A Helping Hand Can Help You

When you see someone living something awful, a rocket of desire for their resolution shoots out of you. And then, if you start focusing upon their resolution, you’ll start feeling better right away. And now, you’re part of the current that is part of the solution.

Abraham-Hicks
May 7, 2018

 

Have you known this to happen?  If you’re in a low place and someone you know is in a lower place, see if reaching out to them and offering an ear, offering a hug, offering advice if they ask for it, you just may find yourself feeling better.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

 

One of my friends has told me repeatedly that she’d love to help me when she can clearly see that I’m in distress. She knows me so well that even when I THINK I’m hiding it well, she sees through the shade.  

 

One of my INFP personality traits is that I have a difficult time with sharing my challenges, EVEN with my closest friends and family. I’d rather help others deal with their own issues. I’m doing my best to overcome that, but after years of living that trait, it doesn’t come easy to stop doing so.  

 

I understand that by sharing our own challenges we show our vulnerability and that can deepen a relationship.  If we stay closed off, if we don’t share what is troubling us, our friends may look elsewhere for people who will.  If we long for an intimate relationship with another person, then:
–We have to learn to trust them.  
–We have to remove our own walls.

 

–Once we begin to show our vulnerabilities,
–Once we open our emotional wounds to those we trust or are trying to build trust with, we will find that relationship we have been searching for.

 

It won’t happen overnight.  However if you want to build commitment, if you want others to feel good about themselves when they are in distress, then it is important to let your own walls down.  Let others inside. Let them help you, because as Abraham-Hicks states above:
By helping someone else, you are also helping yourself.

 

The concentration is off your own challenges and onto someone else.  Thus you’re not dwelling on your own situation. Here’s a writing example for those who write:
Have you ever faced a situation where you’re blocked?  By moving to another project, whether it’s another writing project or some other creative endeavor you do on the side, your thought gets refocused on the new project, freeing you up.  Quite often by removing yourself from the block, you get unblocked because you’re no longer focused on that.

 

So my advice to those of you in the INFP personality who have a challenging time letting your guard down with your closest friends and family, think about how this affects THEM.  They may need to focus on something else while dealing with their own issues. Help them by letting them help 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.

 

A Writer Writes

Sort of a follow up to last week’s Creativity and Coping as today I discuss writing and how much it means to me.  Writing and creativity has helped me become the person I am today.

 

Anyone who knows me understands how important writing is to me. It was my first band aid when I felt emotionally drained and vulnerable. Before I wrote my two blogs, I was writing fiction, mostly short stories.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

I didn’t have the motivation to write short stories like I do now with my blogs. I could skip a week or more and not face any major repercussions. With my blogs, I MUST write every day in order to make sure that I stay on schedule for Mondays and Fridays. Having these websites really helps me.  Without them, I wouldn’t be writing as often as I am. Anyone looking for motivation to write should consider starting a blog, as it will keep you on task.

 

I’m not saying I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t have my blogs. You know what people say:
A writer writes

 

However, blogging has certainly helped me stay with the process. I’ll be honest. Of my two blogs, I sometimes find it difficult to write for Wisdom and Life. I sometimes have a hard time finding topics to discuss. I’ve been sharing for eight years and I don’t want to repeat myself. It’s why I took a hiatus last September for a month. Last May, I contemplated permanently shutting Wisdom and Life down.

 

I lost my oomph.
I lost my desire.

 

Taking that month off in September helped however. You may see me doing more of that year to year. I realize that some of you have come to rely on this blog. So as long as I can keep going without burning out I will. I’m feeling enthusiastic about continuing now and to be honest, I think if I DID shut down, I’d immediately regret doing so. When I feel like this in the future, instead of pulling the plug, I will take another hiatus and see how I feel.  If the time comes when I need to shut down, I will give everyone plenty of notice. I don’t see that happening anytime soon however.

 

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.

 

Creativity and Coping

I need creativity in my life to help me cope with life’s challenges.

 

Christopher Jennings Penders

 

Said by myself about a month ago to a frequent library patron.  I’ve always felt my creative output has helped me deal with emotional debris that flutters around me from time to time.  It’s why when I felt bullied, I retreated to my safe place:
In front of my computer writing my dark fantasy.  

 

Being creative helps me when I’m feeling low

 

Image from:
Pixabay

Why concentrate on dark fantasy?  Because I was in a dark period when I wrote fiction.  All that turmoil had to come out some way and writing was I chose to expel that energy.  It came out as dark fantasy.

