I am Beautiful.

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This artwork is simply one page from my new coloring book that makes its debut in August. The coloring book is entitled, “Beautiful Children’s Positive Character Coloring Book” and will be available on amazon.com.

This coloring book is revolutionary; it reinvents the way we utilize our children’s playtime.

The children will have the opportunity to color, read, learn, remember and do a few writing activities at the completion of the book, if they choose.

Why Positive Character Books?

Positive Character Books help build beautiful people from the inside – out, instead of from the outside – in (which is what we see a lot of in society today).

These books contribute to positively molding our children by helping to build their self-worth, self-esteem and confidence. Therefore, assisting in their achievement of higher academic success.

The truth is, we are all beautiful in our own, unique and individual way when we are exhibiting Positive Character Behaviors.

*Recently, I heard a story online about a young Playboy model that was condemned for taking a picture of an elderly woman at a gym locker room while she was naked, and then sending the picture over her social media feed stating, ‘If I can’t unsee this, neither can you.’ The model subsequently lost all of her modeling contracts, got banned from Playboy and faced a heavy lawsuit in court after her actions were revealed to the public.

This woman went from being praised for her outer beauty and then cast aside for her show of grotesque judgement.

However, my contention is not just with her, it is also with society’s harsh judgement of this woman unveiling her true character; her essence.

Society did not expect her to present her true beauty, initially. She was just adorned with the title of ‘Beautiful woman’ without having to present more than her face and body.

I, today and every day, challenge society to allow a person to walk in and Present their true selves, before bestowing the title of ‘Beautiful Human’ upon them. Observe their inner character first, then ask yourself:

Have they shown kindness? Are they a hard worker? Do they help others? Are they compassionate? Are they exhibiting Positive Character Behaviors in their every day actions?

The only true, lasting beauty, is the beauty of the heart, Rumi once said.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel, Maya Angelou once stated.

Let’s remember this when we are presented with the presence of another. Let’s feel their essence with our hearts, not cast our judgement about their physical appearance with our eyes, thoughtless words and shallow assumptions.

Thank you for reading.

Life, the Teacher and I, the Student.

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Sitting in the local Starbucks to get some much needed work done, only to be interrupted by a customer who decided to talk at me for almost an hour. He didn’t even ask if I could I spare a moment to talk; he seemed to be only self-interested… and I didn’t assert myself and let him know that I was in the middle of something very important and could talk for no more than a few minutes.

After about an hour of listening to him speak, I made him aware that I needed to go; my intention was to be a listening ear for a person who desperately needed someone to talk to. But I didn’t realize that need could possibly be an hour of being talked at. However, my kindness quickly turned into quite the opposite, as I inadvertently offended him upon my exit with something that I said.

The approximate hour of being talked at quickly turned into a lesson of me needing to put my foot down when someone is overstepping my boundaries. I didn’t do myself or the stranger any favors by letting him spew his problems at me and not letting him know that I didn’t have a lot of time for conversation.

My approximate hour of good intentions ended very badly and left me to an afternoon of quiet, thoughtful, somber contemplation.

***

I watched a hummingbird hover above a bush and then fly up to inspect a nearby tree. After about 30 seconds, he flew away.

The hummingbird sent the message, “Be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams”.

I am convinced that at times the road gets tough for all of us…

Today was a day full of trials, tribulations, thoughtfulness, helpfulness and kindness.

Life, the teacher and I, the student. Teaching me in a not so subtle way today. Reminding me of the importance of setting boundaries, saying ‘no’, assertiveness, being direct, persistence and triumph.

Remembering Maya Angelou when I remind myself that there is a rainbow in the clouds.

And that the most chaos happens when all of your dreams are about to come true.

Watching the birds soar up above and spiral towards the ground, only to shoot back up again, into the clouds.

And observing the crow as he defends his place on a wire, as two birds threaten his spot.

Ask for the things that you need.

Ask and you shall receive.

If I don’t ask for what I need, how will I receive it?

I’m asking for good fortune, prosperity and monetary abundance.

It’s OK to dream a dream.

And it’s OK for those dreams to come true.

Smiling to stop the tears from falling.

Laughing to stop the tears from falling.

And although I may fight hard every day for the sun to shine brightly in my sky, sometimes it’s necessary for the rainclouds to come and give her a rest.

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.” – Walt Disney Company

 

 

At the Fishing Pier

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Today was a relaxing day for me and I am very grateful for that! After tidying up my apartment a bit, I decided to go out and get some vitamin D. The weather here in Busan, South Korea has been very mild as of yet and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to enjoy it today.

I decided to go for a walk in my neighborhood which turned into an hour long adventure to a fishing pier near my work which is about a 10 minute subway ride away. It was amazing to look at the surroundings and see all of the fishermen at work. Tugboats were coming and going. Patrons were doing the same.

I stopped briefly to sit and admire the view. Contemplated some things and watched the seagulls dive enthusiastically for their meals.

When I arrived at the fish market, I looked around the bustling street full of vendors.  I walked into one of the markets; it was amazing.  There were tanks of live fish everywhere and people were sitting down to a fresh dinner, recently extracted from the ocean.

I briefly watched a live octopus that was covered in a net, submerged in a tank of water. I watched his glorious tentacles wave wildly inside of this net.  His death was imminent. I stood there for a moment considering the octopus: He was beautiful while alive; the essence of him still in tact. His tentacles flailing about were hauntingly mesmerizing and I wanted to save him.

Next to the tank was a row of deceased octopodes; life had escaped them, and hence, so did their wild and glorious fight.

Relationship Bears: Contemplation of the Healthy Relationship

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I picked up a bag of gummy bears today, not realizing that I picked up  a bag of sweet and sour gummies that are all connected in different color combination pairs. Suffice it to say, it got me thinking (gummy bears aside). The visual intrigued me and I would like to elaborate/share:

In a relationship, I believe that there should be a feeling connectedness that takes place. Acknowledging the purple gummy infuse itself into the yellow all the way to the core, is a proper visual of the connection that takes place in a healthy union.  And if we are balanced people, a sense of healthy union develops: trust, reliability, love, compassion, kindness, gentleness and a desire to want to help the other reach their goals in life.

Two individuals that choose to unify and not the opposite, which is, two individuals that feel obligated to.

Because love isn’t binding. It doesn’t possess. Jealousy doesn’t equate to love; it equates to fear and possession.

How do you fear losing something, that you never possessed in the beginning?

And this could be adequately described as the spirit or soul of a living being: the physical bird can be possessed and bound in a cage. You loved to watch her fly but you clipped her wings. But in reality, the beauty of her song; essentially her soul flies free and you can’t ever truly possess it.

The need to pluck the flower from its roots in the earth because her beauty intrigues you, is possession.  The ability to appreciate her in her radiant glory, leaving her to continue to prosper in the soil, is true, non-possessive, healthy love in all of its glory and contentment.

 

Instances of Life

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Bird drinking from a flower.

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I have been going on morning walks every day since I have been back in Chesapeake, Virginia.  On my walk yesterday, I spotted a hidden treasure; a beautiful flower with lavender heart-shaped leaves and a stunning magenta studded center.  It was growing from a beautiful leafy bush with only the memory of other blossomed flowers on it; the beautiful lavender flower was unaccompanied; the sole survivor! I vowed that the next day I would take its photo.

Well, I’m sure you can guess what I found today when I went to take its snapshot; lavender heart shaped leaves separately dispersed upon the growing green grass.  Suffice it to say, my heart broke in two for an instant with the newly acquired knowledge that my brief opportunity for capturing something so beautiful had since passed.

I’m writing about all of this to write about all of us: instances of life. In an instant we are here and in an instant we are gone. Some instances seem to last longer than others…

In this blog post, I have stolen instances of what was the current reality at that time with my camera.  That reality or those instances are long gone.  If I tried to recapture those same shots, it would be virtually impossible.

So, here’s to stealing instances of time; instances of beauty; instances of life; instances of what was reality at that crucial point in time.