You know, to Think of True Purpose is Not a Bad Thing

Purpose, Nature

MALIZ ONG

Have you stopped to deeply think about what purpose everything surrounding us serves? Not necessarily about yourself, but about what exists around you? Have you stepped into the great outdoors, without the distractions of your mobile and digital devices, and just took the time to sit in a park, along a beach or atop a mountain and reflected with gratitude about creation? 

Have you stopped to think about the purpose natural air filtration from trees affect the way we breathe or the purpose each insect, reptile, animal or marine life serves in our ecosystem and how we benefit from it? Have you ever considered how manmade pollution is disrupting the natural flow of life and its effects on our health?

Ecosystem, Purpose

George Hodan

All too often we tend to become so consumed with an overabundance of “things” trying to outdo each other with superficial notoriety, yet finding ourselves in a pit of unhappiness, because the stuff no longer satisfies our temporary desires? Someone will always obtain something more spectacular than what you have and outshine your jewels.

Yep, there is a time for every purpose under the heavens, whether you are an Olympic Gold Medalist, a celebrity, an entertainer or the richest person in the world. There will always be someone bigger, prettier, stronger, richer, better and more fabulous than you. Yet in your shining moment when you feel on top of the world, just remember that this is only for your defined period of time, and then you make way for the next person to step up to the plate and serve their purpose. This does not mean you’re washed up, it just means that you move on to your next life-fulfilling assignment.

Winners, Purpose, Life

Peter Griffin

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Raising the Dead?

Death, Dead, Life

Circe Denyer

He came back from the dead. She came back from the dead. It came back from the dead. Is this possible? The appearance of lifelessness does not necessarily mean that something is dead. Lethargy can mimic characteristics of death but is there such a thing as the dead really walking?

No, this is not an essay about the walking dead. You cannot bring someone or something back from the dead, because if we had that kind of divine power, many loved ones we miss dearly would not remain residents in cemeteries or tombs.

Life is not a sci-fi movie, although at times some mindsets believe that it is. If something is revived and comes back to life, it wasn’t dead, life was simply dormant and not pulsating or thriving at the time. We are not extraterrestrials with an ability to touch something or someone who is dead and bring them back to life just like that, as sometimes depicted in the movies.

One can feel lifeless inside, but when you swallow the vivacious nectar of life, hope, and faith, you become exuberant again. Take a plant, for example, that may appear to be a goner on the outside. Perhaps replanting it in new soil or a bigger pot, giving it water, sunlight or plant food may help to renew and revive it again.

C.S. Lewis spoke about many ballads and folk-tales alluding to the dead telling us that our mourning does them some kind of wrong. They beg us to stop it. Does this mean that we err to continue with our rituals of sorrow like visiting graves or perhaps keeping the bedroom of a departed loved one the same as if they were still alive? We can’t deny our sadness, but we can’t let it shut ‘our’ living down.

The inevitable is inevitable. Dead is beyond repair.  To salvage a life, the source of life has to still exist within, no matter how deep, in order to give something or someone the chance to grow and truly thrive once more.

In Search of the WOW Factor

Exotic Bird

George Hodan – Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura Victoria)

Think about those things that make you go “WOW.”

Boulder, Sequoia Park

TBridget Mac – Huge boulder at Sequoia Park, making a tunnel

My WOW has certainly evolved over the years. What I wowed about as a child is different from my wow as a teen. My wow as an adult continues to evolve into wows of simple, overlooked, awe-inspiring treasures.

Jezebel Butterfly

Jean Beaufort – Common Jezebel Butterfly on a Marigold

Sometimes we look for those over-the-top, extravagant, mindblowing creations and miss the spectacular “wows” and “whoa’s” that appear before our very eyes.

Lava, Volcano

Jean Beaufort – Flowing Hot Lava from a Volcano

Sometimes those wows can naturally depict the image of an ironsmith’s workshop through the flow of firebreathing lava.

Banyan Tree

Andrew Schmidt – Large, Banyan tree outside the zoo entrance in Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, HI

Or our wows can stem from gazing at the artistry of a banyan tree whose aerial branch roots cascade downward to build a village of intimate shelters.

ocean, lighthouse, birds

Karen Arnold – Sunset over the ocean with lighthouse, birds, and grass

Even in the midst of great storms our senses are zeroing in on mindboggling wow moments that teach priceless lessons! Sometimes those lessons are simple, tranquil and breathtaking moments. Moments that make you go ‘WOW!”

How Far Do You Search for a Miracle?

 Miracles, Life

Image Credit: fotoshop fs

Miracles!

Sometimes we are so busy looking for big marvels to appear when we want them to…something phenomenal and spectacular that materializes like a rabbit suddenly being pulled from a magician’s hat.

Miracles, Life

Image Credit: Anna Langova

Yet in our searching and wishing for the miracles we want to appear at any moment from our pleading and prayers, we fail to see the multitude of miracles that already surround us, those we fail to recognize and are incapable of truly acknowledging.

Life, butterflies, Miracles

Image Credit: Petr Kratochvil

Sometimes we are so eager to seek a miracle so great that we fail to see the beautiful miracle of life we possess inside of us.

Life, Miracles

Image Credit: mohamed mohamed mahmoud hassan

Joy Through the Trees: Thoughts from My Weekend Journal

Joy, Children, Discovery

Image Credit: Ken Kistler

I hear the jovial voices of children along a path behind the trees. I can’t seem them, nor can I hear what they are saying, but from the sounds of their voices, I hear expressions of discovery and remarkable intrigue. What are they ooohing and ahhhing about? What is creating such excitement so early on a weekend morning as their voices resonate with infectious inflections of joy?

While I don’t know the cause behind such excitement, I think they’ve taken a page from the birds, bees, spiders and other varmints seeking something new as the sun rises in our organic space, and the flow of life goes on. Time cannot stop the essence of glorious discoveries in the arms of the newness of life. Joy comes through the voices of the morning.

The Beauty of it All: Simple Pleasures Are the Best

Nature, Life, Simple Pleasures

Image Credit: Suzie Hudon

Life. All too often, we get wrapped up in formalities. We try to impress with our materialistic upgrades, dazzle our audience with bigwig name dropping or exalt the ear by using stealthy, arduous words to appear as scholastic geniuses and snobs.

There is nothing wrong with being an overachiever, although at times such levels can spur a sense of loneliness, unhappiness, stress, and alienation. How far would you go or how much would you give up to have what is truly valuable…time, love, and happiness? When you know you are coming to the end of your life, what questions would you ask yourself as you reflect on the life you lived?

Would you have valued your leisure time, your family ties, your health, and wellbeing, what you did to give back, to edify and educate? Would you recognize the value of those times you really did stop and smell the roses, orchids, honeysuckle or gardenias? Would you be happy for time well spent with those loved ones who are no longer around to talk to? Would you see yourself as a fruitful being, the caretaker of creation who was filled with joy, peace, and compassion for others who may have been the least of these?

I ask myself these questions to remain humble, grateful and purposeful. I stop and take in the simple pleasures of life. I watch the frolicking of squirrels, the buzzing, and busyness of bees, the quiet serenade of a butterfly’s wings, the buds of new flowers beginning to burst with radiance, the tranquil babbling of water in a nearby creek or the sweet harmony of birds singing in the shadows of surrounding trees. I rejoice in humble gratitude and embrace the beauty of it all…the simple pleasures of life!

Preoccupation: The Absence of Consciousness?

Consciousness, Communication, Life, Trance

Image Credit: George Hodan

Imagine walking down a crowded street of people who are sitting, standing idly, texting or merely walking in a trance where verbal conversation is absent or invasive. Suppose you walk down that crowded street where observation is an alien occurrence and the only sounds you hear is an occasional honk of a horn, the roaring engine of a transit bus or garbage truck emptying a dumpster, or the periodic sounds of steam hissing from an outdoor pipe?

Imagine walking down a crowded street where some people are facing forward but aren’t really looking at anything in particular. Others may be looking down at their digital devices or trying to avoid eye contact as much as possible. Have we been easily swayed into becoming accustomed to a misguided trance of life? Has preoccupation become the norm in the absence of consciousness?

How do you know where you’re going if you are unaware of where you are, and forgot where you’ve been? When there is no one to ask because no one is talking, do you discover they too are oblivious to where they are going because they have no idea where they are?