 

As I said in Writing Saved My Life I can distinctly recall spending time in my bedroom writing for what I felt was a matter of minutes but realized hours had gone by when I looked back at the number of pages I’d written.  Being in the flow helped me cope.  When I’m feeling low, my creativity raises me up.  I’m sure my fellow writers and artists will agree.

 

The same can be said for being behind my camera.  Nothing makes me happier then when I’m in front of my computer, banging on my keys and watching the blank white screen fill with words, or being behind my camera scanning the horizon for that one scene.  It’s when I don’t spend time working creatively that my emotional life spirals out of control and I can become stressed more easily,

 

Being artistic helps many people cope with life’s challenges.  I’m grateful that I have the ability to cope using my art. Not everyone can release the stress in this way.  Not only do I release stress but I’m also fortunate that what I create can also help others.

 

What do you do to reduce your own negative energy?

 

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.

My Favorite Children’s Books

I’ve been a reader my entire life. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that reading as much as I did growing up helped my writing get to where it is today. Without reading, you’re not going to learn.

 

It’s why I mentioned Ray Bradbury’s quotes about libraries in an earlier column.  In one of the quotes, Bradbury said he is completely library educated.  Libraries and books are integral to everyone. My day job is at my local library.  Before I worked at my library I had the pleasure of working at RJ Julia Booksellers.  I’ve always loved the printed word, so much so that I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand.  

 

These are my three favorite children’s books of all time:

Reading as a child helped me in many ways:
–Reading transported me to a safe place, just as writing did as I grew older.
–Reading was my friend, as I’ve been an introvert as long as I can recall.  Just click the previous link and you’ll see my columns at Wisdom and Life on introverts.
I’d rather curl up with a book or spend my alone time writing then being out with people i don’t know.

–Reading and writing have been my friends long before I had people friends.

 

 

 

I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy.  I love the way I live.
–I love coming home and finding no one here.
–I love the freedom I have.  
The freedom to read when I want,
The freedom to write when I want.
The freedom to do what I want when I want.

 

So, I bet you’re wondering when I’m not only getting to the subject of today’s column, but what the column’s subject is.  Well, reading is the subject, more specifically, three of my favorite children’s books of all time:
Tuck Everlasting
A Wrinkle in Time
Charlotte’s Web

 

So do these books stand out to me?  The first two books have time as one of its major subjects. If you’re a long time reader of Wisdom and Life then you know I have an interest in the concept of time.

–That you can’t change anything without affecting everything else about your life.
–That time doesn’t really exist. That it’s simply a construct of humankind.

 

It’s why the first two books resonate so deeply with me. In Tuck Everlasting, there is the concept of aging and immortality. Sort of a retelling of Ponce De Leon and his search for the fountain of youth. I’ve sometimes considered the idea of immortality. Which is another reason why I connect with Tuck Everlasting. My writing will create the immortality I sometimes think about.

 

A Wrinkle In Time is another favorite. I’ve been fascinated by time and distortions in it for a long while.  I often find myself considering ACTUAL wrinkles and tears in the fabric of time itself. Which is why Madeleine L’Engle’s quintessential book has resonated with me.

 

And Charlotte’s Web?

That doesn’t fit in with the above two books at all you may believe. You’re right. However, Charlotte’s Web has long been a favorite, even before the Tuck Everlasting and A Wrinkle in Time.  Can’t really put a finger on why this particular book has been so deeply important. All I can say is that it is my favorite children’s book of all time.

 

What are your favorite children’s books?

 

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.

 

I Read a Book One Day

I read a book one day and my whole life changed.

Light The Dark:
Writers on Creativity, Inspiration,
and the Artistic Process

 

 

 

 

 

When someone asks me what I do, the first response is photographer. It should be writer THEN photographer.
I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand; and I write more than I’m out with my camera. EVERY day as a matter of fact I’m at my computer tapping on my keyboard.

 

Light The Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process is the latest book I’m reading.  I’ve had a challenge finding any fiction to read recently, having borrowed several books from my library in the past six weeks or so.  No fiction has turned me on.  Nonfiction is where I find my inspiration now. Writing books have always been a favorite of mine, and this book along with several others have been an inspiration.  I highly recommend the two below:
Dancing on the Head of a Pen
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

 

Read my column that refers to Still Writing:
Writing Saved My Life

 

Reading and writing have been such an important aspect of my entire life.  I feel blessed that I followed my bliss and continued with my writing career even though roadblocks had been placed in my way.  Many people said:
No.  You can’t do that and expect to make a living.

