Momentum

Why does it seem that some of the best things for us are the hardest things to start, while other thoughts and plans that are not in our best interest seem to engulf us immediately? I, too, don’t quite know why…but perhaps we can explore this point a little further.

Every few months the United States sends a space shuttle into orbit to perform experiments and other tasks. A spacecraft that needs thousands of pounds of thrust to lift it through the atmosphere into space, spending anywhere from one to two weeks circling the globe while we go about our lives on planet Earth. Upon completion of its tasks, the shuttle re-enters the atmosphere, then glides home to, hopefully, a successful mission. Enormous amounts of power to get it into space, when all it needs is the air to glide it home.

Can the same be said for us? Why is it so easy to quit the things we want and need the most? Maybe because to be successful requires much thrust. When we undertake our own missions and goals, at first the amount of energy that is required to turn the wheels seems overwhelming. After a few days is it surprising that many of us throw our hands in the air and say “I’ve had enough!” Well, if the same amount of energy is needed day after day, eventually all of us would quit…but, as the wheels slowly turn they start to pick up speed, and before too long you start to feel like you’re riding an ocean wave that seems to be carrying you along for the ride. What easily can be forgotten is that you have created your own momentum. When we start the car in the morning, and head off down the road, our foot is firmly on the accelerator to get us up to speed….once we reach the desired pace our foot slowly inches off the accelerator and all that is needed is a light tap to stay at the correct level of speed.

Life always looks mysterious at first….but once we peel back the covers simplicity is revealed. The answer, in many cases, is right before our eyes as we look for the needle in the haystack. Life is simple…sometimes painfully simple.
So let’s ride the waves, but let’s not forget what is needed to get there. Belief, Strength, Power, Courage……Momentum. As the Beach Boys once said, “Catch a wave, and you’re sitting on top of the world”…..

Surf’s up….

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

The Art of Conversation

When was the last time you actually sat down in a chair, opposite somebody, looking eye to eye…and shared words, thoughts, and feelings for at least half an hour? Because of our busy lives, so few of us these days can find the time to communicate in what is becoming the lost art of communication, or, for a better word, “talking.”

Every one of us evolve as people….growing, changing, trying different things different ways. Have you ever looked back on a photograph of yourself taken ten years ago and asked yourself, “Was that really me? Did I really look like that?” Well, all of us at one point or another pull out the old high school yearbooks to look and reminisce. Change is a part of us….every one of us. In a world full of assumptions, it’s very easy to assume that people around us stay the same and we don’t really need to update our points of view about them, and they about us. Then one day we sit down with a friend or family member over dinner or lunch and as the words flow our jaws drop in shock that across from us is somebody that we thought we totally knew. What we learn is that unless we keep up our conversations with people, we miss the changes they go through.

We grow as individuals, in many cases, from the information we take in. Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the lives of the people closest to us, we look upon as mundane…but in reality they have a profound influence in shaping us as people. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were with my Grandmother who has since deceased…but there isn’t a week that passes by that some of her words don’t effect me or cross my mind. As I look back I can honestly say she was one of the wisest people I have ever met. I cherish the moments with her, which at the time I didn’t realize how important they would later become. So if you’re listening, Grandma, thank you.

This weekend pull up a chair, break some bread, look across the table, give a smile….and say, “What’s up?” to someone you care about. The answers are always surprising, but enlightening.

Take the time to talk,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

The Gift

From the moment we are born, the air fills our lungs, the blood flows through our veins, and all around us is wonder. As we pull away from the womb, for many of us that wonder starts to decrease and eventually we fall into one of the many patterns of life….until one day something shocks us out of our trance and the air, the water, the world looks fresh and new again.

Complacency is such an easy thing to fall into….perhaps it is one of the ways we learn to deal with life on a daily basis. Complacency can stop us from growing and trying new things. One of the crazy rules of life is that when we cease to push forward we start to become less alive. Strange, isn’t it? But with growth and new experiences we have to grasp with fear and doubt…but how else can we grow without taking on the risk? All of us should have, placed by our side the day we are born, a book entitled “We Reserve The Right To Fail.” With perfection there is no room for failure, but there again human beings are not perfect.

The Gift of Life gives us the chance to experience what we are, and in time, what we can become. How we fill that time is up to us, but remember, time, for human beings, is limited….so enjoy life, experience it….embrace it. Be alive as much as you possibly can be…the rewards are endless.

This past week John F. Kennedy, Jr. took off in a plane for a destination. For him, his wife, and his sister-in-law they were bound for Martha’s Vineyard. They expected to spend a wonderful week-end and celebrate a wedding with family and friends…but it wasn’t meant to be. The result was a tragic plane crash. Who knows how much time each one of has left? But in the greater scope of things, John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s plane did not crash…..it just flew to Heaven.

Take the time to live,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

The Grass is Always Greener

We all believe we have the “patent on pain,”….nobody truly feels the way we do. We walk around town looking at the sea of faces, and we think to ourselves “If you only knew what I’m going through,” when really there could be quite a few people worse off than us. Why do we always feel so separated from the rest of humanity, feeling that nobody else goes through what we go through, when in fact pain is pain, joy is joy, and somewhere in-between is where we live?

Recently Beatle Paul McCartney lost his wife Linda to cancer. A friend said to Paul shortly after Linda’s death, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Paul’s answer was “Bring her back.” Here is one of the richest men in the world, having to come to grips with loss and pain, and I’m sure Paul would gladly trade every dime he’s ever made to bring his beloved Linda back. We are born, and all around us are people who are also born and eventually die….and as we travel along the road of life circumstances push and pull at us in all directions. At some point we get a grip of some of the mystery of life.

Doctors, lawyers, secretaries, electricians, plumbers etc….we all rise each morning doing our work, hoping for a better day. The Family of Man, looking at its differences, when all the while the strengths are in their similarities. When you hurt, reach out…there are others too who have felt the same way you do. When you feel great happiness, share it…because the pendulum swings both ways. You see, we really are a family on this planet with much in common….sharing all the pain and all the joy. Is the grass truly greener on the other side? A wise man once said, “There can be no measure for pain no matter what the walk of life.”
Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors down the street….the voice half a world away….we all juggle the intricacies of life daily. We all feel others don’t understand us, but we may be surprised. So is the grass always greener? or is it just a false perception of someone else’s life. Hey, even Bill Gates has a bad hair day once in awhile and has to go to the dentist!!!

Tend your garden,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

Blueprints

This being Fourth of July weekend here in the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day. The blueprint that stands to this day (The Declaration of Independence) represents the beginnings of a nation that stands for “One Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for All.” The Founding Fathers wrote this document as a foundation for the United States to build upon…even today it is a work in progress. As history has shown, America still had much to learn about equality and liberty….but this document has evolved for each generation to improve upon. It may not have been perfect, but as time as proven, it represents, perhaps, the most successful form of government in modern times.

We too have within us a blueprint that can be written down on paper as a guide to help us evolve and become more productive and happier people in our lives. All around us are tools that we can use to create this personal portfolio. The Bible, the encyclopedia, and many other books can present ideas that we can use to better ourselves as people. Will our own personal blueprint contain all the facts and all the ultimate knowledge? Maybe not, but as we live on we will fine-tune and improve our own document to grow stronger and more secure.

There are so many things that try daily to rob us of the power that we have over our own lives…and it’s very easy at the end of the day to look at your hands and see nothing. If we just create tools, like a blueprint, they can be the maps to show us the way when the weather gets rough. It is your life…nobody knows it better than you. Sometimes we wish somebody could do the work for us….but like the Founding Fathers, we too sense what we need to find stability, health and happiness.

The Declaration of Independence, the document on which the United States of America was built, shows us that it is possible to improve one’s life and find a better way. This weekend, over 223 years later, it still stands as a beacon for all those in search of freedom. The United States is not perfect, and still to this day has alot to learn….but at least changes can be made to make it better. A work in progress…. and so, too, is mankind…..

Happy Independence Day,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

Altered States

Recently I took a trip part way across the United States. Through the four states that I traveled through the differences in the people and places were extraordinary. One was full of mountains, another flat farmland…and it occurred to me that we all see the world through different eyes. Reality is greatly affected by environment, economics, and climate. To lump us all together and say that everything affects us all the same way is a mistake.

Take for instance Love. Many of us believe Love is Love…period. But really don’t we all love differently? A husband may see qualities in his wife that he admires…and she different qualities in him. If the two sat down together to discuss their feelings each may be surprised to see that they both have separate reasons for being together. Same can be said for friends, relatives and siblings. After awhile we realize every one of us sees the world and the people in it in our own unique way. Have you ever stood next to someone and remarked how beautiful that color blue is, and they have said “No, it’s green.” Who’s right? Maybe both?
Have you ever taken a trip overseas, to Paris perhaps? If you’re from America you will start to note how differently the French pass their days from the way you live. For one thing, of course, the language is different…and they love to find humor in most situations. Different atmospheres, different vibrations, different dialects, different cultures, all influence how we see the world. The trap is not to allow yourself to believe that everybody else thinks, feels, sees, and lives the same way you do.

This being the time of the year when many people travel, it’s important for us all to be aware that in our towns and in our cities, many tourists may come to visit. Patience and courtesy should be extended to all. Even though some may be strangers, lifetime friendships may be forged. You never know, one day you may find yourself overseas looking for a friendly face to ask for directions.

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

Planning

A person looks at his sailboat moored at a dock, and thinks, “Where shall I go?” He or she could easily just unfurl the sails and sail on off and allow the winds to dictate the course…or, plot a destination to a chosen port. If the sailor were to just allow the winds to dictate the direction, we would call that “rudderless”…but why then do so many of us feel it is perfectly fine in life to sail on off without a direction, not knowing where we may end up?

On the surface, life looks very mysterious…many questions without answers. When things go wrong we feel mystified…why us? Life, you could say, is the best mystery novel ever written. We all read it, trying to decide where we fit in, and where it all ends up. The less we plan the course we take, the more we allow others to determine where we are headed on the sea of life. Free Will reigns, for better or for worse. The question we all must ask ourselves is “How much do we hold of that Free Will?”

Who are we? What do we want? Where do we go? As we look out onto the future, what do we want to see? One morning we all wake up and decide, “Enough already”….we pull out a piece of paper and start jotting down thoughts and before too long the pen starts to flow freely…the thoughts fill the lines. After a few minutes we look down and see written before us our hopes, our dreams, our wishes…and at the top of the next page we write “How Do I Get There?” Slowly our fear of our inner thoughts starts to diminish, and looking at ourselves and what we want out of life doesn’t seem so scary anymore. We start a new page and start to devise an outline of where our ship will sail. A strange sensation goes up our backs…and all of a sudden excitement materializes. We ask ourselves, “Can it be this easy?” Of course not…but with each step we take of our Free Will the odds and the control begin to tilt in our favor. One drawback to all of this is that if we’re at the helm and things go wrong, the captain is always responsible. It’s very easy in life when things don’t go according to plan, to blame other people. But when you’re at the helm, those consequences, most of the time, fall on your shoulders. So I guess we can’t have it both ways….but there is a wonderful feeling to be standing at the wheel of your life, feeling the wind blow through your hair, looking to the horizon and knowing where you’re headed…the sails fully extended, with the wind as your friend, the Heavens above you, as you say to yourself, “This is who I am…this is where I’m going.”

Set sail,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

Expressions

From the day we are born our expressions and verbal communications send out messages to the world around us about how we feel, and think. Through the early years we learn that each sound and facial movement has a reaction. As we evolve as people through our teenage years into adulthood many times we start to forget how important our communication skills are for us.

Relationships, friendships and the challenges we face at work are vitally connected to how we express ourselves. Two people who are married can very easily begin to misunderstand the meaning of what each is trying to convey to the other and over time what one thought the other meant evolves into something totally different. Two people who live together, strangely, can become strangers in their own home. Why do these things happen? We are all trained in the early years of our lives the basics of expression…the only problem is to each person the basics can be very different. An expression of Love can freely be interpreted as a criticism or complaint. People’s feelings can easily get hurt….we all have our soft spots. A conversation among friends can bend and weave down roads we never initially intended it to go. The power we have with our words and actions is awesome.

Each one of us are like aircraft carriers, sailing through the ocean. At our disposal is the ability to sail calmly and smoothly…also there are weapons on board that can be used at will. It falls on our shoulders to decide what we use and at what time. When another ship heads towards us we must identify if it is friend or foe. With the wrong expression and lack of communication it is sometimes hard to know the difference. Think how easily a war can start.

Why is all this so important? We have the weapons, we have the smiles, we have the handshakes, and we have the tears. Family and friends sail into each others lives daily….we must be aware of what we convey to others about what we think and feel. We have to accept responsibility for our expressions and correct them when they are misinterpreted. It’s important we truly get to know the people we love….through honesty, through tone, through touch, through the barriers. We’re not perfect, we do make mistakes, but we can reach the heart.
Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

What They Don’t Tell You

This week I would like to touch on some things that are imbedded in our daily lives and are generally not mentioned too much in the media, but they have a profound effect on all our lives. I’m sure you can add to these, but here are a few I would like to share with you, from my own experiences. I try in my life to be optimistic, but I believe that knowledge is power.

1. Did you know that 85% of the health care costs are spent to prolong the last eighteen months of life?
2. Is it a reasonable assumption to believe that the Social Security Fund in the United States will exist as it is in fifteen years?
3. Lawyers often prolong cases regardless of who they represent?
4. The Mutual Fund basically makes the fund company rich while you get a pittance of the interest that your money makes….however, at least it’s better than money sitting in a bank account gaining little interest.
5. Record companies are basically nothing more than slave labor institutions. You would be horrified if you looked at the basic contract that is presented to most new artists.
6. In this day and age, if you are over twenty-five the marketing machine pays little attention to you, while people are living longer than ever.
7. God lives….karma lives. There truly is something to be said for “what goes around comes around.” What you put out eventually does come back to you.
8. Most men should not retire. Yes, some don’t have a problem adjusting to retirement, but few prepare.
9. Who you marry and how you handle your money determines 90% of your happiness. How many arguments are spent over money and how it is handled?
10. Live to love, because life is very short.
11. Violence is the voice of pain.
12. Our most valuable people are the old….in many cases they have seen and heard it all.
13. People eventually die…it doesn’t mean God is punishing you….it’s just that we are all only here for basically a short while.
14. Buy things that add to your life and appreciate with time.
15. Forgive and forget. After awhile, hate will eat you up if you just carry it around with you….learn to let it go.
16. If you think there is no God, and this is IT, then be sure to demand your money back when you pass from this world because with all the pain you had to overcome to grow as a human being, you got ripped off!!
17. Believe in something other than yourself.

People are searching for answers trying to understand the reasons why things go wrong in their lives. We all have good days and bad days….many times knowledge and growth can tilt the scale in your favor. Each week I receive numerous E-mails that touch on many different subjects…God Bless those people who are trying to make themselves and this world a little better….you are truly the Heroes of tomorrow.

Love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

Learning from Nature

This week I moved into my new home in the woods. The house is surrounded by trees that stretch over three acres. For the better part of my life up until now I have lived in the city, feeling that I was at the center of communications, culture and stimulation, believing that I had everything at my fingertips…..maybe so, but there is more to life, as I am learning.

The transition from city to country, granted, has been made easier because of technology, but the trees and land have a language of their own. Each morning I take my cup of coffee out to my deck and listen to the choir of nature, with the backdrop of branches swaying back and forth. There is alot to be said for peace and tranquility…. as one gets older the value of them increases greatly. I used to believe I needed the constant bombardment of news, information and current affairs, to feel a “part of the picture,” while not realizing co-existing at the same time is the support system of nature that keeps it all in balance.

Many of us, over time, accumulate questions…the why’s, the who’s, the where’s? Sometimes without knowing, we begin a search to find what it’s all about. I believe the tools are there….we just have to use them. The body and soul crave to find balance to coexist in a world that struggles with equilibrium. What are some of the tools? Faith, Knowledge, Simplicity and Peace of Mind….not easy things to maintain these days….but they are our weapons against turmoil.

It could be a room, a place, a state of mind, but it’s important that it’s something that we can go to daily to replenish ourselves against negativity. Life is a garden that constantly needs nurturing and attention….when weeds grow, they must be removed. For the trees to reach for the sky they too need water and light. Are we really so different? Man has distanced himself from Nature, when it is Nature from “whence he came.” Maybe this is one of the lessons of Life that God expected us to learn.

Seek the silence,
Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon