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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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Find out more about Marty and get his books here