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Writing in the Fall

November has arrived, and the holiday season is bearing down on us.  Before you know it, you’ll be rushing around frantically with winter festivities.  But I’m not stressing.  Not yet anyway.

I have chosen to spend my November writing a novel.  Yes, a novel.  I’ve never written a novel before.  In fact, the longest thing I’ve ever written was a short story.  I’m writing this for something called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.)  The number of people who join is unbelievable, and the support from them is better than any I’ve ever received.  The point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in one month.  1666 words a day.  They say you don’t have to worry about what you write or if it’s any good.  That’s all well and good, and I’m happy to write pretty much anything – but who wouldn’t worry about it?  I mean, I always want to do my best, and I want other people to like my creations.  We are social beings, after all. 

So, anyway, the writing has been coming along pretty nicely.  Only now, I’m starting to have those pestering thoughts.  “There’s no way it’s descriptive enough.”  “You’re going to finish the story before the 50k word mark.”  “Come on…  just edit a little….”  The thoughts bring a little of the stress, and when I stress, I shut down.  By shut down I mean I will grab the junk food and park my butt in front of Netflix all day.  It’s bad, real bad.  Thankfully, I’m also someone who despises quitting.  I will write every day this month, and I will push to reach that 50k word count.  If I finish the story before 50k, I might just start a whole new story.  Or maybe I’ll add an epilogue or something.  Either way, I will write, and I will reach that goal.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you about this after not posting anything for such a long time.  Maybe I’m boring you to death.  My point was simply to show what it means to push yourself.  I also wanted to mention that online community of people.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  Lastly, quite frankly, I am excited!  I want to share the excitement with everyone.  The only thing cooler would be if someone joins NaNo 3 days late just because they read this post. 

I hope you are all enjoying your November.  If you aren’t, go write a novel.  It helps, I promise.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Productivity, Writing

 

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The Path of Non-Interference

I watched another Wayne Dyer lecture.  I just can’t get enough of him.  He was talking about the Tao Te Ching and his newest book, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” (which I also, hastily, went out and bought).  At some point he said we must choose NOT to interfere with other peoples’ choices.  We can only trust that they know what choice is right for them.  He also discussed this concept in regards to parenting and the way we teach our children.  I’ll never forget him saying, “This child came FROM you, but this child is not FOR you.”  At first this stung my heart, and I couldn’t figure out why.  So, I chose to sit outside and contemplate the idea to see why it stung and what I could do to understand it more fully.

 

The View

Each child born to us is a being with a purpose.  From the moment of conception, there is a personal destiny to fulfill.  This is the reason behind Dr. Dyer’s view of non-interference.  He has stated that our children will know what is right for them.  The only time we should interfere is in dangerous situations.  You shouldn’t allow your child to play with a knife he found in the kitchen or allow him to jump in the pool alone when he doesn’t know how to swim, for example.  That’s just common sense.  The example he gave during the lecture involved him babysitting two young girls and his grandson as they played in the pool.  One would splash another, and the one who got splashed would come to him crying about it.  He listened to their complaint but didn’t interfere in the interactions of the children.  In the end, they all stopped fussing over things and learned to play well together without adult interference.  I know the idea of this seems wrong to many people – at least, parts of it do when we think about all of the situations our child encounters daily.  I’m still battling with it myself day-in and day-out as I try to raise my son in the best way I’m able.

 

A Personal Take on Things

I was writing my thoughts on the concept in my journal, hoping to find more sense in it all, and as I was writing, it was like it all unfolded so nicely.  It didn’t take long, and I finally understood how it works.  Here’s the portion in which it started to come to light:

“…as more days go by and he grows and shows ever more intelligence and independence, I realize he does have his own purpose on this earth.  I see so much potential (as I’m sure every parent does), but I think about his development and wonder how he would be if there weren’t rules put in place.  I remember why we started resorting to time-out.  He would never listen to what he was told.  (Here we were interfering, trying to control him.)  But he needed to learn not to throw food, to clean up his messes, and to respect the people around him.  He was getting really bad in all of these areas.  I wonder if Wayne made his kids clean up.  I wonder if he allowed them to mistreat him verbally or physically…  but now that I ponder all of this, I am reminded that children learn from their surroundings.  They speak the way they’re spoken to.  They want to do what others do.  They emulate and idolize the people who surround them.  What awful role models we have been.”

If you’ll notice the “…” in my passage, that is where I broke off into thought and tried to picture Dr. Dyer’s children treating him badly.  I realized I can’t picture anyone treating him badly, because his positive approach makes it damn near impossible for someone to treat him that way.  That’s when I realized, while it may have happened with his children at some point in time, it must not have happened often.  And the reason why is because they learned how to be through watching him, and he did not retaliate against the behavior (which would have probably made the behavior even more persistent.)

This was my AHA moment.  I finally understood that everything my son was doing “wrong” were either parts of his learning the best way he knew how, or they were actions he learned from us specifically.  We yelled at him when he didn’t listen to us, so he began to yell at us when we weren’t listening to him.  We spanked him if he was getting too out of control, and he started hitting us when we made him mad.  He doesn’t clean up his mess consistently, because we don’t always make it a point to show ourselves cleaning up or to ask for his assistance in doing so.  This is the key to non-interference with children, I believe.  We must better ourselves and live from our source so that our children can learn to do the same.  (As for the throwing of food, I have no answers for it.  It still eludes me.  The only thing I’ve been able to think of is he’s full and just isn’t voicing it.)

 

Now To Start Practicing

I know it’s much harder said than done, and parenting is different for everyone – because each child is unique in the way that they are going to perceive the world around them and act accordingly.  When I consider non-interference, I think there should still be times when a child is put in "time-out”, but it should be more of a positive time-out.  I’ve heard from friends as well as articles (like the one listed below) that calm-down zones work better than the traditional time-out chair.  If you’re unfamiliar with this idea of a calm-down zone, it means an area with blankets, pillows, or a couch where the child can sit and relax themselves.  It usually includes books, and parents are encouraged to use it with them sometimes. 

I also believe things can be taken away from the child if he misuses them – such as hitting someone with a toy car after being given a warning for such behavior.  But is it really a big deal if he’s doing things that harm no one?  We have a tendency to get overdramatic with our children.  If they are constantly running around the house squealing or using their plastic tools to beat on the table or other toys, it might bother you – but they are harming nothing.  I believe these are the times of true non-interference.  It’s all about taking a deep look into how you are training your child to be.  No matter what, there are key characteristics of this child that you will never be able to change.  You must see your child for who they are and help to nurture that as much as possible.

 

In Conclusion

As an end note, I had a bit of a breakdown after my son’s behavior this afternoon.  I was feeling absolutely defeated and lost in regards to how I should handle the situation.  In my time of need, I found an article talking about the defiance of a toddler and how to handle it.  It helped to bring me back to earth and remember it’s all a matter of perspective.  My favorite part was a quote the writer used,

“When a child behaves badly, she already feels terrible.  Where did we ever get the idea that in order to make children do better, we first have to make them feel worse?”

If you would like to check out the full article, you can do so here:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_defiance-why-it-happens-and-what-to-do-about-it_63678.bc

And as always, please feel free to share your opinions and stories with me, whether in the comments section or in a personal message through the contact page.  As parents, we are all learning the ropes together as our children grow and change.  It’s this togetherness that will see us through. 

If you like the posts found on Growing Wings, please sign up to receive them by email.  The sign-up is on the right-hand side of the page.  You’ll also find my Facebook and Twitter links.  Follow along, and let’s take this journey together!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Change, Parenting, Positivity

 

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The Joy of Learning

I sat down a few months ago and starting asking myself the age-old question, “What do I want to do with my life?”  Whenever I ask, it always pertains to a certain portion of my life that isn’t quite what I want it to be.  More often than not, this usually boils down to a career.

