Make Your Own Kind Of Music

violinist.jpgI have been falling way way behind in all aspects of blogging. Please feel free to give me a shout if I seem to be missing your posts. I am speed reading as much as I can of the many posts that appear in my Reader. I lost a couple of days completely when I just did not have time to open my lap-top at all. But I am trying to spend a little time each day.

Over an month ago I received a tag for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge on the theme THE BEAUTY OF GREAT MUSIC from the lovely Sadje, creator of Keep it alive, as you can see from her post below:

321 Quote me

The “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenges originate of course with Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! This is Rory’s original post which explains exactly how these challenges work:

321 Quote Me – The Beauty of Great Music

pianistI will admit to you right now…this topic was not as easy as I thought it would be at first. I will explain why. I love music as much as the next person. As a teenager I worked for a record company and I was obsessed with music! I am very aware of the powerful effect it could have on my my mood, attitude and emotions. But because some of that effect was harmful to me…I started to limit the amount of music I listened to and I became much more selective about lyrics. When I was looking for quotes for the challenge, I thought some of them were a bit unbalanced. They reminded me of the obsessive view of music I used to have. So in the end I chose two quotes that are a bit more positive and healthy and balanced.

Rules

Thank the Selector – THANKS SADJE! 🙂

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

 “The Beauty of Great Music”

 

LIFE! It makes me tingle to think of all that word means. When I think of all the verses and the main chorus of my life so far, a fraction of which I have been able to write about, it makes up quite an incredible symphony.

Think of your own life – the song or symphony of your life. The high and low notes. The crescendos, the beat to which you live, the rhythm which shapes your life.

I want to make my life a sweet song, one that delights me and that others would enjoy the melody of. May your life too be a beautiful harmony that enchants others 🙂

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I love singing! I love karaoke especially. music quote

I find singing helps me feel better when I am sad. In fact, do you remember I was having a mini-meltdown last week when I was overwhelmed by concerns? Well one day when I was sobbing like a baby and did not know why, I knew I needed a speedy strategy snap-out of it. So I started to sing! I had a good old croon! I was belting out some tunes from the sixties and it made me feel a lot better very quickly.

I don’t need a lot of encouragement to sing – it’s something I love to do. I have no idea what this quote is supposed to mean exactly…but it did strike a chord with me! I am surely one of those people who wish to sing and can always find a song.

My Nominees

The three bloggers I am nominating for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge on the theme of THE BEAUTY OF GREAT MUSIC are:

 

 

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An Array Of Potential In Just One Word

The beautiful Belle, creator of Wondering Belle’s Blog, has tagged me to take part in the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge on the topic of ATTITUDE, as you can see from her post below:

321 Quote Me – Attitude

Just in case you did not know the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenges originate with Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!:

321 Quote Me – Attitude

Rules

Thank the Selector – THANK YOU BELLE!

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

I must say that sometimes when I think of the word “attitude”, I think of it with a slightly negative connotation:

“Don’t take that attitude with me young lady!”

“He has a big attitude problem”

“The attitudes in society today are deeply unhealthy”

I hear a lot about negative, harmful attitudes. So I decided that to give my mind a blank canvas for this challenge, I should check the dictionary definition of the word “ATTITUDE”, and I am glad that I did:

“a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something,

which is often reflected in a person’s behaviour”

nervous.jpgAaaaaah! That clearly shows the potential for positive or negative is equal. Attitudes can be extreme, or in between. Our attitude is basically our habitual thoughts and feelings about things or people. Careless, indifferent, generous, arrogant, hopeful, rebellious, judgemental, kind, miserly, cheerful…there is a array of potential when it comes to that one word: ATTITUDE!

I know some people who seem to want a fight with everyone. Or seem to think that the whole world is against them. I saw it in a workmate once. Right from the start it was clear they were rather insecure. No matter what I said to reassure that colleague, they kept on declaring that the rest of the team disliked them and were discriminating against them. Of course the end result was that the rest of the team were so nervous of saying anything at all, they did start to avoid contact with that individual. It was all exhausting.

