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Posts Tagged ‘white’

I’m Directing This Flick

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Today is my favorite day of the year. The freshness of Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, and, oh yes, today is also my Birthday.

As a child I never knew if the day would be spent playing outside with friends on the verdant, newly sprouted grass or cozied up inside with a round of hot chocolate for all as the early Spring winds blew whirlwinds of white snow off the two foot high snow banks outside. If I was still living in the north, this year I would be drinking hot chocolate today.

It’s a time of year full of surprises. Of course there are the April Fool’s Day pranks. My Grandmother would not believe it when my Dad told her my Mother had given birth to me. “I know what day it is,” she skeptically replied.

No joke. Here I am. And on this first day of the rest of my life, I’ve decided on a theme for the next 59 years.

“My life is a feel good movie of my own direction.” 

That means I choose to not include the drama, the tragedy and the fear that are part of all the other movies that people choose to live in everyday.

“But it’s not my fault,” is the common explanation on the lips of the victims of circumstances. Yes, it is easier to blame another for what happens in your life. When you do that, you give up your own control. Would you let someone push you out of the driver’s seat of your car and recklessly careen down the road? Of course not.

Your Life. It is Your Life.

Why allow someone else to drive you where you don’t want to go?

Nothing is more important than that you feel good. Like a feel good movie you want to see over and over again.

“Today, no matter where I am going, no matter what I am doing, no matter whom I am doing it with…nothing is more important than that I feel good.”  Abraham- Esther & Jerry Hicks

Make a Decision

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Decision. The word itself is strong. An incision, cutting through excuses and doubts, to get to the heart of necessary action. Decision is a powerful place to be.

Before you commit to a decision, the lingering of indecision keeps you mired and weak against the what-ifs and suppositions that cloud the questioning mind. You spend sleepless nights. Bite your nails. You're out of sorts with the world because you don't know what to do.

How do you decide?

A popular tool to organize your thoughts is the yellow legal pad divided vertically in half. At the top of the page, Pro and Con head up the list of possible actions and corresponding outcomes. Objective and helpful. Yet after this simple vetting exercise, when one column is obviously longer than the other, are you still hesitant to commit to that decision?

Objectivity may be great for official's calls on the sports playing field. But when it comes to your life, how much is really black and white? There are other considerations, extenuating circumstances. It's not that easy.

It's not that easy when you are looking outside of yourself for clues about how to proceed. Looking at what others have done in similar situations may give you some insight about how their decision worked out for them. As in the often heard disclaimer, results may not be typical. The difference between their outcomes and your own lies in one word.

Values. 

Your values are the significant areas of your life that are of prime importance to you. Values may include integrity, honesty, creativity, tranquility, family, autonomy, freedom. The list of values is limitless and unique, just like we as individuals are similar yet different.

Determine your top three values that stand for who you are. No matter what goes before you, these three values describe your core. You do not compromise on your top values without feeling untrue to yourself. Once you settle on your personal values, the decision making process becomes easy.

If the results from your Pro and Con list, no matter how objectively accurate, do not align with your true values, that is causing  your hesitancy to decide. Following along with the same decision someone else made, may work out for you, but how does it measure up against your values?

Facts are black and white. Values are all about feelings. Weigh your decision with your values and it's a perfect alignment.

Now decide and move forward. You've made the right decision.

 

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst you can do is nothing. " Teddy Roosevelt





The Colors of Patriotism

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Red and blue took center stage yesterday as these two primary colors painted the states of the U.S. map to indicate the tallied votes of the nation. Not to be left out, the third primary color, yellow, made a significant advance as it described an additional Independent candidate that won an elected seat.

How appropriate that these three hues are used to not only describe the voices of our varied population, they are also the beginning of all other colors in the spectrum. Combine any two or even bits of all three to create any color. From simple beginning come unlimited results. Are we talking about colors or about our country? Yes.

Color defines.

Color describes.

Color communicates.

Blue and red decorate the flag of our nation. The attributes we associate with those colors coincide with all that is American.  Red for bravery, resilience, strength and valor. Blue represents truth, integrity, ingenuity and patience. Although sharply delineated on the nations map yesterday, the melding of those colors creates violet, the color of inclusion, the color of enlightenment.

If our election process has made us see anything clearer, let it be that all colors of the spectrum are derived from the same white light. Like a prism twirling in the sunlight, white light is captured by its facets and creates every color in the rainbow.  We are each different, yet the same. And that should make us glad.

 

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."

Calvin Coolidge

Just a Walk on the Beach

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

One of my favorite things to do in Key West is walk on the beach. As beaches go, it does not rival the Caribbean stretches of pristine powdery sand. Yet, each day it's a surprise. What kind of beach it will be?

As the photo portrays, on a perfect day, the sand is white and smooth. The  deep aqua water laps gracefully far up the beach and the sky of cerulean blue is bright with puffy clouds to decorate. Fresh breezes rustle the palm fronds and seagulls float effortlessly onto the beach.

On another day, the sea is muddy and green. The calm waves of low tide struggle to pass through mounds of olive green and brown seaweed collected on the beach. The air, thick and humid, smells of rotting vegetation washed up from the sea floor. Small sea creatures, marooned on the beach, await a higher tide.

Same beach, same time of day, but an entirely different experience for the senses. Yet what remains the same? That singular touch, the sand passing between my toes. The knowing that, no matter what, the sea will meet the sand every day. It's a comforting feeling.

Change happens every day. It happens to the beach. It happens to each one of us. Sometimes the sun shines brightly on our perfect beach. Other times the low tide drains the life out of our dreams.

It's not a bad thing.

Not an unwelcome thing.

Change just happens. Like a walk on the beach.

But what makes you who you are, the feeling of the sand between your toes and the eternal sea that always meets the sand of your soul, never changes.

Welcome change. Think of it as your daily surprise.

 

"The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us. "
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Life is But a Dream

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Someone asked me once if dreamed in color. "What a preposterous question,"  I thought, "doesn't everyone dream in color?"  Life is in color, why shouldn't a dream look the same way?

Back in the day of black and white television and even earlier, colorless movies, our modes of entertainment starkly contrasted with real life's hues. Not so long ago, newspaper photos were not even in color. Seems unthinkable now.

I vividly remember that marvelous scene in The Wizard of Oz when the shades of gray views of Kansas were replaced with the groundbreaking spectacle of a color filled Oz on the big screen. Amazing! I wonder if that's when my dreams started to be in color.

So maybe I'm just assuming you all dream in color. If you don't, or if you are just curious about the significance of the black and white variety of nightly flights of fantasy, I have an interpretation for you from symbolism expert, Avia Venefica.

"Dreaming in black and white indicates a heavy reliance on structure, uniformity and order. Black and white dreams point to a distinct separation between reality and fantasy."

"They offer fewer distractions so the purity of meaning can be more easily sought. Furthermore, black and white dreams offer a crisp, clean beauty that is incredibly remarkable to the exploring mind."

Hmmm. Sounds like there is no separation for me between fantasy and reality. I find myself wondering at times if something really happened or if it was a dream.

There are those who believe that our dream state is a parallel reality and what we do in dreams is indeed taking place on another plain. All I know is that I have a lot of cats in that other world, having dreamed about them two nights in a row.

Avia's take on dreaming about four legged animals, "Cats in dreams represent feminine power. Cats also deal with esoteric knowledge, and spiritual guardianship." Interesting. "Black cats signify hidden secrets or hidden powers within the dreamer."

The black cat in my dream had two stripes on its side, one yellow and one green. This dream was definitely in color. So in my parallel life, I have feminine power, esoteric knowledge, and hidden secrets. Plus the clarity signified by yellow and the intelligence of the heart symbolized by green. I like that explanation.

Dreams or reality, I create them both. Maybe I live with more spontaneity in my dreams because I don't think them out first. But living two colorful lives is better than one.


"Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions."
Edgar Cayce

The End of White?

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

With the passing of Labor Day, the imagined end of summer, tradition dictates that the color white is no longer acceptable to wear. Retire your white sandals? What about a few more warm weather adventures in white pants?

I've heard many divergent opinions today on the subject of white. Northerners are ready to move on to comforting autumn hues. While residents of Southern climates prefer to cling to the their favored symbol of perennial summer as long as the temperatures hover in the 80's.

Still, the tradition of white makes me nostalgic for the days when white was the color for so many everyday items. Think back to a time when products now available in Technicolor hues, were only found in white.

When I was growing up, bed sheets were always stark white. The neighborhood clothes lines anchored rows of billowing, sparkling white sheets every laundry day. Your sheets had to be as white as the family’s next door, or what a scandal ensued!

Every uniform in the medical field was typically white. Even the early McDonalds carry-out restaurants were staffed with men in short sleeved white shirts and narrow white hats. The absence of color was a statement of cleanliness rather than a fashion statement.

Good housekeeping practices dictated expanses of gleaming white for appliances and sinks in the kitchens, as well as all white porcelain fixtures in the bath. Bleach was a household necessity to keep the whites white and battle the dreaded “ring around the collar”. That sounds archaic today.

When Queen Victoria first wore a white wedding dress at her own nuptials in 1840, she began the trend of brides wearing white. That popular choice for weddings has continued ever since.

As explained in this quote from Godey’s Lady’s Book of 1849, “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”

Everyone's entitled to their opinion.


"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
Mae West



 

Let the Games Begin

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

As the clock ticks down, Olympic fever is about to erupt. You may be fascinated with the amazing athletes, the world records that will be broken, and the lively London venue. For me, it's the rings.

The emblem of five interlocking rings of blue, black, red, yellow and green was designed by  Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern day games, in 1912 and was first debuted during the Antwerp Olympics of 1920.

It is widely assumed the colors designate the five continents represented by the games; blue for Europe, yellow for Asia, black for Africa, green for Oceania and red for America. 

According to De Coubertin, rather than being continent specific, his five colors on a white background are taken from the flags of all the nations in competition at that time.

Color is symbolic across the globe with common meanings in many cultures. The most common color used in national flags is red and best describes the courage and strength in forming a nation.

There will be many flags waved and anthems sung as the athletes convene in London. The melding of all cultures represented on the Olympic flag flies above them all, appropriately describing the unity of humankind we will soon feel.

Let the games begin.

I Saw the Face of Joy

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

After more than twenty years of failing eyesight, my nearly eighty six year old father finally had cataract surgery on one of his eyes. A simple procedure you would think, but with unimagined results. 

Family and friends had tried to convince him year after year to schedule the very common procedure of replacing the clouded lens inside his eye with a new, clear version.

"I can see good enough."

"I'm too old to bother."

Our pleas became pointless. He was resigned to die with the same eyes he was born with- that is until a notice arrived from the Secretary of State's office. Before he could renew his driver's license that was expiring on his birthday, he would have to come in and take a test.

Reading the letters on an eye chart, he realized, would be impossible. Faced with the choice of having his wings clipped or his eyes repaired, he announced, to our surprise, the surgery that was completed yesterday.

Today, the eye patch came off.

As I looked at him, I saw the face of joy.  

There are yellows and greens and oranges and reds he has not seen in years. The sky is blue, not foggy. And white, so much white, that before he saw only as shades of gray. His dim and colorless world is suddenly full of life.

And so is he, full of life again. He has regained the exhilaration that only a bright, color filled world can bring. And being able to read an eye chart is a big plus, too.

The face of joy…in color.


Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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Feel Great in Color!