Shield of Armor

I believe each one of us wears a shield of armor. Hopefully, we choose to fight on the side of Good, not Evil. Whether we like it or not the decisions we make on a daily basis are projected outward, reflecting on ourselves and on others. These decisions paint a picture of how people see us on this planet. Yes we are human, and we all make mistakes, but it’s very important to learn from those mistakes so that the image we hold of ourselves is as close to the true image of ourselves as possible. The condition and strength of this shield of armor can be greatly affected by the choices we make.

It’s very interesting that as we age and grow older we begin to come to terms with what we haven’t accomplished and the mistakes we have made. Much of the time we spend punishing ourselves for our failures, and then we allow others to do the same. Why this focus on what we haven’t done? I don’t really know. If we look at it from another angle the glass is half-full, not half-empty. It’s important because the health of our shields depends on how we take care of them. If we abandon and neglect these shields of armor we become weaker and ultimately defenseless.

Life is a battle that in many cases is not fair, but we fight on. The enemy is the feeling of being alone. You are not alone. We are all soldiers of one kind or another, choosing sides as we go along. Alienation eventually leads to anger, withdrawal, depression and defeat. We fight together on many grounds, a human army searching for answers.

If we are truly God’s Children, there is meaning to these battles of life we fight. Much to overcome, much to rise above. How we get there is up to us. Free will prevails. We all get wounded, but if our shields are strong the wounds heal faster and we live to fight another day. Some people spend their lives inflicting wounds, taking no responsibility for the hurt they cause, while others choose love as their legacy. I believe Love makes a person grow stronger, while Hate robs a human of their strength.

How do we have strong shields of armor? Coat them with Love, Compassion, Awareness, and Faith. These are the true weapons against Evil. We are all tempted by Evil everyday….. hopefully we make the right choices. Armor that is stronger than steel, gleaming with Love, can be seen from many miles away, a beacon of Hope to show that all things are possible. Add a helmut of Faith, and no force can defeat you.

Take the time to Love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Circle of Friends

One of the great things about writing a weekly newsletter is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with a number of people whom I consider my friends. Each week I receive many E-Mails from around the globe, every one equally important, regardless of economics and/or social position. The Internet gives us all the ability to make the playing field equal. Many of us have started “Buddy-Lists” as a way to stay in contact with those we enjoy communicating with. Quite a number of people have also mentioned to me that for the first time in many years they get to chat with members of their families that they haven’t seen in ages. Used the right way, E-Mails and Websites can build stronger foundations and increase the Love between us all.

In the past, the way to get messages to people included pony express, trains, planes and boats, many of them having to cover vast distances to get their letters and packages to their destinations. Before, when you composed a letter, first you had to write it, seal it in an envelope and provide postage. Over the course of 3 to 7 days your thoughts and wishes would arrive at the doorstep of the intended. Those were the days of “delayed messages.” Today, with good access, that same message can almost instantaneously arrive in the mailbox of the same person through an E-Mail. Why is all this important? We are running out of excuses for why we don’t communicate more. It always takes the first person to make a bold step. We all have friends and family members that we would love to talk more to, but because of life’s interruptions time can just go by, and then one day we may receive a phone call that fills us with regret. Think to yourself, who in your life would you enjoy hearing from on a regular basis? Granted, that would take an E-Mail account, but with all the cyber-cafes popping up around the world and many at work having Internet access, all that may be needed is to make the initial connection. It’s already happening. Some families and pals get together weekly in chat-rooms. They learn about things that they never knew about each other. I guess sometimes the screen can provide an interesting alternative to a face to face meeting.

Alot of us have so much more Love to give if we only could find the time and the means. These “little” computers can do tremendously “big” work. Each day can be a new beginning…it’s never too late to build a circle of friends.

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

True Education

How much do we know and really think about what affects us daily? Yes a good education is valuable indeed, but how many questions get left unanswered or perhaps not even asked in the halls of learning? Over 50% of what affects the quality of our lives depends pure and simply on finance and our understanding of it. The way we handle the money we make can become the difference between night and day. Balancing checkbooks, investing, paying bills, etc. are skills that we must have to be responsible for ourselves and our families. Without this insight we eventually can lose control over our destinies.

