Memories of the Soul (poetry)

The soul remembers
Where it has been
Sadness it has seen
Happiness it has experienced
Memories of looking back
Across time
Throughout ages
On splendor and destruction.

Timeless passages
Reduce man’s visage to that of a ghost
And reprimand him
Into fashioning distraught places of mind.

Shrill piercings
Delve into soul’s remedy
Forcing an occlusion of resistance.

By the end
It develops not only passion for pursuit
But sharpness of acquittal.

Memory’s passing
Strengthens and stretches those mighty encumbrances
Letting them drop not only to their forthright place
But embellishes them with caustic front
Surrendering to their maddening calls.

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Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 27) – Handling Success and Recognition

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 27

How you handle the fame you receive will show the character that was developed in you during the fameless, struggling times.

Whatever character that was built in you before this current moment, is the character that will show forth if stardom ever hits.

Meanwhile, all of the people that you interact with on a daily basis will benefit, or not, from your currently-existing character.

Does this make sense?

Think about it:  All of the people that you come into contact with each day: how do they perceive you to be in real life?  Whether that’s how you mean to be or not, that’s how you “come across.”

Perceptions are interesting things…that’s not to say go out and live solely how you want others to think of you.  Instead, consciously be aware of your subconscious actions.

Because in the end, you’re going to live the way you want to, anyway…This is an encouragement for you to do it consciously and with gusto.

Handle success graciously!

BelieveDo (ch 26) – Realization of a Dream

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 26

Oftentimes, what appears to be ingenious or an “overnight success” is actually something that took years of work, retries, successes, and failures.  Likewise, someone will do things that seem odd, stupid, SciFi-ish, or just plain weird.  Then years later, other people will exclaim how brilliant and “ahead of his time” he was!

Ironic, isn’t it?

All of those ideas bring to mind the fantastic movie, Bottle Shock.  Based on a true story, it tells about the interconnected lives of half a dozen people, all trying to achieve their different dreams.

One of the main characters, Jim Barrett (the dad), had given up his partnership in a successful law firm in order to pursue his dream of making the world’s best wine.

Tirelessly working year after year, he experienced a number of successes and failures.  In the process, he had become an expert in winemaking, but few people outside of his immediate community knew it.  His pride, stubbornness, and self-perception were part of the problem.

Finally, he hit rock bottom: he was out of money and his latest effort had failed – the Chardonnay they spent so much time perfecting turned out murky-brown, instead of staying clear.

He was done.

He called some guys to come haul away the 500 cases of bad wine, and with his old, leather briefcase in hand, he drove to his old law firm.

He had worked so hard and had tried so many times to succeed.  Having to go back to where he had left must have been the ultimate sense of failure for him.

BUT…

While he was in a pit of despair, other people and other forces were working in his favor.  As fate would have it, the Chardonnay went back to being clear.  It turned out to be perfect – absolutely delicious and beautifully colored!

As Jim Barrett was in the midst of giving up, all of the pieces came together and produced for him the realization of his dream.

Later, at a “blind taste” wine competition in Paris, judges declared Barrett’s Chardonnay to be Number 1 in the world.

He had done it.  He HAD produced the perfect Chardonnay – the best in the world.  He realized his dream.

At the time, some of Barrett’s friends and colleagues told him that he was foolish for attempting what he did.  Yet, decades later, the world still acclaims his achievement and continuing successes.

Ironic, isn’t it?

What dreams are you trying to achieve or realize?

What things are you about to give up on?

Don’t quit.  While you have been toiling away, other people and other forces have been at work in your favor.  You just haven’t seen them.  That’s the way it works, sometimes.

Just when you are about to give up hope, your greatest success can still occur.  Your greatest miracle can yet show up.

See it through, and you will be amazed!  You, too, will then be able to say that you have been blessed with the Realization of a Dream.

Realize your dream!

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 25) – Overcome

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 25

The times that life slaps us in the face are times in which we have to stand our ground and fight back.  Nothing will be given to you for free in this life beyond love, grace, and beauty.  People respect you for who you are and for standing firm in your beliefs.

Don’t be wishy-washy – it doesn’t serve well.  Belittling other people will tear you down – not that it will kill you, but it will keep you from moving forward.  It’ll hold you back on the inside, because you’ll know you’re guilty.

Speak the truth in love, but don’t run away from love – it only pushes your true emotions further down than they should go.

