To Be Fierce with A Fighting Spirit

To be inventive in the face of problems. Making more out of less. How hard can that be?  By Madeline Johnson

Early morning words of encouragement for all of you facing the day. Feisty, gutsy and full of fighting spirit. Shouldering  burdens, effortlessly. Never growing weary with struggle.  Adapting what is useful, rejecting what no longer serves and owning what is yours. Listening to the sound of your own intuitive voice.  Sometimes it whispers, often it shouts. You always listen, for clues.

voice

2To be inventive in the face of problems. Making more out of less. Staying juicy, scrappy and saying yes, sure, why not? I’ll try that. How hard can that be?

3..png

Flying forward fearlessly. Laughing in the face of what looks like lack. Holding on to what most would consider horrifying.  There’s not much left, but it’s still useful, you say. They don’t, but you know, almost everything is an opportunity to grow, a tool to transform.

4

Think of it this way. No one cares how you get there. They don’t know what you drove up in. Skip the valet, park it in the back and forge in with fighting spirit. Be unapologetically brave.

You may not feel it today, but you are divine. Some days are like that, your wings are weary and worn. Let them rest a while. Take a moment to breathe in the grace.

holy

In the words of Dylan Thomas, Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

While you can, you must.

5

 

I promise you – no one will care how you pulled it off. But oh, the stories you will tell. How they’ll entertain. Fascinating stories about seemingly hopeless situations that turned around, because of luck, fate and how you dared.  You and your moxie, you with your high-tailed initiative and relentless resourcefulness.

Sub Rosa

You didn’t spend more, take more, no you reinvented and discovered talents you never knew you had. You developed yourself, grappled with life. Down to the ground.

Those scars you bare. They share interesting stories about battles overcome. Scars on your heart, that you wear on your sleeve, because you were strong enough to show the world the strength of your soul.

6.png

Featured Artist

Agostino Arrivabene creates spiritual, surreal, occult paintings with a nod to the symbolists. Alchemists aimed to turn lead into gold: the seeker into the initiate– from suffering human to enlightened being.

Arrivabene seems to want us to have a limitless appreciation for the unknown, the hidden, the unknowable: the mysteries of the universe are unbounded. To have an appreciation of one’s own ignorance is paramount. Arrivabene’s paintings live in the liminal space between psychology and magic. They expand and make tangible the mysteries of the Western Spiritual Tradition. And in doing so, they are a reminder that while Newton was right, so too was Mandelbrot. Our minds are linear, limited, and ruled by reductive cause and effect and a bias towards narrative. But the world is messy, dirty, and with infinite causes, effects and unpredictability. The future and present are opaque. Arrivabene’s work creates a space for the mystery, the unknown, and the hidden.

Paintings

Is This The Person You Want to Be?

Our motives are goal directed activities that energize and direct our behavior. Our motives support what we do, how we behave and what we put forth in the world.

raymond-pettibon-motives-pure-book-surfers-07

Sometimes our motives are simply the presentation of how we hope the world perceives us.

Powerful . .

Valerian-2017.jpg

Intelligent . .

einstein

Foxy. . .

bridget

Strong. . .

ironmanjpg-affbef_1280w

Compassionate . . .

human

Sometimes though, we have to make choices. Choices between doing what we want to do and what we must do.

claire-foy-the-queen1

Doing the right thing may not necessarily match our goals. The right thing may be miles away from our true desires. It isn’t necessarily the thing that will make us happy, get us noticed, respected or appreciated.

thankless

When we remove our selfish motives and realign our priorities to match what is right before us that must be taken care of now, we are free to do the work that matters. The sometimes thankless work.  The work that serves others.

thankless

Feeling Unappreciated

It’s difficult when people are indifferent to our work and to our achievements. We do and do and do  and get no damn respect. No appreciation, zero gratitude. We feel affronted.

Maybe it’s time to review why we do what we do and why we get upset when nobody notices.

5-hang_mind

The reward for doing the right thing is not recognition. The reward for doing the right thing is self-respect, a calm heart and a mind at rest.

When you let go and do what is right and give up all thoughts of acknowledgment, it’s actually quite liberating.

 

success

There is peace of mind that comes with doing the important work without applause.

3-hang_mind

 

 

 

We Gather Strength As We Go

No Bone” that’s what was written in black Sharpie marker on the bandages wrapped around her head.  The trauma team wheeled my daughter past the waiting room so quickly I had to look twice and then again. No bone? what does that mean? Did they remove her skull?

ariel

It was an icy, sleeting, snowing, stormy day. The accident was bad. Ariel was brought to Nassau County Trauma Center and put on life support immediately. By the time we got to the hospital she was out of surgery. The removed her part of her skull to relieve the pressure.

One severe acquired brain injury, a terrifying time through her coma, two major head surgeries, four months at Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury center and two and a half years of rehabilitation later. It’s now been nine years since the accident.

bell

How do we get through times like these?

We gather strength as we go.

Yes life can be hard. But we stay strong and in the moment.

We see clearly and act correctly.

Endure and accept the world as it is right now.
We ask good questions. Like what are the opportunities that can come from this obstacle ?

We remain positive and see things for what they are – and no worse.
Do what we can.
Endure and bear what we must.
We gather strength as we go & grow.
Inspired by my life and the amazing book The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday