it grow bigger & crazier. 

[Crazy can be fun!] 

Also, I'm partial to the idea that it can be universal for members of a society to be critical of other individuals or groups at times. Yet, one must be careful that one does't product too much criticism, lest one will produce a critical spirit within their self. 

Maybe it's good to be careful that the hand that judges others doesn't come back and judge you conversely by the same standard. (Ex: He's insecure in love or he wouldn't have to display his love. Conversely: He's insecure in himself, in what he thinks or feels, in what others think; otherwise he wouldn't be afraid to show his love.) Usually the balance is found somewhere in the middle. Me personally, I go with how I feel in the moment (if it's positive, otherwise I deliberate & rationalize first) & whatever [reasonable] urge i have to express it; with emotion - as long as there's a time & a place that isn't ghastly inappropriate, why not?

...but I'm typically reserved when it comes to certain things, unless feeling others' pain or when I'm simply elated (I'm not shy when it comes to being amped, encouraging people, loving life, or defending principles!). Then occasionally, I have random displays of affection or elation (happiness, joy, excitement, righteous indignation in someone's defense)... I don't really worry one way or another what anyone thinks. (Showing too much love? So. Showing nothing? So.)

Me personally, I don't prefer to witness over the top negative emotions (or be in involved with them), and while I may think it's cute to be kinda cuddly and cheesy, I don't actually watch others' moments of admiration (but don't let it bother me either). You never know if some outward display is either: for a reason, from the heart, all the time, a rarity...etc. Why hold a firm judgement against it? Just live, & love; take it lightly. 

Sometimes our cultural perspectives affect how we perceive and process meaning for what we see. Sometimes what we see has been precipitated by events in others' lives (death, missed opportunities, previous expressions of another person's preferences) that have cause them to live for today; personally, I prefer to express love or affection before it's too late. 

Sometimes...the most amazing thing comes from doing it different; taking an unusual path in a very usual day. Sometimes, the way to create or experience something new & lovely is to BE someone new and lovely (even for the day), just every so often. To throw caution to the wind, do whatever you wouldn't do usually, and change things up. You never know what might happen; and you might like whatever it is that does.

Just food for thought. 

{Disclaimer: I'm definitely not saying that severe need in oneself or demands by others for severe expression aren't signs of a problem. I'm simply saying it's okay to mix things up. ;-p }

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Control Anger by Recognizing Triggers

This blog links in from Trick Your Brain , and is one part of what I've called START.
If your goal is to stop resorting to explosive anger, this part of START relates to Triggers, for the habit of explosive anger. Please read blog Trick Your Brain to know more about START. Here I cover one aspect, being Triggers, and tie it to communication.

Maybe the reaction is anger. Responding immediately, or allowing your body's physiological responses to dictate your actions, can lead to serious ramifications. Get to really know your body. What happens right before you explode? Does your body get hot, does your face flush,  your fists ball, jaw clench, voice rise, breathing slow or pause, etc.? What can you recognize right before it comes on, and how can you channel it or express it before it happens? Can you pause, and ask a question, have someone rephrase, seek clarification, walk away, wait to speak until you're calm, postpone the feelings until you have an outlet that can be beneficial...?
Anger doesn't have to be explosive; it can be harnessed and expressed constructively. It's not others making you angry; anger is what happens inside you and is expressed by you, in response to something you don't like or of which you are opposed. Responding in anger is something different from the feeling of anger. Responding in anger is your independent, learned expression of the way you tend to handle anger. Anger is often times a secondary emotion that relates to a primary emotion - anger comes from initial feelings of fear, jealousy, hurt, confusion, frustration, etc. With frequent practice and inflection, it IS possible to identify the base feelings one has, to better equip them to handle these feelings before it turns to anger. Example, your friend or family member tells you something you find hurtful, and you get "angry". What was the real emotion? Hurt. It could also be pride that was involved, and got hurt. You felt "hurt" because they matter to you, their opinion matters, and you probably didn't like how you felt about yourself from the comment (especially if it was true). So, the hurt, not being expressed directly, turns to anger instead, and explosive responses (it's also possible to insert passive aggression here, which we can talk about later, or in a question/response area after the blog, or in email ( feel free to email me here: for lifestyle coaching or simple advice/feedback/constructive criticism or ideas).

To express hurt, children cry. Because we don't feel comfortable crying and this doesn't seem to be a social behavior that is acceptable, strong, beneficial at most times, we get angry. However, crying isn't the only way, and either is explosive anger. Even if angry, we can take a time-out until thinking clearly, or pause and ask a question to make sure the message we received was indeed the message that the other person intended to send. Very often, the intended message wasn't the same as the message that was received. Many times context, schema, common threads from the past, body language, tone, preconceptions, etc. influence how one hears a message. It can help a lot to learn to identify and articulate your initial, primary/base feelings to the other person. This can prevent anger, or channel it, and leave the ball in the court of the sender.

*Your frame of reference that you bring to the table based on connected and preconceived thoughts or patterns of behavior is your own schema. These schemas can impact the way you perceive things that happen that contain commonalities or familiarity to another incident you've experienced (and produce triggers). They create a framework for your world or the world around you that impacts how you synthesize (organize, receive, interpret) information in new circumstances (or repeat incidences).  In other words, people are most likely going to affirm things that fit their schema and re-interpret or assign their own meaning to new things, according to their personal schema. Most often, they are unaware of this, unless they consciously gauge each new knowledge or occurrence from a clean lens (if in addition to their own). Usually, if there are contradictions to our schema, we have a tendency to distort what's happening or why it's happening, to make the explanation or information fit the way we already see things. This is so important to understand when being a sender or receiver of communication, and when feelings arise.

Lastly, with anger for example, to create a new trigger, recognize the physiological responses associated with anger, and build new habits - of breathing, pausing, asking questions... :)

To read more on communication (ties into triggers for anger):

Opening Statements - The psychology of non-verbal Communication
Psychology of Verbal Communication
Communication Effectiveness
Skills You Need: Verbal Communication
Communication 101 For Everyone - Sending & Receiving

(Some of these resources may support my theories, while others just add to them.)

Trick Your Brian: Form a Desirable Habit or Accomplish Your Unrealized Goals

(FIRST initial DRAFT here. Revisions later. Just getting it out here...)

I think I may coin it START.


Set yourself up to succeed on goal at a time. Make them a part of the bigger goal. Make sure they are achievable in smaller spaces of time. When you get to the last one, the bigger one, that you'd like to keep up, you'll already see how far you've come, all that you've done to ensure your goal comes realization, you won't want to scrap the whole lot of these accomplishments! Make it worth it! Once you get there, you should know that you can do it again, and again, and again.
If you want to go back to school, for example, to get a new degree, don't just have this as your next goal. Break it down into smaller steps on the way to getting back to school. What does this goal entail? It's possible you may have to plan for a bigger savings account or nest egg to help you go through school or look into financial programs to aide the endeavor (ie. gov. loans). You may have to plan daycare or the right timeframe (when kids get school-age and won't need childcare arrangements during the day). You might discover a smaller goal would be organizing your time efficiently for all the activities in your life, and freeing up time. Maybe even starting one class first, to see how well you do at juggling time, so that you can have a mini-success to bounce off, before setting yourself up for the bigger, full-time goal. It may be that going back to school even means one class at a time, until you've completed all your classes.


If you have an undesirable habit you'd like to break (like smoking, cussing, procrastinating, getting angry prematurely, other substance abuse, gossiping [girls!] etc.), and yet all the good intentions can't get you there, it may be best to analyze what happens right before the undesirable habit/reflex you'd like to break. Usually there are warning signs or triggers that are associated with the adverse reaction or proaction.
For example, if you're a gossiper, maybe the first thing you do is get excited or a thrill when you hear a story about someone, or maybe you think something negative. Maybe it would help to begin practicing, immediately following some story you've heard second-hand, saying something kind about the person. Maybe it's walking away, or saying nothing.
Maybe the vice is smoking. Is it reasonable to expect yourself, merely on willpower or intention alone, to eradicate a chemical dependence or addiction? It can be very beneficial to identify triggers that signal your body to smoke, and replace these triggers with those positive triggers you can associate with smoking. So, if walking into a bar, or drinking, gets you hankering for a cigarette, try smelling fragrant oils or possibly a dirty rag. Do this every time in place of the cigarette smoking. Or try reflecting on what life will be like smelling good, and being active, and breathing nice air (both yourself and your partner) after a nice cruise on the ocean. Picture the place you want to be, and how you want to feel, every time you think, "I want to smoke." Create a new trigger, in the place of the usual time or location you want to smoke. After a few weeks, it can also forge an association to this urge. Maybe you'll even pick up a new-found hobby on the way, like meditating or taking a walk when you used to smoke.
Lastly, if certain work breaks inhibit your self-control, create a new place for breaks, that are smoke-free.

Maybe the reaction is anger. If so, here's more about how anger can be connected to a trigger. If controlling anger is your goal, read here: Control Anger by Recognizing Triggers

Advance (Planning).

Do things in advance! Planning for success enables you to succeed. If you want to get better at working out in the morning, for example, set your clothes out the night before so they're right there for you to see when you wakeup. If your work group goes out a lot after work, then you will have to consider this and make a time slot that you will realistically be able to fit in a workout. This may mean working out in the morning before work, taking workout gear to work and running home, working out before you go to dinner, or eating light so that you can workout on your way home.


The key to successful learning and implementation is repetition. The same way one forms a habit they want to break, they can form a habit they want to keep. Practice and repeat. Do it again, and again, until it becomes second nature.


If you tend to do better with encouragement, or you like to be held accountable, tell your closest friends. Hearing words of encouragement can help you when you're low. However, some people tend to satisfy part of the urge and satiate their own drive, by hearing these words of praise. If that tends to be you, wait until you accomplish something to start telling everyone about your goal. Make sure it happens in order to feel better about it, rather than getting the fix (of self-praise, others' praise, emotional satisfaction) without actually putting forth the effort or putting in the work.
If you're someone who actually follows-through and does better when you tell others, it's most likely because that created expectation or accountability. In that case, have friends hold you accountable, ask questions, or challenge you.

Most of all, Tell Yourself! Tell yourself why you want it, why it's important, what you'll feel like when you accomplish the goal, and how to do it. Tell yourself by reading out what you have committed to, after you've written it down. Tell yourself by saying it out loud. Tell yourself by giving yourself reminders on your phone, post-it-notes, etc. Tell yourself by creating mini-successes to achieve along the way, and think up some reward that you can receive, and thus tell yourself you've gone part way.

Telling others how you did it, what you learned, and how they can do it! Knowledge is power, and it feels good to enable others, and see them succeed! A world full of satisfied, successful, happy people would look a lot better than a world with a lot of people without knowledge or tools!

You can even tell your creator, the desires of your heart. Telling in itself can be asking, for help and open doors along the way.

Additional Tips:

Don't give up! If it isn't realistic, revise!
Give it time!
Be positive! (You should always spend more time on what's right in life than what's wrong. Yet, it's very important to analyze what's going wrong or what we can improve, but then focus on the how - the positive direction.)
Involve others!
Pass it on! Let others hear encouraging words or information, that may better them the way it has you. Additionally, passing it on and seeing someone else succeed can often encourage our own selves to succeed.

My After-thoughts: 

(I really hope it's taken in stride, and as it is intended; in humility and earnest. I don't want this to be a message that's perceived with..."duh", "she thinks she knows", "she thinks it's easy"...I want it to be one that's responded to with, "she cares", she's not quite there, but I can take something from this", "she likes helping", "speaks from experience", "helpful", "I think I want to know more"...

with best intentions,


P.S. An interesting blog about happiness can be found here: 10-scientifically-proven-ways-to-make-yourself-happier

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Some Like It Loud

Music moves and Dance inspires. 
(although this isn't the band i reference below, i happen to love this song by Temper Trap!)

it's been a while since i've been to a concert. this one, while not the most recent concert i've enjoyed, is one that i thought was quite fun. it was impromptu; we (my friend & i) managed to conjure up some sort of plan to get my other friends to go out with us and what we would do, and we wanted to snag some last minute tickets. we found them online, scored two sets of general admission tickets to Ghostland Observatory, and then decided to meet up at Second Bar & Kitchen in Austin, TX. it's a fantastic place for food and drinks, and we all loved it! 
this was over a year ago, but i'm recalling it now, remembering fondly how we liked the music, the lights, the sound. it was loud, and we liked it loud. 
see mostly, i listen to music a bit below my volume threshold. but when i'm at a concert, sometimes i'm inspired to listen things in a different way. yet this isn't the only thing that the music can inspire.
music inspires people to write songs, stories, poems; inspires others to paint, or create, or destroy. music inspires us to form new memories, reminisce on old times passed by, and gives us resolve to never think about some things again. memories can inspire us to dance, remember current or past love, and even start to love again. Ghostland Observatory just may have, in the moment, inspired me to start a new dance, move to a rhythm once again that i move to not often enough. this music, for this night- with its pulsing and lights, with its voice and its beat - created a space to be free. and right then, that was just the melody to fill a certain need.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Anthony Weiner - Keep That To Yourself

So, you actually did send lewd messages and illicit pictures of yourself to a multitude of women, and then run for mayor, expecting that the people of New York City will vote for you to represent them?


Wait, and you're married?

I'd say, this leads to the question ''why?'' that is part of a larger question, one that envelops the issue of responsibility and accountability.

Firstly, if you expect to run for political office (or any type of leadership/teacher/etc. position), you are, sorry to say, held to a much higher standard of conduct and behavior than ordinary individuals. This means, those leading our society are more accountable for their actions and held to that. With power comes responsibility. 

Second, some might say, "who cares what you do with your time, or in your personal life." Well in response, one could more reasonably say, "When did it become okay to essentially flaunt oneself in public display, and bombard others with things they may not be okay with seeing? When did it become okay to send unwarranted, unwelcome pictures to someone and thus harass them?" For some, this could mean seeing things they've never voluntarily seen. People are already exposed to images even in public they may not want. Sending them right to someone is putting their wants second to yours. Get permission first! (Maybe get permission from your Wife as well! I'm sure she's not happy about this, seeing as how she left you once already when it was discovered you've done this before and you had to resign from Congress for doing the Same things!)."

Now, while we must not judge people without first judging ourselves, we Can expect certain accountability; we can also judge continued Actions,  if not the person. While I'm sure there are other qualities that may be redeeming about you, really? IF you're okay with being a married man who essentially is disloyal to your wife, and gets sexual satisfaction in the dark from other women or interactions with other women: You're not Trustworthy. That transfers, no doubt, into any area where you might not want to perform as you're expected to (say, political office), if you don't want to. You can't be trusted to do what's right in either realm, and hold yourself to a higher standard. You're not even presenting a case of being ashamed or regretful. Well, how can you be? This isn't the first time, and once discovered, you have not been moved to change. This is After already resigning from office (Congress) and now running for office again (and repeating the behavior). People forgive mistakes, or wrongs done, and if there's true repentance, then it's a lesson learned. However, given the case, you have seemed to go on seemingly not remorseful. Yet this world has so many others conducting themselves in a likewise manner, unfortunately (hurting others to no regret).

To conclude, I suggest counseling! It is selfish behavior, to worship your own wants and desires, thus neglecting the oath you made to your wife. What then stops you from doing the same with the people of NYC?! If you have no problem denying basic respect and honor to the person you supposedly love most, then what would prevent you from denying the same to your citizens that you would represent?! I say no. You didn't make a mistake and stop. You continue. Furthermore, you don't think it's that bad. What's worse? The more people that do the same, and propagate the notion that it's okay to get what you want regardless of who you hurt, the more our society is threatened. There is a higher morality, and right and wrong aren't subjective! We all make mistakes; we alone are responsible for them. Fix your mistakes. Then try to run for office. You are accountable to your wife. You have shamed her, even now publicly. That is an atrocity. 

For more on forming your own opinion: CNN: weiner estimates he sexted three women after resigning

Friday, July 19, 2013

My 10-Yr-Old Nephew's Quirky & Wise Remarks

"No one's special. You're only unique. You don't see anyone in a car riding around with a big crown and throne, do you? No one deserves to be treated better than anyone else."

"Well, if you're tired, why don't you take a nap?"

...about what abstract art is (his guess):
"so, abstract art is like art that isn't a person, place, or thing?" 
I look up a 3rd explanation (in addition to mine and his), per, and it's basically 'what he said':
[art that does not attempt to represent external, recognizable reality - ie. no persons, places, or things]

Other sites that share funny things that kids say:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Only if You Poke Out Your Own Eye

Kindly he asks why. Sweetly she answers, then calmly he accepts and responds. Or so it should be.
What really happens when we see people who have conflict or conversely, have that love that is blind? How can love be blind? Does it only happen in the puppy love stage, when the relationship is new? What about in other types of relationships? Can love be blind, and if so, how can this be done? 

Some people may ask, "how can I be blind to the horribleness that is/comes from my spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend? What about even my mother/child/friend..." The list goes on. 

Let's start here with the significant others, for the sake of time.

The real situation might go somewhat like this:

She makes a decision he thinks is irrational or emotionally based, and he disapproves. He thinks he knows why she did it, and he will help her see why it's wrong. He asks her what she was thinking. She in return hears his disapproval, and feels he's hostile towards her. She answers that she doesn't know, even though had she not been thrown off guard and felt bad, she would have had an answer. He gets irritated at how she can't even explain what she was thinking, and proceeds to tell her what was wrong, why, and what she should do differently next time. She in return, feeling slighted, remarks on how rude he is, and how he never approves of her.  He says she exaggerates, that is absurd, and he's not going to start listening to this again. She gets upset and tells him to get away from her, and she angrily hisses at him some other additional words. 
Time goes by, and the instances are more constant and look all the same. Repeat situations with repeat outcomes, and pretty soon all she can see is how mean and insensitive he is, and all he sees is how angry and senseless she is. They both have two eyes, and they see clearly what's wrong with the other. Their love isn't blind, even if their eyes are partial to dark.

The situation might also go somewhat like this:

She makes a decision that he doesn't understand, and towards which he immediately feels aversion.
He then realizes he is with a woman he admires (admired), and in general makes very good decisions. He gives her the benefit of the doubt, and ask her why she decided that way. Before asking, he states that while he usually agrees with her decisions, this one has surprised him, and he's curious what reason she had behind this particular one. He asks her to tell her a little more about it.
She feels comfortable answering his questions, and he echoes back what he hears. While he may not agree or would not have come to the same conclusion or decision, he shows he understands her choice and what led to it. She asks what he thinks about it, and what he might have done. He tells her. She appreciates his honesty and even considers his opinion for next time. He feels his input has value. She feels loved.

Afterwards, he has no negative regard, and she doesn't feel angry.

They see the best in each other by choosing to stop looking at the negative, and see the better in the person they know the other person to be. Love can be blind, by choosing to poke out your own eye, if necessary (and not literally), so that you don't concentrate on the bad. You can have one eye for looking, but use the blind eye for seeing. You choose what to see, and focus on. And many times, that image doesn't take seeing. It takes belief.

Believe in the person you know that significant person in your life to be. Remind them of who they are. (This doesn't mean don't live in reality, but rather make choices to encourage change by focusing on the small areas that are possible, so that maybe they can do the same.)

Good luck. I hope we can all walk around partially-sighted, if that's what it takes to have balanced vision, feel loved, be loving, and encourage love.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

One Face is Better Than Two

She comes in swankily, hips oscillating as she forms a smile and places her right hand on her hip. She gives us all a wink as she runs her left hand through her hair slowly, and her soft dark curls tumble over her shoulders. She's Melanie, from LA, and she's on a mission.

Melanie's friends don't know her very well, and she knows them even less. They have so much fun, and she's the least confrontational person they all know. This isn't to say she doesn't get angry, it's just not in public that it happens; she subs sexy for snappy, and saves the scream for rooms for two. 

I met Melanie at a party, and she met me   the time after, at our friend Jack's BBQ. (She doesn't remember meeting me the first time.) Melanie, to me, seemed so graceful, and restrained. She had a silky voice and seemed to know everyone, her mouth spilling flattery sweeter and priced higher than the most glorious treats from the delicatessen. I myself even took pleasure in how she flattered me. I never knew just how my stomach word hurt in just six short months, when I consumed too many of those sugary words; the effects of malnutrition at the hands of a glutton and its finest master. Because even a frog doesn't leap from a boiling pot when it doesn't see what's coming; that's when I first started to learn: people wear faces, and knowing which face is their real one is key. When I saw myself with my own flaws, I realized its a finer process of introspection and careful tuning, to get to that place of being real; it may be easier to be the right part of a person with different people, but its best to be yourself refined (at different exposures or intensities depending on the place).  Most of all, having one face is better than two.

Fast forward two months. Jack is really ticking me off. He's talking about how fake he thinks Melanie is, and how he's known me for so long, and he can't believe how much I eat up everything she says. He thinks I'm naive, and that Melanie probably isn't just singing sultry slurs against everyone else; she probably has songs written with me as the headliner too. I say I doubt it; it's different; we just have have a vibe. He's wrong, and frankly, he's jealous that his two friends are better friends now than they are with him! He's notlooking after me; he's built his ship and he can go sailing off by himself! Plus, how can he sit me down and tell me he how much he cares, and then say how he's disappointed in my behavior?! He's supposed to be my friend, and friends don't say their versions of truths that you won't like! Or do they? Might they? Wherever. The heck with Jack. Make me feel good or we'll make like you're gone.

Fast forward six months. Melanie is later than ever, and I wait. She's going to be ready in five, she says, and she'll be right down, so I drove over. Then I waited, by the gate, with that security guard that always seems to be snarling at me, with his vulgar stare that just irks me. That guard knows something, but I'm not sure what. Ugh. Psycho.
I don't remember when I started using that word, but it seems to fit. I've been chilling with Melanie and her friend Jessica more often than I used to since realizing my other friends are boring and have no taste for fun. Right now, I realize just how right they are, just how creepy that guy is, and I give him a snarl back. I have a tiny twinge of what might be guilt, from some inkling of what used to be conviction, and I dismiss it. A twinkle of charm, a bit of excitement, a flurry of satisfaction, and I'm spurred on and ready to roll. The temporary fullness of self-adoration and selfishness hits my gut, and yet somehow I'm hungry for more to keep me going. 

Melanie comes down, finally, after what seems like eternity, and she opens the door. First thing she says, "OMG, what are you wearing anyway?! You know we're going to Jessica's party right? You can't look like a troll!" 
Twenty minutes later, we're on our way. I've been transformed; she's covered my face with pretty paste, and my skirt is shorter than the length of my forearm. I wearing stilts of seduction, and I feel power in my knees.
Jessica really isn't that nice, and she's snarled ever since I met her. But she knows the best guys, and I feel like she doesn't truly like a single one of them any more than she does her daytime friends. 
We party hard, and it's soooooo good! That's before it happen, when I discover it takes a long time to know someone who wears more than one face. Yet, she knew me. She liked me, as much  as she likes or doesn't like anyone, because he knew who I was, and what she could do. She saw I was who I was, and even though I wasn't always the most polished, I was true, and dependable. What she could depend on, was my reaction to what would unfold very soon. 

We had come into the party ten minutes later than Melanie had preferred and as she hissed at me how stupid I was sometimes, she smiled and played cute for everyone she saw. Even as she condemned me, she was so gloriously golden, and as she hit the room she took it. We loved her, how you love your favorite jacket, and we wore her wherever we went. 
Charles came over as we entered, and he said how lovely we looked. Melanie turns as looks at me, and says, " yeah, she always does doesn't she? She's such a lovely girl..." She smiles, and she shoots me a nasty look, as he smiles at her. He's wanted Melanie for a long time. She can't stand him, but she loves the fact he knows a producer she adores. She lets him stick around. 

A few minutes later we've separated a bit, and Melanie puts on her cute face, when she snuggles next to Jim and Heather, who own the huge house next door. 

I'm talking to Jazzy, and I realize I've accidentally been to honest, and I backtrack. I say I'm sorry, that I didn't mean anything by it; that I just don't think before I speak. He says, not to worry about it, and relax, and we move on. I blushed a bit, but I know he's sincere, so it's all good. I found myself feeling like my old self again, having just said something honest that didn't impress, not that I said anything meanly, just not veiled with niceties. Yet, Jazzy didn't hate me, and moreover, he seemed impressed.

Then it happened.
Melanie's next to me, all of a sudden, but I don't see her. I only hear her voice, on the other side of the curtain, and she's hissing. Then all of a sudden I realize, and it hurts. "It's too bad she can't dress without my help, and she takes twenty minutes from my night. She just has always been slow, and she's not cute at all! She never knows her left from ugly or her right from wrong. I should really just stop letting her weigh me down. The only reason she's still allowed in my sight is because she's too boring to drink and I always need a ride."

I can't believe it; I've never heard her talk tawdry with the object of her annoyance being within earshot. She never looks bad. She's always careful. Yet, unbeknownst to her, I'm right there. I look at Jazzy, and he shrugs his shoulders in indifference or confusion. I wasn't sure which, but I didn't care.
I walk quickly around the curtain towards the door, feeling really low, and she sweetly whispers my name, and calls me over. "Lisset, where are you going? Do you feel Ill sweetie? We were just saying how wonderfully lovely you are tonight but you seem a bit under the weather. Maybe run down a bit? I feel like maybe we should leave early so you can get some beauty rest. Be back to the normal you, lovely and ready to party with the best!"
I don't answer her; I just walk out. Every other time Melanie has depended on me, I've given her what she counted on. Because I overheard her this time, it was the first time I've surprised her; the first time I've not been dependable. Who I am  has changed. Rather than changing my faces it's like my face grew into something different, and it was pretty outside but ugly within. 
Melanie had two faces, and I only saw the pretty, people-pleasing one for months. Then I saw her other one, but I didn't think she'd ever put it on in regards to me. I thought I made it different, that somehow the nice one was her real one and the stronger one was only there to keep the undeserving away. 
Now I've come to see, that even though I may not possess the most effective way to appeal to everyone in one particular way, I can learn to adapt without sacrificing who I am. I've learned that having my face, and letting others get to know me, probably more quickly, is preferable to how long it takes playing by rules of proper and wearing faces of many people. Had Melanie worn only one face, I could've seen much sooner who she really was, and maybe stayed myself. Yet, I chose to forsake my friends, and believe in something else that looked better, and become like those I hung out with. We validated each other and it seemed okay. Now I know, being real is best (always working on getting better), and having one face is even better.

* not a story that happened to me, but a story that most have seen.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Goofy is gorgeous

There are different kinds of pretty.

Beauty comes in many forms.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Beauty comes from the inside.

Beauty is only skin deep.

Looks fade, but character and intelligence last forever.

Looks are only one part of beauty.

We've heard and I think most of us have encountered an example where we've seen this; verified this is true.

If we concentrate on aesthetic beauty, speak of outward beauty only, even this doesn't always come from looks alone. Beauty can be faked, and beauty can be real. Beauty sometimes comes in packages from birth; generic beauty can also be bought, a pursuit of sameness that is more than easily achieved.

Beauty, though, can also be, a free-form style of cuteness mixed with authenticity. Beauty for a lady can be pureness, pretty, and unique. Beauty is sometimes the ability to be gorgeous, just by by doing what you do.  It's by being smart, cute and goofy; showing you're free to just be you. :-)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Beauty in a Word

Sometimes finding the best word to use is worth the extra time.
A word can describe a whole frame of mind, a whole thought, convey a complete message in a moment. A word can edify and a word can punch. 

There is strength in what we can say to someone. A word can stick with someone for all of their time here on earth. It can limit them in ways you'll never know. Conversely, a word can be something someone holds onto in the worst of times, clinging to it like roots do to the ground. 

Truly I tell you, words are like knives. They pierce. Without ever looking, the words you choose can draw blood and create wounds that never seem to heal. 
This tends to be the case when time goes by, and the words you spoke in anger or malice spring to the surface of someone's consciousness and hurt like the moment they first heard them. They can hold that person back.

Sometimes these words, they motivate. They fuel the person's fire to do more, to be more, and to prove you're wrong. You never know, and I don't know if it's worth the risk - to drive that car into that person, and never look to see what you hit. You drive off.  Then when you realize what you have done, and it's too late, can you take this word back? 

Words can also uplift! They can build up a person; they can make that person become even something they are not! It's amazing how wonderful words can be! You can water that flower and see it blossom as it never would have before! You can instill confidence in others, and see them realize who they can be. Words can build and words can tear down. Let us use words, as often as we can, as consciously as we can, to build UP. Build up others. Build up ourselves when we need to (not as a narcissist act). Build a climate of change, that fosters encouragement instead of discouragement. Builds up new possibilities, new attitudes, new life. Words can kill, but I hope that words more often than not, will bring your lives joy and help you to thrive! 

Let us make a choice - to use words to lift up, bring hope, and change even our hearts. Let us use silence in place of demise. 



It's a Family's Fight

Today's blog is a simple story of ill health and pain, sleeping with its cousin grace. 

Recently I have been promptly updated with the most current status of a family member's illness, and it has made a turn for the highway called bad. The road was forked in three, and two roads have virtually disintegrated. We had hope one of the two would be the way to a wide-open pasture with plants of possibility growing, but alas, it was not.  Now he will venture down the darker path, the road that has merged into a straight line. What can this hold, the path that seems to have pitstops made for purchasing pain, and gas tanks of tears. The road sign reads chemo. 

Guess what though! I looked on a map, and there were other small unmarked roads on the way! It doesn't show it when I googled the way, but this map in the tourist center showed all kinds of ways! Ways with smiles and love, and newfound closeness! This road of discovery and growth, and SPIRIT! Spirit that can fight; spirit that says, "I think I'll stay for a while today; I think I'll dance with you cancer, and be.

Right now, the road is dark and scary, and like I mentioned, riddled with pain growing bigger. Yes, it's the demon waiting that no one sees coming, and never understands. Yes, it's a journey that brings everyone with you, and take very few breaks. It slows down or it ends (will you get to the end or find a new road?). 

Guess what happens on the way? You find humorous sayings that light up your day, even if for the moment, and sometimes so do the kids.

Today your family comes to pay you a visit, and your granddaughter looks at you with her comical smile, and says, "after this tenth MRI, grandpa, do you think be able to attract a metal pen like a magnet? We did that in school." 

Or "do you think this is how glowworms are made?!"

Each day is a discovery, and each extra day is a blessing from above. Even while running on a treadmill in what seems like pain,  you can sometimes have moments of glory in the middle. Sometimes while your can barely speak, you remember that trip with your family to Spain. 

And you smile. Because you've experienced love, and also loving others, and you know you will see them again.

We love you.

Written 6/28/2013, Published 10/10/2013 He went to heaven 9/27/2013, and is walking with Jesus today. With love.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Punching Fortitude's Enemy in the Face

(Warning: You have to eat dinner before you get to dessert. Read on. It's sweeter at the end. ;-p)

You could taste it. You wanted it. The wetness was on your tongue, and the thought made your skin tickle. You got so excited when you heard yourself speak it. Telling everyone, your voice elevated in pitch with each sentence you spoke, until you skipped words that fell from your mouth. 

Until...a year went by, and it hadn't happened yet. You could feel it slipping away, and your enthusiasm waned. Yet, you held on to the dream, but then, you glanced at your watch. You got busy with the kids. Then suddenly, you remembered, you looked back, and it was gone. 

What happened?

There are a million reasons, but you can't remember which one was the one that made everything fall apart. You felt so tired. You felt discouraged. You didn't know if you could really do it. Your mom never believed in you. Your enemies keep laughing and your friends kind of wince. 

You just gave up. That's it. You couldn't do it. Or could you?

When were you going to finish? 
What made you quit?
What prevented your success?
What made you give up?
Who was it that didn't believe in you?
Why did you get discouraged? 
How far did you make it before you couldn't go any further?

Fortitude, my friend, is "the marshall of thought, the armor of will, and the fort of reason," according to Sir Francis Bacon, Sr. I think I might agree.

You first tried it out, the notion of this success, this feat, when your imagination got out of hand. You realized you didn't have the strength, the energy, the skill, the courage...and even if you did, you definitely didn't have the time! 

Or did you?

Let me tell you a little story.  

(If you decide you'd like a few more,  just for encouragement, I'll put up a separate blog soon with examples of times I could've given up, times I almost did, what it took, and what the consequences are of times I either gave up or paused for way too long. Blog: Too many times to recount)

You were only 7 months old. You watched as your parents walked across the room, sounds spilling from their mouths, and you yearned. You yearned to walk around freely, and you yearned to speak these partial ideas that seemed to have converged into a glob of something you hold onto. You don't know how, and you can't ask.

You begin to innovate. You try to walk, and it seems you can't sit up. So, you first start smaller. You start with...crawling. Crawling should get you there! You realize since you learned before that you can roll over, you think maybe you could learn to crawl; since you've learned something so small before, you know you're capable of learning. Not to mention, these parents you have seem to be willing to demonstrate and encourage you. But even if they don't encourage you, you'll seek out those who will, and you're going to encourage yourself! You can do this; look, you have proof! You can roll over!
So, you learn to crawl, and once you've done that, you move on; you grab onto your mom's finger and she pulls you up. You hold on, and you lift your teeter. To the left, to the right,  and you fall. You fall, and it scares you. You feel the rush go through your veins, and your leg shakes. She saw it; she saw you fall. It's a good thing you have no sense of embarrassment yet, for if you did, you surely would die from humiliation at the hands of this failure! Oh, my! How strong these fleeting thoughts are! How exaggerated a response they illicit! What comes forth is negativity reeling it's head, but not now. Now when you're this young. No, no, thank goodness. Right now, it's a giggle that explodes from your throat, and you pop up again, ready to learn from your mistake. You think to move slowly, to balance, and then you lift your foot in front much slower. It lands forward. You're only one step forward, but you know it's further, and now you know how to make one step. You go for another. You fall. You fall HARD this time! It hurts. You cry. You feel discouraged. Over time, you make several steps, you fail several times. You laugh; you cry; you fail; you succeed. Then, suddenly you're walking around, your spitting out sounds, and you're onto learning to speak. Because as you know, you learned how to roll over; you learned to crawl. You learned to walk, and if you don't give up until you succeed, you will learn to speak!!!!! 

That's the story of how you learn to succeed. It's called fortitude. It's called not giving up. It's courage, coupled with new-found commitment, and it runs with strength. Let me tell you, time will not allow what you won't covet. Covet the idea of succeeding at your dreams. Covet the idea of loving others as much as you love yourself. Also, love yourself, and pursue the things that matter, that you really want! If you want something badly enough, none of those reasons will be good enough to fail. Fail, once; fail twice, but in the end SUCCEED! No matter how many times you fall, get up. Now, one thing to be mindful of, is setting reasonable goals that are within your limitations (health or genetic factors should be considered when setting goals, but then again - look at examples who have overcome even these!).

Points to consider (in my humble opinion), that I've come to regard as fact as I have stumbled, fallen, gotten back up, and made it over my hurdles:

Fortitude takes energy.

Energy requires....the expenditure of energy! You spend energy to GET energy! If you do not have a workout routine (however small it may be) - get one now! Start small! Start consistently. No time? Time is made. It's allocated, and it's designated. Make some time. Time moves; you just have to move it to the places you want. Even if you only have a little to move; move it. Move it from the back to the front. Consolidate the pieces into one small chunk, and then use it! Put it together, in 20-30 minutes to start. If you need to, use it with someone else. Use it up. Then you will have energy. Do NOT give up until you have received it, both time and energy. The feeling of blood flowing, of initiative, of drive.

Now that you have manufactured energy, fortitude also takes strength.

Guess what, strength comes from falling and getting back up. You will probably do plenty of that while you are building energy. Strength also comes from muscle memory. Guess what muscles? The muscles you had when you were little. Remember that story? When you were 7 months old. Yeah, that's right, those muscles. Start using them: stand up, fall down, stand up, fall down. Succeed, have a set back, mini fail, succeed, succeed, mini it again. Reflect. Learn. Do it again. Ask questions. Get a mentor! Listen to those who are wiser in whatever thing you are learning! Don't go learn it all on your own! It's quicker to glean knowledge from the knowledgeable, not necessarily your beloved friends, but maybe some of them. Lastly, build those muscles by using them in foreign ways, in new ways, and condition them. Work them out until you must increase their stretch, after it gets easy. Encounter something new, and get better at it. You don't have to become a pro; just get better. Are you stronger? Are you feeling it? Make up you MIND to not give up, and to get past the hurdles, and take the recoveries as a blessing.

Now that you're strong, you must know what comes next. Fortitude takes the mind. It takes will; desire; drive. It takes into account reason. Lastly, fortitude takes forethought, and insight; reflection. 

For these, set your mind on your prize. Consider others in your journey. 

(I know, the world tells you to pursue what YOU want; don't take survivors. Take what you want at any cost. Don't let others hold you back. Disregard others in your quest to GET. However, I tell you, happy people are people that accomplish their goals WHILE helping others to accomplish their goals as well! Successful & Happy people understand the power in helping or mentoring others, and they understand the meaning of connectedness; of giving of oneself to a greater cause. More on this later...Blog: Giving is Getting, and Less is  More).

Once you've set your mind on it, and you can taste it, consider it. Is it reasonable? Can you start with this goal by itself, or do you need to construct a tiered approach? Can you start smaller, break it down into pieces that have timeframes? Can you reasonably reach this peak without hurting your body, breaking down resolve, or hurting others? (At times, goals have to be broken into manageable portions to accommodate the needs or commitments of family members or responsibilities. Set goals within reason that also taken into account your bigger goal, if you have a family for instance, of loving and nourishing them.)

If it is reasonable, or once you have formed segments that are reasonable one at a time, do you have the desire? Do you still want it? Can you recruit positive people who can want it for you too, that can encourage you? Consider what individual(s) you can proposition to mentor you, teach you, consult with you on your ideas, approach, progress. Learn from them! Develop the mind, the background, the knowledge. Then, when you experience successes and failures along the way, reflect on each. Take what you can, and apply them to your approach. Refine it. Resolve  to continue. With this mindset and this reason, you need will.

Will is what you hold onto. It propels you forward. It picks you up. 

It says to you, "You will." You say back, "I will."

And you do.

Good luck! 

Now go. Punch weakness in the face. 

...Because weakness died when fortitude was built. 
You did that.
Now do this.