I hear it all the time, “really get focused and figure out what you want your message to be. Find your passion and speak it out loud. Find the message that you were born to tell, and tell it.”
Sure, that took some years of testing my thoughts, my passions, my skills…and sure, I’m still learning daily.
However, I have found that it is far more crucial to find your persistence. To find the strength and stick-to-it-ness to keep sharing your message when you look around and realize no one is listening.
You may have to try changing the words, your platform for distributing your message, and you may have to try to find another audience. However, even when you make these changes you may find yourself speaking to a virtually empty auditorium.
Maybe your aunt or mother or sibling showed up out of a sense of duty and pity, so you keep speaking since someone is there, and you keep hoping someone else will walk through those doors.
That’s when you determine how much you believe in your message.
I believe in mine still, and the auditorium is empty.
Is there a light here? I fumble around searching for the light switch in the dark, it wasn’t where I was told it would be. Being unfamiliar with the surrounds, I kept feeling around the wall….when I accidentally found the light, I realized I was in the wrong place.
“Wait…. this isn’t the bathroom.” I mumbled, embarrassed, as I tried to quietly close the door to the walk-in closet.
I had taken a wrong turn. It had even been in the right direction, but I had turned too soon.
And the truth is, I think I just did that now in my life. After a suggestion that I consider doing life coaching as my way of encouraging individuals, I decided to give it a-go. I started writing out a curriculum, I found two individuals to try it out as my beta testers, but everything was dark around me. It’s amazing how dim your dreams can go in just two days, but I instantly forgot where I was headed. I had to come up with a nicely designed curriculum, and that’s what I was doing.
It’s a lovely goal, and one that I my very well carry out—later. Right now it was a turn too soon for where I am going. I am still going to help the two individuals I agreed to help, and write out notes and coaching ideas–but just notes. And not with the goal of being a coach, but with the goal that it will become a book.
Because I want to write and I want to encourage, and the path just was not illuminated with the hope of finding my place in the world. It was dark, scary even, and I found myself thinking, “this isn’t what I want for myself right now.” I turned too soon.
Have you found yourself on a path where you are unable to find the light? The light I’m speaking of is the spark of life that awakened your sense of purpose, of love, and passion.
I want you to ask yourself when you last saw it? What were your eyes fixed on at the time you last felt hope and courage within you?
I’m not saying that following that path will always be illuminated, clear, and easy. It’s not. Trust me. I have no idea what I’m doing! I can’t figure out how in the world I’m going to get paid for this goal of mine…but it’s the path I was on when I last saw the light, felt the passion, and felt courageous enough to go into the unknown.
So, I have returned…even if you never noticed me missing. I will stay on this path even though I can’t see how I will earn money here. I will stay, because this is where the light last was seen.
Today I woke up and was so good. I did 30 crunches before doing anything else (haha). I also read a chapter of the book I mentioned yesterday.
Then I checked my email.
This is what I found….
I’m a finalist because of my blog post! To win, they want to see that I’m sharing the post and getting a lot of likes, shares, and comments. So view that link, and click through to view the video in the post on youtube. And say hey in the comments while you’re at it!
I went out to take photos this afternoon, and got some nice shots, that I hope you enjoy.
Browsing around twitter, I saw a tweet about a contest asking the question, “What is wrong about the relationship between business and society?” In exploring the question, I realized that the question went deeper than just business and society, but it is a global problem.
The problem is that our culture values competition, stresses scarcity, promotes self-interests, and minimizes the benefits of cooperation. We are taught that we should rise above others by walking over them. In addition, we are taught that what we have in surplus to offer would just be a “drop in the ocean,” and would never do an ounce of good. The thing is, as was pointed out in the documentary, “I am” by Tom Shadyac, the ocean is just a bunch of drops of water that have come together in one spot (read my response here).
I created this short video to illustrate the idea:
If we teach our children that no matter how small the contribution they have to offer is, that it is valuable beyond measure, the culture of business [and the entire world] would begin to change. If we taught them that cooperation is how we get ahead in life rather than by competition, our youth would recreate the business culture without even realizing they were changing the world. But above all that, we must teach our children to love.
It is with this mentality, that I have started #1000smallways and “Mitt the Misfit Fox”, to point out that while we may not be able to do grand things to change the world, we are capable of thousands of small acts, and each of these small ways can contribute to a huge change. We don’t need to be some how different, better, richer, stronger, smarter to change the world. We just have to be willing to love and give what we have–even if it is just one drop.
While I have no children of my own to teach to love and cooperate, I will love the children in my life, making sure they are full of love. Once full of love, they will have love to give. I encourage you to do the same, and to let them know that they are capable of changing the world. That each of their small drops of water are valuable, precious, and world changing when they come together with other drops of water.
A Thousand Small Ways #022
Pour love into the lives of the children in your life, being an example of love, empathy and cooperation.
I watched “I am” today, and while some of the newer, more intellectual or simply unfamiliar thoughts were like a fog or mist that blew across the landscape of my mind, a few droplets of even these watered the earth. On the whole though, the documentary stirred up such a resounding voice of “let’s go” and “let’s love” that I found myself bracing myself against my wall, as if I had just suffered some unseen blow for which I had braced myself against, while at the same time my grasp on the wall had a launching direction, as if a horse in my lane, waiting for the gates to open.
