With My Morning Coffee

If you look at your social media feed when you first wake, please make sure you start your day with the possibility of joy.  I follow this beautiful soul on Twitter — and seriously, every morning, with my coffee, I find myself starting the day with a smile.  

 

If you don’t know who Lin-Manuel Miranda is… trust me, you should!

Hamilton.

(I only follow the beautiful ones….)

Please start your day with the possibility of joy.  It changes everything when you do.

Carmen

 

 

 

 

We. Are. Better. Than. This.

 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  ~MLK, Jr.

Lately I’ve had a short temper.

I’ve lashed out, been easily provoked, and have found myself angry more times than I can remember.

I’m not sure if it’s partially this political climate in the United States (and around the world for that matter) that’s influencing my inner tranquility, or if social media has made me less tolerant or patient, or maybe it’s something else or a combination of things…  Either way, I know I’m better than this.

And it’s not just me, everyone seems to be on edge.  People I admire who I know can handle most anything are crumbling at any controversy, whining at every moment, angry at everything… no one seems to have time for the simple things anymore…like joy.

I realized it the other day talking to a friend – his negativity was palpable.  Every word out of his mouth seemed to grate on me.  I pride myself on being an optimist.  It’s my strength.  And his negativity was like sandpaper to my soul.  It made me so sad for him, for me.

I believe the true test of one’s character is shown when life is not easy, when things are hard.  When things are not going perfectly, that’s when our real SHINE comes through.  We expose parts of who we really are in times of tragedy and pain and if we’re strong enough, if we can SEE clearly, even in the worst of times, we can reveal our true selves; hopefully our best selves.

Martin Luther King, Jr.  said it best:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Yeah, he was so right.  I am so much better than this.

We. Are. Better. Than. This. 

I got this much needed reminder on my headset this morning as I ran on the beach:

What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong …. Yes, yes it is!

Goal: 100 Rejections

Someone once told me that I should have a goal of 100 rejections per year.

This had to do with my auditions and I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s an amazing concept!  And it can be applied to absolutely anything. The benefits of this kind of “reverse psychology”  are brilliant (in my humble opinion).

If you try for 100 rejections a year, then that means, at the very least, you’ve attempted 100 times to do whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish!

It also takes the onus off of “success” and just makes it sort of game. Can I do this and fail anyways? The pressure falls off and it becomes enjoyable to just try – somewhat light-hearted and…wait for it… Fun!

I love this principle. And here’s what I’ve learned in implementing it in my life: Eventually the law of averages takes over and you do succeed in some way shape or form. At the very least, you learn something. It’s kinda cool that way. I succeeded in my goals last year AND learned something about myself that was extremely important to my career and my life in general. It worked!

We all have goals – and my thinking is you should have a baseline: find a way to have joy most days in 2018. Happiness (JOY) is a thing! And setting myself up to have more joy in life is one of my goals for 2018. If something is not adding to my life, then I need to find a way to make it work or I need to let it go. This works for me. I hope it works for you too! And even if it doesn’t, maybe some variation of it does!  Please, at the very least, think on it. You deserve joy! We all do. We are here on the planet to love and be loved – of that, I’m extremely certain – do everything you can to stay in a good place. A positive space…

Happy New Year! I’m so glad you’re ON IT! No luck needed, but wishing you much joy in the process. And hey, I’ve already been rejected three times this year and it’s only January 7th! I’m so on my way to success. Looking forward to meeting you there! 🙂

Peace, love and all that good stuff.
Carm~

For me

I want life to be easier.

For people to be nicer.

To always keep their word. 

Joy. Peace. And yes, Love.

I want to smile to a stranger

and for him to smile back.

I want silence to be in abundance

for quiet to be the norm.

I want love to be easy and hate to be hard.

To matter.

Always.

Where I’ve Been – Imaginatary

Enjoy the Podcast or the Written Word (transcribed):

*

Kid Imaginatary ME

When I was a little girl I used to sit in this corner of our apartment. It was kinda the kitty- corner to the kitchen. And I was real little. My mom was alive back then so I was probably about 6 or 7. And I would sit in this one space and I would create these universes.  I pretended to be able to walk into another parallel universe bending time and space and I would play in those other places – like they were always so magnificent too!  And I remember thinking I was pretty “genius-like”.  And sometimes the adults in the house would come by and shake me because I guess I’d be zoning out. But they’d be asking me, “Are you okay?” and “What are you doing?”

And I would just be imagining.  I would just be creating.

And I yearn for that now.

It wasn’t a way to escape. My life was fine, it was pretty normal.  Before my mom died, life was me being a little girl.  Very simple.  And there was this freedom and encouragement to be by your-self imagining the world.

For the past 3 to 6 weeks I have been doing what I can to get back to that space of pure imagination and creativity.  And you know, it’s not as easy as I wish it were because as an adult we have all these other things that we bring to the table, right?  Is it going to be a good enough creation? Is it going to be cost effective? Will people like it? All of a sudden there’s all this other stuffage that comes with being imaginative. And so, for the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve kinda just been being quiet. And trying to put my life in such a way that I can be that little girl playing by herself imagining a different universe in the kitty-corner of the kitchen.

I’ve also been doing what I can to eliminate circumstances in my life that don’t allow me to easily create. And so that’s also been part of what I’ve been doing.  Walking away from certain people or certain positions, or certain areas of my life that I don’t think are conducive to the kind of joy and creativity I want in my life every day, so, we’ll see…

But I’m back today. And if any of you have any other ideas or suggestions on how to stay in that beautiful, creative, imaginatary – did I just make up a word? Imaginatary?  – space,  (I’m gonna say that I just made up a word, but basically I just misspoke, but it’s all good!) I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks.  Have a sweet day!

Carmen

*Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23, Licensed by Creative Commons 

Bad Habit

We get so much negativity thrown at us all day long.  Just turn on your TV and you’ll see constant reminders of all that’s wrong in the world.  Someone is telling you what needs to be fixed or what you should do before something bad happens.  And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is either – even if you’re watching “happy” television like on TVLAND, the commercials remind you of those horrid wrinkles that certainly make you look old (and old is bad remember), that flab on your stomach must go!  And obviously there’s an enormous problem with men and erectile dysfunction. Not to mention you need medication for anything and everything.  You’re not eating right. You don’t have the right work-out machine; you have to watch this show or that because if you don’t, surely you’ll be missing out on something.  My favorite;  all those $19.99 do-dads that are going to make your life easier, because the frying pan I was cooking my eggs with was fine, till I saw their pan that cooked them “instantly” and without the burden of having to flip them!  OYVEY!  We’re constantly being bombarded with what we’re lacking and what we don’t have.  We never have enough, we never are enough.  We can always be better than we actually are if only…

Negativity is everywhere.  People talk on their cell phones complaining about something as you stand in line at the grocery store.  You log onto Facebook or Twitter and people’s status’ can depress you – even amongst those attempting to totally inspire (ever notice that one comment always shows up to start the negativity flowing?)!  Don’t get me started on the newspaper, radio, etc.

Negativity is part of our lives.  And it seems that most people take this all in like a sponge and have no idea that they’re becoming negative miserable souls themselves.   Then there are those that are “positive” all the time.  But it’s that fake positive.  They’re the ones burning “incense” and not noticing how bad it smells, hitting yoga as if it were a religion, smoking a joint as a cure to everything and swearing by “meditation” as the answer.  They’re one step away from looney, eating granola and living without access to radio, television and such. Their mantra is denial.  Nothing’s wrong with the world, it’s just “my” bad energy. Blah blah blah.  I’m not sure that’s the answer either. Plus, I hate yoga, incense and granola.

I’m not sure why negativity seems so rampant to me nowadays.  Maybe it’s a side effect of technology and this enormous amount of information that constantly bombards us that has made us more negative as a people, but something’s changed.  We’re more on edge, more unappreciative, definitely more defensive – everything is a battle.

We’ve got to take a step back.  Remind ourselves of the good – especially in the midst of the bad.  Work on being positive.  Find joy – not just in sports and grand gestures, but find happiness in the little things, in the everyday things and harp on that for the rest of the day instead.  Stop reacting to all the negativity, stop absorbing the bad stuff and instead repel harmful negative vibes and create moments of positivity.

I assure you:  Life is brilliant!  Yes, it may be short and at times it may be difficult, but it’s far more amazing than we ever realize until it’s too late.  It may have its downsides but all in all, waking up every day even if you have an illness, a financial hardship, you’re without a home, hungry, jobless, in a family dispute, away from your loved one, living in your car, suffering mentally or physically in pain – every day you wake up is still amazingly brilliant.  And do you know why?  Because the mere act of waking up every day poses yet another possibility. A chance that something will happen – that something can happen.  That’s the light I always grasp onto.  It could be as small as watching the sunrise or finding $1 when you do laundry.  An old friend could get in touch and remind you of a funny moment from back in the day, or you could win a few bucks in the lottery.  A piece of music can make you smile or someone could tell you they love you, or miss you, or need you.  A smile from a stranger while you’re walking down the street could be the light you need to change your day.  And possibility then becomes more tangible. You could watch a great movie, read a funny book or feel good because someone said your hair looks great.  It doesn’t matter what it is or how small the feeling of joy is, hold onto that feeling for as long as you can!  Ever notice how if someone cuts you off while you’re driving, you’re pissed for the rest of your drive AND you have talk about it to every person you encounter, post it on Facebook and make it the most important part of your day?  Why not learn to let go of that, and instead harp on the fact that your friend called you today and told you that they missed you or needed you – or that someone was nice enough to let you cut in-front of them as you made your way to the off ramp?  Why don’t we let that smile, or that joy saturate our whole day instead?   Post THAT on Facebook and make someone else smile.

Negativity has become a habit.  We need to stop.

I’ve learned that throughout my life things were easier to get through because I was always able to see the positive even if the negative was monumental and daunting. Choosing to embrace possibility over negativity inevitably makes you a more positive person. It’s hard to always do, but what I’ve learned is like with any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  And now, it’s just habit for me to see the glimmer instead of the doom no matter what the circumstance.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad sometimes too, but I tend to jump out of it quickly and dismiss negativity more readily.

Cliché or not, it’s time to stop and smell the roses –  and to make that the most important part of your day.

Be well.

My Mental Vacation

My Mental Vacation

In the past two weeks I’ve started writing a few pieces I haven’t posted.  Actually, I haven’t finished them at all.  They range in topics from the building of a Mosque in New York City two blocks from the World Trade Center, to the latest Sherrod fiasco with Fox (and everyone else involved).  When I started writing, I was so enthusiastic to share my thoughts.  I had that crazy impulsive vigor running through my heart that just wanted to write and scream out my opinion, and then, half way through I just stopped.

This has happened four times in the past two weeks.  And I sit, staring at an unfinished page. . .

Writing fizzle.

I admit it, I’m totally exhausted!

Everything just seems to be so “drama-esque”.  Everything is an argument or volatile discussion.  Everything is so “deep” and “important”.  Blah, blah, blah!

Yeah, I need some balance.  Some fun stuff.

And thankfully it’s not that hard to do.  You know, to switch gears and find fun stuff and fun folk to pay attention to.  To just enjoy!

What I realized this morning is you just actually need to be looking for it.   Stop falling into the trap of drama and start looking for something else.   Once you start looking for joy, laughter and happiness, it’s been my experience that you actually start finding it. . .

Uhm, that’s kinda too deep too, huh?   Well, you get what I mean!  😉

I’ve decided I’m on a “summer-esque”  mental vacation of sorts.  And my wish today is that anyone reading this post find something to smile about and then maybe share it with someone else.  I wish you all a happy fun-filled day.

(Ya, that just made me feel real good!)

Peace, love and all that good stuff,

Carmencita!