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You Matter. You are Worthy. You Make This World a Better Place

Updated: May 24, 2020

I've made sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I've gone on walks (I've walked to the post office to mail some art for my Toucan friends for their birthdays), and the vibrant greens and blooms everywhere are breathtaking. I've also gone on more backyard adventures with my cat. She's pretty funny. A new thing she started was trying to go through the fence to our neighbor's backyard (our neighbor has a bird feeder in the back). She kept trying to stick her paws through and climb the fence. When it didn't work, she'd start crying because she wanted the birds that much. She also decided to explore behind the shed. It was all well and good until our neighbor's dog decided to come watch her. The dog merely wished to watch--our neighbor told me that her dog loves cats. The dog didn't growl, bark, or make any moves. Just watched. My cat wasn't having it. She decided to just stand there and continuously hiss at the dog. The dog wasn't deterred, likely because it loves cats so much. As all my cat decided to do was hiss at the dog, I picked her up to alleviate the situation. My cat complained and hissed at me, even though she was happy when she was away from the dog. She's goofy, but she's been loving this outdoor time. She's also thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in with me during all of this, as I no longer have to get up for my 6:45 am before care shifts. She's been extra cuddly and snuggly.

The YouTube home page recommended another funny series to me out of the blue. It's a series about Mew & Mewtwo. It popped up, and I figured, sure why not? No regrets; it left me laughing each time. Here's the link to the first episode: "Don't wipe your hand on me." --Mewtwo. Here's episode two: "It was a wild Pidgey. You wouldn't have stood a chance."--Mewtwo. Here's episode three: "How is this child still alive? ... Why does your mother let you out of your house?"--Mewtwo.

I've began watching season 2 of Fruits Basket. I adore this show! It's so powerful and contains such meaningful messages. Kyo's biological father is wrapped up in a strong fear mentality and goes to Kazuma in attempt to convince him to go along with his plan; Kazuma remarks,

"You remind me of him. Kyo was like this, too, not long ago, so fragile and full of fear. The anxiety overwhelmed him, so he shut his eyes, plugged his ears, and left other people to deal with his feelings. However, he is finally beginning to change. He clawed his way out of despair and is ready to leave it behind. He's trying to grow. So, perhaps it's time for you to change as he has. You relentlessly persecute your son but never stop to examine your own conduct... I just can't help but wonder if it's fair, putting all the blame on him the way you do... Raising him has been a joy and an honor. I couldn't care less how much you threaten, cajole, or insult me. I will never cooperate with any attempt to confine Kyo... I will do what I must. No matter who I'm up against, I will protect him with my life. You're no real parent of his, so you'll never understand. He's my son, and I will keep him safe."

Fear has limits. You shut yourself off from the rest of the world, lacking trust. Many in the world right now feel immense fear, but we don't have to stay this way. Taking a reflective eye and reviewing our thoughts, beliefs, and actions can prove rather beneficial. Fear has a purpose, but don't let fear stop you from doing what's important to you. Don't let fear push your values out. Similarly, Shigure advises, "Picture this: you're surrounded by a mountain of laundry so immense you can't see over the top of it, and what's worse--you have no washing machine, so you'll have to do it all by hand. Obviously, you're overwhelmed. You look around you, and the doubts start flooding in. Will you be able to clean it all? How long will it take? Can you do it well enough? And the more you think, the more anxious you get. Time ticks by, but you feel paralyzed. So, what do you do now, Tohru? If you ask me, your best bet is to start washing the laundry that's at your feet. It's important to think about what's ahead, but if you focus on that too much, you'll trip over what's right in front of you. Keep washing, one piece of laundry at a time, and before you know it there you'll be, staring up at the sun and a bright blue sky. And, sure, you'll still get anxious sometimes, but when that happens, just take a little break, read a book, watch some TV, and if all else fails, eat somen with your friends."

