Tag Archive | passion

Honoring the present moment 🌸

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This is a beautiful blog and blog post by husband & wife, Marc & Angel. I love their wisdom. I recommend this blog post to all! I think it’s a reminder most of us can use now and again. 💗🌸🥀⚘🌱🌷🌼🌻🌺


“Admitting the Hard Truth, and Embracing It

Where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment is absolutely essential.

Because it is the only moment guaranteed to you.

You are not on your way somewhere else.

You are not progressing to a more important time or place.

The present is not just a stepping-stone: It is the ultimate destination, and you have already arrived.

This moment is where your greatest power lies.

This moment is your life!

It might seem obvious, but, again, I forget.  And I know you do too.

All day, every day, many of us feel like the present isn’t enough—like our life isn’t worthy of our full presence.”

“What if we admitted that life is slipping away right now, and saw the fleeting time we have as enough, without needing to share it on social media or capture it or alter it in any way?”

This is true. I have found a balance of both, treasuring the present moment while also capturing its beauty to share with others. I take in the beauty and if it’s still there after basking in the presence of it, I take a pic. When I’m standing under a cherry 🌸 blossom tree and there’s a butterfly or sparrow on one of its branches, I first allow myself to be in the moment and if it’s all still the same a few moments later and I can get a picture, that’s amazing, and if not, that’s great too! But experiencing it, fully, is more important than getting a picture and interrupting the full presence. Sometimes I look out a window and see a beautiful scene with traffic and people and I have an urge to run and get my phone for a picture to capture it exactly as it is thwn before it changes but I know if I turn to get my phone, it won’t be the same when I get back, so I just stand and accept the beauty as it is in that fleeting moment without a picture.

One Hard Thing You Must Admit Before Your Life Slips Away by Marc & Angel

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

Xoxo Kim

Photography & inspiration❤

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“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ❤

 

This post I had planned for over a week now but never prepared or published it yet and today I saw on Facebook  that today is the 177th anniversary of photography! I’m not sure how true it is but what a perfect day to actually publish this here post! 😀

I am extremely trusting in general but also extremely skeptical in another way. Both of those aspects of my nature are not usually conscious decisions; I’m just that way. Whenever I see a source, statistic, something in the media….my brain automatically questions the accuracy or truth of it. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or totally paranoid but I’m often even skeptical when I see things in the news or anything. 

So this 177 years thing may or may not be accurate but anyway it’s the inspiration for me fixing up this post and hitting “publish.”

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This (the very first one at the top)  is the first photo ever that I truly tried to edit using real photography “rules” or tools. Photography is my passion, reading about it, looking at people’s photos, professional or not, taking my own pics, I am so inspired! 

Sometimes my hobby taking and editing pictures I take brings life back into me when I’m severely depressed and inspires me to live. I am not a photographer and know very little about photography other than the beauty of it. One of my goals is to learn more about it on my own and even take classes one day just for fun! I mostly use my phone to take pics but I do have a Nikon camera I don’t really know much how to use. It takes beautiful photos though.

Here is that same pic but not edited:

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The colors here are less vibrant because in above picture I increased the saturation. Decreasing saturation into the negative numbers will turn an image b&w. Also, in the above image(the one way above), I increased the structure and sharpening to bring out the detail better and I straightened the photo.

Here are some more of my photos that I edited:

My main source of inspiration for taking pictures is mundane objects like buildings, traffic lights and signs, everyday objects like lightbulbs, ceiling fans, towers outside, fire hydrants….anything…I love to capture the beauty of things often overlooked, ignored, taken for granted and sometimes edit them to make certain things stand out. Shadows and reflections for example, in person we often do not stop to appreciate or just see them but in photos, we often can’t miss them!

These seemingly trtrivial things make up much of our lives each day and I want to capture and share their stunning beauty and promote mindfulness of them each day.

Here is my page:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/small-things-forgotten/

There are basic composition rules for taking pics like the rule of thirds, leading lines, negative space… And basic editing tools like straightening, sharpening, structure, vignette or central focus, tonal, ambiance,  …that we can use to make our pictures more appealing. I like over editing some of pics. I think they look pretty

And don’t want my hobby restricted by rules. But I also want to learn the general rules (that photograpers agree have exceptions and are made to be broken once in a while) and the basic editing tools That most digital photos can use. I decided to make a goal to at least once a day, take a few minutes to read about photography and try to learn and apply some photography techniques to my pictures. The above pic is the first one I edited using Snapseed in an attempt to use real photo editing tools, not just how I usually do editing them just in random ways or on a whim or whatever I think looks good. That’s good too but I am so happy to learn and try something new!  This pic I edited using the basic tools on photo app Snapseed, a popular iPhone photo editing app. I don’t have an iphone, never have, and likely never will but I just love IPhone photography for some reason! Its my favorite! My android marshmallow phone can get Snapseed. I wanted it when I used a blackberry phone but its not compatible with BlackBerry.

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This pic here I also tried to edit using real photography techniques but instead of looking at the instructions I used my memory and forgot a couple steps. The first picture is very bright to convey the feel of a hot summer day and this one I made darker using the vignette tool, to bring more attention to the window with the reflection of the blue sky. If i understand correctly, vignette can be used to draw the viewers to a certain part of the photo. I hope to master this skill one day! I have much to learn! I think this pic can use an increase in saturation.

I wish my skills were already developed and my knowledge about photography vast but there’s also something so beautiful about having so much more to learn! So much fun and possibility! One day my knowledge of and skills in photography will be increased in both breadth & depth! 😀❤💜

And here are some of my intentionally very over-edited photos!

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So these are just a few of my pictures and goals! 

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! 😀❤

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Let the rain kiss you

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“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” ~ Henry Beston

Guess what today is? A rainy, rainy day! So magical!

I was out walking in it and the Earthy scents and beautiful droplets upon my skin is enthralling!

Just lovely! 😀 ❤

In honor of this lovely blessing I'm sharing some rainy quotes & a few of my pictures!

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“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” ~John Updike

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“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ~ Ashley Smith

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“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin

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“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” ~ Langston Hughes

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My mom found my camera not too long ago so I been taking photos with it instead of my phone. My phone is full. And I won’t be deleting photos until I get my photobucket account upgraded and can put the pics on.

At first I did not really like my camera and thought my phone takes better pics but after learning to use it better, I love it! And it takes better pics than my phone!

❤ ❤ So thankful for it!

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

Much love to you now & forever, ❤

xoxo Kim 😀

Beauty and the Artist

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“Beauteous art, brought with us from heaven,
will conquer nature; so divine a power 
belongs to him who strives with every nerve.

If I was made for art, from childhood given 
a prey for burning beauty to devour,
I blame the mistress I was born to serve.”
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti ❤

I found this beautiful quote in the novel, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone.

It's a great quote which I interpret to be about his natural ability to be able to create artistic things, which he further develops through practice. He has a hunger for beauty and to create beautiful things through sculpting. I think his mistress is his untamed passion to create, his rapacious desire for beauty and art.

It’s really more like he is the prey to beauty; it seeks him out to wildly consume him, something that seems beyond his control. An urge, a pull, an immense craving he cannot resist. It overpowers him but in a beautiful way.

However it's meant to be interpreted, it flows so wonderfully and is full of passion and life.

It's beautiful to be so hungry, so full of desire and along with it, have the courage to act on it and the skills to succeed how we intend to.

Do you have an interpretation of this quote? If you want, share it here!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!:-D

Much love to you,

xoxo Kim ❤

Spinning

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“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.” ~Rumi

I love this quote. My mind conjures up images of something unstoppable. It’s a great reminder that we have the power within to do & be great things no matter what our circumstances are. We can come out of nothingness and unleash that greatness.

Love & light to you….

❤ ❤

xoxo Kim

Love & Compassion <3

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(this is not my photo..)

I agree, I don’t eat meat or wear fur or support killing animals for food, clothing, or sport and don’t support animal testing and I do not kill any insects or rodents intentionally, I cherish their lives, but I also do not support violence or hostility against people who don’t agree with me on this and don’t think “less” of them, I’m in no position to. There’s no doubt in my mind that many/most people who consume meat products are just as compassionate as I am. There’s nothing wrong with stating my views to people in appropriate contexts/situations, writing about them, signing/sharing things to help end animal cruelty and other things involving animals but I don’t have to be in people’s faces with it every chance I get, and criticize them in a destructive way. I don’t have to act like my morals are better than anyone else’s. I don’t freak out if people eat meat around me or anything. I won’t throw stuff on your fur clothing or destroy science labs and scientists’ vehicles and other property.
I can be firm in my views, confident, and passionate but still accept others, no matter what our differences are. Some people think if we’re very passionate about some specific issue and someone is on the opposing side, we can’t be compatible with one another without compromising/weakening our own views or passion or morals. When I was young I felt this way about certain issues but as I grew up and practice universal love more and more, deeper and deeper, I now know that’s not true. My greatest passion is love and compassion, all encompassing love. I won’t reject someone as a friend/lover/acquaintance….because we disagree. Also, “attacking” individual meateaters accomplishes nothing good or very little; it’s the corporations and government and people with more authority that would likely be best to contact. And individual people likely aren’t going to want to listen to us if we are going to be vicious, who wants to listen to someone who approaches us with hostility? And the main thing is to extend my compassion to everyone, whether or not we are in agreement or will ever be, on issues I am passionate about and whether or not that compassion is returned to me.
“Be love. Be so much love that when others are with you, they are love too.”
“The power of love has no limits.”

Love & Compassion – Parachute Club – mobile

Love & Compassion – desktop

❤ 😀

Hugs & love,

xoxo Kim

Minute by Minute

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“Life is not lost by dying 
Life is lost minute by minute 
Day by dragging day 
In all the small and uncaring ways.”
~ Stephen Vincent Benet

All the “little” things we do or don’t do, not paying attention, not caring, acting mindlessly or absent-mindedly, just drifting through each day not soaking up each moment or gem of beauty…all adds up to days lost, days and occasions we’ll never get back. Living to “the fullest” to me means making each moment, no matter what, the best we can. Whether we are sick or in pain, sad or happy, financially stable, poor, or rich, living our dream or not, have a great job, a dead-end job, or none at all, anxious or depressed…we can “bloom where we’re planted.” Make the most of what we have and where we are NOW.

Each moment won’t be the best but we can choose to make it as great as possible. It’s an amazing goal and habit we can develop.

Let’s pay attention to the simple beauty around us, the leaves, the cool breeze, the city lights, a heated room in the Winter, the deep blue of the sky, the twinkling stars in a midnight sky, the fragrance of flowers in the Spring, the taste of food we love, the sound of cars in the street, rain tapping on a roof, the softness of a blanket that comforts us through the night, the scent of cold air, the look in someone’s eyes, the softness of feathers or fur on a pet…

These are things so often overlooked by us each day. If we stop and pay attention to a single leaf, the crispness or greenness, an individual flower petal, the pastel softness, if we feel, truly mindfully feel the air carassing our skin while outside…it’s like a whole new world! A beauty that can make us go weak at the knees, make our breath catch, make us come alive, make our insides quiver, make us want to jump for joy! We can feel this feeling everyday!

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I saw this tree recently which still has green Springy/Summery leaves and not Fall ones yet and I looked at each leaf individually, not litterally every single one, but many. Instead of seeing it as a whole tree as one and all the leaves together like I usually do, I looked at each one separately, the vibrant green, the light tan/brown bark, the narrow trunk and branches, the way it looked against the sunset sky…and was (and still am!) astounded by the beauty. There’s so much we’re missing!!

All we have to do is look, open our minds and receive.

Our idea of living to the fullest may mean having our dream job, doing fun things like sky-diving, having a family, having lots of money…but while we’re working for those things, we can still live to the fullest! By tuning into each moment no matter what we’re doing! Being mindful, giving it our all, giving our whole self to whatever we’re doing.

This quote above is a wonderful reminder!

Lots of love to you! 😀

xoxo Kim ❤

Today <3

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

Today is a very cold, very gray, beautiful wet day. It’s not exactly raining but everything seems wet. It’s night now but all day was gray and beautiful. It’s very cold, almost like Winter or the end of Fall. It’s bittersweet. I know it’s probably the last day or one of the last days that is cold. I LOVE all four seasons and they all have their blessings and unique qualities. They are all beautiful. I cherish each one and try to always be mindful of the beauty they are. But it’s always Winter inside my heart. In Winter and Fall I rarely wish for warm days. In Summer, there are more days I long for, even crave Winter or Fall. 

I’m soaking up every single bit of wet cold beauty I can today! 
Today on my way to Buddhist meditation class I was astounded by the almost palpable beauty. It was almost as if I could touch it, not touch the beautiful things but touch or hold the beauty itself. Touch or hold the concept, the very essence of beauty. I felt very alive and felt the heartbeat of the city become one with my own, as if throbbing in my chest, pulsing through my veins. I felt it deep in my bones, tingling in every cell of my body. Every breath I took, I felt I was breathing in the sounds, the sights, the scents, the intense beauty of the city. This feeling is not new to me but it always feels new. I feel it often, sometimes immensely, sometimes more quietly, sometimes not at all. But I can never get used to it. Sometimes this feeling, this life inside disappears for so long I am convinced it will never be back again. Then out of the blue, it comes and tightly embraces me like a long lost friend who promises to always come back to me.  

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This feeling has always come naturally to me but with practice and certain experiences, I have come to strengthen it. Sometimes it comes out of the blue, like today. And sometimes I can summon it on my own. 

One thing that I find that helps me deepen this sense of beauty and gratitude and awe of everything around me, is taking pictures/photography.  For people who are interested in capturing beauty in artistic forms like painting, drawing, or photography, whether as a hobby or professional career, it can be easier to see, feel, taste the beauty all around because our brains get trained to see things and look for things to capture in a photo or painting or drawing. Then even when we’re not out looking, even when we are without our phones or cameras or paints and pencils, these little gems jump out at us. The more interested I have become in taking pictures, the more developed my sense of awe has become. I originally loved taking pictures because I feel so much beauty and want to capture & share it, but then picture taking only enhanced that feeling of awe in me.

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Photography, painting, drawing, writing…. can all capture simple beauty in a way that makes it stand out more than it does in “real life.” I think many of us generally overlook very simple, very mundane things such as reflections, shadows, a sliver of light creeping through the slit as a result of a door on a dark room being ajar when the hall or other room outside is lit. We often stand in awe or deep appreciation of something dramatically beautiful such as bright, colorful flowers, a beautiful woman in a wedding dress on her wedding day or in stiletto heels and tight blue jeans walking down a street, a dramatic sunset over the ocean waves while lounging on a beach, a baby who is just born, an expensive mansion, an exotic animal, amazing looking food, an incredible looking car, an elegant dress, a flashing diamond ring,…you get the picture! But how often do we look in wonder at a shadow on a ground, maybe a shadow of a tree or person, the way sunlight reflects on signs or cars, the fuzz on a honeybee, the gentle illumination of street lights on a dark street at night, tattered signs, faded poles at busstops with the bus numbers on them, old pay phones, broken glass glittering in the daylight against concrete, an empty beer bottle resting in vibrant green glass, a lemon floating in iced tea, glistening ice cubes chilling a cup of soda….for many, it’s probably never or extremely rarely. But in photography, paintings, drawings, and writing like poetry or novels or descriptions, these things can be beautifully captured and portrayed in artistic forms that can’t help but force us to see, notice, feel the beauty of them, these things we tend to ignore in real life outside of artistic creations. 

And for people who engage in these activities, they can help us further ingrain our habit of seeing and feeling the beauty in real life outside of poetry and novels and photos and paintings or drawings. They help deepen our wonder at the things our eyes and hearts catch. They make it easier for simple treasures to jump out at us as we’re walking up a city street, sitting quietly at a riverside, driving on a busy expressway, meditatively peering out a bus window on a dreary gray day or a green day with life blossoming all around. 

But not everyone is interested in photography or painting, writing, or drawing. Whatever you’re interested in though, it’s fantastic to pursue it, engage in it, get lost in it and let it reel you in. This can bring you to life, fill you with passion for all of life, enthuse you in general. When we are so happy and passionate in one aspect of life, it can carry over into other aspects, even ones that aren’t so great at the moment. It’s like falling in love or having a big crush. You know the intoxicated feeling when you meet someone you are very attracted to or seeing someone you are in love with? That feeling carries over to everywhere and suddenly life is amazing in ways you never really noticed or forgot about…it can be like this even if we aren’t in love with someone. It’s falling in love with life itself. 

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We don’t need “big” things, lots of money, kids, or romantic love to feel this way often. These things are great too but we don’t need them to be in love with life. All we have to do is open our eyes, heart, and look, see, feel, stop ignoring the simple things, the mundane things, the blessings surrounding us always. You don’t have to be a photographer, a painter, or an artist of any kind. 

“Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most every thing I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream
Everything I want the world to be
Is now comin’ true especially for me” ~ the Carpenters 

Imagine feeling this way everyday or at least very often or even just more often than now.

It’s possible.  

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Isn’t this beautiful?! It just goes to show how someone can inspire us and we can see life through that person’s eyes every now and then even if we aren’t interested in the same things. We can feed off of the passion, life, enthusiasm of others. This police officer is deeply inspired by his wife who is a painter with a passionate thirst for life, and while at work, he wishes she was there. This is out of a fiction book I’m reading called “First Do No Evil,” Book 1 in a series by Dr. Carey Baldwin who is an author, a medical doctor/family doctor, and has like two ph.d’s as well, she’s a wife and mother of multiple children. Ummm…is she like Wonder Woman?! I read Book 2 in this series already, not realizing it’s a series. They can be read together or separately and in any order and still make sense. The same characters appear in the books and there’s some subtle references to other books but the author makes it still make sense just to read one individually. She’s an amazing writer of mystery books. It seems most of her books are about doctors. Usually her main characters are a very strong,
beautiful, compassionate, loving, and broken woman who is 30 something years old, has a very painful past, a medical degree, and gets into trouble like is being stalked and needs help. I love her characters and how much depth they have. They are so realistic. And she’s a doc herself so she knows her stuff! Her novels involve romance, mystery, adventure, and healing. They also involve humor, sometimes I laugh hysterically, uncontrollably. They contain adult content in certain scenes. Very vulgar language at some points, and hot sexy scenes, definitely only for adults. Amazing plots, characters, and endings!

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Let’s remember to allow others to inspire us and remember to be the inspiration to anyone we can!

I hope you are having a wonderful day or night wherever you are! Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim

Wherever you go, go with all your heart <3

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“She’s got a light around her
And ev’rywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her ev’rywhere” ~ Billy Joel

On Saturday I attended a three hour workshop at the Buddhist center I go to and we made Buddhist malas! I’m going to write about those in another post. The workshop inspired me in so many ways. 

Mala beads are beads on a string (similar to Catholic rosaries and ones found in other religions). They are used for recitation of positive mantras to calm or quiet the mind and just to get us in the habit of positive thinking/feeling and stillness. 

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“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” ~ Rumi ❤

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One of the things that struck me and is the inspiration for this post is the instructor’s passion, wonder, and love for the topic of her teachings.

I met her before, her name is Eve, she’s a Buddhist. A lay Buddhist teacher/student. She’s very loving and friendly and funny too, and a musician! 

Her love for her work or the way she conveys her love, to me, seems very rare. It’s like at every second she’s conscious of it.  It reminds me of a professor I had in college, Dr. Ward. All of my professors/instructors, that I remember in college, showed interest, many even passion and love, for the work they were teaching and studying. That’s very likely why they were teaching and studying it. They have some sort of interest in or passion for it. Love and passion for work isn’t rare; there are many people who are absolutely in love with what they do. And unfortunately there are too many people who feel that their work is life draining and like it’s just a dead end job. 

But Dr. Ward, a neuroscientist and my professor for some class about the brain, expressed her passion and love in a different way than I have ever seen before. It actually wasn’t even “expression” necessarily, what I remember is her BEING. Light. Her whole state of existence in the class was love for her subject.

 It’s difficult to explain in words. And what I remember is a quiet but fierce kind of love for her work and the topic of Neuroscience. I would see her warmly smiling to herself often as she was writing on the chalkboard and just her movements displayed a kind of awe of her work and the topic. 
Sometimes she would even shake her head and chuckle in wonder even over the bland-est of details and tasks.
A topic she was teaching over and over, studying year after year after year. It never got old. 

I sensed that she loved/loves not just what she was teaching and studying but the very process of teaching and studying it, every word she wrote on the chalkboard, she wrote carefully, as if mindfully loving the process itself, not merely writing to get to the end, out of an obligation to teach us, or to get out of class as soon as possible. Not even like she was so into what she was doing, like some people can get writing quickly and passionately, she would write and teach as if she was mindfully taking in every moment and loving it.  
 She was cherishing everything involved.   It is beyond just passion. It’s like complete adoration. 

Almost the way a mother feels for her child. Have you ever seen a mom gently stroke her child’s hair or cheek and warmly smile? It’s a passionate, fierce kind of love but also very gentle. And everyone witnessing can feel that love just oozing into the breath of the world around. Or have you ever seen a photo of people, family, a parent/child, lovers, best friends, people and their pets and the photo captures love so well, it just IS love?  The people/animals in the photos just ARE love…

In Dr. Ward’s class, I often felt that the topic of Neuroscience itself was almost something tangible to be gently and lovingly stroked by someone who completely adores and loves it.
It was like she brought it alive. Like her love for it manifested it into tangible existence. She seemed to regard it with reverence. 

Neuroscience is definitely interesting in some aspects but it’s not my absolute favorite topic. 
It can be kind of dry. I can hardly remember the details of nerves, synapses, brain parts and stuff.
It’s awe-inspiring for sure, the way the body works. I love to think and read about it. Some aspects are fascinating.
But I won’t be reading about it very frequently. 
This subject is just not at the very top of my list of favorites, the way Philosophy as a whole topic is. Philosophy is my passion. My love.  Not necessarily as a career/job goal but as a hobby to read and write about.  And neuroscience involves philosophy.
Everything does. Philosophy is everywhere.
Omnipresent.

Also, the doctor and her colleagues did tests on animals, mostly rats, and sometimes they had to kill them, which they claimed was “humane” in the killing method they chose. And she said they weren’t suffering as a result of the brain experiments they did on them, they made sure they were as “comfortable” as possible.
Experimenting on and killing innocent rats, It’s not my cup of tea.
But I liked the class and her.

One of the only things that stands out to me about that class all these years later is the professor’s love for her work. Not just her love, like I said, most of the professors seemed to love their subjects, it was the way I noticed her love it. The way she would embody love. Just the way she loves. (This isn’t to say other people do not love their work and subject the same way and just as much, it’s just that some people’s existence just emits love & light either in general or for a specific thing, in a more noticeable way to some people. I was more receptive of hers for her work, maybe someone else would be more receptive of someone else’s. And there’s other aspects of life to be loving with than work, I meet many loving people in various aspects! )

That and the fact that she had/has a human brain collection in her basement and brought one in, along with a spinal cord, for us to hold. She’s a brain researcher, studying brains and the nervous system. I wrote about her and her brain collection here before. When they were through with the brains, she would keep them for her own amusement. Lol

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The brain I held in my hands was beautiful in every way. In the way it looked, felt, in the way it worked when it was alive, in the way it still had purpose even after the woman’s death who once lived with that brain. And the spinal cord was beautiful as well, the color, the texture, the feel, the purpose it served to the living person and the purpose it served after the death of the person. I am extremely blessed that I got to hold them in my hands. Some students refused to touch them.  It wasn’t required as part of the class, it was just for our own pleasure. 

Dr. Ward’s love for her work seemed to me to go beyond mere interest, beyond passion, even. Like I said, just utter adoration and awe. It wasn’t the words she spoke but the way she moved, her tones, her gestures, and expressions. Her state of being. Her light. 

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The teacher we had Saturday displayed that very same kind of love during our workshop and it took me back to those days in Dr. Ward’s class all those years ago. The teacher, Eve’s, love is so uplifting and powerful just to be in the presence of. It reminds me to be love in everything I do. 

In Dr. Ward’s class I learned a lot of facts. Some incredibly interesting that I still remember, with wonder and pleasure today, some not so interesting, most which completely escape my mind today. 

But the most valuable thing I learned in that class isn’t something academic or intellectual. It’s not about neuroscience. I got like a C or C – in that class and had to do extra credit work just to get basically the lowest passing grade, which is C-. What I was awakened to in that class is wisdom, not intelligence. 

The most valuable lesson I learned in the class is to love in everything I do, and not just love and express love but be that love. Be in the state of love. Be mindful of the love coursing through my veins even if there seems to be nothing and no one before me to bestow it upon. Just bask in my own loving presence. 

I want to be that kind of love not just for my work but in everything I do in this life. 

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“Be love. Be so much love that when others are with you they are love too.”

Be mindful of the journey and not in a hurry to get to the destination. And not just be loving in our work but loving in everything we do even if we would prefer to be doing something else. Even if it’s a task that doesn’t hold our interest. Be mindful of the fact that whatever it is, it’s likely leading to something necessary or good. A boring long drive is getting you to where you have to go. A boring class or stressful day at work is getting you paid or credits you need.
A seemingly pointless hassle may be teaching you a lesson you will later come to realize. Maybe patience or strength or love…
Experiencing even unpleasant things is an indication that we are alive. Cherish it. 

And be loving and mindful of the love with people we are around, whether we know and like them or not. Be loving with pets, friends, family, strangers, all sentient beings, all living things. Love to love, not merely to be loved. Be loving even through pain, grief, despair, anger. Be loving through happiness and joy. 

Be grateful for the purpose that things serve.

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“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.” ~
Markus Zusak

Even if we feel that we can’t or won’t BE love everywhere, then it’s good to BE love in certain aspects of life, if you won’t be loving at work, be at home. If you won’t be loving at home then be at work or with your favorite fun activity or in general.  Be love in your relation to your own self.  We all have love in us but it’s not always at our surface, readily available. Sometimes other things are more prominent at that moment, like anger, boredom, exhaustion, agitation, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, the desire to be right, tiredness, numbness, wishing for something else, jealousy, ignorance, just a lack of passion, a feeling of monotony…

But we can learn to tap into that love more often, summon those loving feelings when we realize we are currently not consciously experiencing it. 

Be love in the most simplest and mundane tasks. Washing our clothes, brushing our teeth, shower….and we will become even deeper love. We will train our brains to be even more loving and happier doing things we would prefer not to have to do. And just doing everyday tasks that are usually no big thrill. 

Dr. Ward’s love for her work and Neuroscience inspired me and still inspires me.  Not to love Neuroscience. This isn’t one of those amazing stories where a teacher inspires a student to fall in love with a subject she never had one ounce of interest in then she grows up and becomes a teacher herself for that very subject. 

I’ll never be a neuroscientist. 

This is my story of how a teacher’s (whether the person is a school teacher, college professor or instructor, or a religious teacher…) love can inspire love in general. And not just a teacher but anyone. You, me, a child or a very old person, a homeless person, a rich person, your neighbor, friend, or sister…anyone.  

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ~Confucius

I will be love everywhere I go. 

Doesn’t this lesson seem even more valuable than any school degree? I think so! It took me a while to learn to apply and practice this life lesson. Sometimes we experience something but do not process it or realize it for many years later. I noticed back then her awe-provoking love for her work and I was inspired but I did not always try to emulate it consciously in most of the things I do.  I’m very thankful for the Buddhist teacher’s reminder on Saturday. She reminded me not in what she said but in all that she IS.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

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Sometimes the best reminders and examples are not verbal ones. We are influencing and inspiring and teaching each other in the ways that we live, move, talk, and just in the way we are.

Much love to you. ❤

Xoxo Kim ❤

p.s. I have/have had other professors/teachers/people who inspire me just as much in similar/various ways and they will be in some of my future posts! 😀 ❤

Random Inspiration #9 {Beauty (and mystery) in the Mundane}

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Adventure is great, holidays, celebrations, weddings, buying new things, shopping sprees, vacations, new jobs, promotions, and new experiences! Those are great things to experience and pursue if we’re into those things. But we don’t always get the chances to do those and we don’t need them anyway to be happy and have fun, thrilling lives! There’s so much beauty in the mundane, extraordinary in the ordinary, simple joys in everyday.  Let’s cherish, savor, and deeply appreciate them!

Check out my post in the Page section on the menu:

“Small Things Forgotten”

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/small-things-forgotten/

This page explains my goal of reclaiming and shedding light on the simple, often abandoned things, the mundane aspects of our lives like the colors, the textures, the hues and simple conversations, lines and edges and our favorite books and knick knacks and the sounds in the streets, the wetness on bottles of drinks, the fragrance of cookies baking or food being cooked, our kitchen table or dresser even if it’s plain and just getting old or boring now, the rooms in our house, the streets we walk each day, the ground we walk upon, the hills, buildings, and trees we pass by on our way to work…and how they are beautiful even when they’re not, merely because they make up our lives each day, every single day and they are part of us. They are no less important than the big celebrations and vacations and holidays and weddings, all the “big” things many of us often wait for, search for, hope for, and sometimes feel incomplete, jealous, depressed or low without, either because we want them and don’t have them or because society as a whole says we should have them and if we don’t, we can feel like outcasts or less than successful.   

I love to take pictures of “ordinary” or “boring/plain” objects making them look beautiful, mysterious, obscure, nostalgic, or difficult to detect what they are.

Like this one:

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Can you tell what it is?!

I can’t either! Lol And it’s my own picture I took at work of something we see/use everyday! I remember taking the picture of whatever it is and trying to obscure it, mystify it. And it worked a little too well because now I can’t figure out for the life of me what it is. To me, it looks like packages that come in the mail but I’m nearly certain it’s not! 

I even searched the place all day one day looking for it and to no avail! I think the point of this photo Activity

of de-focusing or obscuring objects is to have others guessing, not our own selves but oh well! I guess that just goes to show my madd skills! ;-D

Here are some links if you are interested about photography and photographing everyday objects and tips to taking pictures with a smartphone.

http://digital-photography-school.com/the-16-most-photogenic-everyday-objects/

http://thephotographerwithin.com/2014/01/make-everyday-objects-look-amazing/

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/08/07/close-up-photography-creative-ideas-for-photographing-everyday-objects/

(Caution: this website uses cookies and they can store them or access them on your device so if that’s not ok with you, you may not want to click it)  It’s about taking pictures of everyday objects such as a strap on a shoulder bag, a lemon slice in a drink…and making them beautiful in pictures or de-focusing them to make them more interesting and not being able to tell what they arE

How
fascinating! 

http://digital-photography-school.com/5-ways-to-take-better-smartphone-photos/

Even if you aren’t interested in photography there are other ways to appreciate and express gratitude or joy for the simple gifts of living like writing/poetry, drawing or painting, or just basking in the beauty, soaking it all up with as many senses as you have!

😀

Here are some of my pictures of simple, everyday things and inspiring quotes I have come across that convey, in some way, the message of how every “ordinary” day is beautiful.

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Can you tell what this one is?!

If you can’t tell, why should I?! Lol
;-D

“You can be in love with one thousand views and skylines and souls and minds at once. Don’t apologize for your burn, your passion, or your enthusiasm. Enthusiasm propels the world.” – Victoria Erickson

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Hmmm….;-p

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ~ 
Frances Hodgson Burnett

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~ Elliott Erwitt

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“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.” ~ 
Desmond Tutu

“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.” ~ 
Boris Pasternak

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What in the world? An x-ray pic of a spinal cord?!?! Or maybe it’s just a weird pic of a Center City Philadelphia building. I sent it to my mom in a text and said guess what it is and she couldn’t so I said it’s a spinal cord and she screamed “Eww oh my god Eww!!” and deleted it instantly. Lol 😀 She believed me.

“I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.” ~ Sarah Williams

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Light graffiti!

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” ~ 
Bill Moyers

“As a matter of fact, I deliberately look for the mundane, because I feel these stories are ignored. The most influential things that happen to virtually all of us are the things that happen on a daily basis. Not the traumas.” ~ 
Harvey Pekar 

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This looks like cold hard cash. That’s because it is! It’s someone’s penny collection. I don’t know whose though.

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The perfect snack. No mystery here. MmmMmmm

“What I like about The Sims is that I don’t have a normal life at all, so I play this game where these people have these really boring, mundane lives. It’s fun.” ~ 
Gerard Way

Lol Remember this quote the next day you crave a more adventurous life! Some people would give anything for a bit of simplicity. ;-D

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One of those containers to keep coins in with a toy camera effect on the pic.

“Actually I think Art lies in both directions – the broad strokes, big picture but on the other hand the minute examination of the apparently mundane. Seeing the whole world in a grain of sand, that kind of thing.” ~ 
Peter Hammill

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Busstop.

“The heart of the theater is the play itself, how it dramatizes life to make it meaningful entertainment. To achieve depth and universality, the playwright must subject himself to intense critique, to know human character and behavior, and finally to construct art from the most mundane of human experience.” ~
F. Sionil Jose

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” Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella
All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August, she was mine” ~ The Hollies

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And this is???

The rim of a

glass soda bottle (or a photo of one) dressed up in a leaky toy camera effect!

“I think you can find all the elements that you can find in great literature in mundane experiences.”
Harvey Pekar

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Can you guess this one?

.
.
.
.

It’s raindrops on my dad’s car window! With a street light in the distance.

“every time we go out into the world we can choose to be alert to see what we’ve not seen before. a trip to the corner store can contain a multitude of universes. it only requires a conscious decision to “tune in” and activate all the senses to be open to what we don’t know yet” ~ Keri Smith 

And we can look at things we see everyday in a different way than we usually do! 

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The picture on the left was taken after 10:00 at night! Right when a lightening bolt ventured across the sky! And I took the pic on the right just a few seconds later after the lightening disappeared! Isn’t it amazing?! A lightening bolt lights up the whole sky like that but it happens so quickly we don’t realize.

What a beautiful lesson to us! When we’re completely in the dark, we can find just one sliver of light or spark of hope, joy, or beauty that can light up our world.

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Purple rain.

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Rainy night in my dad’s car under the blue, blue Moon. That’s my dad’s Kindle lit up in the window.

I read a book called “a new adventure everyday 541 simple ways to live with pizzazz” by David Silberkleit.

The book is about how we don’t have to travel to be adventurous, we don’t have to bungee jump or climb a mountain, we don’t have to take big risks and don’t even have to leave our houses to have a thrilling adventure. Those things are fantastic and I definitely would love to and hope to engage in some of those one day but as I have said, they are not necessary to be adventurous. 

And the author of this book IS an adventurous person in the sense I mention above. He has traveled to various places and tried new things, took risks, and engaged in big thrilling activities such as rock climbing, sailboat racing, scuba diving, motorcycling, visiting other countries…..he believed that was the only way to be adventurous and have a thrill. Then after forty years he realized that being adventurous can be more simple but still as rewarding, it can mean “discovery of a unique new color of silver reflected in a cloud after sunset or a conversation with the person sitting next to me on a New York subway, just to see if maybe we have something in common.” He also lists: asking his father what he remembers about being his age and telling his best friend something he would have never told anyone before.

In his book he lists many simple, inexpensive activities we can do every single day to bring some adventure into our lives without traveling the world or jumping out of an airplane. I hope anyone who wants to travel and rockclimb and go sailboat racing will! That sounds like a lot of fun! But many, probably most of us cannot do that often but we CAN explore and engage in mini but still thrilling little adventures each day. 
Some suggestions the author gives are: admire the small businesses – introducing yourself to the owners and having a look around even if the products or services offered are something you would never use, greeting everyone you see that day without waiting for them to say hello first (I’m so shy so this is definitely a thrilling adventure for me that takes guts!), go on a scary ride at a theme park, pay attention to the name tags of employees in the stores you go to, write down all the things you need to forgive yourself for then burn or bury it or float it down a river, make a compromise with someone, take a whole day and do not criticize yourself, draw self portraits in different ways including two using only your left hand. 

The possibilities are infinite!

The point is NOT to avoid big adventures like traveling and sky diving if that’s what we want but to also cherish the simple forgotten things all of us always have access to. 

Let’s not overlook all that we currently have no matter how simple! 😀 And let’s use our creativity and imagination and see what we can do with all the things we have every day to make them even more thrilling!
I wish you much love and passion and thrilling adventures whatever you choose to do! ❤

Xoxo Kim  😀