 

So I went around the roadblocks and worked my way into the book field, working first at RJ Julia Booksellers, my local bookstore, then at The EC Scranton Library.  All the while I continued to write; first short stories then moving into blog content.  I let no one dissuade me.  In fact, as I may have said here previously, the BEST motivation anyone can give me is try telling me no.

 

And now, while I haven’t yet broken through and made a living writing, I DO have two books being published later this year.  So I will paraphrase the above quote:
Reading a book has changed my life for the better.

 

For without reading EVERYTHING, you can’t expect to accomplish ANYTHING!  Ray Bradbury I think said it best:
“I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books?”

 

And here’s another by Bradbury:
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.

 

So turn off your television and immerse yourself in the written word.  
Your brain will thank you.
Your eyes will thank you.
Your writing will thank 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.

 

Editing my Manuscript

I’ve been editing my manuscript:
Taking Off a Coat: Ruminations on Transitioning for the past couple of weeks.

Image from:
Pixabay
writing

Hence there will be no traditional column today.  I hope to have the final rough draft of my manuscript done by the middle of December.  I originally thought it would be complete at the end of the week. However, I need to have a BIT more time to go through the document and make sure that it is as complete as I can make it.  

 

My typical month long hiatus from Wisdom and Life is starting a couple of weeks earlier this year so I can devote more time to writing and editing my manuscript.  So, today’s column will be the last one until the middle of January 2017.

 

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.

Leave Me Alone. I’m Writing!

Leave me alone. I’m writing.

Christopher Jennings Penders

 

My friend, Mike Allton inspired today’s column when he shared:
12 Things You Should Never Say To A Writer

 

Before I start this column, let me say, I’m aware that many of you may see the above quote and think:
Wow!  That’s kind of harsh.

Image from:
Pixabay
notebook:pen

Let me just say sometimes in order to create boundaries we need to be harsh.  To protect ourselves.

 

I’m sure writers everywhere have experienced interruptions with the person doing the interrupting saying something like:
Oh, you’re only writing and you can’t take a moment to talk?  Or something to that effect

 

It’s the only writing thing that disturbs me more than being interrupted because THAT ONE phrase trivializes what we do. It seems as if ALL artists are spoken to this way.

 

–Would you interrupt a lawyer in the middle of a trial?
–Would you interrupt a chef while they were cooking?
I think not?

 

Then why is it alright to do so to an artist?  Because art, ANY KIND of art is no longer taken seriously.  We consider it a hobby, something people do to pass the time; not as a vocation, not as something one does to get paid. This is also reflected in the world when someone asks if you can give your work away without compensation. There is an overall lack of respect for artists in general and I find it shameful that it still happens.  

 

Writers matter.  For without the written word, society would cease to exist. So the next time you consider interrupting a writer while they are working, AFTER they have already said as much (And YES. I said working) think about whether you would do the same to someone in another field.  It’s why when I write, I don’t answer my phone, or respond to texts or emails.  Most of my friends and family now understand that IF I don’t respond, it means that I’m working.  And on the off chance that I do pick up a ringing phone and say I’m writing and I can call back later, MOST people understand.  It took some conditioning to get the point across and yes there are STILL SOME times when I need to recondition.  For the most part however, people now respect me when I say I can call back later.  I even have an outgoing message on my phone that says I may be writing.

 

Anything we can do to get across the understanding that yes, for some of us, writing is much more than just a hobby.  

 

For me, writing was my first passion even before I picked up my first camera.  I’ve been writing since I COULD write.  So when someone, ANYONE disrespects my writing, they disrespect me.  

 

Am I the only one who feels this way?  Would love to hear from others in the comments below.

 

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.

 

Once a Week

Hard to believe when I began Wisdom and Life I wrote columns five days a week.  Keeping that pace wasn’t difficult in the beginning as Wisdom and Life was the only blog I wrote.  Now seven years after its inception, W&L is one of three blogs I maintain.  The other two being:
Scranton Page Turner
CJP Photo News

 

There is no way I could keep the pace of writing five columns a week for W&L, three columns a month for SPT and two columns a month for CJPPN.  I cut back gradually at W&L.  It was in January, 2011 that I cut back from five days a week to three days a week:
Monday
Wednesday
Friday.

 

Image from:
Wikipedia
scissors

As I went back through Wisdom and Life to see where each cut back occurred, I found that they both happened in January.  

 

 

 

To three times:
January 2011.

