The House 2009
This week we look forward to the start of a new year, untouched, like a slate that is unmarked and clean, just waiting for us to paint our thoughts and impressions onto it. Many of us will start to compile a list of New Year resolutions…setting goals for 2009. For a lot of us, by the end of January many of those goals start to unravel, and we become discouraged, wondering why we should continue on the course that looked so bright at the beginning.
I think if we approach the New Year with a different perspective and keep a symbol or image in our minds it may be easier to stay focused and navigate the road ahead. I approach the New Year as a builder, a person who sees a piece of land, and the possibilities that can come forth. I look at the formulation of my goals, hopes, and dreams as a house…a beautiful shining building that by the end of the year I can be proud of. A builder needs tools, not just hammers and nails but Faith, encouragement, conviction and the belief that when you put your mind to it, anything is possible.
In January we start the foundation…we make sure it is strong and has the potential to hold what we place upon it. We make sure there are no cracks. Each proceeding month we add to our house…floor by floor we put in the plumbing, the electrical wiring, the heating system, etc. Sometimes we make mistakes, one room may not be wired right, so we go back, repair the damage and continue on. By the Spring, we see that our house is off the ground and rising. The contributions we have made to our house are beginning to show. People pass by and are amazed how fast the house is starting to come together…but little do they see the problems that we encountered to get to our level. So on we go, each day building brick by brick with the sky above us…and with each brick a feeling of accomplishment comes over us and a better understanding of the mistakes we have made so that we try not to make them again. God looks down and sees a person trying to push forward with a house of meaning and purpose. A badly built house with a weak foundation won’t stand very long…but a good house can last forever. God understands how hard it is to built good houses.
By the Fall, our floors are completed, and we are about to add our roof. We want a roof that will not leak, that can take the elements. If we have done all our work and done it well, by the end of the year we will be standing in front of a house amazed that we were able to accomplish this once monumental task. We look at each brick and floor and see a story. We see the set-backs and the over comings. It is possible to build a good house, God willing, with the right tools, and determination…All things are possible.
Good Luck with your house,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2009 Jennifer Avalon
Together / Alone
Each year during this Holiday Season quite a few families get together to exchange presents and to share kind words. Also during this season a number of people find themselves alone. I thought this year to make a few suggestions in how to make the holidays more enjoyable and reflective.
One of the most important things for us to do on this holiday and all holidays is to preserve the memories of these occasions. If possible make sure there is a camera available….or, even better, have a video camera. While these devices are recording they may not appear to seem like treasured moments at the time, but as the months and years roll by they become priceless documents of our lives. Around the trees and fireplaces feel free to share family stories….a wonderful way to fill the home and surroundings with laughter. Many of us only get to see certain friends and family members around the holidays. Make the most of it, and remember to share some Love because as we all know, someone next year may be missing.
For those of us out there alone this time of year don’t wallow in despair….create your own celebration. Go to the store, shop for some goodies, rent a video…and head home to sit back on the couch and surround yourself in your own atmosphere. Some other suggestions for those by themselves…..turn on the trusty old computer, visit some of your favorite websites, or send an E-mail or place a phone call to a few friends. One nice way to never feel alone is to have a pet…bird, dog, cat, goldfish, etc. They become family. If you need to get out of the house, and feel the urge to give, visit a children’s hospital with stories or gifts, or help serve food at your local church or synagogue…there are people much worse off then you.
Many of us are blessed, but because of our problems we forget. We as human beings are only really here for a short while. Embrace those you love, cherish the memories, try not to dwell on the “down” moments…there always seems enough of them to go around! even during the happiest of times. This Holy season is a perfect time to look back and plan ahead……and give thanks.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from my heart to yours,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
Stay the Course
We all have our goals, dreams and ambitions. We all want to succeed at something, somewhere along the way in life. In most cases, it is rarely mentioned that the road to success doesn’t necessarily come easy. Flashed before us each day on television are an array of personalities labeled “the best that can be.” But as we peel back the covers, the stories are revealed to show that the climb up the ladder was not always smooth. Perhaps it is true “good things never come easy,” but they can and do happen.
