Lost in the Blur

“To lose it all in the blur of the start! Seeing is deceiving. Dreaming is believing. It’s okay not to be okay…Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart.”

Jessie J
Krysten’s Happy Fridays

Hello there! Happy Friday! Summer is here! Stepping back into the WordPress community for a cool dip! Oh, my dear heart… I was spinning in the wheel of life and needed a moment here! ~A breather in my oasis~

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

What Have I Been Up To?

Striking the right balance amongst my various engagements has always been a challenge for me. I often wonder what has motivated me to do so much. Certainly, life is short.

I must say ‘NO’ more often so that I won’t burn out. My question as of late is, “What do I prune?” How do you all prioritize? Varies from individual to individual, I’m sure. These are my happy interests presently!

A2Z Bird Blogging Challenge

I’m still working on this bird challenge! I’m so PROUD that I got halfway through. Because of this extended A2Z challenge, I’ve been paying more attention to the birds who live in my area and feeling a greater sense of gratitude for their presence.

Masters Degree in IT Innovation and Management

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Abigail Adams

I’ve been diligently working on my master’s program, and it’s been a rather steep learning curve for me. There have been days where I just feel like I’ve been staring at a block of text for hours at a time and cross-checking with other references. On the one hand, I have been fighting analysis paralysis, and on the other, I have been learning about some fascinating things. One day I will experience the bittersweet taste of victory!

Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass

I’m also reinvesting in my blogging skills by taking a Udemy Masterclass: Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog In 2021. Thank you, Mr.A, for this fantastic gift! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I truly love blogging, and look forward to learning and sharing with others.

Work Accomplishment

My technical writing duties have occupied my thoughts as I’m assisting the CEO create a presentation for INSA‘s National Security Showcase. I’m floored that one of our technologies got selected by their committee! I helped submit the write-up for the application. Only a dozen out of hundreds of applicants got chosen. I’m humbled. Yet, it’s the software developers that deserve the credit. I’m just helping them get a piece of the limelight! The next thing I know my supervisor is offering me a promotion.

Birthday Month

I had a lovely time at the caverns and took plenty of photos of these magnificent beauties. One of my friends fainted due shift in humidity levels being 150 feet below the earth and all. Very grateful for the EMT and staff! We enjoyed an authentic Italian meal afterwards. Siblings gave me a few helpful tools to better manage life. One of my friends gave me nun-chucks and a flying lesson!

Rotary

I recently got recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for our local Rotary group. Deeply honored. I created a short, snazzy animated promo video for our club, and we won a district superhero challenge!

Toastmasters

Crafted, prepared, and delivered my 3nd speech about my father’s solar powered cowboy hat! 6 minutes of Nerves. Joy. Growth. Overcoming my fear of public speaking one speech at a time.

Crochet Group

Working on Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir‘s Saga crochet pattern for a gorgeous pillow!

Beauty Consultant

I’ve studied hard and earned some educational bling! I’m now an advanced product consultant for skincare, color cosmetics, and clinical solutions. I’ve been engaging with my clients on social media and learning about fun applications. Exploring new fragrances through poetry with the help of a friend.

Books

Reading when I can… while waiting in lines…

  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Odyssey Chronicles by Carolyn Shelton
  • Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel
  • Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
  • Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman
Astrology & Horoscopes

Even though I read Yodha’s fun, inspiring messages as entertainment, I enjoy learning about it when I again have the chance. I have various mutable signs within my natal chart indicating flexible, adaptable, and changeable qualities (modalities) which allows me to see life from many different perspectives. I learned that I have a Mercury in Gemini, Lilith in Virgo, and North Node in Pisces. Mom has a ton of Sagittarius in her chart. Thinkers and philosophers in the zodiac!

Finding Clarity

“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

Atul Gawande

I’ve been doing more brain dumps and mind mapping exercises to keep moving forward and uncover more of my life’s purpose. As for my blog, I will continue to write about the birds, some new poems, and share new photos I took on my break!

Perhaps a spa day is in order. A massage with essential oils sounds nice!

Take care now & I’ll see you soon ❤

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Today’s Prompts

#VJWC – Be Afraid Not to Try

Decision-making can be such an Achilles heel
Like a plague, indecisiveness spreads
Uncertainty due to complexity
The distraction of entertainment
Like sirens luring you to destruction
with its sweet song

The month of June has been packed with challenges and plenty of decisions! A few:

  • Choice of tech- Vizzelie or Cinchshare? IG vs FB vs Twitter?
  • Sugar restrictive diet or partaking in a baking frenzy?
  • 10,000 K steps consistently or rest in between for Pacer App?
  • Power through an SQL course or academic leave of absence?
  • Red pill vs Blue pill? 🙂

“This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill: the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill: you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

– Morpheus, The Matrix
GoDogGo Cafe – Sirens

Painting Landscapes with Bob Ross

It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.

– Bob Ross

Last night, I enjoyed digitally painting alongside Bob Ross for the first time. His soothing voice helped quell any anxiety as he takes you away to a fantasy world of luscious landscapes. Bob also said that as you’re painting, you can create a story along the way. So, I will link up to Denise, author of Girlie on the Edge’s Blog for her Six Sentence Story word prompt.

