Independence Day 2018

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I am careful to not get involved in political discussions, unless forcibly engaged. These types of conversations often become too argumentative and overemotional. Like most people, I often read and hear conversations aimed at the political arena that are intended to be more hurtful than informative. Unfortunately, friendships and families are suffering over differences in political opinions.

Mass media does little to extinguish the flames and often embellishes the truth with the hope of increasing viewership and raising ratings. Mass media has become ultra-proficient at manipulating public opinion. We are often oblivious to their subjugated ways due to our insatiable thirst for more knowledge and information. Mass media sources perpetuate by inciting controversy. The daily discourse they dispense is solely intended to sway opinions and leave their audiences hungering for more.

With everything going on in the world, I wonder at what point did we got sidetracked from what is really most important to us? When did love and compassion evolve to hate and intolerance? Basic human nature, common sense, and history should be enough to push us toward wanting to exhibit empathy and understanding. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating for blindly following and believing the opinions and ways of all others. Sticking our heads in the sand and blindly ignore what is going on around us is not advisable, either. I am stressing the importance of implementing respect and tolerance.

We have the unalienable right to observe, interpret, and formulate our own opinions. We should use caution when expressing ourselves. Using opinions to judge or accuse others, may create a divisiveness that is too large to ever rectify. Sometimes, our opinions are built on falsehood and misinformation. We are often too quick to express judgment without knowing all of the facts and details. Put simply, sometimes we are wrong.

Many are voicing their opinions in public forums. While others are interpreting what is being said as rhetoric. Either way, respect should be reciprocal-no matter where one falls on the side of argument. A silent protest is just as formidable as a resounding one. We can demonstrate intelligence and passion by expressing our opinions without purposefully attacking and/or hurting one another. There is a high probability that what we choose to say or do will have a minimal effect in swaying the opinions or practices of others. They have as much right to their opinions as we do to ours.

An expression of individualism is a freedom. I do not believe our country’s forefathers envisioned the freedom of individualized citizens would be used to tear our country apart from within. I strongly believe the authors of the Declaration of Independence wanted freedom to unite people through a common belief. We are (and have always been) at our best when standing together; united as one.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Serendipity

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We often find the best of things, unintentionally. Based on chance or pure luck (if one believes in such), we are truly blessed when we become the benefactor of circumstance. The gratification of our deeds feels special when good fortune happens upon us, unexpectedly.

Circumstances may seem preconceived, but they just happen as we go. In every experience, examine the details and the purpose. Self-reflection will highlight the true reward.

Give opportunity a chance to find you. Allow it in. Bask in fortuity when you realize that you sought purpose, but your search revealed something better, instead.

Not everything in life requires a plan. It’s the deviation from a plan that creates discovery.

Woven

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Whether they be from loved ones, places, or moments, memories are woven into our spirituality. We have the uncanny ability to self-absorb what we hold important and that in which we feel truly bound to by our nature.

We grieve when some or all of it is taken away from us. It is often painful. Sometimes the fabric is so interwoven within us, that the pain from its absence never fully subsides. Certain people, places, or moments are so intricately woven within our personal tapestry, that the loss of them cannot be mended by patch or replacement. Contrary to the popular saying, time does not heal all wounds. Time only helps dull some of the sharp edges.

Unfortunately, grief and loss are inevitable in life. They affect us in different ways. The intensity is dependent on the individual and circumstance. Some coping strategies include reaching out to others who have also experienced similar loss, exploring creative aspirations, and doing something that honors that which is lost.

Convalescence and coping with loss is a unique experience for everyone.
If you find yourself in a position to comfort, please remember patience, love, and understanding are more helpful than just saying, “I’m sorry.”

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. -Helen Keller

Awaken

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The high peaks of surrounding ranges tantalize. They have long been subdued by snow and ice. Their dormancy from a long and cold hibernation is finally beginning to transition. They tear at the hearts of those who have long dreamed of summit and quest.

Bound by the usual constraints of wintertide, the lower slopes of nearby ridges gradually emerge. A rebirth of the landscape is delicate, intricate, and purposeful. A display of long predictable change is ever awe-inspiring. It is nothing short of magnificent.

Emotion is stirred to the extent of being envious of the lone cedar on an otherwise barren slope side. If afforded the opportunity, one would surely supplant positions.

Wherein the valley does a heart lay, that makes one not desire the comfort of masses. For the intended concourse is to be free of a populous. Imagining the independence and the freedom of oneself while traversing to a mountain top, for now, will have to prevail.

Paths

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Getting comfortable with social media has been very difficult for me. I joined the masses less than a year ago, despite every fiber of my being telling me not to do it. I highly value privacy. The main reason I embarked on this travail was to re-establish bonds with lost family members and friends. For solely that purpose, the risk has been rewarding.

Unexpectedly, social media has given me an opportunity to witness an amazing germination. We have all changed. The search for purpose and destination now defines our existence. We have gone in multiple directions to discover relationships, careers, locales, tragedy, contentment, life, and death.

Everyone’s journey has been unique. Circumstances may be parallel, but they are not the same. Our choices may have been comparable, but they are not equal. The force that pushes us forward represents purpose in our lives. Like traveling on an old and dusty mountain road, we have endured straight shots, sharp curves, steep hills, and many bumps. We have been given the opportunity to discover the beauty of a life along the way.

In retrospect, I have learned that one should always be conscious of how their journey intersects and mingles with others. Having an effect on another is a privilege that carries great responsibility. It is almost always reciprocal.

Just because you are on one trajectory does not mean you cannot commit to another. Your conscience will tell you when to make a change. Listen to it. Indulge in perseverance and make decisions based on experiences. Demonstrate patience while contemplating change. Allow time to help you make the right decision.

At the end of your journey, have faith that you will be rewarded for all that you have done. For He, who watches over you, has been there every step of the way.

“Just because my path is different, doesn’t mean I’m lost…”Gerard Abrams

Harmony

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One of the most beautiful places in our natural world is where the mountains and the rivers meet. The geography of mountains funnel rivers and command their course. Yet, the force of water perpetually changes everything it touches. So strong and persistent, a river eventually carves and erodes the constitution of the mountain. Over long periods of time, a river defines its own boundaries and in doing so, forever changes its landscape.

The sound of a river always rings with familiarity. It denotes peace and tranquility. The sonorous melody of moving water is cryptic. It can be deafening, subtle, or even absent. When concealed in heavily timbered areas, a river’s notes often carry through a dense canopy. Following the sound can reveal the moving water’s presence, to those who are in search.

One can become mesmerized by sunlight flittering as it reflects from a river. The shimmer is like sprinkles of glitter floating precariously on the rapid flows. In other areas along the waterway, sunlight reflects in broader swaths. Large patches of illumination dance much to an interested observer’s delight. In contrast, shadows darken a river’s surface. They sway, due to the currents, in rhythmic motion.

If searching for an ideal place to reflect upon your thoughts and contemplate life, you are highly encouraged to go where the mountains and the rivers meet. I speculate you will be enthralled.

I sat there and I forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched…Norman Maclean

Flux

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If you want something you have never had, then you should try doing something you have never done. This change in mindset does not come easy to most, due to their fear of the unknown. Yet, hope (as a general compass), should be enough inspiration to drive you toward what you have never done.

Instead of miring in a life of self-doubt, negativity, suffering, and depression, you need to actively and willingly make changes. Living life through the same mundane routines and then becoming upset over the same things is really cheating yourself. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Your existence on this sublunary blue marble is relatively short. It will never be too late to increase your contentment…until it is. Making changes will probably not be easy. It is far easier to stay distraught, discouraged and/or just give up. As you age, your life grows more complex. Your stubbornness or unwillingness to change grows, too. Push yourself, no matter what stage in life or how difficult the challenges, to make changes that enhance and grow your happiness. The biggest challenges are those that take tremendous work to accomplish. The biggest challenges also offer the greatest rewards.

You are encouraged to look at others for inspiration. If you see someone doing something you have always wanted to do, don’t just admire them. Try doing it yourself.

Start your road to change by doing something that is different or out of the ordinary from your daily, weekly, or monthly routines. Bringing more variety to your life is the first step to enjoying the unknown. Your creativity knows no bounds. You will be amazed at how one small change will have a larger ripple-effect. Doing what you love will not only change your world, but also the world inhabited by others.

Be introspective. What is it that turns you on inside? Hone in on that feeling and your willingness to pursue it will grow. Doing something you have never done, but have always wanted to, will bring unlimited benefits. You will laugh more. You will smile more. Your happiness will become infectious. You will become the person everyone else wants to be. As a consequence of the changes you are willing to make, others will be inspired to start their own journey.

Heed this warning: the timing will never be right if you continue to put off making changes. Let today be the first day you start making changes that lead you on the path to accomplishing what you want to achieve. Stop making excuses and start following through with your instincts, desires, inspiration, and creativity. Rely on your resolve to overcome the obstacles that will, undoubtedly, get in your way. You can find joy in your life and fulfillment if you are willing to make the changes necessary. Keep moving forward.

The dreams you have now will only remain as such, unless you are willing to make them a reality by implementing the changes necessary in your pursuit of happiness. Start your journey toward a life of ultimate contentment, now.