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Posts Tagged ‘imagination’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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friend2 About a year or two ago a friend gave me a book to read. It sounded very interesting, it was a thriller and love story and mystery and supernatural all rolled into one. I don’t know the authors name, and the name of the book slips me at the moment, but that’s really not that important for what I have to tell you.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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One of my favorite people to look to or to quote is Albert Einstein. I think is because we both are so much a like…. (I’ll let that one sink in a bit before I move on…….)

Truthfully I do see a lot of similarities between us, no I am not as smart as him, no were near, but we both share a thinking pattern. For anyone who reads my blogs or knows me personally will know that I am a person with an imagination and a positive attitude. Albert also has this trait, and I have quoted him several times, in fact I have a small postcard of his hanging in my office and I have read biographies on him. I find him to be a very interesting person. I have no ability to understand his math or his logic (most of the time), but I can understand his outlook and his way of dealing with the world. Today as I was thinking I should blog about something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to blog about politics again, not because I don’t have anything to say, because I do, but because both of my blogs are not primary political they are primarily spiritual. So my latest rant concerning Obama will have to wait…. So what than do I blog about. As I often do when I don’t have a solid idea I will look up quotes on the internet (God’s gift for writers block). What I found was this quote from Mr. Einstein:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

I like that, in fact I teach that… I have from the start, I have always valued questions. To me if you are not questioning that you are dead, dead to the topic at hand, dead to the presenter, dead to the faith, dead to what ever it is you are not questioning.

To an insecure presenter or teacher the questions may come across as attacks, good question by e-magic.as if the questioner is challenging there domain. And they very well may be doing just that, and that’s ok. Hell if it was good enough for old Albert, than it’s good enough for me!

My overriding passion is my faith and teaching my faith to youth. In fact this will be the first time since 1990 that I will not be actively involved in a teaching ministry, but back to my point… My passion is my faith and the passing on of my faith (teaching). Part of this passion is also learning more about my faith on my own and taking formal classes. It is the process of questioning my teachers and my students that grow and learn more. It is the process of questioning that allows my mind to explore other areas it normally would not travel. It allows me the freedom to play the “devils” advocate in the name of knowing.

Questions are what makes America a land of the free, if were are not allowed to question of government, than we are no better than and no different than present day Cuba. Our ability to place our public officials under the microscope of public questioning is our key to freedom. My ability to question my faith is what makes my faith mine is my ability to question her teachings and to question my understanding.

Albert got it right, The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Think about a toddler and there constant why? why? why?, it is their ability to ask why that allows them to grow, why should that be any different for a pre-teen or teen, a parent of grandparent. Our ability to grow never ceases, just our own limitations placed on ourselves do. We have that same power as the curious 3 year old, the power of WHY… That power to change the course of events is not limited to the mind of a 3 year old, it is innate in all of us, it is our nature to question. God created us to question and he celebrates us when we do so.

A single question has changed the course of history, a single question can place common scene on it’s ear and turn right to wrong and evil to good. The power of a question should never be over looked nor should it be played down or belittled.

The question was asked of Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the King of the Jews?” and all of history was changed for ever. The question was asked, “What is the price of liberty” and a new nation was born.

The ability to question is our basic right as part of humanity, to stop questioning is to stop participating in humanity. Teacher and politicians and parents that stifle the questions of those they are charged with not only stifle that individual but also all of humanity.

Just imagine if:

  • Edison never question electricity
  • Ford never question the assembly line
  • Jefferson never questioned Liberty

It is the questions that have created the humanity we know today. With each stifled question our next Ford, Edison, Einstein or Jefferson might never be able to ask that all important, life changing question.

If we do not allow questions, than who will question poverty, hunger, global war’s and the outer limits of space or the inner limits of the mind? Sniffle one is the same as stifling all.

 

 

Just something to question….

Paul

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Working off of yesterdays blog about how we treat boys in this nation, I thought I would dive in to the problem a little more.

If we look at the boys being raised, how we as a society send such a mixed message to them, how parents want to raise soft and tender boy, boys with a heart. We want to raise boys as if they are not boys, we want to remove the boyness from boys.

The whole “pop” psychology thing of being in touch with your feelings and the how does that make you feel questioning of boys has, effectively, removed boyhood from boys. We have created a whole generation of boys that truly do not know how to be boys. Look around you, look at what our so called boys are doing.

One of the true signs that we have ventured to far off course is the simple fact The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do By Conn Iggulden, Hal Igguldenthat we even have to talk about how boys should act. Look in the book stores, there are tons of books for parents on how to raise your boys and there is even a book for boys on how to be a boy…. Come on! Now I am not the most athletic person, truth be told, I really only like Baseball, and that passion only runs so deep in me. I sucked at playing sports as a boy, but, and I repeat, but no one had to tell me how to act as a boy, I was able to figure that all out on my own, thank you very much! Now some will say that i did not do a very good job at it, that my adventure as a boy lacked in some areas, and that would most likely be true. But I stand by the fact that I did not need a book nor did my parents need a book to tell me how to act as a boy, it was instinctive to me, my parents did not try to raise me any other way, they did not try to make me sensitive (I was by nature) nor did they try to make me sporty, they let me grow up who I was and treaded me as a boy.

What’s that mean, treaded me as a boy…

I was encouraged to play out side, to get messy to climb trees to make forts to play cops and robbers to use my imagination to create exciting new worlds for me to explore, to get holes in my jeans and to do all the other things that boys do. Being a boy  is an adventure in misadventures, it’s being allowed to fall and being told to get back up again and do it all over, and if you fall again, well that’s life. It being allowed to make mistakes and to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, to learn from experience that you just don’t say that to little girls.

Creating new worlds with only a stick from the big oak tree in your back yard and your imagination, that is boyhood at it’s best, play dates and structured time (or at least to much of it) is in opposition to boyhood, it removes the opportunity for spontaneity of a boy, creating a programmable boy and not a living boy.

What have we done to our boys? How did we get to this point? All in the name of woman’s liberation, in our efforts to create equality we have dummied  downed our boys, stripped them of boyness to create a non-gender rather than celebrating the two unique genders we have.

We need to get back to the basics, boys are boys and girls are girls, that’s all there is to it. We are different, one is not better than the other, just different from each other. Now here is were I will get in trouble, but such is life. There are something’s that boys do better than girls and girls do better than boys. There are some actions that are all boy and some that are all girl. That’s just the way it is, sorry but we are not the same, we are equal in the fact that we are humans, that we are created by God, but our equality does not translate in to sameness, we are not the same, we are two different creations with two very different and distinct callings and skill sets. It’s just nature, a fact of life, try as we may (and have over that last 40 years) we cannot make boys in to girls, nor girls in to boy. We are separate genders and we can not make a new non-gender to fit our own selfish needs.

It’s time we accept the fact that boys are boys and girls are girls…

Paul

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Below is an article I read and I thought it would be very helpful to others, enjoy…

Paul

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7 Ways To Keep Going

By Therese J. Borchard
April 7, 2009

A woman who lives with chronic pain said to my mom the other day, “You can’t sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You’ve got to learn how to dance in the rain.”

That’s a perfect description of living with depression, or any chronic illness. But what do you do on the days you don’t think you can take the pain anymore? When you want so badly to be done with your life … or at least be done with the suffering? What do you do when anxiety and depression have spun a web around you so thick that you’re convinced you’ll be trapped forever in those feelings?

I’ve compiled a few tools for moving past that harrowing darkness, suggestions on how to emerge from a place of panic, and techniques on how to dance in the rain.

1. Escape from the pain.

Lately, when my thoughts turn dark, I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want another life … I want a reprieve from the pain. I’m usually at a loss on how to get there. I’m tired, frustrated, desperate, so my thoughts follow the path that has already been blazed throughout the years … and I fantasize about intoxication or some other destructive behavior that doesn’t require a lot of imagination.

How else can I escape … in a positive way? Instead of romanticizing about death or inebriation from booze, I can research new kayaking routes, bike paths, hiking trails, and camping sites. I can invest the time I lose in unproductive and dangerous thoughts into planning creative outings for myself and for the family that will give me/us the reprieve that I’m craving. I can be proactive about finding sitters for the kids so that my thoughts won’t revert back to “stinking thinking.”

2. Track your mood.

An essential piece of my recovery is keeping a mood journal. This helps me to identify certain patterns that emerge. As I said in my “Me on the Bad Days” post, depression can flare up seemingly out of the blue, like a thunderstorm. But often there are telltale signs that can clue me in as to why I’m feeling so fragile. You can catch these if you’ve been recording your mood over time.

3. Talk about it.

I can’t get a therapy appointment round the clock, so I had better invest in some friends that won’t tire of me telling them that my thoughts are turning to mush again.

Over the weekend I called two friends and my mom. “I’m going there again,” I explained. They know what THERE means … without my having to explain or justify. I don’t fully understand how gabbing heals, the scientific explanation of why venting does so much good, but I can surely attest to it, and confirm the connection between talking about something and feeling better. It’s like you’re a scared little kid in a lightning storm, and a neighbor, seeing that you’re locked out of your house, invites you inside and makes a cup of hot chocolate for you. Well, maybe it’s not that good, but it’s close, which is why our phone bill is way up this month.

