Sunday, May 29, 2011

Running...

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I am beginning a new exercise routine. I think, I could lose twenty pounds if I just ran everyday. It would all be over so quickly. But the fact is, running to me feels like pushing a boulder uphill- just difficult and thankless! Walking is supposed to be the best exercise. I can't tell if walking everywhere many years ago sort of acclimated my body to the activity. I've walked faster, longer, with ankle weights etc.; it helps with the first five pounds and then, I'm left with lost time and no results. It's not true of everyone though. I have friends who have the perfect weight range now after adopting walking as their preferred aerobic exercise. But it's not working for me.

So it's running again. I say "again" because I embark on  these "schemes"...yes, my conversations with my jiggly parts go like this, "We're going to run, and in thirty days, we're going to lose each other. I don't know about you, but I'm going to be fit, toned and unselfconscious. So cooperate, and the rewards are plenty." Of course, my endurance compares to a tortoise. Soon, I let go, because I just can't enjoy it. The jiggles stay.

photo credit - nuttakit; freedigitalphotos.net
So now, I'm declaring it. I'm running again. There will be no more conversations with my body. I will run at a certain time everyday (I'm thinking 5 a.m). And willfully allow and then ignore all negative auto suggestions about "being kind" to myself. I'm very kind to myself. But not this time and not with this seemingly insurmountable activity.

I practice yoga with love (my yoga mantra - love creates bend-y shapes; the more the love, the bend-ier you get; it works so hey! shallow pools lead to deeper places...I'll get there too some day!); pilates and some belly dancing I enjoy, I'm okay with weight training. But running? It's a fight against myself that I've struggled to win.

I don't know if I will this time. The hope is to keep at it for ten days. Ten days of forty minutes twice a day. After that, I get a break. A two day break. I've been reading about all of these people who have accomplished a great deal in a year/year and a half or less. I think I can do it. But it's more than running. The issue is that I can't get past my very comfortable comfort zone. In fact, it makes me want to curl up and go to sleep.

It'll be running and to balance out doing something that I can't stand, I'll practice yoga, right after every running session.

Now I just need to figure out if I'm starting this whole "winning over myself" thing today...or tomorrow?!

Any input, suggestions, imagery etc are welcome, as are personal stories of overcoming obstacles on your weight loss journey...


pic link - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1556

Monday, May 23, 2011

A friend to love

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photo credit - worradmu; freedigitalphotos.net
The steam flattened the last crease on his dark blue shirt. Amy hung it up, propped the iron and disconnected it. Harry entered, drying his hair, still in his bath towel.
Smiling at Amy, he asked, "Done?"
"Yes," she said, unconsciously mirroring his smile.
"You don't have to you know." Harry sat on the edge of his bed, and surveyed the ironed clothes. About twenty shirts and ten trousers. He won't have to worry about it for a month now.
"I know. But then, I won't have to see you crumpled when you read the nightly news to thousands!" Amy ran her fingers through his hair and laughing, he held her close.
Five minutes, she told herself. Five minutes when the rest of the world would fall away and this would be her reality. Five minutes when she could imagine his embrace leading to it's natural conclusion.
Instead, she spoke out loud, "I made some of that pasta you like and left it in the freezer. There's the hot pepper soup too. Stop eating junk!"
His eyes held hers as he said, "Once in a few months. What difference does it make to anyone what I eat?"
     Pulling herself away against the resistance of his arms, and walking toward the door, she said flippantly, heart hammering, "Stop being dramatic! If you decide to learn cooking, you'd care about what you eat. You wouldn't have to outsource the concern." She smiled mischievously.
Harry's face softened as he watched her walk away. If only she would stay and talk to him. If only they could visit one more of those silly museums she enjoyed so much. He'd follow her anywhere. If only she would...
      He saw Amy going through her laptop sprawled on his sofa. Her dark blue jeans against the chocolate leather. A knife twisted somewhere deep inside. She belonged there, yet neither of them had the right to assume a single thing about their relationship. Who decides these things? he wondered. Someone did. Someone in the eons gone by who was clueless about how love could alter landscapes. Someone who held them all down to the mendacious. 
     Amy was staring at the screen. She remembered their first meeting. Sitting side by side on an international flight to Australia. They had ignored each other initially, but natural gregariousness surfaced and there hadn't been a silent minute since. They met every time she arrived in D.C on work. It was restaurants, or the shopping she had to do, or the places she had to visit. Harry spent as much time as he could around his newscasting schedule. 
     They were like excited kids, never really giving a thought to where their friendship was headed. About six visits later, he invited her to his apartment. She had walked around, marveling at his photographic art and picking up books at random. It was snowing and they couldn't go out. She made pepper soup for lunch and they sat, dipping baguettes into bowls of fiery warmth and reading passages aloud from their respective books. The next time she visited, he mentioned that he had dreamed of her pepper soup twice. She dragged him to a store, bought supplies and made a big pot that he devoured for a few weeks. The following visit, she saw him with his coat off; his white shirt crumpled and messy. After her disgusted harangue, he stood in his undershirt as she smoothed out the wrinkles, the iron meandering between buttons and crevices. There were other visits where they spent mornings on a park bench, met after work and dined in dimly lit spaces. She would head back to her hotel after and he went back to his bed, holding his arms out, envisioning her within their circle.
     Amy packed her bags again. There was that silence filled with the words each of them spoke in their minds. Nothing said aloud. Nothing declared. Everything safe and orderly as he solicitously dropped her to the airport, again. 
     "Did you leave those insurance papers and the GPS case in the dashboard?" he asked her, "I'll be returning the car this evening." He didn't want her to waste time returning it. When she could be with him.
"Oh. No, I forgot. Here." She bent to retrieve the items from her trolley case as her laptop bag slid from her shoulder. He bent to catch it and they straightened together. Her head against his chest, his pounding heart reaching her senses. He let the bag crash and embraced her. Fiercely. His thumb drew circles on her back. 
He said, "You can't forget the case silly. They won't take the car back. It's theirs." His palm under her hair now.
She nodded, silently. "Yes. Things have to go. Where they belong." she said, seemingly flippant. Just the shimmer in her eyes telling him that she knew. Their eyes spoke in words never avowed. Gazes holding long, sensing a precipice, afraid to fall over it, together.
     It was surreal when she landed in San Francisco. Surreal and yet, her only reality now. Mark waited by the curb in their silver Lexus. He jumped out as soon as she appeared, letting Ricky and Mia out. Three year old Mia vaulted into her mother's arms and squealed, "I missed you mommee! Did you miss us?"
Ricky chimed in before she could answer, "Hey Mom! You promised me that dinosaur model. Did you get it?"
Smiling,  Amy said, "I missed you sweetie. And yes, I have your skeleton!"
      She looked at Mark as he asked, "How's Harry? Did you see him this time?" 
Her eyes unchanging she answered, her voice light, "Yes, we spent a little time together. He had his reports to do and I had work."
He nodded and slung his arm over her shoulder and said, "Monday morning beckons. But, the night is still young. Let's get the kids to bed quickly shall we?" His eyes bored into hers meaningfully.
"Yes. But I have work to do," she said, meeting his eyes briefly, irritation flashing in them. Answering to more than just getting the kids tucked in.
"Hey!" he said, stopping her, arms on her shoulders. The kids stared from inside the car.
Amy looked at him, startled. 
"Let's get the kids to bed," he said, quietly, "And then, you leave your work behind for a little while, and be with me. For an hour or half an hour. Be with your husband who is right here."
Her breath caught, and she choked as he continued, "Your husband whom you're married to. Not your work and definitely not your friend in D.C."
      Dissolving in tears against his chest, she tore her mind away from Harry. Away from his apartment and away from any future there. The next day, she requested, and was granted by the day's end, a different area of supervision. Right within California.
     Unknown to her, Harry had gone home that Sunday evening after she had left, and sobbed his heart out. When he was done, he gave her freshly prepared pepper soup and pasta to the guard at the entrance and took out all of his ironed shirts. He threw them all in a pile on the bed. Just the way they used to be. Then he took the books she loved, and put them away in a good will bag.
     That's all he was determined to be left with this time. A ton of goodwill. 
Amy saw him during a broadcast a few weeks later. He stood without his coat, talking to a flood victim. Her heart skipped a beat before resuming it's steady rhythm.
     He wore a dark blue crumpled shirt. 






