Category Archives: Stories

Kids stories that are good for adults too.

Thoughful Thursdays – #98 – No Obstructions

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If you had no obstruction inward or outward and  no obtrusive thoughts, what would you do with your life?

1. what would you do for a living?

2. where would you spend your time?

3. would you travel?

4. would you spend time learning about yourself and all the parts you have neglected?

5. would you write a book or read all the books that you are interested in?

6. where would you live?

7. what would you change?

8. would you create a new life based on your loves and likes?

9. would you become a hermit and meditate on life’s mysteries?

10. would you be afraid of your new-found freedom?

Make a list. It’s usually the last things on your list that are the truest because your ego wants to be first.

Happy freedom and discovery.

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A Sense of Accomplishment

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Often I have a nagging feeling of something that I can’t put my finger on. I feel edgy, uncomfortable, restless. I try different things to find out where the feeling is coming from. For example, eating, watching TV, socializing, any anything else that is out side of me.

None of those things work. I finally realized what I was denying. My own creativity. There is nothing in my world that is more staisfying as being creative. Whether it is painting or writing, I get a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

Most of us deny our true selves and the best way to get back in touch with it is do the thing that makes us feel accomplished.

It is our job to figure what that feeling of accomplishment is and build on it. Even if it for five minutes a day.

Happy days are created by not denying what makes us happy. Happy days are created by doing what makes us happy.

Figure it out for yourself. What makes you happy? Where can you fit in 5 minutes of this action that makes you happy?

Self discovery will take you to where you are supposed to be in all areas of your life. Seems unrealistic? Not really, the happier you are the more your life will come into the balance of where it’s supposed to be.

Happy Adventures………

Your Mind

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Dont’ believe everything your mind tells you.

Especially if it is negative.

Don’t talk to yourself about yourself.

Most of the time it is false information.

The antidote.

Gratitude

Be thankful for everything.

The Disappointment by The Blyssful Witch

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This is so Damned true.

Psalms

The Disappointment

Am I what you wanted, Mother?
A shining daughter of the meadow’s delight?
I fear not, I am a mass of scars
A tiny bone-yard,
Rattling the wretched night.

I am sorry to disappoint, fair one
I was not what you had hoped.
No sweet songs of childish innocence
Will now escape this strangled throat.

I was never pretty enough
Or witty or clever or shy
For I spoke my mind and had my way
Through many battles, you and I.

Until one day, you’d had enough
My life you took from me
Those delicate fingers wrapped ‘round my throat
And shook my final breath free.

I will torment you til the end, fair one
Your disappointment finally complete
When the Grave swallows your shallow soul
And vomits it back at my feet.

For I am always your daughter
A dark thorn in your ivory side
I will pursue you til the accursed end
For even in Hell, you cannot hide.

I am the Daughter of Disappointment
I am the Spawn of the Evil Night
In my revenge, finally like you, Mother
A mirror image, glowing bright.

Words: The Blyssful Witch, Copyright ©2000-2014

Detachment repost from July 6, 2014

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Detachment And Other Stuff

I had a disappointing situation this weekend. I had wonderful plans that were thoughtlessly canceled. That led me to spiral down the all too familiar slippery slopes of despair. The disappointment was a reminder of a past belief that no one can be trusted. That is something that drives me crazy: someone you can”t trust. Say what you mean and mean what you say. But was that belief the truth?

I tried to find a way to cope with the situation. Especially since I have a tendency to over react at times like these by turning my emotions viciously into gut wrenching personal attacks on myself.

I needed to stop. It took about half a day of ping ponging between being furious at not having control over the situation to remembering I need to detach to get perspective.

Detachment , to me, is allowing situations unfold or fold up in their own given time. I am reminded that it is not my timing that make things work out for the best. It is not my controlling or fussing that makes things go any faster. However I find waiting really frustrating. I want things my way and now. Well, that is the nasty co dependent, needy side of me speaking.

The nasty co dependent, needy side of me reeks havoc on my life and relationships and especially my thoughts. Co dependency is a product of my past but still alive and well living in the outskirts of my subconscious, waiting to destroy what ever I perceive as a hurt.

What is the truth behind all of this?

1. It is my beliefs and thoughts that are causing my own grief. Yes, I have the right to be disappointed but having my thoughts whirl around like a squirrel in a cage is maddening and extremely unhelpful.