I could sit here and say that once you set in motion a plan or a goal, that everything is going to go your way and family and friends will be so happy that they will leap for joy and unconditionally give their support. Yes, many of us do have friends and family that do smile with approval, but just as many don’t. That’s just plain reality. As the Bible quotes “The Truth shall set you free.” Once we accept this scenario, the defense mechanisms are in place to protect us from most surprises that come our way. Our expectations stay grounded. An example is a story I heard from my local convenience store owner, Jack. About ten years ago one of his customers won three million dollars in the state lottery. The first thing his customer did with his winnings, believe it or not, was to purchase the most expensive, best-looking hairpiece for his head. It always bothered him that he had lost his hair at an early age. So Jack said to the lucky-winner “Oh boy, I bet you lost alot of friends since you’ve won the money.” A sadness came over the winner’s face. He said, “Friends I have, it’s family I lost.” He went on to mention, “You would not believe how many people hit me up for money in my family. I never expected this to happen…..but if I realistically gave everything that they asked for all the money would be gone. Not only do you hear from brothers and sisters, but also second and third cousins whom you’ve never met.” What the winner eventually decided to do was to set up a living trust fund for his children and grandchildren. He had to accept the fact that from here on in some in the family would not have a kind word to say about him. Many of us, once in awhile, purchase a lottery ticket…but do we ever stop to think, or are we prepared, for what can happen if we win? The same can be said for our own successes….just be prepared.
The backbone of most endeavors is hard work, planning, and determination. Sometimes we may feel like we have a hundred people with us….other times we feel totally alone. What keeps us going is faith, belief, and focus. These are the ingredients that can sustain us through any storm. Hell may break loose around us, but if we “stay the course” we will not lose sight of our destination.
We’re really not much different from trains, boats and airplanes. They start their journey toward a destination…..and onboard are maps, time schedules, weather information, etc. Before setting off they must know where they’re heading and expect to arrive. To the best of their ability, they are determined to get there.
Life IS a journey…..choose the ride wisely.
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
Stop the World I Want to Get Off
Every one of us at some point in our lives gets overwhelmed by the pressures of everyday life. In many cases family and friends depend on us to carry out our daily duties in a timely fashion. Things don’t always run smoothly, and one mistake can spill over to others, and before too long our mountain of errors can look like something that is almost impossible to overcome. We become our own worst critic. Life is not perfect….we are not perfect, and at some point it’s okay to say “Time out, I need a break.”
A car can be driven for miles, but eventually the gas tank has to be refueled…so too the body and soul. To take time out doesn’t mean you’re a “quitter”..it’s not a sign of failure. Even the most successful people will tell you, to get to the next level sometimes you have to recharge the batteries, to provide the thrust to soar through the clouds. The body can only be driven so far without a rest…after awhile judgment becomes hazy, and the immune system, on overload, finds it harder and harder to keep things running healthy. Perhaps inside our bodies are meters that can easily tilt towards the red. It’s up to each one of us to not let that happen…to “cool the engines.” We can only go so far on “overload.”
Each week plan ahead….jot down each day the important things you want to accomplish and while doing so ask yourself, is this too much for me today? Probably you are the only one who understands what you have to accomplish on a daily basis….be kind to yourself. We all ride on this merry-go-round of life….some can take going around ten times without a break, while others can only handle five. It’s a wise person who knows when to say “I need a rest.”
We love our friends, we love our families…we want to be good citizens…we don’t want to let anyone down. Sometimes these tasks become difficult for any human being. We watch the evening news and after awhile our minds start tuning out. We read the daily newspapers and more and more find ourselves gravitating towards the entertainment and sports sections. Why? Maybe it’s our mind’s way of saying “I can only take so much.” We can’t stop the world, but we can stop ourselves from overloading on it. Whose life is it, anyway?
Rest and Relax,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
People As Liquids
The way we look at people is very much influenced by our upbringing and role models. We seem to have quite a few preconceived ideas at formulating and predicting who people are and how they will affect our lives. Bad experiences tend to leave unpleasant memories and enjoyable experiences leave us with memories that warm the heart. Life can get confusing at times…it’s very easy to mistake what’s good as bad, and what’s bad as good. Ultimately we must find ways to develop detours around these, in some cases, damaged perceptions of our minds.
It may sound a little strange, but sometimes we have to trick our minds in order to open the pathways to true perception. One way to do this is to look at people as liquids. Example, if you meet somebody for the first time, look at them…what kind of liquid, meaning flavor, color, and fragrance do they have to you? It becomes very interesting when we look at people as liquids because you are using forms of sensory perception you don’t normally use. Most of the time when we meet people we observe what they’re wearing, their hairstyle and sexual appeal, etc……generally surface input. These things rarely show who the person truly is…the “essence” of who they are. Just because somebody doesn’t know how to color-coordinate their clothing doesn’t mean they’re stupid…it’s just something they didn’t learn or it wasn’t important to them. What matters here is who do we allow to enter into our lives on a long-term basis. I recently read an article that mentioned that up to ninety percent of your happiness can be based on who you choose as a mate. As you can imagine, these relationships have a profound affect on our lives. If you meet someone and see them as a liquid that has a metallic, bitter taste, and then you meet another person who you see as a liquid that flows like a clear mountain stream, which person would you prefer to spend time with?
Whether we care to admit it or not, most of the power that we have in our lives we freely give away. The more you “take the bull by the horns” the more responsibility you assume over your life. Many of the articles I write are written as a way to empower people to take control and take back their lives. When what we’re doing doesn’t work, we must seek out other ways around life’s roadblocks. In this case, seeing people as liquids.
We all have a say in how our lives turn out, but that can only happen when we’re in the driver’s seat. By all means, have God as your co-pilot. But God has given us the power of Free Will for a reason, to develop our own families, relationships and lives. Isn’t it interesting that so much of our bodies are made up of liquid?
Let the river flow,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
There are certain Laws that govern the Universe. Some call them “Laws of God,” or “Laws of Truth,” but they are in place as a form of checks and balances to try to naturally keep our reality centered. These Laws can work for us, or against us, depending on what position we have placed ourselves, in context with the dimensions of our existence.
Every person has chosen a position or a placement of time and space to exist in. Why we are “where we are at” is because of our experiences and eventual choices that progress us towards the future. If you’re happy where you are in your life, you know that in order to stay in that “bliss” certain measures must be taken to keep your life in check and running smoothly. Yes, accidents can happen, but if the right rules are in place your ship of life will gradually revert back to its chosen course. If the other side of the equation is true, that a person is not happy where their lives are at, or where it is heading, then I’m sure they know changes have to be made. And in life, change doesn’t necessarily come easy.
The moment you decide to implement any kind of change in your position in the context of the Universe, be it thought, physical, or spiritual, the atmosphere around you will also change. If a person is in a bad relationship, there has been built up, over time, components to keep that situation in place. Upon change, those components will be altered and in most cases, the change will not be welcomed. In fact, most of the time when you decide to change your life
It’s not hard to understand why many of us after awhile feel like pieces on a chess board with somebody else moving us around, when in reality perhaps the movements that are made are with our cooperation. It’s not easy to rock the boat, but sometimes in our lives it must be done. The Universe has in place Laws that personally hold us responsible for the decisions we make. When we make mistakes, those mistakes can be corrected with the implementation of corrective choice.
I believe in Forgiveness, and I believe in a Loving God. I try to keep this in mind in all the choices I make that affect my life. I don’t always get it right, but there’s alot to be said for trying, because eventually trying becomes easier, which finally leads to success.