Of course, I understood that in the past that individual had been treated badly by some people. But it was now wreaking havoc on their ability to develop and maintain new relationships. And it was a battle to help overturn their entrenched thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards other people. I kept on hearing the same expression over an over “it’s just me, I cannot change”. Wrong – of course you can change. It might take effort, but of course you can change.

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My Two Quotes

Personally, I think that one of the best ways to combat negative thinking, feeling and attitudes is to cultivate healthier, happier, more positive ones. Amongst my favourite attitude quotes is this one:

You may have heard quotes along the lines of gratitude can make a poor man rich. I realize more and more that being rich is not really about how much you own, or how much money is in your bank account, it is very much to do with how you feel about life, people and creation.

Gratitude for a myriad of things is a powerful force in helping you endure trials and hardships. Hard times will come, no doubt about it, and no matter what anyone says, it is ok to be sad, and it is ok to cry. But do not let those bad things impact too much on all the wonderful things in life. Treasure up the wonderful.

Realize you are richer than many who have more material possession than you (those who might well be decrepit when it comes to ethics and integrity). Hold your head up high knowing that what really counts is not how other people treat you, but how you treat other people. Be a princess. It is the peace-makers that will inherit this earth.

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I have mentioned in a few posts that when I was a teenager, I went through a bit of a rebellious stage (which is not unusual). I started working for a record company. I was listening to songs with lyrics full of angst and anger and apathy and disdain for any authority. Not surprisingly those lyrics started to effect my attitude. I met a lot of musicians during that time. I mixed with filth, some who I came to regard as the dross of humankind. (Some of them, not all of them.) Now, as a 14/15 year old, I should not have been at some of those venues – stupid me!

But I woke up to the fact that I actually felt rather disgusted by what I was seeing. I saw more vomit in my brief time working for the record company than I saw in all my years working in medical care. I saw things that I have come to despise: drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol, yucky stinky men with mouths like refuse who tried to have their way with me, but did not realize they were dealing with someone who was still at school.

Admitting that I found that atmosphere foul and breaking free was liberating. I was still a bit lost, because as a teenager, I just did not know what I wanted in life and had no sense of direction. The first time I walked onto a construction site as a volunteer, I found the purpose I had been longing for. Clean, kind, friendly, good humoured, generous, patient, gorgeous, warm – I could go on and on. It was so refreshing to me.

Here were 300 men and women who either lived locally or who had travelled for up to four hours to get there. None of them were being paid a penny. All had volunteered to give their time and skills to the project. They were willing to train unskilled volunteers (like me) and were so encouraging and appreciative. I learnt what kind of person I wanted to be. No looking back ever since.

Habitual thoughts and feelings form attitudes. So if I sense my thinking or feelings are becoming unhealthy – I chase those thoughts and feelings away and expose myself to healthy ones. I stay in control. I choose my attitude. If I don’t like it, I change it.

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Three Bloggers I Am Tagging For The “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge On The Topic Of ATTITUDE:

The Quest For Truth

I have been nominated for the “3.2.2 Quote Me!” on the topic of TRUTH by the wonderful Li the creator of Tao Talk, as you can see from Li’s post below:

321 Quote Me – Ain’t it the Truth?

This is a topic I love. I remembered that I made an attempt at this four months ago. Am I allowed to admit that I am slightly shattered after the BAKE-OFF, even though loved every moment? So I hoped it would be alright if I present the quotes I included when I published this in November. It might be familiar to some of you.

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https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/11/16/3-2-1-quote-me-truth/

Just in case you are not familiar with the “3.2.1. Quote Me!” challenges, I have included some of the rules below, and please do look at the original post created by Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

321 Quote Me – Truth

Rules:

Thank the Nominator.

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Right… well… where on earth to begin? Well, where do most people start their search for truth? Correct me if I am wrong, but I think many lean towards either science or religion in their quest for truth.