 

To once a week:
January 2015

 

And it isn’t that I’m not writing as often because I now write three blogs.  I almost feel as if I’m writing more now then when I maintained only one blog five times a week.  I struggled both times I cut W&L, more so with the second cut because I enjoyed writing three times a week, however I knew I put too much pressure on myself to write something so often.  Now I’m much more relaxed and I don’t feel as stressed with W&L as I did before I cut back to once a week.

 

And the last thing I want is to feel stressed with something I love to do.  Cutting back was the best thing I could have done.  Not only was it the best thing, it was the RIGHT thing to do.

 

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

 

Waking With Thoughts In The Night

My friend Jean Wise writes a blog called Healthy Spirituality.  In her latest column, she writes about Paying attention to the Sparks.  What do you do to pay attention to your OWN sparks?  I gave a response at her column that being a writer myself, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts flashing through my head.  I used to leave it to chance that I’d recall what flashed through my head during those times that I’d awake.

 

Not anymore.

 

Image from:
Pixabay
notebook:pen

I now do one of two things:
1.  I have a notebook beside my bed and my trusty fountain pen.  (The ONLY writing utensil I own)

2. My voice recorder on my iPhone.

 

One of these two things are ALWAYS by my bed so that IF I awake with a fabulous thought scurrying through my brain, I reach for one or the other.  It’s usually been my voice recorder so I don’t have to expel unwanted energy reaching for my pen and turning on a light.  I find this ritual works well for me.

 

There have been countless times when I wrote fiction that I’d have temporary writer’s block and I’d head off to sleep, only to be woken at some point with the answer to my issue.  I’d pull out my notebook and my pen as there were no smartphones in the early 1990s, i’d scribble the answer then go back to sleep comfortable in the knowledge that my answer had been recorded.

 

Writing has long been a passion of mine, whether it be the three blogs I’m now invested in, the occasional newspaper article I write, or dark fantasy I wrote earlier in my life.  It’s been my chosen way to communicate to a wide audience.  I’m grateful to have been given that gift and to have found a way to give back through the writing I’m doing now.

 

I still practice the ritual above to this day, because let’s face it, I’m getting no younger and we have yet to discover a way to increase the RAM in our own memory so anything I can do to help the process of remembering I will certainly do.  By keeping my voice recorder near my bed I’m helping myself.

 

I will repeat the question that Jean asks:
What do you do to pay attention to your OWN sparks?

 

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.

 

Roadmap To The Future

How do you find your future?  It’s as I wrote at Wisdom and Life in April, 2013 with:
The Imagination Process.
You first have to imagine your life as you wish it to be.  The road map to your future is created in your imagination.

 

Image from:
Wikimedia
Road Map

Without a road map to guide you, you’re lost when you travel to a new location.  Your future will ALWAYS be a new location because you don’t know where it is.  That’s where your imagination comes into play.  If you could have anything you want, if you could do anything you want and there were no restrictions, what would you do?

Imagine yourself up on a stage singing.
Imagine yourself in front of a camera acting.
Imagine yourself in front of an easel painting a wooded scene.

 

Whatever it is that you desire, keep your mind’s eye on that prize.  Focus on your want.  Never stop thinking about that prize.  I’m reminded of Einstein’s quote about imagination:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

 

Without imagination, nothing that now exists would exist at all.  Imagination is power.  Many truly know what they want.  But they don’t understand that you first have to imagine your success.

 

That’s what I’m doing now.  EVERY waking moment and who knows, probably EVERY sleeping moment, the ONLY thing I keep seeing is myself at my local bookstore signing copies of my soon to be published book.  (Another thing I’m imagining.)  I close my mind’s eye and can see lines down the street and a crowded standing room only area of my local bookstore, listening to me speak about my book.

 

Some may say, but Chris this is just a pipe dream.  To them, I smile.  Thinking:
Just wait.  I’m determined to make this happen.  Just like I was determined to get the job at my local library.  If you recall (those of you who have been following Wisdom and Life since its inception) I had people ask me what I was going to do with a Library Science degree when I returned to school.  My response?
I’m going to get hired at The Scranton Library in Madison.

 

No one believed it.  Well that’s where I’m working now.  It’s all imagination and determination.

 

It starts with imagining your success first.  However imagination can only get you so far.  You have to continue focusing on that imagination.  You have to follow that road map.  Nothing will happen unless you are determined to follow your imagination.  Don’t let anyone divert you.  If you truly know what you want, if you truly love what you are doing, then follow that bliss.  Follow that road map.  Keep chasing your imagination.

 

What are you imagining?

 

Remember:
Your imagination is your road map to your future!

 

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.