What’s holding you back in life?  Thoughts?  Ideas?  Other people?  You?  Move forward.  Attack the issues that you’re dealing with.  Make them small enough to consume them, and finish them off.

Don’t let them rule your world.  Make them become subject to your will and not the other way around.

You have dominion over your fears and your shortcomings.  When God made you, He didn’t make you in an image of timidity and limp living!  He made you in His image – in the image of the Almighty Creator of the universe.  Man, that’s powerful!  Start living like that.

Don’t let the world dictate your actions and life any more.  Dictate to the world that you’re going to overcome and are going to live in positive, powerful ways, every day, from now until the end of your life.

If you’ll do that, you’ll truly be amazed in a very short time just how powerfully good the effects of your life are.  You are free to choose success, to live it every day, and to become the person you were meant to be!  Go for it!

To overcome something means to figure out a way to go around it, under it, over it, or through it.  Whichever way you choose to do it, it must be done, if you’re going to overcome.  There’s no other way.

Have you ever seen plants that grow up through cracks in a sidewalk or on the steep side of rock face cliff?

Those plants are simply doing what they were designed to do – they grow – no matter where – no matter what.  They grow.  The harsh surroundings make them tough.  If those plants can overcome “their situations in life,” think about how much more you can.

Part of living successfully is consistently doing the hard things that other people are not willing to do.  Why?

Because that’s one of the things that separates you from the rest.  By doing what other people aren’t willing to do, you prove that you have the moxie to get it done.

Then, by consistently doing those things – day in, day out – you prove to yourself that you really are different than a lot of other people.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it worth it?  Definitely.

What it comes down to is this:
Is what you’re trying to accomplish worth the pain associated with the effort it will take to overcome the obstacles in your way?

…If your answer is “No,” then stop doing that, and do something else.

…If your answer is “Yes,” then press on, and don’t quit until you’ve broken through the frustrations and have safely reached the other side.

If you choose to press on, will you come through on the other side tarnished and burnt?  Maybe.  Is it worth it?  Yes, if that’s what it takes to achieve your dream.

How much you do depends on how badly you want it. 

Do you want it badly enough?  Do you?  If  so, then do what it takes to reach the other side of overcoming.  Don’t stop until you’ve broken through and have accomplished all that you set out to do.  You can do it.  No doubt about it.

Flip the mental switch in your head, and figure out a way to succeed.  The human spirit is stronger than most people give it credit.

You are an amazing creation.  Live like it.

You have it in you to succeed.  Just do it.

There was nothing lacking in your initial make-up as a person, when you came into the world.  Think back to the earliest points in your life, and realize just how many things from then ‘til now that you have lived through and have survived…think of all the times you’ve won and overcome…you are a capable human being – live like it.

Overcome.

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 24) – Lean into the Wind

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 24

Sometimes, you have to just turn around and face the storm; lean into the wind; and push forward.  Drops of rain might sting your face; flurries of life might blind you.  YET, while the world around you shouts that you can’t make it, if you lean into wind, you will.

Stamina gets developed when we stand firm and continue to fight for what we know is right.  One of the ways to find peace in our lives is to do what we know is correct, work hard, and enjoy rest.

We all get tired and grow weary.  When that happens, rest – whether it’s for a few minutes, a few hours, or longer …rest.  It’ll rejuvenate your body, your mind, and your spirit – all of which will give you a renewed perspective on your job, project, or life.

You’ll come back full of spunk and fire.  The gleam will return to your eyes, and you’ll be able to handle most of the things that life throws at you.

One of the fastest ways to raise your spirit is to listen to your favorite music.  It brings up positive memories and replaces dreadful images with things that put a smile on your face.

It’s not possible for your heart to be full of joy and not have a smile on your face to match.  One automatically happens with the other – sort of like pedaling a tandem bike.

We are all able – because we were made so.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard –
‘Impossible’ is not a word –
It’s just a reason for someone not to try.”
-Kutless

Lean in.

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

Dreams That Speak Into, But Wake (villanelle poetry)

(This poem is in “villanelle” style – I wrote it when someone bet me that I couldn’t do one… I won.  Enjoy. )

Dreams that speak into, but wake
With their somewhat arms surround
And hold me tightly, though I quake

They are of frightenings, which now ache
In this night time I have found
Dreams that speak into, but wake

Holding close the dew in flake
I wish it now to touch the ground
And hold me tightly, though I quake

Dream on, dream on, to end’s forsake
I’ll run wildly ‘til I’ve found
Dreams that speak into, but wake

At last, I reach the born daybreak
And grasp at last, through hollow sound
And hold me tightly, though I quake

I stop to rest; I pause and take
A final breath, which tightly wound
Dreams that speak into, but wake
And hold me tightly, though I quake.

