Thursday, October 6, 2011

Protect your Artist city

I just wanted to send out a little thank you note to all those who've helped me in my writing dreams. You are awesome! I've decided that no matter what it is that you want to do. Do it. If you have a passion for something, don't let self doubt, or fear of failure hold you back.

I've noticed that, more often than not, we teach kids, that the results, or the 'Golden eggs' are what we are after. Not the process or the journey. We create an environment of fear, and expectation for kids to learn in, instead of giving them an environment of acceptance, and the opportunity to feel safe, and accepted.
Without a sense of safety and acceptance, creativity cannot thrive.
Fear will hold people back from sharing their work. It will keep them from even trying.
On the other hand, if you create an environment where it's okay to make mistakes, kids and adults will thrive, experiment and try. This is where all real success stems from.

If you are a teacher, or someone in authority, please remember it is your sacred duty and your job to create an environment of acceptance, and safety. Without it, real learning will cease to exist. You will instead have created a hazard zone where kids are trying to out do one another, to look better, not do better.

A real teacher, one that does not have their ego attached to the students performance, will create an environment where it is okay to not be perfect. Speaking from personal experience, I can honestly say that I do not thrive under pressure, especially when I know someone is leaning over my shoulder waiting for, "Magic to happen." Or where I can't mess up. And it's not okay.

I believe that in order for something to be good, it also has to have the flip side to it. It also has the choice not to be good.
Just as in food, if it cannot go bad, like a Twinkie, it can't really be good.
Most food that is good for you can, and does go bad.
So in art, or real learning, creating an environment of safety, you are saying it's okay to mess up. Just try. It's okay to sing off-key. Just sing. Use your voice.
You can work on technique when the time is right. Right now you just need to hear your own voice.

That is the teachers job. Not so much to be a critic, or someone who is drenching the children in her knowledge. The teacher is the one who must listen, gently nudge, love, and point the children in the right direction.

I believe that most people die with their music inside them because they were afraid to hear themselves sing. And that's really sad. God gave you a voice. Use it.

I remember in art class, I had a hard time concentrating because so many people were looking over my shoulder giving their advice. Most often than not, I'd take my canvas home, where I'd go to my room, alone, and spend the evening painting. The next day I'd and come back with much more progress than I had made in class. Home was where I got most of my work done. I'm not saying that you shouldn't do anything in public. But what I am saying is that it seems to me, that art needs a time be in the dark. A time to be apart. If you are starting a project where it might come under scrutiny, only let your closest, most trusted, gentile friends see it.

Great treasure needs protection. Build walls around those who would rip down your beautiful city. Only let those into your city who would see the beauty of the city, and help to build it up.

Even if what you do is flawed, do it anyway. Leave a legacy of following after what you love most. As writers we tend to worry about how our writing will be read. As singers we are worried how our music will be heard. As artist we are worried how our art will be viewed.

But worrying about how it will be received blocks our creative flow. Instead of writing, singing, dancing, painting, we fuss and fret over what other people think. Our egos are attached to the outcome instead of the process. Our egos wonder if what we do will generate income. Our egos wonder if people think what we are doing is acceptable.

Let EGO go. He's a green, hairy little monster that will eat your life up. He doesn't really care about what you do, as long as it appears nice.

For the longest time I thought that if I did anything, it would have to be perfect. But that's a lie.
Being an artist working in any medium means that it will be flawed. Art is an act of creating, of hit and miss, of seeing things differently. It is an earthy practice. It connects humanity to humanity. It says, "this is how I see something."

We are flawed. Yes. But that's what makes our art beautiful.
If perfection were what we were aiming for, we would be machines with built-in formulas to get exact results. The beauty would be gone.

Art is not exact.
Neither is music, or any other art form. It is an act of faith. We say, "look, do you see? I was here once. This made me happy."

We strive to tell a truth through what we see, a truth connects us to God, and to each other, and to remind us of the magic that is all around us, if we just take the time to look.
That is art. It's not a exact science. Perfection belongs to God. Yet he uses us, even in our imperfect state, to remind others, and ourselves that if we are open, we can be tools of creation, pointing back to him.

I came across this video---Above----a few months ago that says everything I've been thinking about going after your dreams. I was feeling impressed to share this video on here the past few days. What's weird, is this guy who the video is about, just died--I think. What he says is amazing, and so true. Without inspiring people like him, my books would still be just ideas. Thank you for teaching others to believe in the power of their dreams.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Release day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!Book Release day!!!
I still have tons of ice cream coupons to give away. So if you haven't signed up for the online treasure hunt---that takes place at my website please do. For the rules and list of things you need to find go here:

And also a link to my website where you can get a copy of my book.


P.S if you happen to like it---like I hope you will, please leave a review.

In honor of my book release, I'm posting a video I made this summer with my nieces and my sisters.

The video really doesn't have any thing to do with my book. But it kind of does, because without my fam, especially my supportive mom, my book would still be just an idea in my head. Also--a big thanks to my friends who believed in me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ice cream sundae giveaway!

Friday, September 30 · 8:00am - 11:30pm
Choclate Forest (Online)
Pop Rock Canyon RD
Created By
Stephanie Skeem
More Info

Ivory's Having A Birthday Party for her book, that's coming out on 30 of September, and an Ice cream sundae giveaway!

And you're all invited. You can invite your friends as well. There's going to be games, treats, prizes, and best of all, a Treasure hunt!

I believe that all superior Birthday parties should have those things, otherwise it wouldn't be called a party at all. It would be called a Boring, or something like that.

Oh yes, and did I mention there will be ice cream? Yum, yum! Twiskers love Ice cream! And we Twiskers only like fun things in which we can play games, get prizes, and eat good food.

If you don't like having fun, and you don't want to have ice cream, or play fun games and win prices, I suggest you go eat brown beans, and frown at yourself in the mirror, whilst reading a VCR manual. That sounds perfectly dull.

But this party will be anything but. It will be ten times more fun than the last time you had ten times more fun.

Where is this party, and how do I get there? Here, online. You get there by following the directions. Duh.

When: The 30th of September. (An epic date of birth)

What time? Starts 8:00 a.m. and ends at 11:30 p.m. (No early birds, or worms)

Why come? Because it will be fun and require your Twiskerly detective skills. Not to mention the free Ice Cream sundaes that will be served to those who are very clever.

So here comes the fun part.

On the 30th of September, will begin a grand Treasure hunt.

I will list prizes first. Treasure hunt after.
The prizes for finding everything on the list below will be as follows:

The first ten people to find and email me the correct answers on the list will receive a Free Burger King coupon for a Soft Serve Cup or Cone, and a 5 dollars off promotional code toward the purchase of Ivory's book. (Coolest of all!!!)