Invigorated by the fleeting, fresh smell of pine, Mirela admired the radiance rippling across the lake during her morning stroll in the fields while munching on her croissant breakfast egg and ham sandwich.

Mirela vanquished her fear of unknown and retreated to the mountains, a dream destination, away from the noise and bustle of the city life she’s been in the thick of for decades.

The care of her sanity was treated with high priority during a tumultuous time in history, so the guidance of her heart has led her and her husband to this peaceful place.

She enjoys the quiet moments of checking out the woodland creatures scurrying away to their homes holding food tightly to their chest while hiking her way through the woods.

As she came back from her brisk walk, her husband had just finished chopping wood to add to the crackling fire on the hearth of the fireplace.

They walk into the cabin together preparing to drink a glass of delicious wine and feast on some delicious pot pie.

Also in response to:

If I could write a letter to my body, it would say …

Photo by Taisiia Shestopal (taisiia_shestopal) provided by Unsplash

Dear Delicate Vessel of Mine,

You’re an absolute mystery to me
Waking up to a bold, astringent black tea
As you relish a reading from the Code of DaVinci
Skin tingling to the sight of the coral sea

Hands enable such meticulous notes
Empowering the mind within to vote
Legs traversing far and wide
In a march to express one’s pride

A dedicated immune system army
Attacking bacteria on a hellish landscape
Fever scorches the battle field journey
Host defense system seeks an escape

Despite the strength you have some days,
Help is needed to get through the maze
No need to fight imaginary hallucinations
After donning the armor of medications

Confiscate the germ
You set the terms
As it squirms
Be firm!

Appreciatively,
A Grateful Heart

In response to:

SoCS: 2020 Vision – Happy New Year!

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! 

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all had a blessed day! Cheers to new dreams and goals ahead with powerful declarations for the future. You’re worthy of great things in your lives and I hope that you will live up to your full potential.

Image by alan9187 from Pixabay

I’ve been relaxing, tidying up my room, enjoying time with the family, and entranced by a variety of shows on Netflix. Growing up, I had terrible vision, and always needed glasses. I always wondered what it would be like to see with 20/20 vision with full clarity.

What does my vision for 2020 look like? Maybe it can be clearer with the help of this really thoughtful gift my coworker gave me as my Secret Santa this past Christmas. He knows I enjoy blogging, and I’m very excited to explore these quotes! Here’s one I’ll think about:

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

2019 feels like a blur to me! From computer networking classes to public speaking classes, it’s been a journey of self-improvement. The ideas from the pictures and phrases that I glued to my vision board this year started manifesting left and right. I don’t know why I feel surprised. It’s typically a fun, relaxing craft activity for me. To be honest, the metaphysics behind the mysterious “Law of Attraction” still fascinates me. Maybe, I see what I want to see. Regardless, it’s been an interesting year and there are stories to tell!

I can share one story. I cut and pasted an intriguing quote I found in Forbes magazine from Douglas Baker Jr., CEO of Ecolabs. Curious to know why he was 2017’s Person of the Year by Twin Cities Business.

“Our focus is delivering clean water safe food, abundant energy, and healthy environments. These needs are fundamental and transcend economic ups and downs. Wherever water needs to be conserved, food needs to be safe, energy is required, and people seek healthier environments, we will find opportunity.”

Douglas Baker Jr.

One evening, the president of the local Rotary Club invites me to a meeting to see what’s new in the community. The Rotary Club’s central causes are: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.

I’ve been on the fence about joining because of other obligations. Despite my reasons related to time, I find myself participating in and feeling enthused by their community projects.

So, that evening a communication arts teacher shares with us a recycling contest the school has joined with Pepsi Co. My ears perked up. I’ve been looking for an environmental cause post-graduation. I immediately got to work and started to partner with the local Wal-marts and Mary Kay representatives to collect aluminum cans and type 1 and type 2 plastics. I’ve been collecting at my friends’ holiday parties as well.

My car smells soda and the scent has been attracting honey bees. My poor guests have been carefully shooing them out the window. I haven’t been able to drop them off at the school because the facilities are closed for the holidays. Thank goodness my boyfriend offered his truck to help which reminds me of this song!

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

In response to:

Tell the Story – Marceline’s Stage Fright

Inescapable
Nowhere to turn but the now
Moon is spotlighting

After meeting with lobbyists from various advocacy groups all day, Princess Marceline attempted to sleep. Despite residing in the comfort of her castle, she was entangled in her sheets and unable to rest in her bed as she tossed and turned. In her dream, she was supposed to pitch several ideas and initiatives to help her country recover from the damage caused by war by presenting a speech in front of the people she served. Wearing a brilliant blue gown designed by fashion designer, Pierre, she marveled at the beauty of the intricate lacy French brocade near her wrists.

