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

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Turning Dreams Tangible

So, yes, I’m watching the Super Bowl. And I’m totally into the excitement. But I’m going happy-crazy out-of-my-mind with energy and frustration. While dedicated sports fans see do-or-die competitive play (and I understand and respect that), I’m seeing the tangible proof of every player who had a dream, realized. And I’m not talking about the winner (because, technically, I’m blogging this before the game’s end. In fact, the stadium lights went off, and right now, it seems that team momentum has changed over. And, yes, the craziness drove me to my laptop—with one eyeball on the screen.

 But each player in the Super Bowl at one point in their too-young life dreamed of this. And they made it! And now, they’re actually in the process of formulating new dreams/goals, and stimulating new pathways to the tangible proof of new visions. Why am I sure of this? It’s because there’s one thing I know they are sure of—if it’s been done once, it can be accomplished, again—and why not, since there’s still breath in the body.

 So what’s driving me crazy? I wanna do it too. Now! In fact my every waking minute (like now), I’m on it, trying to figure it out.

 Okay, I got that off my chest. Let me tell you the tangible I saw today at church. Sitting in the pew right in front of me was a former Heavyweight Champion of the World. I didn’t spy him first, my husband did. The sermon also before me was awesome. It told me, and taught me to hold on, and to praise God for all that’s really lasting—and the Pastor explained why. I got it. But I eyes, heart, and mind bobbed and weaved on the Heavyweight Dreamer Tangible.

 I won’t mention his name just yet, if ever; because I’m hopeful to talk to him more and maybe even help him get his tremendous personal story published. That would be awesome—for this breathing tangible has been through a lot. Bless him. He even told my husband a quick story about how because he is a Heavyweight Tangible, numerous insignificants often challenge him and threaten his life like it was a trophy to behold.

This is paraphrased because really, I was eavesdropping: A guy pulled up next to him at a stop light, noticed who he was, and tried to goad him into a fight for simply no reason, perturbed about it, he explained, “And when I went to step out of the car to see if he meant business, the guy raised up his shirt to show me his gun.” The Heavyweight Tangible told how he just shook his head in disgust, realizing that this silly game had been played again. He got back in his car and drove off. And it was at that point when my mother instincts kicked into the fear mode of knowing just how quickly, and insignificantly your babies (even your grown Heavyweight Tangible babies) can meet up with senseless tragedy in an instant. But working through that is for another blog subject.

 Back to Heavyweight Tangible; even though he’s been through hardships, ups and downs, I noted with gladness that he is still standing, and seeking faith. I also noted that this individual knows what it’s like to Turn a Dream Tangible. And I’m going happy-crazy wanting my turn.

(excuse any typos. i’m watching the game.)

 Is that wrong? How about you? 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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