Even when no one is listening…

Archive for the ‘Emotional Well Being’ Category

How I Feel About All This…

As an aspiring writer with a blog I have a few personal thoughts on blogging and social media….

 

1. Keep It Classy – Basically: present yourself articulately and politely. Personal attacks that name a particular individual (I believe corporations or groups like non-profits are exempt from this) are not classy. Keep that shit private. If you don’t like your best friend because she fucked your boyfriend tell her face-to-face. Announcing personal drama on social media is not classy. Punch that bitch in the face if you want! Just don’t use a facebook status to do it. In all seriousness though, Social media is the public sphere of internet sharing. Keep it classy friends. 

2. Keep Your Cool – Early on, decide how you want to use your social media. Throwing your personal thoughts into cyberspace is not something to be taken lightly. Sometimes it can be like standing on a rooftop shouting and other times it can be like a soft whisper in the wind. The awesome part about it is YOU  get to choose. After all, you’re the one presenting yourself. And there are are plenty of options. You can: lead, follow, observe, shout, whisper, nudge, market etc. YOU set the tone.

Be cool. And be aware of the consequences that come with social media usage. Just like face-to-face conversation, anything can happen. Be prepared. And please, don’t whine like a little bitch if someone doesn’t like what you have to say.Had a bad day at work? Did McDonald’s mess up your big mac? Go ahead and vent. Just understand that most of the world doesn’t give a shit. And those that do, probably consist of your best friend, dog and grandma. Beware of attention seeking and drama starting internet whores that will take the opportunity to turn your frustrations into an even more infuriating argument. Trust me, this shit happens. That’s why it’s important to think before you speak posting. Many reputations have been tainted from social media abuse. Keep your cool. 

3. Keep It Clear – Differentiate between fact, fiction and mere opinion. When dealing with written and verbal communication, I find clarity to be key. Make sure your audience knows when you’re discussing:

FACT “something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence OR a true piece of information”

FICTION “written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer OR something that is not true.”

OPINION “a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing.”

Confusion, rumors and needless arguments can arise when these three aren’t clearly labeled. So keep it clear my dears 🙂

 

 

4. Keep it Consistent – This is where things can get a bit tricky. Consistency has a lot to do with honesty and integrity. If the social media you are using has a comment feature take some time to understand what that means for you as a user. Some sites offer the option of turning off the comment feature. If you’d rather not deal with comments on what you post, then I’d suggest you take advantage of this feature. Another option that is sometimes available is to moderate comments. This feature is helpful when dealing with spam posts and/or internet harassment. If you choose to moderate, you have the power to approve or deny comments submitted; such as: spam, hate speech, demeaning language/tone etc. Or you can simply allow free range on comments. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent…which leads to my last point….

5. Prevent and Report Cyber Bullying- Now, I know some of you are probably wondering why I brought this up. Cyber bullying? Doesn’t that effect kids in school? Yes, but cyber bulling can happen to anyone. As adults, we like to use terms like: harassment, name calling, hate speech, stalking, intimidation etc. Essentially, it’s the same thing. If you feel that someone is using social media to intimidate, threaten or silence your person: then take action. Sites like Face Book, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and many more all have reporting and blocking features. Be smart in who you chose to let see your personal information. If you don’t want to talk to someone then you don’t have to.  Don’t be afraid to ignore friend requests, deny personal advances, turn off private messaging, or to simply ask someone to stop. If that doesn’t work, then block a user from communicating with you or from viewing your site. For more serious issues, document everything that could be used in a court of law. You can take a screenshot for example before deleting comments and blocking the individual. If you need help removing someone from your social network, contact the support team of the website you need help with. They will usually be more than glad to help you solve your problem. You can generally find the support email address on the website itself, or it you can’t find it there search on Google. Do know that, the law suggests, for your protection to not converse with those that continue on after being asked to stop by the person they are bullying.  Some cyber problems can spill out into real life if you’re not careful. So do your best to understand, prevent and report cyber bullying. 

