Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”

— Dan Gilbert

Some days, it is easier to use someone else’s words to explain how you feel. It’s one of the reasons I love quotes– that strong sense of connection to someone who felt the same way you did and found just the right words to describe it all. It is in this spirit that Dan Gilbert is just the guy for us.

As you move into this weekend,

as you move from one week to the next,

as the months and seasons begin to change,

remind yourself of something very important– YOU ARE NEVER FINISHED.

Continue to grow and change. You are a work in progress, and to us, you are a masterpiece every step of the way.

Love and Light,

Carly

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Arise and seize the day!

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Instructions for a Bad Day

Shane Koyczan is an amazing spoken word poet whose work has been featured all over, including a TED Talk he led about being bullied. This poem in its entirety is being written in my planner as we speak. I find it so refreshing, humbling, and centering. I hope that this poem will bring you to a better place if by chance you stumble across a bad day.

There will be bad days.

Be calm.

Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now.

Let go.

Be confident.

Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended.

Be gracious.

Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape.

Be diligent.

Scrape the gray sky clean.

Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not – the sun and moon are still there and always there is light.

Be forthright.

Despite your instinct to say “it’s alright, I’m okay” – be honest.

Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity.

Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose. If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through; be accepting of the fact that you are wrong, that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone – that pain is part of the human condition and that alone makes you a legion.

We hungry underdogs, we risers with dawn, we dissmisser’s of odds, we blesser’s of on – we will station ourselves to the calm.

We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one.

Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices, your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition – there are no free extra men, be aware that as the instant now passes, it exists now as then.

So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through. Remember the times you could have pressed quit – but you hit continue.

Be forgiving.

Living with the burden of anger, is not living.

Giving your focus to wrath will leave your entire self absent of what you need.

Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.

Be persistent.

Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful – because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.

Be resolute.

Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve with which you accept it.

If you are having a good day, be considerate.

A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for.

If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you can – do more.

There will be bad days, Times when the world weighs on you for so long it leaves you looking for an easy way out.

There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending. Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not, check your blind spot.

See that love is still there, be patient.

Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end.

Ignore what others have called you. I am calling you friend.

Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis.

Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard.

One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context – if you find that no one is listening, be loud.

Make noise.

Stand in poise and be open.

Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on.

In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.

Everyone is blessed with the ability to listen: the deaf will hear you with their eyes; the blind will see you with their hands.

 Let your heart fill their news-stands; let them read all about it.

Admit to the bad days, the impossible nights.

Listen to the insights of those who have been there, but come back.

They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack despair, you can even wear your sorrow – but come tomorrow you must change your clothes.

Everyone knows pain.

We are not meant to carry it forever.

We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

That when someone asks you how was your day, realize that for some of us – it’s the only way we know how to say, be calm.

Loosen your grip, opening each palm, slowly now – let go.”

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But there’s still no cure more heaven-sent as the chance to raise some hell!

When you are as old as I, my dear
And I hope that you never are
You will woefully wonder why, my dear
Through your cataracts and catarrh
You could squander away or sequester
A drop of a precious year
For when your best days are yester
The rest’er twice as dear….

What good is a field on a fine summer night
When you sit all alone with the weeds?
Or a succulent pear if with each juicy bite
You spit out your teeth with the seeds?
Before it’s too late stop trying to wait
For fortune and fame you’re secure of
For there’s one thing to be sure of, mate:
There’s nothing to be sure of!

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

I’ve never wondered if I was afraid
When there was a challenge to take
I never thought about how much I weighed
When there was still one piece of cake
Maybe it’s meant the hours I’ve spent
Feeling broken and bent and unwell
But there’s still no cure more heaven-sent
As the chance to raise some hell

Everybody….

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

Now when the drearies do attack
And a siege of the sads begins
I just throw these noble shoulders back
And lift these noble chins
Give me a man who is handsome and strong
Someone who’s stalwart and steady
Give me a night that’s romantic and long
And give me a month to get ready
Now I could waylay some aging roue
And persuade him to play in some cranny
But it’s hard to believe I’m being led astray
By a man who calls me granny

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

Sages tweet that age is sweet
Good deeds and good work earns you laurels
But what could make you feel more obsolete
Than being noted for your morals?

Here is a secret I never have told
Maybe you’ll understand why
I believe if I refuse to grow old
I can stay young till I die
Now, I’ve known the fears of sixty-six years
I’ve had troubles and tears by the score
But the only thing I’d trade them for
Is sixty-seven more….

Oh, it’s time to keep livin’
Time to keep takin’ from this world we’re given
You are my time, so I’ll throw off my shawl
And watching your flings be flung all over
Makes me feel young all over

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“Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

Mary Schmich

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“All we can do is try and live like we’re still alive.”

— Chasing the Sun, Sara Bareilles

It should come as NO surprise to you that I am posting yet another Sara Bareilles lyric. Take note that this will be the last one for a while to save you from becoming overloaded.

I’m a sucker for any song that starts with piano. You should know that from the get-go. I knew from the start I would like this song. I couldn’t imagine that the lyrics would have such a profound effect on me each and every time I hear it. It reminds all of us that we need to savor each day we are given. It reminds me that in an everyday, simple moment we can be reminded just how lucky we are to be HERE, right NOW. I sat back, loving the highs and lows of the melody and then it hit me– my favorite line.

“And the gift of my heartbeat sounds like a symphony…”

Find a tune to sing or the song in your heart and dance with life. Live your life embracing each note, each rest, each beat of your own heart.

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Most People

“And she thinks ‘most people don’t talk enough about how lucky they are
Most people don’t know what it takes for me to get through the day
Most people don’t talk enough about the love in their hearts,’
But she doesn’t know most people feel that same way.”

— Dawes, “Most People”

Don’t allow yourself to think that you are the only person to feel the way you feel. At times, I come across a feeling or a situation that can make things seem as though they are so isolated that no one else can possibly understand. Sometimes it just feels like “most people” don’t get it. What we have to realize is that “most people” DO. Once we open our hearts and minds to those around us and we may be surprised what we find. What began as strangers become confidants, and those empathetic listeners, at our best moments, become friends.

Don’t get caught up in thinking “most people” don’t get it.

Become part of the larger group that wants to make a change for the better.

 

 

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“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

–Steve Jobs

 

Congrats grads!  I’m a sucker for commencement speeches, and Steve Jobs delivered one of the best in 2005 at Stanford.  If you’ve got 15 minutes, take a listen.

 

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Life is good.

This song is from my childhood. It is one that I hold very near and dear to my heart. It is carefully that I share it with you. When we find something good and meaningful, it is a crime not to share it with those who need it and will appreciate it.

Listen carefully to the lyrics. Take them all in.

I hope you can find a line or two that mean something to you.

In the meantime, we can all get behind the chorus…

“Give your all to others and it all comes back to you.” Life certainly is good.

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“Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.”

-Eli Young Band, Even if it Breaks Your Heart

 

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