She pulled the curtains aside and stepped forward out to the balcony. As her subjects’ eyes attentively stared back at her, Marceline’s typical poise was disturbed by her inability to speak. She suddenly remembered something that a dear friend once shared with her which elevated her spirit.

Surfing in crowds is like mind over matter. If I don’t mind it don’t matter.”

Brodus Rogers

Her trembling was imperceptible from such a far distance, but she refused to be daunted by the anxiety of her temporary muteness. She drew in strength from her loyal, dedicated audience and smiled. She turned to her interpreter on the right and began performing sign language. The interpreter read her hands and began speaking into the mike and out to the crowd before her, “Thank you for coming out today. Contrary to a popular critic’s prediction that the crowd will not come out due to the cold and rain, it seems like today is quite the exception!” Marceline slowly felt the anxiety melt away as the crowd cheered in unison.

Lucid dreams present
A chance to change the outcome
Dignity and charm

Inspired by the prompts below:

#Flash Fiction – Free At Last!

Nox’s Daily Prompt
Photo Credit: Marcin Jozwiak – Unsplash.com

Escape

Moments within sitting down
The ground absorbed her tension
brought about from her mental prison
Refocusing her energy
from the disenchantment of cynicism
to the spontaneity of curiosity
Gazing out in the endless sea ahead
Reaching for a new ideal
One that sparks a more joyous life
Basking in the healing rays of the sunset
Dreaming of the next adventure
Relishing the breeze
Enriched by tranquil surroundings
Delighting in the grains of sand
between her fingers that soothes her soul
Serenity in abundance
Unseen until now
Instinctively understanding
the momentum of
each precious moment
in the spectrum of time

Freedom of Expression – Revival!

Hamsa Hand

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Home decor at Big Lots store

Good morning everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I looked up a Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of revival to refresh my understanding and this is what popped up:

  • a new presentation or publication of something old
  • renewed attention to or interest in something
  • a return of strength and importance

When I visited my niece, I noticed reoccurring symbol in her artwork that captivated me. An eye in the palm of a hand. She herself didn’t knew what it meant but I was surprised because I’ve suddenly encountered the symbol a lot in my environment. Following my curiosity, I learned that it is known as the “Hand of God” (or Hand of Fatima), an spiritual symbol of protection from the evil eye to bring health, wealth, good fortune, happiness, good luck, and fertility. Ooo la-la!

Hamsa’s earliest origins were in the middle east. Several celebrities (Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna) have been spotted wearing it. To learn more about the symbolic significance in various religions, you can visit this website! https://aromantly.com/blogs/spirituality/hamsa-meaning

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Saw this pretty necklace in the jewelry store and got it for my niece

A Visit Back to Yesteryear

Richa shared some wonderful quotes which made me reflect on my past life a bit. I was browsing through LinkedIn today and came across an article about burnout and this section prompted a flashback:

Ten years ago, I had my first experience with burnout in my early years of college. I was in need of delimiting my responsibilities. I was studying many things that I was passionate about in combination with subject matter that I was not interested in. I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I should have and lost weight from not eating properly because I was trying to keep up with my peers and stay on top of my scholarly workload.

One day, a childhood friend once noted and said to me, “You don’t pray often, do you?” I felt a little irked and thought to myself, “How would she know if I prayed in my private time? Can she really assume?” A nagging question suddenly dawned on me though. I wondered if an individual’s interior life of prayer can affect one’s external life.

Despite me conducting so much research on my assignments and looking for answers, I was cognizant of the fact that there are some things that cannot be answered via research database. One night, I lied in my bed and stared at the ceiling. Though I loved what I was doing in college, paradoxically, I also prayed for some way of escape…at least temporarily.

During my time on campus, I became aware of a religious awakening spreading throughout the student body. Many people described it as a “revival”. Speakers shared stories with a sort of fervor that I was unaccustomed to. Many students from a variety of faith backgrounds mingled, sincerely listened to each other, studied together, prayed for one another through their troubles, and offered assistance where needed.

Quenching the thirst of my curiosity, I also read academic books on the history of prayer and the power of intercessory prayer. I also poured over various religious books of wisdom while hanging out in prayer houses. I suddenly became very intrigued by these ancient books. My mom was entertained by my fascination with these dead authors. 😉

After years of the frost of cynicism covering these student lives, I witnessed dramatic transformations and strengthened relationships. Admittedly, it felt unreal to me to experience a beautiful scene of an integrated diverse community where people didn’t just tolerate differences in one another, but wholeheartedly embraced all the quirks within each other. Some developed a fresh zeal to tackle on local problems in society like hunger, diabetes, homelessness, trafficking, etc.

So! That’s what revival has meant to me in my life. What about you? 🙂

Cartoon Sketch

An ephemeral network outage happened last night. I could not access the internet to do research for my homework on my laptop, read my books on my Kindle, or watch my evening Netflix shows to wind down for the day. I felt somewhat relieved that I could unplug for the day. It’s rather difficult for me to do at times.

I decided to test out one of Rory’s snifty pens that I requested and doodled in a notebook for the evening. The pen smelled like birthday cake! You inspired me last evening to create a rather interesting world…