Blog Archives

Real Life

So it is the year 2012 and technology has soared leaps and bounds. We can virtually do anything at home that once required the act of doing in “Real Life”. I am not bashing technology, as I am the first to want to try out any of Apple’s latest products or search for new and exciting virtual experiences, from the convenience of my home.

Socially I have met so many people online, from all over the United States, all the way up the North East Coast to Massachusetts and all the way west to California.
Since I normally don’t travel past the border of South Carolina, that is huge for me.

I am not downing the powers of the Internet or technology, but I am concerned about there being a balance in my life with the “Real World”. I read that there are resort vacation spots that people are paying extra for since they have no satellite or Wi-Fi and are completely remote from connections. It is sad when it consumes us so much that we have to run from it.

I think the key for me, is to let technology supplement my life and not overtake it. I am sure that striking a balance is different for all of us, but if texting is causing you to run over someone with your car, that is not acceptable behavior. It just doesn’t seem relevant to skip your daily workout time because you need to level up your online character. If there are things, projects, goals, experiences that should be in your life that are now replaced by virtual means, then I think it’s time to find your balance.

I challenge you to strike your own balance between virtual life and real life. What are the ways that you can control it? What balance will allow you to soar through this year, and make your own personal leaps and bounds?
“Find it, do it, good!” ~Catlas

I like to connect to people in the virtual world, exchanging thoughts and ideas, when in the physical world we might never have the opportunity to cross paths.
Demi Moore

I think you could make a completely Virtual Centre, though I have a general feeling, and maybe because I am getting very old, that you still need face to face.
Richard Rogers

(image source unknown)

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The Chords of Your Life

Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus

It has been 2 weeks since I have entered a post. I thought January was typically a slow month but that has not been the case this year. I started off blogging October 2011 and was faithfully posting up until a few weeks ago. I feel like life is cramping me with all kinds of activities, although not bad things, but you can only do so much in a day.

I recently used my Christmas money to purchase a Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus. That was quite an investment for me but I am serious about furthering my guitar techniques. I have always loved music and the rhythm that guitar strings make, touches the core of my soul. But this post is not about music or guitars, it is about following our passions and being in control of them.

We all have different needs in our lives and the activities we follow meet those desires for us. These needs can change from one year to the next or from month to month. For me, those changes depend on how I control that activity. When the activity starts controlling me then I burn myself out. I am searching for a balance in my life. I want to incorporate new activities such as more time with my music but I also don’t want to forsake things such as this blog. Right now I do not see how I can post daily or even a certain amount each week. I don’t want to commit to a certain amount and then fail either. I will be posting as thoughts arise and let that be based on a day by day basis. Just know that if I do not post a blog for the day that I am working on other projects as well.

Socialization is very important to me and I like having time to spend with my family and friends on a daily basis. Sometimes that ranges from going out shopping with my Mom to raiding or running heroics with my guild family.

My relationship with God is also very important to me and I am trying to follow a plan with a friend that involves reading through the Bible in a year.

And you guessed it, I will be working on my music. I am following a program on a new PS3 game that should improve my skills greatly.

My encouragement for you today is, to find your balance, follow your dreams and desires, but don’t let them control you. You control them!
And if I could add a corny guitar play on words…. Don’t fret, control the chords of your life.

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
Susan Polis Schutz

WARNING

Do you read warning labels?  I would have to answer with, sometimes I
do and sometimes, I toss them in the trash can, without regard.  I
mean seriously, some things are common sense.
I am well aware that I should not blow dry my hair while I am
sleeping.  I also realize that I should not drink or taste dish
washing detergent.

What I would really find useful would be, warning labels on people.
If I could use my eyes to scan a bar code on someones forehead, that
said for example, ‘This man is very stingy. If you marry him he will
charge you for the toilet paper you use weekly.’  Or, ‘Warning:
becoming friends with this person will give you a lifetime of
happiness.’, life would be a lot less complicated.

Yes, I know, this is impossible, and maybe I would disregard the
warning like I do on my mattress cover label, ‘Do not remove or you
will serve time in prison.’

I believe in fate, and that there are no surprises with God.  He
brings some people into our lives to make us grow, and some to help us
make it through another day.

Life can be harsh and cruel sometimes, or it can be the adventure of a
lifetime.  Trust God, that he has a perfect reason for everything.

“A man’s conscience, like a warning line on the highway, tells him
what he shouldn’t do – but it does not keep him from doing it.”
Frank Howard Clark

“History is a vast early warning system.”
Norman Cousins

“Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the
right one so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know
how to be grateful for the gift.”
Unknown

(Image source: http://www.damncoolpictures.com/2010/11/stupid-warning-labels.html)

KISS

The KISS principle is: Keep it simple, Stupid! Several of my teaching courses in college stressed the KISS principle in regards to teaching methods for children, but it really is a wonderful basis for all of life.

I think simple is always a good thing. Whether you are trying to communicate a huge mathematical problem or directions to the nearest gas station… Keep it simple! Thoughts are retained longer when they are simple to remember.

I have been trying to apply “Simple” to this holiday season. If you are entertaining guest, why is there a need to go overboard and have a 6 course meal, every candle in the house burning, and stress yourself to the smallest of details?
Life should be fun and we should enjoy the process. When things or people become complicated, then worry and trouble are sure to ensue.

So no matter if you are planning a party, forming a new friendship, or explaining to your child about the dangers of playing in traffic, Keep it Simple!

“A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life”
Winston Churchill

“The simplest things are often the truest.”
Richard Bach

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”
Plato

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Mingus

On being Second

After the American TV personality Ed McMahon died in 2009, one
newspaper headline read, “When it came to being the No. 2 man, he was
No. 1.” Best known for his 30-year tenure as Johnny Carson’s
late-night sidekick, McMahon excelled at helping Carson succeed in the
spotlight. While most entertainers strive for top billing, McMahon was
content with a supporting role. — Our Daily Bread

How do you fair when placed in a supporting role position? Do you
feel not as important? Or, do you take your position with enthusiasm
and contentment, to do all in your power, to be supportive? Putting
others ahead of ourselves can be a very hard thing to do but it is the
right and honorable thing to do. If you have to fight and struggle to
be on top, is it really worth it? I am not talking about not doing
your best, we should always strive to be the best we can be, but if we
place in the bronze or below we should be happy for the silver and
gold, rejoice for them and with them.

If the King of the earth, God’s son, can humbly die on the cross for
all the sins of the world, then the least I can do is put my fellow
man ahead of me.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Rick Warren

A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who
just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to
me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.
Debi Mazar

It’s hard to get people to overcome the thought that they have to take
care of themselves first. It’s hard to get players to give in to the
group and become selfless as opposed to selfish.
Isaiah Thomas

What charge is your ion?

What mood do you set for others when you walk in a room? Do you enter grumbling and complaining and generating negative energy? (OR) Do you greet others with a smile and cheerful words of positive energy? Maybe neither, maybe you feel neutral until you pick up the vibe of the group.

It is possible for us to set moods and we probably do so more than we realize. Are you cheerful when callers reach you on the phone or do you make them realize that they just interrupted your day?
When you are out, especially this time of year, in the crowds of shopping, are you returning other’s impatience with more aggravation? Do you take the time to smile at the sales clerk, which has probably just served a bunch of grumpy customers ahead of you?

It’s so hard to muster positive energy when others are dishing negative ions your way, but we can control how we return that energy back to them or others.
You know how good it feels when others exhibit their positive ions and you in turn feel the charge. Never let those positive sparks die out, keep passing them on.

I challenge you today to be a positive mood setter. Let those positive ions fill up your day and life. Be contagiously positive, and let your energy flow!

“Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”
Sarah Bernhardt

“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”
Corita Kent

“Energy is the power that drives every human being. It is not lost by exertion but maintained by it, for it is a faculty of the psyche.”
Germaine Greer

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Carl Gustav Jung

(Image source: http://blogcil.com/2011/how-to-reduce-stress-and-turn-it-into-positive-energy.html)

In Quietness

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

Sometimes you just need to steal away a few moments for yourself and regain your center balance. It has been my goal since I started this blog, October 7 of this year, to post everyday. I have missed a few days here and there but I have come to realize that it may not be in my personal best interest to do that, even as much as I may want to. I think for me personally it works out better to take the weekends off and also Wednesday is my busiest day of week.

I am not limiting my posts to only 4 days a week, but I would like you to know that the frequency will not be every day. I love writing these blog posts and it has been so enjoyable for me to do this. You all give me back so much positive feedback and I love it!
I am still going to be here, and I am still going to be posting every day that I can, and loving every minute of it!

It is important to set aside time in the day, or in the week, just for you. That rest and recuperation time for you may be napping, meditation, praying, listening to music in the dark, or simply looking at the clouds in the sky.
Whatever the strength source for you is, find it, and fill up your tank as often, and as much, as you can. You will feel the power in your quietness and confidence!

I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.
Richard Steele

Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation.
James Thurber

Meditation is the life of the soul: Action, the soul of meditation. and honor the reward of action.
Francis Quarles

Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass.
Owen Feltham

No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.
Walter Bagehot

(Image source: http://pete.com/view/take-a-rest)

What is your gift?

Some people have several gifts, but everyone has at least one. Do you know what I am referring to by, ‘what is your gift?’

What quality just comes natural to you, that you excel at? It could be any number of things.

Here are just a few examples from people that I actually know. You may fall into one of these categories, or you may have some other gift that I do not list.
There are far too many for me to even cover in one post, but nevertheless, this should give you some idea of the concept I’m sharing with you.

First off, one of the more well known or familiar terms would be to classify your gift as being a “Leader”.
The first person that comes to my mind in this group would be my friend and fellow blogger C.L Sostarich, which you may know from the blog, It’s Real To Me.
I met K (as we refer to her in game) in World of Warcraft. She is the leader of the guild I belong to, and she is a fine leader at that.
She naturally embodies that quality and leads us well. She knows how to logically think situations through and handle them diplomatically. She is aware of the needs
of her flock and cares for them. Do you see yourself as being this type of person? Maybe or maybe not. This gift is not mine.

Next example would be someone that I have not know for very long but have met here in the WordPress community, Art, the author of the blog, Zendictive.
I would say Art is an “Encourager”. His posts are uplifting and always have a positive moral value associated with them. It is not difficult to see the encouragement that flows through him.
Also, he is probably unaware of how much he has personally encouraged me through his comments on my posts. You know the feeling when you write a poem or post
and you are just not sure if it is going to come across how you meant it? Or even if others will gain anything from it? Well, Art to say the least is a wonderful encouragement!
That is an important role, and we all need encouragement!

Now lets go to another aspect, more on the spiritual side this time. There are some that excel at sharing God’s word and bringing hope to us for the future, or keeping us on the right track.
LeRoy Dean, author of the blog, Wordsmith’s Desk, would be a prime example of that. Also in this area would be prayer warriors, someone that you can say, “Will you pray for me about this?” and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will. My Mom is a wonderful example in that area.

Lastly, I will say just a few lines about what I enjoy doing and think is part of my gift, and that is, I am a people person. I love to be around good people, they energize me. I am not good at conflict situations, but I do know how to form a party. I love to bring people together for a common goal and work together through it. I love to help others have fun and laugh. It usually ends up blessing me more in the process than them.

There are so many, many possible gifts that you many have, the gifts of imagination, laughter, art, poetry, and this list goes on and on. But my thought today is, realize what YOUR gift is, and give it to the world! A gift is meant to be given, don’t hide your light!

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.
Sydney Smith

Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.
Lady Blessington

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.
Mary Dunbar

Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?
Benjamin Franklin

Work while you have light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.
Henri Frederick Amiel

Hungry Wolf

Stealing moments and thoughts,
Pushing self defeating phrases into my head.
Whispering into my ears,
Lies of hypocrisy.

My worst enemy,
With me, every step,
Always at my side.
Tugging my heart,
“You are worthless”.

Every cruel, evil and unimaginable word,
Webster’s is at his disposal,
Spewing forth
Constantly,
Word after thought after word.

Stop! I blurt with all the force I can muster.
Leave, hungry wolf!
I will not listen or believe these lies!
God loves me, I love me, and we are strong enough to cast you out.

This is a dark write, but I hope it is encouraging. We do not have to settle with our demons, we can defeat them!

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.
Napoleon Hill

Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
Sun Tzu

Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Khalil Gibran

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
Aldous Huxley

The Wings of Camaraderie

What gives you wings?

A good heartfelt compliment? An inspiring song? A motivating movie? An uplifting sermon? A special someone? A can of Red Bull?

I would answer yes to all of the above, but I would have to say that by far, positive interactions with other people gives me the most gusto!

I am so energized in the good company of happy, positive people.
I love camaraderie, and banning together with other good folks, to complete a mission.

One of the recreational events that I enjoy, is raiding with my guild, in the online community of “World of Warcraft“.
An example of a raid would be ten players teaming together to defeat high powered “bosses” that single handily, could not be accomplished.
We each have a certain task and a specific role to play.
It is however, that “team” requirement, that makes it so special. We have to work together. We have to look out for each other, help where we can, and put forth our best efforts for each other.

This blog community is another wonderful example of camaraderie. Yes, we have our own blogs, and we could exist without the comments and likes of other bloggers and subscribers. But oh what a joy it is to have someone like your post, or better yet, to go a step further, and comment on it. So many of you have given me so much encouragement, and have given me wind, so I can spread my wings, and fly. I am so grateful to all of you. I love this community.
Thank you for being so kind. May God richly bless you!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towardorganizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Andrew Carnegie

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Henry Ford

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
Vince Lombardi

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.” Margaret Carty

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