"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)



“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Think Kuji! Think! | Kujichagulia & Kwanzaa


Kujichagulia is Kwanzaa's second principle. It means self-determination. In order to determine for self you have to think for self.

I think most of us were taught and teach our kids to not follow the crowd. “Even if you're the only one,” we tell them, yet this is exactly what we start doing the older we get. I guess thinking for yourself is only a temporary teenage thing to try out and take with a grain of salt. I guess not thinking for yourself is proper in the land of the free and home of the brave. Being self-determined in many respects is anti-everything.

This brings us to the dangerous notion of ”political correctness”-- an oxymoron, misnomer and dichotomy all in one. Political correctness keeps us from speaking plainly while masquerading as politeness. It effectively keeps us afraid to speak what we think and adhere to a code of conduct that appeases the majority and thus only benefits the majority.

Any publicly pervasive notion, we trust, instead of our intuition. It's time to stop believing our individual thoughts, ideas, opinions, actions, abilities, resources and power don't matter. If what we think doesn't matter then why is so much time spent trying to methodically control and program what we think? Why is so much effort given to blackening anything that sheds light on injustice or upholds basic truths and rights? It's time to hold these truths to be self-evident in our thoughts and prevalent in our lives.

Truth is, in order to get you to do anything, they must have your buy-in to keep you buying whatever the pusher man has. You must think there is greater benefit to you to give someone else's thinking priority over your thoughts. You must think there is greater safety and security in sitting down and shutting up rather than standing up and speaking out.

Everything you do takes place in your thoughts first. Your actions and behavior are just the automatic results of what you think. If you think like someone else, let it be because you came to the final decision independently, willingly and knowing the ramifications of your actions that will follow and not from feeling afraid, powerless or not knowing your impact in the Universe.

The sad part is this: We think we're thinking for ourselves when we're not living the way we want to. Once we learn to think for ourselves and give the status quo the heave-ho, 4 out of 5 dentists won't be able to tell us what gum to chew and no one will be able to keep us buying stuff instead of substance, equating quality with publicity or convince us not to vote or vote differently because our candidate can't win. Think Kuji! Think!

Be determined to be yourself because you are what you think whether they're your thoughts or not.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Passion -- Let It Go


Passion is self-renewing energy that radiates from a deeply-held belief. It is not a thought. It is momentum that never goes away. Passion is the motivation that gives you the drive, determination, dedication and discipline to accomplish your goals. It cannot be faked, found, borrowed or manufactured. Passion comes naturally.

Natural passions usually surface during childhood, a time when money was not a motive and beliefs were uninhibited by the limiting logic of adulthood.

When you think, “I want to do that,” that is mindspeak. When you feel, “I can do that,” that is heartbeat. Passion changes things.

Each person has a purpose born, bred and breathed into their spirit without prejudice. Once we believe and trust this promise, we can finally let go and grab hold of whatever we imagine.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Big Break - Part I


Often when we learn about famous people, the stories talk about their big break. This usually means they were discovered, but don't get this twisted. They were “discovered” doing the thing they love. Before that they were rehearsing, immersing and sacrificing; not once in awhile, but all the while. They were discovered putting their resources where their beliefs were.

Here's an example of what it's like to simply just “get discovered.”

A publisher knocks on my door and says, ”I was just driving by looking for writers and since your door was the only one closed and the lights were off, I sensed you must be an all-around creative person.”
I'm so delighted that I must be living right, I quickly invite him in. He asks me to show him my best writing and I point to the closet. He smiles and says, “I know. That's where we always discover the good stuff. I'll find what I need and be out of your way in a minute.” While he's reading all my pride and joys and flashes of brilliance, I return to watching TV while notifying everyone that I'm about to be famous. The angel of knowing how good I am, appears again. He's somehow carrying nearly everything I've written and tells me I really am an amazing talent. “Sign here.” At last, confirmation! I sign off on my big break while still watching American Idol, because I'm a dreamer for life. He tells me it's a good thing I was at home and answered the door. “Some people are not where they should be and others won't open the door to strangers. Can you believe that?” The publisher leaves and says he'll take care of everything and send me my money. I smile and say, “I know. Just like I knew one day my big break would come.”

WAKE UP! The notion that my big break is an external event places my dreams and destiny into hands other than mine and my partner's.
My big break comes when I break away from my mindset and bad habits. My big break comes when I break ground on my dreams to lay the foundation for success and satisfaction not fame and fortune. My big break comes when I break a sweat and see daybreak after working all night long. My big break comes when I break some relationships and build others. My big break comes each time, my self, gets discovered, by me. These are the breaks. The rest is baloney.

Big Break Baloney!
(Sing using the Oscar Mayer Bologna tune)

My baloney has a first name, it's M-y-b-i-g
My baloney has a second name, it's B-r-e-a-k
Oh, I try to seek it every day
I believe it's the only way
Cause my big break is easier than
Working, h-a-r-d every day.


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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Understanding Art


Art is not merely skill or technical ability. Show me someone whose talent is technique and I'll show you clinical creativity, but not art. All creativity is not art. Art emerges from gifts and personal passions. Art is mainly the agility of thought and feeling that remains vibrant through ages despite the art form.

In order to understand art we must become involved beyond looking, hearing or reading. Being open to experience the thoughts and feelings at the heart of art awards us the privilege to receive greater appreciation and awareness. (By the way, open-mindedness is an active state of existence that requires seeking, weighing and trying to understand, not passively waiting and saying, “I'm open-minded. I listen when someone wants to tell me what they believe.”)

The involvement of our mental, spiritual and emotional selves with art leaves room for each individual to have a different experience, thus making art personally relevant and rewarding. This is the agility of art. It causes us to reach, tiptoe or get a stool if we have to. Likewise, it causes us to bend, uncover and discover its nuances.

Understanding is a beautiful thing. To him who engages art and does not wait to be entertained or always expect instantaneous or effortless understanding comes greater treasures, pleasures and insights. This reaffirms the necessity for art to remain individualized in its creation, appreciation and understanding.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chicago Drivers: City Slickers Stuck


Chicago drivers are city fed on pretty cozy conditions. In a land of multiple lanes and mostly flat, gently curving roads, the biggest hazards are each other. Yet, only one thing is certain. City drivers slow down for everything except construction workers. Whenever there's an accident, traffic stop or tire change, drivers become gawkers and traffic stoppers. Understandably you can't gawk and keep going at the same time.

When it comes to driver behavior in Chicagoland, I've learned to expect an overreaction during any single drop of rain or snow. These wet weather events instantly freeze dry motion. Today, there wasn't even enough snow to fill a Dixie cup; yet, Hell froze over right before my eyes. Seconds later, I added my request for bladder control to the growing number of prayers clogging the airwaves.

The only time traffic stopped in West Virginia was when rain raced through the mountainous funnel like bad news on a slow Samaritan day. Chicago drivers, could we at least go 10 mph? Pull over if you're petrified, other than that, keep moving people! If these same drivers found themselves in mountain country at the same time there's even a hint of inclement weather, they'd have nervous breakdowns.

Although it took 90 minutes and 10 gallons of gas to travel 5 miles, I wasn't completely stuck. I did a bit of writing.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Giving Thanks & Wondering


There must be countless ways to give thanks besides getting together with gobs of food. Couldn't the spirit of thanks find expression in a place of minimization, solitude and fasting?

Is the absence of work and the presence of gobblers the essence of gratitude? Many work during and on holidays, some by choice. Are they ungrateful, unhappy? I'm sure some are appreciative while doing so.

Holidays are holy days. What about those 300+ unofficial, non-nationalized holidays? How do we give thanks for anything at anytime? By satisfying ourselves, buying each other presents, feeding each other or by using our gifts and talents and sharing them with those who need them or by investing in self improvement more than home improvement?

What do we give thanks for? What we have or what we give or some of both? Are we thankful for life and opportunity? Do we wish each other well every day with the festiveness of holiday fever? Do we encourage and require each other to be better. Do we abide by the golden rule, the greatest commandment or the second greatest? Do we stop lying to ourselves (the source of every outward lie and root of evil) and seek satisfaction in our spirit? Do we pursue our purposes and use our gifts?

Over the years, I get the sense that sometimes our method of giving thanks has an obligatory component. There's a pressure to participate rather than pleasure. I gotta cook. I gotta shop. I gotta decorate. I gotta travel. I gotta deal with that relative. I ain't gonna get no rest, etc...What do we really give thanks for? That it's over? To be able to return to our routines? To be able to go back to work and rest? To be able to replenish our other resources?

What are we thankful for now, three days after one of the biggest events of our seasonal lives? I am thankful for flexibility, options and individuality. I'm thankful to be able to help in moments of need and not when it's convenient. I am thankful for spontaneous kindness that is empathized, even if by imagining and wondering, “how would I...?” or “what if I...?”

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Happy versus Happier


Words are merely mechanisms to convey meaning. Desperate clinging to the English language, especially in informal settings, in light of its ad libbed existence and erratic tendencies, is retentive of ignorance and an incontinence of sense.

If I am already happy and my happiness increases and I want to describe this feeling should I say I am more happy or happier? While considering this pseudo-dilemma should I hold my lips and buttocks as tightly as possible or is it more lovely or lovelier to relax and communicate in the manner of the moment?

I said “more happy.”

”You dress like that and talk like that?” interrupted the cool whipper.

Yep! And I also write like that and like this and any other way that says what I choose to convey. Oh, and by the way, f**k you!

At times I grunt, groan, whoop, hoot and holler to express myself quite effectively. Pray tell their proper usage. Meaning and communication of ideas, thoughts and emotions comes from words, actions, silence, absence, physiological changes, etc. in combinations far more superior than English.

Word usage for “proper English” sake has a so much more far greater uselessness than it does utility. In fact, “proper English” is logically inconsistent and plagued with internal turmoil, thus the constant confusion. This guarantees everyone will succumb to the schizophrenic English language from time to time, especially in personal settings.

No need for the proper police to panic. Extolling English is not the educational epitome of enlightenment. In fact, according to simplistic linguistics, the less “proper” you allow yourself to be, the more happier you will become.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Favor of Feedback


As I receive feedback, a delightful dimension envelopes me, one where HDTV and Bose are antiquated mediums for and measures of clarity.

At the risk of sounding silly, feedback means feeding back after being fed. Feedback is sought in all areas of life. The most noticeable examples occur during childrearing, in school, at work or when someone prepares a meal. We eagerly expect to know how we're doing or how we did. Thank you is feedback, a smile is feedback, clapping is feedback and giving back is feedback, as are prayer and praise. Feedback is a favor that goes a long way. Souls suffer without it.

An artist would starve to creative death without feedback which is why not sharing our talents and gifts puts us at risk of being malnourished and unable to flourish. Feedback helps us learn, grow, evolve and re-energize. Feedback allows this artist to re-enjoy his creation as experiences filtered and sifted through another soul - sorta like watching my child on the playground sharing favor, making friends.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Recurring Dreams & Meanings


I dream often. Some have obvious origins and meanings while others, for the time being, remain elusive, inconclusive.

After crossing the creek, I'm way over yonder from where I was, living full time, learning, teaching, yearning, reaching, sitting still, traveling, breaking down, establishing, raising sublime by thickening the line between extremes, staying focused, leaving a trail unpaved over rivers and oceans, stretching up from my knees and to those with needs, either way overcoming, step by leap by faith...

Sometimes I'm in the left lane on a super highway. Like a spectator, I watch my exit pass by. I figure I'll take the next exit or crossover but there aren't any for miles. The road takes many turns after once being mostly straightforward. It's getting dark, there's no way or where to pull over, plus there are no cell phones...