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Friday, May 20, 2011

A poem

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I wrote a poem for this website. They put it up today. Thought I'd share...

http://www.dailylove.net/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Under confidence and it's burdens

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Where does under confidence stem from? I've often wondered about this rather paralyzing and useless condition. There are many theories out there and at some point, I could identify with every one of the possible reasons for feeling inadequate.

pic credit - Ambro; freedigitalphotos.net
Yet, there was something within the framework of my mind/judgement that permitted a self-defeating reaction to challenges each time. While environment may condition us, I don't believe there was anything monstrously wrong with my childhood. It was filled with love and comfort always. At some point things changed.

It might have been a first crush's crushing response.
It might have been not being able to face down a challenge that was overwhelming.
It might have started with believing that in order to rise up to an ideal, I had to stop being what I was.
In essence then, I was telling myself that I was not worthy of the ideal, as I was.

We've heard it too often; the pearl of wisdom, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
It makes much more sense growing up that it did to my teenage self. The vagaries of life seem to even out the playing field considerably.

If there was one converstion I could have with my younger self, I would reach out only to say -

"Meet everyone in the eye and believe that you're there because you are supposed to be."
"If you look dreadful, it's just a phase. If you look beautiful, it's just a phase. "
"Take care of your body and pay no heed to anyone who believes it is not worthy. No one else needs to share their unnecessary opinion on your appearance."
"Dress well. It'll make you feel better. What they say really is true."
"Pray unashamedly and openly if you have to."
"Always do the thing that eases the knot of tension in your chest. You want to write? Then write away!" 
"Don't hold back believing that it will happen spontaneously one day. Or that the unease needs to be ignored. It just grows stronger then, leaving you unhappy and unable to let go. Let go of your dream while you are willfully ignoring it!"


"Other kids are just that. Kids. They know as much as you, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. They're fishing in the dark when they insult you. Your expression is a light bulb to them. They'll forget you when they have a good time. You'll remember them through the good times and the bad. And keep feeling bad."
"Your mind, heart and spirit are meant to be here. At every moment, you're meant to be present." 
"Make fewer jokes about yourself. Or your imperfections." 

"When it comes to choices, the ones around which you structure your life, demand to choose alone.
This way, you will see sooner rather than later, that most of it, is for us to deal with. Therefore our thoughts, feelings and actions are beyond anyone else's ability to judge (though they will.) 
Thoughts, feelings and actions help you express yourself on your solitary path toward...
Toward? Toward what you are looking for."

In the end, that is the question I will ask myself now and ask the younger me to think about...
What am I looking for? Why is it important? How can I go and get it?

After all, on a freeway, do blaring horns, however menacing and loud, deter us from our exits? Where on earth is the connection, right? You want to get to your exit or else! Why do we get side tracked by blaring horns and glaring headlights on our journey toward what is important?

The only answer to that, in my mind, is that it would be possible if we were running on empty. Empty of conviction, love and equilibrium.

Equilibrium that comes from knowing that we are capable of fighting. And that we choose to focus instead on our destination. Everything else is just noise and distraction.

So self-confidence, to me now, is believing that I can and staying focused on the destination and being able to ignore disruptions that come from imbalance in others.

I can go rest now. I've thought about this all day!


Pic link - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499

Friday, May 13, 2011

For Mini-Him's baby days

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pic credit - frederico stevanin; freedigitalphotos.net
Petal soft petal bright
Satin skin shining might
Black currant eyes alight
Long lashes guiding sight

Chubby arms stretched out
Pick me up said the pout
Busy? What's that about?
Choose me without a doubt!



Pick him up I do
Marveling at the hue
Hair silky black blue
This is love so true

Scent so clean and pure
Love so right and sure
Baby, in my heart endure
Have my love f'rever secure!


re-posted
pic link - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=149

Thursday, May 12, 2011

For Mini-Him's baby days

pic credit - frederico stevanin; freedigitalphotos.net
All content copyrighted.

Petal soft petal bright
Satin skin shining might
Black currant eyes alight
Long lashes guiding sight

Chubby arms stretched out
Pick me up said the pout
Busy? What's that about?
Choose me without a doubt!

Pick him up I do
Marveling at the hue
Hair silky black blue
This is love so true

Scent so clean and pure
Love so right and sure
Baby in my heart endure
Have my love forever secure!


pic link - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=149

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Light

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"I don't love this!" Marian gasped as the grass squelched muddy moisture around her feet. "I don't love you, I don't love running. So why...why are we doing this. Everyday. How long are we going to pretend like this is normal?"

Ben pulled her hand and caused her to stumble. It had been this way for a month now. The cell phone softly buzzing in her purse at ten thirty p.m. Brooks was asleep. He couldn't know that she was running around with another man. No! He couldn't know that all they did was run. Desperately looking for the arc of light. It had to be there again. Everyday for the past month, they had stood, enraptured within the arc. When the light faded after fifteen minutes, nothing but ridiculous bliss remained. They never knew what they saw. Only felt the weightlessness afterwards.

Soon, Ben dropped Marian back to her dark house. She walked in, her pale pink pajamas wet with grass stains.
pic credit - dan, freedigitalphotos.net

Ben ambled on to his own home. He had been pushed to find her, he decided. There was nothing about a married woman that should catch his fancy. And she didn't catch his fancy. Just his anxiety. She was invariably late. Having to ensure that her husband was asleep after their joint exertions. He remembered how he had gone running that first velvety night. He had chanced upon her staring, hypnotized. Following her eyes, he had promptly forgotten himself.

It was worse than an addiction. It was a daily re-programming and re-charging. They couldn't do without it. Every morning, they found renewed relationships. In the true sense. There was no lingering memory of a slight at the coffee machine, the missed invitation, the casual hurtful word, the truth revealed in the eyes as the lips spoke falsities- there was nothing beyond clean joy at beholding another being. They did quality work, as their respective bosses announced. Their creativity unleashed itself, unhindered by distractions of sensitivities, egos and patterns of behavior.

One evening, Marian decided that she did not want to sneak behind Brooks' back anymore. He would never hear her out and attempt to understand. His brand of logic was applied to everything that he knew about in the universe. That there were aspects that were unknown to him, never entered his thoughts. How could he possibly apply the same logic to unknown/under researched phenomena? Didn't logical conclusions require a study of the subject? Brooks was a professor of logic and philosophy.

She wouldn't talk about it, she decided, nor would she continue sneaking out.

After about seven calls allowing twelve rings each, Ben counted, he realized that she didn't want to come. Running again because he was seriously late, he realized that she would have done this sooner or later anyway. He stood under the light that loved and bathed him. His mornings were filled with eagerness now. As long as there was the light, this world would be bearable, he thought.

Marian found herself falling at work the next day. The burdens from the previous day's insults and emotional baggage were too much to bear. She could feel the oppression of dissatisfaction and fear. She would get through this somehow. She would have to go back to normal soon. That light would not be a part of her nor would it keep her addicted.

She was never the same again. The weightless feeling of being a new born everyday was gone. The crushing burdens physically incapacitated her. Brooks grew worried. The doctors found an elevated blood pressure and an irregular heart rhythm. Assuming some manner of intense stress, a psychotherapist visited her.
Marian said nothing that first day. Afterwards, she talked about how much she missed her home. Half asleep, she described an ocean and waterfalls and golden light that the therapist couldn't place. Marian was surprised at her seeming recollections when told later. Diagnosing her with depression and prescribing medication, the therapist told Brooks to keep Marian under a suicide watch.

A nurse watched over her like a hawk. Only, Marian was like a creature fighting for her life now. The silent cell phone was a reminder everyday. Her life and it's struggles flashed before her. Her days after the light were a stark contrast. Was that how she was meant to be? she wondered. What made the light change her so? If that was how she was meant to be, what was she doing here?

Two weeks after her breakdown, she walked to the bathroom without locks. She left her wedding band on the counter, in front of jars of hair mousse and cocoa butter lotion. Barefoot, she padded down the hall way. The air, punctuated by rhythmic snores, was still.

Pale pink pyjamas slapping at her ankles, she ran. Ben saw her running ahead of him and caught up. "You're back." he stated.

"Forever." she answered.

This time, Marian didn't stop and look upward at the source of light. She ran right into it with her arms out stretched and eyes closed. She stood that way while a single tear sparkled into the light.

Ben, still outside the arc, saw the light permeate Marian's body. The flash of pink the last memory of her in his mind. He closed his eyes too, begging for an answer. He felt the air and the clarity. There were verdant slopes where children and adults rolled, entangled, down into an azure ocean. He saw Marian hover, golden in the light, over the ocean before she fell in. Resurfacing, laughing, joyous, dripping, she ran into the arms of a child in pink pyjamas that waited on the shore. As she embraced the child, she disappeared and the child smiled at him, exactly like Marian.

Ben clutched at the image, fearing the loss of that wonderful innocence. Fear saturating him. He looked up at the fading light. The more he grew agitated, the less the light shone brightly.

Marian as an apparition appeared and whispered, "I feared staying on here. I wanted to be one with the light. If you feel that way, come back. You can't be afraid, fear diminishes it. When you are more afraid of losing yourself than you are of losing the light, come back. It waits for you with love."



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Happy Mother's Day!

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Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has ever nurtured, loved, argued with, inspired, stayed up late, hugged, listened with out judgement, worried quietly and let go of something for another being.



Hugs to all -
pic credit - Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot; freedigitalphotos.net








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Full Circle

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Full Circle by Anne Maven is on Barnes and Noble's Nook, Amazon's Kindle and Smashwords. The links on the top right of the blog take you to the product page. It is also available on Amazon.uk and Amazon.de (germany)

Brief description -
Beautiful, passionate architect Mira Deven evokes a raw hunger in Richard Tyler that he never suspects is hidden within him. Stunned by the force of passion, they stop fighting the undeniable attraction. Letting themselves bask in each other, they are unaware that danger lurks close. A danger that will hurt them both deeply. 
Tons of comical insight, hunky shoulders to cry on and plenty of girl talk make this book a fast paced, yet absorbing read! Passion, manipulation and humor rule in this novel about love, betrayal and the ultimate connection.


Look in the other post under My Book for more details on content.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bullying and confusing signals

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_school_bullying_limits

I read this article today on Yahoo. That children get bullied is a fact. But the viciousness that some of them exhibit has grown exponentially, while the PC nonsense keeps the others dithering with regard to self defense.

While I do believe that children have mini versions of the real world interactions in their class room/play ground/ school halls, the condition of these areas should continue to worry us. Extrapolating from there, the real world is a place fraught with sabotaging best friends and out of control bullies. The children of course, must not mind and not fight because "we need to learn to use our words." Yes, I can completely see where talking vs throwing punches got the rest of the world. That must be why everyone is involved in some war everywhere. Because we didn't "learn to use our words." Absolute bull!

There are no educators with spines and no parents with spines and so the children are just LEFT to fend for themselves. All in the name of some stupid notion of growth and independence.

pic credit - graur razvan ionut, freedigitalphotos.net
I think we still have our blinders on about bullying. We still see it as an exercise in "standing up" for oneself. I think, in these contexts, children will be glad that they make it out alive. Standing up for oneself is moot point.

Mini-Him attended a wonderful private school for years. They were great with academics and Mini-Him was ahead of his peers and that was, according to my short sighted self, all that mattered. It changed when he had a health condition that required medication. Not only did Mini-Him bounce off the walls in the adjustment process, he was seriously depressed. Very often talking about death and nightmare scenarios that parents don't want to hear about. His teachers wrote him off and strangely, so did his friends. He studied in a Montessori with children both older and younger than him (Mini-Him was 6). The older kids took to bullying him. The worst was when one very burly 8 year old held him down and another burly kid smacked a football into his eye. Mini-Him was too terrified to tell anyone and came home crying. When we asked him over and over why he wouldn't tell anyone, he said that they would hurt him more for tattling. Of course, Him and I went to the school and had some strong words. While one person was ardently supportive, the rest of the attitudes were casual. Laid back. Like we cooked up a fuss they would now have to trouble themselves to deal with. We contemplated changing schools, but there were more changes to come on the family front. So we thought it best to have him in one place. Many more instances continued. They would knock him down, grab his shoes and throw them far away in the sandy playground. Sometimes over the gates onto the street. Mini-Him only told us about these incidents when they were over and long gone. I think, perhaps, we also expected him to simply "cope." I approached the teachers often. They would detail Mini-Him's short comings. They were plenty in those days. I shouldn't have had him continue there. But that was one point of stability in his world. There was never a complaint about Mini-Him physically attacking anyone. He simply couldn't stop chattering and appeared to be spacing out. How on earth did that warrant bullying by other children?! A different school, country and two years later, I can say that I too was drawn in and attempted to fall in line and not "make a big deal" of it. I was constantly told, as if it was consolation, that it gets "much worse" in middle school.

Who do we all think we are?! What sort of crap do we deem normal these days?! When did we turn into creatures who live like those in gutters where anything goes?!

Bus bullying, school bullying or any of it needs a much stronger response. The parents who go fight for the rights of bullies need to be evaluated by social services too! And if the parents don't know, they'll find out when their child is removed from the school for a certain amount of time.

This stunning, willful blindness will only produce more adults who think that going to school in a psychological war-zone is normal. Because you see, they were that way too!!



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Monday, May 2, 2011

Backwards into the future

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Attended a discourse by another spiritual teacher today.

There was this thing he said that made sense in the way of finding the exact key to a lock. This bit of insight that he shared with us is not new. Not a unique view on life. But his representation of a common issue was so simple, hilarious and right, that it got everyone there nodding vigorously. Because we got it!

pic credit - frederico stevanin; freedigitalphotos.net
Okay. The subject was about people being unable to let go of the past, live in the present and have a vision of the future. So imagine a time line that we are all standing on. The majority of the people of the world in the here and now. Standing. Ahead of them is the future. Behind them would be the past. The point they inhabit is the present. Of course, this holds true if we are all facing forward - right? facing the future, with our respective pasts behind us. What if this isn't true though? Then it could be that we're standing facing the past. Because we look back, regret, wish change upon a moment in our lives or simply resent ourselves. Maybe it's the mistakes we're looking at. But that's it! We're looking there! So we're facing our past on the great timeline of life and all the time, we're walking backward, blind, in to our future! Oh my! It was a wonderful interpretation of an oft discussed fallacy. So we're constantly looking at past laurels/mistakes/dislikes/fears and here we go repeating the same thing over and over because really, that's what we're looking at. Besides practicing the useless art of walking only metaphorically backward toward a future. Speaking of that future, we're walking backward, therefore, blind, with no concept of moving forward. We don't know what's ahead, because we're not looking for the next step forward. Besides which, we have no imagination about our futures, no vision of it and certainly, no faith in it. Why would we? If we're facing a past filled with the best times or the worst times or our worst selves. There is no preparation for a future we can't see. Just regret and defenses shored up against having the past repeating itself. A much cherished vision of the future can take shape only once we're looking at it. Without allowing the imprint of negativity to overwhelm what are our best traits - resilience, hope and the capacity for joy.

The solution offered was a change in consciousness. An uncomfortable first no when we feel the drag away from hope. A few uncomfortable refusals later, we'll begin to break a pattern. We create a new self, a new pattern and that, right there, is a step into a glorious future! We're making perfect use of the present in this way.

I am in love with this thought. Walking backwards into your future - just a choice of words and what a difference it can make!




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