(Great explanation of “villanelle” here: http://www.uni.edu/~gotera/CraftOfPoetry/villanelle.html

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 23) – Choose to Live Differently

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 23

Do words cause us to act, or is it the nuances that surround them?  Do they develop from nothingness, on their own, or are they caused in our minds by the greatness of the Universe and its purposes?  We are trapped in between the greatness that exists and the mediocrity that tries so strongly to drag us down with it.

We can step above those surroundings and draw unto the purposes that wait for us to awaken and realize their existence.  By our words, we propose we are aware of supreme ideas that control the Universe, but our actions sometimes reveal otherwise.  We squabble for bits of faded glory, when we could be reaching and living toward the wholeness and grandeur that awaits.

If we would simply look beyond the immediate – beyond the tangible – we would lay hold of intangible, yet meaningful parts of life, construct them, and make them tangible.    It is possible to live in that manner, yet so few choose to do so.

Those who choose to live differently – to go down that path of overcoming – will not have many companions during the venture.  Yet, those who are on the same path are also of the same character and stature.  So, if you go, you will find good company.

Carefully consider the options, and then purposefully choose which way you want to live.  However, if you continue to hesitate and refuse to choose, you will still have chosen.   Avoidance doesn’t negate the existence of the option – it only dictates a singular route that you may dislike.

Follow through on what you start.  Finish well.  A lot of people start things that they don’t finish.  Not finishing things can lead to a frustrating set of days, which could turn into a frustrating life.

We’ve all seen people who just seem to be grumpy all the time.  Don’t be like them.  Follow through on what you start.  In the days that stretch out before you, you will find the purpose you were meant to live, if you don’t already know what it is.

Live differently.

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 22) – Tenacity

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 22

Tenacity is stubbornness with a purpose.  In order to achieve different things, you need to have a certain amount of tenacity.  Most things aren’t going to be given to you, so you’ll have to work at them until you succeed.

Giving up along the way may seem like an option, but don’t take it.  Leave that for the people who are happy with the status quo.

When you’re tenacious, you’ll go the extra mile, do the extra part, or stand a little longer than other people will.  How badly you want something will add to your tenacity.  There’s not a magic formula for making yourself more tenacious, but tenacity does “kick in” when you need it.

It’s almost like a switch flips in your head – stubbornness makes you dig your heels into the ground, and the reason you’re fighting so hard keeps you focused on achieving your goal.  It just happens.  The primal part of your human spirit rises up out of the modern, technological fluff and overcomes all circumstances to win.

Nurses and doctors see it all the time with patients in hospitals who have a reason to live: they can literally be “on their deathbed” one day and be completely turned around the next.  The will to live kicks in and spurs on the rest of the body.  The body starts to fight and wins.

Patients who aren’t ready to die, yet, have the tenacity to overcome their situations and strike back at death’s calling.  They’ve harbored energy and have summoned strength from deep places.  They bring that fight to the surface and command their bodies to live.

The spirit is greater than the flesh, by far.  We command our bodies to be subject to the demands of the mind and can overcome all obstacles.

Live out the tenacity that’s already in you.  Let your spirit shine forth into the world and into the lives of others.

Be tenacious!

****
Find out more about Marty and get his books here

BelieveDo (ch 21) – How to Handle Distractions

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 21

Handling distractions when you’re trying to focus on a goal or when you’re making a positive change in your life can be a challenge, especially if you are easily sidetracked.

Self-Inventory
We’ve found that the best approach to handling distractions is to face them head-on – by doing what we call “self-inventory.”  Self-inventory starts with assessing the situation and follows with asking yourself a series of questions.

Identify the Distraction
The first thing to do is honestly identify the distraction:  Is it a thing?  A hobby?  A television show?  A person?  The Internet?  A bad habit?  An addiction?  Gossip?

Place a Value
Next, place a value on the distraction and the effect it is having on you or your situation.  Is it important to you?
If so, how important?  How much is the distraction worth (time-wise, financially, emotionally, etc)?

3 Big Questions
Then, ask yourself three big questions:

1. “Can this distraction help me reach my goal faster?”

2. “Will this distraction keep me from reaching my goal within the milestones I set when I planned my goals?”

…and the biggest question…
3. “Will this distraction ultimately keep me from reaching my goal?”

The answers you discover will reveal a lot.  When you answer all your questions, you should a have a pretty good idea of what to do about the distraction.

Types
There are all types of distractions: things, people, worries, good intentions, regrets, anger, or even the pursuit of perfection.  Two of the biggest ones can be material things and family issues.

Material Things
You can have fun with some really cool stuff in life, but when you use them to hide behind, you’re no longer pursuing your goals – you’re wasting time.  Unless the gadgets and doodads you’re messing with are directly helping you achieve your goals, they’re distractions and time-stealers.

Somebody once said that the more stuff you have, the more time and money it takes to maintain it.  Some people even try to fill voids in their lives with material things, instead of developing healthy relationships.

Family Issues
Family issues can be a distraction.  We’re not saying you need to ignore your family to reach your goals – far from it!  But you have to find a balance and decide how your family situation is going to impact you in reaching your goals.

This is a very tough topic to address, but so many people hide behind family obligations as a reason for not reaching their goals.  To reach your goals or make positive changes in your life, you have to find a balance that addresses your family needs and concerns, while pursuing goals that they will also benefit from.
Distractions are always going to come and go.  The key is how you handle them.  Are you going to let them turn into excuses?  Will you be honest with your self-inventory and deal with the distractions appropriately?

As a Test
Distractions can also be used in a positive manner to test your plans for achieving your goals.  People may simply be trying to see how serious you are about reaching your goals.  If you bragged about goals in the past but did little to achieve them, then your spouse, kids, friends, or co-workers may be trying to see if you really are going to “rock the world” this time.  Inside, they truly do want you to succeed, because every time you do, you raise the level of life around you.

Lastly, no plan ever makes it through without getting modified in some way.  That’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to reaching goals and making positive changes in your life.  So, what to do?  Let it be modified; be flexible; and keep going!

Face distractions head-on!

BelieveDo (ch 20) – Live Out Your Purpose in Life

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 20

There’s an excitement in the air when you start living the life that you were meant to live.  People around you will sense it, and hopefully it will inspire them to realize that their lives count, too.

But even if some of them don’t, you still have the obligation to the universe and to humanity to fulfill your purpose in life and to achieve your full potential.

Once you see that, you can’t walk away.  You have to live out that purpose, no matter what.  Oh, you can try to walk away from it, but it’ll tear you up inside.

If you try to run away from the words that go through your head every day, it will be hell on earth.  But, when you submit to the greater purposes in your life, then all will be well.

It may seem that some things aren’t working out the way you want them to.  If that’s the case, it’s usually because you don’t see the things that are happening “behind the scenes.”

Take gardeners, for example: when they plant seeds, they typically put them in rows or in some part of their yard, on purpose.  Then at the appointed time, the seeds break forth into song and pop up out of the ground as beautiful flowers or vegetables. However, a few of the seeds don’t come up.  It’s as if they disappear from the face of the earth, but in reality, they don’t.  Birds eat some of them; a few get choked out by weeds; and others get put in bad soil, by mistake, and die.

Although you might be in bad soil right now, you are not a mistake. You were not born by accident.  You are here for a reason.  When you realize that wonderful truth, you will begin to do amazing things.  You are valuable, important, and incredible.  Allow God to work in your life, and He will show you how to unleash the greatness that He put inside you when He knit you together.

When we waltz into the days of life that allow us to easily do what we are meant to do, we are operating in the God-given talents and abilities that we are strongest in.  No matter what the world says, when we are where we are supposed to be, there is no denying that we are definitely driven by the right forces.

Time will show that determination pays off.  It gets stronger with time, allowing us to see deeper into the realms of life – moments ticking away on the clock and counting for something greater than ourselves.

Here are some questions to keep in mind, as you progress in your successes:

•    What is your life’s work?
•    What are you dedicated to?
•    What are you committed to?
•    What are you willing to do, no matter what?
•    What are you not willing to do, no matter what?
•    What are you most excited about during the day?
•    Being here?
•    Going there?
•    Working in this realm?
•    Standing where no one will see you?
•    Standing in the spotlight?
•    What are your immovable core values and beliefs?

How you answer each of those will determine where you invest your life’s energy.

Live out your purpose!