Tag Archive | world

The Miracle of the World <3

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

This quote couldn’t be more true! Everywhere we look, there is some kind of beauty. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, what season we’re in the midst of, what mood we’re in, if we’re healthy or sick, grieving or in some other kind of pain, homeless or live in a mansion, financially rich or poor, Alone, lonely, surrounded by others,
whatever struggles we have, there is some form of beauty to soak up, cherish, and celebrate. ❤

Celebrating beauty is what I’m doing here. Here are my pictures and some of my favorite quotes!

😀

“This world, after all our science and science, is still a miracle: wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think it.” ~ Thomas Dekker

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(I was waiting for a bus today in the freezing cold but it was well worth it because the scenery is so beautiful and I was surrounded by adorable little sparrows! I noticed the cute little fuzzy heads they have and the caprice of their tender wings, fluttering all around)

“Oh, the wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock, 
The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool silver shock 
Of the plunge in a pool’s living water.” ~
Robert Browning

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~
Kahlil Gibran

“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” ~ Paul Valéry 

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Life is what we make it so let’s make it beautiful.

Live everyday and find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~
Mary Jean Iron

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 “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

“Find the good and praise it.” ~Alex Haley

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“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

”The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” ~Richard Bach

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(my adorable girl, Isis Summerjo)

“I’ll be back in the high life again
All the doors I closed one time will open up again” ~Steve Winwood

“O, with what freshness, 
what solemnity and beauty, 
is each new day born; 
as if to say to insensate man, 
‘Behold!
thou hast one more chance! 
Strive for immortal glory!'” ~
Harriet Beecher Stowe

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“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~Anne De Lenclos 

~Heaven is Earth~

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(night in the city)

“There’s beauty up above and things we never take notice of
You wake up and suddenly you’re in love.” ~ Billy Ocean

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(me!<3 <3)

“And I guess we never learn.
Go through life parched and empty,
Standin’ knee deep in a river and dyin’ of thirst.” ~ “Standing Knee Deep In A River” (Dying of Thirst) 

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“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” 
Confucius

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“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
~Agatha Christie

“Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.”~
Henry Van Dyke

“I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautful life” ~Darryl Worley ♥

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“I’m thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like my shoes.
I’m thankful for the birds; I feel like they’re singing just for me when I get up in the morning… Saying, ‘Good morning, John. You made it, John.’
I’m thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down.
I’m thankful…”
~Johnny Cash

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“Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.” ~
Abraham Maslow

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The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.

~Veronique Vienne

I hope you find the beauty in each moment no matter how low your mood is or how much pain you are experiencing or how bored or stressed or distracted you are. We can’t always be happy but we can find something in each moment to grasp and hold and see the joy in.

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(I don’t eat steaks [unless they’re vegan ones] but this building is so pretty, all lit up and surrounded with people)

Let’s surrender to each fleeting moment and absorb all the beauty and love Each one
provides.

Much love to you. ❤

Xoxo Kim ❤

Light of the World Award

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http://shethp.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/light-of-the-world-award/

I’m so very honored to have been nominated by   Sheth (http://shethp.wordpress.com/) for the Light of the World award!!!

How amazing!!! Thank You so much, Sheth for your kindness and nominating me and for reading my content! And also for shining your light on the world!

So, the rules are:

1.  Thank the person who  nominates you.

2. Honor the bloggers who spread life, love, hope , and peace in the name of all people.

3. Let your nominees know of their nomination.

4. Never give-up encouraging people and speaking truth.

I have many favorite blogs and ones I read frequently!! So I won’t be listing them all here since it’s like an endless amount!   But I have chosen a number of them to list!

Here they are!

Eliza Waters 

http://elizawaters.wordpress.com/about/ 

K Clips

http://383g.wordpress.com/about/

Finding My Inner Courage 

http://findingmyinnercourage.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/leap-from-chronic-pain-darkness-2/

Give Yourself Away Today 

http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/

Simple Pleasures – Visual Poetry 

http://lesplaisirssimplesdelavie.wordpress.com/

Etsuchan

http://etsuchan.wordpress.com/

Everything in about 200 words

http://about200words.wordpress.com/

A window of wisdom

http://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/

5 kids with disabilities 

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

Students with birds

http://studentswithbirds.wordpress.com/

Eye For Life

http://eyeforlife.com/

Words Like Silk 

http://wordslikesilk.com/

Illicit By Nature

http://illicitbynature.com/my-story/

Bucket List Publications

http://bucketlistpublications.org/

That Indian Minimalist 

http://thatindianminimalist.wordpress.com/

All of these people make the world a much better place with their blogs and writing/photos!   They have so much depth, wisdom, and beauty that shines through the screen. They are extremely inspirational and full of light & life.  I hope you check out every single one of them as well as Sheth’s blog: 

http://shethp.wordpress.com/

I’m so thankful to be nominated for the award and to have come across all of these blogs and the many more I love, as well as all the ones I will stumble upon in the future!   Thank You!!

Xoxo Kim

Twenty Inspiring Questions

I subscribe to many personal development, self-help, inspirational e-mails provided by bloggers and people with amazing websites intended to help people help themselves have better lives.   My e-mail inboxes are filled with almost nothing but positive messages each and every day. I’m blessed!  

Today I woke up to a wonderful e-mail with this link:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

It’s a list of twenty thought-provoking questions designed to help readers look deeper into their lives and selves and really come to understand themselves better. I am so motivated just reading them! I decided to answer them and share my answers with everyone interested! I encourage everyone interested to answer them even if you don’t want to share your answers publicly. They really got me thinking! 😀

The commentary in the parentheses below each question is provided by SCOTT CHRIST, the person who listed the questions.

1.) What beliefs do you carry that may be holding you back?

(It takes guts to call yourself out and question beliefs that just don’t seem right. We’re all ingrained with a set of learned behaviors that may be holding us back. It’s okay to question them and seek a better way. That’s a true sign of growth.)

One belief that I allow to often hold me back is the belief that “It’s not going to happen now” or “not likely to happen.”  For example, about applying for jobs, I know that there are many, many people who are more qualified than me for jobs. There are people with much more work experience and more advanced degrees who are much more likely to get certain jobs than I am.   I know that there are many jobs I would be so great at if I worked there but when considering applying for them, I often think about the many others who will also be applying who have advantages over me.

 Just because they have more experience and more advanced degrees doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better at the job than me. But an interviewer may assume that.  So while I have every intention of applying some day, I just keeping putting it off saying “later.”. 
I have to write a cover letter and fill out an application for each job. Sometimes this can be challenging and time consuming and I think what’s the point of doing this right at this moment when I can be doing something else and probably won’t get the job anyway. 
I also often think “What if I apply for a job right now and forget to add something valuable that I may remember later so I should just wait…”
These are very limiting beliefs and while there’s some truth to some parts, it’s also unreasonable and very destructive to think this way.  
We all have unique abilities, strengths, qualities, experiences, and our own gifts that add value to the workplace, relationships, and the world.   There’s always going to be someone more qualified than me and someone less qualified than me for certain jobs and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.  An interviewer or person reviewing my job application may just see something in me that s/he feels is worth giving a chance even if someone else seems more qualified. This goes for everyone. You may be less qualified in experience and academics but just as qualified or more in other ways, like your interpersonal skills or certain thoughts you have. This is even true for college applications.  I have known kids with excellent grades and attendance who were rejected by prestigious universities and others with less impressive grades who were accepted. It’s a combination of things that help get people where they want to be. Instead of focusing on how others are “better” in some ways, I should just focus on being the best me I can be in every way.
And there’s really no reason for me to procrastinate out of fear of forgetting certain valuable info. Because if that can happen now, it can happen later. As long as I’m thinking clearly and have the time, it’s best to fill out that app NOW and just pay careful attention to it. If I blow my chance, oh well! It’s not the end of the world! There will be many more opportunities for me!

2.) What’s your hobby?

(The things you love to do in your downtime can tell you a lot about how to find happiness in your life. Do the stuff you enjoy doing, and you’ll get closer to finding your true calling.)

I have quite a few that I absolutely love! One of those hobbies I have just become more and more interested in and feel myself becoming more creative with is photography! I have loved taking pictures all my life but now I’m very into it.  I use my bb10 phone and have great photo apps and I love finding quotes to go along with my photos.   I plan to get a camera one day when I get money. I also love writing poetic things and writing blog posts.    
I love reading too. I love personal development and philosophy readings and also novels.   Especially ones with profound messages.
I listen to music a lot and love collecting inspirational lyrics and quotes and applying them to real life situations and sharing them.

3.) What’s your talent?

( One thing that’s even more important than recognizing your hobbies is understanding your talents. What are you good at? If you asked five friends, what would they identify as your biggest assets? The answers can help you find your dream and change your life.)

I always felt that I have no talents because I never possessed any beautiful artistic skills or anything. I don’t draw good even when I try. I don’t sing well at all and have no natural “callings” that way. But there is one thing. It’s not an artistic skill but it’s very valuable.   I am extremely empathetic and understanding. I always have been but when I grew up, it developed so much deeper. I truly have an uncanny ability to understand people and situations even when I haven’t, myself, experienced the same things those people have and have never been in those specific situations. I don’t believe or claim to know exactly how someone else feels but I do have a very deep understanding which allows me to connect deeper with others and provide consolation and great support to people. I don’t negatively judge and try to get people to “snap out of it” or wonder how they can feel that way. I just know. I know how people can think and feel ways that I wouldn’t think or feel because of my strong empathy.   And I can draw on my own experiences to be even more understanding. 
Even when people have strongly opposing views to mine, I don’t agree but can still see how they can feel that way, even if I’m irked or angry! Lol
Empathy isn’t just about caring and being compassionate either.   It’s even deeper. It’s a deep understanding of someone else’s situation and experiences. It’s somewhat difficult to explain the depth of my empathy.   And I fear that people may think I’m overstepping my boundaries and claiming to know how they feel. But that’s not it at all.  
I don’t know. But I understand a certain way.
And empathy isn’t just about understanding and feeling people’s pain but also happiness and pleasure. I feel almost as if it’s happening to me.   I literally feel their pain & pleasure but I know it’s not exactly how they feel it since I’m not them.   If you win the multi-million dollar lotto, I will feel like I just did too. If you’re in a manic episode, it will rub off on me. If you’re in an accident even if I don’t know you, I will be shakin’ up almost as if I do know you.   I have thin psychological boundaries and unlike most people who just feel sorry or sad for someone or just curious and then go about their day, I feel as if I’m somehow involved, personally, to some degree, in your situation.  Even later.

  One day at 2:00 in the morning there was an ambulance outside my house for a neighbor and I had no idea what was going on or who it was for. My mom was mostly just curious, looking out the Window  but I felt distress, sorrow, and a desperate hope that it wasn’t something too horrific going on. I could just imagine how it would feel if I was in a situation like that.   I am a calm girl and don’t freak out or panic even when stuff is happening to me but I was expressing my deep concern.  My mom said it’s weird how I act over things that don’t involve me one bit.  It’s a true gift but it can be draining and painful and I had to learn to cope with this gift.

4.) Who do you like to work with?
(Think about the people who you work well with. Use your intuition to guide you toward similar people in your work environment.)

I love to work with fun people who are easy to get a long with and also like to do teamwork. Ones who handle difficulties well without wanting to engage in complicated arguments. I like people who want to build up and uplift others and not have negative competitions. And even if there’s like a competition for a promotion we both want, I would like us to still get along and not hold grudges and just wish each other well.

5.) Where do you enjoy working?

(What is the work setting where you’re most productive? Perhaps in group meetings? Or alone in your office? Try spending most of your time there. If you’re stuck in a job that puts you in a setting you don’t enjoy, speak up and tell your boss.)

I want a job working closely with others. I don’t mind an office job as long as parts of the day involve interacting with people.

6.) What are your passions?

( What makes you genuinely happy in life? Identify your passions, and then do everything in your power to spend timedoing the things you love. Then answer this:)

I love inspiring, helping, nurturing and uplifting people. That’s one reason I decided to have a blog. I also love sharing uplifting messages and I want to have a peer specialist or counseling job. I’m also passionate about Nature and love taking pictures of everything outside.   It’s so beautiful. I’m passionate about certain songs as well.

7.) How can you turn your passions into work?
(It’s one thing to pursue your passion as a hobby. It’s a whole different ballgame to do what you love and get paid for it. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, find a way to turn your passion into your career. If you want something badly enough, and are willing to take action and do the things that others aren’t willing to do, you’ll achieve whatever you want in your career and in your life.)

 Applying for jobs working with people and applying my people skills to my work!

8.) What inspires you? 
(Where do you find inspiration to drive you forward? Maybe it’s books, websites, friends, or family members. The point is, harness your preferred sources of inspiration every day.)

Books, blogs, websites, life itself, people, heartwarming stories, random acts of kindness, songs, quotes, photography, sunrises and sunsets, rain, snow, the sky, other aspects of Nature.   Heartache, pain, tears, and healing. Laughter and daylight. Nightfall. Cracks on the pavements, chipped paint, the darkness of night, breathing, my heartbeat….I find inspiration everywhere.

9.) How do you motivate yourself to take action?
(Being inspired is great. But if you don’t have a method and plan to motivate yourself to make positive change in your life, you’ll remain in the same place you’re in today.)

Inspiration is beautiful and I’m often inspired and it drives me to do many things. But I view inspiration itself as more of a feeling inside while motivation is more action associated. Inspiration can lead to motivation and help maintain it. I have random bursts of motivation that I can’t explain. They come out of nowhere then I start applying for jobs without holding back. But the motivation then wears off and I’m back to the problem I discussed in response to question #1. It’s great to be randomly and inexplicably motivated but since it’s not a conscious decision or habit, it likely won’t hold up. So it’s great to come up with a conscious plan to maintain general motivation. One thing that does motivate me is vividly imagining what I truly want and what it would be like to have that. I still have to make this a habit though because it’s not yet. Also sometimes I read things that get me pumped and motivated. Talk therapy sessions also help me get motivated.  

10.) What do you dream about?
(Dreams expose truths about our lives we often have trouble seeing. Keep a dream journal to record your subconscious thoughts. Whenever you wake up in the middle of a dream, write down exactly what occurred. Then analyze the dream the next day and look for signs and signals from your subconscious mind.)

My dreams are frequently about interacting with people, new friendships, and wisdom/life lessons. I have a lot of strange dreams, some ordinary ones that are just like an extension of my days, and I hardly ever have scary ones. But yeah, one common theme is people and connecting with them.

11.)  What have you overcome?
(Most of us have struggled mightily and overcome great obstacles. Don’t take this for granted. Thinking about the massive obstacles you’ve overcome already should convince you that you can accomplish anything you want in life.)

One thing I have overcome is succumbing to my crippling shyness. I have always been shy to the point of it being like a disability but not anymore. I’m still shy, just not as much and I open up much quicker.   Feeling shy isn’t my choice but I often now can choose to speak up even when I’m feeling very shy. As a child, I couldn’t do that. Even as a young college student it was hard. The more I interact with people, the less shy I become around those people and even in general. After I got a job at a store, I became much less shy.   It will never go completely away and some days I’m more shy than others but being around people, opening up, and interacting pushes me to be less shy. 

12.) How do you respond to what others say about you?

(You can choose to react negatively to what others say about you, or you can choose to ignore it. Even our friends and close family members can say and do things that are extremely hurtful. Words others say don’t define you though. Your actions and thoughts define you. Don’t ever forget that.)

When people compliment me, I accept those compliments very gratefully. When I am criticized constructively, I am also thankful for the helpful feedback and will use it effectively if it will be helpful. About uncalled for negative comments, I have learned to mostly just let them slide.   They’re not worth the time they demand. I used to often seek revenge on people who said bad things about/to me. I would say something back I knew would offend them, sometimes even trying to “get them” worse than they “got me.”. Lol!   I used to try to spread gossip about girls who did that to me.  My general love & compassion would take the back burner and my desire for revenge or to be right would become dominant.  But that accomplishes nothing worthwhile.   It’s ridiculous and I can’t believe I once engaged in that. To know me now, you would never know it. I have come a long way.  Love should always prevail. Now when someone unnecessarily criticizes me or expresses uncalled for negative views about me, I suck it up, wish the person the best, and move on. I won’t deny though that there are seldom occasions when I struggle to hold my tongue. But after practicing conscious lovingkindness for so long, I usually don’t even feel like coming back with retorts and little petty remarks to offend or anger. We can all rise above that.

13.)Why are you here?

(Want to know how to find your dream and change your life in one simple step? Then answer this question: What do you think your purpose is? It’s a deep question. But it’s an important one. You may not know the answer right now, and that’s okay. You’ll find it when you’re ready.)

I’m here because my mom gave birth to me and I never died.
 That’s all there is to it. I don’t believe in a “life purpose” or “ultimate purpose” or anything of that sort. I am here just because. Randomly.   Some people say and I have even said that “we create our own purpose” for living but I don’t even believe it. We create our happiness and things that make our own lives interesting, fun, and feeling like we have “reason” or “purpose” but I don’t believe that anything other than life itself gives me purpose.   If I say my “Life purpose” is to do something I’m passionate about then all of a sudden that thing is no longer something I’m passionate about OR I can no longer do that for some reason, maybe because I become permanently disabled or something, I would STILL have a purpose. Nothing outside of me gives me reason. I am the reason.   I, myself am purpose.

14.) Who do you admire?

(Seek inspiration in others whom you admire. Despite all the bad things going on in the world, there are still millions of heroes, dreamers, and leaders that can inspire all of us to live better.)

The people who always have my heart are ones who go out of their way to love & help others. I believe people in general are basically good and help people sometimes and most people care to a certain degree. But there are those more rare people who go above and beyond to help even strangers. Ones who are beyond compassionate and loving and just embrace everyone. I love people with hearts that are open books and they warmly welcome anyone who wants to come into their world.   They melt my heart.  I love animal lovers too who value their lives and believe they are worthy of love and compassion just like humans.  

15.) What are your weaknesses?
(Nobody’s perfect. And acknowledging thethings you need to get better at is a crucial step to find your dream and change your life.)

I’m horrible at math. Even simple basic math. I sometimes still struggle with feelings of worthlessness. I don’t have those thoughts and feelings as frequently and usually not as deeply as I used to but still have them occasionally. They used to be my life but not now.

16.) What are your goals?
(Think about what you aspire to accomplish in your life. These goals should drive your actions. Speaking of action…)

My number one goal is to be the best me I can be. For myself and everyone. Not to be a perfectionist but to be as loving, compassionate, accepting, tolerant, understanding, kind, and open-minded as possible.   To be the light in someone’s darkness, to inspire, uplift, encourage, and help empower.

17.) How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
(Goals without a plan are meaningless. Once you figure out your goals, write down action steps that will help you achieve them. Most people don’t do this, and it can mean the difference between getting what you want and failing.)

Yeah well I won’t say that I agree that they’re necessarily “meaningless” but I do agree that a goal paired with an active plan is much more likely to be a success than a mere goal or empty plan alone. The goal is the first step and a great start! ;-D

I’m already doing a good job. And the more I am this way, the more it reinforces it. Sometimes I catch myself not being as kind as I can be and I remind myself that no matter what someone does that I don’t like, I can still be loving and kind to that person. If someone isn’t loving and kind towards me, I don’t have to sink to that level. Instead of focusing on someone else’s lack of kindness, I can just focus on my goal to be the best me I can be. Also, I share uplifting and inspirational things on social media outlets for anyone who may see and need a splash of sunlight.  

18.) What are you grateful for?

(Be thankful every single day. And show your gratitude to others too. Say, “Thank you.” Return acts of kindness. Be grateful for what you have.)

This life of mine which is the thing that allows me to experience all the other great blessings. And I’m thankful for everyone else’s life. Wow! How amazing it is to be alive!   To have a pulse, a heartbeat, a body that functions so well! :-O

19.) How can you make yourself better?
(We all have problems. But you can either give up and accept your circumstances or you can choose to find ways to improve. Are you unhappy with your body? Then learn how to eat better and form consistent exercise habits. Hate your job? Then start taking action to develop a new skill.)

Learn. Practice. Apply.   Keep an open mind. Pay attention. Formulate positive habits. Admit to myself, my weaknesses and when I’m wrong. 

20.) How can you make the world better?

(Last, but certainly not least, is figuring out your ultimate goal. How can you change the world? If you don’t know the answer just yet, combine all the answers above and you’ll have a much better idea. You have the power to do amazing things. Don’t take that for granted.)

This is a fantastic question because it provides the opportunity for deep thought. Contrary to what many people think “Making the world a better place” IS possible for even just one person to do. The world is a very large thing composed of many, many smaller things and aspects.   “Making the world a better place” can refer to any magnitude, whether  at a  local level or global level. You don’t have to be the president of some country or working in some international affairs organization to have a great impact. Working for the environment is amazing but you don’t have to necessarily do that to help either.  Just touching one individual life for the better, whether  animal or person makes one aspect of the world better. And not only is that, alone, an incredible thing but it’s possible for it to have a ripple effect and that one life consciously or unconsciously will go on to positively impact another…..
Right now, I don’t have the resources available to me, that I know of, to make the world a better place at a global, international, or national level. Maybe not even at a local level. But I can touch as many people as I can in small ways which can have a great impact on each life I impact for the better.  

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

Twenty Inspiring Questions

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I subscribe to many personal development, self-help, inspirational e-mails provided by bloggers and people with amazing websites intended to help people help themselves have better lives.   My e-mail inboxes are filled with almost nothing but positive messages each and every day. I’m blessed!  

Today I woke up to a wonderful e-mail with this link:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

It’s a list of twenty thought-provoking questions designed to help readers look deeper into their lives and selves and really come to understand themselves better. I am so motivated just reading them! I decided to answer them and share my answers with everyone interested! I encourage everyone interested to answer them even if you don’t want to share your answers publicly. They really got me thinking! 😀

The commentary in the parentheses below each question is provided by SCOTT CHRIST, the person who listed the questions.

1.) What beliefs do you carry that may be holding you back?

(It takes guts to call yourself out and question beliefs that just don’t seem right. We’re all ingrained with a set of learned behaviors that may be holding us back. It’s okay to question them and seek a better way. That’s a true sign of growth.)

One belief that I allow to often hold me back is the belief that “It’s not going to happen now” or “not likely to happen.”  For example, about applying for jobs, I know that there are many, many people who are more qualified than me for jobs. There are people with much more work experience and more advanced degrees who are much more likely to get certain jobs than I am.   I know that there are many jobs I would be so great at if I worked there but when considering applying for them, I often think about the many others who will also be applying who have advantages over me.

 Just because they have more experience and more advanced degrees doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better at the job than me. But an interviewer may assume that.  So while I have every intention of applying some day, I just keeping putting it off saying “later.”. 
I have to write a cover letter and fill out an application for each job. Sometimes this can be challenging and time consuming and I think what’s the point of doing this right at this moment when I can be doing something else and probably won’t get the job anyway. 
I also often think “What if I apply for a job right now and forget to add something valuable that I may remember later so I should just wait…”
These are very limiting beliefs and while there’s some truth to some parts, it’s also unreasonable and very destructive to think this way.  
We all have unique abilities, strengths, qualities, experiences, and our own gifts that add value to the workplace, relationships, and the world.   There’s always going to be someone more qualified than me and someone less qualified than me for certain jobs and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.  An interviewer or person reviewing my job application may just see something in me that s/he feels is worth giving a chance even if someone else seems more qualified. This goes for everyone. You may be less qualified in experience and academics but just as qualified or more in other ways, like your interpersonal skills or certain thoughts you have. This is even true for college applications.  I have known kids with excellent grades and attendance who were rejected by prestigious universities and others with less impressive grades who were accepted. It’s a combination of things that help get people where they want to be. Instead of focusing on how others are “better” in some ways, I should just focus on being the best me I can be in every way.
And there’s really no reason for me to procrastinate out of fear of forgetting certain valuable info. Because if that can happen now, it can happen later. As long as I’m thinking clearly and have the time, it’s best to fill out that app NOW and just pay careful attention to it. If I blow my chance, oh well! It’s not the end of the world! There will be many more opportunities for me!

2.) What’s your hobby?

(The things you love to do in your downtime can tell you a lot about how to find happiness in your life. Do the stuff you enjoy doing, and you’ll get closer to finding your true calling.)

I have quite a few that I absolutely love! One of those hobbies I have just become more and more interested in and feel myself becoming more creative with is photography! I have loved taking pictures all my life but now I’m very into it.  I use my bb10 phone and have great photo apps and I love finding quotes to go along with my photos.   I plan to get a camera one day when I get money. I also love writing poetic things and writing blog posts.    
I love reading too. I love personal development and philosophy readings and also novels.   Especially ones with profound messages.
I listen to music a lot and love collecting inspirational lyrics and quotes and applying them to real life situations and sharing them.

3.) What’s your talent?

( One thing that’s even more important than recognizing your hobbies is understanding your talents. What are you good at? If you asked five friends, what would they identify as your biggest assets? The answers can help you find your dream and change your life.)

I always felt that I have no talents because I never possessed any beautiful artistic skills or anything. I don’t draw good even when I try. I don’t sing well at all and have no natural “callings” that way. But there is one thing. It’s not an artistic skill but it’s very valuable.   I am extremely empathetic and understanding. I always have been but when I grew up, it developed so much deeper. I truly have an uncanny ability to understand people and situations even when I haven’t, myself, experienced the same things those people have and have never been in those specific situations. I don’t believe or claim to know exactly how someone else feels but I do have a very deep understanding which allows me to connect deeper with others and provide consolation and great support to people. I don’t negatively judge and try to get people to “snap out of it” or wonder how they can feel that way. I just know. I know how people can think and feel ways that I wouldn’t think or feel because of my strong empathy.   And I can draw on my own experiences to be even more understanding. 
Even when people have strongly opposing views to mine, I don’t agree but can still see how they can feel that way, even if I’m irked or angry! Lol
Empathy isn’t just about caring and being compassionate either.   It’s even deeper. It’s a deep understanding of someone else’s situation and experiences. It’s somewhat difficult to explain the depth of my empathy.   And I fear that people may think I’m overstepping my boundaries and claiming to know how they feel. But that’s not it at all.  
I don’t know. But I understand a certain way.
And empathy isn’t just about understanding and feeling people’s pain but also happiness and pleasure. I feel almost as if it’s happening to me.   I literally feel their pain & pleasure but I know it’s not exactly how they feel it since I’m not them.   If you win the multi-million dollar lotto, I will feel like I just did too. If you’re in a manic episode, it will rub off on me. If you’re in an accident even if I don’t know you, I will be shakin’ up almost as if I do know you.   I have thin psychological boundaries and unlike most people who just feel sorry or sad for someone or just curious and then go about their day, I feel as if I’m somehow involved, personally, to some degree, in your situation.  Even later.

  One day at 2:00 in the morning there was an ambulance outside my house for a neighbor and I had no idea what was going on or who it was for. My mom was mostly just curious, looking out the Window  but I felt distress, sorrow, and a desperate hope that it wasn’t something too horrific going on. I could just imagine how it would feel if I was in a situation like that.   I am a calm girl and don’t freak out or panic even when stuff is happening to me but I was expressing my deep concern.  My mom said it’s weird how I act over things that don’t involve me one bit.  It’s a true gift but it can be draining and painful and I had to learn to cope with this gift.

4.) Who do you like to work with?
(Think about the people who you work well with. Use your intuition to guide you toward similar people in your work environment.)

I love to work with fun people who are easy to get a long with and also like to do teamwork. Ones who handle difficulties well without wanting to engage in complicated arguments. I like people who want to build up and uplift others and not have negative competitions. And even if there’s like a competition for a promotion we both want, I would like us to still get along and not hold grudges and just wish each other well.

5.) Where do you enjoy working?

(What is the work setting where you’re most productive? Perhaps in group meetings? Or alone in your office? Try spending most of your time there. If you’re stuck in a job that puts you in a setting you don’t enjoy, speak up and tell your boss.)

I want a job working closely with others. I don’t mind an office job as long as parts of the day involve interacting with people.

6.) What are your passions?

( What makes you genuinely happy in life? Identify your passions, and then do everything in your power to spend timedoing the things you love. Then answer this:)

I love inspiring, helping, nurturing and uplifting people. That’s one reason I decided to have a blog. I also love sharing uplifting messages and I want to have a peer specialist or counseling job. I’m also passionate about Nature and love taking pictures of everything outside.   It’s so beautiful. I’m passionate about certain songs as well.

7.) How can you turn your passions into work?
(It’s one thing to pursue your passion as a hobby. It’s a whole different ballgame to do what you love and get paid for it. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, find a way to turn your passion into your career. If you want something badly enough, and are willing to take action and do the things that others aren’t willing to do, you’ll achieve whatever you want in your career and in your life.)

 Applying for jobs working with people and applying my people skills to my work!

8.) What inspires you? 
(Where do you find inspiration to drive you forward? Maybe it’s books, websites, friends, or family members. The point is, harness your preferred sources of inspiration every day.)

Books, blogs, websites, life itself, people, heartwarming stories, random acts of kindness, songs, quotes, photography, sunrises and sunsets, rain, snow, the sky, other aspects of Nature.   Heartache, pain, tears, and healing. Laughter and daylight. Nightfall. Cracks on the pavements, chipped paint, the darkness of night, breathing, my heartbeat….I find inspiration everywhere.

9.) How do you motivate yourself to take action?
(Being inspired is great. But if you don’t have a method and plan to motivate yourself to make positive change in your life, you’ll remain in the same place you’re in today.)

Inspiration is beautiful and I’m often inspired and it drives me to do many things. But I view inspiration itself as more of a feeling inside while motivation is more action associated. Inspiration can lead to motivation and help maintain it. I have random bursts of motivation that I can’t explain. They come out of nowhere then I start applying for jobs without holding back. But the motivation then wears off and I’m back to the problem I discussed in response to question #1. It’s great to be randomly and inexplicably motivated but since it’s not a conscious decision or habit, it likely won’t hold up. So it’s great to come up with a conscious plan to maintain general motivation. One thing that does motivate me is vividly imagining what I truly want and what it would be like to have that. I still have to make this a habit though because it’s not yet. Also sometimes I read things that get me pumped and motivated. Talk therapy sessions also help me get motivated.  

10.) What do you dream about?
(Dreams expose truths about our lives we often have trouble seeing. Keep a dream journal to record your subconscious thoughts. Whenever you wake up in the middle of a dream, write down exactly what occurred. Then analyze the dream the next day and look for signs and signals from your subconscious mind.)

My dreams are frequently about interacting with people, new friendships, and wisdom/life lessons. I have a lot of strange dreams, some ordinary ones that are just like an extension of my days, and I hardly ever have scary ones. But yeah, one common theme is people and connecting with them.

11.)  What have you overcome?
(Most of us have struggled mightily and overcome great obstacles. Don’t take this for granted. Thinking about the massive obstacles you’ve overcome already should convince you that you can accomplish anything you want in life.)

One thing I have overcome is succumbing to my crippling shyness. I have always been shy to the point of it being like a disability but not anymore. I’m still shy, just not as much and I open up much quicker.   Feeling shy isn’t my choice but I often now can choose to speak up even when I’m feeling very shy. As a child, I couldn’t do that. Even as a young college student it was hard. The more I interact with people, the less shy I become around those people and even in general. After I got a job at a store, I became much less shy.   It will never go completely away and some days I’m more shy than others but being around people, opening up, and interacting pushes me to be less shy. 

12.) How do you respond to what others say about you?

(You can choose to react negatively to what others say about you, or you can choose to ignore it. Even our friends and close family members can say and do things that are extremely hurtful. Words others say don’t define you though. Your actions and thoughts define you. Don’t ever forget that.)

When people compliment me, I accept those compliments very gratefully. When I am criticized constructively, I am also thankful for the helpful feedback and will use it effectively if it will be helpful. About uncalled for negative comments, I have learned to mostly just let them slide.   They’re not worth the time they demand. I used to often seek revenge on people who said bad things about/to me. I would say something back I knew would offend them, sometimes even trying to “get them” worse than they “got me.”. Lol!   I used to try to spread gossip about girls who did that to me.  My general love & compassion would take the back burner and my desire for revenge or to be right would become dominant.  But that accomplishes nothing worthwhile.   It’s ridiculous and I can’t believe I once engaged in that. To know me now, you would never know it. I have come a long way.  Love should always prevail. Now when someone unnecessarily criticizes me or expresses uncalled for negative views about me, I suck it up, wish the person the best, and move on. I won’t deny though that there are seldom occasions when I struggle to hold my tongue. But after practicing conscious lovingkindness for so long, I usually don’t even feel like coming back with retorts and little petty remarks to offend or anger. We can all rise above that.

13.)Why are you here?

(Want to know how to find your dream and change your life in one simple step? Then answer this question: What do you think your purpose is? It’s a deep question. But it’s an important one. You may not know the answer right now, and that’s okay. You’ll find it when you’re ready.)

I’m here because my mom gave birth to me and I never died.
 That’s all there is to it. I don’t believe in a “life purpose” or “ultimate purpose” or anything of that sort. I am here just because. Randomly.   Some people say and I have even said that “we create our own purpose” for living but I don’t even believe it. We create our happiness and things that make our own lives interesting, fun, and feeling like we have “reason” or “purpose” but I don’t believe that anything other than life itself gives me purpose.   If I say my “Life purpose” is to do something I’m passionate about then all of a sudden that thing is no longer something I’m passionate about OR I can no longer do that for some reason, maybe because I become permanently disabled or something, I would STILL have a purpose. Nothing outside of me gives me reason. I am the reason.   I, myself am purpose.

14.) Who do you admire?

(Seek inspiration in others whom you admire. Despite all the bad things going on in the world, there are still millions of heroes, dreamers, and leaders that can inspire all of us to live better.)

The people who always have my heart are ones who go out of their way to love & help others. I believe people in general are basically good and help people sometimes and most people care to a certain degree. But there are those more rare people who go above and beyond to help even strangers. Ones who are beyond compassionate and loving and just embrace everyone. I love people with hearts that are open books and they warmly welcome anyone who wants to come into their world.   They melt my heart.  I love animal lovers too who value their lives and believe they are worthy of love and compassion just like humans.  

15.) What are your weaknesses?
(Nobody’s perfect. And acknowledging thethings you need to get better at is a crucial step to find your dream and change your life.)

I’m horrible at math. Even simple basic math. I sometimes still struggle with feelings of worthlessness. I don’t have those thoughts and feelings as frequently and usually not as deeply as I used to but still have them occasionally. They used to be my life but not now.

16.) What are your goals?
(Think about what you aspire to accomplish in your life. These goals should drive your actions. Speaking of action…)

My number one goal is to be the best me I can be. For myself and everyone. Not to be a perfectionist but to be as loving, compassionate, accepting, tolerant, understanding, kind, and open-minded as possible.   To be the light in someone’s darkness, to inspire, uplift, encourage, and help empower.

17.) How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
(Goals without a plan are meaningless. Once you figure out your goals, write down action steps that will help you achieve them. Most people don’t do this, and it can mean the difference between getting what you want and failing.)

Yeah well I won’t say that I agree that they’re necessarily “meaningless” but I do agree that a goal paired with an active plan is much more likely to be a success than a mere goal or empty plan alone. The goal is the first step and a great start! ;-D

I’m already doing a good job. And the more I am this way, the more it reinforces it. Sometimes I catch myself not being as kind as I can be and I remind myself that no matter what someone does that I don’t like, I can still be loving and kind to that person. If someone isn’t loving and kind towards me, I don’t have to sink to that level. Instead of focusing on someone else’s lack of kindness, I can just focus on my goal to be the best me I can be. Also, I share uplifting and inspirational things on social media outlets for anyone who may see and need a splash of sunlight.  

18.) What are you grateful for?

(Be thankful every single day. And show your gratitude to others too. Say, “Thank you.” Return acts of kindness. Be grateful for what you have.)

This life of mine which is the thing that allows me to experience all the other great blessings. And I’m thankful for everyone else’s life. Wow! How amazing it is to be alive!   To have a pulse, a heartbeat, a body that functions so well! :-O

19.) How can you make yourself better?
(We all have problems. But you can either give up and accept your circumstances or you can choose to find ways to improve. Are you unhappy with your body? Then learn how to eat better and form consistent exercise habits. Hate your job? Then start taking action to develop a new skill.)

Learn. Practice. Apply.   Keep an open mind. Pay attention. Formulate positive habits. Admit to myself, my weaknesses and when I’m wrong. 

20.) How can you make the world better?

(Last, but certainly not least, is figuring out your ultimate goal. How can you change the world? If you don’t know the answer just yet, combine all the answers above and you’ll have a much better idea. You have the power to do amazing things. Don’t take that for granted.)

This is a fantastic question because it provides the opportunity for deep thought. Contrary to what many people think “Making the world a better place” IS possible for even just one person to do. The world is a very large thing composed of many, many smaller things and aspects.   “Making the world a better place” can refer to any magnitude, whether  at a  local level or global level. You don’t have to be the president of some country or working in some international affairs organization to have a great impact. Working for the environment is amazing but you don’t have to necessarily do that to help either.  Just touching one individual life for the better, whether  animal or person makes one aspect of the world better. And not only is that, alone, an incredible thing but it’s possible for it to have a ripple effect and that one life consciously or unconsciously will go on to positively impact another…..
Right now, I don’t have the resources available to me, that I know of, to make the world a better place at a global, international, or national level. Maybe not even at a local level. But I can touch as many people as I can in small ways which can have a great impact on each life I impact for the better.  

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

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My grown Up Christmas list

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“Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well I’m all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need”

Macy’s collects letters to Santa written by people of all ages. For every letter they receive, it helps a sick child’s wish be granted. Isn’t that beautiful?! My sister and me wrote letters and put them in the Santa MailBox! We also watched the beautiful light show at Macy’s with my mom, dad, and all the others who showed up to watch.

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It was so cute to see all the little kids writing their letters for Santa Claus and putting them in the mailbox. They were so happy and joyful. I wish all kids can have the opportunity to be so happy and carefree.

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My Christmas list this year is for a world in need. I wish for 

1.) hope & healing for all those who are suffering. Humans & animals alike
2.) a warm and happy place to live for all homeless people and animals.
3.) love, acceptance, and tolerance instead of wars and unjust discrimination 
4.) More empathy & understanding for each other in this world
5.) a friend for everyone
6.) hope, strength,  & happiness for everyone
7.) for everyone to have the ability to see the good that exists in the world
8.) Unconditional love

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I am deeply inspired by the Christmas song “My Grown Up Christmas List.”. It is a stunningly beautiful song with an incredible message.  I love Amy Grant’s version.  

“No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list”

Desktop video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmF2rsDHOZc
Mobile video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RmF2rsDHOZc&app=m

This is my lifelong wish, my grown up Christmas list, not for myself but for a world in need.

Much love & blessings to everyone. 😀

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Xoxo Kim

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Love & Humanness {Oneness}

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” We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” ~ 
Tim McGraw

I’m currently reading a book by Leo Buscaglia called “Personhood.”. I had this book for quite a while but never got around to reading it until now. I still have much more to read but I love the whole concept of the book. It’s not a philosophy or political book or even really a psychology book. It’s a personal development book about living up to our full potential, loving and connecting with others. 

Dr. Buscaglia explains how no matter how different we are than each other or no matter how similar we are to one another we can connect with each other through our basic humanness. We don’t have to have very similar life experiences or relate or identify with each other in very significant ways to deeply connect with each other.

We are similar in very basic ways. We are alive. We all have a story and all experience pleasure and pain and have needs and desires.

I have always loved people and often feel deeply connected with others whether I know them well or not. I have so much gratitude & appreciation for the lives of others.

Recently I was with my mom, dad, and little sister in my dad’s mini van and we were driving in Center City, Philadelphia at night and there were lots of people walking, standing, sitting….around the city.

Some were homeless and dirty, dressed in rags, some were dressed warmly and smiling, talking on cell phones, waiting for busses, giggling with one another, some looked sad and distraught while others appeared to be happy and carefree. Some were alone, some in groups.  I noticed short people and tall people, young and old, men and women,Asian, African American, Latino, Caucasian…

Some spoke languages other than English. One pretty young lady with long blonde hair who was with a man was laughing wildly like she had no care in the world. They were smiling and genuinely joyous. I couldn’t help but stare, maybe to the point of rudeness. They looked perfect together standing beneath the city lights at night laughing with wild abandon. I had no choice but to smile myself.  They were speaking a language I couldn’t understand.

Then they started walking towards my sister and me as we stood on the street corner waiting for my dad and mom to come for us. We went to a bookstore and there were no parking spaces so my dad had to drive around the block til we came out.

When the girl got close to me she smiled , looked directly at me and said “Bonjour soeur.”. And continued walking.  
I can only speak English and I wasn’t completely sure what she said to me but in high school I took an Italian class and some days conversations of other languages came up including conversations about the French language.

I got an idea the girl said “hello sister” in French to me. So I looked it up on Google translate on my phone and discovered that is in fact what she said.

It warmed my heart. I couldn’t understand her language but I certainly understood her smile, her laugh, her beauty, and the spark in her eyes, her need to reach me…

And she saw something in me that inspired her to reach out with a warm & friendly greeting.

So we had the language barrier but that doesn’t prevent human connection.

We all speak different languages, have different cultures, different experiences, different skin colors, and ethnicities, sexual orientations, nationalities, political views, religions, opinions, and many other differences but our smiles, laughs, love, beauty, and basic humanness connect the same.

As I was looking at each person I asked myself “Is it weird to love every person I look at, to feel a strong sense of gratitude for the lives of people I don’t know and will probably never know and never see again?”. 

It may be weird to some people but weird or not, it’s what I often feel. I don’t know those people but I know they are someone. They bring a light to this world. They all have a name, a face, a life, a breath, a story, a dream. They have a heart and they experience pleasure and pain, desires, and needs.

We may have sharp differences and experiences, opposing views, disagreements but we are not very different underneath.

Leo Buscaglia, in his book, describes some very brief experiences where he met someone who he could only connect with through their basic humanness. Because of language/culture barriers or because of dramatically different life experiences, these people he encountered were only able to connect with him through being living humans but still the connection is deep, satisfying, and rewarding.

He describes a woman he saw one hot afternoon while he was in southern India. She was in a faded sari and walking. He noticed she seemed strong and erect and determined. She had a large, heavy water pot balanced on her head. There was no sign of where she has been or where she was going.   
He writes this: “She paused for a moment and our eyes met. We knew each other.”

Not a word was spoken, yet these two people connected deeply. 

He writes of the “beautiful, toothless old farmer in Nepal” who allowed him to stay overnight in his house with all of his family and animals. Leo Buscaglia writes, 

“Conversation, beyond sign language, a smile, eye contact, a touch, was impossible.”

This farmer had no idea where the USA is, never spoke to a Western person, and never traveled in a car. He never heard of history, knew nothing of politics, and knew nothing at all beyond his village life. But Dr. Buscaglia writes, 

“Still, for an evening we were brought warmly together. When the time for parting came, feeling that we would probably never meet again, we walked arm and arm to the village’s end and wept. We are still together.”

He writes of the young anxious business man who helped him find his way in Tokyo when he was lost, the Brooklyn, NY teenager who told him that he helped him create his purpose, the Kindergarten child who he laughed with in a lunchroom.

Dr. Buscaglia writes this about his experiences, 

“For these few brief seconds of our encounters, I was and still am that Indian woman, that Nepalese farmer, that Japanese businessman, that New York student, that Kindergarten child. We were all one in the same thing, humanness. When our minds could not meet, our hearts were the common bond. When our speech was a mystery, it was solved by our eyes and arms.”

&

“Some moved in technological wonder, others in primitive magic ; some rested in material opulence, others in the greatest simplicity and even desperate poverty; some were equipped with strong formal educations, others simply used their natural mental endowments, enriched by experienced. But, whatever, they all had a strong common tie – their humanness, their deep need to survive, to realize their experience, to love and be loved, to overcome loneliness and isolation, to use their creative endeavors, to make things more comfortable and beautiful for themselves and their loved ones, to attempt to understand their world and their part in it.”

And this:

“Each of these people were the history of all people, but all were also a part of the unique history which only their lives would write….”

Isn’t this beautiful?!? We are all connected. I am you. You are me. In so many ways.

The homeless people you see, the financially struggling, the rich people, the ones you feel are way out of your league, the ones you feel that you are above in some ways, the “losers,” the “saints,” the lucky ones, the unfortunate ones, the people who seem to have it all, the ones who have next to nothing, we are all each other.

Some of the most deepest connections, conversations, experiences I have known, have been with random strangers or people I just met, on the busses, in hospitals, walking the streets..

I am very shy but very open to people.  

If ever you feel lonely and isolated, remember there’s a whole world full of people. Ones who will walk with you for a while, embrace you, make eye contact with you, listen to your story….

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

Xoxo Kim

Until It Is Carved in Stone

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(second photo not mine)

Hello darlings, I’m here to knock your socks off this lovely morning.   It’s just after 12:00am. Yup! ;-D

Have you ever read a play called “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder?  I have and it’s amazing. It’s beyond amazing. It was produced and published in 1938. It won the Pulitzer Prize.
It takes place in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

I first read it when I was twenty – six years old. And whoa am I so beyond pleased that I did. Thank You to Sarah Ban Breathnach for mentioning this play in her book “Simple Abundance”!!!! Sarah Ban Breathnach is another one who has one of the biggest impacts on me with her beautiful writing.

The play is about a young woman, Emily, who dies during childbirth. She’s twenty -six years old.  It starts out when she’s a young girl and it’s all about her and her family and friends and all the people in their small village of Grover’s Corners.  It’s so small everyone knows each other.

The girl dies at age twenty – six years and she “wakes up” in the afterlife where she meets again, all those who she has known during their living years.  The girl, Emily, is freaked out, grieving, and just devastated that she lost her life and can never again have it back.   She was always a happy girl with a wonderful life while she was alive, but just like most of us tend to do, she usually took most things for granted. Never stopping to just be and allow gratitude, wonder, and awe to surge through her at all the simple joys like the white fence surrounding her house, coffee, flowers, the way people look at each other, the simple ticking of clocks and folded laundry…

Other than people dying throughout the play, the play is extremely uneventful and has received criticism for that fact but the very essence of being uneventful is the whole point of the play. It is the heart, the gut of it, if you will.

Mr. Wilder intended to show people through his wonderful play, how beautiful, wondrous, amazing, lovely… life IS even when it’s so simple, monotonous, agonizing,  and lacking in big events.
While this may seem like a play depicting an idealized view of American life, it actually is not.   The message is that life is good while being painful, it’s heartbreaking but breathtakingly beautiful.  

One character in the play, Simon Stimson, is a pivot of this message. He struggles with alcoholism and is known as the town drunk but he serves as a message to people . He is a tortured soul who constantly cries out for help but people refuse to help. They are steeped in denial and overlook his desperate pleads for help.  He eventually dies by suicide. The message here is that society, friends, family, people….we ignore, deny, repress, overlook so much of life. Even when one of our own is desperately pleading, screaming out for a helping hand.

   In the version I have, there is a beautiful forward by Donald Margulies.  

Donald Margulies states, “You are holding in your hands a great American play. Possibly the great American play.”
He goes on to say if you have read this play many years ago, perhaps in school as a requirement for some class, you will greatly benefit by reading it again.  But now, read it more mindfully, soak up the incredible message this play conveys.  Draw on your own life, your own experiences to really receive the deep wisdom of this play.

Donald Margulies admits that he is envious of any person about to begin reading this play who has never read it previously. He loves this play passionately but reading it again isn’t the same as reading it for the first occasion, he says.   But he is a teacher/professor and gets to watch others experience again and again which he loves.  

The title of this play “Our Town,” itself, is a pivotal message. The town in the play, “Grover’s Corners” is a representation of human life everywhere.   It can be extended to all of American life and beyond, all around our world.  We are all human and we all share basic human traits no matter our culture, country, society, nationality, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, political views, experiences, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, opinions…

“Our Town”, as Margulies states, is a “microcosm of the human family…”. It is all towns.  Everywhere.  This play captures the universal experience of simply being alive.

Act III of this play is breathtaking. Mr. Margulies states that he was shattered by it and that is how I feel as well.  Shattered then put back together once again but not without a few scars, a few breaks, a deep enthralling sense of enlightenment and compunction.

You know someone is a good teacher when that person can slap you with a truth so profound it brings you to a sense of ruin, leaves you with a sense of pudency, remorse for old ways, living and never knowing.   But it’s good to have someone or something break you down to the bone, pierce you to the core, punch you in the gut , knocking the wind out of you,   shatter you just to build you back up with a new sense of life, a new philosophy, a newfound strength, rebirth. 

Let it rip your heart out, shatter it to pieces, almost beyond recognition then let it glue it back together and move you forward with some scars to remind you to be mindful of the wonders of being alive.   The wonders we ignore, overlook, and slap in the face day by day.

Now I will leave you with some poignant quotes or lines out of this play.

In the play when the stage manager is interviewing one of the main characters, Mr. Webb, about their town, Mr. Webb says this:

Very ordinary town, if you ask me.  Little better behaved than most. Probably a lot duller. But our young people here seem to like it well enough. Ninety percent of ’em graduating from high school settle down right here to live-even when they’ve been away to college.”

Mr Webb: “…No ma’am, there isn’t much culture; but maybe this is the place to tell you that we’ve got a lot of pleasures of a kind here: We like the sun comin’ up over the mountain in the morning, and we all notice a good deal about the birds. We pay a lot of attention to them.    And we watch the change of the seasons; yes, everybody knows about them. But those other things – you’re right ma’am, – there ain’t much….”

When Emily died and found herself in the afterlife she insisted on looking back at her previous life.  The other dead people strongly advised against it as it would be too agonizing and despairing to see a life we once lived and can never , ever return to , but sweet, innocent Emily just had to see for herself.   They urged her to choose an “unimportant” day as opposed to one she viewed as very important.  One dead woman told her to choose the “least important” day of her life as it would be “important enough.”  And it would still be incredibly painful.

Emily chose her 12th birthday.

Here are some things she said as she looked back, as if watching a movie.

Emily: “Oh, that’s the town I knew as a little girl. And look, there’s the old white fence that used to be around our house. Oh, I’d forgotten that! Oh, I love it so!…”

Emily:(softly, more in wonder than in grief.)  “I can’t bear it. They’re so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old?  Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up. I love you all, everything. – I can’t look at everything hard enough.”

Emily: “Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me.  Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally’s dead too.  Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway.  We felt terrible about it – don’t you remember?  But, just for a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for one moment we’re happy.  Let’s look at one another. “

When asked if she was happy looking back, Emily responded, “No…I should have listened to you.  That’s all human beings are!   Just blind people!”

Here is what Simon, the suicide victim says after death to Emily:
Yes, now you know.  Now you know!  That’s what it was to be alive.  To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those…of those about you.   To spend and waste time as though you had a million years.   To be always at the mercy of one self – centered passion, or another.  Now you know- that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to.   Ignorance and blindness. 

Emily:
Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every,every minute?
Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some.”

Think back to days in your life, maybe a birthday, a holiday, a special event, a graduation, a wedding….what was important to you then?  The perfect napkin patterns?   The perfect gift?  Being a perfect entertainer? Spending a certain amount of money?  Looking good?  Getting gifts?

What was really, truly important?  Napkin patterns and “perfect” gifts?  Or looking into each other’s eyes.  Really looking. Hugs.  Warm embraces.   Really tasting that hot tea or coffee. Looking up at the sky and feeling awe surge through you.  Genuine friendships. Tucking your kids into bed.   Really listening as we speak to each other.  Stopping to see the flowers, to feel the sunlight, to hear the cars on the expressway, the birds chirping, to feel the warm blankets at night.  Cuddling with your fur friends.   To smell the honeysuckle and the roses and the warm cookies baking, to feel the rain on our skin , the soil beneath us.

Think of any “ordinary” day. What about clocks ticking?  What about the refrigerator buzzing?   What about the cars parked on your street? What about the concrete beneath your feet? What about the feel of air on your skin? What about the walls in your house? The ones you look at every single day. Do you ever stop to notice them?   Or are they so mundane you don’t give them a second thought?   What about when you’re making your coffee or tea? The sugar and cream going into it?  Look at that. Really.   Just look.   When you brush your teeth, get a shower, wash your hands, inhabit your body and your life.  What if you died but were allowed, for a few minutes to look back on this life, wouldn’t you miss all this?  Miss it ALL with a passion so potent it can knock the stars and the sun into oblivion?

It’s not just the big things, the holidays, the birthdays, the weddings, babies, and graduations.  It’s not just the pretty things, the sky, flowers, sun, butterflies and birds.   It’s everything.   All of life. The cars screeching in the streets, getting out of bed. Walking, driving to work, standing in lines, paying bills, stress. Wouldn’t you miss all that?  
What if your life changes dramatically?   What if someone dies on you?   What if you are stricken with a long term illness or chronic pain disorder?   What if a close family member or friend, a pet becomes terminally ill?   What if you become paralyzed tomorrow or something else drastic happens and your life doesn’t look like this anymore?  Oh, how you would long for the mundane, your old monotonous ways, your old stress and concerns.

It’s too late for them, but not for us. We are still alive.   Still so blessed with this gift. THIS life.

And now with this awareness.

We can wake up and do all the things alive people can do. You can die at any second whether or not you realize or believe it.  

Isn’t Thornton brilliant?  Isn’t he still touching people long after his own death with this wonderful play? His beautiful, profound message?

You can die right now.

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So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go make eye contact.  Go smile at a stranger.   Go embrace someone.  Go look up at the sky.   Hold hands.  Sit in a warm, cozy cafe with a friend and truly listen.  Go listen to people. Listen to what they say. Listen to what they don’t say. Take advantage of your senses, of being alive, Share a banana split with your mom, sister, or best friend, hold a door for someone and really want to, buy someone coffee or tea, And if you plan on getting married, forget about the napkins if they don’t turn out right, if you plan on celebrating the holidays, forget the “perfect ” material gift.  The true gift is your presence and your love and care.
I am a blessed girl. Truly.

Now.

Xoxo Kim.

P.s. And oh, yes, go read “Our Town” please. Ty

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~ Mary Jean Irion 

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“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” ~ Alexander Woollcott

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” – Rosalind Russell

“So the sidewalk is crowded, the city goes by
And I rush through another day
And a world full of strangers turn their eyes to me
But I just look the other way

They roll by just like water
And I guess we never learn
Go through life parched and empty
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst” ~ Joe Cocker (and other singers)

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” Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.” ~ Robert Browning

The Paradoxical Commandments

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I have been thinking about this beautiful concept. I wholeheartedly agree with it.   It’s true that we will do so much good, give so much love, put so much goodness out into the world, accomplish greatness, create, and provide and while there will be people to acknowledge it and appreciate it and express /feel gratitude for us and our greatness, there will still be so many who will ignore it, destroy it, reject us, be non caring, loathe us, and just want to drag us down. But I believe with everything I have in me that we should do good anyway, love anyway, provide for people anyway, create, share, care, anyway…

Someone on Facebook recently wrote me a message saying the people who love the most, care The Most, and give the most are the ones who are kicked and hurt the deepest. But I will take that chance again and again. As long as I live. Someone doesn’t have to love me back for me to love that person. Someone doesn’t have to care for me to care.

Give to the world without expecting anything in return. Love unconditionally.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/

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Xoxo Kim

Another day, another victory <3

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So, I really love Alice Cooper. A real real lot!! I have loved him & his music since I was a little girl. He sings creepy, bizarre, sad, dark, despairing music. Often about depression, psychosis, sometimes about being suicidal, in a mental hospital, personality disorders, mental illness, serial killing, death, being in prison in a wedding dress & wonder bra (lmao) , waking up not knowing who he is or where he is, being criminally insane, alcoholism, and he sings about love. If you read my description here it may make him seem like an “emo” singer like in the typical emo music way. Be he’s not. His songs are more “strange” than “Depressive emo”.  Some of them are even funny, often in a twisted way.
His songs aren’t the typical “whiney”, “feel sorry for me/myself” emo music.

His is the first concert I have ever attended. I was 26 years old. It was amazing!!!!
My general favorite kind of music is Oldies & happy love songs – romantic & friendship songs, inspirational, uplifting songs about gratitude, love, self love, strength & hope, perseverance. Very different than many of Alice Cooper’s songs. But I love every single one of his songs. I love his incredible ability to take the dark side of life and turn it into something beautiful.   I even wrote a poem about it before, how he takes darkness & pain and transforms it to musical, lyrical beauty.   So inspiring.  A true gift. 
Life is a mixture of good & bad and he acknowledges & addresses the dark side.

Alice Cooper himself has struggled with & tackled the dark side. He was treated for alcoholism. Many of his songs are inspired by true events of his own life & people he has met, some in an institution he was treated in.

This post is about one of his songs which I find to be extremely uplifting, incredibly motivational & inspirational. It’s funny too & just amazing. It’s called “You’re A Movie”.

“I fearlessly walk into battle
With a shine on my boots and my teeth
Never flinch, never blink, never rattle
My blood is like ice underneath

Oh, I’m the reincarnation of patten
And I’ve got Hannibal’s heart in my chest
God told me I would have rivaled
Alexander the great at his best”

He sings about his unstoppable attitude, his courage, his strength.

“Bullets repel off my medals
And my men are in awe when I speak
All chaos my strategies settles
My mere presence gives strength to the weak”

Very, very confident attitude. So confident and full of courage and strong that strength flows through his very presence into those who are not as strong & confident. Can you say ABSOLUTELY AMAZING?!?!

When he says “Bullets repel off my medals” he’s revealing that he has medals for doing great things and when he is the target of bullets, his great medals protect him against being hurt. This can be taken as a metaphor for life. Your attitude, your positive traits, your self assurance & confidence are your medals and when people toss vicious words or toxic criticism at you or when life hands you unpleasant circumstances, let them all bounce off your greatness, your medals. Those things are the bullets Alice speaks of.

“For me it seems really alarming
I’m really just only a man
With five million sheep in this army
I seem to be the only one fit to command”

He’s just an ordinary man but an ordinary man can do extraordinary things with the right attitude, views, & actions.

“I must go now and save the world

Move aside mere drop of water, let the ocean pass”
Lol he has a BIG attitude. 

“Another day, another victory. 

Another gold stripe, another star

Really quite boring sometimes
I wish they’d send someone equal to my strategies

What a guy
I’m really quite a guy” 

He makes being amazing & heroic seem so easy. “Another Day, Another Victory. “

Every single day is an accomplishment to him. “Just another day being my fantastic self!” lol! 

What if you possessed this attitude every day? Imagine that! Waking up so confident that you feel you can take on or accomplish or work towards anything you please. This song seems to be about war but it can be applied to life in general.

I feel so energized when I listen to this or read the lyrics. 

The next moment you feel low or lacking confidence or courage when you really need it, remember this song. Think of the funny, silly, but very valuable & important lyrics.

He’s full of himself! But in a good way! Lol. An inspiring way! ;-D

So take his message to heart. Go conquer & save the world!   😀

Much love, hope, strength, courage, & self confidence to you!

Xoxo Kim

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Beauty in Unlikely Places (updated) <3

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I have been thinking about things that I find to be beautiful which many people do not. Things which many see as ugly, mundane, inappropriate, disturbing, less than lovely.

Here, I have comprised a list of some of those things:
 
❤ weeds- I can't count the
moments I have stopped to snap a gorgeous photo of some "plant/flower" I have found to be beautiful, only for my mom or sister to inform me I'm taking pictures of ugly. Dead. Weeds. But I continue on because to me, weeds, are just beautiful.

❤ Rain/snow/sleet – just about everyone around me complains about "miserable" weather. Rain. Lightening. Thunder storms. Snow. Blizzards. But I love it.

❤ Muddy puddles – yup. I take countless pictures of puddles. With mud. And dirt. And stuff. Sometimes they have oil rainbows. I guess car oil does that.  I find wonder in the unlikeliest of places.

❤ Signs of aging – Wrinkles, Gray hair, Laugh lines.. getting older is a true blessing. It brings more experience. More lessons to learn & to teach. More wisdom. Many people die tragically young. We are blessed to be whatever age we are. If we live to be old, gray, wrinkled, it means we had more days to live & to love. To bless & be blessed. To see things, to know things, we could have never imagined. Embrace your age. Embrace the signs of aging! Scream your age off the rooftops. Be proud you survived and are still going. ❤

❤ Body fat – yes I'm a girl who loves body fat! It's a sign of health. It has a function. It's not ugly. It's beautiful.  

❤ The female physique – I am a girl who really loves checking out other girls. I'm not romantically attracted to them but I find them to be very aesthetically pleasing. Not in a sexist way, I know a woman is much more than just looks! And I am interested in personality, thoughts, views more than anything! But I love girls' curves, clothes, Boobs, nails, hair. I even call girls sexy. Hott. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I have been told "girls aren't supposed to check out other girls or call them hott. ". And I say whatever to that! I like tight, revealing clothing for myself and other girls. I don't see it as disrespectful or degrading.   It's great to be confident and love our bodies. If you got it, flaunt it! And if you don't, flaunt it anyway! Lol ❤ ;-D

❤ Dark poetry/songs – I like poetry that can beautifully capture the dark side. Sad songs & poems can be inspiring & comforting. I love happy ones as well! I like how pain can be made into beauty. Poetic, lyrical,musical, educational….beauty

❤ Monday Mornings – not that I'm usually awake on Monday mornings. Lol ;-). So maybe that's why I love them so much! But Monday mornings are, to me, symbolic of new beginnings. New hope.  Mornings are always beautiful 

❤ Public displays of affection – some people find this inappropriate but I love to see lovers holding hands, kissing, embracing. ❤

❤ Babies with food on their faces, snotty noses, messes on the carpet: I love babies/kids and I think it's cute when they make messes. I would never mind having my carpet or furniture splashed in paint by little creative hands exploring & creating. Just beautiful. 

❤ cars screeching, people laughing late into the night , the sounds of the city, music through the walls, the sounds of people partying all night- this annoys a lot of people. Someone being loud late at night. But I have always found it so comforting.   I like knowing someone somewhere is up & alive while I'm laying in bed.

❤ pineapple pizza – delicious. But people tell me it's just wrong. Lol

 ❤ the scent of dogs. Lol I think dogs smell good, their fur, it's just a cute Lil scent.

❤ the feel of dogs licking my ears. Lol. It feels funny & it's cute! 😉

❤ Insects/bugs/snakes/rodents – I like creepy crawlers & not just the "pretty" ones. I also like centipedes, millipedes, sewer rats….

 

What unlikely things do you find beautiful? Is there anything “weird”, “bizarre “, “ugly”, “plain ” , “unusual” that you somehow find incredible wonder in? If not, take a look. Maybe you can develop a positive habit of seeing beauty where it at first seems there is none.
As I have previously mentioned if we look hard enough, we can find beauty even when it’s hard. Even through the tears, glittering amidst the pain & heartache.

Wonder what it would be like to have a journal of Beauty? Maybe like a gratitude journal but slightly different? You can use it every day or especially when you can’t seem to find beauty anywhere. I never tried it but I will! We can list things we find to be beautiful, any kind of beautiful.   They can be things commonly thought of as beautiful or things usually viewed as not so pretty. They can be things seen or things felt. Heard or tasted, smelled.
.anything. If it’s beautiful to you,it matters.

May you all find something lovely to experience whether it’s auditory, visual, tactile, or anything….

Xoxo Kim

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i stumbled upon this beauty on the counter at work one night. She’s not dead and that thing is not her leg off. It’s a scratch in the counter. My sister thought she was dead and that her leg was off. She may have been slightly injured but still beautiful. Still alive & well. I picked her up with my hands, gently and put her in the tree outside work so no one would freak out and kill her. 😀

And the picture all the way at the top is in fact a puddle of mud that happened to have a heart thing in it.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are 7 million.