What Have You Learned From?

Learn was the prompt from yesterday.  I may not follow each and every daily prompt, just fyi, but this is a good one.

I believe this is one of our larger purposes on the planet — to learn.  If we only talk less and listen more, really listen, not just to our school teachers but all the teachers there are in life that surround us, we, we would gain much knowledge.  We can learn from our children.  I know I’ve learned more from my child than I have probably taught her.  She has taught me to love more, to see more beauty, to notice it.  She is the one who taught me how to forgive.  I talked about this in an earlier post but the short of it is that I watched her forgive someone who wronged her.  She decided she was going to make that person her friend.  Instead of being angry at the person or holding a grudge, like I had always done, she forgave that girl and she made her a friend.  When I saw that, I cried.  How could I continually hold grudges and hold onto such anger and resentment after she showed me how easy it is to forgive.  It never had been easy for me.

So, around that same time, God decided to test me and sent around a guy who terribly wronged me years earlier.  He was afraid to face me but had the courage anyway, so I got out of my car and talked to him.  We talked for 20 minutes and somewhere in the midst of our conversation, I realized I’d forgiven him.  And now, since that time, I’ve forgiven several people that wronged me, from the past to the present.  It feels so empowering, so liberating, so freeing.  It feels like you let go of a 100 pounds of weight from your back and shoulders and heart.  You feel lighter.  It’s not only a gift you give to someone else but more of a gift you give yourself, because to experience forgiveness, whether to accept it or gift it to someone else, it strengthens your connection and bond to God, to Jesus and even to yourself, as well as others — maybe even to the universe (energy).  It frees the flow of your pent up energy and you can breathe easier.

Not only from your children can you learn (and both the good and bad from your parents).  You can learn from the trees.  They stay planted and rooted deep within the earth, one of their greatest loves, their home.  They bend and they sway in the breeze and the storms.  Some of them might be washed away.  Some break down.  But most of them stay strong and though they may hurt and pieces may break from them, the whole of them stands firm.  They continue to grow and thrive and become strengthened for making it through the storm.

We can learn from the butterfly, flying free among the air.  They let the wind carry them.  They’re so light and joyful.  They start out crawling and are slow in movement and motivation except to eat and lay around.  Then, by a great miracle, it prepares itself for change and takes action (builds its cocoon) and should not be disturbed.  It’s a lengthy process and you might even believe it died in there, because it takes so long (we raised a caterpillar into a butterfly), digests itself and then after all its morphing work is done, it breaks free of it’s cocoon/shell/house, pushes it’s way through while strengthening itself and emerges a beautiful butterfly, and once its wings dry, it flies free.  What a beautiful thing to witness and learn from.

There is a lesson in everything.  Even within ourselves, we each have a story, we each have learned something valuable we can teach others.  If it is just to love or offer a kind word or give freely without expecting something in return, we are teaching someone else.

What have you learned from?  A parent?  A child?  The earth?  A tree?  The wind?  A book?  Witnessing a stranger?

Reflections

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Carol B Sessums:

This is truly amazing. It so resonates with me and I believe it will help you, as well. To see how someone else sheds light on a thing — it can illuminate your mind, awaken your senses and make you see and feel everything in your life differently. Let’s grow together, people.

Originally posted on pieces of me:

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Photo by: Arkady Golod Photography

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”  Rumi

Have you ever noticed how patterns in life will keep repeating until we finally “get it”? For me this was never as apparent as when my family and I moved to another city, far far away.  I left behind a lot of great friends, but also a few toxic relationships and I was ready for a nice, shiny, new start.

Imagine my surprise when the exact same toxic relationships showed up, disguised as other people. It was almost comical, the week I started my new job and began to see the character traits blooming.   Oh wow.  Shirley is my new Back Stabbing Dawn.  Jake is my new Lascivious Larry.   And OH NO Clarissa is clearly my new Angry Annie.  WTF, Universe?  I thought I had left those problems behind and yet here they were again…

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Changed My Mind on Survey

I am woman. That means I am apt to change my mind at a moment’s notice. It’s my prerogative. I am woman.

I have decided not to partake in the 5,000 Question Survey any longer. I have become bored with it. Many of the questions are just, how shall I say, more for children. I initially started the thing, because I thought I’d share my thoughts with you as I delved deeper into knowing myself, but these questions have not really helped me to discover anything about myself. Sure, some of them brought back some fond memories and some not so fond but nothing that has brought any sense of enlightenment. So for those reasons, I am ending it and changing that item on My 101 Things in 1001 Days.

I may come up with my own questions to aid in my self discovery, identity and enlightenment. I may change My 101 Things in 1001 Days list to become more immediate, like 10 Things I Must Do in 30 Days in order to GET THINGS DONE.

What do you think? What questions do you feel are good questions toward self discovery/identity/enlightenment? Things that really make you contemplate life, your life, your life in comparison to others (not, so much, to compare ourselves to others but to make you aware how thankful you should be for what you have and what you don’t have). What questions would you ask yourself if you were out to better your life and the lives of others? What 10 things would you want to accomplish in 365 days? Or 180 days? Or better still, 30?

172-184: Cheesy 80’s Song & Other Stuff

Day 14 of 365 days of the 5,000 Question Survey – the next 13 questions (if you’d like to join, please see the link in my post from Sept 18th or just the link:

172.  If you had the power to control one person and make this person do anything you wanted for a whole day, who would you pick and what would they do?  I would not wish to control a person.  Now, if I had my own robot…

173.  What star sign are you and what is your sign like?  Om, a Virgo?  I don’t really pay attention to such things, really.  I looked it up and it says:

Virgo Strength Keywords:

- Analytical — I believe I’m more right-brained than left and I can be organized but, at times (most of the time), a clutter-junkie
– Observant — Sometimes, yes, I am, as being observant gives great scope for the imagination.  However, at times, I’m oblivious.
– Helpful — Yes.
– Reliable — Most of the time but I do not say yes to everything.
– Precise — At times.  I mean, I try to be when it comes to certain things.  However, with cooking, I’m inventive and throw in ingredients and spice without measuring.

Virgo Weakness Keywords:

- Skeptical — I’m not skeptical much, if at all.  I’ve seen some stuff.
– Fussy — I can be if you do or say the wrong thing.  *holding up my index finger*  Did you just squint at me?!
– Inflexible — As I have 3 or 4 jobs going all at the same time like juggling whirling plates on sticks, I’d say I’m pretty darn flexible.  Plus, I’m a mom of a teen.  Nuff said.
– Cold — Not at all.  Hmm.  Ok, I can be rude but I’m trying to change my ways.  Mean people just bring out the worst in me.
– Interfering — Well….ok, yes.  I can be.  It’s actually out of trying to look out for those I love and care about.  It’s not so much that I want to invade their space.  I need to work on this, I guess, and leave well enough alone.

174.  Did the Blair Witch Project scare you?  The who?  I don’t think I ever watched this?  I ask, because if I did, I don’t remember.

175.  Are you in constant fear of death?  As a child, I was.  As an adult, I welcome it.  Don’t misunderstand.  I don’t want to die right now.  I’d like to live to be 100 but no older than 120.  And only if I can stay independent in my own home, cut my own yard and still drive.

176.  Does fear of death keep you from building a life?  I do not fear death but I would imagine that yes, it would keep you stifled and fearful (not that I’m not fearful of other things) and fear keeps you from building a life.  I need to work on those other things I fear.

177.  Do you like all your movies to be in wide-screen?  Not especially.  Either way is fine.

178.  Are you a fan of any comic books?  Oh yes.  I love anything superhero related.  Especially Spider Man, but most anything superhero.  I want to be a superhero when I grow up.

