Archive | June 2015

You’ll Never Know <3

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Recently my sister, my mom, and me watched The movie, Curly Sue, and at the end of that movie, the song sung by Ringo Starr, “You’ll Never Know,” is featured. What a lovely song!

I like the tune, pace and feel of it and the message is so wise. I find it inspiring and a great reminder to accept life as it is, value it for the unpredictable gift that it is. We never know what will happen. We can be having an amazing day then out of nowhere be struck by a terrible tragedy but we can be having a day that feels so wrong, so devastating, so broken then out of nowhere a wonderful surprise comes along to lift us up, inspire us, to heal us.

“Life goes on
no one gets rehearsal
life goes on
through everyday reversal 
with every dawn everyday is full of chances 
to find some good before it’s gone…” 

Things are fleeting. Life itself is fleeting. When things are going great, they won’t be forever. At any second, things can come crashing down on top of us. While this is unpleasant, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. We can’t always make bad things not happen but we can seize and embrace the good, celebrate it while it’s here. But not get overly attached. Know that it won’t always be this way. Everything ends. Then when we lose something good, we won’t be as unhappy and ungrateful because we meditate upon the fact that everything eventually comes to an end.
When we know what we have while we have it, when we appreciate it to the fullest, we have less regrets and less sadness when it leaves us. So let’s embrace what we have while we have it. 

And when things are not going well, know it won’t always be this bad. 
None of us get to prepare for all of life, we are all susceptible to surprises, both pleasant and not.

But life keeps going on. 

And we have chances to get better and better. 

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“you’ll never know which way a day is gonna take you
there’s always some surprise that comes along to shake you
you’ll never see exactly where the road will lead you
and when it comes to love you gamble when you need to
you’ll maybe break your heart on one unlucky throw
but then again, you’ll never know”

I love this message about taking chances. It’s worth it to reach out in love even if we may not receive love back. First of all, you never know, maybe the love will be returned. And if not, at least you have love in you and courage to lavish it onto the world or someone. That’s really all that matters!  What we give. Not what we get. 

It’s worth it to take the risks.

If you make an attempt, you may or may not succeed how you would like to but if you don’t take the chance you will never succeed how you want.

Try it and if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have the experience, life lessons, strength…and at least you tried. You won’t have to keep thinking “what if….?”

Instead of viewing the uncertainty and fleeting-ness of life in a negative light and allowing it to provoke anxiety in us, we can see it in a thrilling way, be exhilarated and curious, see the beauty in it. Life is what we make it, so let’s make it beautiful! 

😀 ❤

Here is a video to the song:

Mobile

Desktop

Much0 l0ve to you! 😀

xoxo Kim ❤

Cherish the love, cherish the life

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(this isn’t my photo – I dont know the source but it sure is funny!)

Recently, I realized how much I really do love Summer. The Summer season has the potential to be quite beautiful where I am. I often say it’s my least favorite season. It is. But I also say that I love all four seasons. All four are lovely and I am blessed to live in a place where we experience the diversity of all the seasons and the gifts they bring.

But often, when I think of Summer, I want to grimace. For the last couple of days it has been very beautiful summer weather. Hot but definitely not scorching. Actually, yesterday was really cool and very rainy and stormy. Today is perfect too. Not rainy. Hot but not overwhelming.

Then it hit me. This is perfect. Summer would be perfect if there were not as many heatwaves. It’s not hot weather I don’t like, it’s unbearably hot weather like 100 degrees heatwaves over and over to where even good commercial air conditioners don’t even seem to be working, that I don’t like much.

But I wouldn’t get rid of the heatwaves even if I could. Because a lot of people do like them. And it’s not all about me. And also Because I like diversity and it’s good to have all kinds of weather. Also, I love the way it feels to have cold showers and put on my pj shorts in the middle of a heatwave! Lol

So yeah, they are good for some things!

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I like to have tea at work. I carry tea bags, powdered cream, and a box or cup of sugar everywhere with me. Lol

But today I forgot my tea and stuff! But I saw we have hot chocolate at work. We usually don’t get that until the Fall but we have a big box. So I had some of that since I forgot my tea. I started to feel giddy and thrilled because in my head it felt like October.

Every year when it gets cooler, we sell hot chocolate and today as I was getting ready to drink it, it felt like that Fall feeling, especially because it was kind of breezy/cool in the morning and last night. The weather was definitely not Fall-like weather but just cool summer air. But it felt like Autumn in my mind. I started dreaming of Fall and all the lovely gems it brings!

But then I stopped myself and decided to instead cherish right now and all the blessings Summer brings. It’s good to look forward to and plan for things but it’s also good to be mindful and appreciative of right now and all of the joys surrounding us. Fall will be here before we know it. This moment will never occur again. Let’s embrace it.

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(me standing on the corner in the rain)

I’m often extremely happy to be right where I am, right here, right now. I’m naturally this way to a certain degree but with practice I’m much better at it now. Often, no matter what my situation is, even painful, I can still be thankful I’m right here, right now, and see the beauty around me. I almost never felt this way walking in 100 degree weather, extremely thirsty and feeling like I’m about to fall unconscious of heatstroke or dehydration. I would keep thinking “Winter! Where are you?!” or “this sucks!!!” but now I am very mindful of the gentle breeze that seems to lovingly brush against  my cheeks and the vibrant green leaves hanging off the tree branches and the blue, blue sky above me, twinkling in my blue, blue eyes. And I’m so thankful for right here, right now. I just tune into the moment. It often comes naturally now but if not, I can often summon that mindful gratitude. If I had a choice I would never choose being out in 100 degree weather dying of thirst and heat but since I don’t have the choice, I cherish it. It’s fantastic to live, to love this way.

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If we live too much in the future or the long ago, we miss out on the gift of the present.

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(not my photo)

I love reading quotes, blogs, and books about mindfulness as reminders and ways to keep up the practice of appreciative living right now.

Here are some of my favorite quotes relating to the topic of mindfulness, Zen, or appreciative living.

“The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” ~ Robert Pirsig

“Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points.” ~ D.T. Suzuki

“Zen is simply a voice crying, ‘Wake up! Wake up!'” ~ Maha Sthavira Sangharakshita

“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” ~ Baba Ram Dass

“If you have a glass full of liquid you can discourse forever on its qualities, discuss whether it is cold, warm, whether it is really and truly composed of H2O, or mineral water, or saki. Zazen is drinking it.” ~ Taisen Deshimaru

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

“If you clean the floor with love, you have given the world an invisible painting.” – Osho
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

“Paradise is not a place; it’s a state of consciousness.”

I hope you are having a wonderful day/night!

Xoxo Kim

The Whole Uni-verse

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This is my universe necklace! I got it on Amazon for one dollar! Lol no tax, no shipping cost! Just one dollar! And the quality is really good! I wasn’t expecting it to be. Even if it turned out to just be a cheap piece of plastic, you can’t really go wrong with one dollar! Lol But it’s thick but not too heavy and not uncomfortable. And it’s very beautiful with vibrant colors! 

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I love cheap, glitzy looking jewelry and already got a few things off of amazon.com for one dollar or less that turned out way better than I thought. But this isn’t a product review post.

I just want to share a quote attributed to Rumi.

“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.” ~ attributed to Rumi

And a line in LeeAnn Womack’s song, “I hope you dance.”

“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.”

Here’s a video for the song:

Mobile: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBSGlXqC4Q

Desktop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=DmBSGlXqC4Q

I never understood this line. Often we think of being or feeling “small” as something not good. While the whole song resonates with me, I have often had difficulty interpreting/analyzing this line. I have always known it means something positive since it’s in this song.

Now I understand it means that it’s a good thing to know, to feel that there is something bigger than us in this life. We aren’t the center or only thing in the world and our problems are all so small next to the vastness of the universe and the unknown. There is so much around us that we don’t even know exists or don’t understand the nature of. It’s a beautiful concept.

When we have a problem, feel lonely, stressed or any kind of pain and it feels overwhelming or unbearable or like it’s the end of the world, we can remember that the uni-verse is so much bigger than us and our problems even when the problems seem insurmountable. There’s something out there, something within, bigger and better than what we feel and know right now.

The sun always shines, the flowers always grow, the moon and the stars always light up the darkness. There are secrets in the wind we don’t know, sweet symphonies caressing our skin, beauty we haven’t yet discovered…

It’s a positive thing to know I’m not the center of the world, to know how small I am next to everything unknown and not understood.

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It’s not a concept meant to invalidate the pain or reduce the worth of us, it’s a concept that inspires and empowers. It’s good to have something to look up to.

My universe necklace reminds me of this and Rumi’s quote and LeeAnn Womack’s song.

The whole uni-verse is within us, around us, above us. We are part of it, a small but beautiful part.

I’m wishing you all the love and beauty in our uni-verse! ❤

xoxo Kim

p.s. oh yes and look! It looks like I got this whole blog thing working even without the app! If you have no clue what I'm referring to, check out my last post! I deleted my wordpress app because it was being slow and now cannot retrieve it. Then without it I was having problems posting but looks like I got it down, doesn't it?! So long, wordpress app, seems I don't need you after all! ;-D ❤

Always look at the bright side of life

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~”Hate has four letters. So does love.
Enemies has seven letters. So does friends.
Lying has five letters. So does truth.
Hurt has four letters. So does heal.”~
“Transform every negative energy into positive energy. It’s your perception that makes the difference.”
Yesterday, something terrible happened(or maybe I’m just being dramatic?)! I deleted my WordPress app on purpose because it wasn’t working for a couple days and I thought maybe deleting it then putting it back on would get it a better connection. But when I went to reinstall it, I saw that it’s no longer available for BlackBerry! And then I saw that my post did go through after I deleted it! So it was working just not good but now that I deleted it I can’t get it back. Imagine my horror and regret! Lol
The blog is a significant part of me. It’s how I mostly share my experiences, life lessons learned, photos, try to uplift or inspire people…
I don’t post everyday, I even sometimes go weeks without posting but I do post a couple posts each month, at least. But in the three years I had the blog, I can’t remember a day not preparing drafts to eventually post. Every single day I’m writing or planning blog posts even when I don’t publish them yet. Everything I learn, I often think about how I can prepare it to post here, every song, every book that inspires me. Every season. I am so inspired to post here. To help or inspire  others.
On the computer I have, there’s some pop up that won’t let me use WordPress.com and I like using my phone better anyway and on my phone it’s nearly impossible without the app. Posting text content is easy, it’s the photos it won’t let me post without a lot of trouble.
I felt a kind of despair yesterday briefly off and on in waves. Going out of my head. But Buddha’s wisdom and light keeps me going! Buddha teaches about non attachment and being blissful no matter what. Buddha would never sink to despair over technology problems or even something as tragic as someone dying or severe physical pain.
He teaches that it’s ok to have material things, friends, family…but to not be dependent on any of it for our happiness or wellbeing. To know and accept that everything we have and everyone we meet, will eventually end somehow. And he teaches us to be the best we can be so we can help all other living beings be more happy and peaceful.
And I draw on his wisdom and strength to lift me and help me help others in any way I can.
You don’t have to be a Buddhist to benefit by his wisdom.
And I am reminded of the above quote. For every negative thing there’s something positive, something to learn. Some way to use the experience to help someone else in some way. We can take the negative energy and put a positive spin on it.
This sucks!
But oh well, it’s done now!
I thought of my WordPress app and how blessed I always felt to have it but it did contribute to me wanting to pull out my hair on occasion! Thing was annoying! It was slow and would post multiple of the same letters in words and was so hard to deal with. And it took up much space on my phone. Sometimes half of my post wouldn’t show up after I hit publish. It wouldn’t let me change the date when it got it wrong.  This is the main reason I did not post as much as I would like to. It did get the job done well in the end though and I miss it now. I miss it terribly. I miss the layout and seeing the little icon on my phone. The colors which I thought were kind of on the boring side.  I miss everything about it and I would take that distress and annoyance it brought me, any day if I could just have it back. I would prefer the annoyances and still have the app. But that’s not the case. I don’t have it and so I will be thankful for the positive things my loss brings with it. Another positive thing – now I have more space on my phone. I would prefer to have less space and have the app but since I can’t have it, I can still celebrate having more storage space!
I can still post here but maybe not many pictures because it seems it only let’s me post one. Pictures make blog posts better I think, especially long blog posts, and I love posting my random inspiration posts with all the photos! Maybe I’ll find a way! I guess if you really, really want something, you let nothing stand in the way.
This also reminds me of Johnathan Huie’s Zero based gratitude idea where instead of comparing what we have to what we had when we had more, we can just be thankful now for everything. Even if we have so much less than we previously had. Who cares what we had and lost? When it’s gone it’s gone.
We can learn and move forward.
I posted about this concept here:
And here is Mr. Huie’s essay:
Also here’s a good song meant to be funny but with a sweet little message about looking on the bright side of life always, no matter how much it sucks.
Mobile:
Desktop:
The singer Monty Python is a comedian and I read he makes fun of religion. I don’t know much about him or his jokes or if they are vicious jokes or just stupid ones and I don’t necessarily agree with all his views or anything.  I’m just promoting his light attitude about looking on the positive side. “Laugh and smile and dance and sing…” he sings. The singer even goes all the way as to encourage us, when we’re dying, to think life is a piece of shit anyway! Lol “Life’s a piece of shit when you look at it…” that way you won’t care so much about dying! Lmao I don’t view life as shit but I hear his message loud & clear!
Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.
And there IS a bright side.
Always.
And if not, you can create one.
I hope your night/day is a good one!
Xoxo Kim

Random Inspiration {photos, thoughts, & quotes!!}

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Here are some of my pictures and some of my opinions on things! And some quotes on happiness!  I shared a lot of these pics and thoughts on Facebook and photobucket already a couple weeks ago.
And a lot of these pictures I took yesterday. I tried posting this yesterday and it wouldn’t show up. So when something says “today” in this post, it was yesterday. 😀  

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This is me under a bridge on the street I live on. Someone painted my name on the wall and dotted it with a heart! I’m almost certain it’s not intended for me but for some other girl who shares my name. Lol It says some name that I can’t comprehend loves Kim. I tried to get a picture of the whole thing but it
did not turn out good!

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This pic may come off as sensual or sexual and that’s ok but that wasn’t my intention. I so frequently write about how I love to capture the “simple joys of life” especially water droplets, raindrops, moisture, things of that sort. I was walking up a street one day when an air conditioner dripped on me. Lol It landed right on my boob and I found it funny and also very beautiful. I think a woman’s body is beautiful, every part and I’m not referring to a sexual way. Even the parts of the body that are sexual or considered to be, are beautiful in an aesthetic way and just for what the body does for us, let’s us live, love, and experience. I love boobs just as much as the next man. Lol unlike people who are romantically attracted to women, I’m not turned on by them in a sexual way but I do find them beautiful and love artistic pics or representations of them. And any part of a woman’s body. And not in a way that is objectifying. I know a woman is much much more than her body. It’s great to celebrate a woman’s beauty, even the physical. It’s not necessarily shallow or objectifying. Right away it’s often considered objectification if a woman’s body is celebrated for her beauty or if certain clothes are worn or certain body parts played up or displayed. Objectification is not good, imo, but it’s not always objectifying. And it’s not always sexual or shallow. I don’t care how people interpret this picture of me. I think the creator/artist creates then it’s up to the viewer to interpret. I’m just describing my experience and opinions. There’s nothing on the entire planet or anywhere in the world more beautiful than a woman. And I want to celebrate, honor, and cherish all of our beauty. 

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This is just weird. I don’t even know. I just felt the urge to hold up a glass coca Cola bottle to my eyeball and take a pic through the bottom of the bottle. Can you say, creepy?!

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I see/hear a lot of people bragging that their photos on social media have “no filters.” That’s great if people like to just put the original copy on but there’s nothing wrong with editing and photo effects. They are tools to be creative. There’s so many amazing apps and effects to give pictures a certain feel or play up the colors or concepts. I don’t edit all mine but it’s usually more fun to play with the photos than just snapping a pic and sharing. Some people think it’s deceiving to edit photos but it’s not unless we try acting like they aren’t edited and they are and look realistic. I have edited photos of sunsets before, for example, and they look very beautiful and more vibrant than the original but it’s not obvious they’re edited. In that case I state that they are edited, usually. I never try to be deceiving. If someone asks me I will tell the truth. It’s nothing to conceal. It takes skills to edit a photo and make it beautiful. And I want to get better and better. But usually I think we can tell when a photo is edited and don’t have to always say it, especially when it’s overedited or dramatically edited. Often non edited photos are boring looking. Not always but often and it’s just my opinion of course. On my photobucket account I usually share all of the originals and edited versions. I like all my pictures and want to save/share them all. Even professional photographers often edit their own pictures. 

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This is me waiting for a bus today which never came. It wasn’t coming because of construction work and I had to walk home which took like over an hour and it was 100 degrees out and my head was throbbing and my mouth was completely dry. But I got quite a few lovely photos of today! I got lost walking home and had no idea what to do. I had no phone service or anything but I saw the Dialysis and
organ donation, gift of life buildings
and then found my way because I always see how my dad drives home when we’re that way. It reminds me of this quote “don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here.” It’s so true. I would love to donate one of my kidneys if I could, While I’m living, to someone who needs one, doesn’t matter if I know the person or not. I know of the risks involved but it’s still worth it. I know kidney implants work better or more likely to not reject when the donor is living. Anyway, it’s a beautiful building and I get pics of it sometimes but did not get one today. A couple of sweet people at the busstop were kind enough to tell the others who kept walking up that it’s not coming. I stayed for a while to tell people so they wouldn’t be stuck waiting in 100 degrees weather forever. There should be a sign up so people kno

And I saw this at the busstop which was not always there:

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It shows that someone cares to help people even those they don’t know. I’m not sure who the people are responsible for having the sign here but it’s an act of love to reach out to the suffering and just seeing it is heartwarming and can help change someone’s mind or uplift someone.

There’s always hope and always, always someone who cares or would care if the person met you!

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I found this adorable little kritter at work recently! I think he’s a Junebug, maybe. He was on the sink and struggling to get up so I picked him up and set him on the edge and he was cleaning his little red face with his legs! Licking his legs then rubbing them on his face. It was the cutest thing! He’s much more beautiful than he looks in this picture. Lol He wasn’t even afraid of me or anything. They usually aren’t. He loved walking on me and has the cutest little eyes. I put him out in the grass and when I was about to stand up to go back inside I still felt like he was walking on me. Then I looked and he was! Lol He got back on! Poor thing did not want to leave me. But then he was happy when I put him on a little flower thing under a tree. And I love my veins! Little blue lines of life!

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~ When you’re under a dark & shady tree, don’t forget to see the sun shining through the branches.~

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Don’t put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket. ~Author Unknown

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it. ~Jacques Prévert

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Today a man and little lady were walking by as I was and the lady said to the man “hey did you ever see the movie ‘Hocus Pocus?'” lol I was delighted, I love that movie! You can see the man and little lady with their backs turned in This pic! I took this pic because I just recently learned of a flower called “blue dicks!” lol And as I was lost I saw these blue flowers and thought to myself “hey look there’s Blue Dicks!” I don’t know if they’re really blue dicks but they sure are blue. 😀

It’s the little things that make the world go round! Lol ;-D 

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The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain

If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time. ~Edith Wharton 

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This is me with no makeup after days of almost no sleep because I was obsessed with a book I was reading, which I wrote about, called After the Cure, and couldn’t put it down or stop thinking about it. Lol Sometimes I can’t sleep because of happy thoughts and too much gratitude and I just want to get up and dance and blast happy songs all night and read every book I have. Then I pay for it the next day with dark circles around my eyes and achy muscles and things! Oh well…at least it’s because of happy things!!

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IN  loving memory of my friend/coworker, Diane who died on 2/14/2015 of a heart attack. She was beautiful and caring about everyone. Just like me, she LOVED Coca Cola! It’s all we would drink, we would be guzzling it up all day long at work! Lol Last night I found this at work and I drank it for her. I know she would love it. Seeing it brought me pain but more joy than pain. I love Diane and keep her always in my heart. 

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~ attributed to Winnie the Pooh! 😀

Much love to you tonight & always. 

Xoxo Kim

Simple treasures <3

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I’m a big fan of acknowledging and deeply appreciating the simple joys of living. Most of which cost no money or very little money, things we all have access to if only we look a certain way. There are different depths of mindfulness, just seeing all the way to deep appreciation and awareness.  I’m definitely not against certain kinds of materialism to a certain extent! Nothing wrong with vacations and big shopping sprees and big celebrations and things! But there’s so many “little” things surrounding us right now that we can tap into at any point and be filled with warmth and gratitude. Let’s cherish them.  Here’s my list!  When sunlight or sunsets reflect off of cars, signs, or buildings or puddles or anything  Waking up in the early morning and hearing birds chirping cheerfully  Falling asleep to a heavy rainstorm  The perfect cup of coffee or tea When an illness or pain ends and the feeling of the old self reappears and is stronger than ever Meeting someone and experiencing a deep “soul” connection The first glistening snowfall of the season  The first flowers blossoming in the beginning of Spring  Hearing an old forgotten song  The beginning of Fall when the crunchy leaves cover the streets and the scents of October fill the air Late Autumn when it’s almost Winter & the holiday season and my inspiration runs deep Crickets singing on a warm Summer night  Laying in bed at night reading a mystery book

my bones (hipbones, collarbone, neck bones…) and the way they delicately poke through my skin

my heartbeat ❤

image Cobblestone streets  Hugs Helping someone  Waking up with dogs sleeping all around me in bed Walking in a light rainfall on a cool night – it’s a feeling of sweet liberation  The first cool nights of the season  The way my long hair feels against my lower back  Receiving a sweet message by someone I know or someone I never met before then  Random acts of kindness  image Any act of kindness, random or not Feeling a general sense of deep inspiration  Hugging someone I just met  When a headache finally ends  The feeling of early morning  Cool gray days

image Warm and sunny afternoons surrounded by trees and green and flowers  Beautiful parks image Being surrounded by lots of people  Feeling beautiful  Finding an inspiring quote or song that completely resonates with me Beautiful people  When I’m not wearing makeup and think I look even better than when I have my face made up!  A bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds Seeing seagulls flying through the sky A starry starry night 

image A big, bright full moon  Honeybees on bright colored flowers Warm fluffy blankets  The warmth of clothes just out of a dryer The holiday season  Christmas songs  Feeling that there’s nowhere else I would rather be than right here right now, wherever it may be, including at work!  image Unexpected rain Talking to someone who completely understands what I’m saying  Philadelphia skyscrapers  image Red dresses Anything pink Warm pj’s  Walking into an air conditioned room after stepping out of 100 degree weather outside  The warmth of a hot drink flowing through the whole body on a cool/cold day Philosophy text books  Kindle app image Free Kindle books! (many people think if they are free they must suck or be very short books but it’s not necessarily true! I got free ones before with 400 pages and very good ones! Give them a chance! ;-D )  The feeling of stepping out of an air conditioned room into a hot, sunny, Summer day. I love the scent of the Summer heat and the feel of the blanket of heat enveloping me the first few seconds I step into it. The sound of construction work outside off in the distance. Yes, I love this! I just love the sounds of the city.  Shadows on the ground.  Warm puppy kissies. The warm smell of doggy fur.  Laughing til it hurts. Street lamps image City lights  Flowers image Seeing people sitting under umbrellas outside of restaurants on Spring & Summer days sipping pretty tropical looking drinks out of delicate looking glasses.  Simple, light but fun conversations with friends  Girls in stilettos  When I’m laying in bed and my long hair touches the floor  Abandoned houses  Stop signs  Street signs Squirrels running up the trees or eating  Realizing I like something I never used to like. Black & white photography for example, and flat shoes and cheese fries with ketchup. Waking up to rain image Vintage looking objects and photos  Stories that take place long long ago Reminiscing about pleasant things  The way candy always tastes better in the cold weather  Meeting/knowing someone who is overly compassionate. We can never have too much love! The fragrances of winter & fall – pumpkin, cinnamon, pine, apple, peppermint… Tropical candles lit in Spring & Summer Moneystealers image Fall in Philadelphia  Philadelphia any season  image (he was on a wall in my house – so soft & fuzzy. I rescued him after my sister found him. ) The Eastern State Penitentiary /haunted attraction  SEPTA busses, trolleys, and trains  Everyday objects  Insects image The way lights streams through a door to a dark room when the door is slightly open. Sometimes I leave a light off just to see it. My struggle with depression and with severe physical pain inspire me to more deeply acknowledge and appreciate and realize these simple treasures. When I’m in severe pain of any kind, beautiful things seem to jump out at me more, reminding me that I “can’t have” or “don’t deserve” them and this inspires me to notice them more when I’m not in severe pain. And I learned to seize them no matter how much pain I’m in. But we can learn to bask in and deeply appreciate the simple treasures even without the pain. I think most of us have little things we love but may not always be mindful of them or just how much we love the beauty of them. Let’s stop. And mindfully cherish those things all around us each and every day. One way I express my love and perception of the simple joys, is taking pictures and often editing them to exaggerate or magnify the small details to make them stand out.   We often overlook reflections, shadows, mundane things….in person but in photos they stand out more.  What simple treasures do you cherish even if you never realized just how much you love them? And how can you express your appreciation? Photography? Writing? Painting? Drawing? Let’s get creative! Let’s live with intention. 😀 Xoxo Kim

Inner Strength <3

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“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

So, I had a cluster-like headache at work last night. It’s the second one I ever had at work. 
It was devastating. 
The last one I had at work was in October, eight months ago. Luckily back then it was a cool, dark, dreary night and was slow so no one had to witness it. But now it’s Spring/Summer and very busy so when I was struck with it, there were customers at the window. I never want to freak anyone out and I learned to control my reactions to these headaches a little bit better in general, not always though. Sometimes I still scream til I lose my voice.
It’s rare to have a headache during work hours; they usually occur around 2:00 in the morning til 5:00am.  
I had to keep hitting my face and clutching my head and trying not to scream. 

It takes everything I have in me not to bang my head against the walls. There have been nights I cracked my head for hours over n over against a wall. All night long.
 And kept feeling what felt like my brain shaking because of the force.
But I was near insanity. 
It’s an incredible sense of loneliness. 

When I talk about my headaches, I often explain what they are like because they aren’t “headaches.” They are cruel, vicious attacks.
I have tmjd, not cluster headache (CH) disorder, that I know of, but my condition triggers cluster-like headaches. 
It feels like a hot poker being driven through the eye socket and being held there for minutes to hours and can be off and on for hours, days, weeks or months or unfortunately for some, every single day with no remission. There’s no known cure. On top of the severe burning agony like scalding hot water being poured over the side of the face, is the worst throbbing tooth pain and ear pain and pressure. 
Like all our nerves exposed and being squeezed 
It involves the trigeminal nerve, I heard/read. 
They are also called suicide headaches & ice pick headaches(like the head being split with an ice pick). It’s that bad.
There’s no pain that I know of that can be used as a reference point to compare the magnitude of this pain to. Being burned and brain freeze are the closest things.

They can make the eye droop and water and the nose run on whatever side of the face the pain is on. Sometimes my face swells up on the side and turns red or even a purple/bruised color. It feels like and sometimes looks like my face is melting. It’s not pretty. Pain pills do nothing. Not prescription ones, not ones bought in a store. The headaches only occur on one side of the face. It can be either side. 
Mine was on the right at work.

I thought I was dying, the pain was so bad.
I don’t know if physical pain can literally drive someone insane but I keep thinking it will.
I wanted to run out of work and run to the bar across the street screaming but I knew my boss likely wouldn’t have anyone to come in work for me and did not want to leave her or the customers hanging. 
No matter how much I suffer, I have come to generally be mindful of how my actions may affect others and try to always do what is best for them. I don’t always succeed but generally, I try.  

It itself is not a life threatening condition and not like I was in danger of dying or anything. 
But some people do attempt and die by suicide because the pain is so immense. It feels unbearable. I don’t really think I will kill myself anymore when I have them. I used to though. During the headaches, I often keep thinking “I can’t take this, I can’t take another second, how much more can I possibly endure….?!?!?” 

Take something freezing cold like ice cream or frozen drink and let it against your teeth without swallowing or put mouth wash in your mouth and keep it in over ten minutes no matter how much it burns and when you feel you really can’t take anymore still keep it there, and you can get maybe a fraction of an idea of what these headaches are like. The headaches hurt more. 

My cluster-like headaches aren’t 
very frequent in general. I can go for months without having one. But just one headache is enough. The first one I was struck with when I was 24 years old, scarred me for life.
Just one of these head attacks, even if you never have another, will scar you emotionally, no matter how strong you are, I can almost guarantee it.
It will break you in a way you can never be put back together. The physical pain is extreme. There are just no words. 
If I found out someone was going to have one of these and I were able to experience it instead of that person, I would take on as many as I can so no one else ever has to. My heart sinks and breaks at the mere thought of some poor person having to endure this. 

That’s why some people with them kill themselves even when they aren’t depressed, because the physical pain is immense in the moments they occur.  It’s like nothing else in this world exists anymore.  
Just a world of screaming agony.
It’s like being in another dimension, I often say, a kind of pain that feels unearthly and like it can’t possibly exist. But it does exist.

I have said that I couldn’t dream up this kind of agony in my worst nightmare.

I can crumble just writing this.
They shatter me. 

But it’s ok. It’s always ok. It’s all about our attitude, perspective, reaction. 

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They begin abruptly and often unexpectedly and end just as abruptly. No warning. 
One day I was out food shopping with my mom and nothing was wrong with me that day. I wasn’t in pain at all. I reached my hand up to pull the handle on a freezer door and in an instant my face and head was struck hard with the agony.  It’s pure, raw horror. Hell on Earth. 

I suffered with depression (nothing to do with the headaches) and psychosis for many years, hallucinations and real delusions like truly believing everyone thinks I should be dead or that people were planting negative thoughts into my skin or constantly mocking me or all conspiring against me, I have some hallucinations now that I had since I was a little girl, a lady with long dark hair who tries to take my eyes and a girl who lives in the walls and cries for my help and it breaks me because I just can’t get her out. I hear voices and creepy music that no one else can, I see people and then they vanish. I know it’s not real now but when it’s happening I don’t always realize it’s not real. I was hospitalized, got a 302 paper signed for me by a psychiatrist, taken away by police, thrown into the back/front of police cars for being suicidal, taken to the court of mental health, hospitalized against my consent, locked away for weeks, strapped to a gurney and taken away in an ambulance, sedated and poked with needles against my consent, being chased and pulled back as I tried to run out of an emergency room after being admitted for being dangerously suicidal, talk to people who really aren’t there sometimes, without always knowing, had black outs  for years and found myself in strange places I never knew how I got there, walked around campus in college throwing 20 dollar bills everywhere not knowing what I was doing, and then got taken to a hospital …the list goes on…and on…

But I can tell you this….never have I ever been as insane, or crazy if you will, as when I have those headaches.

I am more of a basketcase when I’m having a cluster like headache than when I’m “really” insane. Inside my head it’s all cold and dark and full of despair when I’m depressed/psychotic. But when I’m having a headache I’m overwhelmed in panic and despair and it’s like I’m clawing and scratching at some walls keeping me confined to a hellish world of dark, dark, hysteria and screams of agony. Depression can be like that too but I’m usually not panicked when I’m depressed and usually don’t feel the urge to freak out. I can be still and calm still with depression. I can handle emotional pain better. Much better. 

When the headache at work struck me, I tried so hard not to scream and wail in agony .

I decided to muster all the strength I have in me, all the courage and love.
I decided to be mindful of every sensation around me and on me. I held a wet rag in my hands and focused on the sensations against my skin. I focused on the lights in the room and the colors surrounding me. I summoned the love I have for life itself, living beings, and various things…until the headache ceased. It lasted less than a half hour. It was excruciating.
I kept thinking how can I take this experience and use it to help someone somehow when it’s over. And it helped me bear it better knowing that later I would use it to our advantage. 

One thing I noticed that is unusual is I wasn’t angry during this headache. I don’t get angry frequently. And when I do it’s usually not extremely angry and almost always subsides quickly. I’m not saying I don’t get angry. I get angry just like anyone. Angry at myself, at others, at my mom, at my dogs, at objects like my phone…lol But not often and not a violent fury, just regular anger that comes and goes on seldom occasions.

But these headaches almost always provoke in me a fury so violent, it shakes my insides and rattles my world to the core of it.  I want to break anything I can get my hands on. I want to slash things and break my own bones. I want to rip everything to shreds and demolish buildings with just my hands.  I want to break through walls and watch things shatter to pieces like I feel I am, with those headaches. I want to hear glass break and hear everything just shatter and crumble and explode. I want to throw things and scream and break. I want to break every object in my line of vision. I want to search for things to throw and break and destroy like I am destroyed. I want to hit things over and over.  It’s a fury so potent it’s frightening.
I am not violent like this and have no inclination to be. Except when these things occur.

I wrote before about how these headaches seem to reduce me to half the woman I am. I become uncivilized and feral. 
I have bizarre thoughts and violent thoughts that I never knew I can have until my first headache.

But with this headache at work, there was no fury, no anger, no urge for destruction. Just a strong desire to not scare anyone and still do the best I can and be as loving as I can to anyone I can. To hold onto my life and my sanity. It was so hard. But somehow I managed.
Instead of wanting to break every object I looked at, I wanted to cherish it and be mindful of its beauty. I still felt a kind of gentle calm in the center of me. And I embraced it with all I have in me. 

It inspires me to write. My headache inspires me instead of destroy me like they often seem to do. 
All I kept thinking is how many others are suffering or in some kind of pain and how I can share my experience here, to help in some way even if it’s just a fraction.

When I think about killing myself now, either because I’m depressed or having a headache, I think how instead I can live and take my pain and inspiration and use it to help or potentially help someone else in some way like writing about it, sharing quotes or photos or anything to bring even just a sliver of consolation or inspiration or feeling of empowerment to someone, somewhere.

I don’t want to kill myself because it sends a message to the uni-verse that that’s the thing to do when something seems unbearable. I don’t want to send that message or end with that kind of negative energy. Suicidal people and suicide victims aren’t necessarily weak people in general it’s just that in those moments, we give in or are tempted to give into the weakness. But we can instead give into the life and strength in us. And help the others who need it. 

I’m not usually suicidal frequently anymore but even when I am, it’s usually my compassion and love for others in general, universal love, that keeps me going, not the fear as much.  

I have been helped immensely on various occasions by a simple blog post written by someone across the world or a brief quote or message or song shared on Facebook or anywhere and I want to do that for someone else. 

Anyway, I wasn’t suicidal or wanting to die with this headache but I did at some points feel that I really couldn’t go on.

And I want anyone else who ever feels that way to not give in and to keep going. Keep going no matter what. Don’t let the pain conquer you. You can hurt and suffer and be exhausted and fall but keep getting back up and lift others with you. You’re stronger than the pain, whatever the pain is. Physical or emotional, doesn’t matter. It has no hold on you if you won’t let it. 

imageI was eating mint chocolate chip ice cream with sprinkles, on a cone right before my head/face was attacked. Then after it ended I was too shaken up to eat it. I had no appetite anymore because of the trauma. I was badly shaken. But then I thought why should I let this make me miss out on anything? Why let it get me? Why let it control or influence me in a negative way? 
If I submit to it then that’s not a positive message to the world. How can I help or inspire anyone else if I am vanquished by my pain?

So I picked up my ice cream cone, tasted it, even though my insides were still shaking, and it was delicious again. This experience reminds me to not give up on anything even when I feel the temptation to collapse. Let’s not give up no matter what it is. Whether it’s giving up on life and dying (lol this is a bit dramatic example), giving up going out, or eating something or engaging in something we love. I won’t give up. Please join me and keep going. 

“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.” (Mayor Pappas, “City Hall” movie quote)

I can turn my pain into inspiration and motivation and comfort for someone else.
And so can you.

“Displace the pain
Put it in 
A camera
A story 
A poem 
A song 
A lover 
A canvas”

Whatever you do, displace the pain. Put it into something positive, creative, loving.
And pull others into your light. Use your pain for the better, turn it into beauty and light and love and other people can draw on your strength. 

Much love to you. ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim