#tbt Arizona and New Mexico

I would like to introduce everyone to a blog that is new to my Reader and one I am enjoying a lot…Dr. Meg Sorick!!

Meg Sorick, Author/Artist

I’ve had my head in research on The Great War for the past couple weeks and frankly, it’s bumming me out.  For a change, I thought I’d share some photos of a trip to the American Southwest.  I live in the Northeastern part of the USA, which is the complete opposite in climate and terrain.  Hope you enjoy the pics!  Cheers!

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We stayed at a spa resort in Sedona called L’auberge, which in French translates to “the inn”.  This is our little casa.  And the restaurant at the spa where we ate one night.  I sampled the charcuterie plate including dried, cured bull testicles!!!
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Hiking one of the many awesome trails in the Sedona area.

We drove north to the Grand Canyon.  After the helicopter tour of the south rim,

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I had a chance to relax!  (Can you tell I have no fear of heights?)  And we drove this:  the Camaro…

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Free yourself…

Introducing It’s Me Saraa!!

It's Me Saraa

“If you give your fear legs, it will run away with your dreams

I’ve read this beautiful quote a while ago.. and it keeps on running round in my head.

It is deeper than You and I think.

I mean.. re-read it.

How many times have you gave up on what you wanted cause you were AFRAID?

In my situation, countless times.

WE let fear take control over us. And dear friends, it is SO damn wrong.

You’ll stay where you are if you don’t take control of your life and get over your fears. You’ll be missing on life’s opportunities and chances. Take risks. You’ve got nothing to lose, as much as you’ll gain if you try !

Of course, we all get a little scared sometimes. I know I do.

But if I let my fears take over me, and don’t try or do what I want…

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New 7 Wonders Of The World

7 new wonders of the world…

Export Portal

On 11th November 2011 in 11 hours and 11 minutes the New 7 Wonders that are admired around the world were announced by the Foundation “New7Wonders” as an act of preserving heritage and stop the destruction of nature.

  1. Amazon rainforest, South American countries

2. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

3. Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina, Brazil

4. Jeju Island, South Korea

5. Komodo National Park, Indonesia

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines

7. Table Mountain, South Africa

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pirate smile

“Today was about trying and tomorrow will be too.” Sometimes all that is needed in life is a little effort.

outsidein30

So I decided to try. Try to have a good day. Try to put 200% into my work. Try to eat. Try to be a part of society.. Whether I’m accepted or not. Try..Try to smile. Try not to let being on the outside dictate what’s going on inside..Try to own my truth..Try to grab a slice of happiness and hold it as though I’m worthy of ownership. Try. Try not to fear failure.. For if it should happen I will try to fail forward. Just try. Today was about trying and tomorrow will be too.

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How to Find Your Creative Spark and Ignite Your Life!

Several years ago I remember having a conversation with a friend about food.  What types of exotic foods we had eaten, which were our favorites and what we disliked.  I recall my part of the conversation being short as it has only been in recent years that I have moved off of the southern delights of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra and corn; on the cob or off!

But what is so vivid in my memory for some reason is my friends challenge to me to step out and try new things. And it was out of that conversation that I realized that I loved broccoli. I had spent the majority of my adult life explaining to people when presented with the veggie that I didn’t like it. I can’t recall why I didn’t like broccoli nor why I had never tried it since I was a kid.

And as a matter of fact the memory of first tasting it and deciding I didn’t like it escapes me. But none the less I had decided in my mind that I did not like broccoli therefore broccoli was not a food option.  I am thankful now that many years ago I tried broccoli and realized I loved it as now it is one of my favorite vegetables.

kut.org

kut.org

This veggie situation got me to thinking about the dilemma that some have when starting to design a life of success.  Step one is deciding on what you want, what you have desire for, and stating it to the universe.  But how do you begin when you don’t know what you have desire for?

So here’s my answer: you have to experiment in life to determine what might release desire in your heart. Just as I stepped out and gave broccoli a new place in my life, you must be open to new things in order to find passion and desire!  Until I started writing I did not realize how much I loved it.  It has become more than something to do, often times it is my therapy, my release from stress. It releases in me a creative juice that permeates all parts of my life.  I think we treat our life sometimes like I treated broccoli. We don’t know what we will like because we close ourselves off to the opportunities!

There is true desire and passion inside of every single human being. Some have a desire to serve and help people. Some have a desire for business and money. Some have a desire to write. Some have a desire to draw. Some have a desire to fly. What you must do is retrain your thinking, start saying yes to more experiences in life that will open up the creative spark inside of you and awaken your desire. (If you haven’t watched Yes Man starring Jim Carey do so).  Think of life as a Chinese buffet bar.

And when you are standing in front of that buffet bar with your empty plate don’t go automatically to the things that you already know you like.  Fill your plate up with things that you have never tasted before or have passed over.  I am going to promise you some of those items on that plate you very well may not like. But, you may find one new item that you had never given the opportunity before and it may become your new favorite Chinese buffet bar item!

There is such a big, beautiful world in which we live, full of amazing and spectacular things to do and experience.  Yet, we sit in our cubicle and type away.  And that might be okay for work, but that is not okay for LIFE!!

from the movie Office Space

from the movie Office Space

Life was not meant to be lived in a cubicle. And many of us struggle with desire because our life has become so normal and ordinary, that we haven’t taken the time to expand ourselves by expanding our life experiences! Our routines have numbed us to the amazing world we live in; and many of us live with dying spirits.

So, step one to developing desire is to get outside of your “world.”  Go to the park and kick a ball, experience being a kid again by finger painting, make a mess, cut your own hair, take a picture, paint a picture, skip a stone, go fishing, fly a kite, get grass stains on your jeans, play in the rain, lay in the grass and watch clouds, go hiking….Scream at the top of your lungs and sing a song.

Break that shell and declare yourself to the world!  Once you have awakened the creative spark, finding your passion is right around the corner!

Just a thought for a Thursday morning…

Don’t Just Exist – Live Life to the Fullest

Will living a full life result in a fulfilled life??

Juliedee B. Parcia

At this day and age, only a very few people, if there are anyway, who live their life to the fullest. Everyone faces some uphill battles and has his or her share of excuses that need to be faced and dealt with day in and out that can suck all the positive energy and fun right out of life. But the really saddening truth is that even if almost all people know what it would be like to live life to the fullest, only a handful have the courage to let go of the reins long enough for them to allow themselves to do it.

fullestExpectations and responsibilities can loom large and dark in the horizon and the nagging negativity strings can hold your feet firmly to the ground that can restrict your wings from soaring high, clamping down your happiness.

The million dollar question now is, how can a…

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12 Tips to Live a Passionate Life

imagesThese are some fantastic tips on learning to live a life full of passion.  You must develop an open mind and welcome new experiences.  It is through new experiences that we learn about ourselves, the world and those around us.  It will change your perspective.

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/12-tips-to-create-a-peaceful-passionate-life/

Finding Inspiration

For a couple weeks I have been thinking about things that inspire me and the power of inspiration in life.  Inspiration can carry the weaker of teams to victory in sports.  It can lead an army to victory over a much more powerful foe.  Being inspired can enable the simplest of people to climb to the pinnacle of success.

But what is it that inspires?  It could be a photo, a romantic story, a team victory or any number of events that cause us to take action.  Many times inspiration is found in an unexpected or tragic event or death.  However one finds inspiration it is a very powerful force and should be sought after.

 

My friends Stephen and Wendy inspired me with this lawn flag!! DREAM BIG!!

My question for you: are you inspired?  Do you take time to look for inspiration?  Sometimes inspiration happens unexpectedly, but were you aware that you can exercise your ability to be inspired?  What I mean is you can put into practice habits that will give you a better opportunity to find and stay inspired!

Habits that will help you stay inspired:

  1. Meditation/Prayer
  2. Reading inspirational quotes and writings
  3. Outdoor exercising
  4. Practice being Open-Minded
  5. Practice being an inspiration to others
  6. Experiencing new activities
  7. Nature walks
  8. Practice patience
  9. Sit and watch

 

Often times I find people sit and wait for inspiration to find them.  And this works effectively in certain moments, although it can take up considerable time.  But many times we need to stop and examine our lives to see what we can do differently to change our situation and encourage more inspirational occurrences.   And when we do this we change our perspective which, in turn, opens our eyes to an entirely new world.  It is only when you “make the familiar strange and the strange familiar” that one can find inspiration where once it was not found.

Each and every day I try to look at life from a new vantage point, to not make assumptions or have predetermined opinions or expectations.  To let life unfold before me and appreciate it as it does.  Don’t rush through life, because you just might miss your inspiration!

 

Big Dreamer

 

Open Your Mind, Open Your World!

I originally posted this on January 12, 2015:

One of the characteristics of successful people is they are slow to speak, but quick to listen.  Since my post about the characteristics of successful people I have thought a lot about this trait and I have wondered why it is talked about in every article I read on the topic.  One of the reasons behind this is successful people are, by and large, very open-minded.  Which led me to ask myself if I were open-minded and why is it so important? 

There are so many issues that arise when attempting to self-assess, the most obvious is one’s inability to be objective.  So in order to tackle the topic I want you to assume you are closed-minded, which may be more accurate than you may believe as some resources I read stated 95% of the population is closed-minded in some shape or fashion.   Anyway, here we go…

When I enrolled at UNC-Charlotte I was accepted in the math honors program.  My plan at that time, if memory serves me correctly, was to find a job after college through the job fair in the numbers business.  I do remember with clarity that I really had no plan at all except to get a degree.  Math was something  I was decent at and a mathematics degree would probably land me a high paying job.  The problems I ran into were twofold: first, I found that college mathematics was much more difficult than high school, and secondly, high school had not equipped me for the independent study necessary to be successful in college. 

I made it through 7 semesters until I just couldn’t take it any longer and switched my major to Religious Studies with an emphasis on first century Cristian origins.  I had found my stride!  I loved learning Greek and Hebrew, the history, the background to the Jesus movement and learning about other religions around the world.  Coming from a Christian upbringing I had a view of the world that revolved around a Christian worldview and I was fine with that.  Soon I would find my views challenged as I would be required to enroll in classes in Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Judaism.  

I struggled at first until one of my professors helped change my thinking forever.  Dr. Edward St. Clair made one statement that allowed me to learn and keep my personal views, “Learn to study all religion’s myths not to determine truth or falsehood, but to better understand how the myth shaped the believers worldview.”  This changed my life forever.  I was able to discuss many different topics with many different types of people without arguing,  but listening to them to better understand their thinking. 

I never realized prior to that how closed-minded I was!  Prior to this I would be talking to someone with differing religious views attempting to form rebuttals in my mind instead of listening to what they were saying; I was debating!  My immaturity,  youth and limited knowledge had led me to believe that I had it all figured out, had all the answers.  Life was black and white, right and wrong.  But, as we all learn, life is a rainbow of color and is rarely as simple as right and wrong!  

I still practice this today and this skill has allowed me to hold to my belief system, yet have a friend group that is probably as diverse as any I know.  It is difficult to know if you are open-minded or closed-minded, as we usually think we are right and surround ourselves with like-minded people.   Here are the differences:

Closed-minded people tend to:

1.  be obsessed with being right
2.  dislike those that disagree with their worldview
3.  be intolerent
4.  be stubborn
5.  deal in absolutes; generalize
6.  be selfish
7.  lack the self-confidence to allow others self expression
8.  be judgemental
9.  have difficulties socializing outside of their own circle of friends
10.  be argumentative
11.  pinpoint others shortcomings
12.  be closed to new ideas
13.  struggle with friends once a negative personality trait is discovered

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Whereas open-minded people tend to:

1.  be compassionate
2.  enjoy learning
3.  be approachable
4.  be a team player
5.  be unselfish
6.  be flexible
7.  be non-judging
8.  be forgiving
9.  be accepting
10.  be patient
11.  listen
12.  be self-confident
13.  accept criticism
14.  not discriminate
15.  not deal in absolutes
16.  be able to appreciate opposing views without compromising their own personal beliefs

I can honestly say that I have closed-minded tendencies sometimes, but I work hard to fight it.  Being open-minded is essential to finding success in any part of our lives and must be exercised like a muscle to keep conditioned properly!  When I was struggling trying to find something to get me out of golf, I was determined to throw every idea against the wall until I found something that would stick. 

When you say, “that’s not for me” or “I could never do that” or “I couldn’t even consider that as an option,” you limit yourself and thus will have limited options and limited success.  When you have this attitude you are saying to the world that you are not willing to learn, grow or experience new things and without these things there can be no change or progress; your life will never change! 

The one single advantage you will have as an open-minded individual is the ability to react to change quickly and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.  Develop the attitude to consider all options, take nothing off the table, assume you do not know, constantly challenge what you think you know and try harder to recognize your weaknesses!  Once you learn the practice of being open-minded the world will open up and opportunities will be abundant!! 

With an open-mind…dream big, dream often!