Independence Day

Seeing as we are into the Independence Day week, and even though Monday is not the 4th, I’ve decided not to post a regular column today.  Did you know we MAY be celebrating on the wrong day?:
July 2nd is the real Independence Day? John Adams thought so

 

Image from:
CJP Photos
madisonbeachhotel05.0406f

 

Regardless.  July 4 is our Independence Day.  As with every Monday that a US Holiday falls on I do not write a typical Wisdom and Life column on Holiday Mondays.  I think it is more important to celebrate the holiday.

 

Enjoy the holiday.

 

 

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Pipe Dreams

My pipe dream, the one I’ve had my ENTIRE life is to own a yacht and spend my winters in Key West and my summers on Block Island.  I’ve been asking the Universe for as long as I can remember and practicing The three tenets of Law of Attraction:
–Ask
–Believe
–Give Thanks 

I actually fell in love with Key West in 2006 while my brother, Jay was stationed there.  I was fortunate enough to visit twice in 2006.  Once in January and once in May.

Image from:
CJP Photos
mallorysquarejan0506c

 

From the moment I stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac of Key West I felt the EXACT same way I do when I visit Block Island.  You can imagine being the photographer that I am just how much I LOVED visiting Key West.

 

Since I no longer enjoy flying, having a yacht would negate that challenge of travelling.  Even when I loved to fly I had this dream of owning a yacht so I could travel and put in at area marinas up and down the eastern seaboard.  Have my camera, my laptop and I’d be happy.  Spend my days writing and taking pictures.  Who wouldn’t want that life?

 

These are my two favorite places I’ve EVER visited. The amazing thing is that I’m so close to Block Island that I get to go every year at least once, sometimes as many as three times.

Image from:
CJP Photos
BI.National09.05.10-001

 

Key West not so much.  A boat would change that.  I could travel anywhere.
What’s your pipe dream?

 

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Let There Be Light

And the Lord Said:
Let there be light.  And there was.

 

Daylight Saving time is upon us and I’m ecstatic.  Given the choice between cold and dark and cold and light I will choose cold and light every time.

 

Image from:
Flickr
DaylightSaving

 

I LOVE leaving work at 5pm when it is still light. I don’t enjoy driving ANYWHERE when it is dark out, even two minutes from work to home.  Make no mistake however. I like the warmer weather too. Especially being a photographer. There’s nothing better than getting home at 5pm then being able to run down to the water to capture sunsets:

 

Image from:
CJP Photos
WestWharf08.23.2015-003

 

Daylight saving time allows me to do that. It also allows me to take advantage of living within a five minute walk to work as I can start walking to work without worrying about walking home in the dark.  Are you getting the impression that given the choice between walking and driving, that will choose to walk EVERY time.  It’s why I feel so blessed to live where I live.

Thank you!
Thank you, Aunt Bet!

 

Bring on the light.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Wonder

A few weeks ago while attending Shoreline Universalist, the discussion revolved around the word wonder.  Hearing that service alone, convinced me that I found the right place for my spiritual practice, because everything that was discussed I have in one way or another written about here at Wisdom and Life.  One fine example is right here:
Natalie Merchant’s Wonder

and here:
An Overflowing Faith

 

Images from:
CJP Photos
wonder

 

It isn’t simply that Shoreline Universalist and I are on the same page when it comes to my feelings on spirituality.  There is so much more.

 

Being a creative, wonder is an important word in my lexicon. For without that word, where would the artists be:
The writers?
The painters?
The photographers?
The actors?
The musicians?

 

Wonder is what propels creatives forward.
As in:
I wonder what would happen if I put this color paint on the canvas.
I wonder how these words would string together?
I wonder how this would look through my viewfinder?

 

Being a photographer I’m always using that frame of reference when I’m out photographing.  There are countless times I put the camera up to my eye, scanning the scenes.  That’s one way I use that word.  Another is once I’m home from a photo shoot and I begin editing my photos.  When I come across a particular image that catches my eye, I wonder at the colors I captured. Sometimes I don’t even remember taking that particular photo.  That’s wonder.

