Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Mantra: Lessons on Living and Dying

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Quit waiting

A Beautiful Death
The secret to life: this, this one thought, has plagued millions of people. Is it love, kindness, compassion? Is it power, control, anti aging products? Is it within ourselves, in our shopping carts, anywhere in this world at all?

I would venture a guess that the "right" answer significantly depends on who the person is that's asking the question. We all want different things, after all.

I don't know what the secret of life may mean to you, but I know what it means to me: The difference between living and dying without having ever really lived. The difference between waiting and taking action.

I spent my childhood years in a nursing home, day in and day out. Even after those days ended, death certainly didn't. Dying isn't an experience saved for the sick and elderly. Death comes out of nowhere, when you least expect it, when you haven't prepared yourself in the slightest.

Far too many people wait. To apologize, to reach out, to have an adventure. Far too many people live life as if it's something that can be controlled; leashed and harnessed and made to obey.

Trust me when I tell you there is no greater mistake you can make than thinking this way.

Do you want to know what the secret to life is? Living.

Fully. Completely. Wholeheartedly.

Dive into the things you love: gardening, singing, dancing. Experience the world now, not later. Later is an empty promise. Later is not guaranteed, and that I can guarantee.


Live now.

I've been to far too many funerals. I've seen hopes and dreams vanish in a split second because life didn't wait. Life never waits.

Trust me when I tell you this is the only secret to life you need.


Go now.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: One

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments


One chance meeting,
One small gesture,
One night full of love and laughter-
One date led to many more
And now we find a greater score.

One year coming,
One year spent,
Shaped around the words you said,
Hopes and dreams and plans for us-
There’s no mistaking this is love.

One small gesture,
One great plan,
All because I found this man.
One plus one plus: one plus one
Has added a forever sum.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Mantra: Get Out of Your Own Way

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Get out of your own way
Creative Angel
When I was little, there was a debate going around with parents as to whether or not violent video games were mentally, and somewhat emotionally, damaging to kids. I used to think that was preposterous, but I've recently realized that for me, as an adult, technology as a whole is sometimes too much for me to handle. Too much noise, too much happening, too much drama, too much "reality." I get too easily sucked in or too easily distracted. I would say that it's even significantly impacted my creativity. But, being an adult, I have the power to put my phone down, turn off the TV, and walk away from the computer. I just don't. Instead, I keep Getting in My Own Way.

Getting in Your Own Way is nothing new. We all do it, we just don't all see it. For instance, how many times have you looked at a friend/family member's relationship situation and thought "Why are they still dating that horrible person?" For you, it's obvious. That "horrible person" has X, Y, and Z wrong with them, but your friend/family member is blind to it. That's because it's often far easier to see how other people are holding themselves back vs. how we're doing it to ourselves. Looking inward is far scarier, far more difficult, but also far more important than you might realize.

In my particular case, technology is the thing I keep tripping over. Now, I realize each and every one of us has brains that work in different ways. The Fiance, for instance, gets powered up by being plugged in. I, on the other hand, start shutting down. I've found that the thinking time I used to have has diminished because I am almost always involved in some kind of technology. I work on a computer all the live-long day. I have my cell phone with me at all times because, well, who knows when that zombie outbreak could occur, right? And don't even get me started on all of the ridiculously entertaining TV shows these days. Really, I almost have no chance whatsoever, you creative writing geniuses, you!

What my brain needs is quiet. It needs a bunch of nothing to recharge. It quite literally needs a break from looking at things, listening to things, focusing on things. Even going for a walk is almost too much because I'm thinking, I'm working in a sense; I'm reaching a goal, a destination. My brain really, truly needs nothing. So, recently I've been giving it that free-of-anything-and-everything time, and it has been amazing.

The other night I took the furry babies outside, plopped myself on a chair, and did not one doggone thing. I didn't read, I left the phone in the house, I didn't even listen to music. I just sat outside, musing at the world, listening to my internal thoughts, many of which I realized I'd been ignoring. Since then three things have happened:

1. Every single day I wait (im)patiently until I can have my Nothing Time. I crave it. It's the thing I look forward to the most. It's the thing I can't wait for. It's the thing I need to make me feel like me.
2. My creativity has been restoring itself. I have so many thoughts and poems and words flowing out of me, it's as if I've released a dam of ideas that were blocked by TVs, cell phones, and computers.
3. I started thinking about my gramma and how much I miss her all the ever-loving-time. How I push her out my mind, purposely avoiding thoughts about her because of the pain. I realized there are heartaches from my past that I thought I'd resolved, but clearly hadn't.

I'm getting out of my way.

It's wonderful.