You see, I have found myself more than 6 months deep in unemployment, and while my financial resources are limited, my time resource has expanded. While I still seek employment, I am seeking out ways to love the world, to do little things that create change. I’ve started blogging about #1000smallways. A journey I am on, and hope to invite others on, to find a thousand small ways to change the world. Right now, those small ways are so very small indeed, but they are drops in an ocean, and I am just waiting to reach the critical mass—the tipping point, where #1000smallways can precipitate a ripple across the ocean that becomes a wave on a thirsty shore.
I apologize if my language is too poetic or metaphoric, but this is the language that spills out when passions have been awaken. I heard the language of my soul spoken, and the rejoicing of “I’m not alone” has taken over. I, too, believe that love is the next step—and every step after that, that we must take to reach change. While watching the film, I wrote a thought that came to mind:
Love is the most piercing weapon, which renders healing wherever it is wielded. (So fight, my friends. Fight with love and heal the world.)
I am a Christian, and am so grieved when others point out that they have left Christianity because of the lack of love, that they were wounded by people. If they really considered what being Christian is (being a Christ follower/Christ-like) and that God is love—how can they be anything but loving? But at the same time, I realize that we live in a world where we are told competition is normal…that being right and winning is more valuable than loving. I realize that I too am the problem, that I too fail. I only hope that with each step forward, I become less prone to selfishness and more prone to love as my reaction to all decision making.
I don’t know what my next step is, in life, but I hope that it will be toward pouring more love into the world. I have often told friends, “I wish I knew how to pour love into the wound.” And that is the quest I am on.
Today is all about you. I’ve been telling you about some of the small ways I have discovered, but today I ask you to come up with a small way. Share it with the hashtag #1000smallways. Also, please don’t forget to put your small way into action and share it with us all. I cannot wait to hear your stories and how they will reveal your heart and passion. Go be a positive drop in the ocean. Today is your day (and every day is “today).
Motivational thoughts and paraphrased quotes from the documentary:
Our basic strongest instinct is for compassion, empathy, and cooperation.
What people need to know to recognize their own power that every day acts, and small acts, can build up over time into a great movement.
The sea is really only drops of water that have come together.
God says, you know what? I don’t have anyone else but you.
(Paraphrase of Desmond Tutu in I Am)
And remember, whatever positive thing you do, it does matter and I can make a difference, so don’t give up. You may want to look for people with similar passions and get together to do some good.
You’re not invisible. We’ve seen your sad eyes. Pain just has a funny way of making others uncomfortable. It isn’t that they don’t care about you. They don’t know what to do, nor what words to speak. It makes them squirm. It makes many flee. They are not fleeing you. You’re still loved, still valued, still important. I can’t say that I never look away myself, but I’m determined to learn to look pain in the eye…and through my experience, I hope to learn a thing or two to share with others that will help them stick by you, even in your pain. So, hang on, and wait with me, as I journey to see what I can learn. Teach me. Help me learn so that I can teach. I know pain is different for each, like a snowflake, but just as each snowflake is different, snow, in general, has many shared properties. Teach me both the details of your snowflake of pain, and of pain in general.
Don’t let yourself despair in discouragement, I promise you that history shows that even the longest, strongest, most fierce storm has come to an end, and I hope through my learning and listening, I learn tips to share with you on how to make things beautiful after the storm.
2. Oh I realize Its hard to take courage
Oh, trust me. I know. I know my words may sound good, but you’re asking yourself “but how?” How do I keep myself from despairing? How do I get out of the quicksand? To which, I have to say… I don’t know. I don’t know where you’re stuck, and I don’t know what wind of change will blow through your life bringing the hope you need. I don’t know your beliefs. I don’t know your worldview, so I don’t know how you find meaning in things. I, personally, understand my world through the eyes of a Christian who knows there is a war being fought. Good and Evil, free choice and irresponsibility. Sadly, it wouldn’t be fair nor just to force everyone to live according to our shared view of what the kindest, best, most responsible life would be….so we endure, and do the best to create a better world around us.
But I do know you, your life is worth fighting through the difficulties for. You are enough to have a meaningful place in this world and to fill it as only you can. And I for one would love to watch you blossom and bloom.
3. In a world full of people You can lose sight of it all
I know that it’s hard to face people when you’re harboring the secret of pain. You feel like you don’t fit in, and are either afraid it shows which makes you feel vulnerable…and/or you wish someone saw…truly saw you. Someone who wouldn’t be made uncomfortable by the pain, and who would still see you through it and would want to spend time with you. For, your beauty is still there, just as the sun still shines while the storm rages. You may have even forgotten this, but yet you hope that someone else will see it there, and value you and love you, and stay beside you…unafraid.
It’s hard to remember what hope looks like, when your horizon is dark. But as I once told a friend, I see the horizon. I will keep my eyes there, and share what I see. If you need a reminder of what hope looks like, I will do my best to describe it in detail. I’m not giving up on you.
4. And the darkness inside you Can make you feel so small
I want to speak to the voice inside you, telling you that you’re insignificant, incapable, worthless, powerless, and just too small to matter or make a difference. To this I say, shhhhh. Silence. You have nothing of value to say.
This heart, whom you are belittling, condemning, judging has so much to offer, that you will never know of. You, ugly voice, are blind to light and beauty, you fear it. So you do everything in your strength to eliminate it, hide it, destroy it. But all the darkness in the world cannot change the fact that there is beauty there, and only light is needed to see it. So, I will work to put a crack in the darkness, so that the light can flood in revealing the truth I know. That there is beauty there. Strength. Courage. That this person can make a significant change in their world and the world around them. That they are more powerful than you’ve lead them to believe all these years. So hush, negative voice. You have no place here. Hope and love and courage will be spoken here.
Reader, your heart is beautiful. Scarred and wounded as it might be, there is beauty there. With time and healing, you too will be able to see it.
I’ll keep my eyes on the horizon, sharing the hope that I see, sharing the paths to a different life that I see, finding small ways that you can make a different and sharing those as well. And hopefully, in all of that, you find your way and voice, and can see hope on the horizon on your own.
A Thousand Small Ways #020
This one is a bit abstract, but I want to challenge those of you reading this to decide to not let the discomfort of other people’s pain make you flee. Be a student of life, and learn from your discomfort so that next time you encounter it, you can stand a little stronger. The message of love this will offer those who are suffering, is immeasurable.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
Where do I begin? November has begun in such a weird and wonderful way. It began with days of warmth. It was in the 70s, some days even reaching the upper 70s. Which, to some of you, may not seem like a big deal…but when you live in Michigan, it is a HUGE deal.
It’s hard to explain the way the weather made me feel, but I felt like I was really on vacation to some wonderful new place. I felt alive, curious, vivacious. I felt like I was glowing warmth, love, and zest for life.
And I longed for my everyday to be like these days. I know I dream of moving somewhere else, my gut tells me California, but I’m not really sure why. Nor what I would do there. I just don’t feel like I fit in, in Michigan.
During this time, my internet decided to go out on me (well, it still was there, but with speeds so slow that they are hard to believe). The picture below was NOT from the slowest day. The slowest readings were 0.07 Mbps for download and timing out for upload.
This forced me to modify my daily goals, but also made me get outside more, so I took a lot of new photos.
I feel like I’m getting somewhere, even though I still don’t have an income. I’m working toward it, everyday…while seeking a “normal job,” I am investing myself into improving and expanding my online presence.
This morning, I had a tweet mention from @CanonUSAImaging
Now, for the reason many of you come to my blog… the inspiration (in case my daily life didn’t do it for you 😉 ).
This morning I watched a documentary completely out of my normal documentary wheelhouse– I watched Twinsters.
The story of two girls, one adopted from S. Korea to the US, the other adopted from S. Korea to France, who found out via a youtube video that the other existed….and that they were likely twins. The documentary follows them as they get to know each other, and the journey they take to find out more about who they really are. Spoiler alert: they are identical twins.
But it is hard to explain how the documentary made me feel. I so wanted to be their BFF through the life change they faced, and at the same time it awoke a deep longing in me for the kind of relationship they formed. I finished watching it with such a strong warmth in my heart.
A twin relationship is not something I will ever get to experience, and while I have 2 half brothers, I grew up as an only child (they were 16 and 18 at the time of my birth).
It also awoke in me a stronger acceptance of this nagging I have been feeling for a long time. At first I thought my attraction to Asian culture was just because of my attraction to Asian men (yes, I said it… I do have a type)…but the more and more exposed to it I am, the more I feel like it is a bigger attraction than that.
My heart aches for the orphans. I want to share love with them. I ache for the desperate, disillusioned, depressed, and stressed. I wish I could spread education about mental health to hopefully lower the rate of suicides. My heart breaks for the people in, for example, Japan who work themselves to death, or nearly so. I want to help them find balance, so that they can truly live and avoid dying on the job. I want to help the teens feel like they have strengths beyond beauty and/or their ability to academically out perform their peers.
I don’t want to change the asian culture by taking anything away from it or diminishing its beautiful strengths, but there is much that I would love to share from a place of love and willingness to help. Perhaps, one day, I’ll find a way to use my creative abilities to make a difference. And I should be clear, my attraction to the culture isn’t towards wanting to help a deficit I see…. I honestly find much beauty in the culture and would love to visit various locations throughout Asia, but when you love something/someone you only want the best for them.
#1000smallways A Thousand Small Ways #019
Well, this Wednesday I took and dropped some of my #1000smallways projects out and around in the area. I still have more to leave around, and will continue to find locations to leave them.
A Thousand Small Ways #019
Find someone on Facebook (or other means of connecting) whom you haven’t connected with in awhile. Write to them to find out how they are doing, and make yourself available and open for that friendship. Let them know someone is thinking about them.
If you are feeling like you could use a message to brighten your day, get ahold of me and I’ll write back 🙂 Let me be there to cheer you on your way.