What are the meanings of these recurring dreams? I know my dreams are not merely for pondering or escapism, they are what clarifies and invigorates my visions, counter punches my indecisions.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

The problem with cool whip

It seeks to top someone else’s creation in an overly extravagant, supposed value-added way, yet without it, dessert is still dessert; but, without dessert, cool whip has little relevance. Fluff is never enough. It’s a Johnny-come-lately trying to be stately. It doesn’t have the deep history of dessert. It is sweet but sweetness is a poor substitute for inherent weakness.

cool whip is the longest little white lie with the strongest implications. It represents the artificial portion of humanity not the cream of the crop like cool people. cool whip needs its act whipped for real. Yet, no amount of whipping will make it butter, which is why it does not enhance taste. The problem with cool whip is that it really isn’t.

“cool whip” is a metaphor. “Cool Whip,” on the other hand, is a brand of Kraft Foods.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Help!


It’s deeply rewarding when someone (my friend from India) says, “You helped me.” Mind you, I haven’t talked to this person in over a year. Mind you, the “help” they’re talking about happened years before we last spoke; yet they still remember and still acknowledge it as though it just happened. In that moment of sharing, that moment of unique connection, there’s satisfaction, joy and simple pleasure that something done for someone had significance, made a difference and is still appreciated.

Whatever it was I did for this cool person must not have been much or complicated to me because I don’t even remember and I didn’t ask. It really doesn’t matter. Something small given, when needed, is a big deal to the receiver.

It’s deeply encouraging when another someone receives the results of your gift, is blessed and feeds you back by saying they’re going to support everything you do. She said she knows how important it is. Positive energy prepares and preserves the path.

Greater things are always at work. Our need and pleas for help bring answers from unlikely places. We must already have awareness, acceptance and appreciation to receive these blessings and opportunities.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Average Person's Expert


You know how in the movies this expert at something and this average person are in an impossible situation and the expert says to the average person, “Stick with me” or “Stay close” or “Do exactly as I say.” Then they go through a lot of stuff and they both make it. In real life I’m the average person and the Spirit’s the expert.

Just like in the movies, despite the seriousness of life situations, there’s usually a funny moment or two. After telling me about bravery last week, the Spirit poked me in the side and asked, “Can we move forward, please?” Though I hesitated, again, all it took was for me to say, “Yes we can,” again.

Last week I thought I was summarizing what it has taken when really it was what it’s gonna take. This is another phase and a time for refocusing. “A time for recommitment,” the Spirit added. “If you believe the most important thing about an accomplishment is the accomplishment itself, you don’t know the half of anything. Your thinking makes me finite, incapable of being all that I am. Blessings become abominations if they stop with your life.”

Blessings one has,
Not kept, but passed,
Will always last.
(From Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance, Permissions & Acknowledgements)

Related: Financial Information Sources, Gaming The Economy & Our Education

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm Not Holding My Breath


Having no expectations is a sure way to accomplish, have and experience a whole bunch of something yet nothing worthwhile. I try to avoid this truth in every area of my life. Expectations are my baseline for being. They are the standards and goals that give me control over the things I can.

My expectations are the result of internal question and answer sessions. Even with expectations in place, no matter what I do it will always be less than I’m capable of. (And even though Tiger Woods is the best, he could be better.) Imperfections breed inconsistencies. How much more should I have accomplished. How much of the good in me have I wasted being not as good as I should and by doing what, for what?

Though I’m happy for those who achieve their aim, I’m happier for myself because I can glean things for my own dreams. Doing so has helped me realize the only time the accomplishments of others seem like feats is when I am not being brave for myself. I now know the brave live full lives no matter what, so much so that half a brave life is inconceivable to most. What kind of bravery does it take to believe you can fly and then do it? Is it the stuff of titans and superhumans? Not at all, only the imperfect are great; therefore, I must stop holding my breath when others are simply doing their best on purpose and take deep breaths plus giant steps for myself.

I asked myself am I capable, do I have what it takes, can I handle this? How does an imperfect person attain their greatness? I asked many times not realizing this was not about my ability but about doubt and my low expectation of the reservoir within. The answer came calmly as always, “Just know the Spirit is immeasurable. Nothing can stop you because nothing can stop me.” Next, the forever giving nature said, “Let’s work together on this.” After that, silence. And then its final answer exceeded my expectations: “It takes the same amount of bravery to fly as it did for you to breathe your first breath not knowing you could or for how long. Yet, you continue because you must.”

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Whatever you do, Think Again!


The day has arrived! Actually the day has been brought to pass. Whatever is worthwhile and worth waiting for doesn’t just come about, action helps it arrive. The first adult book given through me is in my hands. This time last year I was in the midst of some crazy nonsense. After a brief stint of upheaval I found a settling place.

Sometime last December, due to multiple factors and influences, I decided to dedicate 2007 and my resources to doing what I’ve longed to do and should be doing. Since doubts, distractions and the fact I didn’t know how to do what I should do didn’t make the mountain high enough, I decided to add a river supposedly wide enough. I chose to publish a book of literary poetry, prose and short stories: a book the industry claims is hard to sell, especially from an unknown. They have yet to realize you only have to be known by yourself and the Spirit of Truth to be effective. It really is who you know once you know.

Though the last two statements above are affirmation enough, throw in a few practicalities and realities like a house hunt, purchase, upgrades, another move, a few do-it-yourselfs, countless searches and purchases, deliveries, miseries, home setup (ongoing), a family reunion, a full-time job, the unscrupulous, the unreliable, basic needs, smiling faces, people changing places, lives that don’t stop when yours begins and the rest of life that waits for no man, but instead makes demands, and you realize it takes a focus you’ve never had along with grace and faith to make it all work out.

Through it all, Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance is now available for your consideration.

I am fortunate in so many ways. This road of publishing despite the assistance of industry experts, family and friends still has been more than a notion, which is what it will always take to achieve consistent motion. Flexibility and patience have become my mentors since very little has gone as expected except the need to make a dozen daily decisions and the unfolding of this phase.

The degree to which we align ourselves with our purposes is the degree to which we will transcend and be transformed. The tuning of thoughts, actions and spirit builds a rhythm to flow by and this renaissance of self, to our original state, not only exudes an attracting energy but also an affecting energy of contagiousness greater than any plague because when passion and promise meet potential it becomes exponential. So no matter what you think you’re up against, think again because neither you nor anything else can outthink or outdo the Spirit.

Asante Sana. Hotep. Amina.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poor Creativity


Tales From A Family Reunion

My oldest brother loves to share this punch and counterpunch from one of his marital disputes after 30 years together:

“If I had the money, I’d leave you!”

“If I had the money, I’d give it to you!”

That was several years ago and they are still together. Being poor can have unintended benefits at times but being poor by American standards has been a predictable blessing, affording me unknown things in an environment of creativity, ingenuity, imaginative play and problem-solving. I call this “poor creativity.”

For the couple above, being poor was manifested in their creative arguing. They completely spun and turned around the phrase, “It’s cheaper to keep her.” This would not have been possible if they had expendable financial resources. For me, being poor fostered an eventual recognition for the value, importance and appreciation of things, especially once I began to work every day for money. This was reinforced when I had to pay for everything I needed and wanted.

The notion that poor means having nothing is exposed for its foolishness when I consider my upbringing where making the most of what you have and making it despite what you didn’t have served as incubators for creativity and material sensibility, by American standards. We had the essentials and had more than others in this and other countries back then and today. Clearly, we were never poor; yet we were afforded the invaluable benefits of poor creativity. I wonder if that couple feels the same.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

It Can Be A Wonderful Life


Appeared 12/30/07 on the next 45 years


Life is difficult when we limit our view of the relationships we cherish most to one type: male/female in the romantic sense. By considering all of the other types of relationships available to us, life will become more enjoyable and fruitful.

Opportunities for relationships are at every hand. Real relationships that will nourish us are our relationships with our God, nature, our family, friends, strangers, neighbors near and far, our endeavors, our vocations and our relationship with silence, stillness, meditation and prayer. Hopefully we will reach an understanding of our interconnectedness as a result of experiencing each aspect.

Taking these real opportunities is the shortest distance between where we are and where we want to be. Let's practice making ourselves more available in some way to reap the promises and blessings as offspring of a limitless Universal Nature. There is more for us no matter our age or our stage.

Without this perspective and preparation, when real opportunities knock, we might not recognize the sound or it will be as though we've fallen and can't get up to open the door.

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Chase Not, Compete Not


Life Sentences #1

Never chase and never compete unless you’re chasing your dreams or competing with yourself.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Talent Shmalent!


By Marcia Yudkin
Reprinted with permission from Marketing Minute newsletter.

Over the years, many people have asked me to look at their writing. "I need to know, do I have talent or not," they say.

Their request is seriously flawed, I'd reply. Anyone can become a better writer. When I taught English 101 at various colleges, I saw proof of this. Students with hackneyed, half-dead writing turned in lively, interesting essays by the end of the semester.

According to Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck, I was right to question the query about talent. Dweck's book, Mind-set: The New Psychology of Success, reports research showing that in education, the arts and business, people who believe talent is fixed and inborn do not fully develop their potential and do not recover easily from setbacks.

Those who believe talent can be developed, regardless of apparent starting point, not only achieve more but also prompt greater achievement in their children and staff.

Her best news: You can change your mind-set about talent or intelligence. In only two months, kids who were taught that the brain, like a muscle, improves with exercise saw their math scores rocket from F's to B's.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Artistry For Free?

Core concepts initially appeared as comments on Nick Daw’s Writing Blog.

Life would be a pervasive shade of grayscale without creative expression. Artistry has extensive and intrinsic value; however, this understanding has been lost when it comes to certain forms of written art.

The responsibility lies mainly with writers of poetry, short stories and articles. I suspect part of the problem is too many of us view our creativity as sideline contributions. Thus, we give too much talent away when offered a chance to participate in the publishing game and then expect to be fairly compensated when we turn pro. How many novels are published for free? How many screenplays are flooding the free market? How many tailors give away clothes? How many paintings are simply handed over? How many wood carvers whittle away just because someone wants their creation?

Artists should be paid. Venues that do not pay writers have every right not to. Writers who are not hobbyists should carefully weigh the long-term benefit of exposure and perceived prestige of a publication against their creative output’s ability to create input for their own bank book. The minute we give our writing away and it appears in a publisher’s showroom, the value plummets like a new car driven around the corner. Yet, our continued willingness to give our property and rights away has created a feeding frenzy on one end of the talent pool by non-paying markets while at the other end media machines pick and choose. Who can live off exposure? Exposure by itself is far less sustaining than love which, even at its best, love hardly puts food on the table.

In my infancy and ignorance, yes, I have given foolishly. Granted, not everyone wants to get paid or seeks satisfaction the same way. For those of us who want to earn a living using our talents, we must stop undervaluing our blessings in any form and any length. The beauty and value of art are not limited to our age, experience, training, credits, goals, culture, form, formulas, panels of judges or editors, etc. A beauty of art is that it transcends every man-made constriction, even the artist, because it flows from a spiritual gift which is forever equal in all respects to any other manifestation of the spirit. A value of art is its renewable ability to connect with us in pure places and transfer meaning across the space between lives. The only real difference in art is, not everything is for everyone; but, let’s let this be decided individually, freely.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Encouragement: The Gift Opener


This is a follow-up to “Opening The Gift of Childhood.”

A friend remembers being assigned a speaking role in a church performance at age 12. Although she dreamed of speaking before others and practiced speaking to imaginary crowds often, she begged her parents and church members to not make her go through with it. They said, “You can do it!” They didn’t fully realize her lack of confidence came from her reliance on others to do things for her. When the moment arrived, she froze, then, ran crying from the church. Her peers teased her but adults provided kind words and encouragement.

Now that facing a real crowd was no longer unfamiliar territory and with continued support to believe in her abilities, she began taking smaller steps. She spoke from her place in the congregation, collected church offerings, taught Sunday School, joined church and school plays and spoke in her classes. During this process she realized two things: (1) The same people she spoke to one-on-one were the same people in the congregation and (2) Communicating one on one was good but with groups, she could deliver the same message once and impact more people.

Overall, she learned to view challenges and frustrations as preparation for blessings. Whenever fear tries to surface anywhere, she reaches into this experience. As Tavis Smiley (quoting Marvin Gaye) suggests, she has “turned her fear into energy” and now speaks to groups on a regular basis and finds it much easier because speaking and her topics are her passions.



In high school, I was terrified of taking an English class from one particular teacher. I heard she was hard from student informants. I doubted my ability to comprehend and keep up with the concepts, the teacher and the really smart students. I tried to get out of it but couldn’t. I planned to do the minimum until I learned we had to write something everyday in a journal, let her read it, criticize it and grade it. Me? Write daily about something personal and let someone more knowing than me read it? However, I feared not graduating more than I feared not being good enough.

I rambled through the routine, wrote whatever and gambled with true feelings. In return, I received praise, encouragement, silence, gentle guidance and freedom to write my thoughts my way. Needless to say, writing then has helped writing now because that journal assignment was much more than an English lesson. It has helped shape my acceptance of this and other gifts as the purest form of praise to the Great Giver of Gifts. It opened my confidence, self view and worldview just enough. I learned another method to understand and communicate with myself and others. What I write can’t be changed plus it has the power to impact more people than I will ever meet face to face.

Encouragement in any form is a gift opener. We do angelic things when we consider the needs of others.

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Opening The Gift Of Childhood


I’m amazed and saddened at how many grown people over 40 believe they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. They say they don’t know what they want to do, what they’re good at or where their natural, God-given talents lie.

We lament lives cut short and talents taken to the grave rightfully so. Sadness fills the womb of Mother Earth. I mourn even more when we still have life and don’t do things on purpose despite the unopened gifts we know are already in the grave.

What do I think about, dream about, gravitate towards or do easily? What am I doing when time passes quickly and the thought of eating is an interruption? What do I do that I can’t wait to do again? In what area do I get a lot of ideas? What makes me feel alive?

Many answers are in the time prior to 18, our childhood years, a time when money was not a motive. Oftentimes what we once found challenging in our childhood is where our blessings and talents lie.

Here’s a novel idea. If you don’t know, ask somebody. It’s amazing how often family and friends can confirm what we can’t believe.

To be a success in life is to work with what you’ve got and make the most of what you have. You don’t have to be a public star to be a superstar. Go ahead! Open your gifts! If you’ve already been a faithful steward with one gift, then open another gift.

I’m 44 and just recently realized I’m supposed to write. This is a whole other level from wanting to, liking to or loving to. Please share when and what you’ve realized you’re supposed to do. What fulfills you fills the world with the joy of another gift being opened.

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Related: Unbreakable Evolution: Higher Purpose Coming Out
Gift Wrapping Poem
Whatever You Do, Think Again!
Passion – Let It Go
Real Pursuit of Happiness
Living Instinctively, Pollination, Nectar, Pollen

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Get True Love in Writing


At least that’s what I’m in the process of doing because there are things about true love that aren’t true. It’s not emotions, devotions and notions tied to another person; however, it is romantic, intimate, passionate, intense and trustworthy.

True love is not limiting, it’s expansive.
True love is the spirit breathing.
True love shows others it’s okay and possible.
True love is the art of self love.

True love identifies who I am and allows me to become more like myself.
True love does not force itself upon me but is the force that nurtures me.
Accepting this true love is what completes me.

Truth is, true love is just waiting on me. Perhaps I Corinthians 13 is writing enough.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Humanity, Spirituality & Creativity


Inspired by discussions regarding life-altering experiences. First posted 7/18/07 to CRPS/RSD taking control,


There is a universalness in human challenge, human conquering and human creativity that is spirit-revealing. Our ability to make public our experiences and ponder the experiences of others, keeps us linked through this universal nature of our humanity. This is the true human condition, this connectedness to each other through the same source.

This condition of being connected allows us to tap into a rich reservoir of lessons. Lessons that help us know things and navigate a customized course with a better understanding of the signs of how weaknesses and obstacles viewed with the inner true light can expose unknown strengths and obscured openings. This is a testament to the evolving and expansive nature of our spirit that cannot be contained or cornered. If our temporary physical selves can sometimes adapt to changes in circumstance and environment, the everlasting spirit, the constant force and presence throughout ages, always can.

One thing is certain: Magnificence is composed of minutia. We already believe the essence of this statement from truisms such as “day by day” and “step by step.” Now all we need to do is connect the rest. Can greatness come from one grain at a time, one portion, one person? The answer is in the fields and granaries of time and in the perseverance of single souls drawing upon the common silo of strength and single souls who understand entire energy is the consummation of working through processes and praying that unleashes sacred energy into our endeavors.

When we acknowledge the spirit self, we can comprehend any circumstance, in part, in terms of our own existence because every experience is tied to one or more basic truths. Stated concisely, these truths are equality of life and its liberties. Stated in more detail, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains these truths which apply throughout the realm and range of creation. Since we all have the same needs and share a commonality in the core of our existence (which is our basic, most powerful, spiritual state) what we succeed at or succumb to individually, affects the momentum and magnificence of the world. If we want to understand the state of the world we must seek to understand ourselves, each other and reflect on the state of individuals over time.

Bottom Lines:

All things have not been accomplished, but all tests and triumphs of the spirit have occurred. Once we tap into the spiritual element of our human nature, unleash the unlimited within and connect this power to understanding gained through our collective experiences, we can recreate Planet Earth, one small world at a time.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blogging For Babies - Part II


With over 70 million blogs and growing and millions of websites with content, what makes me think anything other than a behemoth, all-consuming effort will land my writing blog anywhere near the top 40, unless I live, eat and breathe in the blogosphere. I created a blog to enhance my writing objectives, not take over. I’ve found myself trying to create a blogdom and my ambition, long since gone awry. Along the way, I have found a few things that don’t take much time:

  1. Google Analytics helps me measure my website’s traffic.

  2. I created a list of favorite websites using “Template,” “Add a Page Element,” “Link List.”

  3. I maximized my ability to add page elements by going to “Template,” “Edit HTML” and searching for all occurrences of “showaddelement.” Then changing “no” to “yes.” I verified the results under “Template,” “Page Element.”

  4. I’ve saved notes to refer to each time I post using “Settings,” “Formatting,” “Post Template.” Notes to “Read Aloud,” “Spell Check,” “Check Links,” etc. have been helpful reminders. This is the perfect place to save frequently used HTML code, copies of basic links, links opening in new pages, picture links and anchor text links.

  5. I periodically type my name, user name, blog name, post titles and keywords into search engines to see what others see.

  6. Google Alerts helps me monitor words, phrases and topics of my choice.

  7. After accumulating content, I set up a Google AdSense Account. This allows advertisements related to my blog to be placed on my blog. In return I might earn money.

I love technology but hate technical stuff. Blogging is something I can do without an HTML degree as long as a steady, long-term perspective is maintained. I definitely can’t put all my energy into one blogsket. Ultimately, I am a wordsmith not a widget maker.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Conflicts, Creativity & Gifts


First posted 6/24 to CRPS/RSD taking control, Poetry and Writing page. Some changes made. “Gift Wrapping” is from the book, "Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance"

Conflicts will generally arise when the mind and body take even the slightest precedence and control over the heart, soul and spirit. Each person has intuitive gifts of discernment and intuitive gifts of creativity. We just have to slow down, quiet down and achieve stillness to be in communion with these gifts.

Creativity in some form comes naturally to each of us because it is a naturally occurring event (not a phenomenon) in the Universe and why the Universe exists at all. Creativity is the blood and breath of all we know. It is the nurturing force and the nutritional fullness of living on purpose.

Apart from Life itself being a gift, the safari of life is a bountiful realm in the gift department that supplies each of us with more than enough creativity to navigate and participate. All we have to do is come into the knowledge of these blessings.

Gift Wrapping

in sunlit spaces after raining
goodness and grace,
the unchangeable spirit
flashes colorful smiles,
continues accentuating, grooving
extending the line of true passion
from where God knows
to where aimers go,
manifesting into us along the way
with stylish, bold strokes,
a never-ending, free-flowing fountain
of thriving, rejuvenating potential,
enough for every thirst,
enough for every vessel.

Afterthought
Call someone a prodigy, gifted, talented, good, a natural, having a knack or a sixth sense if you want. These descriptions belong to everyone. We are born to create. These blessings come with breathing, gift-wrapped in our spirits by the Great Giver of Gifts.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Shopping Conspiracy and Depression


When all I’m trying to do is go to the store, get my stuff, a few gifts, pay a fair price and get out, why does everything about shopping seem to be a conspiracy?

The retail experience is like a shell game on a massive bass ackwards, overproduced scale, making shopping a gambler’s paradise. There is nothing fair about supply and demand except laissez-faire. Also, I have yet to find a single free market in this economy not even between fish and fruit.

I’m convinced stores rearrange products frequently to make customers focus on the hunt rather than how much. You can’t find items or the employees who hid them. This is known as merchandising; but for humans weaned on consumption, it’s antagonizing. Go color code the floor or something.

Newsflash to retailers: Shoppers move items all over because you do. Parents lose children in stores because shopping requires so much concentration and retaliation. Do you think all those clean ups are accidents? It’s to coax your child labor out of hiding.

If it’s all about the endcaps just make the entire store a bunch of square pods with an endcap on each side. Aisles of endcaps and one big dizzying square dance.

All these pricing schemes seem unnecessary. If you’re trying to trick or depress customers, just state prices using minimum wage work hours and quote quantities in handfuls. By the way, please limit my options to five or less per product. When I automatically go into “Eenie Meenie Minie” mode using fingers and toes, it’s embarrassing.

“Give me more at the store” is the newest customer movement and mantra. Here’s the customer service we want:

  • Unlock both doors to prevent the double door dilemma, eliminate the bounce back effect and reduce our need to sue.

  • Carts with something other than luggage or stagecoach wheels.

  • Carts that can be size adjusted depending on how much I’m buying or to match my mood. (See Hasbro’s transformer technology.)

  • Carts with heel guards, car avoidance systems and that can find their own way back home.

  • Free carwashes while we roam and free shoe shines, manicures, pedicures, massages, mimes, magicians…while customers wait in congestion at check out.

  • Check out lines with big screen TV’s, cable, couches, hors d’oeuvre...Dinner and a thirty minute movie at checkout would make the wait worthwhile and make me shop more.

  • These services will fit into the same space occupied by the twenty closed check out lines.

  • Lastly, we will continue to mail-in for rebates only if you will bill us for the purchase, include a copy of the receipt, mail it to the bill payment fulfillment center “BPFC” nearest my zip code and not expect payment until we get our rebate checks. Contact the BPFC if you don’t get paid within 8 to 12 weeks after we receive our rebates. Sounds criminally insane doesn’t it?


Note to retailers: Aldi solved two cart problems for a quarter. Common sense and creativity doesn’t cost much unless they’re overridden by greed. (See Daffy Duck syndrome).

I’ve concluded, shopping is not simply linked to depression, it’s the reason for depression. Going shopping must also be the precursor to going postal and can probably be linked to all craziness and all crime. The conspiracy goes deeper still…

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Read & Write Better by Helping People


I received this note:

I cannot express in words how much you have helped me and above all inspired me to reach my goals. Thank you for all your good advice.”

The ability to help is a blessing. Though busy, I must always take time to connect with people, acknowledge their requests, trials, successes, projects, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and their need to talk. Though giving back takes time, it also gives energy to the community and to the universe.

However, I won’t volunteer and give my time by neglecting myself. Neither will I help those who don’t help themselves, others or me when I really need it.

Helping people hones my intuitive self. Volunteering sensitizes me to things that might otherwise go unnoticed and taken for granted, thus allowing me to read the surer signs of life better. By working on this ability to see beneath the surface I learn to make better connections, thus communicate better in writing and in relationships.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Traffic Jams & Writer’s Block


I just realized I can control traffic.

Traffic is not a function of me and others on the same road at the same time. Traffic is a function of me and my decisions. If I leave at a different time, allow more time to travel, take a different route or do all three, traffic is not an issue.

In fact, doing these things makes me more prepared and adaptable overall. I’ve already learned to adjust my feeding time or call ahead and pickpocket Peter to placate Paul whenever I eat out. Now, if I can just fully apply the basic principles of preparation and adaptability to whatever has me sometimes stuck in thought, unable to get off the writer’s block.

Luckily, I realize I don’t have to think about thinking or writing when my life is in order and contains a natural variety, because I don’t run into writer’s block. A tiny portion of activities I enjoy are critical analysis of daily encounters, writing multiple things at once, exercising, music and its byproducts, exchanging thoughts with others, helping others who want to help others and reading, especially brief eclectic items. Although these things have become a part of me without writer’s block in mind, they seem to give my thoughts perfect travel conditions.

If I want to avoid traffic jams of any type, I must avoid accumulating artificial intelligence and artificial activity which causes me to think, and thus do, as the majority of life travelers. Once my mind is under control, I’ll be able to anticipate travel conditions and maintain control so my writing journey is an adventure and not an aggravation.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Energy Efficient


My writing persona requires high-octane energy, the best energy of the day, to sift and organize the steady flow of random thoughts and experiences until the spaces between words and moments creatively become connectors rather than separators.

If I allow material things and concerns to consume this energy, meaningful relationships will never materialize. Rejuvenating energy born of the beautiful relationships between words, images, feelings, art and life will not come into existence and feed me from within.

However when my thought priorities and action priorities are aligned with my purpose there is a self refilling that frequents me like an overactive bladder insisting that I constantly empty my mind of urgent artistic fullness. Despite these repeated interruptions, my self is always on call to inspiration’s prolific behavior because there is a catharsis to creative communication, an evolution to the unleashing of emotions that saves me, replenishes my spiritual energy. When my spiritual energy and best physical energy merge, I am propelled outside my ordinary orbit into serene spaces where writing and breathing are one.

Experiencing this, I must always affirm that my energy follows my belief, whether I direct it or allow it to be drawn from me. Energy can either flow back and forth between the things I focus on or be absorbed by the object of my attention. At the end of each day, this alone will determine whether I am drained and energy deficient or sustained and energy efficient.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

12 Natural Resources We All Have


1. Material Items
2. Body & Its Energy
3. The Natural World (a)
4. Knowledge (This is where "Sankofa" applies most)
5. Thoughts & Beliefs
6. Time
7. Talents, Gifts, Abilities, Skills, Capabilities and Blessings
8. Emotions
9. Relationships
10. Influence
11. Intuition & Other Trusts
12. Spirit & Its Energy

How I manage (maximize or squander) each of these resources will determine the quality of the one, and only, life, the ultimate resource, I’ve been blessed to still possess.

13. Memory, Introspection & Reflection
14. Discipline & Being Organized.
15. Inherent Rights

Each of the above 15 resources can be studied in greater detail by searching this blog for the plural, singular and other forms of each word.

(a) The natural world inside us. The natural world outside us contained within Earth. The natural world outside Earth. Each of these dimensions contain natural resources. There are dimensions within each dimension. On all levels, even the somewhat plain level of the natural world within us and within Earth, these resources are only accessible to those who grow to know how to recognize and use them.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Barrel of Benefits...


...When you participate in our New Comment Community!

1. Specific, targeted focus on one aspect of your blog.

2. Increase the number of New Comments on posts you select.

3. Submit posts that have been overlooked or submit any post you'd like. You focus the reader’s attention.

4. Learn from giving thoughtful feedback. Build credible comments in your name on other blogs. Comment on any post, all posts or no posts.

5. Learn from receiving thoughtful feedback. Build credible comments on your blog.

6. Only comments with substance that give useful feedback to the blogger are allowed (not necessarily lengthy).

7. Save time by not receiving comments on blogs and topics you're not interested in.

8. Save precious time by limiting group invitations and messages to no more than once per week, except under special circumstances.

9. Using a specific Format For Submitting Posts, allows members to browse posts quickly and find essential information only, in consistent locations.

10. Newbies, experts and writers should use this group in conjunction with other marketing efforts; but most of all, you and your visitors will enjoy the exchange of New Comments!

The goal of New Comment Community is to take a consistent, turtle approach while building a foundation of credible comments. Small steps. Our goal is to be a community not a country; beneficial, not big. Our goal is for members to participate mainly out of true interest in the content this community will share.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Understanding Underwriting


What is underwriting? Is it some other dimensional place where personal documents are sent to have spells cast over them using bones, shiny things and marbles? From these cipherings comes a single word like “approved.” For this privilege, they add rates, fees, phrases and clauses using an intergalactic calculator and language where points and premiums are not in your favor.

What are they really doing that takes several days of seclusion? Calling our employers, creditors and former neighbors or chanting incantations to the loan document wizard like “Show me the mortgage! How much can we charge? How many ways? and Create another form containing the same information!” The term underwriting just sounds shady doesn’t it. There’s no way humans can double-check the results from their elaborate ceremonies of wheel spinning, button pushing and lever pulling. Underwriters make odds makers look like newbies on the block.

The real question is whether underwriters really exist. Maybe they’re the mutant offspring of the financial and insurance industry weaned on calculating postage, shipping & handling, gas prices and author royalties before graduating to mortgages and insurance policies.

If anyone has actually seen an underwriter, let me know. I’d like to tag it electronically to monitor its behavior in its natural habitat. I’ve met more ghostwriters than I’ve met underwriters. I’ve seen more comets than I've seen underwriters. I’ve met nearly everyone who’s ever flown over the cuckoo’s nest but never once in my travels or networking have I met an underwriter.

My quest for understanding the elusive underwriter continues. Next time I need to convince some corporation to take my money, I’ll walk in demanding, “Take me to your underwriter” or that at least they make subterfuge a quicker process. Until I get better explanations than, “They’re writers from Australia” or “Ancient Chinese secret,” you’ll find me trying to catch a glimpse of an underwriter in action by following anyone carrying all of their personal information.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Blogging For Babies - Part I


Writing, plus marketing yourself and your writing, is enough for a small volunteer army. Blogging need not be so intense and complicated for the uninitiated. I‘ve been in basic training for a few weeks so, from a rookie to a newbie:

1. Save any text such as your blog description and your profile on your computer and removable media. Perform the same backup for your template.


2. Compose profile sections and posts in your word processor, then add to your blog. This will help you catch mistakes. Reading posts aloud also helps.


3. Create and post at least three to four posts before trying to create traffic. You’ll get practice and have time to fine-tune your blog and its description. When visitors come, they’ll see several posts and your format will be more static.


4. Each post's title and labels are the keywords and phrases used by search engines. Also, what you post as comments on other blogs and in Groups can be found during internet searches.


5. Read The Ten Commandments For Bloggers.


6. Submit to the main search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and MSN Live Search. If asked, select the “add meta tag” option, it’s easier. The latest search engine is Megaglobe.


7. Pinging is like an insect landing on a spider’s web. When you ping, the search engine spiders come to your site to see what new information you have on the web. Sign up for automatic pinging at Autopinger.com. This will ping dozens of search engines automatically at intervals or you can ping them each time you post by going to Autopinger.com and quickly pinging all sites at once.


8. Feed item footer text can be found during internet searches and is attached to the end of each post once you setup your RSS feed. My feed item footer includes blog description, copyright notice and feed URL. Subscribe to this blog in the sidebar to see an example.


9. Setup your RSS feed at Feedburner.com and then subscribe to your own feed to see what other are seeing.


10. Subscribe to Blogger Tips and Tricks and Dummies’ Guide To Google Blogger.


Finally, for now, add your blog’s URL to your email signature and join me in the wading pool of the World Wide Web. Jump in blog first!

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Basic Needs & The 'N' Word


This is a special post due to recent national events surrounding the N-Word. A positive approach to using the 'N' Word.


Newborns nursing chocolate milk.
Black Widow name brand suits of silk.

Natural selection.
When the name of the game is a nation's election,
an African on a white elephant,
is incredibly nightmarish and negligent.

Continue reading...



Read other poems by this author!


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Real Pursuit of Happiness, The


The real pursuit of happiness occurs mostly in isolation, spaces and places where the only accompaniment is the confidant, inner voice, and faint footfall of foot soldiers advancing slowly, but surely, digging into trenches beyond front lawns. Fortifying themselves with faith-infused will and giving no regard to turning back.

This does not advocate withdrawing from the natural world and its inhabitants. However, happiness is not based on the sum of outward experiences.

Since the real pursuit of happiness is an internal experience, nothing fulfilling comes from a mind, set on feeding itself with a status quo of average, normal and common thoughts or actions. This is a sure way to want for freedom in the safety of our mental DMZ, because as long as individual identities and standing ground are battered by the ramifications of bartering beliefs, the real pursuit of happiness is not possible.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Libido Lobotomy


I feel I’m living libido lobotomy. My energy is either soaring or plunging. Sometimes it’s necessary to simply go with the flow of creative energy:

My mind raced, ran hot
Till I hit that vicious slick spot
Lost control really fast
Spun from being twisted
For several seconds believed I could fly
Till elation careened into cessation
And I braced for the pit stop sensation
Of pumping gas really fast
Closed my eyes, apologized
Unable to finish, assisted

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doctor's Dimension, The


Making a doctor’s appointment is the equivalent of selling your soul because you lose all control over your life on the appointed day. Once you enter the land where time is forgotten, you’re lucky if you’re able to sleep, read or watch TV. If you’re still paying for faking sickness at school or work, you’ll have to sit elbow to elbow in the exit row, make a sick friend and have to pass through a series of time-locked chambers just to use the bathroom while reciting a family tree’s worth of medical history.

I’m convinced medical history forms were designed to make us grateful for just being able to finish and forget we entered a time vortex. Medical offices would do well to get Wi-fi to help mitigate the misery of the malady-laden since time management is merely an illusion created by the torture-driven practitioners of scheduling.

Now, whenever I have a doctor’s appointment, I’ve finally learned to make no other plans and simply join the cult of constant clock watchers who celebrate silently each time one is called to see the healer. I’ve also learned to come prepared with my computer, reading and writing material, water and snacks. I try to maintain a pre-postal mindset by considering it an actual visit, an excursion into the realm where time stands still in The Doctor‘s Dimension.

Related:
Patient-Centered Care, Hillary Clinton's Blood Clot, Concussion & An Insult To Common Sense

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tired of Dreaming


I’ve dreamed enough. Wrapped my gifts with their purposes. Announced them to the world. Made myself accountable. Now, I’m tired of talking about: dreaming, pursuing the dream, living the dream…Just as I can’t talk and listen at the same time, neither can I walk and dream simultaneously.

Discussing dreams has limited value. I’m continuously shown that no matter what I do or say, others will summarize to suit themselves. In addition, they will take my plain and simple intent and surmise one of their own in a “there must be an ulterior motive” kind of way.

My brother’s unspoken and unheralded dream now exists in his reality. It is the daily, do-what-it-takes, direct result of each step it took to make it back on both tracks after 25 years. My dream of making a living as a writer and entrepreneur is now showing as a silent movie without color commentary.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Wasting Time


My biggest obstacles have been the lies I’ve told myself compounded by the half-truths I tried to hurdle but never could clear because their height changed no matter how high I attempted to jump.

Knowing this, I realized I could not accomplish my goals within the framework of my current life. There are things I have and must continue to change to remove spiritual energy drainers and replace them with sources that build and sustain. The most common change has affected an aspect of, and one or more entire relationships; however, my relationship with me must always be the first to come under scrutiny. See paragraph above.

Now that I’ve re-centered my life through cleansing and aligning my gifts with their purpose, I can attempt to accomplish something meaningful without it being a waste of time.

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