Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Independence Day

I've been thinking again. It happens, on these nights when I'm up all alone, when everyone else is asleep. Thinking about where life is going, about how I'm changing, and how the world around me seems more different every day. I know it's just in how I'm seeing it, it's still the same old planet, rotating on its axis every 24 hours, just like it's been doing for over 4 billion years.

Something about ME is different. In the last 2 years I have been taken places I'd never thought I'd go, through the depths of my psyche, to the core of my soul. What I have learned is that I'm not just a man, I'm something more, much more, the whole of creation is part of me. I am part of a much greater whole.

But so is everyone else. Each of us here on this planet is on a journey, a journey of evolution, of change. We are working towards gaining experience, learning about what we are and where we are going, and ultimately transforming ourselves into the eternal energy from which we were sprung eons ago. Or was it just yesterday?

Time is a funny thing for energy, it can see beyond the linear, one moment does not just follow the next, in fact, all things happen all at once. In this great expanse of what we call the universe, literally anything is possible, everything is joined together, linked, everything that exists is part of everything else. One big energy machine, that's what it is, and in human form we have a unique ability to transform the energy of the universe in so many ways, just by thinking about it. Right now, as you read this, energy is being transformed in your mind,  the words are forming thoughts, and those thoughts turn into ideas, and later on, those ideas will turn into actions. It's how everything is ever started. A thought is formed, from the energy stored in our brains, and from there, it grows and is changed over and over again, till finally it must be moved out of the brain, perhaps on to a piece of paper, or typed into a computer. It's then changed again, as what's on paper or in a computer file is created from the elements we find around us, whether it be paint, or wood, or steel, we create what it is we first thought of, we bring in into existence. That tiny spark of energy becomes something solid we can touch, and see, and even feel. Every piece of art, every thing that has ever been invented and built by human hands is really just a form of energy.

Our interactions with each other are no less energy. The things we say, the things we do, all start as the same energy in our brains. We find someone that we feel a connection to, the energy flows between us, we really "feel" that bond, and we call it love. Love is the greatest form of energy, for it gives us the ability to create our children, the greatest form of energy transformation of them all. The energy of two becomes one, and a child is created. We then care for that energy, nurture it, until it becomes an energy all its own, and the cycle repeats itself. Energy begets energy, though not multiplied, only transformed into something different.

As I approach the 40th year of this lifetime, I see a life that has been an exercise in dependency. I have always drawn energy from others, whether it be my parents, who raised me, to the military, who nurtured me into adulthood, and then later, from my wife, who took care of everything while I was going through some of the darkest times of my life. I have had friends who were there to stand by me and hold my hand, who always made me feel like I had someone to turn to, someone to give me the answers I sought, and never asked for anything in return.

The energy I created on my own, from my own thoughts, was usually transformed into wild emotions, and then of course to reckless action, oftentimes with disastrous consequences. But there was always someone there to pick up the pieces, and change that energy back into something useful, and life would go on. Dependency, that's really been the story of my life.

Now that I am older and wiser, and for the first time in this life I am living on my own, I have had time to think, and to create new ideas, ones that do not involve emotional foolishness. What surprises me though, is the swiftness of the changes as they've come. Sometimes literally in a moment. In my last post, I described a change in my thinking, and something I had learned. This is a continuation of that thought process, the energy is less chaotic now, it is beginning to show order.

When I described my image, as one who needed his hand held, what I was really talking about was dependency. And not just for emotional support. Everything in my life has been about the energy of someone else, with me drawing from them, and changing my actions to better align myself with their energy, all the while not creating any of my own. So dependent was I on this interaction, this exchange of energy, that I even altered my physical appearance to be more pleasing to that person. And it's ironic that most of the time, that person was female.

Maybe what the divine feminine card was showing me was that I don't need a female to draw energy from, I need to find that energy in myself, and use it to create the life I was meant to have. That giving aspect, the nurturing, mothering aspect of the divine feminine, instead of taking it from women, I should be using it to create a better life for those around me. The "need" for the attention of a woman has been a constant companion of mine, since I was a child, but only now do I see it for what it really is, a dependency for a transfer of energy that I should be finding in myself.

I have explained some of the thought, but not how those thoughts became actions. The thought changed in just a moment, in a conversation. Then other conversations made the thought grow, to evolve. More energy was transferred, but this time, it was different. It was not the same energy, it was changed, the emotions were different, and the need for that energy was diminished. A large part of the dependent link was severed, and my whole world changed. When every thought becomes your own, then the energy of your emotions is your own as well, and henceforth your actions too. My actions are now outwardly focused, I'm looking for how I can give energy to others, how I can make their lives better, without burdening them with MY issues, especially those I can take care of myself.

The damage dependency causes is not visible, but it is damage nonetheless. It is a drain on a person's mental resources, and in prolonged exposures, can even cause physical manifestations of the stress. Some of those I was dependent on were aware of it, but chose to endure it in order to protect me. They knew I was not ready to be let go, to be "weaned" so to speak, and for that I am grateful. So many have been hurt, I have caused a lot of damage in my day, and as I said, some were aware, but a great many others were not. To all of them now I would like to say I am sorry, it breaks my heart to know I have hurt you, I never meant to cause any of you any pain. However, I did, but now it is over, and will never happen again. I want to heal the damage, clean the wounds, and make amends, but for many who are no longer in my life, it is too late, and they will carry the scars till this life is over. And so will I.....

This life has been an incredible learning experience, and I only hope as I begin a new decade of my existence that I am able to make something wonderful from all the energy I've received as a dependent, and to repay those who gave it to me. A new chapter has begun, the book is continuing to be written. The journey is not over, there is still much to be done. It's ironic that in a week we will be celebrating Independence Day, and that since my birthday falls 2 days before, it has been a very important holiday in my life for as long as I can remember. This year it will mean something else to me however, I will remember it always as the year I myself became independent, at the ripe YOUNG age of 40.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Divine Feminine: What does it mean to a man?

Some of you may be familiar with the Facebook app called "The Path of the Soul Destiny Cards", it's been around for quite some time now. The idea is to "draw" a card from the deck, and it tells you an important part of your life or spirituality that you need to focus on at that particular moment. The app is based on a real deck of cards made by Cheryl Lee Harnish, and there's a website all about them here. What I want to talk about today however is a relatively new set of cards she's made called "Divine Guidance Oracle Cards". Both decks are based on the premise that everything in the universe is "governed" so to speak by fractals. Fractals are, according to Wikipedia, "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole". There's info on her website that explains how she's come up with the pictures and ideas on the cards and how it relates to the existence of fractals in everything in the universe, and to be honest, I'm not sure I completely understand it. For the purposes of this post however, let me just say that each card I've "drawn" in both of the apps on Facebook has turned out to be uncannily accurate for my situation at that time.

The card I "drew" 3 times in the same week was called "Divine Feminine". The text given for that card reads as follows:

This card asks you to begin operating more from a feminine flow of energy, whether you are male or female. It asks that you allow your power to flow from within, instead of using force. Be mindful of using a gentle approach to people and situations. The role of nurturer and healer is important for you and these gifts will blossom when you allow them to naturally emanate from you. Focus on your relationships with the people you interact with. You will find that more will be accomplished, while creating peace and harmony for all involved.

Now I don't know about you, but that didn't really give me a whole lot of information on what the divine feminine is all about. So, after seeing the card several times I decided to look it up. What I found pretty well changed my life.

I came upon this site, and it gives a really comprehensive and in depth description of the different aspects of divine femininity. The one aspect that struck a chord with me the most was the aspect of the divine feminine as a "Lover". Now it's not what you're thinking, it's not necessarily about sex. The divine feminine as a lover is concerned with ALL forms of sensory contact, not just those involved with sex. Here, let me show you......

The Lover is the epitome of Sensual. She exudes sensuality in her mood, look, walk, bearing, and engagement. She is intimately interested in all forms of sensory contact, experiencing the world in all its splendor. She is the archetype of play and healthy erotic embodiment without shame.
A woman in the fullness of the Lover archetype feels like this: She is sensual. She is open and invites you to touch—her mind, body and soul. She relishes connection with others, specifically the connecting aspect—beyond Ego’s fulfillment needs. She appreciates beauty in all its forms, seeing and feeling beauty in herself, realizing her intrinsic connection and possession of such. She is “in her body” animating it with vital energy through dance, or yoga, or movement. She brings, eros and sensuality and a “joy of life” to any engagement or conversation.

Notice how it says "she relishes connection with others.......beyond Ego's fulfillment needs." While being the "lover" obviously has sexual connotations, I think for me what it says is that it's important to be connected with people, in all aspects, and not just on the surface. I can't really explain why, but this really spoke to me on a very personal level.

I have been for some time now really searching for what my "gifts" are, and how I should use them here in this lifetime. To those close to me, some of them are fairly obvious, in that they are fully aware of my caring and generous nature. I have found that I am always happiest when I am giving of myself to someone who needs me, whether it be for emotional support, or just to listen. I find myself being pulled in that direction on many occasions, being the one that a person can count on to listen and just "be" there, without worry that they will be judged or ridiculed for who they are. It goes beyond that though, much further, and what I mean by that is personally, who I myself feel I am. My "relationship" with myself, and how that relationship interacts and connects with those around me, specifically. You might say, even, how the person that I am inside chooses to express himself outwardly.

To put it more simply, it's really about image. The image I project to those I come in contact with on a daily basis. I have come to the conclusion that oftentimes I come across as a caring and gentle person, which is fine, but there are other aspects of my image that I believe are due for an overhaul. Most notably is how I tend to appear like a child who needs his hand held to do everything. To give you an example, I'd say something to the effect when talking to someone, "Hey, can you help me with this? I can't seem to find where this goes...." when in fact I CAN do it myself, without assistance. I often do that to try to either initiate conversation, or to keep one going that has stalled. The reason? I am a very social creature, I like my connections with people, and I enjoy talking and engaging in conversation with others. There are many times however, that in trying to keep a conversation going, or to show someone I am interested in their company, that I come across as a person who is for all intents and purposes "helpless". I ask a lot of questions that normally a full grown man would not ask, let alone really need the answers to. I also tend to appear a bit whiny. It's just not the way I'd like to be perceived. How do those two things relate to what was said up above? I'm not sure, that's just the way my brain connected the dots. In reading the information on the website I found, I got a sense as to why and how I should incorporate the divine feminine into my spirit. I can be a man, but still be caring, but not come across as helpless or having the need of someone to hold my hand.

There's a lot more to it than that, but I'm not really able at this point to put it into words. Suffice it to say that I've learned something, and I hope to incorporate it into my interactions with others. It's important to use your spiritual gifts as they are given to you, and I believe one I've been given is the gift of boundless care and generosity, and I intend to use it to the best of my ability. Without the image of one who needs his hand held. I can better help and care for others by showing I am a strong person, able to do on my own, and therefore able to help them as well. I believe I can connect better with others by embracing all there is to be connected with, in the entire universe, and really BE in my body. I can try to be like the divine feminine lover, and know that the experience of this life will be more than I ever thought possible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

I haven't posted in a while, but I've been in kind of a dark place lately.

I called my father on Father's Day, and the news I got was that he has cirrhosis of the liver, and may not have much time left. He's almost 65, and has already had a quadruple bypass surgery, and also had a stint put in his leg for another issue. Plus, they (his insurance company) is blaming the cirrhosis on alcohol use, which isn't true, he has never been much of a drinker. In order to even be put on a waiting list for a transplant he'd have to go to rehab. He sees no point in doing that, since he doesn't need rehab for alcohol, so he's just waiting it out, living his life as he sees fit until the end. 

I've never been really very close with my dad, but the news hit me hard. I don't want to see him go like that, but if it's his time, then it's his time. I just think it's too soon. He should have at least 20 or 30 good years left in him, but it seems that's not to be. 

Our family is not one known for its longevity, so I should have seen this coming. Both sets of my grandparents were dead before I got to be 10 years old. One died before I was born, and the other 3 only made it about halfway into their 70's before they died. I figured though that since that was the 1970's back then, and medical technology has advanced quite a bit in the years since, that my parents would live a lot longer. Seems that's not going to be the case. 

My mother is 67, and for her, that's already past the point that the women in her family normally live to. Her sister died at 42 of breast cancer turned bone cancer, and her mother died at 59 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Basically if you're a woman on my mom's side of the family and you've made it past the age of 60, you've accomplished something. I just don't know what will happen to my mother though when my dad dies, he's her whole world, and I have all ideas she will follow him to the grave soon after he passes.

In other news, my financial situation has taken a downturn with the garnishment they are taking from my pay. If I haven't mentioned it before, my wife has a medical bill to the tune of 25,000 dollars that they had previously been garnishing HER check for, but, I assume they were not satisfied with what they were getting from her. Since I am married to her, that same bill magically ended up on MY credit report too, several years ago, and now they have decided to start taking it from my check. Not fun. At all.

Otherwise, work has been going well, I am still stocking shelves every night, which is still enjoyable. I have decided to get another job during the day however, as with the garnishment my checks have left me without enough to live on each week, let alone have anything extra to play with. I tried with one company, they called me to come in for an "interview", which turned out to be nothing more than a group meeting with 7 other people. This guy came in and gave us his pitch on why we should come work for their insurance company. I was intrigued at first, thinking this might be a good opportunity to make REAL money. Then I found out there was a cost involved. I would have to pay to get licensed to sell insurance. And I don't have the 340 dollars to do it. So, I'll have to find something else. As they say, the right job will come along when it's time.

I haven't seen my daughters in a few weeks. They are eager to see me every time I get over there, but there just hasn't been gas money to make the trip lately. They called me on Father's Day, and I got to talk to them briefly, but that was it. Hopefully soon I'll be able to scrounge up enough to go and see them.

All this, coupled with live in general, has had me feeling very lonely lately. For the first time in my life, I've even had thoughts about ending it all and starting again in the next life, from this vantage point it seems that I haven't accomplished anything in THIS one. Did I learn the lessons I came here to learn? If you look at the decisions I've made in my life and seen how many choices I've made that were so, so wrong, then you might say "No". But maybe that's what this life has been all about. Making bad choices, and then dealing with the consequences emotionally. Emotional control, that's what this has all been about, and so far, I've been failing miserably. That's mainly because for the most part, I have had no idea what "control" of my emotions even meant. I do know that it's not about wallowing in self pity, or allowing ANY emotion to get the best of me, and overwhelm my sense of logic. It's a work in progress, and will remain so, till this lifetime is over.

I posted a few weeks ago about motivation, and how I needed to get out of my comfort zone, or rather, I had to stop "settling". Ever since then, life has seemed to send me situations to deal with to show me where I have decided to "settle". My financial situation took a dump, when it seemed like everything there was going fairly well. Now, I will HAVE to get a second job if I want to be able to even EAT from week to week.

I wanted to sit here and try to explain the rest, but I find I cannot. It just seems that everything is a little topsy turvy in my world right now, and I'm not sure what to think. 

I just know I'm done with making decisions with my emotions. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say I just about made a complete fool out of myself yesterday, and it was because I was thinking with my emotions.  See, I told you life was teaching me something lol. I've done a lot of changing over the last 2 years of my life, but some things hadn't changed much, and that was one of them. Somehow or other, in all the changes I made, moving out, starting my own life, really becoming "me", I had forgotten the most basic thing. Life won't go how you want it to, or even how you hope it will, no matter how much you want it to. You've got to take what life gives you, and go with it. While it's good to have dreams and aspirations for things, some things aren't meant to happen, and if you keep on dreaming and hoping they will, you're just going to end up with hurt feelings. 

Anyway, in a nutshell, I've not been in a "happy" place a lot lately, but that's life. You have ups and downs, and for me, it's just been a sort of down time. Life goes on, things happen, and you deal. End of story.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Energy is Love

We look into each others' eyes

A connection is made, a bond is forged

There is a flash, an exchange

The energy flows

No words are spoken, there is no need

The communication....the sparks, nearly visible, fly quickly

The emotion, the sheer depth of it, too great to contain

We are swept up into space, our bodies left behind

Our energies swirl, coalescing, intertwining

Two become one in a dance of sparkles, of light without boundaries

The universe open, nothing unseen

We bathe in the essence, we swim in the strong, so pure

We'll feel this forever, eternally, today.....this energy has no perceptions of time

A whisper is heard, a mutual thought, the energy itself putting words to feeling......


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cooking.....I want to be a least in my own house.....

I want to cook. I have wanted to for some time now, it's been a desire of mine, just like my desire to learn to play the cello. But recently, I've really gotten more and more desire to cook, and here's why.

I've been watching the show "Masterchef" on Fox, it comes on at 8 eastern, 7 central......and it's really inspired me to want to cook, more than ever. The people that are contestants on the show are people just like you and me, common everyday people, with dreams of becoming full time chefs.

The dishes they've presented to the judges, in most cases, in my opinion, are nothing short of miraculous. These 3 guys are all well known and respected chefs, at the top of their profession, and for them to find the common person's concoctions to be worthy of the food served by master chefs is really extraordinary. But it just proves to me that *anyone* can be a good cook. And I want to be one of them. 

I don't have aspirations to be a world renowned cook like Gordon Ramsay or Graham Elliot or Joe Bastianich, but I do want to be a 5 star chef in my own home. When I entertain guests, I want to be able to cook food that will make them want to come back for more. I want MY house to be the place everyone wants to go for parties, for the big ball game, and for holidays too. 

But most of all, I just want to know how to cook for myself, because I like to eat, and I want to be able to cook some of the awesome food I've seen online and in restaurants and on television. I want to know what a brisque is (if I've even spelled that correctly lol), I want to make the perfect souffle. And for no other reason than I want to be able to cook a large variety of dishes, so I never get bored eating the same thing all the time.

I wasn't taught much about how to cook as a child. I was a boy, so what would I need to know other than how to boil water, or scramble an egg, right? My wife would cook for me, so I didn't need to know.......or so I thought. My parents didn't seem to lean in either direction, to try to teach me to cook or not, so I only learned the most basic cooking skills, by observation. They always thought I'd be a doctor or lawyer or something, I was the "smart" kid, see. Cooking was not high on their list of things I needed to learn about. And likewise, it was not on mine either. I didn't develop a desire to cook until fairly recently, when I struck out on my own.

Which brings me to the issue at hand. As many of you know, I live with roommates at the moment, with one of my best friends and his girlfriend. They own the house, and pay the mortgage, I rent a room. Just a room, and the use of the guest bathroom. C (the girlfriend) is very particular about her kitchen however, nothing can be out of place, and she gets highly agitated if anyone tries to cook other than herself. So, I decided to save myself the trouble of dealing with her attitude, and adopted a diet that is mainly food that doesn't require any stove top cooking. The microwave is useful, but I can't really buy frozen microwavable foods either. There is little room in their freezer for me to store anything of mine, because of how much of their stuff is in there. So, I am left with almost no ability to cook anything at all, and I eat mostly canned and prepackaged food that does not require freezing or refrigeration. (read: lots of Chef Boyardee and PB and J). I also have a collection of snack foods, 90 percent of which is completely unhealthy, but in my situation, I have little choice. C just hates for anyone to cook in her kitchen.

So what I need first is my own apartment. An apartment with a nice kitchen, maybe even a house with one. One with a lot of storage space, and a full stove and oven. I don't know if I can find something like that around here, from what I've heard from friends, most apartments in this area don't have kitchens like that, especially in a studio apartment. I don't need a big place, but I guess I'll need to get one if I want a decent kitchen. So my first goal is to move out of where I'm living now.

Then of course I'll need all the tools of the trade. I used to work on cars, so I know a thing or two about tools. The kitchen is no different. They are just tools that by nature are required to be clean before use lol. I don't even know where to start though, do I first buy a good cutlery set? Or do I need pots and pans first? Do I need a cutting board, or will the counter be ok? These and many other questions have been rolling around like a wayward rolling pin in my head. Crap, I'm sure I'll need one of those too, I mean I love to bake. I've done a few of the "roll the dough" type of baked goods, but for the most part it's been the box cakes and premade cookies, the ones that you basically pull out of the package and throw in the oven. But I want to make those things from scratch, I want to be able to say that I made it, and not just say I opened the package and stuck the contents in the oven. That's not original, and that's not me. 

The personal touch, something created by me, that's what I want. Culinary creations. They can be works of art too. Haven't we all said at one time or another that something was too "pretty" to eat? Sure we have, and that's art. Like I said before, I don't paint or draw or sculpt, but I bet I can learn the ability to sculpt a pretty good meatloaf. Mmmm, now there's one I'd like to learn early, I love a good meatloaf.

One day soon, I'm going to move out, and I'll start cooking for myself. I just hope my food turns out edible, or it'll be back to the Chef Boyardee, and trust me folks, it sucks to have to live off of food like that. I am reminded of something Yoda said in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back". He said "How you get so tall eating food of this kind?" I feel the same way about my self imposed diet. It's not healthy, and if I were a child, and still growing, I'm certain I would not grow to my full potential. 

Cooking is not rocket science, hell, it might be harder in some ways. I know I'll be able to figure out the proportions of ingredients pretty well, and I am motivated to learn from my mistakes. I can't wait to get started. All I need now is the means to rent my own place.

I put in a job application today, the first time I've done that in over a year. But while I enjoy working at Walmart, and have a passion for putting new freight on the shelves, it does not pay well enough for me to accomplish my goals. So I am getting a second job. With the extra income, I can save up to move out, and get my life going in the direction I know it is meant to go. Action, not words, that's what I'm about these days.

Soon enough, there will be pies in my oven, and stir fry on my stove top, and maybe, just maybe, there will be something worthy of a real chef.

My place. My kitchen. It's going to happen. 

Next up, the cello. Being creative through music, and not in the "classical" sense.....................stay tuned........

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hooray for weekends!

Today might be Monday, the start of the week for most, but it's the start of the weekend for me!

I had a pretty good night at work, we got done with our freight pretty early, and then worked a bunch of backstock that went out pretty well. It's a good feeling to see the shelves full when I leave in the morning.

I don't have any concrete plans for my weekend, other than doing some cleaning up around my room. I am going to troll the internet for available jobs in my area, just to see what's out there right now. Never know what might turn up.

I've got one of those e-readers, the Nookcolor, from Barnes and Noble. It has been giving me issues trying to connect it properly to the wireless net here at the house, ever since I got it back in March. I figured it was a problem with the router or something, but I had not called customer service about it till yesterday. They walked me through a few tests, and determined that it's defective, and they're sending me a brand new one! Isn't that cool!

It's a really cool device, almost like an Ipad. You're supposed to be able to get on the internet with it, which mine won't do here at home, but it will connect and go to the internet everywhere else I go that has wifi. A lot of apps are coming out for it, most if not all of them for less than $5. You can really use it like a mobile computer, especially if you add in a micro SD card. I've got an 8 gig one in mine, and saved some movies to it. Works great if you're out and about and need some entertainment for a few hours. Of course it also has the books, right now I have 72 of them on it, downloaded from Barnes and Noble's shop app. The great thing about most books is that they are strictly text only, which doesn't take up a lot of space. With those 72 books installed, I'm only using up about 70 megabytes of the 5 gigs of onboard storage it has, which I think is pretty impressive.

Oh, and did I mention that every one of those books I got for FREE? They have a database of almost 2 MILLION free books, and I mean I have barely browsed a tenth of that, and downloaded 72 books. It's amazing. There's fiction, non-fiction, self help, you name a category, and I bet they have a book about it, totally free. And then there's the ones that cost money, but so far, most I've seen are $10 or less, still a fantastic deal. You can also get magazine and newspaper subscriptions, transmitted to your Nook as they are released, provided of course you have it connected to the internet. 

I really want to be able to use it in place of a laptop, to keep important files with me, and have something productive to do when I'm not home. So hopefully when I get my new one it will connect to the wifi and allow me to browse the internet and upload files, without having to physically connect it to my PC. Everyone's got these touch screen "smart" phones and mobile devices these days, and I am really far behind in my "tech" know how because I haven't had such devices, or, in this case, the one I have isn't working properly. 

But I have now done something to fix the problem, rather than settle for less than what I want. I'm paying more attention to my thoughts, and I find that a lot of times I don't do things because I figure I will or can do them later, and that's not always the case. Plus, I forget sometimes. So what I did was to think twice, and decide to do whatever I usually put off till later...RIGHT NOW! 

I never labeled myself a procrastinator before, but I'm pretty sure I've got a chronic case. Too many things get put away "till tomorrow", and then NEVER get done. 

This weekend, I'm going to find some of those things, things that got thrown aside, and get them done. I'm not even sure what they'll be yet......but I'm sure I'll find plenty in the stacks of paperwork I have, and in just "stuff" I have in boxes and bags here in my room. I'll find plenty to do, and in the process, might get things a little uncluttered. I've got until Wednesday at 10 pm, time enough to get quite a lot done.

Hooray for weekends!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More on motivation....

I got off work this morning, and for no apparent reason, I was feeling really down and depressed. 

Normally that would mean I would spend most of the day pretty much feeling sorry for myself, not doing anything, and becoming MORE depressed. 

Life on my own has not turned out like I thought it would, not surprisingly, because I haven't done anything to change it. I posted a few days ago about how I get motivated when I'm angry, and since then, I've been wondering how to get motivated when I'm NOT angry.

Then today, it dawned on me. You basically just have to DO it. You have to make a mental decision to be motivated, no matter what mood you're in. Your emotional state really has little to do with it. You just have to decide to be motivated, and then Voila! You are!

Sitting and feeling sorry about how your life isn't the way you want it to be is not going to get you anywhere. 

I've read lots of things that tell you how to change your life, how to make it the life you want, but I never "got" it.

People who have the lives they want are motivated to make them happen, and do things to make them happen. Not because they wake up every day with a smile on their face and a great big emotional "get up and go" attitude either. They make it happen because every day, no matter their emotional state, they DECIDE to be motivated to get things accomplished.

One thing that has been in the back of my mind lately is my job. You know, how it doesn't make me the money I need. The only way to change that is to find a new one. 

I want my own place, but I have apparently not been motivated enough to go out and look for one.

I want a newer car, not that there's anything wrong with the one I have. I got some repairs done to it recently, but there are things this car does not have, like air conditioning, a trunk release (believe it or not, it didn't come with one, you always have to open the trunk with the key), or even a cupholder. These are things I want to have, but I have not been motivated to find the means to get one.

A lot of this stuff takes time, and of course money. The problem is, as I have stated before, I have allowed myself to settle for what I have, and not get motivated to improve on the quality of my life. 

All it really takes is a change in mindset. Emotional concerns should not affect it. At least not to the extent that, in my case, I settle for less than what I want because I'm too busy feeling bad. Or, I have just not decided to be motivated to make changes.

No matter how I feel then, I can be motivated, or I can NOT be. It's my choice.

An interesting revelation, just thought I'd share.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Being creative

There have been creative thoughts brewing in my noggin for a couple of days now, and today, I think I figured out how I can best be creative. 

I am not a crafty sort of person, I don't paint, or draw, or sculpt, or knit or crochet, or make things from wood,  or any other of the traditional "crafts" a person can think of. I write stories on occasion, short snippets usually, not novels or poems or anything. If and when I DO write, I write in spurts, often going for months without getting any inspiration for new material. 

What I AM good at however, and I often take time to investigate, is mechanical stuff, science and technology stuff in particular. I love a good gadget, especially if it has moving parts. And it doesn't have to be designed by humans to catch my eye either. This particular "gadget" I discovered today is made up of nothing BUT moving parts. LIVE ones. Check this video out to see what I mean.

What you're seeing there is a colony of fire ants that has created a "raft" from their own bodies, a mechanism they employ when their nest is flooded, so they can escape and move along to colonize somewhere else. As you can see, because they are utilizing the surface tension of the water to keep themselves afloat, the "raft" is virtually unsinkable, even when physically forced down into the water. 

Seeing this has helped inspire me to do what has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and that is to invent something. Do something, or rather, make something useful for humanity that has never been thought of, let alone done before. I was having a hard time thinking of ideas, after all, it IS the 21st century, right? There aren't many areas of our lives that have NOT been invented for and reinvented again and again. We have "convenienced" ourselves to death with all the gagdets and gizmos we use every day to make our stay here in the physical world all that much easier. So what could there possibly be left to invent?

These ants have shown me that I need look no further than to our natural world, to the other creatures that inhabit it with us, to find inspiration for things to invent. An invention to help us live fuller and more productive lives, and is this particular case, LONGER lives. How often do we find ourselves faced with the problem of how to stay on TOP of a body of water? We don't have the ability to walk on water like an ant, so we use devices to keep ourselves afloat, such as boats and ships, and, when things go awry, inflatable rafts. These rafts can be rather big and bulky, even when deflated.  They have to be, using inflation technology, so they are large enough to carry a specific amount of weight when inflated. 

Scientists are studying these fire ants to apply their "technology" to advance our understanding of waterproofing. For details, read this. However, I see no reason we cannot adapt their method of flotation to our own use, in making our own rafts. They would be very thin and lightweight, but be able to carry heavy loads and not sink, even when protruding beneath the surface. 

Think of the possibilities of such an invention. Lifeboats on ships could be so small you could carry one in your pocket like a handkerchief, or perhaps they'd be a little larger, the size of a standard notebook. Fold it out and throw it on the water, and then jump aboard, and you could stay afloat indefinitely till help arrived. 

I have to say, I truly believe that nature has all the best ideas right under our noses, if we only stop to look. Modern conveniences, all invented and improved upon by man? I say NO, most of the things we take for granted were first "invented" by our friends outdoors, we've only "borrowed" their clever solutions to everyday problems.

I want to invent, to create, and to do that, I'm going to study nature. I'm going to find out what animals do to survive, and maybe I'll find a few more inspirations along the way.