It has been a little over a month since I since TAH blog was born, and I have to say, it has been a lot of fun. I am only the vessel though which TAH blog speaks and speaks it has. There is so much that has written and learned and so much more to be written or not. I still don't know where TAH blog is going, but the ride so far has been dy-no-mite! I love my life because it is such an adventure and something always happens that results in a subject for me to dish about.
Know your worth. When I worked for an real estate firm many years ago, the COO gave me some of the best advise I held on to for years. He told me that whenever I went into a room to negotiate a deal, pretend that I had $1 million in the in the bank. At the time, I thought it was a pretty cool trick that actually worked, because it was a mental psych out. Nowadays, there is no need for me to follow this advice, because I understand he was really talking about knowing my worth. In other words, whatever we contribute has value. Oprah helps billions so she makes billions, this is the balance of life. It's not about the money because the balance comes in different ways. The agreements are soul agreements and debts are always paid off. There is no grace period, no interest rates, and no deadlines. At the end of the day, the books must be balanced.
I walk in gratitude all day, everyday. I say thank you so much I don't even have a count, so for me everyday is Thanksgiving. Most of us don't even know the origin of Thanksgiving or understand the broader meaning of it in the world. We just do the usual rituals without much awareness. The Onondaga Nation (Native Americans who reside in Central New York) have a Thanksgiving Address or “The Words That Come Before All Else,” that they do before every gathering. This address is their reminder of who they are and their standing in the broader sense of the world. This is the very humbling, short version.
Lately I've been noticing that the state of happiness seems to becoming a package product, "5 Steps to Happiness," "The Happier You," "What Happy People Do That You Don't..." etc, etc, etc. It has all become part of the internet noise in some respect. Even on a recent episode of House, a patient's "state of happiness" was questioned when House decided that his "happiness" was in fact a "symptom" that something was gravely wrong with the man. But what is happiness? The definition seems to be very illusive yet many of us are in constant pursuit of it. Most would concede that money doesn't by happiness but then how does one attain such a state? Is it really reachable by going through the "5 Steps to Happiness" list in a magazine? Does it even exist? Isn't it just a temporary thing? It seems like the very people who are talking about it are usually not the ones who have actually uncovered it, because if they had, the message would be basically the same, HAPPINESS IS ALREADY WITHIN YOU. But maybe that sounds just too easy, too hard or too esoteric, for most. Look, I know most people like to be told what to do, but The Arty Hobo don't do leashes.
As I sat in front of the television to suck in the current state of the world...
“Girl, you better get out the way! Your daddy’s sperm ain’t made outta glass,”
She said, the cigarette smoke escaping out of her mouth in a cloudy puff.
As I half listened, I wondered what my daddy’s sperm had to do with anything?
Doesn’t she know I was bound to come out the way I am because I willed it?
And why did she have to infuse every line with, “Girl,”
Or put her hand on her hip to make point, like her mama?
Doesn’t she have an expression of her own?
The other night I went to a discussion about public relations. I won’t say who the person was but during the event the PR guy talked about Steve Jobs and how he never saw such an outpouring response to a passing of a business person. He went on to say, however, he thought that Steve Job’s over all message to young people, to find their own way to do what they love, was wrong. Yes, he admitted that he had found a career that he loved, but that he hadn’t seen many geniuses in his day like Jobs. He stated that everyone could not be a Steve Jobs (I wasn’t aware that Steve Jobs said he wanted everyone to be him. I must have missed that Apple commercial.), and that most people at some point needed a Plan B. I am always curious about a person who says, "I have achieved x-y-z but you probably won’t, so you will need a Plan B." Huh? And maybe the reason PR guy hadn’t seen many "geniuses" in his day, was because so many people are Plan B people and not Plan A people. Hmmmm. This made me think about Plan B and what actually happens on this highly touted, "fail safe" route.
I thought I was a patient person until I embarked on this life altering journey and
I had to relearn the meaning of patience.
My old meaning had lots of conditions.
I would be patient until I got tired of being patient.
I will be patient until it looked like patience wasn't working.
Can you sit beyond that feeling, that unnerving feeling that something is wrong, off, etc?
Over the years, I’ve been asked by a few people about the best way to go about the writing process, and I always answer, “The best way is your way.” There is no right or wrong way, every writer must develop his own writing style and creative process in her own time. Now, there was a time when I attempted to emulate other writers. In fact, I tried things like index cards, summaries, long hand, but I realized that being a writer had nothing to do with these things. That's when I started to let go and really hone in on my skills (which are still evolving). The thing is, scribes must learn that every project has different needs and therefore must be approached accordingly.
In film, as in literature, there is a protagonist, a main character, who must face and resolve a conflict in order to get what he or she seeks, the "Holy Grail" so the speak. The climax of the story is usually proceeded by a series of tests to prepare the protagonist for the main conflict or the showdown. This is our journey, the journey of woman and man or, as Joseph Campbell put it ever so eloquently, the hero's journey. During our lifetime, we are born with and acquire tools to aid us, like the sword and shield of legend. One of my tools, as a writer, is the laptop (aka Apple), one of the few "possessions" that has not escaped me. I carry Apple, in a messenger bag, a"sheath" slung across my hip, and yes, the pen (err, cursor) is mightier. Like in the stories of lore, people come into our lives to challenge us, they are the administers of the test, and they play many roles, such as, the false prophet.
I have slowly stripped off my reluctance of being active in the cyber-sphere and actually embrace it. It first started when I joined Facebook back in 2008, which made it possible to reconnect with people from high school and college. Now I use it as a way to bring light to the lives of the people around me. Then I joined Twitter, which I really didn't get for the life of me, again I choose to use it, as I now use Facebook, for a higher purpose. And now, to complete the trifecta, I write a blog, which (and I never thought I'd say this) is actually a pretty interesting thing, as a writer. I'm not sure what the blog is or what it will become (to me it all a learning process), but I've decided to stick to what I know and to use examples from my own life. I'm not into spreading gossip or talking about people, that is just not a part of my vibe. I don't put names or pictures of other people in my life past or present because it is not my job to make their private lives public.
Recently, at the Syracuse International Film Festival, I had the pleasure of watching a documentary called DOLPHIN BOY by directors, Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir. The film's subject suffers though a psychosis seemingly caused by a severe beating which, at the point when the films opens, has manifested into a physical handicap rendering the man, literally, speechless. This inability to talk, baffles his doctor who has tried every therapy known to the psychiatric world. As a last resort, the doctor decides to try an "experimental" method of treatment and introduces the man to dolphin therapy, a practice in which people swim with dolphins for therapeutic reasons. I have actually swam with dolphins in Florida and I can say there is a wisdom in their presence, like with the deer (see Conceal Me What I Am post), which is awe inspiring. As I watched the film, I realized I had a very personal understanding of this man's journey on so many levels, he suffered from what I call "emotional blowback" and it so happens, I know something about this.