Thursday, June 28, 2007

VII. Acting

Acting: As I have said before acting is something relatively new to me. I did play one of the aunts in “Arsenic and Old Lace” in like 8th grade. I was in choir last year and we did a tribute to Rodgers & Hammerstein. I was a nun in “The Sound of Music”, a nurse in a scene from “South Pacific” and I was Aunt Eller in “Oklahoma”. It is much easier to do one or the other, very hard to do both at the same time! My biggest acting debut was doing Readers Theatre. My first trial by fire was “The Vagina Monologues”! I wanted so much to be a part of this but at the same time it scared the crud out of me! Here are 13 things I like about acting.

1. I love doing monologues because though there are hard because there are no props or other actors to help you, it usually it something that makes the audience think. Or maybe it’s the shows I choose to do. I like doing comedy too. It’s up to the actor to give expression and feeling to it so that the audience follows you.

2. Of course I like the idea of being someone that I’m not! I haven’t done enough to say I’ve gotten to play some characters that were really different than me, well except to VM. I was a woman lawyer turned prostitute. It was interesting and fun.

3. Facing my fears! Believe me, now that I had to do 17 moans and an orgasm on stage in front of an audience made up of people I work with….I’m not really afraid to be up there any more!!!

4. I’ve always loved movies and plays so to be a part (even if it’s a small part) is a thrill for me.

5. When people come up to you afterwards and not just tell you how good you were but what it meant to them. After VM which was a part of our Women’s Conference, one girl decided to tell her story at Take Back the Night. She said after watching VM, she had the courage to get up and tell her true story of abuse.

6. I actually like speaking even more. I’ve taught classes and conducted speaking engagements on various subjects. This I really enjoy because I get to talk about things that are a passion to me and hopefully inspire or bring good information to other people.

7. I do like the interaction with other actors but don’t like working with those who have Diva characteristics. An actor is only as good as its audience so I think we’re on the same playing field. Though I really don’t call myself an actor.

8. Musicals are a lot of fun. Especially when you are doing music that gets the audience moving! I like anything that engages the audience to join you and sing or stomp their feet. It’s great.

9. Cool costumes!!!

10. I don’t know if I could do anything that was so out of my character. Such as portraying beliefs that I don’t have. It would be hard. I am amazed by actors who can do so many different characters. I wonder if they are a well balanced person?

11. Making people laugh. I enjoy doing comedic pieces. It’s easy to tell if you are doing a good job! And the energy gives you momentum to make it through what you’re doing.

12. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is something that would make people cry. Don’t know if I could be that good.

13. Acting versus writing is you get more of an instant gratification response to your creativeness. I do enjoy that. It’s a high that energizes you and makes you smile. My very first time on stage as an adult I was soaring for hours!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Expression of Self and the Modern Woman

I have been going through some transitions in my life and especially about my career and how I wish it was more about my passions. More specifically my passion for writing. Hence the blogging web site. My mulling over some of the dilemmas worked into other thought patterns of where we are as women today. The question has been asked of me recently in an English class and again in a grant proposal. I do not like labels and do not want this expression of thought to label me a feminist. But I am afraid it will though it will be based upon your definition of that label. And though I speak of Hillary Clinton this is not a political debate for or against her running for president. I was asked to read the book “What Do Women Want?” by Erica Jong and write an essay about it. Not a book report but an essay of what I got out of it and how it made me feel. The first thing I realized is the reason why I do not read books like this…they stir me up way too much!

An awarding winning novelist, poet and essayist, Erica Jong has become a female representative for women’s rights whether that was her intention or not. Expressing her opinions and observations in her bestselling books, she has approached such subjects as women and power, relationships and of course; sex. Documenting the changes for women over the decades and her opinions of the outcomes, Ms. Jong has raised the questions: what do women want and are we really getting it? According to Ms. Jong’s book What Do Women Want?, it is bread, roses, sex and power. Maybe. I know that women have fought, suffered and argued their rights to equal pay, help in the home, monogamous, loving relationships, and to be seen as powerful, creative partners who do not have to give up everything to be who they are. Women have gained so much, lost so much and still to this day by many are perceived to have a place in the world, by her man’s side.

Women are the divine holders of creation, disputing cloning, the bringers of life. Finding time for a career, expressions of creativity, just time for the self, have always been in opposition of the responsibility to children and mate. In Creativity Versus Maternity Jong states “Besides, it had taken me years to free myself of the guilt I felt toward the men in my life when I shut myself away to write. How could I ever deal with the guilt created by a creature who would actually need me for its physical survival?” (Jong 125).

Whether this guilt is created by society, religion, the man of the house, or ourselves, it is still a strong force to be reckoned with. Mentally and physically women are still struggling with this balance that can only be created by becoming the ideal “super woman” who can find the energy and time to take care of everyone’s needs and still feed her own to be a part of this world in some creative expression besides giving birth and being the woman behind the man. If she does not create this balance then she is failing and worse; if she finds it within creating a home for her family she is now persecuted for not contributing beyond this image of mother and wife, a failure to her potential. It is true that women have fought hard for the right to access the paid workplace but the contributions of the at-home mother which are just as, if not more, important than those given to the economy are not acknowledged even by those who think a woman’s place is in the home. Either way, women are put in the position to make hard, sometimes unpleasant, choices if she is to go beyond being pigeon holed into a stereotype.

Postponing marriage and childbearing has become more accepted by society now, as they reap the benefits of having more women in the workforce. This gives women more time to establish their outside-family paths and hopefully take their time to find someone who is willing to take a more true hand in sharing family duties as their partner. Then there are those who find it necessary to let go of the ideal of family to be at their full potential. Then again, there are those who let go of their identity as women to reach the goals that are meant for men.

A man who reaches his goals no matter the consequences is considered successful. A women who reaches her goals no matter the consequences is considered a bitch. Women who aspire to great heights, same as their male mentors, have only their examples to follow. “Be not ashamed, woman…You are the gates of the body and you are the gates of the soul” – Walt Whitman. Though there are few men who have recognized and publicly expressed their findings of their female counterparts, there are even fewer women who have discovered who they can really be.

And so, Bill Clinton found such a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Representing most American women as a working mother, she was also a woman who had confidence in who she was and what she believed in. Her strength was visible and outspoken. HRC had refused to pretend to be the power behind the man. She had brains and was not afraid to admit it. Her unvarnished persona brought admiration and fear. She was doing it all and having it all and even those who were just like her hated her. “I liked Hillary Clinton’s fuck-you attitude from the start, and I was initially surprised to find myself in the minority.” (Jong 11). Because of her refusal to play the ‘female-role’ for political wives she was taken from the public eye during the second presidential campaign to be revamped to fit the mold.

HRC has definitely become a symbol for feminism, whether she meant to be or not. Whether she is an equity feminist or gender feminist seems to be up for debate. According to US statistics, most of the major battles for equality has been won. As far as salaries go, in many ways women are doing better than men. It is in the gender feminist arena that the struggles seem to continue. For HRC the audience was not only made up of men, but of women too. And so she gave in to America’s discomfort with powerful women and changed her look and demeanor. A softer Hillary returned wearing pastels and referring to her husband’s opinions instead of her own. Her greatest sacrifice for this makeover was giving up her maiden name. It was the final chip that was struck from the administration’s hands to smooth out the sculpture.

Ms. Jong sees HRC as a series of self-destructive behaviors but is unclear as to which of these identities is the destructive phase. Or possibly it was because she was treated as though she was one of the many throngs of press, instead of an author and poet, that wanted an interview and was put off by HRC administration. How HRC had been treated in the press, could she really be blamed for being so skeptical? Then came President Clinton’s own self-destructive behavior, or so some thought.

Through the escapades of indiscretions and outright betrayal, HRC became her husband’s protector. Public adulterers in America have in the past been scorned and ridiculed. With HRC’s forgiveness she allowed the public to forgive him too. She stood by him, gave her support and proved that they could rise above what had been political suicide for other candidates. Unfortunately the message that was sent was that if President Clinton could and according to Hillary; should get away with it, everyone else should too. “Hillary almost single-handedly revolutionized the political marriage. America has even seemed to grow up sexually because of HRC’s marital sangfroid.” (Jong 21). According to other various research of written articles and media, apparently the consensus is that President Clinton’s mistake was getting caught.

President Bill Clinton, when answering questions regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, conveyed a similar attitude when he stated that they had not had “sexual relations” since they had engaged in oral sex.” Therefore the second message of Hillary’s stance went out to the teens and preteens of America: what Bill Clinton did was not sex. He said it, she forgave him for it, so there for it is okay. “Some experts theorize that the increase in oral sex—if, indeed, there is one—is because many teens do not consider oral sex to be “sex.” According to Peter Sheras, professor of adolescent development at the University of Virginia, oral sex “might mean what a French kiss meant to us when we were kids.” Some teens even believe they are practicing abstinence if they engage in oral sex instead of sexual intercourse. Many adults are also not clear on whether oral sex is a form of abstinence. A 1999 survey even found that one-third of health educators believed that oral sex is abstinent behavior.

Once again humans are tied together by the balance of life which teeters on the double edged sword of conformity and expression of self. if you look at Hillary’s choice to conform to the presidential administration, you have to look at her motives. What did she get from it? A husband who was a public figure who supposedly supported women, but groped them in private. Yes, but her decisions had to have been based on her own needs and wants. Look at where she is now, running for president. It is her voice now, not her husbands and it is now her time to become all that she can be. But at what cost?

Somehow as we strive to be all that we can be, in whatever arena that is, there are costs. Some are very high and not just affect us but those around us. We struggle to keep our identities and yet still work the system to get where we want to be. I have been known to change my demeanor to deal with a difficult male to be able to get along on a project or work with that person on a daily basis. What am I sacrificing to do that? Do I loose a certain amount of myself or my strength when I do that? Did Hilary? It kept her where she wanted to be to get where she is now, but how much of her original dream did she lose? If her dreams and opinions as a young woman were for the good of the world, then how do we believe she will accomplish those as a woman of power now? Her actions to get where she is were not for the good of the people. But would she be where she is now if she had not given in and did and said what she did? I don’t know.

On the Oprah show, Bill Clinton expressed his admiration for his wife and her aspirations. He admits his guilt and even retracts previous statement that he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. He knows that he would not have survived his political career if Hillary had not stayed by his side. He would not have had a book to write without her story, but then neither would she.

Just as art is in the eye of the beholder so is the definition of “we’ve come a long way, baby”. How far women have come and where they are headed is still in the eye of the individual and her perception of her own life and how that life has influenced her view of the world. I hope I can fulfill my dreams without sacrificing myself or others. I hope that I am not naive when I say that as long as we take responsibility for our choices, women and people in general will continue to grow and hopefully will somehow keep the heart of their original dreams alive. Our world depends on it.


Monday, June 18, 2007

VI. Music

First, first forgive me because this list is vague but I’ve had a rough week. Music: A creation that can seep into your very soul. Can make you cry in an instant and feel joy in the next. To dance, to move, to make love to music is a wonderful joy. Music, as is writing, will always be a part of my life. Here is only a drop in the bucket of my favorite songs:

1. Sweet Child of Mine – Guns & Roses:
2. I Wish It Would Rain Down – Phil Collins/Eric Clapton
3. You Really Got Me – The Kinks
4. Desperado – The Eagles
5. Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Lloyd Price
6. Take Me To The River – The Kinks
7. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
8. Janie’s Got A Gun – Aerosmith
9. U + UR Hand – Pink
10. The Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini
11. I Need You Tonight – INXS
12. Black Horse & The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall
13. Better Man – Pearl Jam


Thursday, June 14, 2007

V. Movies

Movies take me away! Some movies that inspire me, make me think, and thoroughly entertain me or just allow me to escape:

1. Stranger Than Fiction – Such a deep film. Yes, a movie with Will Ferrell in it that has depth! It has its quarks and can be hard to keep up with but I found it so imaginable and delightful in its playfulness with our concepts of life. It will make you think and you might have to watch it twice to catch it all.
2. Braveheart – I know, I know, too long. Well, I actually saw this movie 5 times in the theatre. It felt right, like I was actually reliving history. Though there were some scenes I could have left on the cutting room floor, it was amazing and wonderful.
3. Hatari – This is my favorite John Wayne movie! At the time it came out the National Geographic magazine was all we had to teach us about Africa. I loved the animals and the characters. It’s a fun movie and beautifully done. I have memories with my mother watching this into the wee hours of the night on Saturdays after the 10 o’clock news. It came on at least once a month.
4. The Birds – One of my first Hitchcock films to see and I was hooked from then on. The written story is actually more interesting but still found this film to be fascinating for its time.
5. What Dreams May Come – So aesthetically pleasing! It is a beautiful film and the story as well. You have to get past the first feelings of depression from this film and filter through the underneath. The library in the film? I’ve dreamed of that place many times.
6. Fried Green Tomatoes – Cannot even tell you how many times I have seen this movie! It speaks to me and so many people about so many things. And oh how I have wanted to bash my car into someone else’s on numerous occasions! TAWANDA!!!
7. The Green Mile – One of the best renditions of a Stephen King Novel. I love this movie and cry at the end every time. I feel like John Coffey sometimes, misunderstood and ready to let go of all the cruelty that we see in the world.
8. Arsenic and Old Lace – One of my favorite Carey Grant movies! Just plain fun! I’ve played one of the aunts in an 8th grade play. Just hysterical.
9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith – I’m not sure I have ever laughed so much at a movie. Maybe you have to have been married at some point but I loved this movie! Unlike “War of the Roses” which I hated, this approaches so many of the everyday challenges of a relationship that are hindered then by secrets. And of course you get to see 2 of Hollywood’s sexiest people kick ass! I wanted to learn how to throw knives after this movie. 
10. Switch – This movie has so many stories to tell. The base of the story is a sexist, chauvinist pig is murdered by his angry ex-girlfriends and then is reincarnated as a woman. Ellen Barkin makes you believe it is a man in a woman’s body! It is full of twists and turns and numerous lessons to be thought about and learned. You will love this movie, the ending is so poignant!
11. Whale Rider – Beautifully done. Amazing filming as well as acting. Though the family dynamics are unique due to culture they can fit into any one of our situations. It is amazing how similar all our struggles are to become who we are and who we want to be.
12. Star Wars (Original) – Star Wars was unlike any movie we had ever seen at the time. The effects and depth of the characters was amazing. Technology is moving so fast now but not then so the idea of robots and land speeders was exciting. The (let’s see if I have this right) 4th, 5th and 6th are my favorites though I can tell you I have not taken the time to see the others. The 3 years between the 2nd (4th) and the last (6th) was the most agonizing 3 years!
13. I know this is a compout for my thirteenth but I love any movie that can show me something different, beautiful, funny, another world, another lifetime. I've loved movies since I was old enough to sit in front of the TV. Including musicals!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chesca's Interview w/Lara Croft

This exercise was a great way to get into the mind of LC-On the lake Front.
Here are my Five Questions for you:
1. Since you enjoy discussing philosophy with friends, I ask you--
“Are the things that are valuable, valuable because we value them or do we value them because they are valuable?”
My personal opinion is everything is subjective to what we put on it. ‘ It’ being something material or a core value. When it comes to material things there really is not a monetary value, you have to look at why that person wants it. Is it prestige, is it sentimental, does it give the self a sense of power, of love, of self-worth? Someone could own a Picasso and think he is the riches person because he was able to buy it and display it and show everyone his ‘prize’. Me, I cannot stand Picasso as an artist or a person, but that is my opinion. Therefore, it holds no value for me either as something I would want or for the other person to have. However, a Waterhouse painting like the one depicted on my site has value for me as I respect the artist, his talent and the beauty that I see in his work. I also see a depth there that strikes a cord with me but does it with everyone, no. Core values are no different. The only difference between me and a murderer is I put value on human life other than my own. They put a value on their own first and are willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy that value. I have the capabilities to be either person, therefore, we both made choices that we are willing to live with the consequences.

2. After your "C" scare in December of 2006, what changes (if any) did you make in your life? I started writing again, hence the gift of this blogging site from a friend. I realized that my job was draining me. I was good at it and loved the people but it was not good for me. I have since changed positions. I am working my way back to my dreams now, though that is hard because most of my life has been about what I had to do to survive or ensure my child’s survival. I have purged a lot of ‘stuff’ from my home and still working on it. I have lost 6 people in 6 years and out of 3 of those people their ‘stuff’ came to my house so I’ve been cleaning out everyone’s ‘stuff’. I have also been working on evaluating what is working in my life and what is not.

3. Do you believe that one must have some sort of angst in order to be a good writer? This is hard for me to answer because I have that core angst and believe that I would not be who I am, including a good writer, if I had not gone through the things that I have. Some of my favorite writers have fought their demons privately and publicly in their writing. I think you have to be willing to take the risk of exposing yourself in your writing to bring it to life. However, I have read good authors who as far as I know, have had very little drama in their lives and still can weave a story. In answer to your question, I think I would have to say yes, because the really great writers (I’m not talking about myself!) seem to have taken what they went through in life or their empathy for someone else and transformed it to the written word.

4. What was the symbolism of the dragon tattoo that you wanted to get? I’m not sure what attracted me to it at the time (it was almost 20 years ago). I was really on the edge of discovering myself and I think it represented the mysteries I was to uncover. In addition, I’ve always had a fascination with dragons and orbs.