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So there you have it! My personal guidelines for using the inter-webs. I’ve had a lot of trial and error and hope my readers can learn from my experiences. That being said, I have a bit to say on a poem I wrote recently entitled,“What It Means To Be Your Daughter”. I wrote it back in April and just recently published it to my blog. If you check out my Poetic Musings page you will find that I have shared quite a bit of my work; with pieces conveying various content, tone and meter. Whenever I update my blog, WordPress has a nifty feature that sends a link to my facebook fan page; from there I can share the link to my personal page or where ever on Facebook. I LOVE this feature because it allows my work and thoughts to “get out there”. I mean it’s free advertising and who doesn’t love FREE marketing?? This poem was never meant as a personal attack towards my family. In fact, this piece could be interpreted many different ways according to the reader. We all look at life through  lenses of experiences. That’s the beautiful part of poetic writing. No two people relate to poetry the same exact way. A poem is read a thousand different ways by a thousand different people.

Certain individuals have chosen to share the link to my poem because they find it inappropriate. I am choosing to not take it down as I stand by my work completely. And ask you to read it for yourself if you haven’t already.

Until we meet again,

Rachel

The Best Personality Test Available On The Internet

Readers, grab a pen and paper. Then click on the photo below.

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Eight questions. Easy. 15 minutes tops.

I promise.

Unless you have a bad internet connection, an untimely emergency or have a learning disability of some sorts…

What are you waiting for???

Click the link!

Then

meet

me

back

HERE

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~MY ANSWERS~

(Which I found surprisingly accurate. My commentary upon reading the interpretation is in italics.)

1. Depth. Warmth. Comfort. Fear. Respect. Power. Life.

Some may say I’m overly dramatic but I just like to soak life in. I’m not sure I have a middle ground when it comes to emotions.

2. Crunchy leaves with grass poking beneath. I’m barefoot hoping for the best. All of nature attacks me from all angles.

Uhhhh, ya. That pretty much sums up my family life. I’m hopeful that things will brighten and “spring” will come…

3. God, don’t poop on me.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I don’t like women. Some are tolerable but for the most part – GAWD- just leave me be.

4. Strength in numbers. I don’t understand why everyone loves horses like they are the ONLY beautiful creature in the world… I mean horses are okay and yes they are beautiful but why all the hype over horses?

Perhaps this is deeply connected to the wounds in my life left by the patriarchy system? 

5. I’d wish away the wall because…. why the hell would there be a wall just chilling in the dessert?? Obviously, I’m delusional. If that didn’t work I’d walk around it.

Ha! 

6. I’d be skeptical. And wonder why I’m alone in the dessert without water. Like WTF Rachel??? What did you do to get yourself in this situation? 

Highly skeptical.

7. Knock on the door. Hope for the best. Call my man to come get me.

Ready for shizzle. 

8. I’d soak it in. Fell the wetness. Wishing I could splash about in it.

 

Bring it. 

Soooooooo….how did your answers pan out?

Comment below!

February: {Lessons In Love}

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Flowers for our Three Months

February 10th, Jeffery and I celebrated three months of love, tears, hugs, kisses and laughter. Three months of late nights, early mornings and endless joy. I’m not sure how it’s possible but in a mere three months we’ve seen each others worst; shared our darkness and relished in our flaws and imperfection. I’m still blown away. Breathless yet full of joy, happiness and love. He’s my person, best friend, lover and soul mate. Just when I started to doubt love would ever appear- he found me. I was just a couple months delayed in noticing what was right in front of me. Part of me wished I had waited for him. The other part of me realizes out mutual brokenness is what brought us together. Heartache our greatest lover, our darkest demons a blessing, the mistakes we’ve shared perhaps leading the way all this time.

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Jeffery surprised by the promise ring I gave him.

Love isn’t nearly what I expected. Before Jeffery I had only experienced love in parts. Here and there. Fragmented. Brokenly beautiful. The day Jeffery told me through tears that he was picking up the pieces of my being; committed to putting together the puzzle of my brokenness I knew I had found a complete whole love.

For the first time in my life, I’ve experienced love first hand. Wrapping me up in all angles. Coming from all directions. Consuming all of me. Filling me completely. Overflowing, pouring over the brim. Breaking down my walls. Flooding light into my darkness. Unconditionally giving. Sacrificially living. Chipping away at my insecurities. Breaking me down then building me back up again.

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Flowers for Valentine’s Day

And I feel whole again.

Only this time, it’s an undeniably true existence. There are no clouds of doubt. No pangs of guilt. Nor any fear of shame.

I’ve found “GOD” within Jeffery’s love towards me. He is my personal representation of Jesus. And while I don’t know quite how to explain it…I am once again comfortable with the concept of “GOD”. Only “GOD” is so much bigger to me. I still don’t believe in a man in the sky nor a personal deity buried beneath doctrine and tradition. I believe in a god that can’t be documented, measured or confined to words on a page. I believe in the love we all ache for and desire to give.

To me- “GOD” is love – and love resides in each heart.

I am not lost.

I am not bitter.

I am not empty nor full of darkness. I am discovering. I am joyful and forgiving. I am the light of life; sometimes only an ember and other times a fierce flame….

All because someone loved me. All because someone showed me grace. All because Jeffery Wayne Smith chose to love me unconditionally.

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  And isn’t that the “God-Shaped Hole” we all want to fill? Isn’t that what God is all about? Isn’t that what’s left when you cut away all the doctrinal fluff of religion?

Spiritual beings with a spiritual hunger to be loved and love in return. 

My religious friends, I am not that different from you. Yes, I got good and angry. Confused and bewildered. Hurt and abandoned. But all that chaos led me down the path of selfless love, holiness and forgiveness. A journey I won’t soon forget.

Jeffery Wayne Smith, thank you for imparting your Christ-based love to me. You are what a true Christian is called to be. You have saved me life in every way a person can possibly be saved.

Thank you my love.

I look forward to spending an eternity of life and love with you….”Forever & Forever Infinity Google” ❤

Your ‘flower’,

Rachel Margaret Sproles

Why you should have your cake AND eat it too!!

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The other day, my boyfriend Jeff and I were grocery shopping together. Wandering our way isle by isle we eventually reached the snack food. Our cart already filled with fresh produce, scrumptious whole grains and the necessities of eggs, milk and butter. Jeff went to grab a bag of chocolate covered mini donuts.

“Three for five!” he exclaimed eagerly picking out three bags. I cringed. Taking a bag from the shelf I read the nutritional information.

“Do you have any idea how many calories are in these things??”

“What’s a calorie?” he asked innocently.

“You’re kidding.”

“No.”

Dumbfounded I struggled to explain. “Well calories are energy units…um…my body needs 1800 calories just to maintain my weight…and this is just a lot of empty calories…”

“Well, I don’t care about calories,” Jeff smiled sweetly. “I like chocolate donuts.” He stuffed three bags in the cart and we continued our shopping.

~*~

Since dating Jeff I’ve stopped letting food rule my life. I’ve stopped calorie counting; instead I eat when I’m hungry. I’m more concerned with wholesome ingredients while enjoying sweets and snacks occasionally. My metabolism has boosted as a result. My energy level is more balanced. I go to bed tired. I wake up rested. Jeff is teaching me the importance of loving your own body. All of it.

This man worships my stretchmarks, adores my belly fat and cherishes every inch of my form. He doesn’t try to change me. In fact, my Jeffery told me that he would miss my belly if I were to ever somehow lose it haha

Jeffery wants only the best for me. He makes a point of helping me become a stronger version of myself. Lovingly he massages my muscles; working them to the point of surrender. He makes a point to care for me in this way. The results are abundant. I can feel the difference in my body physically and emotionally. My weak spots are growing stronger. My endurance lengthening.  My appetite through the roof! 

Now I’m left wondering why I spent so much time consumed with numbers and expectations. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m alive 🙂

Most importantly, I love myself inside out and outside in 😉 Thank you Jeffery for opening my eyes to the true beauty of being human…what it means to be alive. Thank you for being ignorant of calories. And teaching me to eat chocolate donuts just because they are yummy 🙂

Aside

Throat {Light Blue} Chakra – Week #5- Study Summary

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1. Pick a symbol that personifies the Chakra

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The tongue.

Let me explain…the 5th Chakra is the center of creativity and expression. This past week my tongue was out of commission. My back left molar chipped causing unusual friction across my tongue from the tooth rubbing constantly on the underside. Within a couple of days the entire left side of my jaw was swollen. I couldn’t chew, speak or swallow without it hurting. Still, I had to go to work and be graceful and charming as ever.

I learned to choose my words carefully.

I learned the frustration in not being able to communicate clearly.

I learned how important one part of the body is to the health of the whole body.

I learned to appreciate my tongue like never before.

2. Color the corresponding mandala

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“With the sound of my voice, with my words, I express my creativity and communicate with other human beings”

3. Research the yoga poses that correlate with keeping the Chakra balanced

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Okay, so this week I attended the absolute best yoga workshop at Lotus Gallery taught by Jessica Burkett. Our practice was centered around the Chakras; more specifically opening up the Throat Chakra. After a guided meditation and some healthy snacks we each created our own mandala. The best part of all this? I had no idea the workshop was so intimately tied to my own personal study! Thank you Jess!!

4. Read the corresponding chapters of “Chakras for Beginners.”

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“You must learn to speak your personal truth, as well as know it” (pg 73)

5. Choose a song that describes how you feel in relationship to the Chakra

“Wake Me Up” – Avicii

“Wish I could stay forever this young

Not afraid to close my eyes

Life’s a game made for everyone

And love is the prize….

So wake me up when it’s all over

When I’m wiser and I’m older

All this time I was finding myself

And I didn’t know I was lost”

Also, “So Fly” by Elle Varner

“Now listen,

I’ve got a beautiful soul

But only four people know

They’ve known me since I was ten

Beauty didn’t matter then.”

6. Free write/read

This week has been a little different when it comes to the Free Write. Instead of writing for me I’ve been writing letters to friends, family, strangers, former loves and my pen-pals.  Letter writing has changed my life. There is something simple yet complex, beautiful yet messy & freeing yet committal about sending an actual handwritten, envelope addressed and stamp applied letter. This is a personal project I started back in September and hope to continue for the rest of my life. In the coming months I foresee great things coming my way as a result of this endeavor.

I invite you, dear reader, to join me.

Find a pen-pal  who needs a friend

or

better yet….

write someone close to you….

a long-lost friend

a former lover

your mama

your papa

your brother

your sister

your grandmother

that annoying neighbor of yours

or yourself

If none of that appeals then write me 😉

P.O. BOX 115

Columbia City, IN 46725

I LOVE GETTING MAIL

Seriously, I’m like a kid at the candy store when it comes to checking that postal box.

7. Come up with an activity that connects you to the Chakra

Guess I kinda covered that above but while I have your attention let me expand on the for-mentioned troubles with my poor tongue. Long story short, I thought I was going to have to lose the tooth. Bravely I faced the dentist chair only to be told that they could file my tooth and all would heal within a couple days. And it did. Plus they didn’t charge me a thing! So if you’re in need of a dentist please check out Churubusco Family Dentistry.  

And one more last tidbit I’ve learned from this grand adventure

SCRAPE YOUR TONGUE PEOPLE

IT NEEDS LOVE

JUST LIKE YOU DO

AND WELL IT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOU

 HERE’S WHY! 

Peace.love.harmony.wholeness.

Rachel ❤

T.M.B.C.C., Kumbum Chamtse Ling Monastery Monks Visit Fort Wayne, IN

1233544_10151559161376642_282171461_nThat’s right 🙂 This girl (thanks to her marvelous best friend Victoria) got to see the Tibetan Monks after all!

After a disastrous Saturday attempt that resulted in a wild goose chase around town, nearly crashing a wedding, charming police officers and  ending with a library security guard getting nasty with Victoria for asking questions- I FINALLY SAW THEM

For those of you wondering “what the hell are these seven dudes in robes doing with all that sand” let me enlighten you a bit….

They are creating a sand mandala. Sand painting , is an art form that uses colored sands on an unfix surface to create a picture or symbol that is often later dissolved in water to demonstrate the meditation of impermanence and/or to spread blessings associated with the design.

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Mandalas are intricately simple circular symbols that according to Hinduism and Buddhism represent the universe. Mandalas are commonly used in meditation practices; either by coloring in an already existing design or by creating a new pattern.

Watching the monks finish their mandala was a breathtaking experience. Each of them delighted by their shared company and endeavor. I was mesmerized by their patience and amused by their apparent difference in style that somehow managed to mesh into one collaborative effort.

This group of seven came all the way from a refuge monastery in India for persecuted  Tibetan monks. They were on tour in the states spreading their message of peace while raising funds for their monastery; taking donations and selling jewelry and clothing native to their culture.

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The photograph to the left shows the finished mandala. My responsibilities for the day prevented me from witnessing the dissolution of the mandala, however, I am sure it was beautiful. I am truly blessed to have witnessed this aspect of Eastern culture. There are endless messages of peace, harmony and blessing intermixed within the various religious and spiritual symbols. I’ve not yet fully researched them all but was fortunate enough to take home a handout on the eight designs encompassed by the red background.

Later that day, my aunt Rachel informed me that the same group of monks had visited Franklin College earlier this year. 

Please take the time to enlarge the photograph to see the detail put into each portion of the design. Keep in mind this was all done using metal cylinders to pour sand onto an unfix background. The detail amazes me as it will you.

If you’re interested in learning more click any of the highlighted links above! I’ve tried to give you connections to relevant articles and postings 🙂

Blessings and Peace,

Rachel

Sacral {Orange} Chakra – Week #2 – Study Summary

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Oh my, has week two been ridiculously awesome or what?!

This study is literally changing my life; the way I view myself and others.

Tis’ beautiful 🙂

1. Pick a symbol that personifies the Chakra

Female Cobra

Female Cobra

Studying the Sacral Chakra has made me keenly aware of my relationship with pleasure. A well balanced relationship can bring great happiness, beauty and joy. An unbalanced relationship has the power to harm and even kill you. Blissful moderation is key. Just as a cobra may be tamed and their terrifying power enjoyed; such is one’s relationship to things that bring pleasure such as: alcohol, food, entertainment and sex.

2. Color the corresponding mandala 

The Sacral Mandala Colored in with reds, oranges and hints of yellow

The Sacral Mandala
Colored in with reds, oranges and hints of yellow

3. Research the  Yoga Poses that correlate with keeping the Chakra balanced

Cobra Sequence

Cobra Sequence

Monday was Yoga at Laughing Lotus with the lovely Tiffany Herron. Part of our practice that night consisted of the Cobra pose; which is helpful for opening up the Sacral Chakra. And yes, it’s harder than it looks but easier than you’d expect 😉 Best part is, I wasn’t aware of the connection until today!

4. Read the corresponding chapters of “Chakras for Beginners” 

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Once again, BEAUTIFUL book.

Seriously.

You

should

check

this

out.

5. Choose a song that describes how you feel in relationship to the Chakra

“Counting Stars” by One Republic

The video even has a crocodile…which just so happens to be the animal spirit associated with the Sacral Chakra

“Everything that kills me make me feel alive….Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly…”

6. Free Write/Read

So I altered this one a bit. Some things are better discovered through writing (the output of information) and others through reading (the input of information).

This week I finished “Faking It” . A deeply sensual story about finding oneself.

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Then I spent the rest of my week reading books that were in tune with sexuality, energy and pleasure.

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Victoria & Amara gave me the hook up on these 😉 Thank you ladies

The Peabody Library had this one.

The Peabody Library had this one.

Needless to say, I’ve been rather consumed by my love for reading.

7. Come up with an activity that connects you to the Chakra

This week has been all about seeking my greatest joy. Living in the moment. And doing what I FEEL like doing.

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So I went to Marshall, MI on Sunday with Victoria and Emily for the 50th Anniversary Historical Home Tour

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We had lots of fun on the drive there and back. Friendship IS fun.

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There was ANOTHER Art Festival going on as well (two in one weekend!!) where we mingled with fellow artists and of course I had to snag a couple of pieces to take home.

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Including this inspirational journal from Paper and i

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I spent the rest of my week basking myself in orange clothing doing all the things I never make time to do.

Like: going for a drive in the country, eating chocolate, going for long walks, picking flowers, smelling books at Barnes and Noble, day dreaming, getting hot chocolate just for the sake of getting hot chocolate, spending time with friends, napping and being awesome in general.

Yes, this week has been the perfect kick start to my Fall.

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Tomorrow begins the third (yellow) Chakra – the Solar Plexus 

“I AM”

“I FEEL”

Now it’s time for “I DO”

Stay posted 🙂 

Rachel

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