There's a lot going on, and it can be easy to get caught up in all the what-ifs. Plenty of things could happen. That doesn't mean that they will. It does you no good to become overwhelmed in all the what-ifs. Looking at everything that needs to be done, everything that needs to be fixed or changed, it can be debilitating. Just take things one step at a time. You can only get things done by completing each task, one by one. Slowly but surely, you'll check the items off the to-do list. Break it into sections and pieces that are manageable. Everyone can feel overwhelmed, but everyone also can overcome this feeling. Everyone has purpose; your existence is meaningful. Inside of the shop he created Ayame admits, "The truth is what I wanted was to create something. For all that I possess, innate grace, incredible charisma, even I lack confidence at times, and that's when the urge to create is at its strongest." Everyone is human and experiences times where they falter. We still have the strength to get back up. Acknowledging this, Mine Kuramae remarks, "He [Ayame] claims that he could have easily ended up as a chef or a gardener, but dress-making just happened to suit him best. What mattered was proving to himself that he had the ability to create, regardless what it was he made. That's all he wanted." The what isn't always as important as the why. Find the why of your life and what brings you joy. Everyone has that why; we just need to uncover it. Ayame continues,

"I just had to know that I could make something with my own hands. I wanted tangible proof that I had added to the world and not merely taken. There's a certain comfort in that. It makes me feel needed, knowing there's something out there that wouldn't exist if not for me. Yuki, just remember that whatever our parents say, your own feelings are what matter; those are what should ultimately guide you. It'll be okay. You aren't on your own in this. No one is. Even I have someone, who is always there for me. It will be okay. I swear. You are nobody's tool, and you're not as alone as you think."

No matter what happens, you matter. There's a reason you are here. There is no accident in you being born, and you are worthy of abundance and success. You're not alone; people care about you. Assemble a supportive team of people who want to see you thrive; these people love you for who you are rather than what you have. Even if those people don't always understand you, they will lovingly support you, nonetheless. Yuki and Ayame, brothers, discuss Yuki's acceptance of the role as Student Council President; Ayame believes that Yuki accepted to be more like him, but Yuki admits, "The real reason I took the job was because I didn't want to do it." Ayame: "What does that mean? It seems like a rather perplexing way to behave." Yuki: "I wouldn't expect someone like you to understand. Just like I don't understand this shop or the things you sell here. Our ways of thinking about the world are just so at odds with each other. Perhaps, we might be too fundamentally different to get along." Ayame: "Indeed, you may very well be right." Yuki: "Then why do you sound so happy?!" Ayame: "There's no reason to be discouraged. Many obstacles can be overcome if you're but willing to make an effort!" Yuki: "You're the one who needs to make an effort here..." Ayame: "Cheeky boy, despite what you might think, I'm a diligent worker!" Yuki: "I don't know what you want from me. I just don't." Ayame: "I'm sorry. You're right. This does make me happy, seeing you get so worked up. You feel something, and you're letting me see it. So, we don't get along. We're oil and water, but what does that matter? See, I was born having what you lack. Likewise, you were born having what I lack. I think you and I are foils of one another. Your kindness and your fragility are things I cherish. No doubt, you feel the same about my noble bearing, effortless charm, and unparalleled magnetism, and, honestly, who could blame you for that?!" At the end of the day, differences aren't what really matter. What matters most is the feelings and sentiments we hold; the love, the willingness to work together and try to understand. Differences are important because the world needs all kinds of plants, animals, and people. Willing to help and support one another is what will allow all of us to thrive. Understanding will come in time, little by little, with continued effort. Maybe we won't understand completely, but we can come to an acceptance and appreciation for who others are. Ayame remarks to Mine about his conversation with Yuki, "Ah, I had fun, but I'm afraid that once again I'm the only one who enjoyed our time together." Even though he and his brother are different, Yuki also admits to Tohru, "After today I think I understand a little more about my brother. He's a caricature of a person. Everything he says and does is overly dramatic, but I'm starting to realize I just need to accept that. There's no other way to deal with him. If I get sucked into his head space, I'll end up exhausted. It's kind of depressing now that I say it out loud... but I'm still glad that I came." We can make a difference if we try, if we give ourselves and others the chance. We need to have an open mind and believe that it's possible. If we decide that it's impossible, conceding to that reality, it will never happen, much like how if Yuki and Ayame had yielded to the idea of being too different to get along or understand each other. The possibilities are endless if we are willing to sincerely try.

