What’s Your Vision?

Sometimes I think about blogging, but I don’t feel inspired to write anything. Then, the thought passes and before I know it, months have passed without a single post! I love writing, I enjoy reading the words and thoughts that I layout on the screen, yet getting to that point sometimes takes quite a bit of time.

Why, though?

Hesitation. Fear. Lackluster attitude.

How many unforeseeable great pieces of writing never had the opportunity to navigate their way out of my thoughts and onto the keys? Makes me wonder! And it makes me realize. I. Need. To. Write!!

I read a quote this evening by Jane Yolen:

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”

How stinking true! This doesn’t only apply to writing. If there is something that you want to become better at, you need to work on it daily. I have the tendency to let “motivation” get me started, the feeling of excitement carry me along, and then like the shifts of the tides, I lose my “passion” for a period of time and remain stagnant. At times, even regress. That’s where I’ve learned something. Motivation is such a shallow word. We give it too much power, and then blame our “lack of motivation” for our failures, as if we were not able to accomplish anything without it. However, what I’ve realized is that the initial idea of wanting change is easy ::cue motivation:: but the act of pursuing that change, day after day, and continuously putting in effort even when you don’t feel like it, or when you experience hiccups along the way – that is all you, Love! Yup. It’s the truth. Motivation isn’t doing the work. YOU ARE. Motivation isn’t the thing picking up that pen, lifting those weights, reading those books, cleaning that house. It’s. All. You. I know this because you can accomplish all of those things even when you are not motivated. That brings me to my next point. How much do you actually want change? It’s one thing to say, “I want to write a book.” and “I want to get back in shape.”, but it’s an entirely different thing to fully immerse yourself into the lifestyle that will achieve he results you want. I should know. I’ve been wanting to write that book for roughly 6 years now. 😉

My gratitude for being alive was often masked by my tendency to take certain things for granted. So what will center my thinking and keep me going? Perspective. How you see the world, and how you see yourself, is everything in my opinion. It is what will bring you joy, empathy, compassion and drive. Have a vision, and live it everyday.

Love and Blessings,

AJ

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I am Me

It is quite easy to get caught up in the routine of everyday life. You grab your purse, lock the front door and get into your car, not even aware that you walked by a feather in the grass, a cardinal propped in a tree, a string of water-beaded silk, delicately hanging from an awning. Perhaps all you are thinking about is the workday ahead, the fact that it’s only Monday and you’re exhausted. Well, I ask you this. Have you taken time to sit and simply be? Have you taken your shoes off and let your toes sink into the grassy earth? Have you relaxed by the ocean and listened to the tide roll in? Have you laid under a tree and looked up at the clouds? The birds? The leaves blowing in the wind? Have you lived as a child? Adulthood comes with an increase in responsibility, there is no denying that; however, inner peace is a necessary component to happiness. How can one find inner peace when they are so caught up in the outer turmoil that acts as a constant distraction? There comes a point when you must let go, and let God.

Above all else, there has been one constant in my life, and that has been the blessing of being God’s child. He has painted a wonderful picture on my heart, and as I grow, as I prosper, I unravel the layers covering up that image. The past decade alone has allowed light to shine through, even in the the most unsuspecting times. My abilities have expanded, my heart has grown, my passion has intensified, and my purpose has been revealed.

I am a teacher.

I am a writer.

I am a creative being with eyes open to seeing the world that surrounds me.

I am me.

A New Season

My writing was recently acknowledged at a neighboring town’s writing contest at their public library. I write for me, but it feels wonderful to receive Honorable Mention for a piece that is so close to my heart. The real adventure will be reading it aloud in front of an audience. 😉. New chapters in life bring about new experiences, new acquaintances, and if you’re lucky, new friends who will add value and substance to your already beautiful life; and with that, I present to you, A New Season.

With each new season, comes an inevitable accompaniment of emotions.  Leaves fall, feathering through the air as they gently glide toward their next destination.  While the detachment from the tree is symbolic of letting go of the old, shedding what once was, and waiting in anticipation of what is yet to come, I can’t help but notice the beauty in [this leaf], caught so delicately by the resting fence.  It appears as though a loving hand placed it. The bead of water hugs the stem, giving it comfort, letting it know that while it may no longer be rooted to the tree, it is rooted with love.  The earth is much more powerful than humans perceive it to be.  Nature is not just merely in existence.  Nature feels.  Nature loves.  When we weep, the earth is listening, the angels come near, and there are lessons to be told, not just through experience, but also by opening our senses to what surrounds us and enveloping our soul in the earth’s blessings.  It is up to you to let down your mental blocks, dismiss your fears, feel your spirit with each breath, and channel your mind’s focus and energy toward what is surrounding you at any given time.  This image, which so beautifully mirrors the transformation occurring in my own life, is a reminder that the nurturing environment in which we live is not to be taken for granted.  Love and peace are everywhere.  It is what we live and breathe.  Do not let the opinions and biases of the mind allow you to think otherwise.

As you use your heart as a driving force, and your mind as a sounding board, you will make your way through the waves. At times, it may feel effortless, the soft touch of the water against your skin. Smooth sailing, if you will; things going your way, fitting within your timeline, allowing you to feel instant gratification within the given circumstances. But then, there are seasons where the current pulls you out past your zone of comfort, causing a riff in the way you view things happening. Change ensues, and it is up to you to decide what direction the ocean will take you. Sometimes positive changes result in affliction, as odd as that may be. If you don’t deal with past hurts and only bury them, they are bound to resurface. The winding road is beautiful, though, and as these hurtful truths and self-realizations come into the light, you are able to gain a better appreciation for what you have, where you have been, and where you are headed. You see, the imperfections that make you who you are, are the most beautiful things about you, for if you had never endured those experiences, you wouldn’t be you. Embrace the changes, forgive yourself for your past, show gratitude for what you have and who you’ve become, and live a life of emotional prosperity. Be Free. Grab the reins of your own destiny, listen to the choir in your heart, make a home in a place that soothes your soul and enriches your blood. Feel your inner self, your true self, developing and transforming. Breathe in the air that surrounds you, ground yourself with the earth, allow your worldly love to transcend your body and make marks on the souls of those who you love, and those deserving of love. Be true to yourself and never, ever let anyone dim your light. Allow pain to be released, strength be regained, and the earnest truth of your soul and intuitive mission to progress forward. Be you, be your biggest advocate, be the one who makes your heart full. Love yourself, love God, and love all. Be an exemplar of what you wish to see, and shine light on others, just as it shines within you.

Turn the lights out

Let wither away what doesn’t serve you well. Titles hold no value when the love that is meant to bond you is absent. An abundance of excuses, bouncing around the cage of my brain, I’ve heard enough and I close the door.

The prevalence of social media in this world has severely impacted interpersonal relationships. As I sit back, withdrawn from that world, I see it. Everyday. All smiles and glory when the camera is rolling, compliments and fawning when eyes are turned on. But when the lights go out, what is left? Who is that person breathing in the darkness? What are their true desires, ambitions and needs? Why does everything have to be broadcasted on the internet, a global facade that richness is greatness. That continuous attempts at perfection are what emits true happiness. Why are young girls shaming themselves and wholeheartedly believing that they are not enough? Why is that our reality? Turn the lights out. Unplug the chord. Look into your soul and search for what defines you.

It’s not what you see in the mirror. It’s the driving force from within.

Turn the lights out. See yourself. Be free.