179.  At what age did you attend your first funeral?  I believe I was 7 years old.  My granddad passed away.  He was always so sweet to me.  He always had a hug for me and a smile when we’d visit.  He gave me my first rocking chair and one of my first store bought dresses that I loved.  I still remember what it looked like.  My mom used to sew all my clothes, which I loved also, because I was allowed to choose some of the patterns.  Really cool memories.  I should post one of those pictures one day of me wearing one of my most favorite angel shirts (considered angel shirt because of how the sleeves were made).

180.  What do you smell like (lotion, cologne, sweat)?  I smell like me.  I’m clean, not wearing lotion, nor cologne.  I don’t know what I smell like.  Hallie tells me all the time, “You smell so good.  You smell like home.”  Whatever that means?  I suppose that’s a good thing.

181.  What are your greatest sources for wisdom?  My Bible, prayer, silence/solitude, reading what seemingly wise people wrote.

182.  When you were little, where did your parents tell you babies come from?  I’ve always known the truth, since I was about 6 years old.  My mother told me all the ins and outs (excuse the pun) of baby making.  LOL!  Sorry.  I just couldn’t resist.

183.  What is your favorite band?  Oh my, there are too many!  If I have to name just one, London Grammar.  Ok, two.  Imagine Dragons.

184.  What’s the best cheesy 80’s song?  Hmm…  Xanadu by Olivia Newton John?  But if it’s playing on the radio, don’t think I won’t sing right along with it.

159-171: One Central Idea Your Thoughts Come Back To

Day 13 of 365 days of the 5,000 Question Survey – the next 13 questions (if you’d like to join, please see the link in my post from Sept 18th or just the link:

159.  Do you believe that this experience was truly mystical or do you think there is some scientific explanation for it, only you don’t know what it is?  This question is part of #158:  Have you ever had a spiritual experience (an experience that cannot be explained by science) – Each experience was a true supernatural miracle.

160.  Do you get offended easily?  Depends on my mood.

161.  Would you still love and stay with your significant other if he or she had to have a breast or testicle removed?  If I had a significant other, of course I would love and stay with him after such a difficult time.

162.  Do you believe in fate or free will?  Free will

163.  Do you believe that only boring people get bored?  No, I believe it depends on who you’re with, where you are and what surrounds you.  Sometimes, it’s simply laziness or lack of imagination.

164.  Can life change or are we all stuck in vain?  Life can change on a dime.  Or less.

165.  What changes are you afraid of?  I can’t think of changes I’m afraid of but several I’m not looking forward to; one being my daughter leaving home to go off to college.

166.  Are you a day person or nocturnal?  Depends on the day, what I have going on and my energy level.  If it has to do with working on my book, I am both a day person and nocturnal.

167.  What one CD could you listen to for an entire week (no mixed CD’s, it must be an album)?  If You Wait by London Grammar

168.  Which is worse, working in retail, food service, or an office?  I’ve done all three, so I’d have to say food service.  I think…

169.  What’s the coolest job you ever had?  I’ve had a couple but one I enjoyed was when I was in the Air Force in Montana as a Ready Augmentee, which basically means I was a fill-in rent-a-cop for the Security Police whenever many of them were deployed.  I earned expert marksman with the M16 and 9 mm and worked the front gate as well as patrolled the base and airfield (depending on the day).  I performed these duties periodically but this wasn’t my main function/job at Malmstrom AFB.

170.  What is one central idea that your thoughts seem to come back to?  Everything happens with a reason behind it.  Every single thing.  There’s no such thing as coincidence.

171.  Have you ever wanted to be an actor/tress?  Yes, when I was a child.  That ambition lasted for about 5 minutes.

__________

Curious.  What would your answer be for 167 and 170 and for any other questions that resonate with you?

A Whole Other World: The Publishing Industry

Carol B Sessums:

All writers need to read and remember this.

Originally posted on Anna M. D. Rider:

Beyond the writing, there is another world. It is a world where people like Frank Herbert receive twenty-three rejection letters before a publishing house agrees to pick him up. It is a world that rejected Stephen King’s Carrie saying, “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” And it is a world where Vladimir Nabokov was recommended to bury Lolitaunder a stone for a thousand years. It is the world of publishing, and it is not for the thin-skinned.

Writing a book takes time. An author will spend endless hours sailing their way through the inner workings of their mind, creating, building, and pouring themselves into the page. The excursion often proves long and tiresome in their quest to “The End” as they battle with an ever-changing destination, personal demons, and the infamous inner-critic.

One moment you are ready to dock, the next you are being forced into the opposite direction by a shift of wind or…

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146-158: Have You Ever Experienced a Miracle?

Day 12 of 365 days of the 5,000 Question Survey – the next 13 questions (if you’d like to join, please see the link in my post from Sept 18th or just the link:

146.  Of the following, which word best describes you:  accurate, bold, charming, dependable:  dependable

147.  If you are single, at about what age do you think you will be ready to settle down and get married?  If you are married, how old were you at the time?  I am divorced.  I was 29 when I married.

148.  Do you often wonder, when you say goodbye to people, if it is the last time you will ever see them?  I do often wonder as I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my dad so I always make it a point to say, “I love you,” before saying goodbye or good night to those I love.

149.  What movie are you most looking forward to seeing when it comes out?  The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies

150.  What is your quest?  To improve my parenting skills so that my daughter can be even more amazing than she already is; to write with abandon and love and to, one day, become a best seller; to befriend all those I meet and to do random acts of kindness just because I can; to tithe and donate, to volunteer and help the less fortunate and so many who need help and to do so anonymously, if possible.

151.  What is louder and more annoying: 200 adults talking or one four-year-old screaming?  one four-year-old screaming

152.  Do you believe the stories about planes, boats and people mysteriously disappearing into the Bermuda triangle?  Yes.  I believe there are many supernatural and scientifically unexplainable mysteries all over the planet.

153.  Who are you the most jealous of?  I am jealous of no one.  I am me and the only one that can be me.  I don’t want to be like anyone else.  We each have our own special gifts, talents and characteristics that add so much to this life and to each other.

154.  What is the happiest way you can start your day?  Wake up, watch the sun rise, kiss and hug your loved ones, cook a delicious power breakfast, coffee and juice, smile and be silly.  And thank God for another day.

155.  Do you ever have moments where you feel like everything is all right in the world?  Oh yes!  When my two girls and I are spending time together, doing something fun (most anything we do), laughing and being silly, whether it be on a road trip or sitting at home enjoying a meal together.  I feel like this on those evenings when Hallie and I are dancing and singing loudly and off key to music from her itunes.  Those times we are filled with belly laughter.  Oh, and the way the air feels on those crisp Fall/Autumn days and you can smell cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla so sharply.  Something about Fall and Winter really bring out more of my joy and happiness moreso than Summer and Spring.  I am not a summer lover at all.  At least, not in Mississippi.  Montana is actually great in the summer.

156.  Who thinks that you are offensive?  Probably my brother.  Or that’s the feeling I get from him a lot of the time.

157.  If you had to teach a class in something, what would you be able to teach people?  If I taught a class, it would be to young people as I love, love, love children.  For some reason, I can talk to a room full of little people but become sore afraid of speaking in front of adults.  I could teach people to read.  Okay, perhaps I could teach a room full of adults if I was teaching them to read.  For the younger ones, I could probably teach just about anything.  I love to read fun books to kids and I always do the voices.  :)

158.  Have you ever had a spiritual experience (an experience that cannot be explained by science)?  Yes, a few of those.  The birth of my daughter was definitely one!  I felt God reach down out of heaven with his hand and physically touch my heart as if to open it to an awesome kind of love I’d never known before.  Another one, I’ve explained in a post called Miracles (or something like that) from one of my earlier blogs.  And more!

Have you ever had a spiritual experience?