Vulnerability and the Authentic Self

12 10 2013

It’s a scary feeling, the sensation of opening your inner self .  The feeling  of letting people see your true spirit; the you who loves sappy romantic comedies, or who would rather eat cheese and crackers at home than to dine on a gourmet meal in a five-star restaurant.  Or even scarier, the self who follows a different spiritual path or holds to a different political belief than the one friends and family adhere to .

Exploring those differences takes courage and the willingness to be vulnerable.  Vulnerability is a feeling, a state of mind that we are all born with.  As children we float along on the surface of vulnerability, unaware of any other way, not knowing that it is possible to hide our sensitive underbellies in the depths, to disguise our true selves from the judgments of others.

Through growth and life experience, through moments of hurt or humiliation, we begin forming a shell, a mask to hide behind.  Our mask camouflages  us.  It make us fit into our place in life, fit in with the people around us;   it paints a picture of how we want to be seen by others.  Over time, years or months, or sometimes most of a lifetime, our mask starts to feel stifling.  The true self begins to chip away from the inside, until cracks form.  We reach a stage where we are willing to risk vulnerability in order to restore our authentic, real and vulnerable self.  Our mask crumbles away.

There comes a time in each of our lives when being real, when experiencing and sharing the truth of our existence, transcends  the fear of being vulnerable.  It is when we realize that experiencing a true and real existence is only possible when we are fully open to love, to ideas, to beliefs;  it is only then that we have the courage to be vulnerable. It is only then, when we fully believe, that we know a spirit unmasked is the true measure of human life.





Mean What You Say

10 09 2013

That's the (unfortunate) thing...

This quote, which I found recently, really spoke to me.  It seems our current political climate is full of politicians, pundits, and internet ranters, representing every part of the political spectrum, who no longer mean what they say, or say what they mean, at least in any kind of truthful way;  who deliberately and willfully mislead the American people by either outright lying or by cherry picking facts and details, and then spinning them to meet their own agenda.  These lies and “spins” are then presented to the public as actual facts!  And so many Americans really are decent and honest people who really do mean what they say and say what they mean, that they don’t realize the magnitude of the deceptions that are presented daily as news, in campaign speeches, and almost everywhere on the internet.  I pretty much don’t believe anything I hear anymore.  It’s such a disappointment when we no longer have places to go for honest information and real facts.  I’m sure this has been going on for a long time to some degree, but is it just me, or is the problem much worse now?  I think the speed of this downward spiral is directly related to 24 hour news channels and the internet.  The first is driven to “create” news in order to keep viewers coming back during slow news times, and to improve ratings. The latter is populated by political ranters with no real credibility, but who are masters at spreading lies and firing up people who believe the falsehoods being spread.  It’s a sad day for those in  America who mean what they say, and think everyone else does too.





Done Is Better Than Perfect

14 07 2013

 

This was my inspiration for today.  I’d been in a rut with my writing, and this helped me push through and complete over 10 pages of new work!  It may not be perfect, but revisions are my favorite part of writing. 

 





Inspiration Sunrise

1 07 2012

A faint glow on the horizon  greeted us this morning as we headed out early for a sunrise picture taking expedition.  We drove across the 7-mile bridge in the muted pre-sunrise light, and reached our destination after a short walk down a rocky slope and around a natural sea shore trail.  The Zoe dog was in her element, sniffing the decaying sea grasses, rolling in smelly detritus, and sneaking her lapping tongue into salty waves.  She delighted in ignoring our warnings as we attempted to set up our tripods while keeping an eye on her explorations.  She really tried to be a good dog, until, sensing our distraction with camera equipment, she couldn’t resist bounding off down the beach.  Our calls fell on deaf-doggy ears, and we were forced to abandon the serious business of photography and go into doggy retrieval mode.  She bounded back and forth past us, tongue lolling and eyes sparkling with fun, wheeling and bounding by again.  Finally, after several fly-bys, her energy flagged, and she remembered what stay meant.  I snagged her wet, sand-covered leash and she meekly followed me back to my camera, where I commenced shooting the sunrise.  The cloudy horizon wasn’t what I had in mind when this photo shooting trip was conjured, but it turned out okay.  The beautiful island morning inspired me, and the joy of a happy dog was icing on the cake!





Keys Sunrise

1 07 2012

Keys Sunrise

A cloudy sunrise, looking north toward Marathon over the 7-mile bridge.





I Am The Sea

15 06 2012

Blue Tang

A photo I took while snorkeling off Cat Island, Bahamas in 2006.

I plunge into the sea

And find myself

I am there

Among the sargassum

Swimming with blue tang

My breath an echo

Constant as the surf

I am there

Dissolving into sun beams

Buried in rippled white sand

With the eagle ray

until a shadow floats over me

and I burst forth

I am there

MR 6/12

 





Testing

30 04 2012

The testing is done, and today I am inspired by the real teaching that can take place once the high-stakes assessments are done. Project- based learning, where students work together balancing their skills and talents to create wonderful learning environments that culminate in products and presentations where kids can show what they’ve learned without multiple choices and bubbled answers. I love the low hum of conversation, the give and take in activities, and the sharing of ideas that builds real-life skills while so much learning takes place. The kids are so much more engaged in this type of learning, and they love to share what they know. It’s so much fun to see the process of discovery. Sometimes being a teacher is the best job in the world!





Camera

25 04 2012

Today I’m inspired by my new camera! I can’t wait to see the world through this new lens. Already I have ideas and am thinking in new ways about how to look at the world around me. Sharper close-ups and more saturated sunsets will all be possible now. I can’t wait to explore the features and learn how to use them. Growing and learning in my craft are the best inspiration.





Rainy Days

22 04 2012

Staying home on a rainy day is all the inspiration I need, as long as it doesn’t happen too often!  I love waking up to the sound of rain pattering on the roof, and swishing palm fronds outside my window.  The fresh sweet-salty ocean air, refreshed by rain, cleanses me.  It was a good day for cancellations and postponements.  Perhaps on another day I will feel like venturing out into the world, but today was perfect for staying home.  We cooked delicious vegetarian meals, arranged our living room into a more pleasing configuration, and did the usual cleaning, shopping  and laundry that weekends require.  As unusual as it is in the Sunshine State, tonight I will fall asleep to the  sounds that awoke me;  the pattering rain and swishing palm fronds, and maybe even rumbles of thunder.  It could be worse.





Time and Meaning

10 04 2012

Am I giving time to what I really want to do with my life?  I think so.  There are so many things I want to do with my life.  I don’t give equal time to them all, and sometimes they aren’t the priority I want them to be.  Sometimes things I don’t want to do with my life press to the forefront!  What do I want to do?  Creating is what I love best, whether it is writing, photography or art, decorating, cooking, or thinking of new teaching methods, looking at the world in different ways, or understanding something clearly.  To often mundane chores interfere.  The dilemma is that I hate having a dirty house, or feeling disorganized, or not being prepared, so I forgo the creative activities; or perhaps I avoid them?  Hmmm.