Thursday, June 17, 2010

See the Stars.. Especially in the Darkness

Stoned PhotographyAll Rights reservedJHM10©

Looking Up PhotographyAll Rights reservedJHM10©

Weeping Willows PhotographyAll Rights reservedJHM10©

This is not a good day, but a determined day.
Struggle is not putting it mildly, not an easy thing to bear up although you know it is happening to others. It does not do well for me, to know people are having difficulties to & stand there or turn away. It does not encourage me, but I understand & I have great empathy that there are millions, yes million, in one of the richest countries in the world, that may at moment face homelessness, or no power to stay cool or even the price of bus fare to survive.

I have to care for a personal matter that if not address will reverberate for a long time to come and there seems to be at this moment very little in my power to alter it. What I do know is how to be focused and not look to the right or to the left.

My world is crashing around me. Thank God I had a bit of a respite with seeing the family to restore some of my energy otherwise I might have gone screaming into the wood which would not have been a very pretty sight!I saw this quote ironically on a rerun of the TV show Cold Case upon my return done by a young boy who needlessly died due to an accident, but whose death altered in a huge way two other lives.

Apparently he carried this quote around when he felt the greatest fear & unsure that he could do it.
The quote was by Ralph Waldo Emerson "When it is darkest, man sees the stars"... Of course I have to rephrase it now to say the word "woman". since I am looking upward to find those stars.

I think of a comment in the movies The Color Purple where Celie tells Nettie "I don't know how to fight back... All I know is how to stay alive"

I like many others 12 million strong sell off our belongings as much as we possibly can to stay afloat, I think that this is the worst I've ever seen in a number of years. But I am determined. It has to be done.
As I was making this decision and bemoaning my own fate, I look at a 69 year old woman who lives above me that not unlike me, lost everything and sleeping on the floor, not even a plate to have her meal with or a chair to sit on during the day. I share what I had with her. I am saying in both her case & in mine, we've spent a lifetime working, doing the right thing, raising families, having vibrant lives with family & friends only to find ourselves through no fault of our own in the autumn (or if you prefer-late summer :=) like this.

Yet we are not alone, but right now that is not helping. Not ungrateful nor unappreciative, there is simply a bottom line. I am 10 years HER junior & yet I watch this woman get up everyday with determination & mad chutzpah continue to find a way & I can do no less. I will not find myself at age 70 sleeping on a floor nor anyone else if I can help it.
It makes me think of a quote from Susan Taylor in essence saying one of the worst things in this world is "being old, poor, black & female". Its a hardship no one should wish on another . I do not see myself as old. I cannot afford to get old. But I do know how to fight back even when tired, my determination has not abated, it is simple also knowing when it is time to yield to know when it is indeed bigger then yourself.

Where have we come in this world that we can allow things like this to happen? No, I am not talking about government, nor politics, no matter what side of what the fence, pasture, park, suburb or battlefield you may attest to. I am speaking of us as intelligent, capable, caring, loving human beings who know what we must do.

But will we? Without excuses, justifications or denials?

I can say our collective vision as a community & nation are skewered. When we can leave millions to a dog which has no clue (and I am not beating up on people who love their animals), but we can watch people do w/o the basic substances of the day something is wrong. When someone can call themselves "poor" & "suffering" because they had to put their Jaguar in the shop or watch a neighbor throw away boxes of unopened food in the trash w/o a blink of an eye. Or getting that manicure/pedicure/facial & yet see their fellow man do w/o, something is so wrong.

We have to do better...

I have to do better...

We have to become more conscious of our fellow humans that shares the earth with us.

If my blog does nothing more then inspire someone to see humanity a little different, without judgement, derision, without robbing them of their dignity, then I will be happy in putting this out there.

What I need today at this time in this place is to see the stars and grab a'hold of one of them.
All Rights reservedJHM10©

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Be You.. Be Me...

To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.~ EE Cummings, poet

Becoming the person you want to be

Take a look at your priorities and your goals. Where did they come from? Are they the products of soul-searching, self-analysis, and careful planning? Or are they a reaction to pressures from other people? Did you find them within yourself or within the pages of a magazine? The answers to these questions are important because they tell you if the person you're becoming is someone you want to be. Here's another way to look at a goal: do you want it, or do you just think you should want it? It's not easy to follow your own direction in life. But it's more possible than you may think. Question everything. Every priority in your life needs to justify why it's there. If you can't come up with a good reason that actually comes from YOU, maybe it doesn't belong.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fit to be Tried...