Then I started learning about video game design. 

 

The First Step

I was using Google and searching, finding new aspects of the art, and searching, and finding even more new aspects. Still I kept searching.  I was doing this for months as a means to gain as much information as I could.  (In case you don’t know, I’m an information junkie.)  Throughout the months, I used some programs to create simple games and see if I really enjoyed doing it.  And quite frankly, I loved it!  But then I got sick of using these programs.  Some were so simple that I had a hard time making them do what I wanted.  Some were too hard for me to understand what I needed to do.

I realized I would need more education in order to advance this new goal of mine.  So, I decided to pursue programming.

 

The Second Step

Initially, I considered the option of pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in video game design.  It seemed like the easiest way for me to get all the information I was looking for.  Not to mention, I’ve always wanted the chance to pursue a degree just to have that experience.  But then something I found stuck with me.  I saw a forum post from someone who was 27 years old and looking to get into the video game industry.  His question pertained to whether he should get a degree or not.  The biggest commenter on the forum responded by telling him that he should focus on creating a portfolio rather than getting a degree.  (The reasoning partially had to do with the age of the inquirer.)  Perhaps this stuck with me, because I felt like the person asking the question was me.  I am 28 years old and was considering the same thing – wondering if my age would effect things at all.

From that moment on, I decided I would find other ways to learn what I need to know.  Knowledge is everywhere, and there’s always someone willing to share it with you.  It’s all about seeking it out – taking hardcore action.

 

The Third Step

During my hunt, I found a site that teaches various forms coding, complete with examples, small tests of each topic discussed, and projects.  I also found (through one of this site’s forums) another site that offers free university courses.  (I’m actually scheduled to start a 9-week course in October.)  Since I found the right teaching tools, I created a schedule for myself.  I have study times and days, and I stick to them.  The coding is challenging, but it’s also exciting and fun.  I have taken days off, because it frustrated me so badly.  I have also gone through a bunch of material at once, because I was on a roll.  Most days, however, I try to create some kind of limit for myself to avoid burnout or overwhelming frustration. 

I’m telling you all this because I’m pretty proud of myself.  I’ve always struggled with the balancing act in life, as I’ve mentioned many times in this blog.  But I’ve finally found something I can balance very easily with all the other important things in my life.  I made it a priority, but I also made sure it wouldn’t over-run everything else.

 

Final Thoughts

I suppose the point of this post is to show you that you can find whatever it is you need to become the person you’re meant to be.  Can you visualize the person you strive to be?  Does it feel completely right to be that person?  Well, guess what…  You already ARE that person.  It’s just buried beneath too many layers for you to see it all the time, but I promise it’s there.  You are there.  If you envision a dream career but have no idea where to start, go hunting for that information!  I promise you, you’ll find it.  Thanks to this beautiful invention called the internet, we have immense knowledge at our fingertips.  All we have to do is tap into it.

If we know what we want, and we declare it, we will find it.

Of course, I’m not just talking about declaring what we want when doing a Google search.  I’m talking about the power we have to attract what we want most.  They are one and the same.

I hope this post somehow enlightened you to do whatever it is you need to do to achieve personal greatness.  And if you feel you’ve already reached it, even a little bit, please feel free to share it with me.  I would love to hear your story.

 

If you like the posts found on Growing Wings, please sign up to receive them by email.  The sign-up is on the right-hand side of the page.  You’ll also find my Facebook and Twitter.  Follow along, and let’s take this journey together!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Change

 

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Climbing Up From the Deep End

“Inspiration is our ultimate calling – to listen to the highest part of ourselves and reconnect with our Divine Source.  Each of us has a purpose and a path we can only discover by following those things that inspire and ignite our passion. … Discovering that inner flame, aligning yourself with that inner excitement, is your connection to who you really are and to the life you were born to lead.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

Words cannot express how much Dr. Wayne Dyer has been my saving grace as of late.  I have been struggling to find my place again – a constant cycle in my life always leaves me feeling this way.  Whenever I listen to one of his lectures or read something he’s written, I immediately feel like I know what I need to do.  The basis of his teachings seems to be in relation to the Law of Attraction.  If this is something you’re unfamiliar with, I’ll break it down as easily as I can.

 

The Law of Attraction: 

If your inner voice is constantly saying, “I’m too busy, I’ll never get this done!” or “I am so broke…  I can’t afford to do anything.”, your life will constantly hand you what you’re telling yourself.  You will continue to feel busy and poor, because you are creating it for yourself.  With the right intention, you can create a better life and a better you.  It’s all about saying the right things to make them manifest.  “I am love.  I am happy.  I am healthy.  My life is full of abundance.”

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

This is another quote Dr. Wayne Dyer says in almost all of his lectures.  That’s because it’s really the basis for everything.  It goes hand in hand with the Law of Attraction.  It’s also something I’ve talked about in past blog posts:  perception!  Our perception of the world around us is what makes us feel certain ways.  One person who says they are happy and healthy will look at a thunderstorm as a beauty of nature.  Another who is full of negative self-talk will become upset by the thunderstorm because it ruins their plans of being outside.  Perception.  This should be our focus.

 

Making the Change

So, now we want to make this change.  We want to follow the Law of Attraction and follow the steps that Dr. Wayne Dyer lays out for us.  (By the way, I highly recommend finding some of his lectures on YouTube.  He is a phenomenal speaker.)  But where do we begin?  Our minds are so full of this chatter.  How do we reverse what it’s saying?

There are so many things we can do to better ourselves.  I think I could probably go on forever about them.  But this is just about taking that first step.  And the first step is awareness.  You must be aware of what you’re saying to yourself all day every day.  When one of the negative comments appears, you need to stop and correct yourself. 

“I’m so tired of my job…  Actually, I am thankful for my job.  I am thankful for the opportunity to work and possibly learn new things.  I am thankful for the people and experiences it brings into my life….  I am thankful.”

If you continue this pattern of stopping the negative self-talk by countering it with positivity, eventually there will only be healthy self-talk.  Instead of that thought of hating your job, you would be thankful for what it gives you.  Going into work will not make you anxious anymore.  You will simply be content to go.

 

A Look at Awareness

If you find yourself having trouble with the awareness aspect, there are a couple ways that may help you to cultivate it. 

Of course, the first (and probably best) way is meditation.  Even five or ten minutes a day can help you to gain awareness in all aspects of your life.  By meditating, you are creating (using self-discipline) an awareness of all that is happening around and within you.  Not dwelling or letting the chatter go on.  Meditating helps you to have a clear mindset throughout your day.  This is why most practitioners will recommend meditating first thing in the morning.  However, if that isn’t feasible for you, it’s okay!  You can honestly fit it into your schedule wherever you want and still benefit from it.

The second way I have to offer you is to write.  It doesn’t matter if you are a “bad” writer.  And quit telling yourself that’s what you are!  Writing is such an amazing thing.  When you write, you dump all of your thoughts and feelings – especially in a journal.  If you are trying to cultivate awareness through writing, I suggest writing down the thoughts you notice arising throughout each day.  These thoughts are probably provoked somehow, and if you can write out what made them arise in the first place, you’ll know when to expect them.  Chances are if you are aware of what can cause them, you can stop them before they are able to manifest.  Just write.  Write anything at all.  Go back and look at the self-talk that came out on paper …  and correct it.  Change the negatives to positive. 

Underneath this ego is a soul full of love and compassion, a soul that can create whatever it desires!  All you need to do is let go and remember to love yourself.  You are a beautiful being.

 

And I end with this:

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Change, Positivity

 

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Hello? Are You Listening?

It is not uncommon for us, as humans, to lose our temper from time to time.  During an argument, we know we are right and the other person is wrong.  But how many times have you found yourself going over the argument in your mind afterward and realizing the other person may have been right?  Or perhaps simply realizing it isn’t about who is right, it’s about the way you handled the situation?

 

Of The Moment and The Ego

In times of heightened emotions such as this, we have a tendency to let ourselves get overwhelmed by our ego and speak without thinking.  It can be hard to slow down and take everything in during the moment.  I’ve read plenty of books, articles and blog posts that share better ways to communicate.  For example: holding hands and taking turns speaking.  While this seems logical and we know it would help, we still don’t take the time out to practice it. 

Well, maybe some of us do, but I’m not sure I’ve met a couple who does yet.

Communication is a means of conveying a message.  It requires not only speaking (sending the message) but also listening (receiving the message).  Most communication barriers have to do with someone (or both parties) wanting to speak their piece but neglecting the fact that they also need to listen.  Actively listening forces you to take in the other person’s perspective.  If you do this, the chance of your conversation turning into an argument is lessened, because you take yourself away from your ego and into their shoes.  There is no right or wrong person.  There is only differing perspectives.  Once you fully understand this, it will make your conversations flow more smoothly.  (Of course, it helps if the other person knows and understands it too.)

 

Facing The Mirror

Another thing that needs to be understood is our ability to point the finger at another person for something that is actually within ourselves.  If you don’t believe me, pay attention the next time you get mad at someone.  It isn’t always there, but more times than not it will have a mirrored reflection of yourself.  Let me give a few examples.

- You get angry with someone for bringing up a tough subject.  (It bothers you because you have neglected the subject altogether and are trying to ignore it.)

- You make rude comments to your partner about the junk food they’re eating.  (You’ve recently gone on a diet and aren’t eating junk but find yourself having the urge to do so.)

- You tell a friend their decision to quit the day job and pursue their dreams is unrealistic and childish.  (You are envious of their courage and wish you could do the same.)

Now, these might not sound like you.  Everyone has different scenarios.  But I’m willing to bet you’ll find situations like these in your own life if you just open your eyes to find them.  I know I didn’t fully believe it until I started paying attention to the things in my life that irritated me.  It really is an eye opener. 

I’ve noticed this sort of thing happens more often to the people who don’t look within themselves to bring about change.  If you already know and accept things about yourself, you are less inclined to blame others for your personal demons.  But sometimes there are personal demons we don’t even know about yet.  The best way to handle this is to find them, face them, and acknowledge they are a part of who we are. 

Try paying attention to what annoys you or brings about anger or sadness.  Then ask yourself if it has anything to do with you instead of the outside world.  I think you’ll be surprised.

 

Stepping Outside of Yourself

I pride myself on being able to put myself in the position of others, understanding why they do the things they do and how their life might seem to them.  However, I am also one to lose my cool in the moment pretty easily.  It is only after the meltdown that I re-evaluate what happened and go back to the person with a new approach.  Do I think this is a decent way of handling things?  Well, I wish I wouldn’t lose my cool at all, but I am thankful I have enough respect for others to go back to them and apologize while trying to fix the problem.

No one ever said life was easy.  We are all learning as we go.  No amount of reading or listening or watching can teach us everything we need to know, especially when it comes to daily interactions.  It can’t fix us.  Only we have the power to do that. 

I suppose the point of this post is to help you get a fresh view of how you communicate with others.  We aren’t given an infinite amount of time on this journey.  We need to make it count.  Are you listening to the people around you?  Are you making sure to keep peace with the ones you love?  Your loved ones are your most prized possession in this lifetime and perhaps many thereafter (who knows where we’re going after this anyway?!)  Be sure to love them thoroughly. 

Be nice.  Be happy.  Be peaceful. 

Be LOVE.

 

If you like the posts found on Growing Wings, please sign up to receive them by email.  The sign-up is on the right-hand side of the page.  You’ll also find my Facebook and Twitter.  Follow along, and let’s take this journey together!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Change, Communication

 

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Catching Up

It would appear I have done that thing I have a tendency to do – neglecting certain tasks, like this blog.  So, I send my sincerest apologies to anyone out there who tries to keep up with me and this little blog I have created.

 

Let’s catch up, shall we?

Throughout the past few months, I have dealt with many ups and downs.  I am in quite the financial rut, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better anytime soon.  (Unfortunately, my new job doesn’t bring as much wealth as it does happiness.)  However, I’ve got plans to start a new music project: hopefully it will come together after the holidays.  I’ve started practicing my drawing techniques and learning new ones as well, since I have never been much of an artist.  And I’ve also begun learning how to create platform video games! 

In other words, my negligence was due to some very positive changes in my life!

Throughout my time on this earth I have dabbled in various art forms, loving them all and learning much about myself along the way.  In fact, I might have mentioned this dabbling in other posts on this site.  I can never seem to focus on only one thing – which is a pain and somewhat of a blessing at the same time.  “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind when I think of myself.  But lately I have started thinking it was all meant to be that way, now that I’ve brought video game creation into my life.

 

What this means to me

Creating video games from scratch seems to use most of the skills I have learned over the years.  I use my art, photography, and Photoshop editing skills to create graphics, music skills to create the sounds and game tunes, and my imagination and writing skills to create the stories behind and within the game.  Along with the artistic skill-set used in this endeavor, I can also mention a life skill: patience.  Had I not learned to have some patience over the years working with the public – which leaked into my everyday activities – I definitely wouldn’t be able to create something of this magnitude.  One would not believe all the work put into some of the smallest games.  It is an incredible process.

I’ve already started creating short-term and long-term goals for myself in this new project.  It all just seems so perfect for who I am and where I am in my life right now.  I haven’t felt this way in years, and it feels wonderful!  It is important to feel like you are following your passion, in turn gathering personal happiness and success.  I gave that up for far too long.  Now it’s good to get it back.

I’d be interested in hearing about your passions.  Please feel free to comment below about your passion in life and how you could better follow it!

 

If you like the posts found on Growing Wings, please sign up to receive them by email. The sign-up is on the right-hand side of the page. You’ll also find my Facebook and Twitter. Follow along, and let’s take this journey together!

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Productivity

 

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Gettin’ It Done

I have this incredibly horrible habit of letting projects go to the wayside.  I’m not sure if it is a lack of motivation, laziness, or simply getting caught up in the life around me.  However, I have finally started getting back into my projects.  And you know what?  It feels great!

I am hoping to keep myself on track this time.  Throughout the years I have gone through many cycles.  One cycle is the “I’ve got motivation and I’m going to do this, this, and this,” but after so long I lose all motivation to do anything.  Then I realize I’ve been doing nothing for too long, beat myself up, and start moving again.

 

Time to break the cycle!

Being a person who loves routine, I’m planning to slowly incorporate bits and pieces of my projects into my daily life.  Slowly is the key.  I have learned through years of personal development that rushing a change leads to certain death – err, so to speak.  You must take it one day at a time.  As long as you continue working, no matter how much actually gets done, you are making progress.  Any progress is good progress.

So, if you are going through something similar, I urge you to create some kind of small routine for yourself.  If it’s important to you, you will do it.  You just have to remember what it means to you.  We often find ourselves getting caught up in daily life and forgetting the things that mean the most to us.  If you love your gift, use it!  Do not let it get shoved aside.

I hope you don’t mind the short post.  I’m off to continue my projects!  Have a great week everyone!

 

If you like the posts found on Growing Wings, please sign up to receive them by email.  The sign-up is on the right-hand side of the page.  You’ll also find my Facebook and Twitter.  Follow along, and let’s take this journey together!

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Productivity

 

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