Now… who am I to be overly assertive on any of these subjects? Nothing qualifies me to be dogmatic. However, I have every right to be in search of truth. I am a human. I have questions. I want answers. And I do believe there are answers, and that there is truth. What I have no intention of doing is insulting anyone, so forgive my waffling. I just don’t want to be disrespectful to all of the genuine people who are honestly searching for truth, and trying to live their lives in a right way, to the best of their understanding.

I go to a lot of dinner parties, which tend to be with a lot of middle-aged people nowadays, and I have enjoyed hearing the beliefs and views of some very interesting people. I love someone who can reason, and is happy to consider and contemplate without ever resorting to insults. I have to say, the cleverest people seem to be those who are not close-minded, but preserve their reasoning ability and develop a discussion logically.

And so before I give you my two quotes…one in connection with science, one more on a religious note – I just want to say, I do understand why many feel cynical. Too many outright lies, half-truths, distortions of truth, twisting of truth by far.

We are like sponges when we are little ones, absorbing incredible amounts of information, and then there comes a point when we cotton to the fact that some of what we have been taught is not real, not true. We learn that people, especially the big-promise makers, don’t always keep their promises. We taste disillusionment and doubt. We wonder, is there anyone, anything I can really trust?

Many reach the conclusion that there is no truth, except hard truths that kind of extinguish hope and optimism. Now, I love humour…but I think many have given up their quest for truth, and just see an endless source of comedy in the hypocrisy of those who set themselves up as truth-sayers, gurus, experts.

I feel there are some who set out to deliberately deceive and profit, by extorting money from those who trust them. Some just seem rather mercenary in their zeal to promote their conclusions. There are others who seem to have a gigantic chip on their shoulder or their knickers in a twist, and just attack everyone else, but don’t have anything truly substantial to offer themselves. Or those come across as if they have been deeply let down and pained by those they trusted. There are others who genuinely believe they are correct and speak with passion, and yet their statements or teachings have holes in them. I don’t think they are deliberately trying to manipulate anyone, but perhaps they are being over-confidant and presumptuous in their claims.

Hmm – the question of what is truth? Who is sincerely telling the truth to the best of their understanding?

I honestly  feel more inclined to trust those who display humility and recognize that our view is limited. We may not have all the facts, so it is unwise to be dogmatic about conclusions and not allow for the possibility that we might be wrong, at least in some respects. We should always be prepared to learn more and correct our understanding. I am also inclined to prefer those who don’t try to over-complicate things with highfalutin explanations and technical terminology that Joe Bloggs, Jane Doe and I cannot understand. Even profound concepts can be presented in simple terms by an effective teacher.

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Right…I just wanted to get that out of the way! Let’s crack on with my two quotes:

science quote

It was the first part of this quote I wanted to feature. Only I will say this: SCIENCE SHOULD BE THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH. But I do not believe that is always the case.

I love science. I am particularly drawn to physics. In essence, I have always felt that a true scientific approach involves the search for answers to questions and testing out the various theoretical possibilities to see how they work. I have a mathematical mind and I am always interested in the mathematical probability of a theory.

I appreciate the candour of renowned scientists, such as neuro-scientist David Eagleman, who wrote: “Good science is always open-minded, and the history of science is one of surprises.” Or physicist Paul Davies, who observed: “The search for a closed logical scheme that provides a complete and self-consistent explanation for everything is doomed to failure.” Both of these men seem honest.

Although I have a keen interest in physics and a passion for learning and understanding how things work. I am not sure that science alone can answer all of our questions as humans. Remarkable things have been discovered by scientists. I do believe there are some very genuine and open-minded scientists who will continue to learn and discover amazing things.

Yet in the vain search to use knowledge to make a profit, an enormous price seems to be hanging over mankind, due to the misuse of science. Some have used the discoveries of scientists to great detriment. Nuclear physics – is amazing…but it has been used to make nuclear weapons. The marvels of aviation, which can be used to unite the world, or used to drop bombs to destroy members of our human family. Plastic! – it’s hard to hear that word without feeling provoked at the moment.

 

Too many are using science to make a a profit at the expense of so much. Too many cases of false results, false evidence, in order to make money or win fame at the end of the day. Too many theories promoted as fact. Annoying! I feel rather angry when I read of the falsifying of evidence. It makes a mockery of a profession which should be a search for truth, not for profit.

Working in pharmacy…you can see how much money can be made from promoting a wonder-drug or treatment. One drugs company may promote their new product on the market by dissing the products that have been relied on previously. They can sound very convincing, very authoritative. Do they sincerely believe their product will make a huge improvement to people’s health…or is their marketing just very clever – all leading to a great big fat profit?

Well…you have to wait and see often. Although my appetite to read scientific books has never diminished, I do not at all feel that science has any kind of monopoly on truth. But it should be the search for truth. That all depends on the integrity and humility and honesty of individual scientists.

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So, now I turn to the second area where many turn to in their search for truth: religion.

I am going to apply the same approach to this quote, and say: RELIGIOUS TRUTH SHOULD SET YOU FREE. But I do not believe that all religious beliefs are true, neither do I believe that all lead to freedom.

I don’t want to be belligerent on this subject. I have no right to be. I feel that a person’s religious views are very close to their heart. I don’t want to go around bruising hearts. So I am going to tread carefully and I am not going to start throwing insults around at any religious groups.

Let me say first though that I do believe in a Creator. Someone that fashioned matter into remarkable creations. Not just a force of energy, but a person with a remarkable personality. I do believe that He possesses love, power, wisdom and that He wants us to know Him and that He wants us to find the answers to our questions – especially why there is so much going wrong with this world and is there any hope for things to get better? In saying this I am not inviting any bullish remarks from those who might have drawn a very different conclusion to me. I am just being up front about my own view because I truly am trying to write a post that is free from bias.

However, I certainly do not believe that religion as a whole is trustworthy. I refer to both the teachings or doctrines that exist and the behaviour and attitude of individuals, especially religious leaders. There are no doubt many who are sincere in themselves. But as with science, there are also those who have been motivated by wealth and prominence. I feel indignant by how many have used religion to beguile others and have extorted a massive profit.

In addition, surely nobody in their right mind would deny that there are too many pages of bloodshed in the history of religion by far. Lots of damage has been done by those who have claimed to represent the Almighty and yet have abused the positions of trust they have been placed in. I am not surprised that there are some who feel very angry with religion, and are now averse to anything associated with religion or a Creator. It is again something that makes me feel incensed that many religions have put people off believing in a Creator who cares.

Now, I really don’t want to single out any religious groups – I don’t feel I have any right to mock someone’s treasured beliefs. So I am going to steer clear of mentioning any specific doctrines and religious teachings that I feel are far from true. I have friends and workmates who have religious beliefs very different from my own. Some seem more devoted to their religious beliefs than others.

I have read a lot about the major religions of the world, but I feel I know more about Christianity and it’s history than other religions. I have read in various books that there are anywhere between 37,000 – 42,000 different Christian denominations. Some of those have very different understandings of the role of Christ, the route to forgiveness, which practices are acceptable or not, the perception of the soul, the hope for the future of mankind and for those who have died. Same leader, same scriptures – wildly different teachings.

I don’t wish to cause any offence to anyone or to sound critical. But I can sympathise with anyone who is put off from searching to answers to their questions at all when there is such an array of contradictory answers being offered by different groups.

Yet I will say this, I do believe that some religious groups are a lot closer to truth than others. I think that both their teachings and their conduct and attitude to others, manifest that they have a lot more truth in them. They make religion look good. I respect those that have a faith based on clear reason and who try to live by their faith in sincerity. Especially when they are able to engage in a reasonable discussion about their beliefs, answering questions, but remaining calm and respectful about and towards those who do not share their beliefs.

There is no perfect group of people. Every family, club, group, community, or organization will have to face that at times individuals will not represent them well. But for a group of imperfect people, there are some religious groups who definitely win my respect by their honesty and humility. I have all the time in the world for people like that. I would be happy to invite them into my little nest for a cup of tea on a rainy Saturday morning to hear more about their views, but they probably walk past my gate without every realizing it leads to an abode where they would find a warm welcome.