Adversity and loss make a man wise.
- Welsh Proverb

Victory over Trials

The need to weather hard times is constantly part of our business and personal lives. Do you ever think of these hurdles in a positive light? The next time you are faced with opposition, instead of looking at it as a source of anxiety, view it as an opportunity! Can you apply what you have learned to other areas of your life? Will this experience make you stronger and wiser next time around? Sometimes the worst and most painful experiences are the ones that help us grow the most. Having a positive attitude can deflate even the scariest situation. Overcoming adversity can help you achieve the extraordinary!

Si, se puede' , Oui,nous pouvons...Yes we can..~My Class of 2010

Now I've made it through two graduations for two beautiful young people who are entering new stages in their lives... Mea graduates 1st & turns 18 on Monday. She will be off to college in Aug. Chance enters high school in the fall. This brother/ sister team are extraordinary although I know every proud grandmother says that. I up close & personal had to watch them grow through adversity's one would not desire on their worst enemies let along love ones.

Mary'Eleanor (we call her Mea for short since her full name is so long) was senior class secretary, cheerleader and an excellent vocalist. She will major in Psychology in college.
Chance a preemie at birth is a prolific cartoonist, already being sought after by the high school coach for sports (at 13 he is already 6'1). He is also carrying on the family's legacy as a musician.

Their mom, my daughter will be graduating from college in the fall. Despite pitfalls we all will share in the human experience, to see them and the family smiling like there is no tomorrow is beyond a smile...
Nothing beats an accomplishment.

I am also watching my daughter experience her rites."Losing" her 1st born to the adult world & her 1st born son approaching manhood...

I am delighted to be here to bear witness, so it was worth the 4 day trip, both ways, sacrificing much to be here and to see again how indomitable the human spirit can be & the resilience & flexibility we all can show when call to do so.We all can do what we are called to do with a fieceness that can often amaze even ourselves, despite naysayes, ones who delight comes from causing harm or even the roadblocks WE sometimes put in front of ownselves.

No matter what way you say it, it is & can be all good:

Si, se puede'
Oui, nous pouvons
Yes we can

All rights ReservedJHM©10

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nature Boy~In Charge of the World...

"There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far, very far Over land and sea A little shy and sad of eye But very wise was he...And then one day A magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things Fools and kings This he said to me the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return".~Nature Boy, Nat King Cole

From my book "Cover My Heart, So My Soul can Stay Warm"©10 . The poem is an original from a 9 year old.

This morning I stumbled upon a new fact about Z, I finally found out he had published a book!
My goodness Z is a published writer! What makes it more amzing is he is only 8 years old

I did not know.

As I read his book I was struck again in his clarity of his world written in the pureness & innocence of childhood... I excitedly said to his mom " Eureka! Now I get it! Z's poet, that is what is happening here. He's a writer!"

Now I know why I have felt the need to intervene when others push him around as he is a lot like me head in the clouds, sensitive and words bursting out all over the place. The difference between he & I s I have a 51 year advantage on him in living.

I want to add here that for most of his very young life, Z has been homeless from a time, a very rough and traumatic time & as miracles have it they are heading toward a clear & brighter life. But Z has an well meaning uncle who is very hard on him as he thinks Z is "soft" and needs to man up. Unfortunately as life goes his uncle does not get it that his actions are having the opposite effect on this young man. Mind you this uncle is by nature not a cruel man, he is behaving how HE was treated growing up and in some misguided way things that since he toughen up that it would work on Z. And his mother while doing all she can to advocate for him, clearly knows that since they are living with this uncle until she find housing, has tobe creative, finding ways to protect her son by keeping housing & keeping him safe.

But his poem is very telling. He has said in his own words what is in his heart which makes Z's poem even more poignant & shows a mature astuteness one should not have so young.

If I was in Charge of the World

By Z ©10

If I was in Charge of the World

I'd cancel brussel sprouts..

Listen to my uncle...

Cleanin the bathroom & also test...

If I was in charge of the world...

There would be cake for breakfast...

Food for my family...