2. Things don’t always go as planned. I forgot this one. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a misunderstanding and perhaps a readjustment. Or not the right time. Or not in my best interest.

3. I can’t control what others do. It is not the end of the world if someone disappoints me. Other peoples poor behavior is a reflection on them not on me.

4. People are not always loving all the time. This is an opportunity to say Ouch at the disappointment but remain open, peaceful and hopeful with the situation.

5. Time always reveals the truth behind what ever is going on, whether I like it or not.

6. All situations are mirrors of what I need to take a look at. Interactions with others bring up feelings. Believe it or not people don’t cause feelings. The feelings that come up belong to me.

I ask these questions:

What would it be like if I made the effort not to think about these perceived offences?

What would it be like if I made the effort to stop the rushing negative thoughts?

What would it be like if I said yes to everything as a form of acceptance?

What would it be like if I practiced being really strong for myself for a change?

What would it be like if I made the effort to improve only my life by examining my own behavior?

What would it be like if I remembered just how darn lucky I am to realize that all situations are unfolding as they need to?

What would it be like if I remembered just how lucky I am to change myself?

I know that as time passes my feelings will subside and clarity will come forward. I will learn what I need to learn and move on. If I have not learned the lesson a similar situation will come up and I will be given the chance to examine myself again.

It is my good fortune and luck to be awake and aware enough not to crawl under a rock and hide from life’s ups and downs.

It is my good fortune and luck to not hide behind any distraction and sit with the pain however uncomfortable it is.

It is compassionate and rewarding to experience suffering to understand what others might experience. Here is the miracle of connection.

From my suffering I can relate to another’s suffering. I know the comfort I need so I can comfort another.

How fortunate to get to the point of letting it go. That does not mean I am not disappointed. I am just not going to invest any more emotional energy on it. I am releasing my attention to what happened.

Here is the crux of the situation. The arduous climb, the crucial point. Here is my chance to mature and be a positive influence to the world at large.

I thank all that were involved in aggravating me. This is another chance for me to get to know who I am.

You are my teacher and I am truly grateful.

You Will Fall In Love With A Broken Person by Ella Ceron on Thought Catalog

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Whatever it is, whatever happened to them, whatever they’re going through, whatever haunts them and controls them and leaves them wanting more — it will have nothing and everything to do with you.

Nothing, because it probably happened before you entered their life. It was a breakup, or a trauma, or faith and trust and belief that went south somewhere.

Everything, because you will try to fix them, or help them, or wonder why you are not enough, why you cannot heal their wounds and mend their broken heart and change their mind.

You’re going to swear to yourself that you’ll never fall into this pit, and then you’ll watch as it happens. You’ll kick yourself for doing what you said you’d never do. You’ll ask yourself why you’re bothering. Why you think you’re the exception to the rule. Why you can’t just heed the warning signs.

You know, all along, that this is someone with a heart in shards, a soul in pieces, and little affection and warmth and stability to give you — you won’t blame them for it, they need all the resources they can give themselves — yet you still try.

Love works in funny ways, and we love all the things we never plan on loving. We attach ourselves to the things we think we should not love. Moths have their flames, little kids their wet cement, dogs their puddles.

We have lovers who do not — and cannot — love us back.

But you will love them, no matter how much you try not to. No matter how much you say you don’t. You’ll watch as they pull themselves further down, and sometimes drag you down too. They’re not trying to, but between keeping you at a distance and not knowing how to love you back, even if they want to, there’s a whole host of complications that bubble up when a broken person is loved by someone else.

Eventually, one of two things will happen. They let you in, bit by bit, and you learn slowly how to let them fix themselves; or you lick your wounds and move on. One is not more or less noble than the other. One hurts a little more. One is a little more rare. Both have the potential of breaking you. Both have the potential for you to learn that love is not something you force upon someone and demand they return, but something that you have to offer freely. Something that nobody’s obligated to accept. Whether or not they’re ready to take it. And if they’re not ready, then they’re not ready.

But you will fall in love with a broken person, at least once in your life. It happens to everyone. The odds are stacked against us that somebody or something will have gotten there first and wrenched somebody’s affection apart and left scars in those things we call our hearts. And the broken person you love will be hesitant and skittish and nervous, but that doesn’t mean they deserve any less love just because they’re afraid of being burned again.

All you can do is love them. All you can do is be there for them. And if you’re lucky, they will learn to love you, too.

If you’re not, and if you wind up breaking, too, well, you’re not alone. And if there’s anything love stories teach us, it’s that you can heal. You can grow. You can try again.

Because often, the broken people we find and fall in love with and help heal wind up being ourselves.

Into the Light ——————Here we go again.

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Out of the darkness into the light

let the love for us shine bright

we are bound to each other
from this night

As the heat of fire

The coolness of the sea

we are bound to each other

just you and me.

Be my sweetness,
be my destiny,
be my loving kindness,
be my heat, my healing, my longing, my fire
my sea, my joy, my pain,
be my demon just loving me.

I will be your lightness,
I will be your savior ,
I will be on your side,
I will love you forever more
I will struggle with you
and struggle for you
I will be your savagery.

No two alike has gained like this
no two as us are likely to miss
the life of darkness of shadows and light
we are the two that will shine so bright.

As the world may see and not understand
how two strange creatures can take a stand
in a life that is hard
and weakness prevails

it is our journey and
belongs to no one else
where ever we land
we will have each other
through valley and glen
to forge forward together
hand in hand.

g.piazza

Martie McNabb – Personal Historian – Memories Out of the Box

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Martie McNabb Profile Picture

 

I met Martie McNabb at one of the local chapter Association of Personal Historian meetings last year. She owns and operates a business in Brooklyn, NY She is a visual artist who tells personal history stories in books (& other display products) using only photos & memorabilia. Her books are created to let the reader tell the story in their own words. Which makes for a better story. Martie has been in business for over nine years and she is graciously going to share her wisdom and insights with us today.

Purelysimplewords (PSW): Welcome Martie. I know you are really busy so thanks for your time.

Martie McNabb (MM): Not busy with a lot of paid work.

PSW: It’s like that everywhere.

MM: It’s a standard thing. It’s the three stages of building a business. Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Memories Out of the Box is heading into the Profitability stage but we are not there yet.

PSW: How long have you been doing Personal History work?

MM: We are coming up to 9 to 10 years.

PSW: That’s a long time!

MM: Personal Historians in general have a difficult time selling our services. At least people know what to do (as a memoir writer). There are no words (text) in the work I do, except those that are in documents or memorabilia. Occasionally if a client wants it but then they have to do the work. But the majority of my clients don’t have the time to caption anything. They look to what I create as an opportunity for storytelling. They pull the book off the shelf and sit down with their family and they go through it and reminisce and remember and reconnect with one another and that’s where the words come in as part of an individual, family or organizational oral tradition.

PSW: How did you get started as a Personal Historian?

MM: I was a high school Biology teacher in the city here for 8 ½ years. I wasn’t burnt out but I was crispy around the edges. I knew I couldn’t stay doing it. Mainly I love the kids but got burnt out by the administration and politics of education. As we know all the money is going into testing. Companies like Pearson Testing and curriculum companies are making a fortune off of it but the reality of it is you need to train teachers really, really well then you give them all the support they need to become excellent teachers then leave them the Fuck alone.

PSW: I agree with you on that one.

MM: No administrator would go into a cardiac surgeon’s operating room and tell them what to do. Teachers need the same respect. It’s not the money. The money is really good but it was all the other stuff. Anyway I had to leave there and I was just trying to figure what to do. I went back to my first career which was sign language interpreting. Which I still do occasionally if I need cash. Then I said, “What’s next?”

I decided to take a 16 week business class called Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) which met once a week, we had homework. It cost me $99 and they had a curriculum they taught you and had different people who came in and taught you about different areas of building a business. It was an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs too. I was not thinking of one business and around that time I went to visit a friend in North Carolina. I hadn’t seen my friend in 6 years . When I saw her she felt it was so important to tell me that she had become an aunt in that 6 year period. Her twin sister had two girls and all she wanted to do was show me pictures of her nieces. She spent half the visit going back and forth to her bedroom trying to find the right dresser drawer with the right envelope with the right picture in it. It occurred to me, why do we document the heck out of our lives. We take photos, we collect all kinds of stuff that document the things we remember. Touchstones that really make a difference for us. We hold on to them but so rarely do anything with them. They just sit in a box, mainly that’s how Memories Out of the Box came about.

I wondered how many other people have this problem. Needless to say it was a very informal marketing search. There is no known research about it at this point. All I can tell is we can see hundreds and thousands of old photographs at tag sales and flea markets and antique stores, the problem of what do you do with your photos have been around for a very long time. Because they are ending up in tag sales and flea markets and auctions. Someone in whatever family did nothing with them. You find old scrap books from the 20’s and 30’s and even earlier that have nothing in them. Perhaps the first couple of pages have photos in them and the rest nothing. I think the challenge of what we do with our photos, documents and memorabilia of our lives has been going on for a long time. But again I don’t have hard and fast truth of it. I started to think about it and ask people about it and said OK what valuable service can I offer because there seems to be a big need for it. Let me try opening this business. And so I did.

PSW: What do you enjoy most about doing this type of work?

MM: The most difficult part of this work is getting more work. It’s getting the word out to people to say I can do this work, people don’t understand that they can hand me their boxes, bags or key to their storage unit or whatever and I can do the majority of the work all by myself. Without them being there.

The next thing is I don’t spend enough time actually doing the work, because the clients are motivated to do it but it is not on the top of their priority list, especially for my clients basically since they handed it off to me and given me a check. It sometimes takes a little while to get back to me so I can move forward on these projects.

But the best part is when I am finally getting into my studio and start to work on these projects it’s pure joy. Time just stands still and I just get into this space of loving to be a part of telling this story. Of this visual narrative and I get to know the characters, I see where they go and what is important to them, what they do and who are their friends. I see children grow up and the weddings that have been in boxes for 22 years. They finally get into a beautiful book and get delivered to a husband and wife for their 23rd wedding anniversary. It’s the joy of creating the finished display product that is what I love and also it’s just being able to know that when I hand these projects back to my clients they are so thrilled. Many of these people thought about what to do with these boxes for years if not decades. Here when I say it is not a priority. I say it is not a top priority, but it is in the back of their minds and they think they have to do something with these. I have to find those wedding photos, the trips we took or my daughters baby book that I never finished and now my daughter’s is graduating from college. All of these things that were in the back of their minds but they have not done anything with it. The sense of relief they have when it’s done, they can sit down and look through it, share and reminisce. I have had some that were so excited to get the finished book, sit with some wine and go through each page and relish every moment. These are some reasons I love doing what I do.

PSW: Do you put the actual pictures in a book or do you scan them and put the scan in the book?

MM: It all depends on what my clients want and what the end product is. 1. I can take the original photos, documents, postcards, letters cards, teeth, locks of hair,. brochures, maps and all of that put them in a photo safe scrapbook with adhesive that is photo safe and archival quality. This is called a one off. A big challenge for the client is what to do with the originals if they want a digital book. There is still a preservation issue to that. Many of my clients don’t have a lot of storage space so they may never do anything with the originals. 2. I can scan each individual photo and document to create a digital book that can be printed. Either way is fine but I often ask what the clients plan on doing with the originals.

Many clients just want one copy because they know they are not going to do anything with the originals. The best protection for the items is to be in a book. That gives the archive the most probable chance of surviving and being preserved.

PSW: What is digitizing?

MM: Scanning and digitizing is the same thing, most of the books I create are large. Most are 12 x 12 or 14 x 14. They can’t be scanned in a typical scanner. I have a friend who is a product photographer and takes high quality photos. His studio is set up so that he can photograph each page which creates a digital image. I can then have a back up copy to send off to a book publisher or printer and have a copy made.

PSW: You have been in this business for a long time. From where you began to where you are now what has not worked and what have you learned from it?

MM: Needless to say I have had many failures. This is my first forte in owning a business. No one in my immediate family has ever owned a business. My great grandfather and his six brothers started a company back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Other than that it’s been hit or miss on my side. I am primarily on my own. Because it is a new industry and concept even before I knew anything about the Association of Personal Historians I started Memories Out of the Box. There was no road map. There could be other companies out there that do the work I do but I can’t find them. There is one that is similar by a woman in Oregon. Also Taylor Whitney in Albany, NY. But no one does the visual story telling as I do.

My clients are not the type to send their precious items out to be organized/scanned so I decided to open an store in Brooklyn, NY that sold photo albums and scrapbooks and frames, I had classes, workshops and studio space for those who had these projects in mind but no room in their house. Some people worked with me on a coaching basis. I got great feedback from people in the area. As a result I got over 400 email addresses. If I got a nickel for every time I was told this store is a great idea I would be rolling in it now. I did acquire a great client who I still work with. I am working on book 9, 10 and 11.

Unfortunately, the store did not work out for various reasons like the economy and my lack of business experience. It was in essence a “failure”. So what did I learn from it. By living in this neighborhood for 20 years having a store increased my visibility and credibility. I was smart enough to adjust my path to continue the work that I do. Which is all I want to do. I did not give up. I continued to offer my services I learned I hate retail. I learned I can fail, learn from it and make better mistakes next time. I learned to take my financial life seriously. Being CFO of my financial life is new to me and I am learning to handle that.

PSW: Who would you say is the most interesting client you have ever had?

MM: This is a woman I met when I opened my store. She is like a hurricane and has a huge heart. She takes the time to sit down and really listens and connects with you . As I mentioned I am working on book 9, 10 and 11 for her. She inherited a box of stuff from her mother dating back to the 18 and 1900’s that I organized, curated and placed in a book. When her son was 13 I made a book for him. I have seen her family grow. I have taken trips with them, and she is welcoming, friendly, and trusting. She makes me feel I am part of that family and I really love that about her. Hopefully I will be there to do wedding albums for her sons and daughter as we move forward. It is wonderful to be a family’s visual narrator.

PSW: What advice would you like to pass on about having your own business and being a personal historian?

MM: First is you learn important things about yourself, deep things. Having your own business is not like having a job. It’s about starting and growing a business you believe in.

In terms of a personal history business there is no question that it is in the beginning stages and it will grow. We are the life story people after all.

I just connected with Story Corp. They say that they make recordings that go into the Library the Congress so your great great great grandchildren can listen to your story. Sadly I think this does not happen though because Story Corps doesn’t help the individuals preserve the DVD they are given &/or create a tradition that makes sure the family knows that this recording even exists. When I come across CD’s & DVD’s in the boxes I work with I make sure they are included in my end product and backed up in some way so these ancestral voices aren’t lost. Personal Historians are not only concerned about telling or recording stories but also about preserving them for future generations that know that they are there.

PSW: is there anything else you would like to add?

MM: I encourage everyone to check out our Show & Tell events. They are great opportunities to share lives and legacy. It’s a fun event. The events are free too.

Join us online:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/showandtellit
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Show-Tell-it/

PSW: Thank you Martie for sharing your world with us.

Martie is talented and generous with her expertise. Her visual narratives are unique and each one of her creations is one of a kind. She is passionate about everyone not leaving the story of their lives stuck in a box.

To find out more about Martie McNabb, her portfolio, the process she uses, adult show and tell events and her work go to: memoriesoutofthebox.com. (718) 398-1519 Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY

David Richo – The Life Span of a Feeling

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Here’s and excerpt from David Richo’s book: ” The Five Things We Cannot Change.”

“Fear of feelings bottlenecks us. We fear that a feeling may possess us and never calm down. Actually, a feeling wants to be over and done with. Feelings, like everything else in life, are ever-changing and impermanent.”

“This is how the cycle of a complete feeling experience flows through us:

A stimulus – arousal of a feeling – showing the feeling – cooling down – a calm openness to what may come next as we get on with life – readiness for the next stimulus and beginning again.”

I am paraphrasing the next three sentences.

We avoid feelings by numbing ourselves with busy – ness, alcohol, drugs, food or any other addiction.

Having more than one feeling come up at one time is common. Depending upon the level of grief there may never be a resolution.

So what is the next step. According to Richo it is to roll with the feeling. Don’t stop yourself from feeling anything.

I completely agree and add that feelings are your guideposts to healing. If you squash your feelings they will end up consuming you whether you like it or not. Give your feelings their space so they can express themselves. Let feelings do their job or they will interrupt your life until you do give them attention. Feelings bring you face to face with your deepest longing, wants, wishes, requests, cravings, needs, fears and yearning.

At some point you will recognize what your next step is. The next step is the one that will make you grow as a person. That’s a general statement but in your heart you will know what you need to do.

Go ahead, take that first scary step. You will not crumble.

You will thrive.

 

 

 

Relationships

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In relationships  we recognize who we are and are not. What we have and what we do not have.  We either hide from this information or we embrace it.

All relationships are laboratories for personal growth.

No one can grow with out relationships.

Do your best to reach out and grow.

g. piazza