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Well… I am one of… is it seven or eight billion humans, who have the capacity to ponder “what is it all about?”. There are a lot of people who are convinced they are right, telling me what to believe. I am fascinated by science and religion. But as I have gained experience in life and have talked with people from all backgrounds, I am drawn to those that bear the stamp of truth.

I don’t tolerate those who cannot have a discussion with a respectful attitude. I am not interested in mental boxing matches. Then there are those I can see that may feel they are genuine and are full of conviction, but despite their sincerity, I discern big holes in their reasoning. On the other hand, I have started to probe more carefully those who speak with eloquence and profess to have all the answers. It’s up to me to test out what I read, see, hear and to decide whether I am reading truth, half-truths, a twisting of the truth, or outright lies. I have felt many of my questions have been answered satisfactorily. Especially why there is so much going wrong on a planet that has the potential to be a paradise? I have a lot of hope that the future will be better. But I do have more questions and I am eager to read, listen, learn more and more.

But that process should not be just about me picking my favourites, what tickles my ears…like running around a sweet shop and making up your own goodie bag. I try to be unbiased and careful in my approach to what I read. I do ask:

  • who is saying this?
  • is their reasoning sound?
  • what is their evidence?
  • what authority do they rely upon?
  • what are they trying to accomplish?
  • does their conduct match with their teachings?
  • do their ideas bring beneficial results?
  • are these ideas actually leading to anything worthwhile or is this person just attacking others?
  • are they after my money? (they will be disappointed if they are because I hardly have a bean!)

I feel as if I am getting close to exhausting this subject of truth…indeed I am feeling exhausted myself. I hope I have not left you feeling as exhausted as I am.

But that is partly because I am trying so hard to be unbiased and trying to be careful. I do not want to offend anyone! For kindness and truth should adorn any discussion about subjects that are so very close to people’s hearts.

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My nominees are three bloggers who I think are probably just as concerned with a kind and respectful approach to the subject of truth, or any other subject, as I am:

talesfromthemindofkristian Tales from the mind of Kristian

positivesideofcoin Positive Side Of The Coin

Only One You!

While I have worked for the NHS I have been very familiar with campaigns that were run in conjunction with the motto “There’s ONLY ONE YOU!” It is very true, each of us is unique. We don’t have to be a rebel or revolutionary to be unique. We just are unique. No two humans are completely identical – even identical twins can form very different opinions and views.

only you.jpg

Each step of our journey through life makes us unique. Billions of individual experiences shape who we are. It’s obvious when reading the work of other bloggers that each of us has a different story to tell. One blogger with a fascinating life-story, Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) has created the “3.2.1.Quote Me!” Challenges and has nominated me to create a post on the topic “Being You And Only You”.

321 Quote Me – Being You, Only You!

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector – Thank you Rory!

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Dedicated Topic For Today: “Being You, Only You!”

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you and only youI remembered that I was tagged for a “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge on this same topic last year. At the time it was all new to me. I had only just discovered Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) and it was my first quote post. I didn’t know what to do!

This was my post back then:

The Britchy One Has Nominated Me For 3.2.1 – Quote Me! “Being You And Only You”

This time round, I have two different quotes, both of which struck more of a chord with me:

I chose this one because although I am not sure what the originator had in mind, it is something I certainly relate to. I am a people person. I like to walk this journey of life with people, not alone.

But it is very true, no can walk this walk through life for you. Sometimes I would have loved to have avoided some of the responsibilities that come with free will. But I have made decisions that for the most part I am very very happy about. I do have some regrets of course – mainly centred around my ex-flatmate Jack actually. And of course I regret going to the park on my own that night.

Making decisions and learning to live with them, and making the most of each new circumstance in life I have found myself in – its what makes me me. We all have our unique journey through life. It is great to walk with others, but we all have our own responsibilities and challenges that we alone have to carry.

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I am content with who I am. I have a healthy amount of self-esteem. I am aware of some strengths and also aware of some weaknesses. I know my good habits and my bad habits. I know the parts of me that I am chuffed to bits about and am so grateful for all those who have helped build those parts of me. However, I also know there are parts I am not proud of and would like to change. But I know it’s important to remain balanced. Just as it is not good to think you are perfect and without reproach, neither is it healthy to feel you are unlovable and worthless.

I try to remember to keep aiming high. Regardless of how other people behave or how others may treat me, I want to be the best version of me. I want to keep aiming to be more beautiful – and I mean beautiful on the inside. I want to fortify all the good and eradicate the not so good. Everyday I will miss the mark in numerous ways. But I don’t let it conquer me. I think about why I may have been less than I would like to be, and think about what I would do differently if a similar situation confronts me.

Always learning, always growing, always balancing.

Last year, I published a post about a stage in my life when I did have a real crises in confidence and something really encouraging that happened to me;

Every single person has their own road to walk, their own story to tell – every person is precious. There is only one you. We need you very much!!!

Ooooh…and now the three bloggers I am going to tag to take on the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge are:

 

Extraordinary Ordinary People

I have been tagged to take part in the “Quote Me! 3.2.1” tag by the delightful Sana H, the creator of A Pause for Nature as you can see from her post below:

https://apausefornature.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/have-the-courage/

silhouette of cheering woman hiker open arms at mountain peak

 

Rules:

Thank the selector – THANK YOU SANA

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day

Select 3 bloggers to take part in 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Topic of the Day : Courage

“Courage”, I believe most would associate with overcoming fear. Now I am not really a fan of those who think it is courageous to risk their lives by pulling off clearly very dangerous stunts. Life is such an incredibly precious gift. It shouldn’t bring glory to take dangerous risks with something so extraordinarily precious.

Rather, I am full of admiration for those who show courage to do what they know is right even when they may feel fear – fear of the reaction from others, fear of hatred, fear of those who might oppose and ruin them.

During my career as a volunteer, I have had the privilege of meeting and even working with some pretty amazing people. Some have been detained in prison or Nazi concentration camps because they made a courageous stand over something they knew was right. People who were imprisoned, not due to their ethnicity, but because they could not go along with what they knew was wrong. I have read the stories of others who were executed for their courageous stand for right.

I am really in awe of those who are not swept up in the heat of propaganda, not easily swayed by popular opinion. Those who have their eyes fixed on what is right and true and will not compromise their integrity. Quiet, peaceful, ordinary people made into superheros by remarkable courage.

Yes they may have been afraid. They may have been scorned or punished by others. But they knew there are some things more important than fear. I am so impressed by those who have immense conviction and quietly and respectfully hold their ground on matters which put their beliefs to the test.

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I must admit I am not feeling particularly courageous or strong at the moment. However, as I was looking for quotes on the subject of courage, I realized that courage is not necessarily anything to do with the way you feel. In fact some of the most remarkable acts of courage may occur when we feel at our very weakest.

I know that there have been times in my life when I have had to do things I never imagined I could do. I never thought I would have the strength. I am not referring to physical strength, but to emotional and mental strength.

I avoided working in healthcare for many years. We have doctors and nurses aplenty in our family. But as a little girl I became faint at the sight of blood if I or one of my friends fell over and broke our skin. I never imagined I would end up working in palliative care with patients who were terminally ill and training a huge team of care assistants. I still remember vividly the first time I was with a patient who was clearly taking her last laboured breaths, and then her breathing ceased, how overwhelming it was for me. I had held her hand throughout and I had been singing gently and whispering words to impart courage to her.

After the Doctor had been out and signed the death certificate, I was then asked to wash the lady who had died and put on a clean dress and make sure her hair was neat and her dentures were in place. It was so hard for me at the time. For some reason when I did enter healthcare, I never contemplated I would be asked to do something like that. But it was not the last time I would have to undertake a task.

Something I realized from my very first day working in a healthcare setting, is that the dignity of my patients was of vital importance to me. Everything I said, everything I did was marked by my love and deep concern that this person have their dignity. I realized I very naturally cared deeply for my patients and had a massive amount of empathy for them. I often thought of how I would feel if I were in their situation and how I would want a professional who was assisting me to make sure I was not afraid or embarrassed or anxious.

When you care about something or someone, you somehow find the courage to do things you never thought you would have the strength to do. Even when you feel at your weakest, even on days when you are provoked to tears due to what you are seeing, the courage comes. You may feel feeble and ordinary – but love can move you to extraordinary courage.

This past weekend when I was feeling overwhelmed and weak, I had to find the courage to do something I never imagined doing, never imagined having the strength to do. And I felt the same empathy and I knew I needed to make sure everything I did was with dignity and love. Somehow I found courage when I didn’t think it was there. I know I will look back and remember with relief that courage came when I needed it most.

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There are days when I am so grateful for Julie Andrews and “The Sound of Music” – I think there are some good examples of the kind of courage I have referred to in this post and the ultimate song about mustering courage when you feel weak!

I am going to tag three courageous bloggers for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” tag on the theme of confidence:

 

 

 

Who Or What Effects Your Creativity?

“…me on a canvass…”

I have been tagged for a “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge by the lovely Rory, aka Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! as you can see from his original post below:

321 Quote Me – Creativity

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector – THANKS RORY!

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Tag 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Well, I am going to admit that I always feel a bit uncomfortable about the word “creative”. All the way through school, I was the one who achieved 100% exam results in maths, and could churn out twenty page essays in English and History. I wasn’t bad at languages. I was on all the school sports teams. But could I draw or make anything out of clay, wood, metal, cloth or wool? Nope!

So I have never identified with that word “creative”, which I always associate with artists. Even in English class, it was character studies and analysis that won me top marks, as well as writing about my personal views. I was awful at poetry and I was not particularly imaginative when it came to story writing.

However…since I have been blogging, other bloggers have taught me more than a few things. For example, before I started blogging, I had no idea what flash-fiction was. But I have been reading such clever short stories with brilliant twists from the likes of Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith and Kristian, the creator of Tales From The Mind Of Kristian, and have become familiar with a whole new genre of writing for me.

Other bloggers have taught me so much about how to write and how to be creative and imaginative. I have not attempted many flash-fiction posts, but recently these TELL THE STORY Challenges have been doing the rounds, and I have been tagged for I think five so far (two are scheduled to be published next week). The last two were, I dare to say, a rare example of me actually being creative and not just relating my own experiences. Just in case you missed my rare flash-fiction posts this past week, here they are:

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So I guess it’s about time I supplied two quotes on creativity. I have seen a lot of similar posts, so I am hoping I am not using the same quotes others have used.

Now…I would like to share part of a comment that Ursula, the creator of An Upturned Soul, very kindly made in reply to a comment I made on one of her posts. I found what she said very thought provoking and deeply encouraging:

“I think what you’ve decided to do recently on your blog, to tell your raw, real, and painful story, is very brave and truly beautiful. It’s inspiring. It is art – but it’s not the obvious kind of art which can be sold in a gallery, can be recorded or filmed, etc, and marketed as art. It’s the art of living life, and sharing your experience of living your life is creating art….

…Keep going with your journey as you’re doing it. It will terrify you at times. It will make your heart leap with joy at other times. Everything you do, say, are is the creative art of Crushed Caramel.”

I have thought a lot about Ursula’s comment. As I mentioned previously, I have never considered myself as creative, more academic in all honesty. But Ursula helped me to see that even though most of my posts are actually about my life, it is becoming through the writing process, “creative art”.

Although I am still learning to express myself more confidently, I am learning. I am putting parts of myself onto a canvass and trying to present something that is worthwhile for others to regard and gain some enjoyment from (well, that’s the idea – I am not out to annoy anyone, rather to bring a little ray of sunshine to your day).

I am very much writing from the heart. But writing is helping me sift through all sorts of thoughts and emotions and in some ways refine parts of me, helping me discard some of the dross now that I have finally dug it out of the sunken depths of my inner heart, and helped me to polish up the parts of me that I feel most content and pleased with. So in many ways it is helping me to become the person who I want to be.

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For my second quote…well, I saw this and I could not resist it:

In all honesty, I don’t remember eating paste (unless we are counting vegetable sandwich paste – yuck!) but I did eat paper and tin foil as a child. Don’t worry my parents tackled it as soon as they realized what I was doing.

Does that explain why I am who I am? Who knows? But I do realize that since I became conscious of being alive, my earliest memories of childhood have been shaping the person I am today.

Some of my favourite posts are in the menu on my site: LESSONS LEARNT AS A CHILD:

I am going to admit to you…I love writing about the lessons I learnt as a child. I love those memories. I love my family. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of writing, that I can share my wonderful family. And one day, I hope to share this blog with my family.

I realize how much of me was formed in my early years, my understanding of what is important in life, what the purpose of life is, why humans die, what hope there is for those who have died, how to get along with other people, learning how to cope with mistakes, developing qualities that would make me a good person and learning from the example my parents were setting.

I must admit, I know not all have had the privilege I have of two honest, hard-working, reliable, down-to-earth, gorgeous parents. Neither of whom can draw!!!

But that’s beside the point. My point is that so much of who I am today and the way I think and the way I write is due to my family, and especially my parents.

They have shared so much of themselves with me all these years, and I have loved all that they have taught me. So now, it is my absolute pleasure to live my life in harmony with the lessons they taught me, and to write about it.

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Now I am to three other bloggers for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” Challenge:

 

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time…

…there was a Prince named Goldfinch. The Prince danced with Caramel and they fell very much in love. They had a year of wonder and delight.

Did they live happily ever after? No…Goldfinch had to go back to Australia – this is after all the modern world, and today we have visas and work permits and the like.

The good news is, Caramel was able to keep the shoes and the dress(es)!!!

You might be wondering???

Well…Rory aka A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! has included me in a list of bloggers to provide a post for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenge with the theme: CINDERELLA TODAY, as you can see in his post below:

321 Quote Me – Cinderella Today

Now, I am rushing my post because I have to work for the next two days – long hours!!! And I am helping with a party too on Saturday and then Goldfinch is coming to see me for the last time before we travel to Heathrow together! Aaaaaah sigh!

But this is a theme I could not resist! So I am sorry if it all looks a little rushed!

Scrap the fairy god-mother and the magic pumpkin…it was the shoes, the dress and the hair that made all the difference that night! I mean have you ever seen a version of Cinderella where Prince Charming saw the carriage she arrived in or the fine white horses? No…it was all physical attraction. Some Cinderella movies have awful scenes where Cinders and Charming try to have a conversation on the night they meet – so wooden they make me cringe. If a relationship is going to continue, you will both need to be able to have a conversation. However, ask most men…and if they are being honest, they will tell you that the first time they meet a woman it was her appearance that caught their attention. Nope…it was all about how she looked and that she could dance.

Dancing is a lovely thing you know. Goldfinch has danced with me in public many a time and it is the most romantic sensation to be waltzing around a bus station in the middle of the Midlands with an audience of university students and men who have crawled out of local pubs and look as if they need to sleep for the next three weeks to recover.

I have around seventy plus pairs of shoes, mostly from charity shops or given to me by peeps who decided they didn’t want to do stilettos anymore. I look after my shoes. Every modern day Cinderella should do likewise!

Word of advice…don’t lose shoes. Cinderella was mighty careless. Look after your shoes and your shoes will look after you!

Whether you are a Cinderella or not…always be kind, and yes have courage too…but I am telling you ALWAYS BE KIND! That is incredibly important whoever you are.

Kindness makes you very attractive, very beautiful.

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I am going to tag three wonderful bloggers who I am sure are perfect for the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenge on the theme of: CINDERELLA TODAY:

Beauty Vambe Beauty Vambe – DR VAMBE’s BLOG

From my favourite Cinderella film “The Slipper And The Rose” (ooooh I do like the one with Drew Barrymore too!!) – this is how they felt after they danced with each at the ball – so sweet!!!