Friday, February 26, 2010

Light and the being of IN-spirit

What inspires you these days? Lately I've been writing like crazy – none of it this blog. It's not that I don't have enough to say. I think of at least six blog ideas every day. But I made a rule when I started this thing that I would not become one of those tweeting “quantity not quality” folks who let every thought in their heads go right out on to the Internet. I honestly don't think most of you care whether I have a nonfat grande latte this morning, (did I say that in the right order?), if I'm wearing clean socks, or if I'm having a bad hair day.

Frankly, neither do I.

Like many of us weathering this deary, never-ending down-turn, I am doing my best to just keep treading water. I try to wake up each morning grateful to be alive, working to make things happen and try each day to help just one person. Hate to bring up that disco anthem, Stayin' Alive, but it did a quantum pop into my head the other morning and it will not leave. The gritty tempo, that determined, survival attitude, matches the way many of us are walking through each day. For the most part, we're getting by. Somehow.

But that doesn't have to be all there is.

Like I said, I write. I'm polishing one manuscript and researching and writing another. I'm doing freelance writing, digital media and contract marketing brand work, while helping to create a new non-profit and serving on the boards of two existing non-profits. The writing/publishing world says that writers should choose a “platform” -- a place to stand and pronounce our expertise. Somewhere in there are at least four platforms on which I could stand.

I choose to magically give myself eight legs, keep my two ears, one mouth and the fingers on this keyboard. I stand on a platform of light and possibilities. For me, that's what being creative is about: to produce what I've been put here to do that wasn't here bring it into being.

Did you know that Italian word for birth means, quite literally, “to give to the light?” Or that great sculptors were known to say that they did not so much chisel a great work into being as that they chipped away the excess to reveal to the light the figure trapped within in the marble?

Then there is that word - inspiration. “So what was your inspiration?” we ask the creator of an “inspired” works of art, or the composer of an “inspired” piece of music. The word's root truth means to be “in spirit.” To say that a thing is inspired is akin to saying.... there because of the grace of God. It means that the creation is recognized as connected to the source of all good energy. That it was moved by the divine to be brought into being by the person who was put on this earth to do that work.

Find your inspiration. If and when you do so during these dark winter days, remember what Albert Schweitzer pointed out, “In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

Now if I can just get that Stayin' Alive chorus out of my head.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do you believe that thoughts are energy?

I do. I know for a fact that how I think about a situation colors the way that I deal with it. Many of us are naturally glass-half-empty folks, but by nature I'm a glass-half-full type of person. Life has enough grimness to it. I don't need to help it along. What I can do is decide that I will think differently.
I know for a fact that when I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change.

It can be infectious. Have you ever had an absolutely gray, miserable day where you work? Everyone around you is bummed by something...a client loss, budget slashes, trying to get more done with half the staff, how they're going to get home in the snow storm, the credit card interest increase just received in the mail...then in walks someone who is absolutely sparkling. He breezes in, shaking the snow from his shoulders, stomping his boots and cheerily announces “Boy, is it beautiful out there!”

In a single moment, unless you work in a place where every person is Scrooge, the gloom can brighten. You lift your head, look out the window and realize that the falling snow is beautiful! Even its drifting snow-ness is ethereal. Peaceful. Inevitable. There's nothing you can do about it – EXCEPT – to decide how you respond to it. Just a few days ago, during Snowmagedon, Part I, a FaceBook invitation swept big portions of the east coast and people came out doors for what might have been the largest snow ball fight ever. Talk about the choice to think differently about something over which you have no control!

Which is the next truth – if thoughts are energy, then there is a positive or negative charge to the thoughts you send out. I have not led a charmed life. If anything, I have had to deal with more loss and grief than much of the population. It threw me for a while. I lost my health, along with several other important aspects of life. It was then I came to understand, not just mental toughness, but the importance of positive energy to a person's ability to accept life as it comes at us. To dream the dreams of possibility, while letting the things I can't control flow around me without dislodging me from my rock.

I will be the first to admit that my decision to look on “the bright side of things” doesn't always work. But it makes just about every situation better. Choosing to look at what is possible can accomplish at least three things:
* It can inspires organizations, teams and those around us to do what they may not think is possible.
* It creates a mind/matter/energy field that helps you to be more resilient to bad things that happen.
* Authentic, daily invoking of positive energy is the source of our well being - improving our quality of life and moving us toward the purpose of our existence.

Which brings me to my final conclusion: In energy there is light. And here's where I share a piece of wonderful energy that came my way today, a few hours after I began musing this blog: A brand new effort by my nephew's wife, Amber Johnson, who has decided to brighten her corner of LA. She has begun a non-profit community coffee house that can help working parents and teens who need a place to be after school.

Go to and think good things for this great new reality. And while you do, remember this by Remez Sasson, “You can close the windows and darken your room, or you can open the windows and let light in. It is a matter of choice. Your mind is your room. Do you darken it or do you fill it with light?”

©2010 Jan Johnson Wondra