Answering Your Calling – Enjoy the Process

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is full of surprises, of twists and turns, of straight roads, of the predictable, of the inevitable, of the good, and of the not-so-good … life is a miracle. It seems short many times, too short; other times, it may seem as an eternity, depending on what chapter are you living or reliving. When we are young, we live day by day, as if life is eternal; with the pass of time, we realize that it is not, and so our search for meaning begins. We experience mid-life crisis, moments of enlightenment, moments of despair, epiphanies, and absolute sense of loss. Time becomes important, precious, our best ally, and our worst measure of self. We come to a halt; suddenly, we need more, meaning and purpose – we want to find our calling. So we set on a journey of discovery, introspection, and awe. A journey that is different for every human being. To each, its own, says the adage. We focus on finding, and we search and question, ponder and wonder … and we become exhausted. We have not found our calling. Maybe, there is nothing to be found. How can we find what is already there?

We don’t have to find our calling, we have to answer it. Each human being is here for a reason, an important and unique (as DNA) purpose. It is engraved in us, and no matter how much time goes by, the calling is still there. Our searching is part of the process of discovering to be able to answer when we are ready – in perfect synchronicity, in harmony. Instead of enjoying this process, we become frustrated, impatient, sad, lonely, angry, desperate, hopeless, doubtful, without faith … we forget about the now, the moment that is part of the whole that becomes the calling. When we become aware of the now, we begin to answer. Wonderful and magical things happen as we become present.

Perseverance – Is it Worth the Pain?

Tape measure

Tape measure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it worth it? I have asked this a few times. It is a question that one time or another will cross your mind and heart. The answer to it is as individual as we are. It comes down to not so much the Why or What or even When but of How Much. How much do you want something (Fill the blank)?  This is where the answer is. I have read countless of books on achieving goals/dreams and many of them focus on the Why. Find your why and you will find a reason. This is true; however, sometimes a reason is not enough, no matter how powerful. Sometimes it comes down to how much you want something, and is it worth the pain to achieve it. By pain I mean all the things you will have to do, modify, change, refuse, sacrifice, endure … to persevere to get what/where you want.

Is it a matter of time? To each its own, time is irrelevant, I have found (although necessary as a measure in the physical). It is my perception of time that matters. How long am I willing to keep on going, on believing, on working towards this or that, on waiting, on just being there, on trying, on moving on, on … How much am I willing to give? How much of my time, my energy, my effort, my hope, my faith, my focus, my interest, my … How much? How much longer will I … persevere? Is it worth it? The answer is as individual as you are. How Much for you is all about You. You, Me, we are in constant evolution. You, Me are one and of the same. It adds another layer, doesn’t it?

The Closet

Linen Closet

Linen Closet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A bit different from what I usually write, maybe dark and creepy, but inspiration comes in all colors, and sometimes, unexpected 🙂

 

The Closet

 

Hanging by a thread,

Pinky lets go of the rope,

Fighting to grab thin air,

I began to fall, deep dark hole.

 

Nails screeching the atmosphere,

Long way down the depth of soul,

The slow fall, miles of hope,

Pretending the bottom never touch.

 

The closet calls, inviting

A safe haven of obscurity

Knowing truth, I avoid the call

For if I go in, I will never be back.

 

Not lost of body,

Not lost of soul,

But of the mind,

Long lost, lone gone.

 

 

 

 

Doubting Your Path, Saving Your Step

In most cultures, education is important and regarded as primordial in obtaining a great job, and a better future/life. I agree that education is one of the greatest tools/steps a person can take to enrich his/her life, as well as to open doors to a good future (and present); however, at times, society blinds us to accept expectations that may not be our own. It is not unheard of the person who becomes a lawyer planning to earn a healthy income, when his/her heart is speaking art, and every cell of his/her body is aching to live creating art (whatever the form), but the mind is focusing on the material/monetary part of making a living, therefore he/she chooses the path of less resistance, a more secure path. Years later, despite a successful career and many achievements, there is a void that can be felt, despite futile attempts to fill it with —————– fill in the blank. What is that void, and why?

Most likely, it is the crevices of the creative self, drying out and opening up, longing for a fresh start, and a bit of creativity.  It is the soul that starved for art for so many years and the creative spirit that has not died because it still has not fulfilled its joy. Some answer the call, changing careers and accepting a joyful way of life, while others ignore the call, deciding to stay safe, and sacrificing the experience of a more fulfilling journey. They have their own reasons, all valid, however costly.

The myth of the starving artist continues to keep the creative spirit at bay, preventing some artists to use education as a great and valuable tool to perfect their craft and create a satisfying pathway when they embark on the journey of their lives – selecting a career they love, loving what they do, doing what they love. Education enriches the journey. When you doubt your path, you can save your step, or a lifetime of steps, by using education to enhance your passion.

What if you doubt your path, even when you know that it is what you should be doing? You have listened to your heart, took a few steps in the right direction, and now, you doubt. You may have come to a halt, saving your step, and puzzled, frustrated at the lack of results, enveloped in exhaustion, saturated with the sweat of your hard work, dedication, and tears … collapsing almost, with every heartbeat that becomes faint, as you fall into your knees, looking at the dirt on the road, the dust that surrounds your creative self, and you see the drops that seem to kiss it, as they fall, the tears, the sweat … . I am so tired, you think, because you cannot utter the words. The lack of results (whatever your measure) rendered you mute, numb to creativity, desolated, angry. Angry with you and the entire world. Why? you think. I have done everything I should, and more; why? you whisper, why? you cry out! In your hands, the dirt of frustration you hold tight, squeezing every grain, until you open them, and slowly release the sand into the breeze, watching it go, lifting your eyes up, up from the dirt of the pathway, and taking in the same breeze that carries the sand. Then you notice the sky, the clouds, the birds … as if for the first time.  Because you have looked at your steps for so long, focusing on the pathway, hurried in your journey, dying to get there fast, you forgot to look up and take in all the beauty that looking up held for you. It is a new perspective now, and all it took was to save your step. Now, somehow your path seems anew, the journey seems full of possibility, and your creative soul, refreshed. Doubt? You don’t seem to find it. You breathe, you dust yourself up, you smile, and feeling grateful you happen to find yourself standing up, ready to take the next step. It is a new perspective, and all it took was to save your step.

The Comfort Cup of Coffee

I love sci-fi and monster movies, not so much people killing people, but more the fantastic kind – werewolves, mummies, aliens, vampires …. One thing these movies have in common is the cup of coffee that the desperate people who have run for their lives decide to have once they have found shelter, a safe place for a brief time, until the ordeal starts again. It never fails, whether in an abandoned building, a hut, the middle of the forest, or a cave, they manage to make that cup of coffee that seems to bring comfort, somehow. This is one of my favorite moments in a movie, so much, that sometimes, I run to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee for myself, as if I too, am being comforted, and inside the movie. Besides, I happen to love coffee so much, that any excuse is good enough to have that extra cup. Why am I writing about coffee? Well, because we all need that moment, or what I call “the comfort cup of coffee.”

We need to have that moment of peace, of feeling safe, of stopping all the running we do and coming to a halt – to meditate, ponder, and reassess our direction. We need that cup of coffee (whatever that may be for you) to help us reenergize and keep going. One thing I have understood is to take that moment when I seem to need it – it makes a difference in what follows next. Whether your cup of coffee is time alone for yourself, a much-needed vacation, a weekend or day off, a sabbatical, a walk in the woods or the beach, or time well spent with people you love and have not seen for a while … it doesn’t matter what it is, because it is personal, and the result is always “feeling better,” “re-energized,” and “strong.” Timing is also different for everyone; you will know when it is time for that comfort cup of coffee.

Food for thought – What represents that cup of coffee in your life? Have you ignored the need for it? Why? What happened as the result of not having it?

Ghost Words

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah

A trashcan at a food court in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I think about our kind, I see the complexity of our being.  This morning for example, I went for my early walk, and saw this complexity unfolding.  I am a hello, good morning person, so when I am walking and happen to see another of my species, I usually say the words.  Many times, I get some kind of response – a smile, a gesture of a head tilted sideways with a subtle up movement, a hello or a good morning.  Other times, I get nothing, a stern look, or a head down, avoiding eye contact.  This has puzzled me for so long – why do people do this?  Even animals, acknowledge other species, and theirs.  This morning, I said Good Morning to a woman who was cutting some flowers, and who politely answered with a short and quick good morning, the kind with the absence of a smile.  Later on, I said good morning to a man who had come out of his home and was ready to collect his garbage cans.  He looked at me, as if I had just insulted him, and said nothing.  As I walked further, I spotted a crossing guard who was walking to reach her morning post.  I smiled, but instead met with the quick head down to avoid eye contact.  Later on, I encountered two neighbors driving to their destination flashing smiles and waving. Thank God I’d just reached home and that was the last image I had on my mind – my happy neighbors – because I was beginning to feel a bit uninspired and yes, puzzled, about why people behave that way so early in the morning. I understand when people have had a rotten day, but so early?

It is true that we are living in a fast technologically “challenged?” society, and that we seem to “need more hours” to keep up the pace. However, we seem to have forgotten good manners while we spend the 24 hours we have. It seems to me that two very important words/phrases are almost nonexistent these days – GOOD MORNING (or Hello) and THANK YOU.

It may be my perception, but I seem to hear them less these days. It was very important to say Thank You or Good Morning, not too long ago, although it may seem another century, or as if these words have been relegated to retail pleasantries status. It puzzles me when a door is held or opened for someone, something is given, or someone takes the time or effort to do something for someone, even for a stranger, and these words are never said. As if the person at the other end was a ghost.

What has happened to us? Why are these words less important today than a few decades ago? I am not sure if the speed we live our lives has to do anything with it, or is it that our values have changed, and good manners are not important any more? Sometimes I get more thank you’s from automated systems/services or machinery than from human beings. It is not that I want to be thanked all the time, but more of a concern about “where is our kind headed.” A world where everything is taken for granted? One without gratitude? One where machines seem to have better manners than humans? Or are we there?

We all have our slip-offs and moments of “zombie awareness,” but when our hurried steps/lives become more significant than the generous acts of others (who happen to have the same 24 hours that we have), maybe it is time to stop the purposeless frenzy and think about how long  has it been since we said the Ghost Words.  By the way, Thank You for reading this.

 

Productivity Recipe and Boredom Blast

When inspiration runs dry and you get a case of the blues, whether writer’s block is operating on the background or frustration knocks at your door, productivity suffers and boredom settles in – life’s loses its luster, gray days abound, and opaque hours seem to stop time.  This may happen to anyone, at any time; I have been there.  I want to share with you a simple system I came up with that will help you fight those blues and keep you from becoming bored or uninspired.  I assure you that you will always have something to dream about, something to be grateful for, and something to do.  That in itself can jumpstart your inspiration.  I call this system my Inspirational Jars, and that is just what it is.  I use three empty glass jars and I label each one – Love Notes, Pick a Chore, and Promise Jar.  Each Jar has a purpose; each jar gives me something to do.

  • PICK A CHORE – I fill this jar with all kinds of single chores written in small cards (make them colorful for fun and visual impact).  I write as many things that come to mind that I have to do, whether soon or in a near future.
  • LOVE NOTES – In this jar, I write the things that I would like to do for others (in small cards so they fit in the jar), whether it is to make a gift, visit someone, call someone, invite someone to dine, wash my husband’s truck … It is all about giving and Love.
  • PROMISE JAR – This jar is very important to me because it contains many dreams and things that I want or love to do.  Things that are in a distant future or things that I can do right away.  It doesn’t matter how big the dream is; it goes inside that jar.

The idea is to sit down and write as many small cards you can and fill those bottles, and if one day you think of something else, just write it and deposit it in the bottle.  If you ever feel bored, uninspired, and not knowing what to do, pick one card from one of the bottles and do/dream/plan/execute whatever you wrote on that card.  If it is something you cannot do now, you can always put it back and pick a card from another bottle or from the same jar, or you can sit down and dream/plan how to work towards that dream or goal.  You will never ran out of things to do if you keep filling those inspirational jars.  Make them pretty, colorful and enticing.  Have fun creating this system.  Create your own system depending on what you want to do.  For example, a jar for blogging topics, a jar for writing scenes or character names … Mine are just what I use to keep productivity and inspiration alive.  Here is what my Inspirational Jars look like.

 

Inspirational Jars

I hope that you enjoyed this tip.

The Pursuit of a Simple Life is Not Simple

It may seem as a contradiction but it has been my experience. Maybe, I over think stuff, maybe I am over-committed to stuff (and I don’t mean material stuff), but for many, the pursue of a simple life has started by abandoning all that is, and starting fresh; not my case. I love to hear stories about people who have made radical changes and quickly left their jobs, old life, material ties, and abandoned themselves to the pursuit of a meaningful and simple life, whether traveling the world, or doing something totally different – careers … Yes, I love those stories and deep inside, I wish I could do the same.

However, when I started the pursuit of a simple life, life got in the way of it. How it happens? To each its own, and circumstances are individual, that is the only explanation I have. It has taken work, time, and effort to start this pursuit – it almost takes all the fun out of it, right?

For me, the simple life goes beyond the abandonment of the current – it has taken the path of learning a new lifestyle, of changing career, understanding spirituality, and the attempt of moving physical locations, along with the systematic purging of the material, and the fulfillment of some material commitments as well. All that takes time, and it will take as much time as you are deep in it. Somehow, the simple becomes slow, systematic, complicated … far.

As long as there is an understanding of this reality, the pursuit of a simple life becomes a dream, a goal, an aspiration. You learn to ditch, you learn to do, you learn, and you learn, and at one point you get tired of learning and doing, and you want to learn to ditch more, but life becomes reality, and simplicity becomes a place down the road, and the wheels suffer wear and tear. It makes you think of the one who have jumped in the pursuit with no regrets and no second thoughts of what is behind – have they? I will never know – to each, its own.

One thing is for sure, the simple life does require other than a simplistic approach, at least, in my understanding. I have ditched, learned to do things different, to wait for the right time to be able to change physical locations, to change careers and to learn all needed to do that in the process, to deal with the close-minded, to deal with consequences, learned to accept time, and learned to let go of what doesn’t suit the simple life anymore – whether material, spiritual, or human.  In the meantime, I hope that time does not morph into lassitude, and pray that I don’t end up with broken wings.

monarch wings

Why Am I Here?

I am sure that at one point or another we ask this question to ourselves.  It is the big question, at the brink of figuring out existentialism, our own, our desires, our goals, but no – it is more than that, the big Why.  But maybe that is not the only approach, or even the right approach; maybe, it is better to know that WE ARE HERE.  Yes, we are here and what you do with your time here is up to you and no one else. Do you really need a why to realize it? Or, do you dare to realize that YOU ARE HERE, and that in itself is one of the greatest discoveries and mysteries.  Dare to dream, but dare to accept that the infinite lives in you and you are here, in the infinite, while you try to figure out why.  Once you accept this, the why will be secondary to the greatness that you heart will experience, to the deep communion with all it is, and all it is inside you, and all is everything.

I came across this awesome NASA Timeless Earth video posted by youtuber boatright.  Watch it, and pay attention at how you feel when you are watching, and enjoy it because yes, you are a part of all that – of everything. All I can say is that I am glad that I AM HERE.