Earthbound dreams set free
Whooping wildly, riding clouds
Far above shadows.
Earthbound dreams set free
Whooping wildly, riding clouds
Far above shadows.
Bethany knew the dream well. She’s lying in an open coffin, eyes alert to the world outside. She lifts her head and glimpses a vision of soft, rolling hills caressing the horizon. The scene feels strangely familiar, yet she can’t quite place the memory. In the foreground, resting on a low branch of a leafless elm tree, a mockingbird dressed in black satin smiles, steps forward, clears his throat and screams “Eereet! Eereet! Eereet!”
Then come the huge shadowy arms reaching slowly upward and latching onto the coffin, their magnetic grip pulling her downward, ever downward. Though her mother has been dead over a year now, those arms are unmistakable. Arms that in life never let go. And now the grasping fingers hold tightly to the coffin from which she is unable to escape – and doesn’t even think to try. Flapping its wings, the mockingbird rises and circles above. “Eereet! Eereet!”
Bethany woke from the dream to a chilly, gray Monday, Continue reading
A few months ago I began feeling a tug inside – a tug toward something new. I love writing for Out Of My Head and expect to pop back every now and then, but for the last 8 weeks I have been building a new blog called Career Nook. And yesterday it went live. Wuhoo!
I had a popular career blog for five years called Work Coach Cafe, and for many reasons, two years ago it was time to leave that behind. And I thought I could leave career blogging behind me, too. But you can’t ignore a tug that won’t let go. One that included a vision of a blog with the name Career Nook. No matter how hard I tried to push it away, it kept coming back … like it was asking to be born!
And so over the last couple of months, I slowly created a new blog, and will be back on Career Nook helping people with job search and career decisions. And I will also slowly start to take on career coaching work. In fact, I have left my old business process consulting work behind, and this is the new direction I’ve chosen for myself.
Some tug, huh?
Please feel free to stop by Career Nook to say hello – and add your voice to the conversation!
Help me create something wonderful, Lord!
Are you afraid?
Yes. I am very afraid.
Help me create something wonderful, Lord!
Will you resist?
Oh yes. I will resist. I’ll resist a lot – especially when I get scared.
Still…help me create something wonderful, Lord!
Will you find excuses?
Excuses? Of course! I will find lots and lots of excuses.
Please help me create something wonderful, Lord!
Will you look for things to divert you from your dreams?
Sure. I always have. I’ll look everywhere.
But still…help me create something wonderful, Lord!
Will you minimize who you are and how much you can achieve?
Oh yes! I will doubt myself all over the place.
Oh PLEASE help me create something wonderful, Lord!
These things only have power as long as you let them stop you.
But by seeking help
And by daring to move forward anyway
Step by tentative step
As long as it takes
As daunting as it may at times seem
Despite doubts and fears and countless diversions
Learning and growing as you go along…
Well then my dear tortured human being
The magical creation process has already begun.
And even if you can’t see it yet…I can! 😉
(Please note: This imagined conversation was conceived and intended in a totally secular way. I have yet to knowingly receive any direct messages from a greater power. But if they do come, I will let you know for sure!)
Our friend Lena has been talking about this for months. A picture is worth a thousand words:
Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut just announced he is endorsing Barack Obama. Dodd is a well-respected senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
They look strong together, don’t they? Chris Dodd has oodles of wisdom and experience, foreign relations and military policy expertise – and he thinks Obama is the guy!
Sure would make a nice running mate for the Obama ticket.
How can I be happy? It’s a question almost everyone asks at one time or another. Some daily. But so many of us hear a voice inside saying “I can’t” as soon as we even dare to think about happiness, and living life in a way that might truly lead us to being happy. I don’t have the talent. I don’t have the money. I could never make THAT happen for me!
Basically, we are saying “I don’t deserve happiness. I don’t deserve to dream so big.” And yet others dare all the time – and many many people get to do what some of us only dream about. Even if it turns out somewhat differently from their initial image of what happiness might mean.
Yesterday a friend asked me “What would you do if there was nothing stopping you?” Immediately I ran my list in my head. I have physical conditions that would get in the way. I don’t have enough talent. How would I earn a living? I’m too old. What if I got there and didn’t want it after all? Blah. Blah. Blah.
I couldn’t even let myself say the words of what would make me happy out loud to my friend! Good lord…is just dreaming so scary??
It struck me that I had nothing to lose by saying what I wanted. First thing out of my mouth was “If there was absolutely nothing to stop me (including myself) I’d be a character actress.” Hah. I said it. Why was it so hard? I majored in acting in college and dabbled with it at various points of my life. It’s something I LOVE to do. And yet I stopped. Because it felt silly. Because I wasn’t good enough. (As if I ever let myself go all the way with it.) And it wasn’t important enough. (On whose scale of importance?)
But wait. It didn’t stop there. After my friend left, I really let myself fly free. Continue reading
Have you ever checked to see if there are unclaimed funds in your name? This is for real. Sometimes checks get lost or for whatever reason they don’t get to you, and so your state has to keep them as unclaimed property – until you come claim them.
Lucky for us, the internet now offers an easy and free way to find out if you’re one of the lucky ones. It’s also fun!
Since I live in New York, I started with New York State unclaimed funds website search form. Although there was nothing listed for me in my own name (darn!), I found stuff for a bunch of people I know and sent them each links to possible funds long forgotten. It felt kind of like Christmas. I even looked up BUSINESS names out of curiosity and found lots of unclaimed property listed for them too. Wheeeee!
So, if you’re from New York, just click on the link above and give it a shot! There are also sites for other states as well as a general one that doesn’t have all listings yet, but still worth trying. (See below.) But I suggest trying your state’s own site first, if there is one. (You can google to find it if it’s not listed below.) Continue reading
I watched Akeelah and the Bee last night. A wonderful film about a young girl who dared let herself shine despite her deep fear, and despite the less-than-supportive messages she was getting from her environment – or at least the ones that rang true to her.
Funny how we can hear many things, but only pick out the words we feel ready to accept at the time – sometimes giving almost zero weight to words and people that could lift us up.
Now I have to admit that, even though I knew the film was about a little girl facing her fear and hopefully triumphing, I kind of expected to be bored by a lot of it…I mean it is about a spelling bee after all! Well, the film kept me riveted all the way through.
It has tremendous depth and heart and is wonderfully directed and acted. I loved every minute of it, despite my own occasional fear of the “sappiness factor”. It spoke to me on every level.
How easily I related to that little girl who at first couldn’t even imagine herself entering her own school’s spelling bee – much less a national bee. She worried the cool kids would laugh at her – and rightly so, because they did. Continue reading
It’s funny how often we stop ourselves from doing things that might actually be good for us and may even lead us to more places and things we’d enjoy. A distant cry from deep in our heart says “Listen to me! I need to be heard!” But a different, more familiar voice says “Stop! Don’t go too far into the unknown!”
And we listen to the more familiar voice, because it’s gotten us to where we are and that’s not so bad, is it? And so the little voice grows weaker and weaker, and the other voice sits by our side as a trusted friend.
But sometimes…just sometimes… the little voice manages to be heard anyway. Like this time.
And so I just posted a short story called Ruby’s Twitch, something I wrote as a writing exercise. Mostly for fun. Not for publication.
So why did I decide to listen to the voice this time and let myself put this semi-edited semi-finished little story on Out of My Head for all the world to see? Well…first of all, it really did pop out of my head. (-;
But there’s a more personal reason. Continue reading
I’m pretty much blogged out today, but couldn’t resist just one more post. One of the greatest gifts any city can give itself is the soothing green shade and cool, cleansing air that trees bring to all of us.
With the help of Mayor Bloomberg, Bette Midler and (hopefully) a lot of caring contributors, New York has decided to make a major investment in our concrete and asphalt jungle that will keep on giving and giving for many generations to come. And I’m thrilled about it! Yay! Yippee! and Yahoooo!
With soaring asthma rates, this is the least we can do for our children – and their future. And, of course, our future. Continue reading
Fellow blogger Liz is going to build her own house…out of mud. (More accurately “cob” which is made up of dirt, water, and straw.) Now Liz is not someone who’s ever done this. Actually, I don’t personally know anyone who’s ever done this – although I know people have. But silly details like that don’t stop Liz from forging ahead with her plans.
In fact, since she first posted her intention to do this, she’s been plenty busy gathering lots more pieces of the puzzle. She’s also finished a bunch of projects for her wonderful non-profit consulting business during that time, but now I’m just making myself feel like a total sloth!
As her blog will tell you, Liz sees no sense in getting caught up in all the reasons NOT to do stuff that calls to you. Continue reading
Nah. I didn’t get this title from some book of wisdom. I’m watching Joe versus the Volcano, one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I’m told even Tom Hanks is kind of embarrassed to have been part of this film, but I love it!
A hypochondriac who works in a Dickensian company that makes rectal probes is finally set free by a life-changing diagnosis. And after he learns of his condition, he utters these words:
“If you want to understand the universe…embrace the universe…the door is you.”
“Who am I? Who are you? What other questions are there, really?” he asks. Continue reading
Gee…why didn’t anyone ever tell me that?
Today’s wicked weather (and confirmed EF2 tornado!) that shut down most of our amazing transit system and flooded out many homes and streets is actually a wonderful reminder. Now I know this is something most of you have already learned. And we here in New York City, of all places, surely should know this by now. But I still need a refresher course now and then. I kind of forget. I think we all do.
We can’t control anything. We can’t control anything. We can’t control anything. Continue reading
“To be loved. Attention paid. And to be respected.”
I just heard Mike Farrell on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on PRI say those words. Tavis asked Farrell how he wound up becoming the political and social activist he is, in addition to being an actor (best known as B.J. Hunnicutt from the TV show M*A*S*H.)
Farrell told of a time in his life when things were falling apart all around him (I think after a divorce) and he was told about a non-profit program at the time called the Manhattan Project* that helped heal troubled people. In his case, he says, it helped him find out who he was and why he was here on earth.
It was in that program that he learned to get to the basics of what a human wants – any human including himself. And, in his words, those basics were the things I listed above: “To be loved. Attention paid. And to be respected.” He says, from there, once he knew who he was and that he was just like anyone else at the core, Continue reading
I just saw the book that I was supposed to write. Except someone else got there first.
About three years ago, I was working on a self-help book about the world of work. It had a slightly different slant that I hadn’t seen in other such books and hoped my book would really connect with people. I had a hoo-hah agent and a writing partner to spur me on. I even had a publisher who showed interest. But stuff happened and I let it go for the moment. And then for the next moment. And the next.
Now I see this book that came out earlier this year and it hits on many of the very points I was making. The ones that only me and a few other people ever got to see. And this book-that-isn’t-mine even has some chapters strangely reminiscent of ones I had in my proposed Table of Contents. Now sometimes these ideas get suggested by editors or agents who have seen other proposals like mine, but sometimes the ideas are just in the air looking for people to bring them to life. And they did. Continue reading