There are many illusions floating around out there. I being in the music business can use one as an example: Did you know that 97% of CD’s released each year never make any money? The bulk of the profit is based purely on that remaining 3%. Just because you’re on radio or television doesn’t mean you’re making money.
Most top money investors will tell you that over the long-term the best place to invest your savings is in the stock market. How many people out there have you met who are absolutely terrified of investing one dime in the stock market? Isn’t it interesting that some of those same people have no problem taking five dollars a week to buy lottery tickets?

Why is this important to mention? Because I don’t hear too many people talking about it. If you’re not rich, you’re considered “not smart enough.” That’s not true…you just didn’t get the chance to get your hands on the right tools. Well, it’s never too late. Each week set aside a little time to look over your finances…see where all your money is going. These days budgeting has become a necessity, but in some circles it’s looked upon as a dirty word. It’s not. It’s just smart. I think it’s also important to put aside a little time and or money to either give to charity, or do something good for someone. Believe me, it comes back tenfold.

I wish money didn’t matter, but unless we find another way to exchange finances on this planet, we’re stuck with it. Take the bull by the horns and learn as much about it as you can. That way, the ball is more in your court. What consoles me in this train of thought is knowing that someday we will return to a place where no money is needed….where only the goodness of our souls and the history of our hearts will matter. God doesn’t care if we make a million or not…I believe He cares if we were responsible towards the people we love, and ourselves. It’s what we do with our money on this earth that shows part of who we are on the inside.

Take the time to learn,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Walls of Resistance

Isn’t it interesting how, each time we decide to do something that we consider profound or productive with our lives, almost instantaneously this huge brick wall starts to rise right before our eyes. The wall has a voice that says “Where do you think you’re going?” ” What makes you think you’re so special?” and “Where do you get off trying something new?” This wall can officially be called The Wall of Fear and Failure. But with enough belief and determination one can walk right through the wall.

There is tremendous encouragement out there to not try anything with your life. Give up, and crawl back under your rock. Don’t dream, don’t hope….you’ll only get hurt. But I believe, in order to accomplish anything of worthiness with your life, you must be able to take the knocks backwards, because for every two steps forward, you will get knocked back one. If you surround yourself with the right people, and positive input, a force field will eventually develop to lessen the effects of the attacks. The pearl can only be made from the friction of the sand…..beauty will come from adversity, if you can weather the friction.
The wall can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The wall that stands in front of us eventually, if not dealt with, becomes a larger wall in front of our children. The more we don’t accomplish, the more falls on the shoulders of the next generation. One incredible source for inspiration is to look into the eyes of a child. Those eyes contain much of the wisdom that makes it possible to see through walls. The child believes all things are possible. So must we.

Walk through the wall,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Wounds

You start to feel an aching in your arm, you unbutton your sleeve, and you notice a cut or an abrasion on your skin. Dealing with the shock you begin to ask yourself, how did this happen? What did I do or didn’t do? After the discovery of your wound the first thing you reach for is an antiseptic to cleanse it, to limit the chances of infection. The wound then must be periodically watched and cared for to help the body’s healing mechanism respond. Over the course of a week or two the wound starts to heal and the scar begins to fade. Then one day, lo and behold, you look at your arm and see nothing where the wound once was. Sometimes a scar does remain, perhaps to remind us of what happened so that the same thing doesn’t happen again.

Why is this important? Because whether we like it or not, the wounds of life need to be handled the same way. Unexpected things happen to us all the time…some can be avoided, others not so easily. It’s how we treat those problems that determines the level of healing that occurs. Someone once said that we are all basically “wounded children looking for ways to heal”. Yes, some of us do have wonderful childhoods…but why is it painful memories from that period echo throughout our lives, even in the happiest of childhoods?

In many cases, the lack of healing of the wounds in our lives brings about addictions, and other forms of abuse. Wounds on top of wounds. After awhile the original wound becomes invisible. Eventually the scab must be removed to see the foundation of the infection. From there the real process of healing can begin.

Blood, hair, flesh and bones…this is what physically we basically are. But, who is in control of this body of ours? The thoughts, the dreams, the hopes? That, I believe, is the Soul. To me the Soul provides the energy that flows through the body, and sometimes our Souls get wounded and need healing, too. The Soul needs the input of Faith, Love and Hope.

In life, it is important that we take care of our physical needs. We all need a roof over our heads, and food to eat. But without the caring of the Soul, we become nothing more than ships adrift on an endless ocean. No port or harbor to shield us from the storms.

Take the time to heal,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

The Links of Life

All of our emotions and actions are interconnected. Our emotions bring about decisions that thrust energy and thought into action. At the other end of the spectrum the work that we partake in has a profound affect on our feelings. These two components, emotions and actions, greatly shape our quality of life.
When a problem arises many times we focus on the one specific area that needs adjusting at that moment. What becomes clear over time is that once one looks under the surface, the roots of a problem become more apparent. An example: If I have a toothache, I’m fully aware that my tooth is bothering me, but what I don’t focus on is how or why I got the toothache in the first place. If I like consuming a lot of sugar in my diet at some point there’s a good chance I will develop another toothache. So off we go to the dentist to fill the tooth that is infected…but the true origin of that infection can go untreated. Another example: Have you ever noticed you almost always start to come down with a cold or get sick when you are under severe amounts of stress? You take your medication, and after a few days you start to feel better. But if the stress levels are not reduced, how much longer will it be before you encounter another cold? We spend large amounts of money in society on medications of all kinds, some very much needed, others avoidable. What we have to ask ourselves is, how much of what happens to us is linked to our emotions and actions?

The same can be said about the people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. We all probably know someone at work who has nothing nice to say about anything….after a couple of hours around such a person you start to feel like you want to scream. The information that we absorb affects our life and eventually has to be released. Our emotions can affect our health, but so too can the people around us, not to mention television, movies and music. I enjoy listening to certain types of music. It would be naive of me not to believe that music doesn’t affect the quality of my day. Anger needs fuel to increase. Be aware of what you take in.

I’m a firm believer in the importance of the link between the physical and spiritual world. I can’t express enough how vital the balance between the two is needed. So much of life is lived between the two. Right in the middle. The pendulum consistently swings to the physical and back to the spiritual. Percentages increasing and decreasing at will. There is no one entity unto itself. As the world becomes smaller, the links between us grow stronger. It is up to us to determine if those links should bloom like a rose, or strangle like a weed. We all live in the garden.

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Factories

We all own a factory. This factory of ours runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is very little room for “down time”. How this factory runs and what it produces is basically up to us. The upkeep, the maintenance and the production levels are ours to uphold. The buck stops with us. This human factory represents our body and soul.

Each morning we rev up our engines, turn on the conveyer belts and shift the gears of our machinery into action. Decisions are made on what it us we are to make today and what impact our product will have once it leaves the building. Mistakes will be made, but through re-evaluation the proper corrections will be put into place to improve upon the design. Some factories run better than others, but each one in its own way is connected to the marketplace. Yes some fail, but with the right funding it’s not impossible for a new factory to rise from the ruins of an old one. The funding and the growth of our factories are not based on money. It involves belief, convictions and the will to rise above the doubts and fears. You can throw enormous amounts of money at a problem, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the trouble will subside. How we manage our factories is the key to continued success and long-term growth.

Why are these factories important? Because the products that they produce are consumed by the general public. What each one of us puts out does have an effect on the rest of us. Our factories are eventually held responsible for what they distribute to the masses. Over time, the positive and negative effects of the products return to the front door of our factories. What goes out in one form or another does come back. The world needs good factories. We can never have enough of them. Even after we are gone, what our factories manufactured will remain.

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

All We Have is Now

The past is the past…..and no matter how much we worry and concern ourselves with what has already taken place there is basically very little we can do to change it. We can make amends, apologies and seek atonement for our acts but memories are etched in stone. The future stands before us like a blank sheet of paper, yet to feel one drop of ink. What are we left with? The given moment, where everything is centered and all our hopes and dreams exist. So few of us focus on the so-called “now”….most of the time we are engulfed with our mistakes from the past and overwhelmed by what awaits us in the coming days. It doesn’t have to be that way. The power for us is in the present…that is where we can truly make a difference in our lives. Like the championship sports team that wins the golden nugget, as they look back they see a string of victories that have led them to their moment in the sun. As we look towards the coming months the work we do today is our springboard into a fulfilling future. The first day that the championship team played its first game, the vision was firmly planted on the road towards the ultimate trophy. The link between the past and the future is the present. The present affects both, because the present becomes the past, and the present also sets the tone for the future. Each day truly is a new day…if you faltered yesterday, you can start anew today. Your dreams are not over, just merely delayed. Embrace the moment, it can change your life.

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Solutions

Many days during the week problems arise. By the time you get to Thursday you begin to feel overwhelmed and looking for a way to escape the pressures and discomfort. It can be very easy to feel surrounded by fear and negativity…..but at those trying moments, that’s when who you are and what you truly want out of life comes to the forefront. It’s understandable why so many succumb to the problems and fade into the background of despair….does it really have to be that way?

Life sometimes can look baffling. We come into this world as naked children, looking hopefully to two people to teach us all we need to know and take care of our vital needs. Some call it the “luck of the draw” while others call it “destiny”. As we evolve as people other things come into play; economics, health, religion and education. If any of these links become weak, how we grow can be drastically affected. I know life is not fair. Fairness in many cases is determined by laws and policies of the countries a person is born into. Our happiness as citizens of this planet then can be influenced by who we love or who loves us. At that point hopefully we have amassed enough knowledge and well-being to pass it along to the next generation. Many feel powerless over these conditions, and it’s not hard to see why quite a few of us run into roadblocks.
If I’m a negative person in nature I could just say, “That’s the end of the story”….but if I’m not my mind must start to look for answers and solutions. How I arrive at finding these solutions is the search for the meaning of what life is all about. I don’t believe we were put here to be born, raise a family, collect a paycheck, and then one day die. The Creator who fashioned this existence with all this ability had to have something else in mind for creating Life. To truly overcome the problems of Life a person must assume at some point the power of his or her own existence. People are not perfect…but they can learn to be better. The human heart can rise to the occasion if it desires.
After a hard week at work many of us look to the week-end to recharge our batteries and in some cases lick our wounds. If the car breaks down, it must be fixed, if the refrigerator is empty it must be filled, when the heart runs dry it must be replenished. You have the ability to find the answers…there are some out there who may call you “fool”, but the true fool is the one who sees emptiness. Life doesn’t have to be empty. You have a choice in how you fill it.

May your cup runneth over,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

Illusions

A magic show is something many of us enjoy watching and participating in. The magician’s sleight of hand and the ability to pull a “rabbit out of the hat” can truly be based upon the art of illusion. What is seen before the eye may not necessarily be what is real. So too in life do these concepts apply. Much of what we perceive as success and failure are based upon the information we absorb through our senses…well, at times those senses can be manipulated. The magician can also be at work on the television screen, movie screen and radio. The hand that can be quicker than the eye can pass before you hardly noticed….but the subconscious mind misses nothing…. that is where your library of personal information is stored. An accumulation of your thoughts, theories, and rules that you use to determine future decisions is all locked away in that part of you that is submerged. About twenty years ago a test was conducted on a television audience viewing a two hour movie. Every minute for one frame a picture of a container of popcorn smothered in butter was flashed upon the screen. Well, after about fifteen minutes the majority of that audience started craving buttered popcorn. When interviewed later many stated they didn’t remember seeing any picture of popcorn! Therein lies the subconscious mind. Many of us want to be successful in life…but what is success? That depends on who you ask. To some, being in the news and “famous” constitutes Many of us want to be successful in life…but what is success? That depends on who you ask. To some, being in the news and “famous” constitutes success. To others, it involves having large sums of money at their disposal. But our true opinion of what defines success is based upon the mass of information we have accumulated over the years, and how we have sifted through it to arrive at our definition. The question is, has all this information been accurate? It’s okay to re-examine. To look at things from a different angle. You may discover something you missed the first time around. What may have looked correct at first might be flawed upon second observation. Why is this important? Because it puts you firmly in the driver’s seat. It is your body, it is your mind, it is your soul. It’s important for us to see truth, not illusion.

Take the time,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon