Turning Dreams Tangible

Turning Dreams Tangible is an every day occurrence. It should be played out in active voice, 24/7, even when you’re sleeping. And that’s just about where I am, right now. Active! Voicing! And at this stage in the game, this juncture in my life (as time passes, constant), what else do I really have to do? 

So, today, as I was heading to conduct my intense writing workshop (Write on Saturdays–with a Twist!) at the Marriott’s Residence Inn (one of the workshop’s locations), I ran into a woman sitting out front, reading her Bible, enjoying the wonderful day. She was visiting from Michigan. Her son is in the Air Force, and stationed in Maryland. 

Now here comes the news. I shared with her what I do — writing — and the love of. And she received — well. Then the conversation turned to swamping testimonies of empowerment and how writing can be just the right vehicle on which to ride right out a storm, and into a victory! The interchange of life experience and encouragement, validation and ah-ha moments drove between us so fast, we could have gotten a speeding ticket. But what we got were smiles and nods from the passersby, and confirmation from God that a passion is worth the fight, worth the living and worth the giving. Excited, she told me, “Write this down!” I grabbed my reporter’s notebook (always handy) and my pen.

She said, “This is for you: ‘I shall have favor with whom I come in contact.'” She leaned back, satisfied, in her chair and said, “Now, you say that every morning when you wake up. Okay.” I wrote it. I promised. And later, I’ll record the entire experience of meeting Dorothy from Michigan in my journal.

 I left with her The Prison Plumb Line, my novella. She shouted out, as I journeyed on, “I can’t wait to get God in Wingtip Shoes [my novel] and that Jubi book!” She meant Jubi Stone: Saved by the Vine. The novel hits in July. My final thought is this: I think I’m gonna see her again!Image

So what do you think about it?  Lemmeknow.  www.yvonnejmedley.com

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Turning Dreams Tangible

  Image   Okay, so I’m operating in my zone, right. It’s my share-the-art-of-writing zone—no questions asked, no required payback implied.  (‘Cause that’s the only way to keep my intentions pure.) When suddenly, I receive an obvious snub/overlook from someone I hold dear. And, it appeared to happen just when the literary grass looked greener elsewhere. (After all, this has happened multiple times down through the years.)

     So I’m hurt, right. Stinging and bleeding from the injury, and laid out in the pity gutter. And, worse of all, I landed in the gutter because I allowed the offense to knock me off my Turning Dreams Tangible horse. Yes, I careened swiftly downward into Writer’s Demonland (that’s right, one word. One stinkin’ freakin’ word — Demonland).

     Writer’s Demonland is the land of suffocating scum, muck and mire filled with filthy spirit-killing words and thoughts sent to sludge about in your creative brain. These words write (in your head and heart), What the Hell do I think I’m doing? How did I think I was ever going to succeed at this? How come I thought I could do this, in the first place, huh? That’s Chapter One. Then comes Chapter Two: Why is my validating success taking so long (you know the kind of validating success where folks honor your worth, talent and work with the respect of their time. Then there’s something about a man is worth his hire. And a man’s treasure is where his heart is. I paraphrase, but you get it. But instead, you highlight in your head the times when folks take from you, freely with no effort, while they invest much effort elsewhere.  I’m digressing, but this is a sidebar: Often writers will hear that the first writer’s rule is to not go into a writing profession just for the money. Passion, and the love of, must overrule in every writer’s heart. True. But, usually the person who’ll remind you of that is a writer getting paid and/or someone in the biz who owes you money. (I’m just sayin’.)

     But hold on, while I’ve appeared quite jaded thus far, there are a few lessons to be learned (and sadly, I keep relearning them). Now to my credit, while I was spread out in the filthy Demonland gutter crying my eyes out, I did have the wherewithal to ask, “How does God want me to feel about this—for it can’t be jealousy, envy or even offense.” For that’s just a waste of time. And He showered down the answers. (He’s good like that.)

Lesson One:  No matter what you think you’ve seen or heard; you surely couldn’t have seen or heard it all. Nope, you really don’t have all the facts. So chill, sit (get a tissue if you must), and think for a moment before saying or doing/reacting to anything—if at all.  Just record the stupid thing in your journal. At least there, maybe, the experience can chalk-up discernment for the future.

Lesson Two: Focusing on an offense and plummeting into Writer’s Demonland (sometimes also called the pity pot or the toilet bowl) stops your creativity and production; and, oh, it’s a stupid allotment of time (sometimes referred to a stupid, energy-sucking waste of time).

Lesson Three: Let offenses strengthen your skill and power to decide on just what or to whom you’re going to devote your precious time, hurt feelings and concern. 

And so, what happened in my particular offense story, you might ask? Well, I was wrong. I didn’t have all the facts. I got all muddy, teary-eyed, and sludgy for nothing. And God wanted to remind me that my intentions must remain constant and pure (as humanly possible—that is). He will see to it that I am rewarded (evident by three wonderful opportunities that crossed my path shortly after), and He wanted to remind me that the world does not revolve around me. Oh Yeah, that’s number four.

Lesson Four: The world does not revolve around me. (Ouch, that’s a tough one.) 

So what do you think about it?  Lemmeknow.  www.yvonnejmedley.com

Turning Dreams Tangible

So on Thursday, I asked my ESL Students [English as a Second Language], adult learners (evening classes), a question—after the class watched the first half of the film, Julie & Julia. The question was, “What is it that you like to do? I mean, what is that thing that you’d like to do, and getting paid for it (in any amount, large or small) would only be a bonus?

 Well, first, the answer-attempts came slow then emerged, hesitant.  That’s because first, in one’s head, answers had to be translated out of one’s native language into English. Then the students had to cast down their primal-dream focus, which is to survive a new culture, a new life, and a new language. Apparently, when one has all of that to do there’s little time left for entertaining the career dream or the being-called-to-a-passion dream, and there’s no time to coordinate the corresponding what ifs.

 But in class, I encourage conversation; and so some answers began to cautiously deliver:

“Art”

“Photography”

“Conceptualizing buildings/Engineering” (working the translation was a trial, but worth it)

“Creating themed party favors” (trial, number two)

 While the answers sweetened the air, most of the students still managed to dodge. But I said, “No worries,” because I promised to assault them with the question on next Thursday. They smiled and said they’d show up because they’re polite. They’ll actually show up because of commitment.

But here’s one gentleman’s answer: He said, “I like to take care of my family.” Then he sat back, satisfied and he smiled. His expression said, “I gotcha!”

 I smiled and buzzed, “Annnnnnnt. Wrong answer.”  He laughed. He understood.

 After class, he came up to me and said, “I’ve been in this country a while now, really. But when we first got here, I had to feed my family; provide shelter, protect them – as I have to do now.” He said it with a polite smile supported by a pause and a negative headshake. “There was no time to …” His look finalized. I understood. But next week, I will still present the weighty question again.

 Sadly, that question is a hard one for many, universally. Often, we don’t feel we have the right to such frivolous happiness like feeding a heartfelt passion, a calling or a gift—at least not in the broad daylight where others can see and/or hear.

 Personal Observation: Sometimes maturity sets in and we factually assume (that means out loud in front of witnesses) our right to be happy and fulfilled. I mean, as a day-job perk. And then we may even begin to embark on the tangible journey to make it so using faith, diligence and new direction. However, sometimes, when that light bulb finally shines, we’ve already let decades slither by. Then we tend to get caught up burning a few more prime-time WATTS being pissed off about it. I’m just sayin’.

 So while you’ve got some wattage still left in you (i.e., life), can you answer the question? What is it that you’d like to do (whether or not money is an object to behold)? I mean, really—no pie-in-the-sky, please. Put some real personal, tangible thought into it. Lemmeknow.

www.yvonnejmedley.com

Turning Dreams Tangible

Turning a dream into tangible empowerment is difficult.  Don’t know yet, if it’s a positive or a negative when there’s total obsession involved. I mean, it commandeers my wake hours, my sleep hours, my worries, my fears, my tears, and yes, my mission and my confirming triumphs.

I blame, respectfully, the calling, the passion because as far as I know it’s a God-directed thing, and impossible to deny. Oh that doesn’t mean that it can’t be put off, pushed to the back-burner, ignored, laughed off, or treated like a figment.  Many, many people do just that throughout their lives. Often they waste decades journeying all those routes. I did. But what a true calling, a passion, a gift does when you put it off, is come back. It keeps coming back – nagging you for acknowledgement. It’s quirky that way. And when you find the courage to take action, the empowerment factor spreads to others, and amazingly surprises.

The act of turning a dream into tangible empowerment is difficult, but it’s God-confirming. Proverbs 18:16 clarifies: A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringth him before great men. When I read it (review it, and pray for its tangible favor), I feel it’s referring to me. Isn’t it referring to you, too?

Name it and claim it. Tell me about it. Let’s have some Real Talk. Sharing empowers, too.

Yesterday, I was too weary, too worried, and too wondering to acknowledge anything. My tenacity suffered the flu bug. I was too frustrated to work my gift, and function in the knowledge that to deny it, at this point, would be just plain stupid.

But today, God allowed me to open my eyes, gather my wits, and exercise my vision on this day, anew.

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