5. You say that "when we expect those around us to have the same thoughts and ideas about something, we are imposing our will on them." How do you reconcile this with the fact that you have no tolerance for stupidity? Boy, you’re tough, but I like that. I also say that if that person’s way of thinking is hurting you in some way it is your responsibility to release yourself from it, not yours to change the way the other person thinks or feel. Not to say you shouldn’t try to work it out, but some things just cannot be changed. My definition of stupidity: a choice made not to learn, not to seek knowledge, not to see things from all sides no matter your point of view. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge not provided or available. I think it still boils down to one taking responsibility for their own actions and thoughts. As a whole, we seem to expect the other person to bend to our way, to make it ‘alright’ for us because we think that way. I feel we put too much stock into what others think of who we are and so there is instantly a conflict that is created if there are differences. If someone agrees with us then we can say we are right, that our way of thinking is the path to take and from the ego of this way of thinking wars and the crusades were started. Because we seem to always be trying to discover ourselves through the outside world instead of inside, we find ourselves at odds with all kinds of things. It is a very hard concept to except that though we are all very different we are all connected and wouldn’t be who we are without the other. Am I good at this? Not always, probably not most of the time. Nevertheless, I do try and it has brought a certain amount of peace to my world.
Thank you chesca for interviewing me! It was great fun! -

Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

8 Random Things About Lara Croft

1. My real name is Melinda and I love music and love to dance. Always have. It's a way to express myself and feel the music inside of me, not just hear it. From the time I was little everyone said I could dance to anything, even "Baby Elephant Walk".

2. I have an extremely wonderful and close relationship with my daughter. If there is anything I can say I have done right it is being a Mom. Not to say I have not made my share of mistakes, but somehow they have all turned out alright. I'm very proud of her and can't wait to see where she goes from here!

3. My work is just a job, if I could write for a living I would. But working at a college allows me opportunities to work with the community that I would not otherwise be able to do. I have helped create a Women's Conference here that is now an annual event and allows me to help other women search within themselves for better ways to live, to protect themselves, and know that they are worth something.

4. I have a butterfly tattoo on my right hip that is my own little peace of private art work. But it wasn't what I wanted. I let my ex-husband talk me into it because what I wanted he thought was too masculine. A dragon on its back holding a crystal ball in its feet and its tail curled around to make a circle.

5. I'm an experience junky. I love to try new things and experience life in new ways. I think because I'm a writer is one of the reasons I'm like this. Unfortunately I am not a risk junky so there are a lot of risky type things I'm not willing to try such as bungee jumping. But if it's unique, weird or beautiful in my mind, I have to touch it, taste it, feel it. Nature does that to me, it's a turn on in all ways.

6. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to confidence and believing in myself. I wish I saw myself as positively as others see me. I'm always working on improving and sometimes I feel I'm getting further along and other times I don't. I think that's why I'm always trying to help others. In the process somehow I end up helping myself.

7. I love to discuss philosophy with a group of friends. Spending the evening with good friends, good food and plenty of 'food' for thought is a high for me! New thoughts, new ideas, diverse human interaction and that feeling of being connected somehow...

8. I love water. When my friends were all laying on the side of the pool working on their tans, I had to be in the pool. I'm afraid of big bodies of water but get in anyway. I used to like to body surf but haven't done that in a long time. But put me on a Sea-Doo and I will be going 70 miles an hour on the lake. What a rush! When I go to the beach with friends I'm the one who wakes up before dawn and walks along the waters edge to watch the sun rise. It is soothing, powerful and hypnotic.

I don't know eight people to tag with this so I won't but I'm glad I got tagged. Thanks Thorne.


IV. Reading

Reading has always been an escape for me and a learning tool. When I was younger, I only read fiction and of course as I grew older found my way into non-fiction. Here are a few of my favorite books:

1. Cave Dreamers – Jeanne Williams - I have always been fascinated with the idea that we are one soul traveling from one entity to the next and carrying with us our special talents and gifts. It is just a matter of what we do with them. It is a celebration of women set in a background rich in history.
2. The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley - I used to read her “Darkover” series (fantasy Sci-Fi) when I was young and delighted to find her writing about one of my favorite subjects. I do believe that one of my life times was spent in this era.
3. Interview With a Vampire – Anne Rice - Though I believe her writing grew up and became even better, I read this one in the eighth grade and was astounded at how well she ‘painted’ a picture and to this day still feel she makes you believe….
4. Lestat – Anne Rice - My first experience at seeing how a writer’s work can evolve and grow. Her ‘pictures’ became even more vivid and with a depth that I want to always reach with my writing. She also writes erotica under the name A.N. Roquelaure. Check it out.
5. Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue – Neale Donald Walsch – This book was given to me by a life long friend and it took me over a year to read it the first time and only a week the second time (5 years later). The information is astounding and will make you think. No matter what your beliefs are, this is a fascinating and thought provoking book.
6. Illusions – Richard Bach – My grandmother was obsessed with “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by this author and I was too young to discuss it with her. When I was older, I was given this book from a friend that is no longer in my life and I miss. It opened my eyes to things I had only begun to understand and physically changed my life.
7. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years – This is the most astounding account of anyone’s lives I have ever read. The story of two African-American sisters who never married and lived to be over a hundred. It is funny and eye opening, heart stirring and amazing as you are let into these very private women’s lives. You will learn something whether you want to or not.
8. A Woman’s Worth – Marianne Williamson - Again my grandmother had given me one of her earlier books and this one I found later in life when I was questioning who I am and who I could be. You have to glean from it what pertains to you but it reminds us of all the things that society tags as being a woman and ‘weak’ as being beautiful and strong.
9. Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence – Nick Bantock – This was such a unique concept at the time it came out and I loved the artwork. It was so much fun to read.
10. Bridges of Madison County – Robert James Waller - Okay, so I’m a sap for a good tragic romance. In addition, even though I think she should have gone with him, I can feel the bonds of responsibility and most likely would have done exactly what she did.
11. Lucky Man: A Memoir – Michael J. fox – An autobiography of hope, confessions and reality of how he handled his life as it unfolded. He is truly a lucky person to have made the choices he has.
12. Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague – Geraldine Brooks – Now I know what you’re thinking, a story about the plague! How depressing. Give it a chance! It is a wonderful story with depth and color that paints the picture of what it must have been like back then. Its characters have such depth and she brings to light what you don’t see much in literature and are usually blind to in life, the fact that we all have our secrets and our ways of thinking that can blind side someone when the truth is revealed.
13. Cujo – My First Stephen King novel. I was so pissed when I got to the end and the mother had fought so hard and her son died anyway!!!!! I was on those pages with her beating the shit out of that dog! He is a fascinating writer and I highly suggest reading his autobiography, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”. Whether you are a fan of his works, a writer or just curious, it’s great.


Dona Nobis Pacem

Taking responsibility for your own choices in life and releasing the blame on others is the first step towards inner peace. No matter the circumstances you face in life it is up to you how you handle them. Eventually you are old enough to make your own choices as to how you handle your life and the past. Realizing that it is your responsibility to protect and nurture your own health and emotional well-being once you have entered adulthood is the first step. No one is responsible for you but you.

The peace you bring to yourself will motivate you to share this with those around you. It could be as simple as letting be, not imposing your own views and looking at things from another perspective. This does not mean ‘tolerance’. This does not mean you cannot have your own viewpoint and share it. What it does mean is you truly let be, not tolerate it but try to understand it though you may still not agree with it, you can let it be. This in turn will allow you more inner peace as you realize that others have their rights to how they see things as well. You should always share your ideas and viewpoints but without expecting someone to ‘come over’ to your side. However, just as you listen to other’s point of view, by sharing yours you are giving someone another perspective to consider before making his or her choices of how to handle something.

Expectations are what get us in trouble, wanting to be right gets us into trouble. When we expect those around us to have the same thoughts and ideas about something, we are imposing our will on them. If their way of thinking is not physically hurting anyone then let it be. There are consequences to everything, good and bad. If the consequence is, you can no longer be around that person because of what they are doing or thinking then that is a choice you make. It’s not the other person’s fault, though of course we wish they would change, but it is not their responsibility to make us happy. It is our responsibility to let go and move on to what is healthier for us and best for us.

Do not make a choice to be ignorant. Do not make choices based on the majority or to fit in with that majority. Do not make judgments based on hearsay and rumors. Get the facts and make informed choices. Do not lump your choice under a label. If you want to make changes in the world, our world, our government then do not vote based on a Party label. Do your homework, get your facts straight and make your decision based on whose right for the job, not what their label is. Don’t vote just because you would love to see a woman as president, I think that would be great, but are you voting for her because of that label or because she is the best person for the job? Remove ego from the equation, remove self from the equation and chose based on what is best for most everyone (you can’t please everyone all the time) and what is best for the long run.

Lastly, don’t ask what everyone else can do to make the world a better place, ask what you can you do? Get involved, find a passion, immerse yourself in making your little corner of the world better, and watch it spread! By doing this you will find your connection to the world not just your street you live on. For we are all connected to each other and the earth in all kinds of ways and for all kinds of reasons. Peace.