Celebrate the Good Fortune and Success of thy Brother

Rainbow and Flowers

Rainbow and Flowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t understand it when I happen to come across negative and plain disrespectful comments (not real reviews) about a new published book (or art work), whether from an old or new author.  What puzzles me is that many times, these comments don’t seem to help in any way the writer or artist who made the comment.  On the contrary, I think that this negativity hurts the writer/artist and paints an aura of insecurity or jealousy around the writer/artist.  This could end up hurting the artist who might end up loosing many readers/fans for these reasons,

  • They may already enjoy the works of the author/artist who’s being criticized.
  • They may not like to entertain any kind of negativity or bashing and are ready to cut off the source of it.
  • They believe that in this world, there is plenty for everybody and that celebrating the success of another does not take away from your own.
  • They may enjoy variety in the books they read or the artwork they love.
  • They believe that this world is made of all kinds and everyone has something to offer and contribute to it, even when they don’t necessarily like the piece.
  • They believe that if everyone acted in the same way and liked the same things and were mere copies of each other, this would be a very boring world.
  • They believe that a step towards belittling someone or someone’s work is a step backwards and does not help personal and professional development/growth.
  • They believe that there is a better way to say what they think without hurting the feelings of a fellow artist/writer.
  • They believe that acting in a negative and bashful way towards a fellow artist/writer might be interpreted as desperation, frustration, or jealousy.
  • They believe that by celebrating the success of others, they attract good karma and bounty to themselves.
  • They believe in these mantras – What comes around goes around.  You reap what you sow.   It is a small world.  Be kind to the people on your way up, because they are the same people you will meet on your way down.  The wheels are turning.  Keep the faith.  You never know who will open the next door for you, or who is ready to close it on your face.  When words are not better than silence, it is best to not pronounce them.  Live and let live.
  • They believe that they are a tiny spec on this world, but an important part of it.
  • They believe that times change and that “times” are subject to the people who live on “those times.”
  • They believe that their art/craft is not about them, but about the ones who will find it and benefit – even if only one person.
  • They believe in themselves, and that is enough to celebrate another.

Keep it clean, keep it positive, keep it happy!

Illuminating Blogger Award

Thanks to Bardicblogger for nominating Inkspeare for the Illuminating Blogger Award – I am honored.

I have copied the rules for accepting this award from his blog and I am sharing them here.

Here’s the breakdown of the rules:

1. The nominee should visit the award site and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom.  

2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.

 3. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.

4. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.

5. Notify your  nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/).


So about me, I love vintage tools.

I enjoy many blogs, but here are five that I visit frequently and love.

1. Abominations

2. An Unrefined Vegan

3. The Jittery Goat

4. The Simple Life of a Countryman’s Wife

5. August McLaughlin’s Blog

And of course there are so many more that I love to read.

Why Can’t I Have my Cake and Eat it Too?

I have never been able to understand the expression “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  It doesn’t make sense to me, and I always end up thinking “Why can’t I?”  Although it may mean that you cannot have your cake intact or whole and eat it at the same time, referring to wanting the best of two worlds or wanting more than you can handle, or even having it both ways, a popular phrase, I still think that it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.  It is all on the approach to whatever “the cake” means to you.

The way I see it, when we practice mindfulness, we can have the cake and eat it, one bite/moment at a time, and that makes a huge difference.  When we multitask or want it all at once, the expression might make sense; however, when we learn to enjoy every bite, as tiny as it may be, we are able to savor the cake while appreciating it at the same time.  Picture a whole delicious cake (your favorite), and take a whole chunk out of it, or many at once, it is not whole anymore, it doesn’t resemble the original cake.  Now, take the same cake and with a spoon or fork, pick up a bit of frosting or ganache, and dig a little deep deeper, enjoying every bite.  Now, look at it, it still resembles the original cake.  You are having your cake and you are eating it too, one delicious small bite at a time, minding every bite.  Apply this to life, the cake representing your dream or goal.

The above metaphor tells you that without celebrating the journey, things may feel a bit incomplete or hollow.  I realized this later in life because I always thought that I was supposed to celebrate when I reached the pinnacle.  It is what I was taught in school and how I was socialized – the journey doesn’t count.  It is how most of us are raised and socialized.  The way I see it now, without the journey and the celebration of it, the last stop, the pinnacle, may seem a bit empty once I arrive.  I also know that the pinnacle is only one part of the whole journey.

We have a choice; we can rush eating the cake or we can eat it slowly and enjoy every bite while still seeing the big picture.  Many times the journey is what makes the destination worthwhile.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger – Does It?

South Padre Island: A person takes advantage o...

South Padre Island: A person takes advantage of the early morning for peace and quiet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times have you heard the phrase “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger?”  Probably countless of times, and usually from someone who is going through rough times.  I always agreed with it, that is, until I had to say it.  The issue with it is that it doesn’t tell the story.  It assumes that the person will have a quick recovery from what almost “killed” him or her.  The truth is that unless that person struggles and fights to stay afloat and takes action to become stronger, that person can become paralyzed, stuck, traumatized, and remain a “living dead,” broken and far away from being “strong.”

What if you went through a significant circumstance in your life which marked you in a way that although you know you have to keep going, it has become very hard to do so?  You may stay alive but with little to no strength to fight.  This may apply to different situations.  One thing that I have learned is that what doesn’t affect someone may paralyze another – we respond and deal with situations in our own way.  The struggle can be brief, or long, and the longer it takes, the outcome becomes either,

  • you become paralyzed in your own situation and fear – and stay iddling,
  • or you come out a bit wrinkled, tossed, teared, just as a thin piece of paper, but those creases are what made you hold on and keep it together.

In either case, you must take a step to come out.

Pondering about this, and notebook in hand, this is what I was inspired to write.

One way in which you can become stronger is by,

  • Asking for help – the kind that you might need, whether professional, financial, spiritual, from a friend …  However, there is so much that outside support can help, and you must help yourself.
  • Pick yourself up.  Get dressed everyday, take care of your physical appearance, force yourself to look your best even if you don’t feel like doing so.  It is easier to wear your pajamas all day than taking the time and effort to look yourself in the mirror and work on your image.  This is only one of the pieces in the mirror that you might have to pick up.
  • Talk to your spiritual source – the fountain of your inspiration and divinity, whatever you may call it.
  • When you wake up in the morning, just say Hello.  It means that you are still here and ready to try once more.  If you happen to believe in a Divinity, then you are also greeting the divine source, and if you don’t, you are greeting the world in which you are waking up.  One more day, one more opportunity or thousands of them.
  • Love the people and pets that you hold dear to you.  Appreciate them and watch them be, and be grateful that they are in your life.
  • Pick up your environment, your home, and make it pretty again.  Right now, where you are is your home.  Clean, yes clean, as you clean on the outside, you are cleaning in the inside.
  • Talk to people and share, whether in person, phone, or online.  A bit of isolation helps you find yourself, but eventually you must emerge.
  • Do things one at a time.  Do things with loving care, taking time and minding them.  Don’t try to multitask.
  • Every night when the lights are out, in silence, give thanks for whatever you are thankful that day.  This is not so much to thank the divine or the universe but to acknowledge the good in your life, and make room for more blessings in your heart.  You will have more blessings, but for that, you have to make room in your heart.
  • As for your purpose, to each its own, and all it is, is a plan to make you happy – the ultimate goal.  Now go on, blessed be your life and the ones under your wings.


The Elusiveness of Success

A carpenters' ruler with centimetre divisions

A carpenters’ ruler with centimetre divisions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one point or another, we think about success, about how “successful” we are in our lives or endeavors.  The problem with measuring success is that we usually measure it against an ideal set up by society or against the success of others in our circle or people whom we admire and consider successful.  It is no surprise that most people would consider themselves unsuccessful and may feel a bit discouraged or sad about their stagnant lives or careers.  Little do we know that we are looking in the wrong direction and we are using the wrong measuring stick.

The question is, if we want to be successful (success is defined here as feeling realized and whole) why are we looking outwards when we should be looking inwards?  Why use the success of others as a measuring stick when we are our own “self” with unique dreams and goals, feelings about those dreams and goals, and a sense of where we want to be, whether clear or not at the moment.

Maybe it is that we are taught (since early age) to look at role models not so much in admiration but as imitation.  When we are asked the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” we are being asked, “who do you want to be like?”  If we happen to give the wrong answer, our parents or caretakers will offer a better suggestion – “why not becoming a – fill the blank – instead?”  And the quest for success starts.

I think that society needs role models, but not at the expense of creativity and individuality.  Role models fuel dreams, mentors inspire.  All that is good; however, it is sad that today we look to Hollywood to find role models, when we might have one in our backyards (and that is not to say that there aren’t any role models in Hollywood, because there are).  Without sounding preachy, let’s go back to the topic of success and why it may seem so elusive.

“Why don’t I feel successful?”  This is a good question to ask ourselves.  It focuses on the individual and his/her feelings, which is an inward point of view.  The minute we focus our answer outwards, there lies the problem (the culprit).  A possible answer could be – “Because I have not found an agent or a publisher yet” or “Because I don’t have much money” or “Because my art is not selling well enough” or “Because I am no Stephenie Meyer or Bill Gates” and it could go on and on …  These are examples of answers that point outwards and offer the wrong measuring stick.  The feelings of inadequacy that you might be experiencing may not be yours at all but rooted into the illusion of becoming like someone else, and that in itself is denying your own individuality (in a sense).  And this is why success is so elusive for most of us – because looking inwards is not that easy, and it is not what we were taught as we grew up.

So today, look inwards, take account of all your efforts, and see how far you have come, and celebrate that.  It is the first step to feeling successful and capturing the elusive butterfly.  Greatness comes from within and it becomes when it is directed to the service of others.