If you happen to be chasing something, but repeatedly failing to catch it - a book you want to write, a degree you wish you had, a significant other of quality and worth - I suggest you examine your life and really look at what might be holding you back. Maybe, it has nothing to do with you at all. But maybe, just maybe, it does. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: I Needed You

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments

I Needed You

I feel so bad,
I feel so blue,
I never said my goodbyes to you…

I didn’t think I needed to.

I feel left out,
I’m full of doubts,
No funeral could fix that now…

The silence of your death’s too loud.

I see your face
With every step,
I’m sorry for words left unsaid,

I assumed you always knew…

I needed you.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Mantra: Oblivion & Coincidence

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Two black holes walk into a bar...
Meteor Rain
A few weeks ago an announcement was made by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) about two black holes colliding together a billion or so light years in the future. I'm no Sheldon Cooper, but I can tell you that in the land of physics this is ridiculously amazing news. In the land of human-beings-who-live-on-earth-and-barely-know-a fraction-of-how-the-universe-works, this is also incredibly wild and can be perceived as somewhat terrifying news, which is why they didn't release an official statement on it until months after it had happened. 

There are a lot of interesting facts in the article (all the articles written about this, actually) but what gets me is a few key details. First, the sheer size of these two black holes boggles my mind. One was 36 times the size of our sun! I can't even process that idea. Also keep in mind we have (as far as I understand) pretty much no idea what black holes are all about. Like, almost none at all. Space, in and of itself, is a mystery to us. Pair that with the news that these two gigantic black holes basically dosey-doed around each other hundred of times a second and then smashed into each other, creating one giant black hole that is the mass of 62 suns and it can be a little scary.

For instance, in my non-scientist mind that knows basically nothing about this line of study, I freaked out a little bit when I heard this. Even though they said the black holes were light years away, what I latched on to was the idea that life as we know it could have been over in a nano second. All of the apocalypse movies would've have gotten it wrong. It wouldn't be disease or zombies or the San Andreas tearing apart the world. The end of our age would come so fast it would be nothing to us. Nothing at all. 

I couldn't stop thinking about what that would be like. I kept imagining myself driving home on the freeway, alone in my car, living life like I'm doing right now, assuming all the plans I've made and worries I've worried about would add up to something. But in less time than my brain would have been able to even process in that moment, one of those ginormous black holes could have swallowed up the earth, could have swallowed up the sun. I wouldn't have seen it coming in the slightest. 

That thought gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, it made me reaffirm the idea that the things I worry about, the things I waste time on, really don't matter. That I could (and should) stop wasting precious time on each and every stupid thought/idea/task that doesn't ultimately lead to a better, happier life. I mean really, if life can end faster than I can blink, none of it is worth it. 

On the other hand, it made me ponder how miraculous it really is that we're on this giant globe, heated by an even more gigantic orb that could essentially set us ablaze- but doesn't. We are spinning through outer space, but we're not spinning out of control. We have the exact climate and surroundings and minerals and essentials needed to sustain life on this (and only this as far we know) planet. There are meteors flying through space that could obliterate entire cities, black holes swallowing each other whole, and we're still here, untouched and thriving. That boggles my mind even more. It makes me think of how we try and explain magical moments away with one single word- coincidence. It reminds me how each and every time something remarkable happened to me, each time something unexplainable occurred, I've never once in my life believed it was a coincidence. It makes me wonder how little we must really know about absolutely everything. 

I don't know what you believe in or don't believe in. God or aliens or nothing at all. I wouldn't dare tell you to pick or choose, or try and sway you into one thing versus another. I like believing in all kinds of things. I like imagining the possibilities of so, so much more than I can even explain. But what I'm trying to get at, based on all of this black hole we-don't-know-much-about-anything business, is this: don't let the little things in life ruin you. Don't let the opinions of others sour your mood. Don't concern yourself with their concerns of you. Do not hold on to anything - anything at all - that does not support a remarkable life. You have no idea what's going to happen one moment to the next.

Make every single second count.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: Be Careful

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments

Be Careful

Be careful with the words you say-
They might just change a life,
The connotation of your phrasing
Cuts deeper than a knife.

If I hadn’t known that death was sad
I wouldn’t mourn them now,
Instead I’d smile, look up awhile
To see them in the clouds.

If fat and thin weren’t bad or good,
If they were just the same,
I’d never sigh at my jean size
Or bow my head in shame.

If equal meant what equal should
In love and sex and race,
Then no more tears from war or fears
Would drop on fresh dug graves.

Be careful with the words you say-
They might just change a life,
One word can scar, can burn, can change
The truth in someone's eyes.