 

I feel the same way when writing.  Wonder, being in the moment, being in the flow; these are all examples of wonder.

 

So what does the word Wonder mean to you?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Freedom

Seeing as July is ubiquitous with the word freedom in The United States, I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the word and what it means to me:
Freedom means different things to different people.
Freedom from oppression
Freedom from pain, emotional as well as physical.
Freedom to choose your own priorities.

 

Dictionary.com defines freedom as:
exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

 

The United States, The U.S. Flag and the word freedom generally go hand in hand

Image from:
CJP Photos
USFlag

 

For myself:
Freedom is being able to choose the way I WANT to live my life.
Freedom is being free from negativity.

Freedom is finding joy where I am at the present moment and doing my best to stay in the present moment.

 

 

What is freedom to you?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Imagining Our Success

Leverage your time more by spending a little more time every day imagining and a lot less time every day doing. Do a little more imagining and a little more less doing. Until eventually most of what’s happening is happening in the cool, calm, anticipatory state. Just imagine yourself into the successes, and watch what happens. Imagine a little more and act a little less.

 

Abraham-Hicks

 

Success is personal.  How we view it.  How we get there.  What it takes to attain it.  First we have to believe it is within our grasp.  How do we do that?  I believe Abraham-Hicks has it right:
We first have to imagine it.
We have to tell ourselves we are a success.  And we must believe it!
We must tell others we are successful even if we may not feel it.

 

Image from:
CJP Photos
MercyTree

 

Because success means different things to different people, we aren’t exaggerating.  If we imagine our success, if we think we are accomplished, our lives will reflect it in what we see.  If we tell others we are accomplished, they will see it, for people only see believe what they see.

 

Stop downplaying your accomplishments
Stop featuring your failures.

 

Start imagining the riches that are already in your life.
Start focusing on the advancements you’ve made.

 

The other important thing you need for success, for an accomplished life is the right people in your life.  You must surround yourself with like minded people.  People who recognize your fortune, who recognize your accomplishments.  People who are successful in their own lives.  If you want to know success then you have to see it in action.  Find a group of like minded individuals.  Whether it be artists, writers, musicians.  Whatever talent you have, become involved with the group.  And when you surround yourself with this group, you’ll naturally soak up the positive energy osmosis like.

 

Success, accomplishment, advancement is contagious.  And once you understand that, once you see your success take root, you’ll start seeing it in others as well.  That’s why it is so important to find a circle of friends who are accomplished.  You start to feed off each other.  You become a tree, with each branch feeding off the main trunk.  Without the trunk there would be no branches and without the branches there would be no trunk.  As I’ve always maintained at Wisdom and Life, everything is symbiotic.  EVERYTHING is connected.  Our very connectedness breeds success just as much as our individual efforts.

 

You MUST start by first imagining your success before you can see it come to fruition.  If you can see it, if you can imagine it before it blooms then you are already accomplished.  remember:
–Surround yourself with successful people.
–Imagine your success first
–Focus on the advancements you’ve already made.

 

If you can do that, your trunk will produce many branches.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Moving to Block Island

My two year old niece’s friend recently moved.  Let’s call my niece, Katie (This is NOT her REAL name.)  So last month, Katie’s Mom asked her if she could move ANYWHERE where she would want to move.  You’d think her answer would be near her friend wouldn’t you?  That’s what I expected when her mom began this story.  I should have known better.  Her mom said Katie thought about her answer with deliberation.  Then Katie said:
Block Island!

Image From:
CJP Photos
BI.National09.05.10-001

Uh oh.  I thought!
I’ve created another Block Island geek.

 

As you who have been following me here at Wisdom and Life are aware, Block Island is my favorite place, the place where my soul sings.  You only have to look back to previous columns at Wisdom and Life to see that.

 

I found it truly amazing that I’ve made an impression on my niece as well.  I can only hope my presence in Katie’s life continues to influence her in such a positive manner.

 

 

 

Katie and I are walking toward Southeast Light here:
WalkingToSELight

 

Here’s the way my mind works now that I understand that EVERYONE has been here before and we will ALL be here again.  We generally resonate with places we’ve experienced previously.  It’s why I believe I feel so connected to Block Island.  I feel as if I’ve been there in a previous lifetime.  As if I’ve always been connected to BI.

 

As you who have read Wisdom and Life previously should be aware, I think that children are most sensitive to the etheric world, that children are the easiest to talk to about where they were previously to incarnating.  My heart and my mind naturally travel to why did my niece consider Block Island?

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Daylight and Spring

Living in New England in the middle of winter can be quite the challenge if you don’t have the right attitude.  If there is one thing about New England winters that distress me more than anything else, it isn’t the cold.  Although, the bitter cold does cause me some concern.  It’s the early dark that causes me the most anguish.  That’s why if I have to choose a time for it to be, I will choose January over August.

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
DST

 

 

I can see some of you scratching your heads wondering why I would choose the bitter cold of January over the warm summer evenings of August.  Here’s why:
In August, the daylight hours are decreasing.  If I must choose between cold and longer daylight and warm and shorter daylight, you better believe I want longer daylight.

 

 

One reason this is the case is that I’m no longer comfortable driving in the dark.  So because we are now in January in New England, things are looking up, things are getting better.  When I leave work at five pm, I can still see the sky.  I can still see the street without aid of headlights and streetlights.

 

We also start seeing warmer weather and flowers start blooming as well such as the Star Magnolia outside the EC Scranton Memorial Library

Image from:
CJP Photos

StarMagnolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it will only improve as the months move forward.  Then comes Sunday, March 8, when we turn the clocks and spring forward.

 

Woo Hoo!

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Dredging Up Memories

My friend, Jessica Mokrzycki

 

published Pain’s Precipice at her blog yesterday and it dredged up memories that were buried deep in my consciousness:

Spending time with The Professor’s Husband

Because like Jessica, I visited someone who I became close to over the course of several years. You can read about my friend in the linked column above.  I will say only this about our visits:
We were of the same spiritual ilk and it’s why I so enjoyed our conversations.

 

Jessica says at one point in Pain’s Precipice:
Others that come here to care for him that I talk to think him a silly old man that rambles on and on. I see him as a genius and if one only cares to listen he reveals a life where splendor shone daringly at its crest.

 

After my friend transitioned, I also heard the same stories about him:
That once his wife transitioned, he became entrenched in a spiritual fugue. (My turn of a phrase.)
That he lost a part of his cognition when his wife passed.
That he believed some “silly” thoughts.

 

I didn’t see this at all.
I saw the strong soul behind the man.

 

So, thank you, Jessica for bringing these wonderful memories I have of my time with The Professor’s Husband back around.  I so enjoyed my conversations with him, for he was about the ONLY person I could talk to about my worldview because we were BOTH on the same page when it came to these discussions.

 

Another memory Jessica’s column brings up is spending time with my maternal grandparents; only because she writes about her time with HER grandparents early on:
…Of sitting at my grandparent’s kitchen table after a night of sleeping over with my sister. Poached eggs, grapefruit and cantaloupe before us as well as my grandparent’s loving eyes and warm voices drifting melodically in a shared space made sacred. A time of memories being woven deep in the fibers of my consciousness. My heart winces as I know my grandmother is no more. Her remains now in a marble urn atop my grandfather’s dresser. Those days gone forever.

 

First I want to tell Jessica that my paradigm suggests that:
Those days are NOT gone forever.
That we will ALL see each other again in transition as well as in life.
I want to suggest reading Journey of Souls to her.

 

I have my own wonderful memories of spending time in Lisbon, Connecticut on Graham Terrace with my maternal grandparents:
There was the ubiquitous fishing hole two minutes down the street from my grandparents.
My grandfather taught me to fish.
My grandfather introduced me to my photography obsession.

 

Graham Terrace in Lisbon, Connecticut was a magical place.  It became my sanctuary.  My first best friend lived on Nora Street just a hop and jump away, and I sometimes spent more time visiting him than I did with my grandparents.
Seeing that map of Lisbon, floods my brain with endorphins.
Seeing that map of Lisbon brings back all the amazing memories I had growing up.
Seeing that map of Lisbon, engulfs me in peace.

 

Spending time there as a youth made me who I am today and I wouldn’t trade anything for not having the experiences I did while living there.  Everyone should have such a place to have grown up in.

All such amazing memories I experienced growing up and it is always peaceful going back and recalling those memories. So I want to thank Jessica for Dredging Up Memories of my youth.

And here’s another memory that just popped in:
As with Jessica’s friend, my grandfather took up painting later in his life as well.

I’d forgotten ALL about that but now I clearly see him sitting in the dining room that became his studio crouching over a painting he worked on.  WOW!  I’d ENTIRELY forgotten that about him.  Goosebumps and a warm feeling just flooded my being.  I can actually close my eyes and bring the image of my grandfather sitting in that studio now.

Thank you, Jessica!

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Dichotomies

A couple weeks ago I posted something on Google+, about dichotomous interests and I realized as I was writing my thoughts out that each interest took over while one hibernated.  My maternal grandfather introduced me to my photography obsession when I turned ten years old.  He bought me my first camera for my tenth birthday, a Kodak Instamatic camera.  From the moment the camera was in my hands I was hooked.  To see more information about my photography obsession, feel free to view my photographer’s statement on CJP Photos.

I was already heart and soul into writing, when the camera was placed in my hand.  However, writing soon became less important to me as photography took its place.  I went everywhere with that little Kodak Instamatic camera:

I loved that camera as it introduced me to photography.  i owned it for six years until I graduated to my first Canon camera and my first SLR.  The Canon T50:

I also was given that camera for my sixteenth birthday.  Now here was a camera I could grow into.  And man did I use it.  I owned that camera until 2002, over twenty years.  The T50 was retired when I went digital.
In between those twenty years of owning the T50, I found my way back to my first obsession:
Writing.  And photography went into hibernation again.  It seems to me that I can’t focus on two arts at the same time.  One tends to take precedence.  Another odd happenstance that has just occurred to me is there seems to be a ten year gap between each hibernation.

It was 1980 to around 1990 that photography was a major habit.
It was 1990 to 2000 that writing really took over and it was during this time that I found my greatest success, being published sporadically in the SF/F small press.

Then, the 2000s rolled around and I lost all interest in what I wrote.  Photography came roaring back into my life and again it was during this time, the second go round that I found my greatest success with that endeavor.

It was in 2002 that I opened my photography site:
CJP Photos
and began showing my photography at local galleries.  I sold almost immediately upon putting my photography online and showing in galleries.  Ten years went by and my brand became so recognizable that people knew me more as a photographer than anything else.

Marketing!  Marketing!  Marketing!

During this entire ten year period, I never sat in front of my computer to type a single word that lead to any type of fiction.  I didn’t even miss it.  Another ten year period.

2000 to 2010.

I wonder what it is with the number ten that is so relevant to me.  That number not only holds significance for my obsessions, the number ten is also significant in the fact that the first two jobs I held were for ten years:
Hammonasset Beach State Park:
1985-1995

Stop and Shop:
1990-2000

And yes I worked in both places at the same time for a while.

2010 rolled around, and I found my voice returning to me again.  Writing, once more became habitual.  It was something I had to do to stay centered.  I shared a post called: The Itch that explained how my flame was rekindled.

Anyone else have similar stories?

Be Well!  Be Happy!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris