Archive | April 2016

Criticism & Empathy

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“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is an interesting perspective and I agree for the most part. Sometimes criticism is necessary or good. Constructive criticism that is.

But it’s not always necessary. And not always good. Some of us really do have more advantages or experience than others, experience that helps us make better decisions or contributes to us ending up certain ways that others do not.

We may not even realize it. We all have walked  different paths in this life, experienced different things, have different backgrounds and upbringings, biology/genetics, opportunities and things that all contribute to us getting where we are right now. Ultimately it’s our choices (both conscious and unconscious ones, direct & indirect, the choice to do nothing…) that get us where we are, for the most part. But our choices are often influenced by various factors. Let’s try to go easy on the negative judging(not an order/demand, just a friendly suggestion)! This isn’t to justify callous and reckless actions, just to promote more love & understanding. It’s also not to say that some people are victims of circumstance or have no ability to make choices. That’s disempowering. For most of us, no matter what happens beyond our control, we have the power to choose positive things, reactions, attitudes…

 For some, it’s much easier to make positive choices than for some others. Like cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, for example. It’s usually a choice to consume those in the first place no matter what happened to us. We have the power to say no to drugs or to say yes to them. And some take them and never become addicted while others fall prey to addiction. It doesn’t make one morally better for not becoming addicted. Some are just more susceptible. 
Anyway, some people are more likely to take illicit drugs than others, maybe someone who experiences trauma or depression or other painful experiences or someone exposed to drug use at an early age. 

It’s their choice at first but maybe influenced by experiences that contribute to them giving into temptation. 

I never considered taking illicit drugs or getting drunk or even drinking alcoholic things (with the exception of a few sips many moons ago). It’s not at all my cup of tea. But that doesn’t put me in a position to judge people negatively who make different choices than me, even lousy choices or those with grave consequences.

Homelessness is another example where it is so easy for some to judge. None of us are immune to becoming homeless. Any of us can be struck by some tragedy at any moment.

Many homeless people don’t have the advantages that many of us have. Some are severely mentally ill, some are struggling with addiction, some lost everything they own to a financial crisis, a housefire…, some don’t have families or friends who take them in. 
I have never been in a position to be homeless. I have always lived with my mom and unlike some people’s family, she wouldn’t ever throw me out no matter how much trouble I can ever be. Not everyone has that advantage.

Homeless people do have the power to make choices even though it is probably very difficult and even if for now the choice is to take one simple positive step for the better and some have made choices to contribute to where they are now, either consciously or unconsciously. It’s not being cold to say that. It’s disempowering to say otherwise. We all, as long as we’re alive, have the power to choose. 

Another example is people not having or displaying good grammar skills. I see so many people making fun of them and stuff. Must be great to be so perfect!

Not everyone has access to a good education, some have learning disabilities, some just really don’t care… So what?

We all have the power to make choices if we’re alive.

But not everyone yet realizes that and not everyone has advantages that make certain choices easy. 

So before we judge others in cold ways, how about instead we love & encourage them?  In non condescending ways. 

This quote is a great reminder to connect with our empathy and try to put our own self in someone else’s place as much as we can, and show love, compassion, encouragement instead of cold judgment. This goes for any person in any situation or making choices we disagree with.

Also here is a beautiful Country song! One of my favorites.

“I got rice cookin’ in the microwave
Got a three day beard I don’t plan to shave
And it’s a goofy thing but I just gotta say, hey
I’m doin’ alright
Yeah I think I’ll make me some homemade soup
I’m feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced, no
I’m just doin’ alright
And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin’
When I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can’t everyday be just this good”

(everyday can be! It’s all about that attitude!) 😀 ❤

It’s a great day to be alive – Travis Tritt – desktop

It’s a great day to be alive – mobile

It IS a great day to be alive! Every day is! I feel this way often and it’s great to have reminders like this song! 

I’m at work right now and the wifi is working for once! Lol 

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light to you now & forever!
Always remember, I love you! ❤ ❤

😀

xoxo Kim

April Sunrise

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I wrote this yesterday and it wouldn’t go through for some reason so here it is today!

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” ~Jo Walton

Today I fulfilled my aspiration to get at least one photo of an April sunrise. I’m usually not awake that early. But in January after waking early (not intentionally) and seeing the sun rising, I decided to make it a point to awaken early at least one day each month this year and watch the sun rise and get some pictures! I have achieved my goal up til now!

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It’s so beautiful to watch the sun rising so early in the morning. It’s absolutely magical and breathtaking. 
It energizes me and inspires me. Not to do anything specifically but just instills in me a general sense of deep inspiration.  

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This one has an effect to make the pink stand out more.

It was a dramatic sunrise. It was startling but in a good way. I was all tired and groggy at first and the neon pink was shocking. This picture doesn’t show it as bright as it was. On this part of the sky, there was only a hint of pink but it was still brighter than it looks here.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ~Bill Watterson

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I did stay home today and drank hot tea while reading a great fiction mystery book in my warm pj’s! But I also went out in the rain, took pics, and got iced coffee and did some shopping with my sister.

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Today is very rainy and very cold here in Philadelphia and can only be described as Perfect.  The trees are vibrant green, the sky was gray all day, now black because it's night.  

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"After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it." ~Shannon L. Alder

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"You can dance in the storm. Don't wait for the rain to be over before because it might take too long. You can can do it now. Wherever you are, right now, you can start, right now; this very moment." ~Israelmore Ayivor

Oh, yes! It's never too late as long as we're living. Let's "bloom where we're planted."
Work with what we have. Change what can be changed if we feel the desire and use what cannot to our advantage. Have a problem that can't be fixed? Accept it and use it for the better. Let it strengthen us, deepen our wisdom & empathy, inspire us to reach out to others and show understanding. Let's not wait for that "perfect" beginning or circumstances.
Right Now is perfect just as it is. 

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This is a pic I took of the sunrise and I turned it black & white but kept the pink the same. My camera has an option for that. 

Here are some more pics I got today. I was in the mood for b&w photos today. 

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This pic I took yesterday. I wasn't trying to capture the birds; I did not even see them at first! I was trying to get the old looking building on the side!

But when I saw the birds I was thrilled. They flew away so quickly I couldn't get any more pics. So I zoomed in and cropped this one to show them better.

😀

I hope your day or night  is absolutely beautiful! 
Hugs & love to you!  ❤

Xoxo Kim 

Hearts entwined <3

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Her moral obligation
to keep our hearts entwined.
Her preeminent love,
smelling like life,
in a good way,
familiar like an ancient woodcut,
a private postcard in the midst of a crowd,
in an old T-shirt to soak up the memories,
committed to recycling life.
repairing the nucleus.”
~
Brian D’Ambrosio ❤

😀

Beautiful quote I recently discovered about beauty!

xoxo Kim

Dear Future Me <3

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Since this is a post to me by me here is a pic of me! 😀

I have been nominated by the lovely Sonali at 

Howling With the Wolf:

https://howlingwiththewolf.wordpress.com/about/

To write a letter to me one year into the future! 

https://howlingwiththewolf.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/dear-future-me/

Please check out her blog! She is a very sweet girl and an amazing writer with a passionate spirit.

I love when I’m nominated for things like this! (even though it sometimes takes me forever to get around to posting it! :-)) 

It kind of doesn’t really make sense to me to provide wisdom to my future self because my future self will (hopefully) be just as wise, and hopefully even wiser than my current self. Lol I realize that’s one of the blessings of getting older, we have all the wisdom we previously have and even more realized. 

So I will just remind myself in the future to cherish the memories of all the beauty I have encountered previously, to intentionally recall and often record simple but profound moments I have experienced. Many moments are easy to forget even if they are beautiful, inspiring, amazing. The simple moments that aren’t part of a holiday or vacation or other socially important event. Just everyday, simple occasions. 

I want to remind my future self to savor each cool breeze upon my skin in the Summers, cherish the warmth of cozy pj’s in Winter and the heat that surges through me while holding a steaming hot cup of cocoa or tea, I want to encourage me in the future to keep on taking photos of all the colorful beauty in Fall & Spring but remember to also live in the moment and truly feel the beauty, not just try to capture it in photos. It’s more important to experience. 

I encourage me to write down simple but profound occasions on ordinary days to always look back on and remember. 

Like the things I mention here: 

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/best-days-3/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-simple-unidentified-moments-3/

reading a thrilling novel, drinking hot tea, basking in the beauty of the rain…

I want to inspire myself to keep letting go of old pain and creating more and more space for new beauty. 

I think the most important thing is to “remind” my future self to “live to the fullest” as the old cliche goes, making the most of each moment while holding onto all the pleasant memories and letting the not so pleasant ones inspire me to evolve and learn. In two, three, four, and more decades(i guess I’m planning to live a long while! Lol), I want to be able to think back to now and still remember some of the simple, beautiful moments I now experience. 

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I also want to remind myself that Life Is Beautiful

I often feel that way but when I get into severe depressed moods, I sometimes tend to forget it. And one thing that helps me keep hope alive is to remember that I once felt that way, that life is simply beautiful, and so have it in me to feel that way again.  

Sometimes the person who can inspire us the most is our own self! It’s great to be inspired by others, to be lifted and carried by their wisdom but sometimes it’s even greater to allow our own wisdom to inspire us. Always remember that if you once felt happy, alive, beautiful, peaceful, calm, even if only for a brief occasion, you CAN feel that way again. And even if you have never felt happy, you are alive and it’s never too late, there’s always hope as long as we are living and conscious or have the ability to be conscious if we aren’t currently.  

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My cover photo on Facebook says “Life is beautiful.” It’s the only cover photo I ever had and I intend to keep it that way. It’s true, life is beautiful. And when I seem to forget that, I look at my own cover photo (it’s not actually mine but one I found online) and remember that I felt that way when I set that photo as my cover photo and I am inspired to keep on living and loving. ❤

So, future self (and everyone else), always remember life is hope. If you felt it once, you can feel it again!  

And one last thing, Future Self, always remember to surrender to universal love, all encompassing love, love for everyone and everything, all sentient beings, life itself, the whole uni-verse…keep going, keep loving, always & forever!!

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I'm thankful to  be nominated for this and one reason is that it reminds me to better keep up with my one word journal. I have been doing great with my one word challenge, seeking and finding beauty and inspiration everywhere, sharing it with others, posting on the blog things that have to do with beauty…but I haven't been keeping up as much as I planned with the journal I have. But it's never too late to begin again! And this post is a great reminder! 

Here is my post on the one word challenge:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/one-word/

“This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever
These are the days
To hold on to
Cause we won’t
Although we’ll want to
This is the time
But the time is gonna change”

These Are the Times to Remember – Billy Joel – mobile

These Are the Times – desktop

Thank you, Sonali!

I'm supposed to nominate a few people but instead I would like to just invite anyone reading this to give it a try! 😀

Much love & light to you always,

Xoxo Kim 

A beautiful question…

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I wrote this yesterday but just posting it now.


“Instead of asking why they left, now I ask ‘What beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy?'”

I saw this quote today. So inspiring and full of so much wisdom. 

Instead of dwelling on what or who we lose or no longer have around in the same way we did before, we can see this experience as an opportunity to create more beauty, filling our empty spaces or spaces no longer occupied in the same way, with that. 

We can still have a space for people and things we lose either to breakups, death, just drifting apart…but fill the rest of the space with new beauty and new hope. 

Loss can remind and teach us valuable life lessons. It can open us up to deep wisdom within. It can spark our creativity and motivate us to act and think in productive and positive ways. 

When people/animals and things leave us, we don’t have to be dragged down too long. We can get back up and use this new space for something bright and beautiful. 

This can be for any loss including loss of a job. If we lose our job, we can take the space and time we now have to build on ourselves, do something inspiring, find a new hobby, focus more on a current one, read books, volunteer work….until we can get a new job. 

This can also apply to loss of ability. 
If we are injured and temporarily bedridden (or even permanently), instead of sulking, we can come up with many interesting and positive things we still can do. Even if all we can do is meditate or think positive thoughts, feel the sunlight streaming through the windows…

It’s always great to look on the bright side. We cannot always prevent misfortune or tragedy and cannot always control our circumstances but we can choose to be positive about it even if we cannot feel positive right away. 

We can still act in positive ways until we begin to feel positive and happy even in our unpleasant situation. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!  

I hope your day is going beautifully or night if it’s night where you are! I still have much catching up to do with blogs & comments and stuff. This is my eleventh day in a row working, sometimes two shifts straight through with no break! I’m a server and cashier at a store and in Spring & Summer it can be very demanding. I don’t usually have to work this much. There’s no one else available right now. But I love my job and all the people! It’s just unfortunate that I have been slacking with responses to comments/e-mails and stuff. It’s not that I don’t have time, I just haven’t been managing it well. I’m working on that!

I deeply appreciate every message, like, share, and all that I receive!
Thank You!! ❤

😀

Much love & light to you, always!

❤ xoxo Kim

Monday Inspiration!!

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This Monday I’m not posting magazine pics but ones I took of Coca Cola bottles. Have you noticed, the Coca Cola bottles now have inspiring song lyrics on them!? :-O

Just my kind of thing! I work at a store so I see all the lyrics on the bottles! I love it!

Coca Cola has always been my favorite now it just got even better! I like the lyrics ones better than the names and the words like “Soulmate,” “Teammate,” “Hero,” “Friend” and stuff like that. 

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There are more I’ll post later! 😀

I had another post planned for today but stupid wifi at work wasn’t working again! Lol 

So I’ll post that tomorrow. It’s about an inspiring quote I found today. More people seem to see my posts when they are posted earlier in the day. And it’s a quote I think has the potential to inspire people so I’ll post it earlier tomorrow in the hope that more see it.

“Come Monday It’ll be all right,
Come Monday I’ll be holding you tight.”

Come Monday – Jimmy Buffett – mobile

Come Monday – desktop

Much love & light to you, I hope these inspire you as much as they inspire me! ❤ 😀

Xoxo Kim 

Then

This is so beautiful! It tugs at my heartstrings. It’s an amazing poem and can apply to not just grief & loss but to all of life. Things are so fleeting. It’s a great reminder to be mindful of and savor all that we have and to cherish the memories . ❤

Everything I Never Told You

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For my Grandfather, Woodrow Hawkins:

Seven years old, I rode
by my Papa in that big
Ford truck. His little June bug.
Jabbering away, too innocent
to notice the light fading away.
Foreshadowing the colder
hours that would settle over our
little house at the foothills of the
mountains. The oppressive chill
of loss, the darkening.

On that day, all I saw was green
with an undertow of adventure.
Happy to be with the first man
my soul ever loved.

Before the heart condition.
Before the heart attack.
Before I mistook the hour.
Before his death.
Before my Granny’s tears.
Before I knew the pain of grief.
Before the road before us
became the road behind us,
and I wasn’t old enough to
understand letting go.
And that everyone’s here
until one day they’re not.

The days of homemade ice cream,
piggyback rides, warm breezes
and my papa’s unconditional love.

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