Doing the things that you love doing will…

Yesterday, I was watching online tutorial on an educational site. I needed a break so I decided to browse the site to see what else was available. It wasn’t long before I found a video by someone I haven’t seen since high school.

Let me preface by saying that I was pretty shy in high school. I didn’t have many friends but there were a number of people that would be kind and say “hi” to me or stop to talk with me now and again. Rays of sunshine: This woman was one of them.

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She was an ultra talented artist. I always admired her gift and her tenacity for choosing to pursue developing it.  And here she was, all grown up, presenting a video about her history, her growth, her successes and how she got to where she is today.

I smiled through the entire video. Because I always felt that she would go places and do great things. She had that mindset, even in high school. It was good to see her both proud of and happy with her accomplishments.

It also reminded me of what I used to love to do back then, and how I had chosen to set my “hobbies” aside to focus on my education and to prepare so that I would get a good job so that I could support myself. Back then, in my household, my joys were “hobbies.” And, to tell you the truth, I didn’t have it in me to push to succeed in them. I couldn’t see art or writing being my “ticket out of there”– “there” being my life of poverty.

They were decisions I don’t regret because they led me to where I am today. My life isn’t perfect but my experiences were crucial to my self-awareness and spiritual development.

Truthfully, I wish I hadn’t let them fall away entirely. And after watching that video I’m even more determined to, in some way, write and to draw every day. They are parts of me I don’t want to lose. They bring me joy and to put them aside to make room for some preconceived notion of what an adult is supposed to do to be a productive citizen is inconceivable to me right now.

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a small work in progress

Doing the things that you love doing not only brings joy to your heart, it affects how you are in the world. If more people experienced joy in the work that they do or the activities they pursue, the world would be very different than it is right now.

Is there anything that you’ve been conditioned to believe you had to give up to become an adult? Think about it. Perhaps a person can be an adult and still do the things that he/she loves doing.

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Thank You …

I was standing in my back yard the day after one of the most horrendous events in New York City’s history. Still suffering some shock and disbelief, I heard the roar of two jets flying overhead.usa-flag-830720_640

Before the terrorist assault on us, it was a rare and annoying sound polluting the air with noise. But that day, I looked up my eyes filled with tears and I smiled. That day, the noise and jet trails gave me a feeling of security and safety. Those pilots up there were protecting us, keeping us safe and watching the skies. While the smoke was still visible in the distance, and the air was still clouded with tiny ash particles, those brave individuals were up there making sure there were no more attacks.

I looked up and said a silent prayer for their safety and then I waved at them and thanked them aloud. In fact, I shouted it, “Thank you for keeping us safe.”

On this Veterans Day I want to thank each and every member of our military forces, veterans and those in active duty alike. Thank you for what you do and have done to keep America and her people safe.

We Vanquish Hate With …

There have been many hateful ideas, words and acts infused into the 2016 presidential election. And not only have they come from the candidates, but the supporters that follow them as well.

Even the best of us have at one point felt the anger, fear, disgust and the hate while watching the drama unfold. We’re human. We feel these things. However….

How can we come back from this? How can we reclaim trust in not only the government but the world around us?

There have been some who have already offered us an answer.

Here’s one that’s been around for a long time:

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Hay Copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Excerpt):

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal….

…It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(Sources: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm)

And another answer:

It’s not solely the government’s responsibility to create the atmosphere of change, of unity. It’s up to each of us as well. Listen to the words. They’re a wake up call. Living them is a step toward healing. Living them is a step toward putting out the fire of hatred.

Quoting Michael Jackson: If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change.

Just because others aren’t there yet, doesn’t mean you can’t begin to make that change today.

(Sources: YouTube, Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. © 1987 MJJ Productions Inc)

And still more answers:

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1 John 4:20 – 4:21

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 

Mark 12:31

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

(Sources: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org (and http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-John-4-20/ and http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-John-4-21/))

And more:

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From the Tora

“Do not take revenge, do not bear a grudge against a member of your people, love thy neighbor like yourself.1

1 Vayikra, Parshas Kedoshim, 19:18.

(Sources: http://torah.org/learning/jewish-values-love/)

 

Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Excerpt: …the Torah tells us “to walk in all God’s ways” (Deut. 11:22). Every human being is created in the image of God. That makes God our role model. We try to clone ourselves after the Almighty!

Practical Ways to Emulate God

In describing the mitzvah to walk in God’s ways, the Talmud says: “Just as He is merciful, so you be merciful. Just as He is kind, so you be kind.”

(Sources: http://www.aish.com/tp/b/sw/48966591.html#.WCS-P1XPnqk.link)

And another:

From the teachings of Islam

“But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, The Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this World: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: For Allah loves not those who do mischief.” (28:77)

“Allah forbids you not, With regard to those who Fight you not for (your) Faith Nor drive you out Of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (60:8)”

(Sources: http://theislamiccenter.com/worship/understanding-the-meaning-of-the-basic-foundations-of-islam/)

So it is also that Reiki’s precepts have answers for us.

I will not worry.

Worry is a face of fear. And fear of the unknown, fear of others, fear of what hasn’t even happened yet fuels the fire of anger. Let it go or it will devour you.

I will not anger.

Although it can be useful to spur us to action, uncontrolled anger is useless and moves us further from any constructive, positive results. Again, it will devour you if you don’t transform it into positive channels.

I will be kind to my neighbor and all living things.

Sound familiar? Kindness is contagious. Sure, there will be some people you encounter who will not spread the kindness you offer them. But sowing the seeds of what you want to see in the world begins you.

I will be true to myself and to others. (Or, I will be honest in my work.)

Truthfulness, which apparently has been difficult of late for many, is crucial to building trust.

I will be thankful for my many blessings.

And yes, we do have a great deal to be thankful for. We are, after all, living in one of the greatest countries in the world where freedom reigns. Where else could a protester burn someone in effigy without being hauled off to be imprisoned, tortured or executed? This is FREEDOM.

We take it for granted because it’s part of American life. But there are so many other countries where even complaining about the government would be a death sentence.

We don’t need to make America great again. It already is the greatest nation in the world. Can we make it better? Of course. But that feat begins with each one of us. Every action. Every day.

We owe it to our children, and our children’s children to be the role models of how we want things to be. We owe it to them to emulate the behavior we want to see in our country. Even if others can’t or won’t behave. We can

Let’s move forward. Let’s agree to disagree but disagree to hate. Let’s vanquish hatred by striving for tolerance, understanding, compassion and love.

 

 

(Note: Updated to correct formatting errors and to include references.)

 

Making mistakes is …

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Before I  had 9-to-5 jobs, and before I began studying Reiki, I was a student and amateur writer. One of the things I had to fight to overcome as a writer is my tendency to be too self-critical. That old saying “I’m my own worst critic,” attributed to Adam Jones, was something that was always true for me when I was writing.

What I didn’t learn until much later was that to be a good writer you have to make mistakes and let them be, at least for a time. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. What makes us better is learning from those mistakes. This understanding is something to incorporate in all aspects of one’s daily life.

So, don’t berate yourself for mistakes. Instead, remember that making mistakes is how we better ourselves and how we learn.

Check out the following post from The Evolutionary Mind for more tips about being successful at writing.

Light and love,

Lucinda

First-Draft Success Every Time You Write

Your first-draft is the most important part of any writing project. This is the foundation to what will be your prized work of art.

Source: First-Draft Success Every Time You Write

 

I Voted For …

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As I walked up to my polling place (well, actually it was not officially my polling place as I choose to vote by mail-in-ballot, hand-delivered to the closest polling place), there were no hucksters trying to sway public opinion, no sign-wavers, the street was relatively quiet and it wasn’t what I expected.

In fact, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the people working were not only pleasant, they were all smiling and happy to provide the service for this year’s election.

After all the negative energy of this election season, I fully expected something unpleasant to happen. I expected all the gloom and doom and danger the media were purporting would happen. The fact that nothing bad actually happened, filled me with a gratitude and renewed feeling of trust in the American people–something I felt that was slipping away from me this election year.

It made me recall something I’d learned long ago–not to buy into the fear-mongering, the negativity and ire of the media because ultimately it isn’t real. In the moment of everyday life what’s real is right in front of you. And you can pay attention to it, revel in it, make it good (or improve it) and honor it.

Feeling a lot better, I deposited my ballot. This year I voted for … hope.