We have the power over our own lives. In some cases we just don’t know it. We were never told that this lack of knowledge has allowed others to take advantage, but the Laws of the Universe are in place to help us, when asked, to build a better life.
Seize the day,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
Peaks and Valleys
No two humans are alike. We all have different dreams and ambitions, but sometimes that doesn’t seem to translate too well in this world. As we emerge from the womb each one of us grows at different rates, both physically and mentally. Our achievements and set-backs position us all at different levels on the scale of life. Why is it then we are told by the powers that be that we must succeed at our given talents by a certain age, or we have “missed the boat.,”…. Lady-Luck has “passed us by.”
It would be wonderful if all of us miraculously came into our higher self at the age of twenty or twenty-five, basking in our glories and being anointed as the “next big thing.” Society would put us at the head of the table, and say “See, this is who you can be.” Jerry Seinfeld recently told a joke on his HBO special. Jerry said, “Isn’t it interesting, when you sit in an economy seat on an airplane the flight attendant in first-class pulls the curtain and gives you a look that says “Why don’t YOU make more money so YOU can be here?” Maybe you will, at a different point in your life.
In the music business quite a number of artists have peaks and valleys. The Bee Gees, for example, were the hottest thing on the planet twenty years ago with “Saturday Night Fever”, disco-disco-disco! Shortly after that nobody wanted to play their records. To quote Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, “We couldn’t get arrested.” This past year the group released their CD “Still Waters”, and they were seen in a highly successful HBO special. They’re back on top. Perhaps so too do our lives follow the same course…ups and downs and back up again. The most important thing of all is not to give up. To really appreciate the top, you sometimes must taste the valley.
Ages, stages, ups, downs, peaks and valleys are forever a part of the quilt of our lives. Society may not want us to believe it, but we do indeed peak at different times. It’s never too late for dreams, for goals, for expanding. We’re all supposed to “get better with age”, like fine wine. Well that wine starts as a grape that needs to be nurtured and cared for…then lo and behold, one day the fruit of the labor bursts forth. So too can we, when the time is right.
Each year the average life-span of human beings grows longer. This in itself presents us with a great dilemma. If all we do is concentrate on the first quarter of our lives, and look at it as the be-all and end-all, then what do we say to a man or a woman who is fully functional at eight-five years of age? You don’t count? Hopefully we can begin to look at age as an advantage, not a curse.
Age with Grace,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
It is very important for us to remember we are spiritual beings. Dangling in front of us everyday are the temptations of our physical world. If you eat this, wear that, or drive the ultimate car you will find total happiness. Well, sad to say that kind of happiness is very short-lived, needing a constant supply of finances to maintain such a level of “bliss.” To have true equilibrium we must strive to stay “centered.” The further we divert from that center, the more confused and fragmented we become. As spiritual beings the core of who we are and what we represent here on earth is the essence of Heaven. Do we rise to the occasion, or abandon the gift we have been given? We have no shortage of reasons in this world to give up, but what we can never have enough of are the reminders to go on.
Our spirits need encouragement. Some find attending church, praying, meditating or taking a quiet walk as ways to stay spiritually focused and centered. Others feel replenished doing humanitarian work in their communities. The search is to find and maintain inner peace in a world of contradictions.
Throughout our lives, constantly we struggle with the balance between peace and turmoil. Seventy-five percent of one, and twenty-five percent of the other, looking for the magical formula that will make everything “right.” We crave to prolong our moments of well-being, only to see them disappear as the pendulum swings. Perhaps with enough reminders we can make that pendulum stay still a little longer each time. The center, where calm prevails. We decide what we choose to remember. Peace can survive through any storm if the maps we use return us to our center. Each one of us write our own blueprint of life, updating as we go along. Written between the lines are the reminders that we choose to repeat. A prayer, a commandment, a phrase….the words or memories that help us to carry on. In this world, we as spiritual beings need reminders to remember who we are.
Try to remember,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
I think many of us would agree that life is truly mysterious. One never knows what can happen on any given day. Perhaps a positive way to look at this situation is to see Life as a form of a mystery novel, where the Writer leaves clues to solve the puzzles along the way. Discovering each clue of the mystery gives us a greater understanding and control over our lives.
All around us are the clues….the trick is to allow yourself to see them. Observe how a plant grows. The seed must be planted in rich soil, cultivated with water, and drenched in sunlight. The supply of these ingredients have to be added frequently. If not, the plant suffers. Are we plants? No. But there is a significance to the working mechanism of a plant and how it shows us one of the clues of Life. We too need nurturing to grow, or we suffer.
It’s kind of baffling, this Game of Life. Constantly you are told how to think, how to feel, how to act, and how to live. What works for one person may not necessarily be right for someone else. Some parents would love their child to become a doctor or a lawyer, but not everyone is meant to be. How many of us torture ourselves into trying to become something we are not? The clue here is, what does your heart tell you to be? I don’t believe we are here to lead miserable lives, but it’s amazing that many of us end up doing just that. There are answers, solutions, and clues to solve our problems, but it’s up to us to find them.
All around us is air….we can’t see it, but we can feel it and breathe it. Air provides wind for energy, and can deliver one of the most destructive powers on this planet. Not bad for something we can’t truly see, but we know it’s there. Without air we die. Can the same be said for Hope, Love, and Compassion? There must be a reason why we have been given senses to take in information. Maybe to help us find the clues?
We may never totally solve this mystery called Life, while we are here. But each piece of the puzzle that we find strengthens us and empowers us to go forward. Are we meant to become good detectives? A group of Sherlock Holmes? “Elementary my dear Watson, Elementary.” Are the answers to the complexities of Life so simple that they elude us?
Share your clues,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon
Older Posts »
The Seven Steps
There is a little recipe that I use in my life that I have found to be helpful over and over again. I call it “The Seven Steps.” I use it as a blueprint for each new endeavor or project I am about to embark on. I have also found it useful in my personal life. I hope you can find it beneficial too.
1. FORGIVE YOURSELF. Many of our pasts are filled with bad choices and mistakes. We’re not perfect, and we have to admit to ourselves “That’s okay”. If you’ve hurt somebody, by all means, say you’re sorry. The important point here is to accept the mistake, correct it if possible, forgive yourself, and move on.
2. CLEAR THE DECKS. There are always reasons why things go wrong. It’s neccessary that we realize sometimes we do things and surround ourselves with negativity. It can come in the form of a bad habit, or bad relationships, but one thing is clear, if the level of negativity is not decreased it becomes very hard to continue a forward progression.
3. CHART A COURSE. Ask yourself, “What is it I want to do?” “Where do I see my life heading?” It’s very difficult to sail a ship without charts. You never know where you may end up….. perhaps in a port where you don’t belong.
4. LINK THE DAYS. Don’t look at your plan as a huge mountain to climb all at once. See the days as links in a chain, that when strung together become bold and strong.
5. POSITIVE INPUT. I cannot express enough how important it is to surround yourself with positive influences. They are the fuel for your dreams. Create a little library of books you can constantly go to for re- inforcement. Have a chat with a supportive friend…it can work wonders.
6. WORK HARD. Nothing truly good comes easy. Anybody who tells you it does….beware. Working hard on your goals gives you a tremendous sense of accomplishment, once they are realized. To move down a road, you need “drive”. Not too fast, or not too slow. I’m a big believer in “cruise control.”
7. CELEBRATE EACH STEP. Each milestone on your journey, have a celebration….you have earned it. It’s okay to pat yourself on the back. Every celebration on the ladder of success builds momentum, and you’ll discover there is alot to be said for momentum. It creates a wave to push you further forward.
These are my points of reference I try to follow in my life. Even when we fail, it’s so important to keep trying. The effort justifies our reasons for being.
Take the time to love,
Â© 1998 Jennifer Avalon