And muffins...

And pizza for dinner

If I was in charge of the world...

A person couldn't yell at me...

All kids could play whenever they wanted...
And a person who fell

And scraped his hand
Would still be in charge of the world

All rights ReservedJHM©10

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Confidently Yours...

Fortune favors the bold.~ Juvenal

Confidently seeking what you want most

Do you constantly feel overlooked for promotions or think that good fortune never seems to come your way? They say good things happen to good people, but have you considered that maybe good things happen to those who actively work for them? Life is not a series of random coincidences. Your lot in life is determined directly by the amount of effort you are willing to put towards the goals you want to achieve. If you want that raise, work hard and then approach your boss confidently. Many times a healthy level of assertiveness can go a long way in showing people what you're made of. Don't be afraid to let your inner hero outshine your more logical and reserved self. The return could be huge!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh Happy Feet~ Isaiah's Story...

Mr. Isaiah & his happy feet post performance of "Eye of the Tiger with his 3rd grade class annual talent show!
All rights ReservedJHM©10

Whenever you get a moment to reflect how many times you put a body part down onyourself (or someone else) when you think its not good enough, needs repair, refurbihing, ignored or punished, I hope you will re-read my 9 year old soft spoken sensitive soul of my grandson Isaiah.

While some made feel he is too wimpy or "soft" or he is not displaying all the bravado that a 9 year old "should", Isaiah has already learned something about himself that many adults have not grasp.

His teacher had his 3rd grade class write a story about what body part makes them happy or their best part. Isaiah chose to write about his feet, the most milinged apparatus we seem to treat the worst but carries us everywhere.

He's learned to see through his beautiful tiger's eye which people often admire him for to accpet another part that while through the distorted lens of the world would seem defective, to say it is his best body part.

So whenever you chance to open your mouth to put yourself down, remember Isaiah's words.

Better yet, let him tell you in his own words.

Introducing Isaiah:

My Feet

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My best part of me is my feet. My feet help me run fast & helps me to stand up, walk & move. My feet are my very best part in the world. My feet are very helpful in all. My feet are so helpful when we play with each other all day long. I like my feet so much we go outside. Feet are really good to have because how are you going to move (without them).

By Isaiah
All rights reservedIW5-10

Self Identified...

This is way like I see me...

What a Feeling...

"I Have Lonved So Long" art All rights reservedJHM10

What reason weaves, by passion is undone.~- Alexander Pope

Do you follow what your heart craves?

As odd as it sounds, sometimes our logical minds can hold us back. Have you ever wanted to attempt a new career, run a marathon, or start your own business? Our brains might scream at us that it is safer to do what has been tried and true in the past, but don't let the fear of the unknown stop you! We all spend a lot of time worrying and little time examining the calling of our own hearts. What are you passionate about? Is there a way that you can honor these feelings in a responsible way? Trying new things can be terrifying, but following our passions can make us feel alive and become some of our most memorable moments in life. The thrill of love, the depths of grief, and the joys of a new career...all would be impossible without passion.

Is Your Best (NOT) Good Enough?

There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between.~Pat Riley, basketball coach

Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort?

Your dreams deserve better than a half-hearted effort. Meet your goals with a weak handshake and they'll soon be waving you goodbye. Since you probably don't want to look back on a life full of "almost made it" memories, it's time for total commitment. Leave it all on the field, don't hold anything back. Is there anything more satisfying than pouring out your entire being, straddling the cliff, reaching your total limit, then looking up and realizing that oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I-really-did-it? And is there anything more tragic than failing and realizing you could have done more? If you feel "tuned out" of your current life, that's okay. Make your first goal to build a life that you can get "in"-to. Then don't look back. Make every day count and live purposefully, live energetically, live completely.


Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.
- Mark Twain, writer and satirist

Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

It's easy to recognize a perfect candidate for your support team. Just look for someone who has a way of making everyone else around them better: someone who succeeds by developing other people and letting them in on the fun; someone who is genuinely happy when other people succeed. That's the person you want on your side. The pages of history are heavy with tales of the misguided who were proven wrong while insisting something couldn't be done. Why put up with that? Believe in your goals enough to know that you shouldn't stomach people who don't. It's okay if you're the only one who believes in your dream. But someone who truly believes in YOU should help you believe that if anyone can do it, you can.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can you Hear Me?