4. Repeat: “I WILL Get Better”!

As I said in my video, “I WILL Get Better,” I think about my Aunt Gigi every time I wind up in the depression tunnel, and remember her repeating to me over the phone a few years back: “You will get better. Repeat that. You WILL get better.” Peter J. Steincrohn, M.D., author of “How to Stop Killing Yourself” wrote: “Faith is a powerful antidote against illness. Keep repeating – and believing: I WILL get well. If you believe, you help your doctor and yourself.” And this paragraph from William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” always reassures me:

If depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease–and they are countless–bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.

5. Take baby steps … a day at a time.

On mornings that I wake up with that nauseating knot of anxiety in my stomach, everything seems overwhelming. Getting myself to the bathroom so that I can brush my teeth feels seems like a triathlon in August. So I don’t attempt the triathlon. I only have to worry about getting my left foot down on the ground. And then my right one. And then I have to stand.

I’ll look at my to-do list and cross off two-thirds of it. “What on this list do I absolutely HAVE to do?” I say so myself. Everything else can wait. And then I start with the first thing, and do the first mini-movement that I need to do in order to accomplish that. If it’s getting Katherine dressed, that means 1. Finding Katherine. (That’s harder than it sounds.) 2. Picking out an outfit. (Ditto.) 3. Helping her out of her nightgown and into her clothes. (That’s where my nervous system almost shuts down.) And so on. Each item on the list can be broken down into a dozen mini-steps.

6. Distract yourself.

Some days I’m just not worth much. All I can do is distract myself … to keep myself from thinking about how awful I feel. Just like Fr. Joe carved figurines out of soap when he was depressed, and Priscilla made jewelry to keep her mind off of her anxiety, I will try to do anything to keep my brain occupied and away from my hurt, sort of like I did when I was in labor: baking chocolate-chip cookies, looking through old pictures, listening to Beethoven and Mozart, watching a comedy, swimming, running, biking, or hiking through the woods. (I didn’t do all of that in labor, though.)

7. Get out your self-esteem file.

For the past few days I’ve been carrying around letters from my self-esteem file in my pocket like a baby blanket. Some people have told me that my self-esteem must be shallow if I have to rely on praise from other people. Maybe it is. But I have to start somewhere, and anyone who has sat in that panic place where you want to end it all, knows that it’s virtually impossible at that time to come up with a list of your own strengths. So you have to believe what other people say.

Return to EverydayHealth.com

Therese J. Borchard writes the daily Beliefnet.com blog Beyond Blue (voted by Psych Central as one of the Top 10 Depression Blogs) and moderates Group Beyond Blue, the Beliefnet Community online support group for depression. Her memoir “Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes” will be released in January of 2010. Subscribe to Beyond Blue here or visit her at www.ThereseBorchard.com.

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Emotions can help you or hinder you, it is up to you. I have often talked about how our attitudes will shape our our comes, how we can think our way in to a new you. The opposite is also true, we can think ourselves out of a new you, we can think ourselves in to the same old same old.

The power of positive thinking is only defeated by the power of negative thinking. The human mind is capable of many great things, it has the power to land a man on the moon and to start horrific wars, the same mind can do both. Our capability is only limited by our lack of imagination. Our greatness is with in us, and only our emotions keep us from achieving our goals.

The power of negative thinking can be overwhelming, and in today’s society, the negative takes the forefront, over shadowing all other emotions. We are encourage to feel the negative emotions, we are made to feel sub-human if we do not. New daily news feeds off of our fears, manufacturing crisis after crisis, our schools teach our children fear (unproven global warming science) and our government thrives off our fears grabbing ever larger portions of the privet sector.

We as a collective mind buy in to the fear, we all look for the negative emotions and try to use it to our advantage, we publically state our shock and outrage but privately we are celebrating the momentary power surge we receive. 

If we truly wish to change, to grow in to a better self we need to learn to control the negative emotions, we need to learn not to buy in to the mass hysteria that drives the masses. To so called “true feelings” of negatives need to diverted in to a positive. The task at hand is truly a monumental task, all the forces of humanity are working to control you, to scare you in to a submission, the choice is yours.

Here are some things to consider concerning negative emotions:

Anxiety and fear strips away courage and makes great performances impossible.

Doubt makes even the best decisions feel difficult and causes procrastination.

Anger rips your focus away from your goals.

Frustration can only serve to make you quit.

Guilt makes it impossible to enjoy any successes you achieve.

Jealousy and envy create dishonesty, hate and corruption. Your thoughts and emotions are the only things that can truly stop you.

 

Paul

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I am often reminded that I allow my mind to take off with ideas, I run with them, even if it is in my own mind and allow them to take over, for a little bit anyway. I will admit I do this, and I enjoy the process. It happens when something excites me, a new idea for a book or blog, an exciting idea for a new business venture or youth activity. In truth it really don’t matter the topic, if it excites me, that’s all it takes, my mind is off and running.

My sister will often times tell me it’s time to get back in to reality, time to start to see things as they really are. And to some degree I agree with her, but not 100%. I enjoy my time in my mind; I like to dream about what could be, or how I can make it so. It exercises my imagination, and that is never a bad thing.

When we had our Catholic book store, my mind was in high gear, I often found it hard to sleep, but I had more energy than I had had in some time, even without sleep, the same was true when I first started to create the youth program. The excitement and newness gives me energy, it flues my day and my mind races think about all the possibilities.

Now I will be the first to admit I often times take it too far, thinking about 20 catholic book stores worldwide, or the youth program in all the parishes in the United States. And once again my partners would have to bring me back to reality, mostly my sister because my other partner would get caught up in my dreams. I truly enjoy the trips I would take to the reality I want, it allows me to live in the perfect world I have created, the one I want to manifest here and now.

To me the dreams are often times more important that the current reality, I feel that we must have a plan, a road we must travel and a destination we must head towards. That’s what my dreams are, they are my plans, and they map out my roads and show me my destination. I visualize what I want, and strive to achieve it.

We must dream big, we must strive for the unachievable if we ever wish to achieve anything. Electricity was only an unachievable dream until Ben Franklin dreamed it true; the computer was the stuff of B rate movies until someone dared to dream it in to reality. We have the power to create our here and now, but only if we are willing to dream it, only if we are brave enough to dream it out load and make it a reality.

I, for one, will continue to dream large, to dream beyond my current capabilities, and one day I will dream it long enough and hard enough that it will become a reality. Until that day, I will continue to let my mind go where it chooses, and let the dreams flow…

Paul

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When we were kids, running around in circles was something fun to do. We would run and run until we got so dizzy we would fall down. And sometimes we would just run for no reason at all, just because we could. I often think about the simplicity of youth, when I see a child running and smiling and laughing, or I see them playing army or cops and robbers, or any simple game like that. Games that took no real thought, games that just happened or just are. The laughter fills the air and the joy and simplicity of youth come flooding back to me, they fill my being with a longing to once again enjoy a simpler time.

I remember playing a game when I was a youth, my friend and I would pretend that when we climbed the fence in my back yard we were transported in to a different time, the past. Our youthful eyes would see things not as they were, but as they should have been. The vividness of it was real, the imagination took over and our city block was no longer in 1970’s but was transported back to the old west, or even to pre-historic times. We would crawl through the jungles and run from the bad guys and when we had finished our mission, or need to use the bathroom, we would jump the fence to be transported back to our time, knowing that at anytime we could reenter our own little world by simple jumping the fence in my back yard. I can still see us playing this game, can still feel the summer sun on my face and smell the smells of the city. It was a magical time; it was a time of wonder and amazement. It was our time.

So what brings up the trip down memory lane, why do I bother you with images from my youth? Basically to illustrate one simple point, as we grow we seem to lose the ability to allow ourselves the freedom to enjoy life. We place demands on ourselves, we allow society to dictate our actions. The simplicity of youth is lost on the complexity of adulthood. How sad!

I attended a seminar on stress, the speaker had written a book that basically said laugh it off, a thought process I agree with 100%. But one of the things the truly got my attention was how she dealt with rush hour traffic. Her ride home would sometimes take 2 hours, she lived in California, so the drive was long and the heat could get to you. Her way of dealing with the honking of horns, was to take out a bottle of bubbles, and blow bubbles out her window. Imagine seeing a 40 year old woman blowing bubbles out her car window. I can hear the comments now, “Look at the grown woman” “How childish” “What the @#$%@” and so on.

But that was the point, what good does it do her to honk her horn, cuss others out or get all frustrated and mad, why not blow bubbles, it does as much good as anything else. And besides, it made some of the other drives smile a little, and maybe transported them back to their childhood, if only for a moment. I was amazed and loved the idea, now in truth I have never done that, but living in the Detroit area, I have no need to, horns are not honked here too often and I am never in a traffic jam for 2 hours. But I still love the idea, and it makes me smile when I remember it.

I think we all need to learn how to transport ourselves back to the simplicity of our youth, we need to remember that life can be simple, and that sometimes we just need to run for the simple reason that we can.

As for me, I think I will head out to my back yard and jump the fence to be transported back the my youth for a little time, don’t worry, I won’t stay long, I am sure I will need a restroom break and will have to jump back before long.

Paul

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