In Between the Lines – Sacrifice

When looking at several definitions of Sacrifice, a few words and phrases stand out – offering, relinquish, forfeiture, loss, and to sell or give away. Those are not attractive words/phrases. If one were to think of Sacrifice on those terms only, it would definitely not happen (maybe the offering part seems to be the only part with a positive vibe).

Sacrifice is a main theme on my novels. However, it is presented tied to Love and Duty. When we think of Sacrifice as part of those, somehow, the meaning of the above mentioned words/phrases take a different tone. For Love and Duty of the deepest and highest kind, we offer, relinquish, forfeit, lose, and give away anything and everything. Sacrifice becomes an act of Love, of Duty, and suddenly it becomes a form of exaltation, a high state of being, and instead, a great offering – giving instead of lack of, or losing something. It changes the meaning. This is why Sacrifice is bound to happen.

Food for thought – If you experienced Sacrifice, in what light did you view it, and how it affected your state of being? Think of the Why.

In Between the Lines – Hate

Hate - To loathe; detest. To dislike. Intense dislike or animosity. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Hate is a very strong word and full of negative energy. This makes it a passive and active entity. In other words, hating requires an amount of negative energy as well as negative action, that is, if the person acts on the hate he/she feels and entertains.

If you believe in the adage “what goes around comes around,” then hating and acting in hate damages the hated as well as the hater. Hate is another topic on one of my novels. If you have experienced the effects of hate (whether hating or hated) you will agree that it is a very damaging emotion, and one that will only attract more negative emotions/feelings by empowering these (negatively) as the person becomes entangled in its trap. I never want to experience such a negative emotion, but I have observed it on others, and it is very dark and uggly. I may say that I hate injustice, but this type of dislike is different from the damaging emotion of true Hate.

We get to choose the emotions/feelings that we welcome in our lives. We have been given the power to encourage or reject these – to choose to love or to hate, to forgive or not to; however, that does not mean that we are androids. Negative emotions are intense but we can control these, and if we feel them we are free to let them go or let them haunt us, and even let them determine or affect our future behavior. We become masters or slaves of our emotions/feelings – it is up to us; not easy, but always up to us.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” – Proverbs 16:32 (kjv)

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln

“In time we hate that which we often fear.” – William Shakespeare

 

 

 

In Between the Lines – Betrayal

Betrayal – I don’t like to hear or even say the word. It is sour, pungent, and yes, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and soul. If you have ever been betrayed and never saw it coming, then you know what I mean. Unsuspected betrayal is one of the hardest things to forget and forgive.

Betrayal is present as a secondary theme in one of my novels – Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles). What intrigues me about betrayal is that it comes in many degrees, however, leaving the same feeling, and contributing to an array of other feelings/emotions that attach to it – distrust, anger, pain, desire for revenge, disappointment … all far away from our true nature of loving beings. What makes us depart from that nature? Different paths for different people on different journeys crossing paths in one big journey.

Betrayal is defined mainly as treason, as committing an act against … . In movies, and stories of all kind, the heroes are the good guys/girls, but most times they are betrayed. Yes, “good guys/girls” sometimes finish last (a temporary illusion). It is not the goodness in the hero that makes him/her so, but the way he/she bounces back and deals with the emotions/feelings that are packaged in with the betrayal. How we react after we open the package makes all the difference. Do we let it make us less than heroes or do we go through mourning of the self in an array of emotions (because we are human and not super-human) and decide who we want to be? Do we want to honor our loving essence or ignore it? It is a process, not an easy one, but eventually, the hero will rise, that is, if you let it.

Life Mapping

If you are a goal-setter you might like the idea of life-mapping. Life-mapping can be done in many ways. It represents the big picture of your many goals and dreams and what you would like to carry out in the long run. It is a healthy exercise as long as you use it as an inspiration to enrich your life, and it does not become an obsession, meaning that one might focus on it solely and not live fully because things are not happening the way one intended them to happen. Many times, especially if you believe in Divine intervention, things might not work out the way we want or plan, but in the end, it was all for a greater good – a better ending.

I have practiced life-mapping for some time. I have used time lines, picture boards, and even a treasure map style to highlight long-term dreams and goals. One thing I can say is that a lot works out as planned, but many other things do not, despite putting the work and walking the path. However, I still like the idea of life-mapping and practice it to keep me inspired and on track. Right now, I am using a different style that I thought about, and is easy to post anywhere and is more portable than a picture board. You can carry it on your planner, and it gives you an overall glance of your dreams and goals. I believe that you are never too old to do life-mapping. It is never too late to enrich your life and enjoy it more, so in my eyes, this practice stops at your death-bed.

The idea was inspired by my icon to-do-list. It is life-mapping by using icons that represent what you want, and you can do this as a time-line or as a step by step map to guide you. Here is the life-map I came up with, and I can share it here because the icons mean something to me, and not necessarily mean anything to anyone else, so in a way it is still somewhat private. A picture or an icon can have as many meanings as you give it. The meaning is up to you. This life-map was done using Microsoft Publisher. I started using footprints and changed to cat prints because after all, our family includes 6 cats, so they are in the journey as well. In addition, I left empty fields at the end to fill as needed, and these are represented by a potted plant with an interrogation sign. I used two pages for mine, but you can make your icons smaller and fit them on one page, or use as many pages as you would like. You can also use only a few icons to represent the important points only, and not necessarily every detail. It is a good idea for visual people. You may also do it in 3-5-10 … year increments or overall. Other ideas include drawing your icons if you are artistic, or painting them. In addition, if you want to make it more detailed you can dedicate a journal or planner just for life-mapping. Mine is just a more general approach. Life-mapping is ever changing, but it serves as visual inspiration, and it can be adjusted as necessary.

Life-Mapping

Life-Mapping

009

I hope you enjoy this idea.

 

 

 

DIY – Art Journal

It has been a while since I shared a DIY post, and I was making something for my sister, so I decided to include it as my Do It Yourself project. It is a fun Art Journal or Whatever Journal really. The materials used are recycled materials. This type of journal is supposed to be fun and carefree – you are supposed to have fun while creating it. Anything goes, you are to let your imagination soar free. This is also a great exercise to let yourself go if you need a break from your routine or are feeling uninspired. I have admired many of these, and of course, had to try making one.

The materials I used – recycled paper, ink, old book cover, construction paper, beads, cord …, and basically anything that I could incorporate while making it. The first thing I did was to find an old book cover and transform it with paper and a coat of Mod Podge. Then I selected what to use for pages and attached them to the cover. After that, it was a matter of creating anything I wanted on these pages. Last, I decorated the front of the cover, as well as the interior. This art journal has space to write, lots of pockets to have fun with, and envelopes with stickers and pieces of paper to write your thoughts. The good thing about it is that my sister will be able to add to it – in short, play with it, adding while discovering all the little nooks in it. It is a green journal and it gives these materials new life. Here are a few pictures of some of the pages, just to give you an idea, and maybe inspire you to create one. You can use and transform any material while making one of these journals. My cat could not help but to assist me; that is the part of its head on the first picture, left.

 

Recycled Materials Art Journal

Recycled Materials Art Journal

 

003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 020 021 022 023

I hope you enjoyed this post.

 

 

 

Divine Organization – Prayer and Theology Journal

On a earlier post I talked about getting back on the saddle and renewing my work/life vows. Another step that I am taking is starting a prayer/theology journal to organize my thoughts and study different sacred works, starting with the Bible and following with other sacred texts and authors . Of course this will become a lifetime activity, as I have felt the need to learn more about different faiths on this planet. I am not pursuing a degree in theology but instead want to learn as much on my own. After all, our time on this planet is so short, I think not enough to learn and enjoy everything that we want to experience.

This journal is divided into three sections – Journal – Theology/study – Prayers. Of course being creative, it cannot just be a regular journal, so I took my time to find the perfect one for me and did some decoration to its pages as well. This particular one I found at Staples, the same day I went looking for the huge binder for my Home/work/life Management System (see earlier post). The cover art couldn’t have been more fitting for this type of journal. I find that taking a bit of time in the morning to meditate and learn helps me become more productive during the day, as well as setting the mood.

Here is what it looks like.

Prayer/Theology Journal

Prayer/Theology Journal

Decorated pages

Decorated pages

002 003

 

Of course, as I continue this part of the journey, I will end up needing more journals, but I am happy to combine my regular journal-writing practice with the study of the sacred texts, and into a devotional time. It works for me. In searching for a better way to do the study part, I will keep some points in mind.

  • Start the study with my faith (Christianity/Bible) before moving on to other faiths
  • Pay attention to the title, time, and writer or writers, as well as language (original) and how translations have affected the book. In addition, how different groups have adopted variations on interpretation (for example – Christians and Jews interpret the book of Jeremiah differently).
  • Note any main topics/ideas of a particular book, chapter, or passage and cross-reference.
  • Note my interpretation and application to my life

One thing that I am not doing is following a particular study program/system because I don’t want to rely on a sole interpretation, but will use any material that will enrich my understanding or offer cross-reference points and enhance the learning experience.

 

 

Home – Work – Life Management System

One thing that I needed to do was to consolidate my home, work, and personal logs into one mega system that would make tracking things in the future easier. I’ve tried the electronic method (s) and it doesn’t fill all my needs, so I thought about it and came up with a solution.

This idea came to me after trying various ways of organizing myself throughout the day and beyond and using various tools, which led to scattered efforts and duplicates faltering my purposes and hindering progress. Because I work mostly from home, it works for me, but it wouldn’t work if I had to carry it around. In that case, a small agenda will do. It can always be transferred to the main log. What I had to eliminate is mostly duplicate calendars that made things confusing at times.

Now, I keep everything in one big binder under different tabs. I bought the biggest binder I could find at Staples. I separated it into three main areas – home, work, personal, and kept the months from January through December as a separate section. Later on, I added a miscellaneous section, and one for notes. The way I organized these sections works better for me, and my working style.

In the Home section I track everything related to home keeping, including projects, to do’s, chores … I added two subcategories – budget and expenses. The work category is divided into four sections – writing, book marketing, future projects, and The Owl, Book & Candle. The personal section has to do with personal goals, health, dreams … . The calendar section is where everything is scheduled monthly, weekly, and daily. In addition, each month has a to do list, as well as a monthly goal section, and project section. Each month has a pocket sleeve for important information, or things that will come up that month. The other sections have a pocket as well. I added a dashboard to the personal section, to highlight things that I want to prioritize and to include any uplifting thoughts or inspirational quotes at the time. The miscellaneous and notes section serve to keep anything going on that has not yet been scheduled or assigned a category, or may not fit yet into any section. Notes will track any new ideas that need follow-up in the future but do not fit in the calendar yet. In addition, there are certain things that I do daily and some things that are always done quarterly and yearly that required a check list, so I don’t have to write those over and over. I didn’t want to use a standard checklist, so I came up with a check list that uses icons that I can cross out, and visually tells me quickly what I did and what is left to do on that day. I added a small to do section to it as well. It all fits in one sheet of paper and it is divided by sections – work, Me (personal and chores), weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. These are things that have to be done always. I added a fun and other tab for things that may come up in planning that day. So far it is working great.

The result is a mega life management system that takes a lot of space, is very heavy, but most important, works for me.  I wanted to show you some pictures to give you an idea but for some reason the WordPress picture feature is not working today, even that I still have tons of space available. If I am able to figure out what is wrong with it I will post the pictures.

I hope this idea inspires you.

Home Management System

Home Management System

017

Here’s the Icon sheet

 

 Note: I was unable to upload the pictures while in Explorer; however, by changing to Firefox, I was able to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 812 other followers