Wisdom has two parts:

1)-Having a lot to say.

2)-Not saying it.~Billboard in Vermont

The Wisdom of Listening

"One common trait to nearly every good leader is the art of listening. Many times, the best leaders can be among the quietest in the room. They know their time is well spent in hearing new perspectives, ideas, and thoughts. It's how they grow personally and build visions. The wisest leaders know that hearing themselves talk is no way to build trust and goodwill. You can do the same thing. When a friend needs to talk, resist the urge to give advice right away and just listen. Ask questions, and really try to understand the answer. When a customer calls, don't say a word about your product until you fully know their needs. When your spouse is hurting, it's not the time to prove that you were right. Over time, you can develop that leader-like sense of when to open your mouth and when to keep it clamped firmly shut".
Sometimes people are not looking for you to "fix" them or what they are experiencing, but simply to be heard. Today people really do not have the inclination, time or desire to really listen & hear people when they need to speak or be heard"...
We are such a microwaved culture that we fast forward to a conclusion and a "solution" before we even know ( or care) what we are fixing. Too often the end results is unnecessary cruelty or hurtful, impatient dimishing of a real suffering ergo far too many "let it go", "move ons" "or stop whinig" often accompanied by an impatient tone of voice or even worse tuning a person out. Then we are then surprised when we hear about a tragic suicide or someone acting out either causing harm to themselvers or God forbid to another.
Then comes the "if I had known", "maybe I should have paid more attention", etc or any other guilt laden terms to justify why we did not hear them from the beginning,which still takes attention away from the person's suffering. We should be more mindful of writing a script on someone elses' issues....
When was the last time you really paid attention to someone even when you think you've heard it all, or (from them) the same ole song? Or at least stop clicking on the keyboard for a moment to pay attention?
For the record I do not know how people think it is not being heard by phone or the occassional "uh-huh" mummuring.
People can hear you just so you know...
One that you maybe the person who needs to be heard or who then will be there for you?
Here is a great site with groups all over the world that can aid people if nothing else to become good listeners.
From their page:
About Re-evaluation Counseling
Re-evaluation Counseling is a process whereby people of all ages and of all backgrounds can learn how to exchange effective help with each other in order to free themselves from the effects of past distress experiences.

Re-evaluation Counseling theory provides a model of what a human being can be like in the area of his/her interaction with other human beings and his/her environment. The theory assumes that everyone is born with tremendous intellectual potential, natural zest, and lovingness, but that these qualities have become blocked and obscured in adults as the result of accumulated distress experiences (fear, hurt, loss, pain, anger, embarrassment, etc.) which begin early in our lives.

Any young person would recover from such distress spontaneously by use of the natural process of emotional discharge (crying, trembling, raging, laughing, etc.). However, this natural process is usually interfered with by well-meaning people ("Don't cry," "Be a big boy," etc.) who erroneously equate the emotional discharge (the healing of the hurt) with the hurt itself.

When adequate emotional discharge can take place, the person is freed from the rigid pattern of behavior and feeling left by the hurt. The basic loving, cooperative, intelligent, and zestful nature is then free to operate. Such a person will tend to be more effective in looking out for his or her own interests and the interests of others, and will be more capable of acting successfully against injustice.

In recovering and using the natural discharge process, two people take turns counseling and being counseled. The one acting as the counselor listens, draws the other out and permits, encourages, and assists emotional discharge. The one acting as client talks and discharges and re-evaluates. With experience and increased confidence and trust in each other, the process works better and better.

Lest we Crumble;Lest we Fall

"All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly and its spines crumble".

- William S. Halsey, WWII U.S. Admiral

Facing your worst fears Healthy Reflections

Your worst fears are usually the ones that never happen. Unfortunately, they're also the ones that keep you from trusting yourself and your abilities. Doesn't it seem silly to give up in the face of an anxiety that may be no more real than the fairy tale troll that lives under the bridge? If you approach a possible roadblock with hesitation, it might resist and break your resolve. But if you step forward with confidence, you can climb that wall, even one inch at a time, and pull yourself over the top. It's all about confidence, which you build by facing problems. Then you know that you can take on anything that comes along. The unknown monster under the bed is always scarier than the dust bunny reality