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I have been held hostage in ‘Slackerdom’!!! It’s a little kingdom that has kept me from writing as much as I usually would for Two Drops of Ink and for my personal blog. The inhabitants of Slackerdom usually visit me when I get caught up in work. They convince me that work is more important than pursuing my passion. What’s funny is I do what I love for a living. #Amwriting and doing #socialmediamangement daily but work is work. Returning home to the creative realm on a daily basis is an almost impossible trip. I fall prey to the #impossible forgetting that #I’mpossible!!! Half written compositions are evidence of my attempted voyage but I am unsuccessful in reaching my destination. I get lost along the way!!! Practice what you preach, Chica!!! Is what my creative side screams from the recesses of my being. The workaholic puts her in chains and throws…

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Trading in Futures!

Please! Don’t beat around the bush. Give it to me uninflated! Tell me what to invest in that guarantees a satisfactory rate of return. I would love to take out the risk and go straight to the reward. Who wouldn’t? right.

Trading in futures

Image courtesy of pjchmiel via flickr.com

Let’s see now. We can’t drive a car without hazards. We can’t make a career move without taking a chance. We can’t fall in love without being vulnerable. We can’t bungee jump without signing a waiver. Shucks, we can’t even watch the news without full body armour. I’m talking about the sheer terror of mundane things.

Forget about not, “jumping in until you know how deep the water is.” We are already soaked. Keeping ourselves from drowning is a work in progress. Carving out a piece of safety, to stand on, is a tall order. If sticking my head in the sand offered the slightest promise of reprieve I’d build a sandcastle.

I’m all for staying positive. Repeating coveted mantras to fixate on the Terra firma of paradise. I practice encouraging others, which helps me, by the way. I have learned the hard lesson of not poking every air bubble that flies by. It’s a good thing to avoid scammers. (good for us not for them) Some things work out and some things don’t.

I’ve picked myself up too many times to believe in quitting. But, there are days I just want the world to shut up and listen. And, there are days I would spend my last dollar to hear what I’m not hearing. Anything, that would make me giggle in places that have never laughed before. We are all in it; but not necessarily, all in.

Conformity has taught me the impossibility of “one size fits all.” Every thought we entertain and feeling we embrace leaves residue on our intentions. So many voices leading to mountaintops where we can’t get occupancy permits. We follow trails expecting to find our throne only to discover we have a visitor’s pass.

No time spent sharpening the sickle is wasted unless we leave it unused. The best Aha! moment in the world will max out at shrinking violet, if it doesn’t escape our mind and find gainful employment. All activity is not productive. We have to remind ourselves that our best is energetic, creative, and full of life. The desire to make a difference is tangible only when it passes through us!

The particles of cynicism, self-doubt, and fear of disappointment are invisible pollutants filling our lungs; leaving us gasping for air. The work of converting potential into accomplishment, living out our own definition of success , and wearing a crown that we orchestrated yields priceless returns.

The harvest of tomorrow is rooted in the efforts of today! The art of knowing where we are going makes the power of now a reality. Wishful thinking will always be a liability; Taking and never giving back! Residing in the hope that someone will make it happen for us is an alternate reality without any accountability.

Doing what we can, with what we have, is a little known surety. We mustn’t  trade away our futures by focusing on what we can’t do, what we do not have, and what hasn’t worked. When we settle our purpose, clarify our mission, and determine our passion we are ordering our tomorrows.

When we celebrate our own lives we invite others to join the party. Tolerating useless ideas, attitudes, and personalities “rips us off.” Our time and talent is our mutual fund. To fill our lives with abundance, and give it all away, is the stock market of the soul. We trade in our futures with harmony or disarray!

Feeling the power of our own dreams, allowing the force within to direct the traffic in our minds, puts our end in plain sight. If we couldn’t do it – we wouldn’t be dreaming it.

What is the future you see from where you are now?

 

Rising Beyond the Past!

Some of us walk with a limp. Maimed by what’s behind us. Struggling to find the door, the answer, to the life we want deep inside. It’s possible! Probable, if you choose to unravel the imposter living in your stead. ifonlyihadadad_front

If Only I Had A Dad

Read sample:

I was teary-eyed for my daughter who was in distress. But my tears were also mixed with anxious expectancy for the entrance of my grand boy. I needed to be a calm presence in the room, but I had more adrenaline than blood pumping in my body. I was in the room with Tina for the birth of both of our children. But this was somehow more eerie and majestic at the same time. I was a different man, older, wiser, with more to offer—my greying hair proof of my qualifying credentials. As a young father, I wasn’t capable of the same deliberateness that I now had as grandfather.

I perceive what this boy needs from me. And I’m willing and eager to provide for him. 

Jaden’s father was not in the room. In fact, he decided to not be in Jaden’s life. Now Jaden will deal with the plight of the fatherless. I am aware that all the love and attention that we will provide him will not alleviate the thoughts and feelings associated with not having a dad. My own experience provided this insight.

He will have good questions where there are no good answers.

When Jaden parted the atmosphere of this world, I had a moment like no other in the totality of my life. I became more aware than I had ever been. Significance was no longer attainable; it just was.

The nurse took Jaden to the other end of the room. I left my wife and medical staff to attend to the needs of our daughter, and I followed my boy. As she prepared him, I was right there, hovering, watching every move she made. I wanted to see any flinch of a muscle and hear any sound that might come from his mouth. I was on a mission to give my grand boy a red-carpet reception. Perceiving the creative energy of life, I was standing still but pacing on the inside, waiting for the moment I could introduce Jaden to my love and affection.

After she prepared him the nurse wrapped him in a nice, warm, baby blue blanket; and, because they were still dealing with our daughter, she handed him to me. Divine design?  I received this living, breathing gift and held him close. As the rush of love meshed the two of us as one, I reflected on what I knew about my own birth.

I arrived a little beaten up by my exit from the birth canal. Besides my unwanted entry wounds, I emerged with red hair, eyebrows that were barely distinguishable, and very light skin. Wrapped in a nice, new baby-blue blanket, I was presented to my mother.

“That’s not my son!” she exclaimed. “My son has dark hair and olive skin. You need to go get ‘my’ son!”

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©Rick Amitin 2016 all rights reserved.

How to Give a Flip and Stay Upright!

“I can’t help how I feel,” my mother used to say.

Boy thinking by pixabay

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Even at an early age I found something inaccurate about this statement. I asked, in my adolescence, “If we can’t help how we feel, who can?

Feelings are in the most unchecked category. We are moved by what we feel. Feelings lead us to repetitive behaviors, methods, consequences, and rewards. What we feel is not a viable designated driver. Some would have us believe that feelings lead our thoughts. I contend, it is the opposite.

A Force of Nature

One of my love interests when I was 13 years old, was a girl named Sorry. (name changed to protect the innocent – me). I had one of those magnified puppy love things going on. I found her to be beautiful. Irresistible. I was hormonally inclined to be intrigued. She wasn’t a very nice person but, I couldn’t seem to help how I felt.

I was never her pick. She toyed with me. Manipulated my affections. Played me like a fiddle. I was weak in the knees, in her presence. Silly Putty in her hands. I was absent of the intellectual property required to walk away from the sour heart-throb. I ran into her at the roller rink. Her known boyfriend wasn’t there. She gifted me her attention for the night; Giving me kiss.

The next day I got a phone call saying her boyfriend heard about our romantic interlude. He was coming to my house, expecting me to meet him outside. The message included his intention to kick my butt. I had not been in a fist fight. My stomach did a 360. He had a reputation. I actually shook. I made the decision to face it… Him!

A mutual acquaintance knocked on the door. Told me I was wanted outside. I took my trembling self through the doorway; Not knowing what to do or expect. Much to my surprise, Miss Sorry was with him, along with some other kids I knew. Uncertain of what that meant, I would soon have my introduction to betrayal. She was there to cheer him on.

Lessons in Life

He was standing in the middle of my yard. Legs spread apart. Pounding his fist in his hands. I walked toward him without feeling my legs. In fact, the only thing I felt was fear. After I got close enough, I stopped in front of him. He said he was going to beat me down. (his literal words were a bit more poignant) I had my hands in my pockets; A sign of my inexperience. He squared off. Putting his hands in a boxing position. I took me hands out of my pockets and did the same thing.

As he took a swing at me, I moved instinctively, and took a swing at him. His punch barely touched the side of my head. My punch, landed directly on the end of his nose. He stepped back, holding his face; Yelling, “You broke my nose. You broke my nose!” Looking into his hands, they were full of blood. I don’t know what came over me. But, when I saw that blood I consumed the kind of adrenaline that destroys many a man. I doubled up and hit him again.

And just like that the world championship bout was over. I don’t remember, precisely, what was said; He was trying to save face. Something like, you stay away from my girl. I do remember thinking, “I won.” Ms Sorry will be the prize. She wont stay with him. NO WAY! They all walked off and I went back into my house. Proud that I stood up for myself. Celebrating my victory!

Girl on the phone by miss nixie on flickr

Image courtesy of Miss Nixie via flickr.com

Some minutes later the phone rang. Ms Sorry was on the line. Hey, congratulations were certainly in order. I said hello, anticipating great things. Instead, I was granted condolences. Informed that she declared her boyfriend the winner, And, she never wanted to speak to me again. I had more questions than I had ever had before. What kind of person, place, or thing does that? These are the antics witnessed on the playground of developing adults. Most of us grow up, thankfully!

Wisdom from the Inside

I changed my opinion of Ms Sorry. Formulating a more error-free conclusion. I changed my mind before I changed my heart! When I answered the dictates of my feelings I couldn’t capture the right thought. But, when I clarified my thinking my feelings line up. If maturity does anything, it most assuredly teaches us the power of a thinking, objectively.

Emotions have a dramatic design in our lives. I want to feel. I like to feel. I need to feel. But, the first thing a feeling looks for is a thought to connect to. Thoughts that don’t stay put cause drift. We can’t anchor. Feelings alone move to much to provide a foundation. To sustain what is virtuous feelings need the security of competent thoughts.

Feelings provide questions that thoughts answer. Ordering our private worlds requires an understanding of the relationship between our thoughts and feelings. When we are mixed up, confused, and looking for resolution it’s time to get alone with our thoughts.

Our emotions often appear as the bully intending to intimidate our thoughts. When you are worried, are you concerned about what you feel, or what you think? We use thoughts to describe what we feel. Most of us have been betrayed, but, betrayal isn’t a feeling. We might feel upset and angry because we identified the act of betrayal but it’s our thoughts that define why we are feeling what we are feeling.

Feelings need a leader and thoughts are a good candidate for the job. Many decisions based on feelings end up with a prolonged period of contemplation. When we think it through we are safe to allow ourselves to feel.

Gorilla Thinking by patriziasoliani on flickr

Image courtesy of patriziasoliani via flickr.com

I have thought about it and that’s the way I feel!

What is your experience with thoughts and feelings?

 

 

BUILD CHARACTER INTO YOUR CHILDREN

Powerful, incredible, best read with your heart!

Manly Training

BUILD CHARACTER INTO YOUR CHILDREN

David Kraft was a big, strong man — all muscle. At the age of 32, he was six feet, two inches tall and weighed 200 pounds. He had been to seminary and ended up working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, because of his athletic background.

Then he was diagnosed with cancer. It wrecked his body, and over a period of time, he dropped from 200 pounds to 80 pounds.

When he was about ready to pass from this life into eternity, he asked his father to come into his hospital room. Lying there in bed, he looked up and said, “Dad, do you remember when I was a little boy, how you used to hold me in your arm close to your chest?”

David’s father nodded. Then David said, “Do you think, Dad, you could do that one more time? One last time?”

Again…

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Poetry Break: ‘YOU ARE MY GRACE’

For those who dream of writing and nurturing the author you know is within, this is a wonderful story to encourage you to pursue your dreams.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.

~Edgar Allan Poe~


By Danielle Bernock

****

Source of all life you know my heart

You hear it singing as I write

Of how I long to do your will

And feel that satisfaction of your pleasure

Your Spirit whispers, your Word speaks and I make my choice

I choose you, I choose you

So I run full speed ahead to follow your voice

Expectation of joy, expectation of joy

Source of all love you know my heart

You hear it weeping as I write

You understand, you understand

That when I arrive at a place you call there

And unexpectedly find grief and despair

You are my Grace, you are my Grace

Almighty Agape, Everlasting Holiness

Incorruptible Righteousness, Undaunted Mercy

Faithful Intercessor, Graceful Redeemer

I thank you, I thank you

You are my Grace, you…

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Forgiveness is a Life Hack for Business!

Image result for conflict resolution

Image courtesy of commons via wikimedia.com

We’ve seen it before. Maybe more than we care to admit. People not getting along. The down time can be costly. It might not have anything to do with workplace mission, yet, the business is picking up the tab. If you’re responsible for team performance it helps to be in tune with the what is circulating.

What to do when people are withdrawn due to personal or professional relationships.

1. Stay aware of changes in normal behavior. When the ordinary has left the building it’s wise to assess the interpersonal barometer. If it’s one person it could be something not related to the workplace. If more than one person seems out of kilter it might be an inter-personnel issue.

2. If you haven’t built an open rapport where people feel safe to speak openly you might be further challenged to find an easy resolve. Managers benefit when relationships are established where fear has been eliminated. People respond to wise sensitivity. When people are confident and secure conflict resolution is natural.

3. Effective communication remains a necessity.  When people are satisfied that they are heard, and what they have to say matters, they are open to fixing issues. When they are dominated they will often shutdown and an undercurrent of distance prevails.

4. Conflict resolution is best put in place proactively. Disappointment is inevitable, But when people understand the method for clearing the air it creates buy in. Blameless resolution offers involved party’s a guiltless solution.

5. Decide on the elements of an apology before it is required. Misunderstanding is often the culprit. Holding everyone to high standards of accountability allows for peaceful transitions back to teamwork. Most people want to do a good job and will avoid being called out as the problem.

6. Caring is authentic. Anything less will be interpreted as self-serving. Organizations will not rise above its leadership. New business models espouse a people first paradigm. When team members know that they are important, not just for what they can do, but as a whole person they will work to preserve a healthy workplace.

When business functions with a clear mission, clear guidelines, and clear interests in its team great things are accomplished.  When you care more about the performer than the performance you’re not likely to be dissatisfied with your bottom-line.

The more you put into people the more you get out of them.

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