The next ten people to find and email the correct answers, will receive a Premium Burger king coupon for a Sundae, for just a $1 (M&M, Oreo, Double Brownie, and Peach Granola sundaes only)
and 4 dollars off promotional code toward the purchase of Ivory's book.
(Second coolest)

The next ten people to find and email me the correct answers will receive a burger king coupon for a Buy One Get One Free Soft Serve Cone or Sundae of equal or lesser value.
and 3 dollars off promotional code toward the purchase of Ivory's book.
(Third coolest)

The last ten people to find and email me the correct answers will receive a burger king coupon for a Free Sundae with purchase of a Value Meal (Chocolate Fudge, Caramel, and Strawberry sundaes only) 2 dollars off promotional code toward the purchase of Ivory's book

Prizes for all who participate:
Because I'm nice, anybody who emails me---if they look like they tried, but still got the wrong answers will still receive 2 dollars off promotional code towards the purchase of Ivory's book
(And pretty cool, because nobody really loses)

The Twisker Treasure hunt list:
Email with the answers, and what in page you found it on. You can also send me an email via the website

Can you find:
1. A small, winged fairy
2.The words: Enter at your own Risk
3. An ugly spider on an orange flower
4. A flapping butterfly
5. An origami Swan
6. Three things Twiskers Hate
7.The last ingredient in Twisker Soup
8. What does the Fallen come to Devour? (Hint) Watch the book trailer on website)
9. A orange can that bubbles
10. What was the name of the boy who tried to beat up Andrew?

At this website: You will find all the answers.

The rules.

No cheating. No peaking until the 30th because it is very rude to cheat. Besides, cheaters will grow ugly, green pimples all over their noses, and very very long, hairy, whiskers all over their sad faces.
So there you are. Don't look so skeptical, Twiskers are painfully accurate when it comes to predicting the future.

The choice is yours.

Once again this is the website in which you will find all the answers. Hopefully I didn't make it too hard. I forget that Twiskers are much more clever than the average human people things.

Have fun. Play nice and most of all, remember to have fun!!!!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mangoes are what built the Nation

This is a super long post.
But I've neglected this blog for while, and missed it.

My book is very soon coming out. I've sent off for a proof copy. I hope that it passes the smell, taste, touch, test. Then it will be happy day for me! Celebrations will be in order.

To pre-celebrate I've posted a video of me hoop dancing. I've had people requesting a video. So here it is. There will be many more to come, if I can figure out this whole video making thing.

Oh yeah. You might want to turn off my very loud website music before you watch it. On the side of my blog.

Ahem. Hope you enjoy it. I've had so much fun with hooping. It's something that gives me a lot of joy.

So back to my ramblings.
So I've been reading a book, "The artist way" By Julia Cameron, with mark Bryan. I think I mentioned it before, but I read a chapter that really struck home for me, that I wanted to share. I really wanted to quote a whole page from the book, but I'm not sure if the copyright people would be happy about that. So I'll just paraphrase, she said that we say that our our faith, and trust is in God, but in reality it's not. It's in money, the dollar. Most of our actions stem from that belief.

"We are operating out of the toxic old idea that God's will for us and our will for us are at opposite ends of the table," says Juila. She went on to say that we really think that if we go after our dream, God will be frowning on us, if we do what we love. We believe that our dreams are something that have to be put on a far away cloud, only to be looked at when we aren't doing something "More important."

This chapter in Juila's book really struck home for me. I'm ashamed to admit, but I kind of believed that if I was enjoying myself, that maybe....I don't know, it must be doing something wrong. How ironic is that?

It seems, "And I say seems," because this is what I feel, that we live in a type of society, that holds up, and rewards the most worn down, miserable, workaholic, person who just doesn't have time for anything they love. We pat those types of people on the pack, and hold them up as the icon of what is best---what is ideal.

You've seen those types of blocked artist. People who work and work and work, and never do anything that they "Really" want to. Workaholics, people who are afraid to do what they love, because deep down they are afraid. Afraid of what? Disapproval, rejection, actually enjoying themselves? It seems like they would rather make excuses, and put the blame on something or someone, then take that leap of faith into the unknown where anything can happen.

If your path is charted up in front of you, and you see no bend in the road. It's the devils path.
He wanted it all planned out.
If you don't know everything your future holds, I'm thinking you're on a pretty good path.

What it really comes down to it. Do you believe that God, the most creative individual ever created, who blessed you with the talents gifts and abilities that you possess, has the power to help you use those gifts?

Do you think that God is limited by Money? Funny thought. But that's what it comes down to. If he is limited by money, then money is indeed powerful. If you believe he is more powerful than money, people, position, or any other thing, then your life has zero limitations.

Truth is, as the scripture goes, "Men are that they might have joy,"
I Believe that this scripture is true. And it applies to the now, more than any future date. I don't think God likes it when we put limitations on him, or our ability to create the life he intended for us. We must choose now what kind of life we want. And live it.

I've seen well meaning youth, and adults everywhere I go succumb to the dollar-god, bowing before it, and denying who they are, until they no longer know what brings them joy. It's sad.

Creativity is Gods work in action. If we are open, and sharp tools, God can use us to get his work done. Creativity is powerful, and endless.
People use the phrase, "You're so creative," in a sort of derogatory term. It's as if they are saying, wow you have a lot of time on your hands. You must be not really be "Working," or in other words, doing real work like them, and being miserable serving the dollar-god.

Funny thing is, creativity requires time. It requires a feeling of security and safety to blossom, and grow. It requires space. People are always saying, I'm so glad I'm so busy, because I would get into a lot of trouble if I wasn't busy all the time.

I beg to differ. I need space. I crave space. Space is what gives me time to evaluate where I'm going and why. Space allows me to be able to make mistakes and mess up without anyone pointing an accusing finger. Anything truly beautiful is framed by space. Music is only beautiful because of the space surrounding it. Same with the beautiful mountains surrounded by the blue sky.

Space is the canvas God uses to accomplish beautiful things. Space to think and ponder, and to dream is what gives meaning to our lives. Air, or space is what we breath to keep us alive.

Space is where all true creatives find the source of their creative flow.

A well meaning person told me, when I was about 14 years-old that, "that it was imprudent of me to choose writing or art as a career. Because there was no money in it."

I'm glad I didn't listen to that person.

Money should never decide what path you should take. God should. Period. And if you feel drawn to a certain path for no other reason than it helps you to keep on with that creative flow, then go for it.

There is something beautiful, freeing, and amazing about someone who is doing what they love. They don't need someone to approve of what they are doing. They already know it is right, because it resonates with a deep well of truth inside them. It is a path that, if you decide to go on it, leads onward, into new realms. Such paths will never have a little sign at the end, saying, "You have arrived," more like, you will follow a path, and meet with a little road signs saying, "go here, turn here, rest here, there is work still yet to be done---paths yet to be discovered, stories yet to be told, songs yet to be sung. Keep going.

But that is the way it is supposed to be.
To have arrived is to have died. There is no end to an artist. Only a new path, a new way of looking at something. There will always be something more to be created.

We must create because that is what our creator designed us for. So that is how you will know if something is right. If what you are doing stifles that desire to create, you will feel horrible inside. I know the feeling all too well. It's like someone is holding a knife to your throat. Many people will say, that if you plant "potatoes," you will somehow time to plant

Maybe that's true for them. But not to me. I've lived long enough to see the product of people denying the law of the harvest. If you plant potatoes, you'll get more potatoes, and then you'll spent the bulk of your time planting potatoes, and resenting it, and secretly envying those frivolously happy mango planters.
Plant your mangoes now. I don't care what you're excuses are. Put your "mangoes" first on the list.

"Potatoes" come by default.

In the end, no body will care about how many potatoes you planted, or how hard you worked planting them. But they will care about the poems you left behind, the books, the music, the loving person you were, the love, the way you made them feel when they were around you. They will remember the mangoes. How do I know this?

Because it's the mangoes that make life sweet. It's what we keep in our history books. Mangoes built our nation. Mangoes are what created the light bulb, mangoes are what made anything worth anything in this world.

Nobody likes raw potatoes. Yuck. Potatoes, have lots of eyes. They grow in the ground, and they like dirt and lots of company.

But raw mangoes. Yum. They are good because that's the way God made them. They grow framed by space.

If God wanted you to plant potatoes, you would love planting potatoes. It's that simple.

As for me, I'm a mango planter. And I will always be a mango planter. And I will always tell other planters to plant the seeds that they love most. Love is power, desire, will, trust, faith, hope and action all welled up into one small word.

One small action done out of love will have more power for good than any one miserable planted potato.

Every seed, or action that you do will produce after it's kind. So whatever you do will produce after it's kind. Don't blame God for the life you have, instead go after the life you've always wanted, and show God that you have the faith to go after your dreams. Take faith filled action.

So in a word.

Life is too short to plant potatoes. Potatoes, can eat up your life.
Mangoes are what you were made for.

I don't care if your mom, dad, brother sister, aunt, friend, or uncle, want you to plant potatoes, because it is useful and that's what the family has always planted. We live in a society that constantly says that we must be useful to someone else in order to be a worthwhile human being, or bringing in those elusive "golden potatoes."

Being useful is good. Machines are useful. But we aren't machines. And not all of us were meant, or made to plant potatoes.
We are spiritual beings made to love, and be loved. We are endless.

And sometimes to be, and be still and be happy, just for the soul reason to be happy is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Others would argue that in order for you to be happy you have to make someone else happy. Well...the way I see it, pleasing others to get brownie points never made anyone happy. Instead be happy. Do happy things. In reality you can not "Make" anyone happy. Happiness is a sphere in which it is never solely alone. It expands, just like anything good, and produces after its own kind. So be happy, and it will make others happy. It's that simple.

My sister and I spent the day swimming in the canal, just us two.
We had so much fun. It was the perfect temperature outside. The breeze was balmy. The sun was warm. The water was cool and refreshing. The corn growing alongside the canal. The air smelled fresh. Everything was beautiful. It was perfect.
We sat out on a bridge to dry off under the blue sky, quiet, alone and happy. It was as if, for that small moment, there was no one else in the world. We were truly happy. We didn't need anyone, or anything else to make us happy. We just were. And it was a nice feeling. More than that, it felt Good. Not the lazy kind of good.

It was the good kind of good. Where it just was. For no reason except that we were open to the wonderful day that had God had blessed us with, and we took our God-given right to enjoy it. And nobody can argue with that.

It's nice to be reminded, that to just be, to really be, and know that it's okay to be, to feel the sun on your back, to feel the water on your wet hair drying off in the sun, and to know that just to "Be," is a gift, your gift, and no one else can, "be" for you. It is your right to "Be," and that when all is said and done, it is only you who can feel the sun on your own skin, no one else can feel it for you. No one else can live your life the way you can. No one can allow you to take joy in the moment but you.

It is your choice.
It always has been.

So here's a sort of poem I just wrote, whilst I was thinkin on here.
Doesn't rhyme. But not all poems have to. Right?

It's called,

All the Difference
By Stephanie Skeem

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one most traveled by.
It was long, and it was cold. But It was the path people told that led to all the riches and glory, and the gold.
And it was not long before I began to wonder. I felt like something was missing.
The cold cobble stone, and all the shoving and pushing. I wondered what I was doing.
But still I went on. Because it was the path my family, and friends wanted me on.
It had been worn by my grandparents and theirs before me.
It was one that was old. And a path that led to "Gold."
But something was still missing.
Many a man got waylaid and beaten.
But no one stopped to see if they were still breathing.
Onward we went. A all packed tight, light a can of tuna, racing to get to the gold.
We looked straight ahead, and never rested.
Ours was the path of the holy.
For we were good.
We did all we should.
We were doing what everyone was doing.
Never did we stop, or look up.
We were to busy, too focused on our goal.
We were neither happy or sad, because we didn't have time to know the difference.
Then along came the day, when I tripped and fell on my face.
No one stopped to give me hand. Trodden underfoot, I cried out in despair.
Did not any one care?
Then a hand pulled me from the crowd.
I cried, and I bowed. Before me stood a man, who bore marks in his hands, and a gentle love in his eyes.
I knew from his touch, that he didn't care if I won the "Golden elusive prize."
He smiled and took me away from the beaten road. Down to a quiet glen, to a forgotten path, bathed in the warm sun.
"Here I must leave you," said the man with a smile. "This is you're path. I have been trying to get your attention, for quite a while."
"But what about the gold, the prize?" I asked.
"The gold?" the man wondered. "the prize?"
"Yes, I continued. "I'm not quite sure what it is. But it's what everyone is after."
"Don't worry about what others say," the man warned. "The prize is found in the journey and not and the end. Don't look for the gold. But notice what things are really of worth. Don't worry about traveling by other people's clocks.
Time is mans' way of measuring you're worth.
On my path time is not really measured that much.
It's the way that you travel, and what you enjoy. It's what you notice, and how much you forget that time exists. It's the joy of the journey, and not how fast you go.
These are the things that are truly of worth.

I scoffed at first, but then as I took my first step, and instantly knew what I had missed. I felt the warm sand between my feet, not cold cobblestone. There were birds perched in the trees, singing a sweet song.
A brook was gurgling by the side of the path, and I stopped and enjoyed myself, taking a foot bath.
I smiled without knowing why. I felt alive. Was I in heaven? I dared not surrender. Somehow this was a trick.
Nobody could want me this happy. I had to be miserable first. I should be getting along, instead of wetting my feet. This wasn't useful. I must use my feet.
But then I remembered the man's words. He was sure, and his words seemed true.
It is the joy of the journey, and not how fast you go.
So I took his words, and went on my way. I stopped and watched the children play.
I took time to eat my food. I shared my bread, and laughed, and stood.
I took long naps, and I stopped to draw pretty pictures. I wrote down what I saw, and I read stories of other fellow path travelers.
I swam through rivers, and I wadded through waters. I climbed hills, and I scaled towers. I paused atop a mountain's might peak, and watched, and waited, and thought, and smiled. I cried, when the road got hard. But I was happy still, because I at least knew what I felt. I smelled the air, and felt the earth. I saw the yellow flowers growing on the side of the road. I saw a wispy spiders web covered in dew. I paused and sat on a stump, and watched the forest grow and renew.
Two roads diverged. And the road I took was full of air, and space. It led on to magic fields, filled with roses, and towns and places untouched by human hands.
Many on the beaten track, stopped to point and stare, saying that I was silly for wanting, space, time, freedom, and fresh air.
But I didn't pay them any mind.
I knew what was on their road. The beaten path, beats you until there's nothing left. And makes you forget who you are, where you've gone and why.
I had traveled it once.
And nearly died.
Many had said that the well traveled road would be an enjoyable ride.
But on it there was no space to breathe. No time to stop.
No time to think. There was no where to hide!
All you could do was drive, drive drive.
Bumper to bumper, on this treacherous road, car wrecks, and heartache, and people being rude.
No. I decided. I would never look back. The master had taken me, and I had learned to loved the less beaten track.
Alone with the air, and God, and the trees.
I walk, I dance, I skip, I smell the breeze.
This my road. This little path. However wide. It's not the length, it's the joy of the ride.
It's taken me much farther than I could have ever thought.
Through rainy mists, darkness, chilly seasons, and light of day. Through moor, and highland and hilly maze.
I've seen the birds, felt the warmth and the snow, I've basked in the raindrops, and seen many a rainbow.
For here on this path, I've found all the things I love. Before, I never knew, I didn't have time to love.
And this love I've found, it isn't founded in things, nor in people, nor money, nor fame, nor success.
It's a love that goes deeper than any of that.
It's expansive, and encompasses all.
It creates paths where none can see.
It makes us feel like there's something we can be.
It makes bridges and breaks down walls.
Heals old wounds, and makes short people tall.
It makes us strong, so we can climb.
It never forgets us, and always forgives.
The pathfinder of heaven, the keeper of our dreams,
it is he who has called me from the beaten path.
And that, that has made all the difference.


I'm posting the this powerful movie about the man who created the company, Pixar.
It is pretty awesome. And very humbling to think what a loss the world would have been, had he taken a different path.

Until next time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

“Making a living and having a life are not the same thing.”

My Book trailer (You might want to turn off my loud website music on here before you watch it)

I have this habit of staying up very latish before my birthday so that I can reminisce, and think about where I've been, and where I want to be.
As a rite of passage, or as a way of holding on to the last moments of my younger self, I watched as the clock ticked its way dangerously close to twelve. Then, thinking that just watching the lock was a little lame, I turned out the lights, turned on my flashlight, got in bed, and read the children's book, "Oh the places you'll go," By Dr. Seuss. It's my favorite Dr. Seuss book. It's very applicable to life/writing and anyone struggling to overcome mountains in the game of life. I highly recommend it.

Also, to celebrate my Birthday and my wonderful family and awesome friends, I'm going to give a gift to ya all. I'm posting the link to my new website, and book trailer for my upcoming fantasy novel!! On this website you will find the first chapter to my upcoming book. The main character's adventures begin on his birthday, so I thought it fitting.

My website is here," Just a reminder, my pen name is Ivory Autumn for those who may be confused. Also the site is still being worked on. So keep checking in to see when my book is actually out. :)

Now back to the subject of my Birthday----My Birthday has always made me feel a little special--yeah, I know everyone's birthday makes them feel special. The difference for me is that when I was born, I wasn't breathing. My parents were worried that I wouldn't make it. But then, because of really cool doctors, and little miracles, I'm alive today. To be alive is a nice thing. And because I'm still very much alive, I like to think that---especially on the days when I feel like there's no point, that I still have a mission to fulfill, because God has a plan for me. And you.

My wonderful Aunt Connie just recently passed away after battling cancer for many years. She will really be missed. Her life wasn't very easy. She lost her husband to cancer when she was a young mother, with three boys. She had financial problems, and a host of other obstacles that she overcame. She was one of those people who really made you feel good about yourself. She was creative, passionate, and she did what she loved, and relished the the moment. The passionate way she lived her life reminds me that time is a gift, and we must use the time we have to create---to create a beautiful life, to do what we love, to do what matters most. A quote I read somewhere says it best---the basic message of it was (I can't remember it word for word) that many people often believe that you must be miserable, and do what you don't love in order to do what you want to do. But if you don't take the moment, and do what you love now---you will never do what you love, you will trap yourself by living a lie, and things that are really meaningless will take up your time, and you'll feel cheated. So do what you love now. No excuses. Because doing what you love gives you joy, it creates a force to be reckoned with---a force and power for good that will be remembered.

Another thing I want to touch on is the question that many people ask me (that really bugs me) "What do you do?" Or in other words, how do you spend most of your time? What it really seems like they're asking is, please tell me why I should like you. Tell me what good things you are doing. If you are doing something that makes me look good by being your friend, then I might take a chance to get to know you better. But if you're not---then see ya later pal.
It's rather upsetting.

I was writing a letter to a friend, which says it best, so I'll include a little blip from it, so I don't have to explain it twice.

Here it is ---I suppose I have a different paradigm than most people, because I’ve learned a lot of stuff on my own, not because someone taught me---but because I wanted to know how it worked. It’s kind of a neat feeling. It’s funny, how when you first meet people they ask, “What do you do?” Last week in the singles ward, we had a get to know you game, where everyone answered the question, who are you, and what do you do?
Everybody kind of exaggerated, or under exaggerated, depending on their self esteem. You could tell everybody was very uncomfortable.
I really dislike the question myself. I get the feeling if you answer it wrong, people will slash an ugly check mark on your forehead and say, “Next.”
One of my favorite authors, Robert Fulgam, says it best, “Making a living and having a life are not the same thing.” He went on to say that we are a lot more than just how we make money. He told some person who asked him what he did for a living that he was a respirator---or someone who breathes in and out.
*Ha* If what we do is about how we spend our time, the truth is, most of us spend half our time sleeping, the other half eating, and then going to the bathroom. So go figure. Another truth is that most of us, at one point in our lives, are many things. So to answer that question correctly, Last month, judging how I spent my time, I’d have to say, I was a landscaper, janitor, goat milkier, cook, explorer, singer, (sad person, cus my favorite aunty just died, and we had to go to her funeral) musician, writer, friend, doctor, athlete, cowgirl, mosquito masher, treasure finder, councilor, and, accidental comedian, dreamer, cheese cake tester, author, repair woman, and rain flood rescue worker for drenched animals.

Thus to sum up my life in the smallest possible words, A J.R.R Token Quote comes to mind.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king


So, now, I ask you, from my heart? What do you do? What gives you joy? Don't play yourself down if you don't make a lot of money. Money really is meaningless. All it is, is a tool. No one should base who they are on how much money they get, or how much learning they achieve in this life. Real wisdom is learning to listen to that small voice that's inside us---to the voice of truth and following our own path. Real wisdom comes from taking time to live---to really live.

I want to close this blog post by challenging you---be you young, old, rich poor, famous or invisible, to see yourself and others in a new light. To get to know the people in your life by really delving deeper. When we get into groups and speak of money and position, education, why don't we talk about ideas, dreams, the small things that make up our lives. Because those things are the things that really make us who we are. We are much more than what we do, and we do much more than most people will ever know. "Be the change you seek in the world"--Gandhi

So I'll end with some awesome quotes that made me feel something when I read them. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do. Reading quotes helps remind me the why and how of it all. Helps me to remember that even though my art, writing, and the little things I do every day will aren't perfect, or ever will be, that what I do matters.

A lot of these quotes came from a book called The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I highly recommend it as well.

We tend to think being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength.” pg 126

“Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead.” pg 119

“Creativity lives in paradox: serious art is born from serious play.” pg 112

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." --Pablo Picasso

The best use of life is to invest it in something which will out last life. - William James

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of readiness to die. - G.K. Chesterton

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong. - Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (b. 1918)

"Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals." - pg. 93, "The Law of Dharma"

Failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. - B F. Skinner, American psychologist (b. 1904)

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.

~ Martha Graham ~

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

~ Colette ~

Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.

~ Paul Hawken ~

I don't have a lot of respect for talent. Talent is genetic.
It's what you do with it that counts.

~ Martin Ritt ~

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.

~ Edgar Degas ~

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hula hoop wars/book covers/website/smoking trains/

Hiya y'all,

My poor little bloggy got left alone, in the dark cold world for a whole month. Wowzers. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. I think we should trim time's wings so it doesn't fly so fast.

For those of you who have followed my blog while I was gone, I will try follow you back as soon as I can. Drop me a line so I know if I've followed you or not. It's kind of hard to keep track. Thanks heaps for your nice comments. You are so nice! And for those of you who have bought my firstest book, left nice reviews, and told other people about my writings, thank you, thank you and thank you!!!!! I really appreciate the support. I'll pay it forward to other aspiring authors in whatever way I can. It's nice to know that there awesome people out there willing to give new authors a chance. You guys are the stuff legends are really made of. No pun intended. :)

Oh, and also, whilst I'm in the thanking mode. Thank you to all who came to learn some hoop dancing tricks. I'm seriously going to have to start a hoop dance class sometime soon. It was loads of fun! I was excited to post the pictures from our hoop dancing on here. But In my blondness, when I thought I was putting my pics onto the computer, I was in fact, only loading on stupid pictures, things---like grass, my knee, and other random pictures that mean nothing.I didn't catch that small detail, and in my haste, I supposed that my computer was behaving nicely. In my happy, ignorant bliss I formatted my memory card (which means I deleted everything on my camera) blissfully unawares of this sad truth. But, I soon learned that all the pictures I had taken of my sister's high-school dance/date, were now non existent. Not only that, important pictures of a train that had caught on fire by my house, had vanished. Not to mention the videos. Thus, there was much gnashing of teeth and sadness. A whole months worth of pictures gone, along with mementos of important passages in a girls life.

Let that be a lesson Never trust computers. They are really helpful for the most part. But when you're not looking---they are stinkers.

On a happy note--perhaps a whole score of music would be more fitting. The book cover for my next book is complete. As you can see above. Yep. I'm proud. Especially since I was able to design it myself. (Yep I'm bragging)I love art and design. This upcoming book has a fantasy map, (Designed by me) and lots of fun fantasy character pictures. Sometimes doing all the artwork is a big headache, but it's still a nice feeling to create something out of nothing. Just so ya all know I'm writing under the pen name, "Ivory Autumn." Why a pen name you ask? Well, it's like this. I have always wanted a pen name ever since I can remember. I'm not really sure why. It just is so cool, having a secrete identity, like super man. Silly? Yes. But it makes me smile every time I think about it. I was just wondering, do any of my readers have pen names? If so, come and share all the juicy details about how you acquired it. However if you want to remain hidden in the shadows, I understand. Your pen name must have been picked for stealth purposes. Mine not so much. Just more of a fancy of mine.

If everything works out, my book should be out pretty soon. I'm soooooooooooooo excited. *Cartwheels, root-beer floats, and fireworks are in order! It's taken me a little over three years to get this book-baby born. Yeah, I know. I've been working on writing the other three in the series along with it. But it's still a long time. A very long time.
Another cool thing! My really awesome flash website is so AWESOME! It's something I've wanted for a uber long time. I'm so happy with it! I feel pretty dang lucky.
I'll post the link to it soon--probably on my next post. I don't want you guys to see it until I get the first chapter of my book up.

This past month has been pretty interesting. Just the other day, as me and my sister Bessie were about to go to bed, I spied a huge fire outside out our window. It looked like our neighbor's house was on fire. Being the curious Skeemages that we are, we got in the van and drove to the burning building. We found that it wasn’t the house itself that was on fire, but a large building only a few feet away from the house. The fire had grown so big that it was climbing up the trunk of the tree next to it. The tree was overhanging the house, so we were really worried. The weird thing was, tons of cars were parked round the house like a party was going on. But when my sister rang the doorbell, no one answered. I didn’t have my cell phone with me, so we couldn’t call 911. Not knowing what else to do, Bessie burst through their door, and ran into their house looking for people. She couldn’t find anybody so she used their phone to call 911. (Kudos for Bessie)

After that, we kind of figured there wasn’t much else we could do, so we went back home. Then, as an after thought, my mom called our neighbors house. Weird thing was, they answered. My mom told them that we had called 911, and that their shed was on fire. They told her that they knew it was on fire, and that it was old junky shed and wasn’t any big deal. It made Bess and I feel super sheepish. Our neighbors had been in their house the whole time, and they didn’t know my sister had come in, used their phone and then left. Weird. Period. I think I’d be a little more concerned if a fire that humongous was burning next to my house.

AS for other adventures. My younger sister, Laurie, and her friend roped me into their evil plan to ask certain boys to a dance (Preference) by sabotaging the boys' cars so they couldn’t get to school on time. So we (or Laurie and her friend) decided to execute this plan in the dead of night, when sane people don’t venture out into the freakish cold darkness. Our first order of business was to pick up some junk hay our neighbor so kindly offered, which Laurie and her friend wanted to place in the back of the boys cars. This hay (more accurately piles of mold and poky weeds) was located in outer darkness, in the center of a muddy, dead-car lot.
Because it was so muddy, we had to park the truck a goodly ways off from the pile of mold-hay. As soon as we got out and inspected the pile of mold, coyotes started howling. Very creepy. (Can you tell I don’t like being in the dark?) Then to make it all the more comical/horrible, all three of us girls had to work together to carry the hay. We literally had to become one with the bales of mold, because they were so corroded that the twine holding them together was barely hanging on for dear life. Not to mention they were moist, and very heavy. We had to stop every few minutes and cough, sneeze, and gasp for air. By the time we got the first bale to the truck we were covered in cheetgrass. Not to mention all three of us had to kick, pull, and karate the back of the truck so it would open. It took us about 20 mins to get the thing open. By then, I was ready to call it quits. The boys wouldn’t think a bale of moldy hay blocking their car very much of an obstacle anyway. But my sister and her friend are very determined. bale
So we went and got three more bales of hey, and carefully stacked them into the back of the truck. That was only the beginning.

We sticky-noted the inside of the boys' cars, peanut buttered all the door handles, filled the inside of the cars with balloons, and then we wound string around the seats and everywhere else. It looked pretty cool---like spider man had visited the place, and had a balloon, peanut butter, sticky-note party. Oh and we also placed the pile of mold-hay behind the cars, in such a way that it would make it difficult for the boys to drive to school. I shan’t mention the freezing peanut butter covered fingers, or the fact that because we were covered in cheetgrass, the balloons we came in contact with exploded very loudly, causing a neighbor lady to peer at us from her porch. Nor the fact that my sister's friend and her truck are so noisy that I don’t know how we got away without being discovered. All in all it was a very memorable experience.


I'm kind of sleepy. So I think I'll go take a nap. Yesterday, I just went on a trip with my fam in the desert. I would love to tell you all the details. But I'll save that for another time. Suffice it to say that I have a new addition to my Stephanese Proverbs. He or she who grabs cactus that looks like it has no prickles on it will still get prickled
Talk to you soon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The mailbox

This video is so horribly funny. Take a min and watch.

Today is humor day, if you can't tell. Now smile, think of something funny, and laugh. If you can't think of anything funny. Pretend to laugh. I read somewhere that your body can't tell the difference in between a fake laugh and a real one, so go a head and chortle. You know it's good for you.

I know it's mean, but the other day at a conference thing, I got distracted by a woman in front of me. She had this really long whisker protruding from her cheek. I was like. Wow. That of funny.

It took superhuman strength to keep from laughing when she turned her head, and it bobbed up and down. I tucked my head into my chest and concentrated hard on thinking serious thoughts, on frowning and looking very intent on listening to the speaker.

But it didn't work. The harder I tried to hold in my laugh, the more it wanted to come out. I know. Terrible of me. Please don't think me unsympathetic to those inflicted with strange morphed face-hair they can do nothing about. I mean who doesn't have odd hairs, moles, bumps, ticks, or whatever?

Recently, I had a nuclear zit. It was huge. My sister tried plastering base on it to save me from public humiliation. She poured gallons of makeup onto it. But her efforts did nothing to help me, it only made it looked worse, like a huge volcanic eruption on my face. Not so nice.
I'm sure someone wondered what accident I had been in.

My point? Sometimes we just have to laugh at our humanness. (Is that a word?)Sometimes you just have to laugh, when you do stupid things. I remember putting Birthday candles in the dishwashers, much to my mothers dismay. Wax was everywhere.
Oh, and there was the time when I tested out my mom's soup with the thermometer, and the thermometer exploded. We had to throw away the soup, much to my mother's chagrin. Then there was the time when my sister was swaying back and forth on a chair, only to have the back of the chair crash through the window. Ooops.

I remember once, this older lady who came up to me, and said, "Oh, Stephanie, you're so cute, and grownup, you're getting bigger every day."

My very thoughtful reply was. "You too."

Boy, did that lady laugh. She laughed for almost 20 min. I'm not kidding. I went very red. I didn't mean it in the way she took it. Oh well.

When I write/edit my work, I almost always find something ridiculous that makes me laugh. Her eyes darted across the room. Honestly? How can they do that?

Odd mistakes, and blunders like these are very helpful in reaffirming how mortal I am. They help me to remember that I'm not perfect, nor should I expect myself or any other person on the planet to be. It also helps me to laugh. I for one believe that God has a sense of humor. If it wasn't true most of us wouldn't be here.

Word of kind advice, keep a log of your funny blunders, remember them, and save them for future reference. If they don't seem very funny now, perhaps with time they will be.

Last week, on a particularly raining day, I was feeling like Ms. Grumpus herself. I felt like I was growing warts and everything. To make a long story short, one of my 6 sisters,(I shan't say which one) ran over our mailbox quite a long time ago. And the poor little mailbox hasn't ever been the same since. It hasn't shut very well, and my family used various objects to prop it up. But as with all good things, the mailbox met it's end in the bad rainy weather, and fell to the ground. The mail-lady, did not see the fallen box and ceased to deliver the mail.


That's not even the worst part.

So. I told myself. I will fix the mailbox and we shall have mail again.
Thus me and my sister, Bess, went to work figuring out how to make the mailbox so it would shut properly. I got excited and decided to paint the mailbox. After all, my mom always wanted a pretty mailbox.

So, I being a painter, worked on the mailbox for two days. Then, during the night, I decided to take a break, and perhaps, finish it on the morrow.
Then tragedy struck.
My mom awoke early and innocently stuck the mailbox on it's makeshift stand so the mail would come, as she had been doing every day whilst I had been painting the mailbox---then bringing it in after it (the mail and the box) after the mail had come.

Sadly that morning it had been raining. I asked my mom if the paint could withstand the rain. My mom being familiar with all things painterly thought that it would be fine. However, there was much weeping, gnashing of teeth, when my mother brought in the mailbox, and we all gathered round to see the massacre of my Sistine mailbox.

The paint was peeling and popping up like it was a hundred years old, with balled up lumps of colored paint-mush dripping down it.

I broke into tears.

Naturally my mom tried to make the best of it. "Doesn't look that bad. Maybe you can fix it?"

I left the room teary-eyed and very sure that I was the only one in the world with a "rained on mailbox."
My mom felt bad. And I felt bad that my mom felt bad. So I told her not to feel bad, because I felt bad if she felt bad. Because it was really nobody's fault. Well. To make short story shorter. I decided not to let my "Rained on mailbox" get the best of me. And I scrubbed off the parts of the paint that were coming off, and I tried to make the best of a bad thing. I finished painting it.

It didn't look half bad. The pictures don't show it, but I plastered the background with glitter to make the bumpy paint look more interesting. Looks tons better in the sun. Then, just to make sure the rain/snow wouldn't ruin my paint job again, I sprayed it with sealing stuff. And I'm very happy with it.

My point? I suppose it's rather funny. I mean, who spends hours, and hours painting their mailbox, only to have their beautiful paint job sabotaged by acidic rain?

So, when life rains on your "mailbox" whatever kind it may be, you have two choices.

First choice, you can be sad, mad, angry, and depressed and start blaming the world for your tragic problems, and go hide in a hole and be a grump. Yeah. I'm sure that will make everybody happy.

Or you can let it go. See the rained on "Mailbox" for what it is. A fluke of life, something that you must learn and grow from. Then you must forgive yourself, or whoever, move on, and try to make the best out of a bad thing. It will get better.

Then you look at the problem straight in the eye and laugh. Nothing disarms a problem so easily as a laugh. Try it next time someone is rude to you. It really makes them scratch their heads. And best of all it really does make things better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Crusades

So I've joined the crusades. It sounds like it should be fun. You'll be able to meet new people and make new friends. If you wish to do the same, click on the link.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lead and Inspire!

HA, I did! I tried out for Tuacahn, with my sis. Felt pretty proud of myself. Tuachan puts on some pretty prestigious plays. So, we thought we aught to give it a try. Spent a lot of time learning a song, backwards and forwards, till all my family got sick of me singing it. *Smiles/sruggs*

I sang it in the bathroom, in shower, whilst cleaning, folding laundry, doing animals, and even when I was sleep, I could still feel the song rolling around in my head, bumping around in my skull, making it hard for me to sleep.

When I make up my mind to do something, better watch out. :)

Then when the day for auditions rolled around, we got to BYU campus and froze! It was so cold. I am a firm hater of cold. Heat you can escape from. You can't sweat cold away. I was wearing a thin little skirt, and dance shoes, no socks and a really thin jacket. Why was I dressed such? Vanity to be exact. Yes. I know that's a bad reason. Vanity does have it's prices. Like frostbite. In the end, yes, I had to chop off a couple toes, and fingers. But I still looked fabulous. Brrrrr. The building we were supposed to try out in was clear at the very end of campus. By the time I got there I was an iceberg.

Once there, there was long row of people, with little number tags on their fronts. I would like to say in all honesty that I wasn't nervous. Sure. I've put on music programs for pretty big audiences. But this was a little different. Okay, a lot different. I had this weird thought to run and hide in a restroom until it was all over. Yeah, I know that's very chicken of me. We all are like chicken's from time to time.

I felt very much like the little girl I had watched at the swimming pool, who had gotten up the courage to go off the high dive. However, when the girl reached the edge of the diving board, she stood there, with quaking knees, peering out over the edge, frightened to death. Her mother who was watching from the kiddy pool called out to her, "you can do it! Go on, jump. Here, I'll count, one, two, three, JUMP!" However the little girl scooted back on her hands and knees and went back down to her mother.

I'll admit, it was very funny to watch. Very entertaining. You could see that the girl really wanted to jump. But she was terrified.

Still her mother encourage her. So the little girl went bravely back up onto the diving board, and peered over the edge at the water far below her.
"I'm scared," the little girl said. "Mom, count to nine, and then I'll jump."
Her mother counted to nine. Still she did not jump. Then her mother counted to three. Then her sister started calling out to her to jump.

When watching her, I was silently calling out for her to jump too. But still she lingered on the edge of the board, knees bent, wide eyed and fearful. She stood on the edge of the diving board, on brink of jumping, for almost an hour. You could tell she wanted to do it, but something was holding her back. That something was fear. After a long time of deliberation, the girl scooted back, and went back to her mother. Her mother was frustrated. So she and jumped off the diving board a couple of times so the girl could see that it was possible.
But try as she might to have the courage to do it, she didn't jump.
Fear held her back.

I felt very much like that little girl many times in my life. Fear holds a lot of us back from things we could be accomplishing. The unknown is frighting. But it is only when we do the thing we fear, is fear vanquished.

So, instead of running away from the door, when my number was called for auditions. I put held my breath, and dove through the door. *Splasha*

Inside, the room was huge, with mirrors on the sides. At the far end of the room as about a dozen or more men, (all looked about the same age) sitting on this long, never ending table, which looked even longer, because of the mirrors surrounding the room. I concluded with all the extra reflections, and such, that there were over a hundred people in the room. The men all sat behind laptop computers, resembling a long row of dark headstones, looking smug, and very austere. *I seriously thought about slamming their computers shut and shouting, *Boo!* Especially if I thought it would make them laugh or smile or just do something.

Instead of doing any of that, I went very meekly up to the piano player, and he asked me if there was a piece of the music I wanted him to play that would best show off my voice. I was taken off guard, and told him, just to start at the beginning of the song. I was told to stand at this little tape mark, far from the long row of men. I felt very uncomfortable. I was sure that standing before a firing squad, with something over my eyes, would have been far more enjoyable. At least they would have asked me if I had any last request, or something I wanted to say before I was filled with led.

The men all kind of looked bored, and gave me this look that said, "Okay, girl. I'm really bored. I've been sitting here all day listening to people sing. Just hurry and get it over with cuz, I want to go eat my supper."

The piano started to play, and I started singing. The room seemed so big, and my voice felt small. I sang louder. The piano player was amazing, and paused for me when I forgot to come in. (Inward thoughts, Oh my gosh! I think they hate me! Why did I choose this song? Gosh, they look bored. Grr. I need to sing louder. Why in the heck are they staring at their computers? Do I really sound that bad?
I kept on singing, and then just after the climax, which was the best part, those who had been looking at their computers finally looked up and acted like they were really listening. Maybe even enjoying the song? Then just as I was about go on with the rest of the song, they told me that was good, and to stop.
I think they could see my face go, first red, then blue, then purple. Flustered, I wished that I could dissolve right there on the floor in a pile of fairy dust. I went to go get my music from the piano player, and one of the men asked me a little bit about myself and chatted with me. And another guy told me good job. I wondered if he really meant it. I felt a little bit better after that. But still I shot out of that room as soon as I could, and ripped off the little sticker, number 409, I think it was, and went for the drinking fountain, glad to be out of the hot seat.
I DID IT! Good job Stephanie. Yep. Think I'll pat myself on the back.
Doesn't mean I did a perfect job. But I did it. I gave myself a long speech afterward about how I could have done this or that better. But all self talk aside. The important thing is that, both me and my sister, did something way out of our comfort zone and vanquished our fears. My sis and I have both sung for hundreds of people, but we both agreed, that that particular experience was much more frightening than singing in a room filled with a thousand people. Seriously. There's something very austere about men, all in suits, sitting behind computers, in a large room, in which you must stand apart, to be looked at and heard from all angles.
It's very nerve wracking! I read something somewhere about how fear of getting in front of people stems from our primeval ancestors. Which, when they were hungry, would single one of their kind out, so they could eat them. Yeah. Funny. I know.

So, if you're afraid of being eaten when you sing, speak, or do anything in the public eye. Don't worry. I promise they aren't thinking of barbecuing you. And if they are, well, then I guess you better run. :)

Thus ends my ramblings for today. Word of advice for those who wish to do something, but don't dare. Just do it. It doesn't matter if you get the prize. What matters is that you tried.

"So throw away the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade in your sails. Explore, Dream Discover." --Mark Twain.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nick Vujicic

Another good video of his. Enjoy.

With Christ You Can Do All Things

I had a huge article written, but I decided that I would just forget it. Feeling blue, sad, and lonely. Sometimes you don't realise how much someone means to you until they are gone. Heartache doesn't go away easily. Nuff said.

Anywho... I've been reading a book, called, "Life without Limits," by Nick Vujicic, a guy who was born without arms or legs. It's a pretty amazing story. He has some pretty neat thoughts that are very comforting, especially when you know this guy has gone through some pretty tough stuff---so he really means what he says. I decided I'd just post this instead of my long ramblings. Besides, this video is what I wanted to say anyway.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To Everything There Is A Season

I tend to psychoanalyze myself a lot these days. Not sure if anyone else out there does that. Perhaps I'm alone on this.

Amid ruminating over my own inner thoughts, I came to the conclusion that I as in---I myself, haven't owned myself enough. Weird I know. Sounds selfish, yes. But it is true. A lot of my life has been predominated by male figures who need me to constantly do things for them, to fulfill their grand expectations, men who want to own me, my talents, or control me, what I do with my life. Just so you know, I'm not trying to sound bitter. I'm not. I'm just analyzing myself so I can better understand why I feel the way I do. Yes, I know. A blog is a weird place to analyze oneself.
Very exposing. Gosh. Guess you don't know who now feels sheepish. Baaa.

So after listening to Stephen Covey, (7 habits of Highly effective people) I've concluded that people need a sense of ownership before they can freely give something away. This may sound silly, but it's true. Go watch kids. If they open a gift on their birthday, and you (the kind parent) try to make them instantly share their gift, candy, gum, toy, or whatever, and rip it out of their hand before they are ready, it will cause your child to withdraw, and resent you.

However, if the child is given freedom to own the gift, to play with it, see how it works, to discover it on their own, then they are more apt to share, besides more often than not, they want to share because it is their right. If you make them share something before they are ready, you've taken away their freedom to give. And once you've taken away that freedom, it's made something that could have been beautiful, into something ugly.

Same goes with relationships. If you don't feel like you have owned yourself enough, you won't be able to give of yourself freely. It will be forced. Not sure if I'm making any sense. If not, you can quit reading and go do something more interesting, like eat a brownie.

I have been nibbling on homemade, scrumptious, German Chocolate cake. Yum. You know I'm tying to make you jealous.

Back to subject.

I was reading my scriptures and I turned to Ecclesiastes 3, where it talks about times and seasons, and it struck a chord, because I tend to beat myself up because I don't feel like I fit the mold, and timetable of of everybody else. Everybody seems to be so on top of their lives, and know what their doing tomorrow, the next day, the next, and their entire lives. At least, that's what it seams like. Me on the other hand, am a "rebel" of sorts. I don't fit into the dot-to dot life so may people have. I want to make my own picture, even if it looks not so geometric.
I'm not always sure what I'm going to do. I only know that whatever I'm going to do, it has to be aligned with my beliefs and deepest desires, dreams and goals. And that's how I live. I guess, in a way, I'm glad I don't always know what's coming next. I mean, honestly, would you really want to know? That would take away the adventure of living.

In the words of one of my Sheroes, Hellen Keller, "Security doesn't exist in nature, life is a daring adventure, or nothing."

I sometimes tend to compare myself to others, who fit perfectly into molds formed for them when they were just in the cradle. Yet when I try to fit myself into their mold, I end up very uncomfortable, and squished. Amid this swishyness, I learn the hard lesson that you can't fit into other peoples preconceived molds. You just won't fit. So don't even try to be someone your not. Be your best self, and splash colors across the coloring book lines of life, and be glad that your picture is different, and as unique as yourself. God has given us the grand canvas of life, and it is up to us to fill this canvas with beautiful colors, pictures, landscapes, and people. And paint nice. Give advice to other painters if they ask for help. But don't go splashing your paintbrush across other peoples canvases, just because you think you know how it's suppose to look. It's very rude.

And in the words of another one of my Sheroes, Mother Teresa, "I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world."

So don't get upset if your pencil doesn't look like everybody elsees. We are all ultimately trying for the same thing. We all want to love, be loved, and to radiate Gods love to everyone we meet. We want the love letter we write, to be aligned with the first love letter that God sent us, when Christ came on earth. But we need to be okay with the fact that our letters are not going to be perfect. They will probably have lots of errors, some misspelled words, misplaced modifiers, improper grammar, wrong verbage, and a host of other problems. But if our intentions are where they should be, all those mistakes won't matter. What matters is that we try.

It also helps to remember that everybody is on a different timetable. Every individual is at a different season in their life, so you cannot compare yourself to others, wanting what they have. Honestly, if you got what they have, would it make you happy? No. Because everything comes to us in God's own timing which is much better than anything we could ever plan. Sometimes we think we know what's best for us, we even kid our selves trying to believe a lie, just so we can look good so we can be in the same season as another person. But here's stark reality. You can't force the seasons of life, just as you cannot force the sun to rise or set. The seasons flow, from one day to the next. Their passing is gradual. That's the way I want my life to be like. I want my life to flow like music notes on a carefully formed piece of music, as I follow the master conductor, who directs all who look to him. I know the times I tried to play music on my own, it always ended in discord. I want my values, goals, dreams, desires, and ideals to be in harmony with the essence of who I am, and what God wants me to be, and in some small way, though my instrument is different, and the sound is unique, I'll be happy knowing that whatever part I had, dull, exciting, high, low, solo, trio, duet, I will have contributed, in my own small way to conductors carefully orchestrated music---and as a whole the sound will be beautiful.

Thinks I'll go get ready for a music program I have to do tomorrow.

Ecclesiastes 3

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

15That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

Translate this blog