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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today's Fuss About Paula Deen [character assassination?]

To me, it's amazing that we can ridicule and ostracize someone famous or not famous, because they have said something or made a mistake years ago, only to have it pulled into full public view years afterward. To top this, that same person loses face, and their companies or sponsors drop them, and they're fired. WOW! All before she's even had a chance to also publicly address it (Paula). 
Here's the thing: famous people can do hard-core drugs blatantly (in public view where kids absorb this as acceptable behavior), and they're still supported (Lyndsey). They can become famous while being drug dealers, and enter a successful music career (Pitbull). They can star in a porn [supposedly legal prostitution] that contributes to the encouragement of such things to young girls in despair (that teen mom), and so on...the list goes on. Disgusting. This doesn't really mean that we should slam them with an all-encompassing one-word label they have to wear. Not to say we shouldn't support those people that may behave in ways we don't necessarily support. So many of these famous people who CARRY ON lives of destruction, and are sanctioned; no one drops them or ridicules them in public and writes them off as one word - the word for whatever new-found negative description is given to them now that they've supposedly fallen from perfection. BUT - those who live lives of destructive behavior and hurt others and set poor examples that I would never want my future daughter to follow - oh they can keep making money, because they make someone feel better about themselves. Yet, this Paula lady, I don't know much about, but I've heard through witnesses she's forthright and kind. If so, why can't people forgive someone who's still sorry, for something she obviously already learned (she doesn't say those words NOW), and move on. Really, judgmentalites', you don't do anything wrong? Okay, well HAVE you done anything? Were you sorry? Well, that's that then; you've probably been forgiven. As long as you learned and don't continue the offense, who are we to keep it going, keep judging, like it's still happening? How CRUEL to fire someone for something that probably everyone has done equal to - it's a poor choice of a word that I personally don't use (neither should anyone else, because it's so disrespectful & one should be aware it has negative energy & history/prejudices attached). But you know what, have I called someone an idiot (just as an example, because I haven't said the 'N' word ) before, in may past? Did I mean it nicely? NO. Did I continue to call people idiots, once I realized how hurtful or harmful that is? Isn't that the point? Learning and growing, and learning to love people, in action. Those who have never sinned, cast the first stone...
As Carla Hall said today on The Chew, "Forgiveness is Power," and I agree, that it's easy to judge, but it's best to have grace, and choose to believe the apology, forgive, and move on (if it is no longer a continued offense).