“Your” Children

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Dandelion Watercolor

One of the biggest lessons in life I’ve had to unlearn is that my children are “mine.”

Gibran’s words are plain and true:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Kahlil Gibran

Too many parents believe their children are a reflection of themselves. Our job as parents is to provide nourishment and safety for these souls. But they are whole people already – we do not – SHOULD not – impose our dreams on them.

 

Writing prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Student: This prompt makes me sad. Because I don’t know. My parents tell me I must be either be an engineer or a doctor. I cannot have a job that pays less than that.

Teacher: Well, let’s say your parents tell you that you can pursue ANY profession that you want. What would it be?

Student: I don’t know…I don’t know, because I’ve never even thought of it.

Why do parents tell their kids how to live your lives when they have their own?

 

By the way, Gibran never had children. Maybe he could be this wise because he had the distance necessary to see the whole picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basics of Happiness

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Jars (Watercolor)

 

“Happiness is a living thing. You need to feed your happiness in order to have happiness last. It’s like love. If you don’t feed your love, it will die. Understanding and compassion are the foundation to happiness.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Connect to Something Big*

 

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Daily painting challenge: August Wren Creativebug.com class

 

*From Ryan Holiday’s Thought Catalog:  Find a Way To Connect To Something BigMarcus Aurelius would look up at the stars and imagine himself running alongside them, he’d see them for their timelessness and infiniteness. Try that tonight or early in the morning and try to make it a daily practice. A glance at the beautiful expanse of the sky is an antidote to the nagging pettiness of earthly concerns, of our dreams of immortality or fame. But you can find this connection from many sources: A poem. A view from the top floor. A barefoot walk across the grass. A few minutes in a church pew. Just find something bigger than yourself and get in touch with it every single day.

13 Habits to Cultivate Every Day* (#5)

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Read. Read. Read!

I still oscillate from watching Hulu/Netflix to reading a good book. Reading ALWAYS provides me with more value to share and enriches my work and life in general. I’ve learned that being observant and having a good partner improves chances of success (Elementary). But going down the path of writing from one’s imagination (obsessively) to producing shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” with Shonda Rimes (Year of Yes) is priceless.

 

*from Ryan Holiday’s Thought Catalog

A Force to be Reckoned With

John Force is an NHRA drag driver. He has over 144 victories and is a major player in his field.

As a child, he overcame childhood polio. As a young adult, he raced for twenty years and failed so miserably that he became the butt of jokes.

But he never gave up.

Most of us attempt something a few times and throw in the towel after a few failures.

What are you passionate about? Can you endure hundreds of fails? Public mockery? If you enjoy the process, (the learning and growth) instead of focusing on the end game, it takes care of itself.

Free Spirit

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Waiting on my white gel pen to finish this piece.

 

Another way to look at your day’s purpose (and string of those leads to a life’s purpose) is to be mindful of your “vibrational frequency.” Yes, that might sound like hippie-speak, but consider it. (What’s wrong with being a Flower Child or Free Spirit, anyway?)

I read Light Watkin’s blog and this is how it inspired me:

If you’re into positive thinking and purpose, think about the present moment in terms of the vibrational frequency you’re putting “out there” (into your world). Are you giving off positive vibes? Or are you complaining or worrying?

When we talk about people giving off “vibes,” we’re often addressing their general energy, not something that said or did specifically. We have all felt someone’s energy as positive or negative before that person said a word.

Appreciating your present moment in terms of energy can get you out of your head (when you’re worried or upset about a specific event). Sometimes, it can be easier than identifying your current thought and catching yourself thinking non-productively. Am I giving off good vibes? Easy to answer. And thus, easy to change.