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Monday, April 20, 2015

Timing is everything

Three years ago I completed a book about Cibola County, New Mexico showcasing the lives of 63 of its residents; many of whom are my friends. Some have made a huge difference in the way I live my life. A portion of the life stories were first featured in the Cibola Beacon, during the time I wrote articles under the byline, Who We Are. Spirits of Cibola County is a work that took me over ten years to complete. It was briefly offered as a Kindle book on Amazon, but the timing was not right.

Following my intuition I have republished it and I now invite my readers to stop by and check it out.

Thank you in advance!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What a great question!

When one is a writer the entire world is out there waiting to inspire. The trick is to always be on the look out for that inspiration. This morning a friend asked a simple question that I couldn't resist writing about. Her question was: "Is faith the same thing as knowing?" Wow what a great question!

I began with Webster, who is supposed to be a great authority on definitions, although personally I don't always believe they are accurate. So here it is: faith is a firm belief in something or someone. Of course, it went on to take on a religious slant.

My definition is: faith is an absolute belief in unseen energy. I believe it has a lot to do with following intuition, which in my opinion, is our Universal Guidance System.

Is that the same thing as knowing? Maybe, maybe not. It probably depends on the circumstances.

This question caused me to clearly remember an experience that happened back in 2000 when I was the Resource Development Coordinator for our local nursing home. I had planned a huge block party on the grounds of the facility. The event invited the community to purchase a space for $10 to promote anything they chose to promote. My aim was to connect the community to the nursing home residents in a different way than anyone had ever thought of. Money was not my priority, although it was a very successful project and took in over $2,000. A couple of days before the event the head of nursing asked me what I was going to do if it rained. My answer was, "it's not going to rain!" There was not a doubt in my mind of this fact. She kept asking and I kept giving her the same answer. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that the Administrator had a smile on his face.

Guess what? The day of the event was a bright sunny Sunday without a trace of rain. I absolutely knew it wasn't going to rain, there wasn't a doubt in my mind and I wasn't going to allow someone else to screw that up! Did my knowing have to do with faith in a person or thing or did I simply follow my Universal Guidance System? You be the judge.

Author's note: The next year, after I left the facility, the Chamber of Commerce tried to put on the same event- it was a complete disaster.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Revisiting PAC MAN

Something happened today that reminded me that we are not robots and we all learn differently. Not all of us fit into the box set up by the school system. Several years ago I interviewed a young man that was a prime example of that student. His story became one of 63 others filling my yet to be published book, Spirits of Cibola County. It is my pleasure to share his story with my current readers.

~ Steve M. ~ We all absorb knowledge on a daily basis. Steve M. has a brain like a human PAC MAN, gobbling up information, sorting it out and storing what is needed for future use. He is a very intelligent, basically self-taught young man who never quite fit into the structure called the public school system.

When asked how he got so smart Steve replied, “I think the caffeine in the Mountain Dew I have been drinking since age nine makes my brain work better".

Steve works for 7 Cities Productions as a graphic artist. He takes pride in his work and likes it to be as clean and legible as possible. He also runs his own computer business. In addition to selling software his company sets up web sites for clients.

He eventually wants to expand his business to create user friendly video games. Usually even-tempered and patient, Steve gets upset with machines that do not do what they are designed to do. He believes it is possible to teach a computer to think like we do, to recognize objects in a room and use a voice recognition system.

Starting with first grade, he experienced a colorful history of public school education. This eventually led him to acquire a GED when he turned eighteen. He made every effort to accomplish this task during his junior year, but one person caused him to wait. The superintendent of schools refused to sign his paperwork. He believes it might have been because the school district was receiving money for him to attend classes.

When he began first grade he decided he wanted to be on the honor roll. He worked hard, but it did not happen. He felt he was not recognized. Today Steve believes this could have started a trend. He said, “In second grade my teacher constantly yelled at me and I yelled back.” He spent a lot of time in the principal’s office that year.

About this time he found himself in the middle of a custody battle between his parents. He lived with his father and stepmother for awhile. Due to the remarriages of both parents, Steve has been the oldest, middle, youngest and only child in the family at some time. He said, “Being the middle child is the hardest because you are either too old or too young to do things".

Steve spent much of his childhood moving between California and New Mexico. His care was shifted to his mother when he was in the third grade. He was tested and placed in a mentally gifted program in Fresno, California, where he did very well. Then his mother suddenly decided to move to Grants, NM

Steve and his fourth grade teacher did not get along. She made a cardboard doghouse and put it around his desk. His mother loudly protested by voice and in writing. Steve is not sure if the teacher returned the next year as they moved to a different school district.

His formal education continued to run hot and cold until he earned his GED in 1996. He never understood why the same concepts are taught year after year. He said, “You don’t have to read every book ever written to know how to read.” He wants to know why not how something works, He stated, “Principles are more important to me than mathematical formulas".

In talking to Steve it is quite apparent that he is well-read and has a wide range of interests. One of his more interesting talents is switching from one accent to another, sometimes in mid sentence. From a young age, his mother spoke to him in accents and it sparked his interest. He wants to learn Japanese because there is no conjugation and he likes their culture and history.

Steve admits he spent as little time as possible in class during his high school years. However; there are some teachers who made an impression on him. One subject he enjoyed was science.

Not everyone fits into the public school system and it appears Steve is a prime example of someone who found a better education for himself by himself. He decided to learn his way. He is now taking selected classes at NMSU, not for a degree, but for an education in the subjects that will help him reach his personal goals.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The power of suggestion

Some people can be talked into believing anything. As the famous Abraham Lincoln quote goes: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

During anyone’s life there are a massive number of souls trying to get that person to believe what they believe. Often it is their perception of who that person is. Some people fall for it some don’t.

Those who do, live their life according to who “society” believes them to be, instead of who they really are. They never develop their own belief system.

Recently my blood pressure has been elevated for as yet, an unknown reason. When it got high enough to raise my concern I made an appointment with my new primary care person to investigate what is going on. He put a temporary band aide on the problem by adding another medication to what I am already taking. We are still looking at past records in an attempt to find the problem.

During the visit he ticked off possibilities that could be causing the problem, some not very pleasant. As I listened I began to allow my belief system to become disheveled for a time. I bought into the "what if", even though my intuition is telling me the problem will fix itself when I stop worrying.

I have been trying not to worry and keep thinking about the comment the good witch, Glinda, made to Dorothy; which was “You’ve always had the power”. Perhaps I just need to start using my power.

Many instances have occurred since I was a child which caused me to get sucked into other people’s beliefs. I had to fight my entire life to stop doing that. My life reminds me of the Bob Newhart video, STOP IT! I have been saying that to myself a lot lately.

Worrying never solved a thing and most of the time what I worry about never happens anyway. What a ridiculous waste of time.

So I am going to believe that whatever is going on with my body is a transient being that will go away when I stop giving up my power to the annoying beast.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Out of the box

Following a conversation this morning with my Writing Camp partner I was motivated to look up a post previously written, do a little editing and re-post. Here it is for your reading pleasure and thanks B.J. for the inspiration; we make a great team!

Out of the box

If you have an impressive title following your name does it make you any more important than anyone else or does it just put you in a box with like people?

Obviously some jobs generate more income than others. For instance, a small town doctor is not going to earn as much as a big city doctor who adds a specialty. Those extra titles mean a lot financially, but in many cases the cost of obtaining it will never be repaid. There are a lot of unemployed college educated people out there today in that boat who still have humungous school loans to pay off.

Titles are funny. I recently spent time on the phone trying to find out why my internet service was cutting out. I finally gave up and told the person I was attempting to communicate with to send a repairman a.s.a.p. I was told that a "technician" would be scheduled. I was told the same thing when I had a furnace problem. Apparently there are no more repairmen. Trash collectors are now called sanitary engineers.

This started me thinking about the jobs I have held during my life and their titles, most of which had no pay attached. My first job, while still in high school, was a sales clerk at a local dime store. Now it would probably be a dollar store. It was followed by a file clerk job for the Teamsters Health & Welfare Department. Then the biggie came along; I was a wife and mother for 40 years, now referred to as a domestic engineer (long hours definitely no visible pay involved). During this time I also held jobs as a Cub Scout Den Mother and Mother Advisor for International Order of Rainbow for Girls, costumer for a theater group (no pay, but interesting experiences) and others to numerous to name.

Other job titles that did involve some pay were: Independent Avon Representative, Independent Contractor for two marketing companies, Resource Development Coordinator for a nursing home and a columnist. Just look at all those titles! I am worn out just thinking about them.

The variety of titles I have held probably doesn't mean much to most people and granted they would be too much to put on my grave marker, but they describe who I was and who I am. Job titles don't make me any better or worse than anyone else. >P/> My current job is Motivational Writer and it allows me many hours of freedom to spend as much time as I please doing whatever makes me happy. It also allows me to get out of the box built by others and be the me I came here to be.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Good night dad

I just realized that my father left earth on Easter Sunday 1967, 48 years ago, as the result of liver problems .

That's a really long time in a person's life. I really don't think about him very often. Perhaps that is because he did not have a strong personality and my mother was always in charge. Interestingly, my second husband, now on dialysis, was a lot like him. Maybe that's why we are no longer married. After 27 years I discovered I didn't need him in my life. Even though I have a strong personality it appears I am slow to catch on.

Thinking back I may have married him for the same reason my mother married for a second time. She was 3-4 months pregnant with me and thought she needed a husband in the picture. I don't believe she ever wanted to be a mother. I married my man in question because my two sons from a previous marriage needed a father- I thought.

In any case that part of my life is over. Perhaps I can now move on to greener pastures, finding a mate who does not rely on negative addictions, like alcohol.

So good night dad, you were an interesting role model.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Movin' on

I'll bet you all thought I had stopped writing. Nope! I was just taking some time to get the plans for this years Children's Writing Camp underway. Still looking for one more person to offer their knowledge and inspire the students to dig into their natural creativity.

Just when I begin to wonder if what I am doing is making a difference something usually happens to assure me that I am on the right track.

When I first came up with the idea of the camp it was sponsored by a group I also started called, Write On People. We were all seasoned residents who enjoyed writing just for the fun of it. The group lasted for a couple of years, but finally disbanded. Toward the end I invited a woman from our local nursing home to join us. It turned out to be a great idea because she had, during an earlier time in her life, enjoyed writing. She has since moved to a nursing home in Texas, but still writes. We have continued to keep in touch.

A couple of days ago I received an unexpected email from her that read: "Did I ever thank you for getting me back into my story writing? If not here it is. THANK YOU I DO LOVE YOU FOR IT, they keep me going."

Her feedback really made me happy. One of the lessons I believe I have learned is that I can't force anyone to do anything; I can only offer my assistance and encouragement. What happens next is not up to me.