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.

Enantiodromia

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Natalie Angier wrote, “The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.” I read this quote some time back and it has been resonating with me, since. The beauty of such things in our natural world often go unnoticed. Who notices the beauty of a single snowflake as they are flinging over a billion of them in one scoop while clearing the driveway? Yet, taking the time to examine an individual snowflake (microscopically) reveals a truly magnificent crystallized form.

In contrast, due to the complexities of life, we lean more toward not being able to see the forest for the trees. We often spend too much time focusing on the small details (trees) that we miss the big picture (forest). In neoteric civilization, this makes sense. By scrutinizing individual characteristics, we judge all aspects as a collective whole. Putting too much emphasis on a single mistake may damper an otherwise positive experience.

So, one has to ask. Is it the forest or the trees? The analytical side of me always wants to challenge opposing viewpoints. I like to have some element of proof, especially as it pertains to philosophy, before giving an endorsement.

My conclusion, especially as it applies to the natural world, does not take long. By looking at the nearby forest through a large glass window, I see true beauty. It is glorious and undeniable. Yet, internally, I know with great certainty where the true beauty lies. I would much rather be in the forest and amongst the trees, rather than looking at them from afar.

Natalie Angier was correct. Our ability to discern and examine small details gives us rationality and hope. When one considers all things, it is the small details that make all of the difference.

Winter Blues

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One of the many benefits to having a snow-covered landscape is our optical ability to distinguish based on contrast. The delectable palette of winter is quite splendid when sorted by our sight. A full spectrum is on display, but one color seemingly prevails over all others. It is blue.

Spend enough time in the most frigid of seasons and you will see that it uses all of the blues there are. A shade is present for water, snow, and ice. The shadows of trees and mountains cast other variations. And, as they lay in various depths before us, each layer becomes lighter blue based on the furthering of distance. The skies, whether day or night, represent most other variations of blue. The chromaticity overhead ranges from azure to zaffre.

When I hear of others speak of the winter blues, my response is usually in accord. I am grateful they are able to see them, too.

The Gift

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As we mature, we realize that material gifts are not what is most important. Relationships, traditions, memories, and the most transcendent gift of all, our savior, Jesus Christ, are truly the most important gifts to cherish.

Even though it should be in practice every day, Christmas is the perfect time of year to celebrate our love of God, family, and friends. Allow the holy spirit to heal what troubles you with love and gratitude. May the essence of the season satiate your hearts and minds. When we give pause and reflect on all bestowed upon us, we should praise God for all of his many blessings.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him…” John 1:9-10

Get Lost!

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During this time of year, depression or feelings of being overwhelmed are not uncommon. The circumstances of life often have a way of sapping energy and draining our emotional reserves.

A potential respite involves withdrawing from the complexities of life and re-immersing oneself into the wild.

In all of us, the human spirit yearns for its provenance-which is nature. The curious have been blessed with a sense of adventure. They are willing to take excursions to wild places. They feel a need to ascertain where they truly belong.

The exhilaration from adventuring to a place of no inhibition, nor restraint, lets one’s imagination (and the realm of possibilities) take over for a while. For every minute spent in a beautifully feral place, one receives far more than he or she seeks.

We may find, at some point in our lives, that the beauty we are surrounded by is satisfying enough. I sure hope not. It is an insatiable quest for me. A brilliant quote states, “Wander often, wonder always.”

I concede that what I am suggesting is not a remedy for everyone. Make no mistake. By seeking adventure in the wild, one should not be attempting to conquer the mountains, but themselves. It is well known that the best view comes into focus after summiting from the hardest climb. By investing the time and effort it takes to go to a primal location, you will be rewarded, if nothing else, by the distractions afforded by the journey getting there. Even if it is for just a short time, let your mind be free and let your spirit fly.

If you are emotionally down and in need of a pick-me-up, please take it upon yourself to venture into primitivity. This may provide the relief for which you are searching.