Tag Archives: Perception

Heartbroken? Keep on Dancing.

Recommended Reading Soundtrack:  Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing by Magnetic Fields on 69 Love Songs

Right now, my heart is broken.  I feel a compelling desire to write about it and connect with all of you who similarly feel the same teary-eyed dinginess that surfaces when you get in your car and turn on the radio, only to be confronted with senseless violence and a loss of life.  A moment in time when a celebration of life turned into a final farewell.

Rainbow-trees-rainbows_resized

They say emotions are the life blood of creativity.  When I write, my emotions are definitely a driving force in what I choose to express and share with the world.  That’s why some of the best songs, stories or poems are about heartbreak.

And heartbreak comes in many forms.   Think Walt Whitman’s “Oh Captain, My Captain.”  Or, “The Day the Music Died” and American Pie by Don McClean.  I could go on for hours.  And I must add for the record- the heartbreak I’m referring to is not a marketing “brand.”  Seriously?  (For more info on this new ego tripping idea, I suggest you read this recent article headline in The Guardian – gripping indeed.)

The geek in me can’t help but feel a disturbance in the force.  We’re all connected and when something like this happens it is hard not to feel like crap.  The one thing I thought immediately when I heard the news from Orlando was that the attacker was not what the media was portraying him to be.  There was something lurking under the surface and it made my heart hurt.  This stuff about terrorism just seemed like another smoke screen used by a lost and desperate soul willing to do anything to make others feel as miserable as himself.

darkness_consciousTo deny our truth, to hate ourselves – this is truly one of the greatest motivators for violence on this planet.  Jung said this about inner denial and the shadow that leads weak minds like the Orlando attacker (I refuse to write his name) down a path of utter disregard for life.

“The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach.”  Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion” (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.25

You can’t help but notice the brutal irony of this shadow that has acted out during a celebration of pride in owning your true self.

The outpouring of love has been tremendous by so many since early Sunday morning.  As I scroll through Facebook I find myself in tears again and again as I witness messages of kindness and a desire to pull together and become the greatest version of our collective self.  One of those that really moved me was Jimmy Fallon’s statement regarding this devastating event.

Keep on dancing.

Fallon gave an emotional speech in response to Orlando’s tragic event which he graciously ended with “Keep loving each other.  Keep respecting each other.  And, Keep on dancing.”

As I became an adult one of my favorite places to dance and just be myself was a popular gay-owned bar in DC called Tracks.  Tracks was the kind of place that welcomed everybody.  The diversity in their events brought people from all walks of life together- gay and straight.  It was a place that enabled me to simply feel safe to express myself and grow as an individual.  I’m assuming the Pulse nightclub was very similar.

After 9/11 happened I remember sitting in my living room in Mt. Pleasant, DC, with friends sharing in our grief.  The images on the television just escalated from the worse to the worst imaginable.  Much like the Orlando shootings, I wish I could just be in a living room with those that I love, even strangers, just to know that I am connected in this grief.

It is easy to become isolated in this world of technology, but on the flip side it is also easy to feel how connected we all are in sharing our compassionate selves through words, music, pictures.  Although this may not be the same as the touch of someone’s hand upon yours when you feel emotionally isolated, life is worth the big love that you infuse into it every day.

That in itself is one of the greatest actions we could take in honor of those that lost their lives this week. Being there for one another, and to keep on dancing.

Let’s Rock Big Love!

Rusted Root Redux: The Real Deal On Change, Compassion & Acceptance

A Story of Big Love & Uncool.

Recommended Listening Soundtrack:  Send Me On My Way, Rusted Root (Of Course!)

groundhog2Based on the title of this blog post, you might think you are in an episode of Ground Hog Day.  And much like Bill Murray reaches a point of ultimate frustration and desperation, driving off a cliff with the groundhog in his lap, I am about to metaphorically do the same thing here, with you!

Recently, when I learned that the band Rusted Root was coming to the “big” ABQ, New Mexico, I felt immediate excitement at the prospect of getting an interview with them for my “Owning Your Uncool” Series.  It was kismet, the universe aligning around passion, creativity and a common goal!

As I went through the process of putting the pieces together, I still felt myself mesmerized that “it was happening!” Just like that moment in Crowe’s Almost Famous when Kate Hudson’s character gives William Miller this simultaneous mischievous and magical look when they realize they’re going on tour with up and coming rock band Stillwater, I realized, “It was happening!”

It Really Happened, Alright.

When I went to publish my original post I found myself a little wary over the answers I’d received.  But an old voice came back to haunt me from the deep recesses of my grungy heart.  The answers weren’t matching exactly what I “thought” I had asked but the old voice knocking on my door was one of self doubt.  And self doubt is like a personally imposed curse that leads us down a road of pain, regret and even more self doubt- the irony!  It is with this post that I now have the opportunity to not only share with you Rusted Root’s amazing thoughts on life’s struggles and owning their uncool, I also have the lovely experience of owning my own uncool.

Yes, I mistakenly published incorrect answers to my interview with Rusted Root.  And yes, I feel totally uncool.  But what have I learned?  All I can do is forgive myself and my ignorance, and remember in the future to always follow my gut and to not fear the appearance of stupid showing up on my doorstep again.  Thank you, Rusted Root!

The Real Deal.

RR DEC 2014 BAND SHOT 2
Rusted Root sharing their “Movement” with the world uncensored!

Rusted Root is a band that embodies the spirit of Big Love, and with that said, I am honored to present to you the “Real” Rusted Root.  Here are some very personal and beautiful answers from band front man Michael Glabicki that come out of their “Movement,” a genuine conversation through their music about the devotion and intention of our actions as a collective community “to all that is love, healing and pragmatic.”

As musical artists working to express clear intentions around your “movement”, how have your struggles in life brought you to the place that you are now in your craft and in connecting with your community?

Struggles…..yes there have been many and rarely without. All you can say is thank you for the opportunity to grow and expand in  our individual and communal expression. Reality is good and exists to teach us what we need to actually live the dream. The dream of being a musician and creating a communal type of expression was mine from the start. If we could play meaningful music in every neighborhood and on every street the world would be a drastically different place. There would be more compassion and acceptance of one another. There are many forces against this idea. That is the main struggle. When starting out there was an opening on the planet for unique and deep music. Somehow we were able to slip in to the consciousness fairly easy. Soon after that  there was a closing of that doorway and a shutdown of expression. Things got a lot harder. Things continue to be a bit more superficial but I feel more excited and focused on what we can do to create a change. Those struggles have gotten me to a place where I can create a profound magic out of any situation now. So all I can say is thank you and let’s get going! There is now a fearless space easily achieved in the songwriting, arranging, and performance.  This allows us to be open in the moment to what is the most healing. It seems the most selfish surface music nowadays is the most planned out. They put upon the audience their mental idea of what  makes them look superior and it’s so lacking real magic. We open to the crowds energy and create with them in the moment bringing about a communal experience. I am constantly surprised on stage what comes out of us because of this- it is always different, alive, and connected.

If there was one big moment growing up that you could pinpoint as a major contributor to your life’s inner struggles and empowerment to continue doing what you love- what would that moment be?

I was 2&1/2 years old and I got ran over by a car. It was bad enough where I could have chosen to leave the world. I remember conversing with a spirit/ angel and afterwards deciding to come back. I remember understanding a lot more of my purpose after that and feeling love and support from spirit moving forward. It probably gave me my sense of humor and lightness about life. After that I would have dreams of fighting these evil human skull birds on the beach. They would surround me and the only way I could get out of it would be to get calm and find a humorous way to scare them off. Up to that point it was terrifying. It was very shamanistic. It really helped me define my role in a profound way. Actually I don’t feel that different now on stage.

Can you tell my readers about a time in your life, where you felt that same “uncool” and isolation inside as the teenage character in the film Almost Famous, and how you used that moment to propel yourself forward in your life?

I have always felt outside the norm. Literally as long as I can remember. My memories in the womb were probably plagued with feeling like an outsider.

I remember my parents thinking that there may be some mental issues with me. I think I was so in tune with energy and spirit that I wasn’t always seemingly here. They got some tests done in me. That made me feel inadequate. I think later in life playing music validated and communicated that spiritual world and made me feel that I had a purpose in this world.

How did you view yourself then, and how do you view yourself now?

Back then I was a bit more depressed and felt very hopeless. I felt like a freak. I felt afraid that everyone knew what I was feeling and was thinking the same thing. Honestly now I still have those feelings every once in a while. I don’t view myself in that way though. Now I feel different but extremely connected to everyone. I feel I have a very important role in the world. I feel that my differences are my power. I feel able to verbalize my experience. I feel that I have grown into an expert of my own experience and no one is more important. The best part is I feel I can really help others.

How do you view others and the world now, as a result of that moment in your life?

I view us all as children here to learn. Some people embrace this and some fight it. I think most people feel isolated so it’s all about creating oneness and respecting everyone’s individuality.

True Authenticity, a Band Called Rusted Root.

With all my heart, I honestly could not have asked for more authentic and inspiring answers for this piece.  I do these posts in an effort to remind not only myself, but all of you out there reading this, that we all have struggles.  There is not one person on this planet that does not feel insecure at times and lost within themselves.

But if we can just remember as Glabicki shared, “some people embrace thi and some fight it.”  With this post, I could not fight my own feelings about my mistake.  But I had to just own them and share them with you because if I can’t be real with myself and you, then all of this has no meaning.  I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you Rusted Root, and I hope you will share this with the world just the same.

If you’re in ABQ tonight, don’t miss the Heights Summerfest, Rusted Root will be playing their hearts out, as they always do.

Let’s Rock Big Love!

 

Let’s Take the Leap Together! What Does Being a Loser Mean to You?

Recommended Reading Soundtrack: Hello My Old Heart by the Oh Hellos

I am a sucker for a movie scene that perfectly depicts a person leaping from the top of their game into the great abyss of the murky unknown. Writer/Director Cameron Crowe gives us plenty of these charming moments in his Oscar winning film “Jerry Maguire.”

Lead character Jerry is quickly figuring out that life is not what it seems as the masks of those he trusted are speedily being removed one by one, vulnerably exposing him to the littered path of his own clouded ego. To add another nail to his perceived coffin he realizes that his relationship with his fiancé is doomed. The breakup scene ends with a punch to his face nudging him further into the quicksand of his life with a declaration of his official entrance into Loserville. Classic.

Maybe looking into the silver lining of that “loser” feeling is not such a bad thing? Perhaps owning our inner “loser” leads to promising, untraveled roads and an appreciation for that which we judged – particularly about ourselves. Maybe it’s the only thing that can pull us out of our self-made quicksand?

Loser2015_900x900

So the question remains, what does being a loser mean to you? This is exactly what legendary Seattle-based record label Sub Pop wants applicants to answer for its annual “loser scholarship” award. When I first learned about this scholarship I couldn’t believe it. I found myself staring at the computer screen questioning my eyes and cognitive ability to process what I was reading.

In my heart Sub Pop has historically been a record label that supports the independent artist, introducing the world to talent that wouldn’t have a chance with a commercial giant. And then, to stumble upon their scholarship program students willing to talk about their failures and how it brought them closer to their goals?

So I decided to look into my own productive failures and answer that question as if I were lucky enough to be an Oregon or Washington high school senior vying for the scholarship. Out of all the questions on the bill, I’m torn between what being a “Sub Pop” loser means to me and how my biggest failure has brought me closer to a life goal. But in all honesty I feel the two questions go hand in hand.

I wish I could go with something light, like when I naively attempted to sing a song from The Little Mermaid at Karaoke and totally bombed. Then BS my way into some deep lesson behind the whole experience, but for some reason I don’t think that was Sub Pop’s aim. So I’ll go to the dark side.

Hello, Loserville

hello_loserWhen I was in my mid-20s I met someone that was a perfect pairing for my co-dependent self. He was an addict and I was an addict in my own way, constantly in search for my next fix of feeling needed. I was too scared of being alone to listen to my own inner voice that told me something was not quite right.

Just like Jerry in Crowe’s film, there was a moment in my relationship where I had a clear choice to exit and work on my fears of being the “loser” alone. But I didn’t have his courage to say, “It’s over” yet. So instead I married him and dragged my entire family into the dysfunctional relationship. Shortly after, I divorced and held onto a lot of shame around my “failure.” It took a long time to forgive myself, and not feel like the “loser” that exposed my family to the mess of me.

The Turning Point

This was truly a landmark failure from my ego’s perspective, but from my heart it was a turning point in my life that inspired me to become emotionally healthy and learn to value what I had to offer the world. This included a gift we all have- the gift of inspiration. We are here to inspire one another to become aware of our light in its entirety. Every time we feel like a “loser” and learn from that experience we have an opportunity to demonstrate to someone else that their life matters.

tyler_knott_gregson_haiku
haiku on love by tyler knott gregson

At the end of the recent “Biggest Loser” finale, one of the contestants named Colby Wright shared that in telling his story about his father’s suicide and the pain it caused him as a son and human being, someone that had also been planning to take their own life reached out to him. The viewer told Colby that because he opened himself up and shared his story, they decided to get help and not give up their life.

To me, that’s what being a “loser” is all about. It’s about making mistakes, owning them and sharing them with others even when we feel vulnerable and scared. Whether it’s through our art, or just talking to someone you know that needs help- we can all make a difference in this world through our unique experiences and productive failures.

Let’s Take the Leap Together

I say- let’s take the leap together and share with others what makes us human. Whether you call it feeling like a “loser” or giving up- it’s all one in the same. We are all here to teach one another that the trip to Loserville is not the end, it is only the beginning.

It’s Time Again! Asheville Musician Gavin Conner on Sharing Without Expectations

Recommended Reading Soundtrack: Another Bun in the Oven by Gavin Conner on Dang Birds featuring “Ah-oohs” by Henson Conner

Ignoring Your Heart’s Aspirations Is Not an Option

quote_owning_uncool

Some of the most painful, laughable and beautiful lessons I’ve endured in my life had to do with lying. It wasn’t about lying to other people. It had to do with lying to myself. Coming to that realization and choosing accountability for your role in all your relationships is a big part of getting to know yourself.

It’s like when I’m running on a Saturday morning and I’m suddenly smoked by the last winner of the Boston Marathon. I don’t sit there and lie to myself that in my dreams I could ever perform like that kind of elite athlete; but for some reason when it comes to jobs or life partners, it is not so obvious.

Acknowledging our ability to creatively alter the truth around life’s choices is what “owning your uncool” is all about. Asheville based musician and teacher, Gavin Conner, is one of those fellow humans that truly embodies the spirit of owning this truth and following through with your heart’s passion. This is why I am thrilled to feature him and his personal experience in February’s “Owning Your Uncool” blog post.

Gavin Conner, Musician, Teacher & Muppet Enthusiast Extraordinaire!

Gav_GuitarWhen I think of Gavin Conner, I think of that scene in Moulin Rouge when Ewan McGregor looks to the camera with the cheesiest grin he can possibly muster and shouts, “Love is like oxygen!” Not that Gavin is cheesy (well maybe he can be a little, but this is what makes him so awesome!).

Whatever our creative endeavors may be, music for Gavin is like “the force” in Star Wars. And just like “the force,” you can’t ignore what your heart wants, especially if it causes an internal awakening and simultaneous war with the dark side. Think “South Park”, Robert Smith of the Cure, and Barbara Streisand’s downfall.

Robert_Smith_2I’ve known Gavin since high school. He and his closest family members have all been teachers to me on a grand scale and I don’t know who I would be without them, seriously. Between non-stop debating on the music industry and teaching me what it means to live life every day to the fullest with unconditional love, I have found myself eternally grateful for their gifts and enduring legacy of the heart. I hope Gavin’s personal story gives you the same inspiration around honoring your gifts and standing by them.

The Question Can you tell my readers about a time in your life where you felt that same “uncool” and isolation inside as the character in Almost Famous, and how you used that moment to propel yourself forward in your life?

The Answer In 2009, I finally got my crack at a full time teaching position at a middle school in North Carolina. It had been about eight years in the making. I started out sporadically substitute teaching in Virginia and convinced myself this was a worthy career, something I could really get into. A few years later with post graduate studies and student teaching under my belt, I relocated, readjusted credentials and finally got my foot in the door! It started out great, but as the year progressed it dawned on me that I was merely a pawn in the hell that is Middle School life!

Bueller? Bueller?

Kreg_Franco_Kermit_Ferris
Artwork by Illustrator Kreg Franco on Behance.net

It became exactly what I remembered from my own youth. Sadly it wasn’t the ruthless and mostly ungrateful students that would break me, it was the administration. As I ‘’toughed” it out they offered no support, and when I asked for support they gave stall tactics. What was even more disturbing? I got a peek behind the curtain of the public education system and it wasn’t pretty. Standardized tests were the bottom line and everything else was filler. Of course, I know not all public schools are as warped as this and even within my school, 98% of the staff were amazing but one Principal, (reminiscent of Mr. Rooney in Ferris Buller) was enough for me to see that this was not what I had been working so hard to be a part of.

Doing the Right Thing

So needless to say, after a full year of not only being told I was very uncool by the students but feeling very uncool in my soul (thanks to Mr. Rooney) I felt pretty devastated. Here I was trying to do a noble job, the right thing! And no one was helping me embrace it. I am a songwriter at heart, but am rational enough to know there needs to be a stable, “real job” to balance the artistic dream. So the best way I could own my uncool was: end the school year, pull the plug, lick my wounds and dive into a new album. I’ve been making albums since 1996. Starting in 2000, I’ve continued to make (at least one) album every year. This year’s album will mark the 15th straight year of making consecutive albums. Granted most of these albums are fairly simple home recordings and nothing terribly flashy, but still a glimpse into what I was experiencing for that year…for better or worse.

2010’s release was “Who Dares Awaken Me From My Slumber?” a very loose END OF EDUCATION concept album. I took the disappointment and began to channel it. On some tracks, such as the closing number, “The Scapegoat” I address Mr. Rooney and try to tell my side of the situation. “1989” I compare my own memory of middle school to the current relapse of misery, and the title track “…Slumber” I embrace the decision to move on and more or less thank the students and Mr. Rooney for letting me realize this was NOT what I wanted to do with rest of my life.

Owning Your Uncool to the Tune of Cool

Gav_Piano

Like most horrible decisions we have to make in life, the silver lining is often- where does the misery leads us? When we finally are able to heal and look back, we realize that the moments when we feel we’ve truly hit rock bottom, are also the beginnings of a new era, a flip of the reset switch. Although my “career” choices have continued to be a bit dodgy over the years, I will always have my albums! My art! My only true currency in a bankrupt world. So I share them and expect nothing in return, taking solace in knowing they will always be there for me to create, especially when I am at my most uncool.

Check out Gavin’s newest album, Dang Birds.  Let’s Rock Big Love!

Dang_Birds_Album

How Forgiveness, Death & Dying Taught Me to Love Infinitely Bigger

Recommended Reading Soundtrack:  Dark Matter by Andrew Belle on Black Bear

Is it really 2016 already? Clearly I’ve been out of the loop with my writing and once you pass a certain timeline it’s like you’re Jerry Seinfeld in that episode where he can’t remember the name of the girl he’s dating but it’s too late to ask her. What did it rhyme with again? Awkward!

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought I’d come clean on my online absence and connect with y’all on what’s been clouding my own purposeful perception. Last year I was gifted with an abundance of dreamy opportunities to reevaluate how I authentically support my passions. In a way it was one of the most illuminating years I’ve ever experienced in finding my voice. And, it’s not that my voice was lost. It was simply ready for a bit of refining around the truth behind my art.

Sometimes our minds have so much noise in them it’s like we have a microphone loudly spewing static in our heads. And suddenly, REM’s Michael Stipe has taken over everyone’s voice box shouting “What’s the frequency, Kenneth!” over and over again until you just can’t stand it anymore. Our mental static acts as a truth deterrent.

buddha-grief-quoteLife, Cancer & Death

It’s those deep troughs in life that make us stop and question our choices and how they support what we say we want in life. At the beginning of last summer it was shared with me that my ex-husband was delivered a grim diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer that had spread into other vital organs.

Only a few months later I learned that his cancer progressed and he suddenly passed away, leaving behind his young daughter and many shocked, devastated friends. When we divorced there was a lot of anger that fueled a regretful and sorrowful separation from his daughter. It was never addressed between us again.

And now, it never will be.

Spark_of_Light_by_Swift218“Unforgiveable”

Sadly, my heart had harbored a spark of hope that one day it would resurface in the form of forgiveness. Instead I found myself reliving my divorce with the added bonus of painful, lingering memories. I grieved alone the death of someone that I loved, despite all the crap that we slung at one another. I went to the dark side and found myself scanning through old emails only to find the last words he ever said to me, “What you did to me and my daughter is unforgivable.”

What we choose to say to others, even in our lowest points, has consequences. In reading these words I felt a profound sadness different from the past. I felt distraught that even in facing death we can allow our stubbornness and the need to make someone wrong get in the way of forgiveness. Our mortality is irreversible.

It is easy for us to take for granted the miracles that abound from every little connection we make in life. The support of our relationships can collapse around us at any moment with life’s endings. Every word we share with another is an opportunity to be kind and practice love. We can choose to live life as a prayer of self-forgiveness that heals our hearts and frees others from the chains of past judgments. The challenge arose for me in forgiving myself without any possibility of forgiveness from the other party, a one sided conversation.

loneliness_4-wallpaper-1024x768

So I went on a little journey and after weeks of carrying around the emotional weight of his death, our past, and the inability to tell his daughter that I loved her, that I was sorry- I reached a general consensus with all the voices I’ve invented in my head. It yielded a new commitment to never compromise my truth again. Life is a collage of precious moments worth much more than the value our ego places on it. This includes what we tolerate from others.

My self-declaration forced some positive, life altering changes.

Six months later, I am now ready to get back in the twinkle light parade. What does that mean, exactly?

Welcome back, my dear friend. Welcome back the sun.

Village_Sun
Julianne Kuko, 9, holds a drawing of the sun as she and her classmates perform a song to welcome the first sunrise in 58 days. Rebecca Hersher/NPR

I heard a touching story the other day on NPR about a tiny town in Greenland called Ittoqqortoormiit that has been without sunlight for 58 days. The town’s seasonal cycle of darkness recently ended and as the sun rose for the first time since November children gathered in a circle on top of a hill with colorful cutouts of the sun.

Together they sang their traditional song, “Welcome back, my dear friend. Welcome back the sun.” Hearing the song reminded me of how I feel coming out of the wormhole that was my last 6 months. Every now and then we are gifted with a glimpse into the magnificence that we are through the abundance of love and lack thereof bustling around us. It’s what we do with this personal glimpse of light rising out of our darkness that matters.

Today, and forever- Let’s Rock Big Love! Jess

If you want to sing out, sing out! Just do it.

Recommended Reading Soundtrack:  Whatever it is by Ben Lee

As I was perusing the world of Facebook this morning I noticed video post from a recent Ellen DeGeneres interview with the ever so diverse and hilarious actress Melissa McCarthy (Think sink and Bridesmaids? I’m already laughing!). Well, the interview took place on May 20th, so I guess that is considered pretty far behind in the world of media- but I’m just not one of those people that is always quick on the uptake with “talk show gossip”. (Insert smiley face here, if you get my meaning.)

I couldn’t resist taking a look at it. What piqued my interest was the topic and how McCarthy presented the discussion with a harsh critic. The journalist had written a review of a 2014 film that starred McCarthy last year. The film had received a lot of “challenging” attention. This particular journalist was very hard on McCarthy- and it wasn’t for the integrity of her performance. It was for her appearance.

walking in someone else's shoesMcCarthy was affected by the critique, but instead of being rude and critical to the journalist when she was given this unique opportunity, she savored this golden apple with a little talk about perception. She turned the conversation around and asked the journalist to look at the other side of his narrow minded equation. She asked the right questions, asking him how his type of critique could potentially affect someone that he loves- like his daughter. And, it worked.

I felt like this interview was testimony to how turning stories inside out can really create major shifts in our hearts and give us the opportunity to demonstrate kindness and compassion for another’s ignorance. Sometimes we need a little helping hand to see the flip side. Not everyone will be open to it, and that’s where our acceptance can have an even greater ability to heal inner conflicts.

Before I had this little moment with the internet this morning, I was walking through my office and noticed I was wearing a shoe that was squeaking with every step. It made me laugh- because I’m always reflecting on how to walk in someone else’s shoes, much like McCarthy encouraged this journalist to do. Sometimes we just have squeaky shoes, and it takes initiative and a desire to change what is inside of us to look at the cause of our squeaky shoes. Maybe we love our squeaky shoes, but we simply have to throw them away because their appearance does not outweigh their usefulness.

Image via http://meetville.com/quotes/tag/empathy/page9
Image via http://meetville.com/quotes/tag/empathy/page9

In the famous singing words of Cat Stevens,

You can make it all true. And, you can make it undo.

It’s easy. You only need to know, well if you want to sing out, sing out! If you want to be free, be free. Because there is a million things to be, you know that there are.

I’m with Cat Stevens on this one. There is nothing more powerful than the knowledge that you have a choice. You have a choice to be kind. You have a choice to see the other side. You have a choice to be free and sing out. The road may be a little squeaky while getting there, but if you take a moment to look around you, I think you’ll be surprised at how much people are trying.