Similarly, I've looked into the Gaia channel on YouTube, and it's provided a lot of food for thought. One of the episodes talked about healing (they shared that they've managed to heal through things such as Zoom meetings now); the guest, Candace Silvers, stressed, "It's not people saying, 'I can do more.' It's just doing what's in front of you. It cost me nothing to lead a free class for one hour once a week, but thousands of people were helped. It doesn't have to be that big of a deal. It has to be what's going on in front of you." Many people likely feel like they can't make a difference because they feel like they don't have the power or resources to accomplish any grand feat (such as eliminating world hunger, curing disease, bringing about world peace, etc.). As Candace Silvers emphasized, if we just took the initiative to help where we can, to help where we see help is needed, regardless of how small, that's how we will make a difference and change the world into a better place. All the little actions of kindness and love add up to create something massive.

While there have been some less than ideal developments with certain people, I received confirmation this week that I made a significant positive impact where it mattered most. I received a package from Amazon this week, and it confused me as I hadn't ordered anything. I looked at the package prior to opening it, trying to figure out what it could possibly be. It didn't work, so I decided to open it. It was a gift card. This really confused me as I don't normally order gift cards, and I haven't ordered one in quite some time. There was nothing in the gift card box to explain what it would be for (and there was nothing in my order history). I decided to double-check the envelope package it came in to see if there were any clues. Upon checking again I found a slip of paper saying thanks from the Toucan class. It touched my heart. The room mom sent a note, sharing, "The kiddos love you and thank you for all you did as their teacher & friend!" It warms my soul to know that my presence and actions left this lasting positive impact on all these sweet little Toucans. I felt that this was the case, but it's so nice to have confirmation that I was able to make this difference. Similarly, I received a thank you email this week about sending birthday art to one of the Toucans: "Thank you Ms. Jessica for the birthday card you sent. Thank you for all you have done throughout the year and for all the love and support especially during these difficult times."  His mom shared his hard work and rendition of the artwork. It was so sweet. Sometimes, it really is the "little" things that make the most difference.

There have been a lot of synchronicity in my life. There have been a lot of signs that I need to move on to bigger things in my life. In order for new things to come in to life, however, you need space for it, which might mean letting go of the old to make room for the new. Back in November I received signs from Frozen 2 to go into the Unknown and step into my own power. November also brought The Rising of the Shield Hero, emphasizing the importance of rising above whatever circumstances you find yourself in, even if those around you lie and accuse you of wrongs that you have not committed; other people can't define you--only you can. I think back to the Chinese New Year and how it's now the year of the rat: a year of new beginnings and prosperity. Yona of the Dawn addressed breaking out of the old life and transforming yourself to embody your true potential; Yona goes from a princess, lavished and ignorant of the world, to a powerful world-changer that cares for all of her people. She doesn't let what others perceive to be the facts limit her in what she can do (i.e. that she's a frail girl). In Noragami Yato deals with discovering who he truly is and who he truly wants to be, afraid of being forgotten if he strays from the path others have laid out for him. In Ascendance of a Bookworm Main doesn't let her circumstances or failures along her journey to create a book stop her. She may become discouraged for a brief time, but she picks herself back up again, and by persevering she gets closer to reading and obtaining her precious books each day. There's the subject matter of restarting anew as the characters work on recreating the world in Dr. Stone. Magi stresses the importance of being true to yourself and following your heart, as Ugo emphasizes, "If you travel wherever your heart leads you, you'll be sure to find the reason you were born. You'll meet a lot of people and gradually discover who you are because that's how you're being shown the way." Sinbad in Magi/Magi: Adventure of Sinbad goes against the odds to create his own kingdom and works to change the world into one of peace, togetherness, and cooperation. He does not allow the outside forces deter him from his goals, and he makes these goals a reality. Similarly, in Animal Crossing New Horizons you start from scratch, creating and developing your own island. Re:Creators emphasized the importance of not standing still, indecisive, and to give it your all so you can shine brightly. It also addressed the concept of "stable" jobs; Aki Kikuchihara ends up leaving her secure job with the government to pursue what interests her instead.

Similarly, this week I've encountered a variety of information and media, and while watching a video about Prince from Fact Fiend, they expounded upon never going back to the "dark days," attesting, "It's safe to say now that neither of us will go back to doing a 'proper,' sit-down, 9-5 job." Society often places the traditional 9-5 jobs on a pedestal, showcasing those jobs as respectable roles to strive for. Granted, there's nothing inherently wrong with those jobs, but it's not the ideal job for everyone. Beauty and the Beast's Belle (the song) appeared in one of the videos I watched this week, which surprised me as I hadn't expected it, but it added to the synchronicity. Belle admits,

"Every day Like the one before... Every morning just the same... There must be more than this provincial life! ...I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand To have someone understand; I want so much more than they've got planned."

Typical jobs aren't inherently bad, in fact, they can be essential to the working of society; as such, thank you to all the essential works that continue working through all of this! Not everyone wants that job, though; there are people who feel called elsewhere. Society often convinces these people that they should "play it safe" and keep their secure job with benefits. How many people dread waking up to go into their 9-5 job, though? How many people are honestly happy with their current job? There's nothing wrong with having or wanting a 9-5 job, but there also isn't anything wrong with wanting more than that. There's nothing wrong with wanting to seek employment that has a deeper meaning, one that maybe changes the world for the better in some way, shape, or form. We shouldn't buy into the story society sells about not wanting more. As Ralph Smart emphasizes, "Why settle for a tight squeeze when you can have a perfect fit?" Why settle for less than you want? Why settle for something that isn't the right fit? If you only have one life to live as you as you are, why not make the most of it and create the very best for yourself? Ralph Smart from Infinite Waters touched upon not dying with your song still inside you (; life is like a wave, and no two waves are exactly alike--many opportunities will present themselves to you, but the same exact opportunity will never appear twice. Make the most of your life, do what you love, and share your talents/insights while you can. Additionally, Ralph Smart reminds, "They are afraid of the truth getting out there. What is the truth? That we are free beings. We are sovereign beings. Being free is our birthright... They may call you a conspiracy theorist, but they created that term to silence people who were telling the truth. So continue to speak your truth....They're scared of us. Why? Because they tried to bury us, deep divers, but they forgot we were seeds." Just because you happen to find yourself in a dark place doesn't mean that good can't come from it; it's only by being buried inside of the soil that seeds can sprout and bloom. Blossom into your best self, whatever that happens to look like. Don't let others silence you. Don't let them dull your shine. You came here for a reason. You came here to make some difference, whether on a large scale or a smaller scale of those around you. Candace Silvers stressed the importance of doing what you can, what feels right to you, what's in front of you, even if it feels like you can do more because it could very well end up helping countless people; it might not seem like that big a deal, but what you do to help others, regardless of how big or small, could be priceless in value. After Skool's video, Best Insights from Alan Watts, Jordan Peterson, Elon Musk, Aristotle, Eckhart Tolle, Joe Rogan &More, ( addressed topics concerning how life is not a journey with a destination, you should pursue purpose and a life worth living, and the importance of understanding your why behind doing things. After Skool asserts, "Life does not happen to you. It happens for you. 5% is what happens, and 95% is how you react" (Tony Robbins). Perception is key. I also stumbled upon a Ted Talk on the YouTube home page: "Saying YES! to your Weirdness | JP Sears | TEDxCardiffbytheSea" ( This Ted Talk emphasized the importance of uncovering the true self by embracing and embodying your unique weirdness. Your weirdness is what makes you special, and it is your gift. We learn to seek the approval of others, but this often leads to hiding our true self in hopes of being accepted. This talk asks the audience, "Are you willing to risk saying yes to being you?" Aaron Doughty, in his recent video: "2020 is going to be HUGE for Anyone that knows these 3 things..."( notes that this year will be a year of change, recognizing that in order to branch out into new things you need more energy and might need to stop doing things you used to do as much. Aaron admits,

"I believe that 2020 is also a year of applying what you may kind of already feel within yourself, and don't judge yourself. Sometimes I judge myself, 'Oh, I should have already been doing this, and why do I know this but then I'm still not actually applying this...' Sometimes there's some stories or blocks that might be there, that might be keeping us from really branching out, and 2020 is a year of branching out towards the vision. 2020 vision... It's now about me stepping into the unknown, which sometimes might be a little scary as I put more energy into that... it's this realization that the paradigm you're at—it may be time to take it to another level, and if you're doing the same things everyday, thinking the same thoughts everyday, feeling the same emotions everyday that you did in 2019, then 2020 may be the year of you breaking out of that shell, doing something that you've never done before and trusting that process, too. The unknown sometimes comes with a perception of risk, but I think that 2020 is really gonna be powerful."

The old can't coincide with the new; the unknown holds so much potential, but the perceived risk can stop people in their tracks. While fear has it's role, we shouldn't let it dictate the course of our lives. Can we truly live a life worth living by living a fearful life? Can we make the most of life, savoring all of its splendors this way? If we constantly live in fear, we cannot be our true self.

Similarly, I came across a Ted Talk on YouTube this week called: "The art of being yourself | Caroline McHugh | TEDxMiltonKeynesWomen" ( Caroline McHugh begins her Ted Talk, acknowledging, "I believe that social reformation begins and always starts with the individual." This coincides with the concept of as above, so below, as within, so without; changing who you are on the inside changes the world on the outside. Caroline McHugh points out,

"When you look at remarkable individuals—and when I say remarkable or successful individuals, I don't mean monetarily successful; I mean people that have been successful at achieving whatever they set out to do. You'll find that the thing they have in common is they have nothing in common... [but] I've identified the thread that links them. These are individuals who've managed to figure out the unique gift that the universe gave them when they incarnated and then put that at the service of their goals. I think that we all come complete. We come complete with one true note we were destined to sing, and these are people that have managed to figure that out. It doesn't dictate your choice of job; what it dictates is how you do it. When we see these people, we invariably call them larger than life... which always makes me smile because how could you be larger than life? Life is large, but most of us don't take up nearly the space the universe intended for us. We take up this wee space around our toes, which is why when you see somebody in the full flow of their humanity, it's remarkable. They're at least a foot bigger in every direction than normal human beings, and they shine, they gleam, they glow; it's like they've swallowed the moon... Now your job is not to be anything like any of the people... In fact your job is to be as unlike them as you can possibly be. Your only job while you're here on the planet is to be as good at being you as they are at being them. That's the deal."

People often wish to be successful, but to be successful, you need to put for the effort. You need to put the effort into the right intentions and actions. People often prefer to play it safe, which often means hiding the true self. It's hard to shine when you hide who you are. They often say, "Fake it till you make it." Why fake it? Why fake who you are? Will you find happiness in that kind of life? Who are you? Who are you really? Caroline McHugh attests, "This is a question that's been looking for you your whole life. It's probably the simplest and the most complicated question you'll ever ask. Yet how many times in your life has somebody offered you that well-meaning piece of advice that you should just be yourself? How many times have you said it to somebody else? ... Now it always resonates because it's all we want to do." We all want to be ourselves, but we forget how to be ourselves and become convinced that being our true self is a bad thing. She emphasizes, "When it comes to being yourself, when it comes to being in the world, the minute you showed up, the minute you incarnated, you were given a life sentence. Now, you don't know how long you've got... We've no idea how long we've got... So what I want you to think about is not what your life expectancy is, but what do you expect from life? And what does life expect from you?" What is it that you want to do? What do you want to accomplish? Are you already doing what you want or is something stopping you? If something is stopping you, why is it stopping you? If you knew that today was your last day, would that reason still stop you from doing what you want? We weren't always scared of being our true self. Caroline McHugh points out,

"When you're a kid, you're fantastic at being yourself because you don't know how to disguise your different-ness... The other place you're fantastic at being yourself is when you're a wrinkley because you can't be arsed. You get to that stage in your life when you realize there are more summers behind you than there are in front of you, and everything intensifies. You become more honest; you become less compromising... We call these people 'eccentric.' ...In fact, what they're doing is being authentic. So it's kind of like an hourglass effect: when you're young, you're great at being yourself; when you're old you're great at being yourself, but the bit in the middle is sometimes the most problematic. That's the bit where you have to socialize, you have to accommodate, you have to adapt... Society archetype emerges around about the age of five, six, seven, eight... and from then on you become more self-conscious and by default less good at being yourself."

Is it a bad thing to be different? Think about if all the plants in the world were the same; is that a world you would like to live in? It's the differences between the plants, the animals, and everything in the world that strengthens the world. These differences and niches are what allow the world to exist and thrive. The differences fill in for the weaknesses and skills/traits that the one plant or animal lack. Why would it be any different for people? Just because people are different doesn't mean any one person is better or worse than another. Each has it's role, purpose, and importance like plants and animals. Caroline McHugh uses Jill Scott as an example, quoting her, "We all have our own thing--that's the magic, and everybody comes with their own sense of strength and their own queendom. Mine could never compare to hers, and hers could never compare to mine." Why compare yourself to another? You are unique individuals that have your own traits, skills, and experiences. No two people are exactly the same, even if you have similar experiences, talents, skills, and/or traits. Caroline McHugh stresses, "You didn't even know you had a queendom. That's what it looks like. When you figure out how to be yourself, it's an incredibly liberating, untragic way to go through life. You don't develop an identity that's predicated on being a patchwork personality. You're not a composite, an amalgam, of all your experiences and influences. You're not just somebody's boss, or somebody's mom, or anybody's anything. You're yourself." You're yourself, and there's nobody else you should be. It's all you ever need to be. It's so freeing to be your true self. Step into the power of being you. Recognizing that isn't the reality for many people, Caroline McHugh asserts,

"However, the chances are... the most visible 'you' that you represent to the outside world is what everybody else thinks of you, and there are as many opinions of you as there are people... it's important that you understand perception... 'approval addiction:' the need to be liked, the need for approbation or recognition, or for somebody to tell you it's okay... When it comes to being yourself, needing other people's approval, loving somebody else's opinion and mistaking it for your own, is one of the most debilitating things you'll do on the road to being yourself. You will never, ever be perception-less, but it's important to be perception-free."

Wanting love isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but changing yourself to be loved is problematic. As Caroline McHugh points out, there are innumerable opinions and perspectives of you; how can you be all of those things at once? It'd be exhausting to constantly change and switch personas, and you'd lose yourself. How can you know who you are if you live by other's perceptions? Other people view you through the lens of themselves. Do you want to give the power to determine who you are to others? That's not to say that other people are bad or unworthy by any means, but it's your story. Shouldn't you be the author? Caroline McHugh recommends,

"One of the things that is going to help you to be perception-free is to tune in to... your wish image. This is what you would like everybody else to think of you, and it's not about being fake, or fad, or pretending. It's about moving. It's about possibility. It's about potential. It's about supposition... This one is your adaptive personality, your construct self, and even that's unique because nobody in the world has had the same experiences or influences that you have. But this is the you that keeps moving, that keeps changing all the time, and it helps you avoid being one of those people... They literally repeat themselves, year after year after year. What I want you to think about is with every passing year, your job is to be better and better at being who you already are. This is not a cosmetic exercise. You're already different. Your job is to figure out how and then to be more of that."

What makes you unique? What talents, skills, and interests do you have that allow you to stand out and make a difference in the world? You have all you need already; you just need to tap into it. Life is full of change, and Caroline McHugh notes,

"Now there are certain times in your life that lend themselves to change, that make change quicker, deeper. I call them intervals of possibility... you sense that the potential for change is heightened... you have to decide what you're going to do... and you know that if you make that change, the speed of your life will change. Unfortunately, some of these interventions, some of these intervals of possibility, are catastrophic. In fact most of them are catastrophic because most of us would rather sleepwalk until something happens to wake us up... but something happens that rocks you back into that inner self, and makes you ask the question, ['Who do you think you are?'] The problem is when it happens catastrophically is you're vulnerable; you're weak. And my question is, why wouldn't you ask yourself these questions when you're strong? ... When you're in a job, when you're loved--that's when the questions become most useful. So the question on this one is, 'If you could be the woman [or person] of your dreams, who would you be?' ... The thing that might stop you being the woman of your dreams is... what you think of you."

Even though you have everything you need already, you trip yourself up. You let thoughts dictate the course of your life. Thoughts aren't inherently bad or wrong, but you are not your thoughts. You think your thoughts; you are the thinker--you are not the thoughts themselves. Caroline McHugh remarks,

"So now you've got what everybody else thinks of you, what you would like everybody else to think of you, and this is what you think of you. And you have good days and bad days, right? [Days where everything goes right and days where nothing goes right]? ... Those are two extremes of your ego, and one of them is about self-congratulation and the other one is about self-castigation. Now your entire life... from birth up until now has been about building a stable relationship with your ego... Your challenge is to take the ego from its dominant position and pull it back, so that it's in service to yourself. That's when it becomes useful, and in order to do that you've got to find the still point right in the middle of those two extremes. That's what I would call equanimity, or equilibrium, and it's the kind of state of mind that cannot be perfumed in any way by anything that happens outside of you. This kind of confidence that comes from there is like the confidence of the sky... even in the stormiest of days, the sky's brilliant blue underneath... The sky just is because the sky sees the impermanence of the clouds and the impermanence of the rainbows, and you have to develop an inner state of mind that's as impervious to all the good shit and bad shit that happens to you as the sky is to the weather... we would call this feeling a feeling of humility... 'Humility is not thinking less of yourself; humility is thinking about yourself less.'"

You are worthy, but everyone and everything is worthy. You hold worth because you were born, because you exist. The universe makes no mistakes. You are an integral part of all existence. You are who you are; you are part of the ever-present I am. You are not your thoughts. You are not your body. You exist inside your body, and you think the thoughts. You are consciousness. You are awareness. No matter what happens in life, this will never change. Caroline McHugh emphasizes, "The last... is the ever-present, unchanging you. This is the you that you've been since you were seven and the you that you'll be when you're one hundred and seven... you're a spiritual being who happens to be in a physical body." Many things will happen in your life. There will be joys, surprises, challenges, and change. This life of yours allows your being to explore and learn; life is a journey for spiritual growth. Caroline McHugh concludes,

"Gandhi was getting on a train, and the journalist called after him, 'Gandhiji, Gandhiji, what's your message to the world?' And Gandhi turned around and said, 'My life. My life's my message.' And your life is your message, too. It might not be as big a message as Gandhi's--mine certainly isn't--but your life has to be your message. Otherwise, why are you here? It's not like you've got a spare. So when you think about your identity, when you think about what it means to be alive, when you think about why you deserve to exist, you're not your thoughts because you think them. And you can't be your feelings because, otherwise, who's the you that feels them? You're not what you have. You're not what you do. You're not even who you love or who loves you. There has to be something underneath all that. When you look at people, who have managed to transcend all these judgments that we put upon them... Even when you're born without many of the attributes that some of your peers may have, even when you're born in a way that may lead you to feel impotent, if you can tap into that voice, if you can tap into that inner voice that I've been talking about, you might just end up being at 12 years old the youngest person ever called to the National World Champion Swim Team. You might even end up at the age of 13 being the youngest Olympian gold medal winner, ever. You might even end up at 14 being the youngest person ever to get an MBE. That's what happens when you dial in to the personal pronoun. So if you can do this, not only will the speed of your life get quicker, not only will the substance of your life get richer, but you will never feel superfluous again."

Not taking the chance, not overcoming the "risk" of being your true self will only serve to contain yourself. You will be smaller than you truly are. There is so much we can do if we give ourselves the chance, if we listen to that inner voice. Don't dull your shine. There's no way you came here to live a lackluster life. You came here to live your life to the fullest, enjoying everything life has to offer and tapping into your wishes and gifts.

All of this seems to be the universe screaming at me to follow the path dealing with self-employment, whether that be an art business, a community service project/organization, or both. Corliss has told me that I should have my own art business for years, declaring that if she had a pinkie's worth of my talent, she could make a killing. She's encouraged me to follow through with my picture book ideas. Corliss and I have also been discussing the desire to make a significant positive impact on the community/world; there's plenty of areas that could use assistance. We've talked about providing education/care for children, but we've also discussed starting a place where struggling individuals and families can live, that would have meditation services, a self-run garden, necessities, etc. A sign that we received for this idea was me walking in one day to the lunchtime story for Afternoon Extras; it was The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams by Tanya Lee Stone. Jane Addams had created a safe home for others in a poor community, which is what we would like to do--it was if the universe was informing us that it had been done before, so there should be no problem in doing it again. I have always enjoyed art and community service. I do love education. It feels like staying in the traditional school setting is not where I'm needed most right now, though; it feels like life needs me to do something greater (not that working as a traditional educator is any small feat). It feels like I'm being urged to step out of the comfort of the stable job of an educator and to start thinking and working on a grander scale. I don't know what exactly the future holds as I step into this unknown, but there's a reason for everything. There's something I'm meant to accomplish, and it feels like I will be unable to achieve it if I stay as I am now and keep things the same. This new chapter will not fit in with the old, previous one. Both chapters are important, but there's not enough space for them to occur simultaneously. It can be difficult letting go, but change doesn't have to be a bad thing. Great things can come from change, even if it doesn't appear to be the case at first. I'll need to do a lot of reflecting, organizing of thoughts, and planning. Corliss and I are going to do a lot of in-depth discussions and research in the near future. We're not content to let our goals and aspirations remain as thoughts and intentions--we want to bring them into the realm of reality (the goal right now is the end of this summer). We are very intent of stepping into our true power and showing the world who we are. This year is definitely a year of new beginnings, and we foresee the prosperity of all in the near future. It's going to require some work, time, and effort, but it is definitely attainable.

Every time I turn on the radio recently, I hear "Peace Be Still" by The Belonging Co. I feel this is another sign. "Peace Be Still" attests,

"I don't want to be afraid Every time I face the waves… I don't want to fear the storm Just because I hear the roar…

I'm not gonna be afraid

'Cause these waves are only waves… I'm not gonna fear the storm You are greater than it's roar… I'm not gonna fear at all."

This makes me think of Sinbad declaration: "Whether humans or oceans, both things are like the waves! And no wave is stronger than me!" We are much stronger than we often believe. Thoughts and beliefs have power; they can allow us to rise up or fall short. Similarly, it makes me think of Caroline McHugh's comparison of people to the sky: "This... is like the confidence of the sky... even in the stormiest of days, the sky's brilliant blue underneath... The sky just is because the sky sees the impermanence of the clouds and the impermanence of the rainbows, and you have to develop an inner state of mind that's as impervious to all the good shit and bad shit that happens to you as the sky is to the weather." There's no need to fear the storm; your life is still the brilliant blue underneath. The storm will pass. The storm is impermanent. You are bigger than the storm. You are greater than the waves. Ralph Smart emphasizes, "We are the power. We always were, and we always will be... Everything outside of you is an illusion. The only true world is the world within you. We are the power." We can give our power away to external forces or we can reclaim our power. It's your choice. What is it that you want to do? Keep in mind Christopher Robin's advice: "Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." You are a powerful co-creator of your reality; if you step into your power, there's nothing you set your mind to that you can't achieve. Artemis from God's School/The Olympian Gods on YouTube remarks, "Sometimes you must take a step outside of your world in order to find yourself." Staying inside the same routine will make it difficult to learn new things about yourself. Venturing into the unknown can be uncomfortable and seem scary, but it's the only way to grow. At the end of the day, though, it's your choice to make. Make the choice that feels right to you; it's your life, and you get to write your story.

I wish you all well; stay blessed, my friends!

For those interested, below is more food for thought:

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